In response to a staggering amount of scary bullshit, many book bloggers are putting on a Blogger Blackout. (I figure anyone who reads this already has read all the commentary, so I’m not bothering to find more links.)
I’m not entirely sure if I’m participating or not. It would be the easiest thing in the world to do it here, since I mostly review old books anyway, but I’ve taken on responsibilities elsewhere. And I would feel hypocritical claiming to be a part of the blackout while my work is appearing elsewhere.
And I’m still not sure how I feel about this whole thing. (Other than disgusted with Kathleen Hale and those who admire/support her.) My first feeling after the halestorm hit was shamefaced relief at having accepted more work that’s more promo than reviewing. But though pretty much every industry person I’ve ever worked with has been nothing but awesome, what Sonomalas wrote still struck a chord:
“I have some ARCs that I have read or planned to read of books being released in the next couple of months; I haven’t decided yet what to do about those. Mostly they are books by authors whom I admire and respect, as writers and as people, so I’ll be thinking about how to support them without feeling like I’m shilling for an industry that by and large does not respect me or what I do.”
I don’t want to be an asshole by comparing this protest to something like Ferguson, where people are putting their lives on the line for justice, but I do think that, in a small way, this is an example of the less powerful asking for what they need — which are very simple, reasonable things really, mainly assurance from publishers that they will protect our privacy and don’t support stalking or doxxing of book reviewers — and having the powers-that-be are act as if they’re the ones under attack. Deborah Smith, a writer who’s also very involved with Belle Bridge Books — an imprint I loved, sob — went so far as to call us “the book reviewer Taliban.” (Which is offensive on just SO many levels.)
No decision here… just thinking aloud.