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A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

My Sister, My Daughter

Sometimes, as bloggers, we have different hats that are not quite “either” sister “or” daughter. One can be both! (Quick, who gets the movie reference?)

Lenore at Presenting Lenore is a book blogger whose debut novel, Level Two, is being published by Simon & Schuster BFYR in 2012. This brings about the dilemma: can one be an author AND a book reviewer? In true blogger fashion, Lenore shares her thoughts about it.

I don’t think there is an easy answer to this one; it’s a gray area. Do authors review books in traditional, mainstream media (i.e., not blogs or their own websites)? Heck, yes. Why not on blogs?

But, people are human — if someone feels hurt by something that is said about them or their book, will they remember that? Depends on the person, the book, the comment. “Cannot write their way out of a paper bag” would probably be remembered, and if you meet that author at a cocktail party, it would be foolish to say “can you watch my drink for me.” I also imagine that the author writing reviews for mainstream publications has an editor that will say “instead of the paper bag quote, can you give an example of the plot not working” or somesuch to change the review into something more critical and less pure snark.

What I like about blog reviews are the variety of experiences and education and knowledge that bloggers bring to what they write. It’s not all lockstep, cookie cutter thoughts. One of those experiences is, well, that of being an author. One reason I find the National Book Awards fascinating is it’s writers reading writers, and I do believe they approach a book a bit differently than non-writers. Which is good, and I wouldn’t want authors voices to disappear from the book blogging world.

Back to Lenore’s question. Go, click through to her blog post and read the comments: there’s a lot of food for thought there.

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About Elizabeth Burns

Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is lizzy.burns@gmail.com.

Comments

  1. Michelle says:

    You’re right, this is a really grey area. I feel for any author who is making this same transition because one may have to weigh what they love/want against what might be best for them professionally. Like you, I would miss Lenore’s voice in reviews but understand why she might feel compelled to scale back.

  2. Angela Carstensen Liz B says:

    Michelle, if only things were easy!

  3. MotherReader says:

    I’m curious about this as well, in more than one place in the book blogosphere.

  4. Angela Carstensen Liz B says:

    Pam, yes, as more and more bloggers get book deals — especially beyond those who were already authors with agents/book deals — the issue will be seen more and more.

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