Jun 2, 2014

Blogger Talk: Conferences and the Elephant

*Disclaimer: This post is my person opinion and does contain some language*

Truthfully, this is a post that has been marinating in my mind for quite some time now, but I always talked myself out of writing it (OK, actually my fellow blogger friends did), but I think there's a few things that need to be addressed in light of the BEA drama and some stuff going on over the last few days.

I made a series of posts regarding BEA last year and in one particular post, I mentioned attendees (not just bloggers) who I had seen grabbing multiple copies of books. I still - after 3 BEAs - stand by what I said. Playing the BEA police is no one's job but BookExpo America and the publishers. 

Yes, you're going to have a few random asshats who take several copies in greed for themselves or to barter off or to look cool. But you also have idiots who whip into parking spots during the Christmas rush when you've had your blinker on and been sitting there waiting for that spot for 5 minutes while a mom of 5 wrangles her kids into the minivan, loads the packages and then backs out slower than molasses going uphill in a snowstorm. Life isn't fair and trying to right all the minor wrongs of the world to keep a balance will drive you crazy.

If you've never been to a conference, I can see where you might get annoyed seeing bloggers who post pictures of 100 books on day one. Trust me, I get blogger jealousy. I've been a victim of it more times than I can count. I've also been one of those bloggers who walked away with 100 books from a conference.



*crickets*

Yeah. I just admitted it. Because I had to decide in a short amount of time if I was interested in a book or not and might want to read it. So I took it and brought it home for consideration because I accepting a review copy in no way is equivalent to signing a contract saying I will review this book. Quite the opposite, actually. I am not being paid, my blog is not monetized, and I have a right to read, DNF, review, refuse, or ignore every single book on my book shelf.

But let's talk about this year and what happened.

This year I was so incredibly lucky to attend several huge YA Blogger parties during BEA. Want to know what was given out at most of these parties? Swag bags. With books. Some I had never heard of and would likely never read. But when someone hands you a gift, you don't snort and hand it back saying, "No, thanks."

Unless your parents did a crappy job of raising you, you know that isn't cool. 



Want to know what I did with these books? I took a picture of them and said thank you. Yes. That's right. I thanked the people who so generously gave me something even if I didn't necessarily want it. I posted about it on social media, giving the book(s) some attention. And then I walked them across the hall of my hotel and handed them to a friend's sister who is a teacher for a financially poor, rural county in PA. Their school has no money for new books for the library for teens, so I (and a lot of other blogger friends) have taken to cleaning out our shelves during conferences when we are handed books we don't want so that these books get into the hands of people who will read them and appreciate them.

So I apologize for donating books to a school district that has a very minimal library budget because it's a poorer area and people don't have a lot of free money to spend on books.

And for the record, I have told publishers I do this. I've had several friends in publishing offer to send even more books to this friend, or insist I take multiple copies so they can get into the hands of teens who otherwise wouldn't see them.

I truly do understand wanting to go to a conference. I had people last year and this year asking me to grab them books because they can't afford to go. When I said no, they got huffy because it's not fair that they can't go because they can't swing it financially.

Well guess what? I work for my money. I don't have a ton of extra spending money that I can drop on a trip to NYC for a week at any given time. I plan and budget and save all year long to afford this trip. I go without things and miss other events so I can afford to go to BEA each year. I book my hotel room in July so I can get a good rate. I didn't start attending BEA until I was almost 30 and had a big-person job. I couldn't have made this trip happen when I was 19!



In case you were wondering, I will not be deleting or censoring any comments here. Feel free to call me a bitch if that's how you feel. I know who my friends are and they know who I am. This is my hobby - not my life. I love books and authors and publishers and fangirling about it all, but it does not define me as a person. I have met some incredible people through blogging who I would move Heaven and earth to help whenever I can, but while blogging may have been a common ground for us at one time, it isn't the foundation of our friendship. 

