I’m an international reader, and I don’t matter.

TL;DR: Publishers, netgalley, goodreads and amazon sends all us international readers, bloggers and fans this festive message:

It sucks being international when it comes to the bookish community online. It always has been, but even more now—especially now.

Before I start in on my longer rant/ventilation piece/opinions on the subject, I’d like to clarify a few things:

  • I live in Denmark. We have few book cons, all limited to Danish publishers.
  • I’m unemployed, mentally ill and queer with a severe anxiety to top it off.
  • English falls more naturally to me than Danish.
  • I buy a lot of books. Like, a lot.

With those few things out of the way, I will talk about just a few of the ways I just got slapped across my face.

Yes, you read that right: ACROSS MY FACE.

I’ve been online a while. First, I was deeply ingrained into the writing community on wattpad. Then I joined instagram and discovered bookstagram. Finally, I realized that I ramble too much to stay within yhe character limits in captions and got myself this little blog.

All of that, has accumulated over 30k followers across the medias (mostly on wattpad) which are from all over the world.

And while I’m not the biggest, nor the most talented, I believe in my own little corner of the community. We are close, we trust each others opinions and we help each other spread the word worldwide.

Now this is being taken away from us. Let’s do this in alphabetical order:

Goodreads:

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Goodreads started the holiday mood by announcing that:

  • Authors will now have to pay between $109 to $600 in order to host a giveaway—that they already pay and ship themselves.
  • These Giveaways will only include US residents as winners.
  • If you’re an international author, you may also give away your book the winner will stilk be a US resident, though.

For more information in this, please check out: https://www.goodreads.com/blog/show/1108-goodreads-introduces-new-u-s-giveaways-program-a-more-powerful-book-mar

There’s quite a few ways this will affect everyone. Indie and self publisher authors will not have the kind of money to enter. This means that the giveaways will fall largely on the major house that already controls a lot of the market.

Why is that bad? Because it will severely limit the outreach of diverse books—and in particular own voice authors who are already struggling to get a foot in.

It will affect the readers across the world who needs diverse books. And frankly, that’s just a dick bad move on Goodreads part.

I mean, Goodreads boasts of being “the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations.

How long do you think that’ll last? I mean, so far the only thing this has accomplished is for me to want to leave GR alltogether.

NetGalley:

Now onto Netgalley. There has been no actual statement as of yet, but if you are on Netgalley, you will see that there’s almost next to no “request this” buttons any longer. Instead, you are stuck with a “wish for it” button which leaves you at the mercy of the publisher’s very own Santa.

I personally stopped using Netgalley when I got truly into bookstagramming because it was easier to showcase physical books. This doesn’t mean that I support this decision. Quite the opposite, actually.

It’s not even about getting the books for free either. It’s about promotion. It’s about sharing a love for books, and Netgalley’s stunt is basically rendering that impossible unless yoi happen to be born in the US.

Publishers:

Don’t worry, this is old news really but I felt it warranted a mention.

I have had it up to here with your poor excuses for not including international readers in your giveaways, your review team and your preorder incentives.

I realise that the people controlling the social medias aren’t in charge, but the “sorry, legal rights” just don’t cut it.

I see you go to book cons across the world and hand ARCS out. I recieve the emails from your international marketings team. I follow international bloggers, bookstagrammers and booktubers who recieves gift baskets filled with exclusive swag, new edition covers, and it just pisses me off that you can spend that much on a limited promotion, but not on a single giveaway that could include international fans?

We buy, promote and review your books—often combined with a shipping cost that completely kicks our butts just so we can support our faves.

We wanna help with preorders to give debuts and new releases a good start. And what do we get? Nothing. Apart from the fact that we almost never get the books on time for the release, all the swag and merch are just out of reach unless we pay big bucks for something that you are giving away for free in US, UK, AUS and CA.

Yeah, I gotta admit. It sucks being an international reader right now. Because we don’t matter.

Disclaimer: I’m super bitter about this, and I doubt that’ll change anytime soon. Feel free to comment your thoughts below and as always, shares and likes are appreciated.

24 thoughts on “I’m an international reader, and I don’t matter.

