If you’re not sure of what’s going on, you can read about the news on Goodreads changing their giveaway system in this The Verge post. Basically, both Goodreads and Netgalley, important platforms in the publishing world, are implementing certain policies that in the end, exclude non-US/UK bloggers from the operations.
Goodreads is basically a Wikipedia+ Search Engine+ Tracker for books. It’s a very handy service and almost every bookworm out there is on GR.
Netgalley on the other hand, offers a different service. Netgalley allows publishers to list their books on the site so that reviewers may request them to read in advance for free, in exchange of a honest review.
Now, I won’t go deep into why this is very infuriating because others before me have already expressed that better than I can. But we should really think about what this will mean for us.
This one is the most obvious one. I get it, shipping is a bitch, so bloggers from other parts of the world revel in their ability to at least get digital copies to get their hands on and review, and bring some recent-ness to their site.
The truth is, people like their stuff to be recent. This is not to say that blogs that don’t talk about new releases are an automatic failure and the ones that do are all a success. But if a blog does regularly provide its readers with reviews of new releases and then suddenly isn’t able to anymore, there is bound to be a consequence. Let’s hope not, but we’ve got to be prepared for that.
A divide between bloggers?
I’m not talking about fights, because I’d like to think we’re better than that (There is some friction at the moment though 🙁 ).
But, picture this:
A new book is going to be released soon. Say, only US bloggers are talking about it because only they have been able to access this new book. The rest of the community has no idea of what they’re talking about and can only go like, ‘Hey, cool cover, bro,’ or ‘Nice synopsis’.
I’m aware that ARCs become published books later, but these months in between do count too. This already kind of happens, but imagine it being that much prominent when there’s a clear line about who gets the books and who doesn’t. We like to think that getting accepted to review a book comes from your hard work, for the influence you’ve built by posting review after review. But now suddenly that doesn’t matter anymore and your eligibility is solely based on where you live?
This is so unbeliavably sad, but it’s a possibility. Non-US/UK bloggers that do their work in english really have it rough enough. We love reading in english because it’s a beautiful language, because there are more books, more people, and because reading in the source language is just better. But it’s discouraging.
rant talk about the difficulties, but we deal, right? We’re still here. There are worst things that make us quit. Like the strain, and getting stressed. But this now?
It really could mean some wonderful members of our community leaving us. I don’t really blame them. I mean, it’s hard to try to continue working so hard to belong to a place where doors keep closing in your face.
True, you might say, ‘oh, but this is not about that, it’s just ARCs, omg, are you so greedy you’re here just for the free books?’
ARCs are free books, I know. And it all comes down to that, but it’s much more than that, isn’t it? ARCs are status, they’re rewards, opportunities and a sign of the trust publishers give us to market their books and spread the love. Bloggers can still get free books from giveaways our fellow bloggers make, or trading books or whatever. We CAN get free books. We can even download them illegaly dammit. So. It’s. Not. About. The. Free. Books.
It’s about publishers and big organizations shutting us out, so yes, I wouldn’t be surprised if I few bloggers start posting less and less, or some just announce they’re leaving and call it a day.
I’m really sad about these news, so these are the only effects I can think of now without completely turning this into a rant. If you think of anything else, I’d love to discuss!