I'm absolutely sick to death of the whining, bitching and overwhelming sense of entitlement people feel about books and review copies. Every time a publisher does an ARC mailing, my feed is 45% pictures of excited reviewers, 45% tweets about grumbling and jealousy and 10% images of Theo James (only 1 of those 3 categories annoys me).

You do realize that an ARC is an advance copy, right? As in the book will soon be finished and on an actual bookshelf from a place you can buy it (allow me to introduce you to Amazon) or borrow it (I'll help you find a local library). ARCs are not the only way to read and review books. 

Can we all just stop acting like children now? PLEASE?


For more specifics on what happened, check out Jen's much more eloquent, concise post: http://jenuinecupcakes.blogspot.com/2014/06/like-i-said.html

43 comments:

  1. This was perfect! LOVE LOVE LOVE! I haven't attended any big conferences, I have 3 kids & a hubs that works a LOT of hours, so it hasn't been feasible for me so far. One day I hope to go and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I will come back with more books than I will probably ever read BUT that's not anyone else's business for sure. I completely agree everyone pays a ton of money for these events, to go get those books. Pubs KNOW what is happening, they do this for the purpose. Whether you guys read them or not just posting the pics added them to my TBR. So there's that. Great post Hannah!

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    1. Thank you!!!! <3 That's exactly what I'm saying.

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  2. THIS! All of this! I only went in for a few hours on Thursday. It was no easy feat for me to travel in and that was all I could afford. I didn't have any expectations - I am truly lucky with what was shared with me and plan on not only reading/reviewing my little stack, but sharing most of it with others too.
    I am always shocked when people make such rude assumptions that just because I was able to go that I will be able to 'grab things'; and that all bloggers are hoarders and selfish. If I took a picture of everyone that was not acting professionally they'd be very surprised!
    Can't we all just be happy for each other, enjoy what we are able to do and how we obtain our books, whether its conferences, signings, online shopping, etc... and get along?

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    1. The petty jealousy never seems to end, which sucks.

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  3. Thanks for this, friend. And thanks for pointing out what you do with your ARCs. I also donate mine, I pass them to my students, and I pass them to my nieces who would never get them otherwise because they live in a small town without much exposure. The whole point of an ARC is to create buzz, right? Who cares how you do it?

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  4. Great post. I haven't been to one yet. I hope to get to go soon. Love all your comments.

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  5. I'm just a reader. I loved all the BEA posts on my Instagram and Twitter feed. I'm looking forward to blog or book tube wrap ups to see what everyone got. As I saw a book that looked interesting I added it to my wish list. Job done as far as I'm concerned because now the book is on my radar. Book reviews are the least read thing for me. I pay attention to ratings but that's it. I like to go into a book blind so the only time I pay attention to a book review is if I've already read it and want to add my two cents. The sub-tweeting and skirting around issues in the book community needs to stop. Either call someone out or just keep it to yourself. Looking at it from an outside POV it just makes the individual look childish and immature. Call me wrong but my hobby of reading is all about great storytelling and discovering new authors. I'm thankful to book bloggers for introducing me to so many books without them I wouldn't read 300 + books a year. 80% of those books I check out from my city library and every book I own once read gets donated to my local library because it's very small and needs the donations. If bloggers are going to take the time away from their jobs, schools, & families and save up their money to travel to book conferences, more power to them that takes a lot of time and energy. The pictures I liked seeing almost as much as the books, all the BEA pictures of the different bloggers getting together, eating and hanging-out. It reminded me we're all complete strangers who come together with at least one thing in common- the love of reading.

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    1. I truly just want to "Like" your comment.
      I am am a blogger but I tend to avoid the drama because I blog for the love of reading and just getting my thoughts on paper. Do i think people rush to my blog to see what I write...no Blogging is my way of expressing myself about all the feels a book makes me have.

