Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Thank You


This is going to be a long-ish post. 

There's a question I get asked a lot when I do interviews for aspiring writers. What do I think helped make such and such book a success? Success, just like reading and reviewing, is a very subjective term. What is a success to one person could honestly be a failure to another. So it's all relative, but that's not the point of this blog.

Looking back, I could say it was the first editor who took a chance or the first agent who didn't send me a form rejection or the first publisher that thought there was something in this book that may really appeal to people. Sure, they all helped. Duh. But the main ingredient in my happy cupcake recipe isn't agents, editors, publishers, or bears, oh my! It's not even one person. It's actually a collective group of people known as book bloggers.

Now I'm going to give you the Jennifer definition of a book blogger from the Armentroutopedia

Book Blogger-- a person who, for the love of reading, reads and review books on a public platform with little to no financial support. It's not a job. There are really no rules. It's a passion that the share with other people who have a love of reading and/or writing. It's even an obsession, just like writing is an obsession to authors. Book Bloggers take their websites seriously, their reviews, and their promotions.

In a few seconds, I'm going to get to the 'little to no' financial support statement. But I know for a fact, and I'm also sure that if someone asked the publisher of my very first book they would agree, that the reason why people even heard of Half-Blood was mainly due to Book Bloggers. Someone out there in blogging community read the blurb and got excited. That person talked it up to another blogger, who got excited, and that second blogger talked to another blogger, and by the time Half-Blood was scheduled to come out it had 1,000s of to-reads on Goodreads. Word of mouth, baby. Word of mouth that me or my publisher didn't pay a dime for. And that word of mouth in the book blogging community is PRICELESS.

Let's talk about books:
Sure, bloggers get a lot of books for free. They also buy books that they get ARCs of. They also are on first name basis with their local book store. They also buy multiple copies for contests. They probably spend more money on books then a country does to feed a small army. And keep in mind, they don't get paid to blog or review, so all of this is coming out of their pockets. Why? Because they love books.

Let's talk about promotion and word of mouth:
When a blogger likes a book, you better recognize. Because that blogger is going to spread the love your book like a virus you actually want to catch. They are going to tweet about it, talk about it, do status updates about it, blog about it, and some will even start fan sites. Others will go as far as to petition foreign publishers. Two of my foreign sales came from bloggers overseas doing that and I'm sure that was what got the ball rolling. How freaking insanely awesome is that? Bloggers will promote the hell out of your books. Why? Because they love books.

And they do this for free. FREE. I don't know about you guys, but has anyone checked into marketing plans and prices that will get you the same amount of exposure as a handful of excited bloggers will? Thousands of dollars. I am not kidding. THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.

Let me say it one more time: Book Bloggers do all of this for no money and for the love of books.

Let's talk about reviews:
Bloggers review books. They take that shit seriously. (Yes. I cuss. I actually cuss a lot in real life. I have a potty mouth. It's bad. An epidemic) Just like authors take their writing seriously. Messing with a blogger's review is like throwing stones at someone's kid. Bloggers don't have to like a book. They don't even have to review a book sent to them. Even if they request a book, they don't have to review it. It isn't their job. They weren't hired by you to do it. I talk to Bloggers who liked one of my books and hated the other one on a regular basis. Hey. Reading and reviewing is subjective. There are books out there that I loathe. And if I'm allowed to think that, then people are allowed to think that about my books.

Let's talk about Jen's sad face:
There's a reason why I thank bloggers in my acknowledgements. Because I am humbled by them. Bloggers have a huge impact in sales. Some people may not believe that, but I'm living proof or my books are of how much a blogging community can do for you. And I'm not the only one. From traditionally pub'd authors to self pub'd authors and everything in-between, have been impacted in amazingly positive ways by bloggers. I have had and always will have mad respect for the blogging community and it saddens me when I see crazy ass websites dedicated to 'revealing bullies' or when some of my favorite bloggers, ones who were there with me in the beginning, have stopped blogging because of how people behave. The latter actually really ticks me off, to be honest.  Someone should never have to stop doing what they love because of other people. The only time a blogger or a reviewer has a negative impact on an author, is when the author makes it into a negative thing. That's the painful, cold truth. The positive will always outweigh the negative in the blogging and writing community. That power is in the author's hands. Use it wisely. (I've always wanted to say the 'Use it wisely' thing in regards to use of power.) Bloggers are a part of the reading community, something I feel that people tend to forget.

