My name is Braine, I love books and worship my favorite authors.
But I'm a terrible fangirl.
I used to be a good fan. I would stalk authors via Facebook, go out of my way to get updated with whatever it is that's going on in their lives, their books, chat with fellow fans, eagerly put their new releases et al on blast. But as the blog grew and life progressed, not only has my time for fangirling whittled, I also became less and less enthusiastic about my Fandom membership.
TIME: Blogging itself is demanding, book blogging is a totally different animal! We spend an average of maybe 10 hours (or more) preparing for a post, from reading, researching, linking up, and other necessary add ons to make the post pretty, informative, and uniquely our own. But it doesn't stop there, after the post is up, you then have to blast it to the World Wide Web via social media, review sites, and visit other blogs to promote your post or encourage comments or page views back to yours. Put it all together and the hours put in on just one post is more than an average work day for a normal employee. Factor in your responsibilities outside the blog and you barely have enough time to do other stuff. And that includes fangirling for me. So I'm behind book news and either get my updates from the grapevine or make the effort to look it up myself.
FREE LABOR: Let me start this section with a little disclaimer: I do love my authors, and I don't really mind pimping them. Great work deserves recognition and its meant to be shared IMHO, and I will help spread the word so other people can experience the same greatness I did.
That said, in my years for blogging, I've been part of various street teams. And though some of them are really fun, supportive, and encouraging, some aren't as good as I hoped it would be.
I've been part of a few teams (which I've already quit) wherein I felt like its using its members for free labor. Like I'd get an alarm for a task I have to do for the day, and this is EVERYDAY, and should I fail to complete a certain number of task, my membership is in peril. I mean, that's fucked up, right? It's not like they pay me to do shit!
CRAZY AUTHORS: We've all heard, or maybe even came across first hand bad author behavior. There was a time when a blogger friend said something a certain author didn't like, the latter got upset and basically sicced her fans on my friend and they started harassing her on FB & Twitter. I felt bad for her, but that was also a good lesson on picking your battles wisely.
FANDOM: This is the most overwhelming part. Let's face it, we've all encountered some rabid fans in some shape or form. You know, the type whose realities are displaced and they think the characters they read are real and should you try and critic the books and its characters you'll get your head but off? And it doesn't end there, some of these fans are so competitive and obsessive they'd crawl up the author's ass and live there. For what?! The worst is if the author isn't doing anything, moderate or otherwise, so it's safe to assume they condone such behavior. Major turn off for me.
True story, I used to follow Karen Marie Moning's FB page... Until shit went down between fans and everyone started arguing who they think should play Jericho Barrons in the movie. It got so UGLY KMM had to interfere, boot out a few followers, and release a statement about the drama! Now I understand why J.R. Ward has strict and set rules for her own Facebook page. Fandom is good until it gets psychotic!
My friend, Jenese, of Readers Confession book blog, also runs and moderates a BDB fan group on FB am I can tell it's not the easiest group to corral. She has to virtually police her members round the clock because some fans take it too far, too much, too often, to the point where it's excessive and not in a good way. Some of these people need to get a real life, be with real men, and stop imagining having sex with make-up beefy vampires who won't even look their way twice if they were real.
Now if I made the mistake of saying that in the group, I'd be dead now. And as I'm opinionated and can be a bitch, but abhor drama and confrontation, I just lurk, like, laugh, and sometimes share when I feel like it. You can't argue or win when there are crazies involved. Best to just shut
up and let them win.
To conclude, I think I'm a great fan. I (also think) give fair reviews and do my part in helping my favorite scribes get their work noticed. I still belong to a HANDFUL of street teams, because I love the ones I follow and they've been great to their fans and followers IMO. I just don't want too much strings attached especially when my efforts are not being acknowledged. So until I have an extra amount of time, and/or get a wild hair on my ass and find myself ready to fist pump with other fans, I'll squeal like a piglet on my space, on my terms, in my time.
This is Braine, I'm a good fan, but a terrible fangirl, and I'm okay with that.