      Lovely comment

      and Hannah amazing post and hope to see you next year at BEA (Im a noob) :p

      Ashley
      @Bookz4Nerdz
      http://books-4-review.blogspot.com/

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  6. Allll of this. Awesome post, Hannah. I am glad someone said it because I cannot be assed to care what someone I don't care about thinks. Off to read!

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  7. Such a fabulous post. Often times, we get books we didn't even ask for. Only a dummy would say no! I didn't think to take pictures of my swag bag (knocks on head) so that's something to work on for next year.

    I understand jealous, but seriously, at the end of the day, they are just books. Even bloggers still get books from the library and store. And the entire purpose of an ARC is that everyone DOES NOT get one. Because if they did, sales would go down, not up. It's simple supply and demand marketing, really.

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  8. I am totally ok with bloggers getting stacks of books. Really I am ( yes I am a bit jealous.. come on.. who wouldn't be? ) What I don't appreciate is when they take them just to give them away and get more likes, followers, blah blah blah. If you are giving away a book that you were given and did not personally want. That is totally ok to give away! I just want a bit of honesty.. I want them to say " I was given this book by the publisher, but I don't really want it- so let's find it a good home! " .. ok maybe not like that but still. But when I see things like.. " Oh I "accidently" grabbed 2 ( or 3 ) copies of the same book ( with 6 different books ) Let's get me to ______ Followers and I will give some away !" I see that as a load of crap and I get a bit peeved. I appreciate your honesty. I LOVE That you give away the books that you did not want to schools and children in need! THAT is what I love to see : D

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    1. To me, though, that's their decision and we can't really police it. I mean, everyone wants more followers. Maybe giveaways aren't my thing, but some people really like to do that sort of thing and that's what they like. Asking for followers in exchange for a giveaway on their own time, and without asking for money or time in exchange beyond the follow, doesn't seem so bad. You can just unfollow afterwards.

      But again, that might just be my thoughts.

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    2. As someone who's been doing quite a # of giveaways Twitter-style (the whole RT & Follow format) of unsolicited books recently, I will say that it's not always simply just to get followers. E.g. I try my best to actually send followers the author's way, because I want to help them increase their numbers and audience.

      (And sometimes, I just do it, because I want people to know about a book. If I get followers in the process…yay!)

      So even if we're not always donating to schools and children in need, it's always not just a blind effort to get followers. ;)

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    3. Definitely. I don't think it's right to judge people because you don't know what their intentions are, and they aren't the only ones who benefit from a giveaway - particularly if the author is debut or midlist.

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  9. Oh and I just love when cowards turn off their comments to avoid everything they don't want to hear. Why doesn't she just plug her ears and sing "la la la la la"? Excuse me, Alyssa, but your green monster IS showing, no matter what you want anyone to think.

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  10. Great post! I got into blogging not even knowing abot ARCs and honestly, I hardly take books for review b/c I read so slow and I don't want the stress. I totally get taking more books than you need and I was very careful this year, even putting books back at the Blogger Conference. The first day of BEA I took a pic of my books b/c I was so proud of myself that my stack was so low, lol. I think it's wonderful that you give your books to people who really need them and I'm looking for a place in my area as well.

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  11. I feel like I could write an entire post on this topic as well. I remember my first BEA where I took an embarrassing amount of books. Like, really embarrassing. Since that BEA, I have vowed to take less books and only what I am interested in. This year, I am so proud of myself, I came home with "only" 35 books, and 12 of them were from the BEA trade show floor (I tweeted 11 but totally forgot about the book that I finished reading that is in my purse). The other 23 books came from publisher events and the rooftop party, so events outside of the book expo. Oh and my sister gave me her copy of the This Shattered World from Blogger Con, which she and I paid to attend (she attended, I didn't, LOL). But yeah, I am totally a person who gets a huge haul of ARCs and books every once in awhile. I mean, just a few weeks ago a publisher pretty much sent their entire spring catalog to me unsolicited. It's not like I email and say HEY SEND ME EVERYTHING EVER, no way. So, it kind of really bugs me when people make the assumption that I am greedy. And yes, I do post pics and do book hauls partly because there's no way I'll be able to get to all of the books that I get sent unsolicited and partly because it gives those books exposure - I have a huge twitter following, a large instagram following, a moderate youtube following and well a pretty well-established blog following and partly because I am so damn excited about the books that come in my mail. I just, ugh, this whole thing makes me sad and upset. Like, if people want ARCs and to go to conferences, work for it. Like you, I budget my money, I don't eat out or spend like crazy, I work a full-time job and have monetized my blog, that's how I swing BEA. As for the ARCs, in July I will have been blogging for FIVE years, I've put the time in and have paid my dues with blood, sweat and lots of tears.