  1. Sara Fabian says:

    We would have to answer “Why not the ARCs? I want to read exactly how you do!” but obviously most of the people who will respond will be the ones who receive the world … how sad. That then it is not even more to read ARC and receive but to give other people the possibilities. Netgalley (for example) had to be international. At least he had to …

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Sara Fabian says:

    Hi! I am an international reader too, I do not read often in English but I use Netgalley and hearing this news is not the best. It is already so difficult in your country, then be “trashed” so …
    How sad. Here it’s always worse.
    A nice article anyway, I like it very much! Thanks for the news 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Roberta R. says:

    Hi! I’m from Italy, and despite having entered my 50s last year (yep, you read it right), I’ve only been blogging since 2012. I just wanted to give some less-known and less-hyped books (mostly YA) a little spotlight, you know? Not that I don’t read some mainstream if it strikes my fancy, but I find myself gravitating towards indie/small pub authors a lot. I even struck a more personal and ongoing relationship with some of them. And I 100% agree with what you said: we don’t matter, and it sucks, because we work with the same passion and dedication US bloggers put in what they do. But the ones who have more to lose from this new state of things are the authors themselves. The smallest ones, the ones with no power and no money to campaign for their own books. The ones who can’t pay between $109 and $600 (THAT’S A WHOLE NEW LEVEL OF CRAZY) in order to put their books in the hands of a reader, it doesn’t matter if INT or not.
    Originally, the books I reviewed were all bought – then I started to receive a few digital ones. I’ve never got a physical one, nor I ever expected it to happen (also because I’m a very small fish in the blogging sea). So, not much will change for me, if anything. But it might change for more popular bloggers who would have the numbers to get ARCs, and won’t get them anymore because of this new politics. And it will change for authors, for sure. Also…Netgalley doesn’t work with physical copies, so WTF? what’s their reasons for not giving everone a chance at getting a digital copy, regardless of their place in the world? This is…I don’t have a word for it, or maybe I have, but i want to keep this clean LOL.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Caro @ bookcheshirecat says:

    Thank you so much for writing this post! I am upset about these news as well, as we international readers are already left out when it comes to a lot of things (physical arcs, giveaways, book cons, meeting our favorite authors and getting books signed, getting pre-order swag etc.) and now they want to exclude us even further, despite all the work we do? It seems hardly fair to me that it now depends on your country if you get appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Little fox reader says:

    Hi! I’m also an international reader (Argentina) and although I’m just starting to get into this world I already have a feeling of what you mean. I started with a blog only in Spanish, that I still have, but wanted to reach more people (also, most of the books I read are in English so…)
    US is like the fav son in all of this definitely but I think it has to do with capitalism and business. As sad as it might be for us, at the end of the day Publishings and apps are a business and they try to get the most out of the decisions they make. They know US readers, bloggers, youtubers, etc are a sure thing. They promote well and they have good effects on their sales. I think these companies don’t want to take the risk or don’t understand the power of globalization.
    The ones that have a futuristic mindset and take advantage of the internet and international readers are the ones I think will have at the end of the day the best results…but no one knows, only time will tell.
    This post really made me think! Great job! Let’s only try and keep a positive mindset

    Liked by 1 person

    • MajaDiana says:

      I’m sure it’s all about the money. But, and here’s where it bothers me. Goodreads claims to be the world’s largest community for books. That’s cool. Why then alienate non-us readers? And again, why only the ones that aren’t viral already? Why is it so hard to make it so that the preorder gift is wrapped with the book when there’s a preorder? We pay shipping anyway. Why this step back after years of trying to bridge the gap between countries?

      I know where you’re coming from, but it hurts both the authors and the readers. And fans in particular.

      I do hope something good will come though.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Little fox reader says:

        I was on Goodreads but I don’t use it anymore because from the beginning I felt kinda discriminated against for not being US native. But I get you, they should take their mask off and not go around bragging about being the world’s largest community for books I guess…
        And yes something good will come. We (international readers) just have to keep working hard and doing what we love until we show our power and they realize we are worth it

        Liked by 1 person

  6. thecursedbooks says:

    Thank you for this post! I’m glad to see so many people address this issue because while I’m not sure if those posts will make Goodreads or Netgalley or publishers more aware of they are doing, at least our opinions won’t be left unsaid/unheard.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Inge | The Belgian Reviewer says:

    I’m one of the international readers and I feel left out in the cold often as well by some publishers. It’s actually easier to receive a paperback by a small publisher than the big ones, who could afford it more. They can send two copies (one for you, one for a friend) to other bloggers though, or they just send out books without asking if they even want to read it.. I feel we represent a different part of the world and our voices are important. Maybe it’s for this reason that I’ve never won a giveaway on Goodreads in the past as well come to think of it. I didn’t know Netgalley had changed its policy.. but I certainly noticed the Wish for it button. Now it finally makes sense why everyone could read and review The Chalk Man but me. We can’t do anything about it, but be loyal to the publishers that do give us a chance.

    Liked by 2 people

    • MajaDiana says:

      This is my point exactly. Look, If an author or publisher is willing to give me a chance, I would love them forever. Simply for the chance. It makes me feel important enough to be considered. So when there’s an international preorder campaign? You betcha I’m gonna be on top of that.

      Liked by 1 person

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