Disclaimer: Yes, I know I’m late to the party on this one, but I seriously could not keep my mouth shut. People may disagree with this and you can call me out on rehashing it if you want; but anyone who believes cookie cutter posts are the way to go needs to seriously re-evaluate why they’re doing them in the first place. Originality should NOT be a foreign concept people.
While going through my reader, I came across a post by Parajunkee titled Book Blogging 101: Is Originality Gone? and was completely agreeing with everything she said. (I do so lover her Blogging 101 posts) And then I read this gem:
I’m not trying to bully you into changing your blog. I’m just letting you know how I feel. I think it is ridiculous to even throw out the word bully. We don’t like it when authors call us bullies for writing a negative review, why are you throwing it back at me? I don’t think it’s bullying to empower bloggers into taking control of their own blogs. Bullying! I don’t think it is entitlement to ask for original content when you are offering promotion. You have the right to demand anything you want.
Are you fraking serious? I had to stop reading right there. People were seriously attacking Parajunkee because she was getting annoyed by seeing the same lame promotions over and over again? And I’m sorry, but yes. After seeing the screen shot of her reader, I would have been more than annoyed as well. There’s a reason I don’t post many cover reveals here on LE – EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT. Why would I want to be one of the fifty doing the same thing, when I can be the one who isn’t?
Answer me this: You pull up your reader and out of 10 entries, 8 of them are all cover reveals (and I know I’m picking on this one, but go with me for a minute) – do you click on all 8 of them or only go to one? Which one do you go to? Assuming all 8 are part of the same cover reveal promotion, they all have the same content, so does it really matter who you go to? Here’s the bigger question, those 2 entries that weren’t cover reveals – do they stand out to you? Are you more likely to click on both of those entries than the other 8?
I don’t want to be a part of a group who all have the same content. Originality means you stand out, means there’s something there that someone else isn’t posting. Readers come back to LE because they found something here that they weren’t finding elsewhere. It makes people remember you and want to come again. So why would I want to be a part of something unoriginal, when I can do something no one else that can also bring people back to LE? Posting original content gives readers a REASON to come back.
That’s what bloggers should be thinking about. What they can do to their sites that draw in readers. Parajunkee’s Blogging 101 is a fabulous feature, and even after 6 years of doing this, I’m still looking at ways I can improve LE and her feature has helped me find ways to do that. There should not be any reason why anyone would think Parajunkee was trying to bully people into changing what they were posting. That wasn’t her point. All she did was review the content of her reader. Isn’t that what us book bloggers do – review? It’s called an opinion people and she was making a very valid one at that.
Half the Book Blogger population is just regurgitating whatever they are fed to them by the authors, tour hosts and pubs. Glub glub. Vomit vomit. Do you think I would buy a subscription to a newspaper that just posted Press Release after Press Release? Nope. I would throw that crap in the trash. Do you think I’m reading your promo spots, considering there is about 10 others OF THE EXACT NATURE sitting in my Google Reader at the moment? Nope. Not going to read it.
This should be considered GOLD and do you know why? Because Parajunkee is just ONE person and there are a billion others out there. Is she the only one who feels this way? Do you think she’s the only one who has unfollowed a blog due to their content? If you think she is, you’re delusional. I can tell you right now, while I have quite a few blogs in my reader, there are very few that I actually click through and comment on. Parajunkee is one of them because I know I’m not going to be reading someone else’s thoughts. She puts work into her site and it shows. If I’m going to take the time away from my family and working on LE to visit a blog, it better have something original and creative. It better be worth my time because my time is worth so much more than eight blogs all posting the same thing.
I know I’m probably late to the party on this one, but this kind of idiotic behavior frustrates the hell out of me. The book blogging community has exploded since I first started and it seems like the majority of those starting all want the same thing – free books. I’m sorry, but that’s not what LE is about at all and it shouldn’t be what others are about either. I could care less if I receive a free book for review. I could care less if you agree with my opinion. In fact, I don’t want you to agree with me. I want you to argue and debate all the points of that book we both read. I want us to TALK about books because the more we talk, the more exposure that book gets. Not everyone is going to like what someone has to say, but people will listen if there is a discussion going on.
Parajunkee’s article probably exploded across Twitter when it was posted last month and I bet a (good?) portion of the people who saw those tweets have either never heard of her before or had never gone to her site. People may have called her a bully, but she got what all of us want should be wanting – attention. She was doing what she does every time she posts – she wrote a review that was filled with her opinions and she got people talking.
Did everyone agree with her? No and I can’t tell you why. I haven’t finished reading her article. Why you ask? Because there are idiots out there who could care less about the integrity of what they’re doing and just want all the free books they can get their hands on. So they called her a bully and started throwing a tantrum. Am I being cynical? Most assuredly, but it’s those greedy few who can give the rest of us a bad name. So I have no patience for them at all. I can have an infinite amount of patience and am just as giving when it comes to blogging advice as Parajunkee is. I’ll answer any questions anyone has, but the one thing I will not stand for is someone looking for the easy way. And that’s exactly what posting unoriginal content is.
As book bloggers, we’re here to help promote our favorite novels and authors. We throw ourselves at publishers and publicists, insisting we can help spread the word about their clients, making ourselves available to them whenever they want. We’re the whores to their pimps – spreading out like a virus, dealing the euphoria that are books. Posting the same content as everyone else may help get the word out, but essentially you have to stop and ask yourself – do you want to be the street walker, the one of a dozen standing on a corner, just waiting for their next hit and hoping to entice someone to sample their goods? Or do you want to be the high class hooker who parties with a select few and always has clients who return for more? It all comes down to originality and making yourself stand out.