    Sorry to write basically an entire post in your comments, but this heats me up.

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    1. *applauds* I completely agree with everything you said, April. My first BEA I brought home 150+ books. Last year it was just under 100. This year? I brought home 23 books for me.

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  12. Yup, all of the above. Ok, so I am one of those people who does oooohhh and ahhhh when you get books. But I'm not jealous, just happy for you and hoping you really enjoy it. I am trying to ignore the negatvie ignorance that abounds right now, it's hard, but I'm trying. BRAVO to you. Luv ya girl!

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  13. I have no inside knowledge of the publishing industry, but I'm going assume that publishers take into account the fact that not every ARC is going to get read, reviewed, and linked up across the blog-o-sphere. I'm going to guess that they plan for "waste." Also, ARCS have multiple purposes. Giving away ARCs builds goodwill with readers. That's no small thing. And having an ARC out in the world, whether immediately read or given away, is another opportunity to build audience for an author/series/imprint. Do some people troll grocery stores on Saturdays only to nosh the samples? Sure. But they may find that they really like the new blueberry watermelon dessert pizza and buy one for after dinner.

    I've been to conferences with swag bags and ended up giving away most of the books. The swag bag was a perk of membership and I can do what I want with those books. They were truly SWAG (stuff we all get). I've been to conferences with giveaway tables and, honestly, I felt a little bad afterward, picking up ARCs that someone else probably had more interest in. I can only do better next time.

    In summary: Great post, too bad that people get so up-tight about free stuff.

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  14. Excellent post! I don't mind (too much) if someone asks permission to take a second copy, but it does annoy me when they grab 2-3 copies and someone has to go without. I couldn't attend this year and am beyond thankful than a friend managed to pick me up a couple of books, but I'd never dream of demanding someone get me such-and-such title because it isn't fair that I can't go! What? When did everyone get this sense of entitlement? I'm hoping to attend next year, and will be saving & planning all year for it. BEA is an amazing experience, but I think it's a privilege to attend, not a right.

    And like most bloggers, I brought home way too many books from my first BEA. I showed restraint my next con, but it's hard to say no when an excited author shoves a book in your hand! I politely thank them, then make sure it gets a good home. :)

