Whining over (for now)

This post originally appeared on I Read Odd Books

I think I should mention that it is sort of strange to complain about receiving free books. Actually, it’s ridiculous. But sometimes things get the better of me.

I must reiterate, if you have sent me a book before my recent cut-off for review requests, you should not have internalized any of my earlier entry.

I more or less figured out what happened. It was just a confluence of some popular websites discussing IROB and my failure to have long ago implemented a reasonable approach to review requests. It just happened really fast and unexpectedly and I am, at best, unorganized in such matters.

At any rate, back to book discussions as I really am going to power through as many books as I can before the end of the year. I suspect I will not be able to cut back on my verbosity in such discussions but that should come as a surprise to no one.

Reader and fellow odd book lover, Ben A, said, quite astutely, that perhaps this site was becoming a job for me. While initially that seemed horrible, after contemplation, it isn’t that bad. I think I need to rethink my ideas where monetizing this site are concerned. Perhaps if I approached this as a serious endeavor that paid in some manner via advertising that rewarded endeavor and stopped treating IROB as something I just do when I’m not cleaning up cat vomit, it would not be a shock to my system when I get so many requests for reviews. Who knows? If I loathe finding audiences for my own fiction, I wonder if I will be able to make myself figure out how one uses ads sensibly on a website.

But it sort of doesn’t matter at the moment as I am finished lamenting all my many travails. So back in the saddle tomorrow with a bizarro discussion, followed by a long look at a horror writer who has disappointed me for the last time this year, and possibly next year as well if I can sustain my righteous disgust for longer than a couple of weeks. Then on to Goad and then on to writing as many discussions as I can between vacuuming the stairs and cleaning up various cat messes.

8 thoughts on “Whining over (for now)

  1. I’m rarely if ever bugged by Google ads on websites, so that could be an option…but the obvious course to mine eyes is Amazon referral links, which is a pretty painless way to support a website. I’ve gone on to look up on Amazon several books you’ve reviewed.

    1. See, I clearly am doing this wrong because I do have an Amazon Affiliate account. Every link I make to Amazon uses an affiliate link of some sort. I obviously need to make the presence of my affiliate account more known to readers.

      I’m going to look into some of the various ad providers and see what’s what. Chances are I will have to rope Mr. Oddbooks into it because stuff like that just makes my eyes glaze over. Worth a look.

  2. I don’t feel bad anymore.

    I think a lot of it is that when one writes a freaky book it is really hard to get press and reviews. I actually put things like “bizarre book review sites” “counterculture book review sites” “weird book review sites” in search engines for days on end.

    Not much comes up. so basically every freak that wrote a book that likes Sotos and Goad in the country is sending their book to you. The book reviewer to the damned.

    1. Yeah, seriously, don’t feel bad. Plus your publisher had a very nice personal note on the cover letter.

      Though I sort of sense that discussing odd books is a niche activity, I guess I didn’t realize it was that niche. So all the more reason to STFU about non-book issues and make sure everyone knows I am “the book reviewer to the damned.” Actually, that may be my new tagline.

    2. And you especially should not feel bad because now I cannot find the book or the lovely letter from your publisher. In a house with this many books it could take weeks before I find it so I ordered a copy. Book reviewer of the damned is quite damned herself, it would seem.

  3. What’s the point of having a blog if you can’t whine occasionally? As far as monetizing the site, have you considered a PayPal begging bowl/donate button? Might be more trouble than it’s worth, but I’d be willing to chip in a few bucks, and I’m probably not the only one.

    1. I have a strange relationship with tip jars. I have availed myself of PayPal before, back when a cat of mine developed a sudden cancer and needed a leg amputation and I had to gather funds fast. But I have also seen several bloggers turn their tip jars into a continual beg-fest and it turned me off in a big way.

      I read a blogger who was reacting to one of the continual beggars (a feminist blogger with so little shame I am surprised she doesn’t just barge into her readers’ homes and demand all their money). She made an excellent point that if readers have to financially support a blog to keep it running, then the blogger has failed to create a sustainable business. There are a handful of bloggers who managed to make the tip jar an unobtrusive manner to support a blog, who never refer to it yet get plenty of donations from people who consider their payments akin to a subscription, but they are few and far between. Most of them are like the blogger Cecily Kellogg, who made her PayPal donation link such a source of continual “emergency” income that it has made her a laughing stock and for many destroyed her “brand.” I know I snort when I hear her name these days. She is indicative of a certain subset of bloggers who quit their jobs and decided, “Hey, I wanna get paid for my writing!” and demanded people pay them in a very shameless way.

      So I guess I think of that feminist blogger whose name should not ever be uttered in polite blog comments and Kellogg when I think of tip jars and PayPal links. But I also am humble enough that if I ran into genuine hard times and needed help to pay hosting costs and similar I would put up a tip jar to see me through the hard time.

      But I’m not in hard times. I’m not rich but my husband makes a nice living. We would be better off if I got paid in some manner for all the writing I do, but when I speak of wanting to make this a job, I am speaking in the voice of a middle class hausfrau who is toying with various ideas of being a dilettante who gets a small check now and then.

      If I am to get paid for writing this site, I prefer it to be corporations who pay me and not my readers. I want y’all’s money to go to books. I know taking ads is at odds a bit with my DIY or Die ethos, but if a monied ad service wants to throw money my way for doing what I was already doing, it may be folly to say no. But unless I was in a real emergency, I would feel crappy taking money from actual readers. Sort of like how a magazine is kept afloat by advertisers – blogs need to follow suit in a similar manner that does not force individual readers to be responsible for a blogger’s income.

      Wow… This was a long-ass reply but your suggestion certainly made me think for a while. And don’t think I don’t appreciate your offer to flog a few bucks my way. Instead, buy one of the NBAS books and tell me what you thought of it. I suspect comments may be a part of how ad algorithms pay out. šŸ˜‰

      1. My local classical music station is hosting what seems like the world’s longest pledge drive. The hosts have promised to continue asking for money until their goals are met. We’re well into week two, and I think they’re starting to lose it. Their patter is becoming strained, and the guilt trips are getting less subtle as time goes on. Last night, one of them called out a specific part of town, sarcastically asking if the station’s signal was blocked by the neighborhood’s eponymous geographical feature, since no one from there had called to pledge for several hours.

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