Let's talk about Jen's happy face:
In closing, thank you to the Book Bloggers. Without you guys, I damn well know a lot of people would be like Obsidian-what? Aliens? Are you eff'ing kidding me? Or Half-Blood-who? Isn't that something to do with Harry Potter?  I also wouldn't have heard of half the books that are out today without you guys. So even though there are people out there who are in bad need of rabies shot when it comes to handling bloggers and reviewers, please know that the vast majority of authors recognize the importance of bloggers, are thankful for everything you do for free and for the love of books, and respect your position in the ever changing publishing environment.


82 comments:

  1. So so so sooooo true J! If it weren't for the YA-Sisterhood bloggers I never would have found your books and many other fantabulous authors I've come to love. A wonderful shout out.

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    1. Awwww, I love this!!! Comments like this seriously make my whole month....maybe my whole year!!!!

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  2. Aww this whole post was just amazing and very very well said!!

    It is nice to know there are authors out there that still take the time to thank those of us who love to read and review and to help get the word out about the books and authors we love!

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  3. Awwww... so sweet! Yeah, it's all thanks to Kay and Nicole (Share-A-Read) that I fell in love with the asshat (sorry I have your potty mouth edpidemic, too). I've read some of the BEST books from blogs and GoodReads friends. Thanks for the thanks, and thanks to you for your books! Without their 'awesomesauceness with an extra helping of sauce' we couldn't have fallen in love and gushed about them!

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  4. Internet hugs all around.

    I'm not ashamed to admit that the vast majority of people would be like "Who in the hell is Jennifer Armentrout" if it wasn't for bloggers. =)

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  5. Great post! Cheers for sharing your thoughts so openly.

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  6. Thank you Jenn, it is extremely good to hear an author who praises us resolutely instead of bad-mouthing us. I had a Facebook status this morning on the same kind of lines as this post.
    I nearly quit blogging at 6:55am (uk time) today- I got torn down in an email and have suffered 1 or 2 bad comments on my blog. Whilst some people may think "what the heck's her problem, it's only 1 or 2" Well as you said, it's all relative and those couple of things really hurt me.
    Were it not for a kind author friend talking to me at 2am (can time) I would have quit. I sobbed my effing heart out and she put me back together again.

    So thank you for your post. It's amazing!
    Xxxx

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    1. Don't ever stop blogging for one person or comment.

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  7. One bad comment, one email is one too many. I'm glad you decided to keep your blog!

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  8. Is it possible to love you more Jen?!?!?!?!, this is way we bloggers support yu so much cause you are a real down to earth person that actually speak her mind and take stime to do thisng like this, plus you write totally awesome books =D

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  9. Amen sister! Agree 100%!!!

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  10. I totally couldn't agree with you more, and I heart book bloggers. It is through them that I have found some amazing books to read and actually learned a ton about the writing biz.

    ps I have a potty mouth too ;)

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  11. Jen, this post is just awesome! Thank you for the shout out to bloggers. We love amazing authors like you!!!

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  12. Book bloggers are truly amazing. Awesome post!

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  13. A well-written post, Jennifer, and I wholeheartedly agree with you!

    Your post reminded me of a certain discussion that I stumbled across, which I read and found distasteful. Okay, yeah, I can see why that particular writer was frustrated, but just learn from it and move on.

    It sucks because this kind of stuff really hurts Indie authors like me, and ultimately gives us all a bad reputation. It’s almost as bad as “reviewer bashing”. So not cool!

    Whenever I request a review, I state in my emails that I realize book bloggers are busy people and whenever they get around to posting the review to please let me know. The general response? Most bloggers thanked me for understanding and said it was rare. Of course, I am hoping that these bloggers will think kindly of me in future. ;-) I always remind myself of the quote, “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”.

    And if a reviewer doesn’t like my brand of storytelling? I thank them for the review anyway. A writer should always act professional. We all have different tastes in literature, and as writers we should respect that.

