Hope you are all having a great Sunday, here’s what we learnt last week and what we have prepared for this one:
DRAMA! Mayhem! Blogging!
In the past few weeks we have seen a plethora of articles about blogging and reviewing which sparked great discussion – and drama – all over the blogosphere.
The Speculative Scotsman talked about Niche Blogging and how it should be cause for celebration. Paul Smith from the new (and MOST EXCELLENT) blog Empty Your Heart of its Mortal Dream muses about which books to review, old or new and comes to a cool conclusion:
As incredibly cheesy as it sounds, I do think in the big picture these sorts of questions are just semantics, and the important thing is that we talk about our love of books and share that with others. The Internet is great in a way because between places like Amazon and The Book Depository, and others like Abebooks, we have access to more books than ever, both old and new. The downside is that it has created a situation where there is almost too much to read, speaking from experience my wishlist has 300 books on it and I wasn’t even trying. Regardless of what we review, genre or literary, new or old, we are all in our own way providing a little direction in this massive ocean of books, and that can’t be a bad thing.
James from Speculative Horizons took issue with an old Dear Author post and blogged about how blogging should not be about getting free books, and it really HAS to be a hobby and if it’s not, guess what: You ‘r’ Doing It Wrong.
On the other side of the spectrum The Book Lady’s Blog talks about blog professionalism and marketing and creating awareness for ones blog. Her post is followed by Jessica’s thoughtful reflexion raising further questions about the subject and then The Book Chick City talks about blog promotion and whether it is a positive aspect of blogging or not.
Meanwhile, author Mark Charan Newton goes all controversial – and perhaps a little insulting – and talks about how reviewers probably should not criticise the editing of a book:
As an related aside, I do find it amusing when some reviewers say “the book could have done with more editing”. An editor (not mine) commented on this at Eastercon recently – it’s ridiculous for people to say that, because have they any idea just what work went into that manuscript in the first place? That an editor could have reduced a novel by half to have some clown still say it needs a good edit (when they might also mean, for example, that they didn’t agree with the pacing).
(It seems Mr. Newton is confusing criticism of the final edited product with criticism of the editing process. A book may have undergone the most amazing editing process for months and months; it may have been trimmed in excess of thousands of pages! But if the end result is still laden with grammatical/spelling errors, plot and character discontinuities, and endless, pointless repetition, it’s not such a…comic stretch that a reviewer might say the book could have used a bit more editing. Obviously, (most) reviewers don’t know what has happened during the editing process. The only thing (most) reviewers see – and, thus, review – is the final product.)
The greatest drama though came from a blog called Farm Lane Books Blog with its article about the difference between UK and US book bloggers and who creates the “Best Blogs” which ended up with a whopping – heated – 273 comments.
Then there are those who think that blogging should be all about the books and not blogging about blogging and that there should be a special place for the discussion. Hence Book Blogging Forum has been created: “A place to keep the discussions about blogging off the blogs”. Athough we like the idea of a forum for bloggers we are in the camp of those who think that people should and can blog anything they want, including blogging about blogging.
We loved seeing all these posts – we might not agree with all of the ideas behind them (understatement of the century) but we embrace discussion, opinions and the very act of reflecting about what it is that we are doing here. Carry on blogosphere!!!
We have a few winners to announce:
Steampunk Giveaway – The winner of a copy of Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti is:
The ten winners of the Master of None by Sonya Bateman giveaway are:
Danielle Yockman (comment#14)
Cindy C. (comment #28)
Julie Swaney (comment #31)
Kale L (comment# 29)
Christine M (comment #49)
Aik (comment #57)
Bethie (comment # 41)
Lexie (comment# 51)
Breia Brickey (comment #3)
Audra Holtwick (comment #38)
The ten winners of autographed copies of Embers by Laura Bickle are:
Myra C (comment#63)
care (comment #12)
Sara M (comment #43)
Elizabeth (comment# 36)
Christa (comment #24)
Tina (comment #45)
Etta (comment # 41)
meredith g (comment# 55)
Lindsay Elizabeth (comment #52)
Falling Off The Shelf (comment #76)
You all know the drill. Email us (contact AT thebooksmugglers DOT com) with your snail mail address, and we will get your winnings out to you as soon as possible. Thanks again to everyone that entered, and congratulations to all of the winners!
Speaking of contests:
Rose Lerner author of the GLORIOUS romance novel In For a Penny is currently running a contest on her website. Here is the deal:
I want to write a short story for my website set in the In for a Penny universe, but I’m low on ideas. This is where you come in! Send me your ideas and I’ll write a story based on my favorite suggestion. Anything goes!
The winner will receive a signed presentation hard-copy of the story and the story will be available for free on her website. Go here to read more about it.
This Week On The Book Smugglers
On Monday, Thea writes her report on The LA Times Book Festival which is taking place this weekend. She gets to attend panels, see authors, meet loads of bloggers and then tell us all about it! She then later reviews the much acclaimed Fantasy novel Spellwright by Blake Charlton.
On Tuesday, we post our April issue of Cover Matters. This time we chat with author Celine Kiernan about the different, numerous covers her Moorehawke trilogy has and then analyze the results of our recent Survey.
On Wednesday, we post author Sam Sykes’ review of The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner as this month’s Guest Dare. His post is followed by this month’s A Dude Reads PNR entry when Harry, our resident, honorary smuggler, posts his review of The Shattered Sylph by L.J.McDonald.
On Thursday, Ana reviews the romance novel Wicked Becomes You by one of her favorite romance novelists: Meredith Duran. Later in the day, Thea reviews The World Inside by Robert Silverburg (for reals this time).
Finally, on Friday we post our joint review of White Cat By Holly Black.
And, this is it from us today!
We remain, as usual:
~ Your friendly neighborhood Book Smugglers