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  15. YES. DEFINITELY. ALL OF THIS.
    Last year was my first year at BEA and I slipped into the temptation of "HERE! Take this book!" I'm ashamed to admit that I did not read and review all of them and sometimes, yes, the ARCs that I have even received from publishers go unreviewed until after their pub date. Bloggers do this as a hobby, yes. And sometimes "real life" takes precedence over blogging. It happens. Especially if you're a reviewer who's fortunate enough to get many, many ARCs from many, many publishers. Often times it's more books than you have time to read before the pub date but I know for me personally, I do INTEND to read all of them, even if I don't get to them before their pub dates.
    As far as conferences go... I did a LOT better this year at BEA. I didn't grab any books I was iffy about because I knew that I didn't read those books last year and I took a LOT fewer books this year because I knew I wasn't going to be able to read ALL THE BOOKS. I don't see anything wrong with sharing photos of the books you grabbed -- especially if they are ones you got from a party, like you said. That's the NICE thing to do, actually. You're sharing what you got, appreciating that you have them, and that in itself is promotion. In fact... All those books that you see in my pictures? Half of them I grabbed specifically for the purpose of sharing. A couple bloggers and I host ARC tours and I grabbed those books with the intent of sending them on "ARC tours" and sharing with the people who didn't get to go to BEA. I did NOT grab multiple copies to keep for myself either. I could have "rationalized" that one book was going on a tour and another was for me, but I know that's not right. I grabbed one copy and one copy only. I ended up with two copies of a book because I got one signed and then received a second from a party and immediately gave the second one away because I don't need two copies. I just don't think it's fair to generalize to say that SOOO many people grab more than one and (I did read the "other" post) that soooooo many of those people only post once a week. I post every weekday and I work really hard to make sure that I'm reviewing as many of those titles that I've requested or grabbed at BEA as possible. *shrugs*
    And yes, it is a LOT of money to stay in NYC. BEA is a conference that you choose to attend. It's basically spending tons and tons of money to see all the bloggers and the publishers and grab all the books. I definitely worked hard to attend and I also work really, really hard on my blog to represent myself as well as I can when the time comes.
    This was very well written! I know many of us don't want to write a post that's a response to another post, but I think this did need a little defending and I was really happy to read & respond!

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  16. As someone who works in publishing, I care about getting the ARCs I work on in bloggers' hands. Maybe someone took 5 other ARCs from BEA, maybe they took 500. I have no control over that. All I can do is hope that I hyped the book well enough at the booth or on twitter and made them want to read it. If they don't, they don't. As long as they don't sell it I don't have a problem with it.

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  17. We spoke about this on Twitter, but yes to all of this.

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  18. Honestly, when I see people packing up hundreds of ARCs per day at BEA, my first thought is : "Are you going to sell those on eBay?" I guess I just can't fathom someone wanting, liking, and reading all those books. It's insane! But as long as they're not selling books on eBay, whatevs. They can grab 200 books if they want, because they paid to be there.

    But I agree that the entitlement some people think they have is crazy. I don't get physical ARCs from publishers, and that's fine. I get denied on netgalley now and then, and that's fine too. We're not entitled to ALL THE FREE BOOKS FOREVER just because we have blogs.

    And if someone can't attend BEA they shouldn't cry and scream unfairness and expect people to bring books back for them. As you said, we save and work hard to get to BEA, and they could too.

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  19. I'm so disappointed by that blogger's post. Seriously, I thought she knew better than this.

    Like you, I can completely understand blogger jealousy, but I really don't like the accusations of hoarding, greed and complaints/timelines for just how/when a person chooses to review an ARC.

    I will say that as someone who works an insanely demanding job - like a significant number of the book blogosphere - I do fall behind reviewing sometimes. I won't always get around to the book before the publication date, but I will review it eventually.

    (And I've talked to enough authors and publishers to know that they are okay with this, because it's actually helping them keep the momentum going after the excitement publication date.)

    Or, I simply just won't get around to reviewing books that are unsolicited. It's not that I don't want to - I just really don't have the time.

    However, that doesn't mean that those unsolicited books don't go to a good home. I donate books to schools and homeless shelters in my area, and even though it might not drive up sales necessarily, I'd like to believe that publishers are okay with the fact that their books are helping change the lives of young men and women in underserved communities.

    I don't know. I think I'm getting tired of the MINE!MINE!MINE! mentality in a lot of book blogging circles as well. I like spreading the word for books, which is why I actually doing a significant number of giveaways on my own dime, but I feel that a lot of people just have a non-stop take mentality.

    Hope this comment makes sense. >.<

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  20. I am giving you a standing ovation for this post (or I would if I saw you in person, but my feet are still a little tired from BEA and why make them hold my weight when you aren't here to see the standing o?). I read you and Jen's comments (the ones that were deleted) and thought they were spot on. I couldn't afford BEA when I first started blogging, so I didn't go. I was all sad panda about it, but I never, ever, not once, thought that those attending book conferences owed anything at all to me. I would love to go to ALL THE BOOK THINGS, but I too have a full time job and it just isn't possible.