    If it wasn’t for all these awesome and supportive book bloggers, a lot of authors wouldn’t be where there are today…

    Happy Reading,
    ~Sherry

    Spellbound Series Universe

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  14. Awww Jenn :)
    You are awesome. That is all.

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  15. thank you for supporting us

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  16. You are seriously one of my favorite authors! You're amazing! <3

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  17. Awesome post and one we totally agree with! Thank you book bloggers, from the bottom of our heart! We know that without you, we would cease to exist!!

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  18. YAY FOR JEN ARMENTROUT! *throws confetti* *blows noisemaker* Awesome post, thank you for sharing your opinion and keeping us feeling good about ourselves and our blogs! :)

    <3 Goldilox

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  19. Really good post! So well written-typed-and makes complete and total sense! Love you a little bit more everyday, even though I don't really know you...ha ha. You seem like a super awesome person! You should do video vlogs more often, like once a week. I totally already subscribed to your Youtube channel. Are you partnered? Talk about your life too in them! Then when you get so many subscribers you get paid! It would make everyone happy, especially your fans, myself included :D

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  20. This is a Badass post Jen!!!!

    Okay so one of my BFF's who is also a blogger, when I begged her to read Obsidian, she was like "aliens? Are you freaking kidding me?" I told her I just finished Onyx and it was incredible...once again she said Aliens make her think of "Oompa Loompas, and ugly ones" Okay so then she finished Obsidian and she was like "OMG IM IN LOVE WITH DAEMON and IM STALKING JEN's BLOG for UPDATES LOL" Seriously, I take credit for your new stalker, LMAO. J/K....but without other blogger friends telling me to read Obsidian last year I would have never known either...

    Thanks for writing such outstanding books!!!! You rock! SHOUTY capitals!!!:)

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  21. I even cringe when I say Obsidian is about aliens, LOL. Cuz I know what kind of look I'm going to get. Thank you everyone for the comments!

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  22. I'm going to admit, I teared up a little reading your post, Jennifer. I've never read anything by you I haven't loved, but it wouldn't matter if I had. You're phenomenal!!!!!

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  23. You are amazing! This is such a heartwarming post!
    Thank you! and thank you for allowing us to love your books :)

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  24. <3 Thank you for this amazing post Jen!! We bloggers need to see this every now and then.

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  25. Jen' you really ARE amazing! We love you so much! Kisses from Romania!

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  26. Amen Jennifer. From the bottom of my heart. Darlene Williams HF Reviews.

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  27. Thank you so much for this post! I liked it so much I wrote my own little blog post about it!

    http://www.stephanieparent.blogspot.com/2012/07/jennifer-l-armentrout-says-it-better.html

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  28. This is an amazing post! I'm really glad that you appreciate the blogging community. :)

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  29. Thankyou Jen for supporting us, I am really thankful I have had the pleasure of dealing with authors who are truly amazing x

    A fantastic post!

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  30. Thanks for that wonderful post!
    You're absolutely right that the negative image an author gets by being petty and badmouthing a reviewer is SO much worse than the bad review itself. The only time I've ever taken a book that I wanted to read off my TBR list was because of an author's bad attitude regarding reviewers/bloggers.
    And yes, the reason I found out about you was through fellow book bloggers. I wish I could remember who it was because I'd thank them for bringing your books into my life!
    Thanks again!

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  31. Thanks for the beautiful words, Jen!
    We appreciate them.

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  32. I love you Jenn & this is one of the MANY reasons you are my favorite author!!! I just have to say thank YOU for all your support! You & your amazing books make blogging worth it, even on the hard days!

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  33. This was such a great, up-lifting post. Thank you!

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  34. Oh sure- just when I thought I couldn't love you any more. Show off. ;)
    Thank you for giving us books to love and rave like mad about. *hug*

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  35. YOU. ARE. MADE. OF. AWESOME! It's authors like you that make what I enjoy doing, fun! THANK YOU!!

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  36. Great post - although I am late to this bandwagon. I heard about your books over a year ago from Kendra and Cindy at Books Complete Me.

