Hello, everyone! Today I want to talk about an issue that has been on my mind for some days now, it’s something that I want to share my opinion on and while I did it on Twitter, I believe a blog post is required. I’m not sure if everyone is aware of the new policies of Goodreads and Netgalley, so I would try to explain what the issues are and why this is not okay.
It first started with Goodreads, who had decided to make a new giveaway program in January, where the giveaways are open only to US residents for an unknown period of time. They stated that their reason for doing this is “to bring our new Goodreads Giveaway program to more marketplaces.”, oh, the irony. They went even further and stated that authors and publishers outside US can organize giveaways, offering their books to US readers once again.
So, you’re not only shutting us down, you also have the audicity to suggest that International authors/publishers can take part in this, why? Why would they want to do this? If you don’t want to give international bloggers/readers a chance to promote the US books because you believe we can’t help in reaching more marketplaces, why do you think International authors/publishers would trust you with their books to bring them to the US marketplaces?
Then, they also stated there will be fees for authors. Before this, the author only had to pay for the shipping fee, now they would have to pay for some fee (150 – 600$) just because the giveaway is on the GR platform. I don’t know if I need to say that the authors are pretty angry about it and rightfully so when they can list their giveaways on other platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Rafflecopter for free!
After this blow, Netgalley made it impossible for international bloggers/readers to request books from bigger publishers (only wish for them) without even giving us a statement on the reason why those changes took place. Because we don’t have anything official on this matter, we can’t know, for sure, if it’s Netgalley or the publishers who limited the request option to US bloggers/readers. Nonetheless, this one hit me harder than the Goodreads one because it makes little to no sense.
I tweeted about this and my tweet got a lot of attention, which made me aware of the fact that the issue is huge and has to be addressed.
Now I’m going to talk about why your decisions hurt us, international bloggers, more than you think.
- The truth is it’s not even about ARCs, it’s about feeling like no matter how much hard work you put into your blog and in promoting your favourite books, you’ll never come any close to mattering to this community because you were born in a different country than America. And that hurts badly. Because international bloggers don’t have the same resources, we try very hard to get our hands on new releases, on ARCs and we already feel pretty bad about not owning all those shiny books that are available all over US. There are international bloggers on here that are so dedicated, have a huge readership and have made a big impact in the community, but at the end of the day, they will feel like they are not welcomed in the book community because you don’t give them any chances.
- I’m not sure if you realise how many international bloggers helped you raise your stats. I know I recommended Netgalley and Goodreads to many friends, I know I recommend new releases to my friends all the time, US releases. The ones you’re trying to make inaccessible to me because I can’t help promote it or because I’m not the targeted audience.
- International bloggers know the situation of physical ARCs, it’s always been like that, we don’t get them. We’re fine with it. The shipping fees are awful and most of us aren’t even in the blogging for them, we are here to talk about the books we love and help our favourite authors’ books be better known. But eARCs… Why would you block us on those? There’s no shipping fees for eARCs. There is absolutely nothing. Do you know how many international bloggers rave about those eARCs they get off netgalley on every damn available platform? Thousands of them. Because we’re not used to getting such things and we feel like our work was validated by getting that book. Thanks for taking this away too. It’s good to know that our numerous ARC reviews counted for nothing.
4. There’s also the matter of diverse books. Unless a diverse book is very huge in US, there are 0 chances it will ever get published in other countries, especially in countries that are still ignorant to racism, homophobia, ableism and more. Diverse bloggers use Netgalley to get those, now you’ve limited their access to those too, so how should they ever read about things that are important to them? How do you get those books to reach the targeted audience? Lemme tell you. You don’t. Unless of course they move to US or something. It’s totally cool how we always say we support diverse authors and readers and how we want more diverse books, but at the end of the day, we do these things!
5. I want to thank all the authors who cared about this issue and who tried to get themselves informed, who supported the international bloggers and readers and tried to reassure them that they will find a way to make things better. You are the heroes.
6. To international bloggers, like me, I want to tell you that I know that the feeling of being left out without a valid reason hurts you. I know that you put up lots of time in your blogs and reviews every day and this is, by no means, the gratitude you deserve. I’m not going to say that the things will get better because I don’t know that. That is Goodreads, Netgalley and publishers’ place to say on whether we’ll be taken seriously any time soon.
I want to clarify some things, I don’t mean to insult US bloggers with this post, I love you all, I think you’re great, especially with the way you try to understand international bloggers. I also don’t think I’m entitled to ARCs, eARCs or giveaways, I think it’s just a hurtful decision to take those away without valid reasons and without caring who you hurt in the process.
Also, Laura @thebookcorps wrote a very detalied post on the same issue, so check her out, please!
Maja also wrote a post about it and you can find it here.
What are your thoughts on this issue? Did their decisions affect you?