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:
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.
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.
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.