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  37. You put the awesome in awesomesauce. Seriously. We love you soooo much and you are one of the few golden authors that actually return that love. Now I'm actually considering making a blog... Yeah, I usually jus stock other blogs hehe... But I'll think about it. I would love to be a part of this wonderfully community that I've discovered because of my love of reading. Well, this has been sufficiently corny. Keep it Daemon!

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  38. Awesome post Jennifer!!!! I love how you always thank bloggers in the acknowledgments.

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  39. Thanks for the love, hey, I don't know if you know but The Lux series is entered in the NPR best ever teen novel contest.
    Check it out over here:
    http://www.npr.org/2012/07/24/157072526/best-ever-teen-novels-vote-for-your-favorites

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  40. Love this. Your writing is amazing. Your books and characters are amazing. And this is awesome. TY for this.

    As someone who purchased around 1,500 books since I started blogging and requested around 10 print books, it's nice to know there are those out there that don't think we're in it just for our egos or for "free" stuff, but do this because we love books and supporting amazing authors.

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  41. Agree 100% with this post, especially as an author who started out as a blogger. :)

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  42. That's such a lovely post!
    I always loved the fact that Katy was a blogger and your dedication to bloggers on your books, makes me feel semi-important :P

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  43. Wow, girl. Thank YOU. You really hit the nail on the head there. We blog for FREE. I get zero compensation from my reviews. I get books for free, but I do buy ones I don't get for review, and I know that my word of mouth has influenced many a book purchase in the past. I hope it continues to do so in the future. Even negative reviews drum up positive impacts, so it's definitely when an author makes a bad impression that the impacts are negative. It's great to hear that we're appreciated, and it's hard to want to stick around when it starts to feel like a job. But I will always love to read, and I have a lot to say about books. It's the perfect venue. So thank YOU for writing such amazing stuff, and keep up the good work. <3

    Mickey

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    1. I agree completely with you, Mickey. Also I just want to add that this is a true testament to how amazing Jennifer is! <3

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  44. And that is why we love you Jennifer!
    You are completely amazing!
    I haven't been a book blogger for long, only a year, but I have loved your books and I try to spread the word of not only your books, but every book I have read and loved!
    I do this 'cause I just love books!
    Everything you mentioned makes being a book blogger worth it!

    Thank you!
    :)

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  45. Fact. And a very well (and diplomatically) stated one.

    As a debut author who had never heard of Book Bloggers before I began publishing this past spring, I have come to have an incredible amount respect for these folks and hold them in the utmost high esteem. And like you, Jennifer, the blogosphere garbage of late has saddened me to no end. Not just because I will now not be able to be reviewed by those who've chosen to give up blogging, but because I feel that the literary world has lost champions.

    So, for those Book Bloggers who are selflessly sticking with it, I humbly thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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  46. You are awesome!! TOTALLY ROCK!!! Thank you for ALL that you do...

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  47. AWWW Thank you Jennifer!!! You are awesome and so kind!!!

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  48. Thanks for the great post. =) I know there's been tons of drama lately, but I think when it comes down to it the majority of bloggers just want to share their love of books, and I think/hope that the majority of authors recognize this. Thanks so much for thinking what bloggers do is important -- it really is awesome to see what power the blogosphere can have, and I hope it will continue on in a positive way, rather than be dragged down by the negativity and accusations that have been flying around.

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  49. I have to say thank you to a Cupcake and a Latte. I would have never read your books without her!

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  50. WOW. This is the most awesome post I've read about bloggers. You don't know how much it inspires us to read and review and blog about books. You are right, most of us do it out of our love for books, and blogging isn't super easy, but it's all worthwhile especially in times like this. We don't ask for anything, but to recognize us like this is beyond amazing for me, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who has a big smile on my face right now. Thank you so much Ms. Jennifer. Authors like you are the reason why we have awesome books, why we have fictional hot guys to drool over with, why we spend money on pre-orders, why we are known by the librarians and bookstore staff, and why we always have package of books on our doorstep, and why we spend MORE time in blogging and reviewing. Thank you very much. You are awesome!

    Sincerely, April @Books4Juliet

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  51. Great post Jen ! I think this is what everyone in the blogging community needs to hear right now. This is so inspiring.