    I would also love to go to all the publishing parties- but I'm not a big enough blogger. Which is on me, I don't put the effort and time into my blog the way other big name bloggers do. I don't take the time to establish relationships with publishing houses, so I don't whine when I don't get the sparkly invite to all the parties and teas and swag events. I'm thrilled that I get to go to BEA and get the books I do get, so yes, I'm going to post about them. Who I share them with, or don't share them with, is my business. The blogger that made the assertion that those who get arcs should share them is obviously forgetting the fact that shipping books cost money, just like attending the conferences cost money. I shouldn't have to explain what I do with the books I get, although I do donate to an arc tour that helps me in return to get arcs that I'm dying for the rest of the year. I love that you donate them to a school library, but honestly, it's none of my business if you choose to throw them into a black hole (only, please, don't, because that would be sad).

    I wish this sense of entitlement was just a new blogger mentality, but I'm not so sure it is. If you're blogging to get free arcs or to be handed books by other bloggers, then you've missed the point of book blogging. Great post, Hannah!

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  21. This is a great post, I'm sorry this has happened to you. I've been blogging a year now, I didn't even know about ARC's when I started. I did it because I WANTED to blog about books because I LOVE them. I got my first big approval on EW within the last week and I'm ecstatic about it. I still read and review books that are not ARC, and I wouldn't be upset if I stopped getting approvals for them. If you're blogging because you want free books then you're not in it for the right reasons. I'm a pretty shy person but it's drama like this that keeps me in the small group of bloggers I've met.

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  22. I don't think I'll ever get the judgement some bloggers have towards other bloggers. We all love books, right? That's one of the reasons why we have a book review blog isn't it? And I'm sure I'd fill up a suitcase with books when I finally managed to get my butt to BEA - because I've been wanting to go for a couple of years.
    What I don't understand, though, is why some bloggers think it's OK to make digs on those who were able to go. It's all about the books, and then, it's also all about meeting all the other bloggers, some authors, and having fun!
    I'm glad you're not feeling guilty for picking up ARCs and/or finished copies of books. That's what BEA is for, and if you don't get to read or review all the books you received, I can totally understand you. I suffer from a mild addiction to Netgalley, and sometimes, a blurb will make me think I'll just love the book in question. If I don't, I won't read it - but it will already be on my blog, as I post weekly posts about books I receive. However, I will send an e-mail (or directly through Netgalley a private message) to the publisher to let them know I didn't finish the book, why , and also that I won't review it.

    Great post! Hopefully, I'll be able to hang out with you next year in May :)

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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  23. I've seen the recent drama going on surrounding BEA and it's sad to see.

    I haven't been to BEA, but I've been able to go to two ALA conferences. I ended up both times with some books that I haven't read or reviewed- some that I just haven't gotten to yet and some that I'm not interested in. I ended up donating pretty much all the books I lacked interest in to ARCycling, so that someone with genuine interest in the titles would have the chance to read them. I feel like even by featuring a book you receive, in any small way, such as a photo, you're spreading some publicity about it. Someone may see it who's never heard of it and decide to eventually pick up a copy.

    Thanks so much for the great post! The way you responded to things was perfect.

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  24. Well said. Making this trip was not easy for me, on top of money issues I had work issues and it took a lot to get everything worked out at the last minute. Because of this I treasure not just the books I got, but the people I got to spend time with. Given the time and money I spent to go to BEA I'm not just going to give away all the books to just whomever because that would make me nicer or whatever. There were a few books this year that I didn't get that others did and while that made me a little sad I also know where the bookstore is. I've been buying my own books for a long time, and I don't see that changing anytime soon.

