Many blogs are participating in a Blogger Blackout. For a selected period of time (blogger’s choice), participating blogs will not post reviews of new books or promote new releases. The blogs will continue to operate, but will instead focus on discussion, or reviewing books by deceased authors.
The Blogger Blackout is NOT designed to “hurt all authors”. Rather, it’s to focus on the importance of bloggers. As a result of KH’s infamous account of her stalking an innocent reader, bloggers now fear for their privacy, safety, and security. The continued silence from publishers – particular KH’s own, HarperTeen – does nothing to ease these genuine concerns.
Also, the outpouring of support and admiration for KH is seriously disturbing. But (to me) the main reason the Blogger Blackout is taking place is because of those who believe that KH’s victim did anything wrong.
–If you found KH’s article “fascinating”, “riveting”, “brave”, “funny”, “entertaining”, “well written”, “bold”, “interesting”, “well done”, a “great read”…YOU are the reason. (You know what I find fascinating? Images taken by the Hubble telescope. But clearly your idea of “fascinating” differs greatly from mine.)
–If you “admire” KH’s “honesty”, or have anything positive to say about her in the context of that article…YOU are the reason.
–If you took KH at her word for what her victim did, without you even searching for the facts…YOU are the reason.
–If you believe there was anything wrong with what the victim did (her reading status updates, doing as tech experts suggest by NOT using her real name)…YOU are the reason.
–If you are quick to say “not all authors”, but refuse to speak out when people claim that all people who post their reading status updates and reviews on Goodreads are “mean/trolls/bullies”…YOU are the reason. (For the record, I post my reading status updates and reviews on Goodreads.)
–If you are “Team Nobody” in the stalker v victim case…YOU are the reason.
We KNOW not all authors are stalkers, that most authors deal with criticism quite well (by NOT reacting, for example – feelings are fine, but acting on those feelings endangers others). This is NOT “bloggers v authors”, and any who claims it is, or accuses someone of turning this into a “war”, may be trying to distract from the real issue at hand.
I’ve tried to figure out my own role to play in the Blogger Blackout. I’ve been a bit slack when it comes to reviews in the past few months, so me not posting any more reviews for a selected period wouldn’t really be playing my part fairly. Likewise, I’m behind on compiling my comprehensive monthly releases post (November’s list would usually be posted in late October). Also, I have a stack of new covers to share that I haven’t posted yet. And I only started my weekly list-checking last night, and I’m only up to the C authors alphabetically.
So I’m not sure how I can truthfully participate in the Blogger Blackout, considering I’m admittedly so behind on my usual blogging activities. (I’ve been following the response to #HaleNo so closely that I’ve been spending all my time following hashtags on Twitter instead of doing my regular stuff, but I don’t think that counts as me already doing the blackout.)
Nonetheless, I support all bloggers who participate in the Blogger Blackout, and encourage you to support them, too. You are most welcome to take part in the blackout, and have permission to use the Blogger Blackout badge (made by Kaetrin – see the image at the start of this post).
You can also show your support by participating in the #HaleNo and #BloggerYes hashtags on Twitter, or write your own blog posts on the matter. And if you have any more ideas, please share them – the blogging community would love to hear from you.
Tez Miller of Tez Says