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  52. This is such a great post I also discovered your books and so many other great books from blogs. I first heard about Half -blood from one of my favorite blogs stuckinbooks and now I own all your books and have already pre -ordered many more all because of book bloggers. I'm not a blogger but I am a avid reader and I really appreciate all the blogging community does.

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  53. I read too many blogs for my own good and I agree that if it weren't for some bloggers I wouldn't have bought half the books I now own BUT I'm sorry ( I know lots of people will disagree)I wouldn't call getting ARCs (sometimes even multiple copies of the same book or more surprising - to me at least - finished copies...) in exchange for reviews (when they don't get so many they actually don't have the time to review the books and end up doing so years after the official release date) doing something for FREE: some bloggers specifically start blogging because they want to get ARCs. Sure they want to help promote an author but what's really attractive about ARCs is that you get to read a book you've been waiting for ages before everybody else. I love books. I've been reading since I was 7 years old and didn't start(like many) because of Twilight. I read both old and newly released books. Sometimes waiting for a book to come out is TORTURE. I post reviews on GR here and there but don't own a blog : if someone offered me a book that's only suppposed to come out several months from now, you can bet I would seize the opportunity to read said book early. And when one happens to receive one of those every week then it stops being free it's a trade: you get something IN EXCHANGE for a service; just because it doesn't involve money doesn't mean it's FREE. Sure, bloggers can choose not to read ARCs but I haven't seen many of those around in the blogosphere : on the contrary they all fight to get them, or complain even when they don't get immediate replies from publishers. I actually don't see a lot of books that came out months ago being featured on blogs. you can help promote books just fine without ARCS. That's why i usually stick with GR or You Tube reviewers. They're readers who don't expect ANYTHING in return for their honest opinions and they should be acknowledged too.

    I'm glad that book bloggers have helped promote your books and get other people to notice your work but what about regular readers who help spread the word about your stories just as much by getting their friends to buy your books or asking their local bookstores to order them and put them on display ? don't they get a thank too and a little recognition ?

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    1. I actually find this comment a rather broad and senseless generalization on the blogging community. I live in Australia, and due to the high cost of international postage, I miss out on a lot of ARCs and still go on to review the books when they are released. I've never once received an ARC of Jennifer's books, therefore, I'm not getting anything in exchange for my "services". I review Jennifer's books because I enjoy her writing and if I can help others to discover an author or a body of work that I'm crazy about, then that's all that really matters. It means I, and everyone else get to read more books from fantastic authors. I don't get paid for what I do, and if I do review an ARC, I'm damn well honest in my opinions, same as I would be with any book that I'd purchased, and the publisher is well aware of that fact when they ask me to review a title!
      As far as us acquiring so many ARCs we don't get to read them until "years" after the release date, any publicity is still publicity, whether a book is being reviewed before or after its release.
      The book blogging community is a wonderfully accepting one, I don't recall ever having to "fight" with another blogger over an ARC. Why don't you join us and we can help dispel some of these blogging myths for you.

      Thanks for thinking of us bloggers, Jennifer! It makes our day when Authors take the time to recognise us and the fact that we review books because we love to!

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    2. I'm sorry but this is not what I said. I was talking about bloggers getting ARCs (I do know that it doesn't concern every bloggers out there)and how I personnally would not refer to them as free considering that it is all a process of exchanging goods. I'm glad that you only review books that you own or buy because as I said in my post you would be the kind of blogger that I (once again, personnally) tend to go to the most as you apparently don't rely on ARCs as heavily as some might do. I also NEVER said that because some people get ARCs they don't give honest opinions of the book...I was only talking about a service done in exchange for something else. I also recall having said in more or less words that 'any publicity is still good publicity 'as I believe that ARCs are not the only way to promote an author and how I wish bloggers wouldn't all review newly released books...

      I have blogger friends who have attended book conventions here in the states and trust me when I say some people's behaviors are outright rude - even agressive - when it comes to getting a book they want. You're not part of that category and that's even better (seriously) but saying that the blogging community is a 'wonderfully accepting one' would be just as much of a generalization.