    I will admit that at my first BEA I went totally overboard and I did end up giving quite a few books away that I don't even know why I picked them up, but I have a fabulous book club and I love that if I come across a book that I have second thoughts about there is someone in book club that is probably interested in it. This year I was much better about being choosy, but there will probably still be some that when I get to them it might not appeal to me anymore.

    I also want to say that I have other things going on in my life. While I love reading I have a job that sometimes takes up ALL my time and other things going on in my life. I am a fast reader, but I don't think I could get through them all in a "reasonable" amount of time. I'm sure it's the same for other bloggers, everyone has other things going on in their life.

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  25. I LOVE you! And my high school students LOVE you and your generosity. And the generosity of all the bloggers that help us get books to our students.

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  26. I missed all of this drama, but someone directed me to your post and while I don't normally chime in, I am because I totally agree with what you've said.

    Sharing book hauls is showing love to the books and publishers that send them. While I may opt not to look at all the pretty pics to avoid any possible jealous feels, not showcasing them takes away from the buzz that should go to them. Especially if you won't get the chance to read them all, or read them right away.

    Saving up and attending a conference that allows you to get any number of books the pubs and authors wish to give you entitles you to take home as many as you'd like. As long as you're not wrestling books out of other people's hands, throwing punches to move ahead in a long line, or tripping/shoving or assaulting people to get said books, so what if you take three for yourself, your blog partner, a giveaway, your library, etc.

    Sure things aren't fair, but instead of whining people should figure out a way that they might attend, or reach out to a publisher to request a book, or ask nicely to see if they can borrow one from someone who attends a conference. In my experience bloggers are super generous when they can afford to be.

    And yes, you are so right - you can BUY or BORROW the books when they release in a few months. Now that's a novel idea.

    Though I have to say that I am not so patient or mature when someone steals a parking spot I've been waiting for, for like ever. I envy your patience.

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  27. I can't believe this is a thing. For the folks who feel jealous of people getting ARCs: you can get all those books and more, in finished publications, for free from your public library. There are more important things than judging people for the gifts or promotional materials they receive. Let's take a little less time from judging other people and a little more into helping others and making ourselves into better humans.

    Lots of love to you, Hannah.

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  28. Thank you for this lovely post. It is upsetting to work your ass off for something, just to have other guilt you and try to force you to feel guilty for your accomplishments. Did I feel very jealous last year when others went? Yes. I didn't aim the frustration at other bloggers who earned their right to go. I started to pull out money and I placed my first donation into the BEA fund. It isn't hard to find something positive in negative things, like jealousy and envy. Use these emotions to help you set your goals. Don't use it to tear down others, don't use it as a crusade against other bloggers, and don't craft it into a weapon.

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  29. I totally agree with you. I mean, don't get me wrong, I do get a twinge of jealousy when I see someone getting to read a book I have been dying to read, or meeting authors, or attending conventions, or whatever. BUT, I am also super excited to read their reviews, look at their pictures, etc. I would never, ever begrudge another blogger the chance to do these wonderful things! And, it is something for me to aspire to do. I was bummed during BEA week, but like others who've commented said, I have started making plans for next year when my kids will be a little older and maybe we can swing it financially. Maybe I'll have (hopefully!) built more readership by then, etc.

    Also, you are completely spot-on about accepting the books graciously. I cannot even imagine the audacity it would take to not accept the book! It is far better to have a book that you can share with others who ARE interested than to shove it back in the face of the people who worked so hard to release it!

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  30. There's a ton of truth in this post, for sure. I think a large portion of shaming people over ARCs is a projection from the person doing the shaming. They are jealous because they want the books, so they make you feel bad for having them. To get an invite to those BEA parties, you have to have contacts with publishers and be in good standing and work your patoot off to post reviews. You earn those swag bags, in my opinions.

    Also, I donate a ton of my ARCs or unread books to a library in Virginia that has minimal funding. Since I've started donating books to them (and other of my DC friends have as well!), their YA readership is up, I kid you not, 700%. That's something to be proud of. I'm sure it's the same at your PA library.

