Not the diamonds! Please, not the diamonds…

I’m not a betting witch, but I’d still be willing to bet that Amanda Craig, Nicolette Jones and Nicholas Tucker don’t get review copies sent out with a teaspoonful of plastic jewels wrapped up (very prettily, I admit) with the book. I’m guessing they’re meant to put me – us – into such a good mood that not only will I read the diamond-encrusted book, but I will love it.

(As it is, I am still fuming over having to crawl around on the floor, finding the pretty, but plastic, jewels after they fell out of the tissue paper parcel. I wasn’t taking care, unwrapping it. How could I have guessed I had sunk low enough to be on the diamond/tissue paper packaging list?)

It doesn’t help that the accompanying press release (press, hah!) mentions the publicity department has a pile of books for bloggers only. So exclusive. Not.

Frequently I find that the round robin emails from PR departments assume bloggers need to be herded like children; told what’s expected in return for review copies, and occasionally accompanied by jolly cries about competitions and films and special blogger author meetings.

Back in the infancy of Bookwitch, there must have been relatively few bloggers on the publishers’ mailing lists. I recall being treated like a real person, put in the same room as the formidable reviewers I mentioned earlier. I was treated like the adult I unquestionably am.

(Please take no notice that I am having a toddler tantrum right now.)

I don’t know for certain, but I suspect the PR departments now have a press list, and they have a bloggers list. I am on the latter, because undeniably I write – and review on – a blog.

But I am actually hurt to suddenly find myself demoted to teen fandom, after years of reasonably professional contact with the fantastic and hard working publicists I have come to know. Those who have never met me can be forgiven for believing I am a starstruck twenty-something.

I don’t feel I belong in the group of people guesstimated to be twenty years old and with a disproportionate fondness for vampire/dystopian romances. Nor do I harbour too many fan style crushes on their authors. A second class type of reviewer is being created. Hopefully with all the best intentions, but still. It’s a nice little hobby.

Clearly I need a new label. Blogger has become a derogative term. Suggestions, please? At this rate I’d rather be a housewife.

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21 responses to “Not the diamonds! Please, not the diamonds…

  1. I think you will find they do!

  2. How you would have hated the smalll but leaky bottles of olive oil once sent out on my behalf. Not to mention the tubes of paint, guitar picks, tissues to mop up end-of-series tears…

    I used to be so envious when I heard of these exciting parcels. I never got one though. They were only for the RIPs. You should cherish those diamonds.

  3. Wonderful post, which made me chuckle muchly. Nothing like a bit of Schadenfreude first thing in the morning. Have briefly racked my brains for an alternative to ‘blogger’ that might excuse you from the receipt of patronising publicity packages. How about the archaic ‘web logger’ or the slightly intimidating ‘literary critic’? No one would dare send plastic diamonds to a critic – real ones perhaps…

  4. VIPs not RIPS (didn’t mean to imply you were gone from us). Please pass on any unwanted diamonds- will stick on soles of daughter’s shoes.

  5. I would scrawl in red marker over the offending tome
    I AM BOOKWITCH AND I CURSE THIS BOOK AND ALL WHO MARKET IT and return to sender.
    My husband (advertising) would say that you need to expand the Bookwitch brand. Was there not talk of an actual Bookwitch Book? How about a tent at the next festival (dovegreyreader has one) Cuddly Bookwitches?

  6. As I was writing this post, I kept thinking ‘but what if I offend someone?’ And then I thought, but what about me being offended? DOES THAT NOT COUNT?
    Am working up the courage to be rude enough to say something to people. One publicist took the unprecedented move of shifting me off the blogger-mailings, when I pointed out I couldn’t even work out what I was meant to understand from them.

  7. Yes, what about the Bookwitch book?

  8. I’ll get a tent. Much easier.

  9. Is it finished?
    You could send it out for review with little sooty curses and fake newts’ eyeballs and things.

  10. Editors and agents beg and plead with writers NOT to send lollies, photos, trinkets or sparkly things in the post when they send in their manuscripts …. But they do the same thing when sending out their books to reviewers.
    Shakes head
    Weeps

  11. I can’t be the only person who doesn’t buy things from catalogues purely on the grounds that I REALLY don’t want the free gift.
    Don’t worry, though, Witch. These PR are just trying to please. Poor things. What WOULD you like as a freebie?

  12. The only thing I want is money, and since I can’t be bought, I can’t take the money.
    If someone thinks a potential reviewer will be charmed by a gift, they assume both that the reviewer can be bought, and also makes me feel that not even they think the book is terribly good. In this case it comes from a publisher who once took a chance on what became a very big success. That doesn’t mean they are capable of picking the next Harry Potter. We readers do that.
    Anyone wanting to please me will treat me as an intelligent human being.

  13. I used to quite like getting sparkly things with books. I would keep them and use them to stick on Christmas parcels, or give them to teachers I knew doing displays. But I would never remember which book they came with, so a pointless exercise. I remember someone turning up in reception dressed as a nurse with a drip, the day before I was due to have surgery. It freaked me out. I won’t say what the book was but it was strangely appropriate, not in a good way. Also, someone turned up to give me a free massage, lit an aromatherapy candle in my boss’s office and nearly set a pile of proofs on fire. No money for that sort of thing any more, sadly.

  14. It was the close contact with the carpet I minded. Days later I still trod, accidentally, on something sharp.
    I will admit to having put the rather pretty envelope aside for use at some point.
    One question I have is whether the author, especially if they are new to this, realise the damage done.

  15. When I was a willing *collaborator in the leaky-olive-oil/ free guitar pick/saffron strands (admit that’s not to bad)/ fake letters from Miss Minchin’s Select Seminary thing (publishers don’t bother now, they’ve given up hope) I am sure it was not meant as a bribe or reflection on reviewer’s intergrity. It was just an oy-look-at-this. Assuming reviewer was so stormed by admirers longing for good opinions that it would catch their attention.

    But anyway, have retrieved latest pot boiler and small-package-from-Tiffany from the post to ravishing Stockport.
    You will be pleased to hear.

    *Thanks recommending Code Name Verity. Absolutely fantastic.

    Squashed again about the book, I notice!
    Think on though. Writing books not half as bad as public speaking.

  16. Pingback: Top 25 Book Bloggers of 2012 by Skinny Scoop | Books in the Burbs

  17. Of course Verity’s fantastic!
    And I went to get rid of the jewels. They went all over the floor. Again. Cursed.

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