June 09, 2008

Controversy in the Blogosphere...Or, Blogoversy in the Kidlitosphere. Or--never mind.


There ain't room in this town fer the both of us. So I challenges ye--dueling blog posts at forty paces. Ready...aim...

Well, I didn't really want to post about the discussion going on about a site called Kidzbookbuzz.com, and the ensuing hubbub about whether it's right or wrong to offer a pay-to-play blog tour service, whether it's right or wrong to compensate bloggers, what it means for the overall perception of blog tours and the kidlitosphere, etc. etc. I don't want to get up on my soap box. Some feel that the blogosphere thrives on controversy, but I'm strictly conflict-avoidant over here.

But. Having said that, I wanted to say a few things anyway. I think there's room in the kidlitosphere for different types of blog tours, pay-to-play or not, as long as all parties--especially authors and their publicists--are clear on who is offering exactly what. The kidlitosphere continues to grow and change, and it can be difficult to keep up with the netiquette associated with reviews, interviews, and ARCs, but hopefully we can all continue to behave professionally without losing that informal sense of community and fun that we know and love.

It was mentioned on one blog that the SBBT/WBBT have an exclusivity about them, and I wanted to say that I haven't felt that--I feel like the event is special, but I don't feel like I'm part of a special group. Finding Wonderland sort of got involved in it by being in the right place at the right time. The small size of the group, to me, doesn't connote exclusivity. In fact, I find the size to be comfortable and unintimidating. I feel like there's more room for everyone's individuality as bloggers to really blossom and be appreciated. I might feel differently if there were fifteen, or twenty, or fifty interviews a day.

But truly, there has to be room out there for a variety of individual visions about this type of project. Just like there needs to be (and is) room out there for individual authors' visions as realized in their stories. It's not a bad metaphor--sometimes the world of published authors can seem, to a non-published author, like an exclusive club, a clique that we (and by "we" I mean "me) are longing to break into but are waiting for...well, the right place at the right time.

I want to conclude on a positive note about the SBBT/WBBT, an inspirational moment from this past week that really made us very glad that we've been participating, and makes me feel like we're all doing the right thing in our own unique ways (okay, sorry, that was sort of barf-inducing, but you know what I mean). Last week TadMack and I were contacted by someone putting together a scholarly book of interviews with Sherman Alexie, and asked if we'd be willing to include our WBBT interview. How cool is that? And how lame am I for saying "how cool is that"? Please don't answer the second question.

{EDIT} - Tad here, putting in my two centavos. I'm really chuffed about the Alexie book inclusion, too. What an honor!! We're really excited that our little corner of the blogosphere was able to honor someone of Mr. Alexie's status, and for someone else to feel that our interaction with him is something to be shared. From this, we can only hope more people pick up his books!

And that's what it's about -- the books.

I wanted to really respond to some of the book buddies I've met through participation in Poetry Friday and others who aren't part of the group -- Guys, this isn't meant to shut you out! I promise we're not thinking you're "unclean," and this isn't some hideous trip back to high school -- we're not working to exclude. Blog tours are huge unwieldy beasts -- if you could only see how much darned WORK it is to just organize the people who ARE in SBBT/WBBT... it's a massive effort, a drain of time and resources. It seems sad to distance from the group because that activity is full. PLEASE join in the One Shot World Tours and Under Radar Reads promotions that take place the first Monday of the month. All of the crazy stuff we do and Chasing Ray organizes are about BOOKS and spreading the love -- not about exclusivity or stats. Please come and join in -- there's never enough voices and hands connecting kids and young adults with great books.

Thanks, A.F., for posting about this.

6 comments:

Susan T. said...

That is WAY cool about your Sherman Alexie interview being in a book. It was awesome! Is it the U. of Mississippi press? They do really great author interview compilations.

TadMack said...

Yeah. Ditto what you said.

Sara said...

Ooooh, I'm a tiny bit green over here. That is fabulous news about the Alexie interview. It WAS a good one, so it's deserved.

Jen Robinson said...

Congratulations on your interview being in a book. That IS way cool, and that's how I would have put it, too. An analogous thing for me (though not as impressive as being in an book) is that Rick Riordan has linked to my WBBT interview with him as part of his official biographical information on his website. I think that says something about the legitimacy of the whole WBBT effort, and the time that went into that particular interview.

Anyway, kudos to you both on the Sherman Alexie thing. That is excellent!

Becky said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts :) It made me feel better.

a. fortis said...

Thanks, TadMack, for adding your words to this, too. And thanks, Becky, for cruising by--I've read your posts, Colleen's, and others on the subject and it really is quite a kerfluffle (incidentally, the spell-checker thinks I'm trying to type "truffles"...). I don't think anybody is deliberately setting out to exclude people, and I hope that doesn't happen in the future, either.