    Either way, I think it's time we all realized that we are all in this because we love books and we love reading. There's no reason to tear each other down. Let's build up!!

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  31. Hannah, I have been a subby of yours for quite some time now and I normally don't chime in when it comes to drama but i just want to say this was very well said.

    I wasn't able to go to BEA this year because of money and things in real life were just a little more important then a vacation in NYC. I know personally for me I literally have to start saving up from day one to order to go because honestly NYC is not cheap what so ever.

    Jealousy is a part of human nature and we all get jealous..gee even I was jealous when I was seeing all the tweets and instagram pics coming through... but you know what that is my own fault for not being able to go not you or any other bloggers fault...

    I have been three times in the past and as each comes and goes you realize that your not going to be able to read those 100+ books you get so you gradually become more picky more so for me because I am in Canada and shipping to here is expensive so I get selective of that I will bring back.

    I never once have asked anyone to pick up books for me but I have been lucky to have a few bloggers send me the book when they were done because they didn't want it and I thought that was super nice of them to do that.

    I am pretty good and donating any books I have read or have gotten that aren't my cup of tea to other blogger friends or to the library. My local library never gets ARCs so the truly appreciate getting them to read and if they like it they order it for the library. With a limited budget they truly appreciate any and all the help they can get.

    As for the parties, the first year I went I got no invites to anything and that was because it was literally my first year of blogging. The second year I had to many things booked and had no idea if I was coming or going and then the last time it was managable but in all honesty we all have different connections with different reps we all read different books so of course we will get invited to different parties... Its sucks not being invited yes but I am truly happy for those that get to go because its nice to see the hard work bloggers do get rewarded.

    Its really sad that as a community we just can't get along. AT times it feels like high school all over again. We are an amazing group and there is so many amazing friendships to be made. I am lucky to have made some amazing blogging friends through this and cherish the memories I have with them.

    As for the ARCs, reps and publishers know we can't read each and every single book but I think as long as you share them it gets the book out there. I have discovered so many books through spotlights, mailbox posts etc because of this exposure that I might not normally know about since my bookstore doesn't carry each and every new book.

    As long as your not selling them on Ebay hoard away if you want.

    BTW Hannah was going to say hi to last year at BEA but i never got the chance.

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  32. The fact that you had to write this hurts my head. More power to ya...and Sabrina and I grabbed extra copies of YA books for her library at the high school. So we could get the books in the hands of kids that want to read. I think there should be no apology for it...isn't that where books belong?

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  33. I agree with Parajunkee that it's a shame you even had to write this post. This all sounds like sour grapes from someone who has never attended a conference like BEA.

    Last year was my first time attending, and I will admit that I went nuts and took WAY too many books. I learned my lesson. But that's MY mistake and MY lesson, and I couldn't presume to get into the heads of other attendees to decipher and judge what they're doing with their ARCs. And plus, it's none of my damn business!

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  34. It's sad to see people apologising for their BEA book hauls, I don't understand why people can't be happy for other people, and if they can't do that, why can't they keep their nasty/jealous thoughts to themselves?

    Great post!

    Mands @ The Bookish Manicurist

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  35. Yes, yes and yes! I stayed in Jersey to go to BEA! That was the only way I could afford to do it. Was it ideal? No. I would have much preferred to stay in the city, but I did what I had to do to make it work. I couldn't go last year. It was sad. But I had just started blogging so I didn't really feel like I HAD to go or that I was entitled to those ARCs. In fact, I don't think anybody should feel entitled to ARCs. It's a privilege and a gift from the publishers. I sometimes think that people don't understand that it costs the publishing house money to print the ARCs and distribute them. Seriously, have some class people and stop bitching about not getting an advanced copy that you want. Have I been jealous before? Absolutely. But I don't publicly whine about it. Everybody needs to grow up. Well said, Hannah. Well said.

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