As I'm growing as a blogger and getting more contacts in the publishing industry, I've been thinking about this a lot: do book bloggers deserve free books? Obviously most of you will think no, of course not, we do it because we love books. But I am aware that out there in the mean realm of the internet, there are bloggers who maybe have been doing it for so long or have just started and think that's what they deserve. Which personally I think is rude and ridiculous.
I will admit that I did start out blogging hoping to get books before they are published. I can't help it, I saw some friends getting books pre-publishing date and was jealous! That's not to say that's the only reason I started blogging - I was in my second year of university and had so many books to read that I was getting lost and wanted to talk about them, with the aim that I would get better so I can do it professionally when I graduate. Now, a year on, it's moved past that and into a personal hobby of mine, where I can discuss books with people who love them as much as I do, get great recommendations for upcoming titles and make some fantastic friends.
I got some new ARCs recently, really pretty ones that weren't going to be published for another couple of months, and I had to explain to my father why I'd received them. Knowing nothing of the blogging world, he was confused as to why I was getting bound proofs and I had to explain, patiently, that I reviewed them online. He just said 'what, you do it for free?' Of course I do, it's just a hobby, but if you like, I get paid in free books. 'Oh. Well that's all well and good but you can't live off books.' Yes dad, but again: hobby!
Besides, who cares that you're not getting paid to blog? It started out as, and always will be, a hobby, a fun albeit sometimes difficult thing to do. I like that there is no proper money involved so all we have is our love of books. If we did get paid to blog, it might be awesome but after a while I feel like it would become a chore and effort would be put in for the wrong reasons.
Ok, I just went off on one and I'm going to get back on topic now! The point is, I believe that ARC's a sort of like a perk of blogging and I have to get to a certain point to deserve them. I've done pretty well, having only been blogging for a year and most of that not very seriously, so having just a few publishers sending me regular books is great.
What do you guys think? Most of my friends/followers are serious bloggers who get books and ARC's from many, many publishers - which I find very impressive by the way, that you don't get swallowed up by them all! - and I'm sure you all have opinions on this topic.