      You're a blogger of course you're not going to agree with me. And even if I have a million other things to say this is not the time and place to start debating on the subject (and clearly I would be in the minority here) : it is a Thank You post after all and I don't want to spoil Jennifer's good intentions.

      I too have discoverd her books thanks to bloggers but I am a reader and I wish our efforts would be acknowledge as well. Spreading the love for regular folks would be nice too. That was my only complain.

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    3. I am always thankful toward readers, both big and small, if they do blogs or just post reviews to Goodreads and Amazon, or have an actual blog. One of my favorite reviewers doesn't even have a blog. She does all of her reviews on Facebook.

      Besides thanking the general readership in my acknowledgements and/or dedications,the reason why I post deleted scenes (sometimes I actually make up those deleted scenes just to post something for fans), POV scenes, and send out swag is a way of showing my appreciation. I'm sure if you scroll through some of my blog posts, you'll see where I am always very gracious to EVERYONE who reads any of my books. It doesn't matter if they are a reviewer or not, a reader or an author. Actually, I think most of my thank you posts are for the general readership.

      It's just that this one post is targeted toward bloggers, who are still a part of the reading community. That's all.

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    4. Also, there's probably not enough in this world that I could do that would show my appreciate for bloggers and readers.

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    5. Thank you ! I really appreciate you taking the time to reply. I like that you are always doing and posting lots of extra stuff for your readers - more so even than a lot of other authors - be it deleted scenes or general info on your upcoming books so I'm sorry if I might have come off as a petty child. I'm always thankful to authors for reaching out to readers so I guess I just didn't like being out of the loop

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  54. See, this is why I love you! *wipes away a tear and basks in the blogger love* great post, Jennifer! =D #TeamArmentroutAllTheWay

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  55. As if I didn't love you enough, you just always seem to amaze me with your awesomeness! Thanks so much for this! Not only are you a fantastic author, but you show love to the fans/bloggers like no other. I truly <3 you!!!! ^_^

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  56. AWWWW Jen!! This is why you are so awesome!!! We, as bloggers, would also like to thank you for your brilliance in creating the characters that we love to talk about, therefore, providing us with material for our blogs:) We basically are all on the same team. We need the author as much as they need the blogger/reviewer.

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  58. This is so true..If it weren't for bloggers I wouldn't have read some of the most amazing books ever.Also,before buying a book I A-L-W-A-Y-S read reviews in order to know what to expect from the book...

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  59. So true. Well said, Jennifer!! :D

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  60. You are sooo fantastic to all your readers/reviewers/bloggers!!! I buy most of my books based on reviews and recommendations...it has helped me find sooo many great reads this summer. It also led me to start reviewing (knowing how much it has helped me find awesome books) and I hope I'm helping promote these fantastic books too. Thanks so much for your blog:)

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  61. You get it. Nicely said.

    Valerie
    StuckInBooks.com

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  62. This is another reason why you have such a wonderful fan base, you are so grateful for everything that people do to help get your name out there. Some authors wouldn't give their fans or bloggers the time of day. You are such a great writer with creative ideas and you're a good person, that's why we love promoting you! :)

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  63. This is such a wonderful post!! And its great to know that there are still people on our side! Blogging aint for sissies!! You are amazing Jen truly one of the greats!! I cant thank you enough for sticking up for us!!!

    Tara

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  64. A lot of my TBR pile comes from book bloggers' recommendations! I was actually very doubtful about Obsidian and wasn't going to read it. But, a book blogger's review convinced me. Now it's my absolute favorite book!!! :)x

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  65. Jen thank you for this post. As a newly published author I've really struggled getting my book out there. If you have any blogger review sites you recommend I'd really appreciate it. I've e-mailed a bunch but gotten no response. I know having the door closed in your face is part of being a new author, but I'd really like just one person to say yes.

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  66. YOU are awesome. Thank you so much for this post as the publishing industry struggles to figure out this interactive world we're living in. I've seen authors say bloggers don't help, others that we do, and still more who aren't sure. For me, I do wind up buying finished copies when I love an ARC, and yes, more to give away. I do buy books based on the reviews of other bloggers. I think bloggers are important, especially for newer authors. Thank you for loving us as much as we love you!

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