I really hate it when I find a blog I really like and it turns out that, from the beginning, it was all a set up for the book the blogger had coming out. I continually get duped by it, which makes me even angrier. You'd think I'd know the signs by now: The first "Aw Shucks" entry followed by slick prose; the carefully chosen links in the sidebar (usually high-traffic blogs of a similar nature or other bloggers with books to ply); the photography that starts out deliberately amateurish, but improves rapidly via more expensive equipment; and -- the dead giveaway -- the book comes out at the exact time from the beginning of the blog as it would take to write, edit, shoot, print and begin distribution.
Goodness knows I wouldn't turn down a book offer myself and I understand that a writer can't announce a book deal until the publisher approves. It's when the blog is set up specifically with the idea that the book is coming out that strikes me as disingenuous. Because part of the charm of blogs is that you are reading about and communicating with people just like yourself. When those people receive book offers, I'm more than happy to celebrate with them.
But when I've been duped into reading what is, basically, an advertisement for over a year, I feel used. I feel like this person has been pretending all this time to be "just like me (i.e., a blogger)" when actually he or she wouldn't lower themselves to write a blog were it not a condition of their publishing contract. And then, once the book is published, the blog "sabbaticals" begin (the beginning of the end), followed a few months later by "I love you all and it's been fun, but
Do I want something done about this? No. Like all the downsides to freedom of speech, I guess this is a necessary evil we have to put up with. Since I'm obviously no good at spotting this sort of thing, the most I can do is refuse to buy their book or link to their site. And I know it doesn't make a difference to a lot of people. But I can't help feeling like a chump -- because the I think publishers actually think that no one has caught on to this because it keeps working.
K. I'm done. Carry on.