This is a topic that I didn't think I had to discuss, but sure as hell want to now. I'll start from the beginning. Monday morning, I woke up to an e-mail that said this:
For all intents and purposes, I am removing the e-mailer's name. So, instead, they will simply be "C."Hi LiliCan I ask how did you get a copy for Frozen by Melissa De la Cruz? I would be very thankful if you direct me to your contact :)C
Now, I know this is a fairly nice e-mail, but it really upset me and pissed me off.
|That was my reaction, smile disappearing and all.|
I don't think that C realized how rude they were being. My response was simple, I started off saying that I happened to get the book at BEA without a contact, but went on to explain that I work hard for my contacts and would appreciate if they never asked me for my contacts again. I will not share them and I think contacts are something everyone else should work towards. Somehow, I managed to remain calm before flipping out for a few minutes all my lonesome about the absurdity of it all.
So, here's my little rant. I'm by no means an experienced blogger. I've been around for a little over a year and there's still a lot for me to learn. I personally just began making contacts in the past few months and I can still count the ones I have on a single hand. It's not many, but they're contacts I'm proud of. And I did a little happy dance every time I successfully made one because it's not only a step in the right direction for blogging, but for my future as well since I hope to be in their job positions one day. And not only that, but it's showing that my little blog that, like everyone else, once had a generic design and no followers, is finally growing more and more each day. I'm beginning to make my own little mark on the blogging world, and isn't that what everyone wants?
That is why I got so defensive when someone who I've barely ever talked to just came out of nowhere asking for the information I worked so hard for to gain for myself. I did it without help and so can everyone else, you know? It makes the moment you make a connection all the more satisfying. But instead, C just e-mailed me hoping for the information they wanted. And I'm sorry, but I will never get it to anyone, even my best blogging friends who don't share their contacts with me either.
The worst part of it all was that C just asked for my contact's information outright. They didn't ask for help and advice on how to make their own contacts, but they just wanted mine. No work on their part, all the work on my part, what's done is done.
There would have been an entirely different response if C instead asked for my advice on how to make contacts instead of asking for my own. Want to know how you make them? It's simple really, you blog. You keep on reading and requesting books when your blog is big enough to get books. You work on your own to make your blog big enough and then try to make contacts. Most of the time, it won't work out, but there will be that moment where you will get a response to an e-mail or a review book in the mail with a business card or media contact card stuck inside and you can do your own happy dance. That's what I did! I started a mere three months into blogging and it took me months, almost a year, to finally make my first contact, but I perservered. So why can't you? It's simply part of growing and it's something everyone has to do themself.
And for those of you who are young bloggers or just dedicated readers (I'm not entirely sure which C is), please know that outright asking people for their contacts is probably one of the rudest things you can do to a blogger, aside from stealing their reviews or spreading false lies about them to ruin their reputations. It's because, inadvertantly, you want to profit off of something that we worked damn hard for, even if you have the best intentions at heart.
I'm not ashamed to admit that I asked more experienced bloggers about how they made their contacts. Inky at Book Haven Extraordinaire and Krista at Nawanda Files randomly get a question from me (to this day, I might add!) asking if they think a proposal email was phrased properly or if there's a certain bit of information about myself I should include or not. But I have never outright asked for their contacts. I asked for their help in advising me to find ways to make my own contacts and the two of them are the first people to celebrate with me when I make a contact. The first time I ever got a review request accepted from Disney Hyperion, Inky jumped for joy right alongside me because she helped give me advice on drafting that e-mail for a solid hour the week before. Because she's my friend, and helping others is the right thing to do.
Help is limitless here in the blogosphere, but laziness and freebies are not acceptable when it comes to establishing yourself. If you want to be a successful blogger and get the slight perks of getting ARCs in advance because of it, than get on your computer and start typing. Establish yourself in your own way, but never take the easy way out.
I'll answer any questions to the best of my ability, but my own personal victories in the blogosphere are my own personal victories that will remain mine and only mine. And once everyone else can start making their own contacts, they can feel the same satisfaction and odd possessiveness that I feel.
This all stemmed from C, admittedly not knowing how rude her simple request truly was, but this is something I need to get off my chest because of my intense reaction and disbelief of the entire situation. New bloggers, making contacts is important, but you have to make the contacts yourself. And readers, I'm sorry to say the odds are you won't be making contacts because you can't generate the publicity they want. I started my blog on a whim, and here I am a year later, almost at 600 loyal and lovely followers. Why not give it a shot for yourself?
C, this in no way was an attack on you, but you inadvertantly started an emotional storm within me that I needed to get out.
The amazing Blythe over at Finding Bliss in Books has helped me figure out that C has been contacting several other bloggers with the same message. If she's contacted you, please DM me at @LiliReflects or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org because of how wrong this is.
We've done some detective work and found her blog, youtube, goodreads, and twitter. This girl is an established blogger. Not only that, she's got more followers than me and Blythe. And normally stats mean absolutely nothing to me, but a girl going around who has a bigger blog than either of us asking for our contacts makes me really mad. I'd really love to warn others about this.
Please inform us if anything like this has happened to you. It seems she's copying and pasting the same message, just changing the book titles.
~*~Those That Have Come Forward About C~*~
What does everyone else think about sharing contacts? Thoughts?