I have been following Kristi's and Steph's blog posts about the on-line relationships between book bloggers and authors. They, and their readers, bring up some really good questions and concerns. For instance, can we really call these connections "friendships"? If so, what happens when one "friend" reviews another "friend"? Must you be kind to them out of respect for the relationship?
Let me add my .03 (.02 adjusted for inflation):
I should clarify my comment on Steph's post, when I noted that I don't think bloggers and authors can be friends...of course they can be! Friendships are based on so many different things: favorite television shows, common classes, hobbies like knitting or dancing, dislike of Paris Hilton...and yes, favorite books.
What I mean is that *sometimes* authors hang out at blogs, commenting, becoming buds with the readers and blogger, in the hopes of getting a positive review from the blogger or selling books to her readers. A blogger can be forgiven if she thinks this author wants to be her friend. After all, she's certainly acting like one: she reads every post, she comments, she emails, she gets involved...but she wants something.
Now not all authors do this. I hang out at book blogs as market research for the most part and also because I find a lot of them very entertaining! They're fun, the girls are lively and opinionated, and they don't hold anything back when it comes to reviewing. I'm certainly happy when they review my books positively - and I make it a point to thank them when they do - but if they didn't, well, that's the way the cookie crumbles. I never thought they owed me anything and in fact, have worried that they wouldn't want me "hanging around." I'm an adult, after all, not a teen, and ya know, that can be interpreted kind of creepy.
Look, the thing is that the internet is a big place. There are lots of authors, lots of bloggers out there. Sometimes it's hard to navigate the waters and so you look for a friendly face. I know I do! That being said, if a reviewer trashed my book, I'd probably move on and find other blogs to read. I'd be hurt, sure, like any bad review hurts but I doubt I'd spread that word. Who wants to give anyone else any ideas? LOL!
I have enjoyed getting to know some of the bloggers aside from the whole book review process. I made Liviania a pair of leg warmers simply because she admired the ones I had posted pictures of on my blog - I pretty much love connecting with dancers or former dancers because that's the other part of my life that's important to me. I have emailed Chelsea the Page Flipper about her writing about Laurie Halse Anderson because I think good writing and a passion for writing needs to be encouraged. And I always make sure to read Taren's Chick Manifesto and comment on the brilliance that are her VC Andrews' recaps.
Are these 3 bloggers my friends? Ya know, I'm not sure I even know their real names. :) But I like hanging out with them. As I said above, there are a lot of blogs out there and I don't waste my time following ones I don't like. If I'm a follower of yours, it's cuz I dig you and what you have to say. If I'm not, then I might just not know you yet!