The book world is a rather small place.
You don't actually realize that until you become a part of it.
With places like BookLikes and Goodreads, it is so easy to become friends with fellow book lovers, whether they be bloggers, reviewers, readers, or even authors.
And everyone is connected in some way.
Talk about a small world.
As with every group, there are going to be people that don't get along. There are going to be times that friends of yours will have a personal issue with each other. It's inevitable. We're all human.
Coming from someone who did have to end a friendship because of personal reasons, it is really hard to see that person every time he/she comments on a mutual friend's post, or a mutual friend reposts his/her reviews. But that personal issue is between me and that person, and I've chosen to leave it between me and that person.
Then there are times when the personal issue is even bigger than that.
Up until here recently, I had a "relationship" with a particular publishing company. Everything was grand and good until the last two or three weeks. I had brought it to the publisher's attention that three books in a row had been poorly edited, and I wanted them to know this. (I feel it's only fair when they have given me a book to review that I at least give them a head's up about issues.) The publisher, after blowing me off on the first two books, asked me to send them a list of the mistakes for the third book, and I politely informed them that I did not think it was right that they were asking a reader to edit their book for free. The person then asked me how much I would charge. I was a little iffy about this, but after discussing it with a friend (who happens to work for Amazon), I decided to "play along" - I don't think it's very professional or ethical to edit a book that I have already reviewed, just like I will not review a book that I have edited. I did tell her how much I charge with the intent of seeing if she would actually do something like that.
A few days after this, I was informed by a friend of mine (who does blog tours) that this publishing company no longer wants me to be involved with their tours because of a "conflict of interest." A conflict of interest that was never there before, not in the two years of dealing with them.
Today I was informed, by a friend of mine that publishes with this company, that I am basically persona non grata there. Not only was I discussed, but I was lied about. They were told that I exaggerated the editing issues to try to force the publisher to let me edit the book, which is COMPLETELY not true. I have never asked - or expected - any of my author friends to let me edit their books, and I know that publishers have their own editors.
This all happened because her feelings were hurt because I didn't think that her editors did a good job on three books (the last had missing words, misplaced words and somebody shutting a book that they had already slammed shut a few paragraphs earlier).
When I sent an email to the publisher questioning why I was no longer allowed to do blog tours for her books, she used the editing conversation (of which she was unethical in asking me to do in the first place) and the friendships with authors against me. 1) She knew, when I began working with her company two years ago, that I was friends with some of her authors. I have also since then sent her more author friends of mine. 2) She is VERY good friends with another blogger, and has even published some of his reviewers' books. And they all STILL review the books published by her company.
I can't even begin to explain my feelings on this whole event.
Emotions are not something I deal with easily. Anyone who knows me well will tell you: if it's not happy or pissed, there's a huge chance you will never know, because the emotion will come out either happy or pissed. When my feelings are hurt, I immediately attack. Pissed is just ... easier.
I don't know whether I want to punch someone in the throat, scream, or cry.
The fact that there are potentially 50+ authors reading her lies - and possibly believing them - is really hard for me to deal with. The fact that friends of mine are now put in an awkward position is even harder. I have fought with a really good friend of mine, have another really good friend of mine that blames himself for the fiasco (and thinks he's a "bad friend" for not sticking up for me), and several friends that feel like they are stuck between a rock and a hard place.
To be honest, I'm glad that the relationship has been severed. Her publishing company has really gone down hill over the past 6+ months, her editing is poor ("we're only human" is not an excuse when you brag that five different people edit each book), and I have since found out that there are bloggers that won't even touch books that were published by them (which actually says a lot). I just wish, as I usually do with bad relationships, that I was the one that had been holding the scissors.
There IS the chance that this could affect Hyde 'N' Seek Editing, which is a big deal with me, but her deciding that I can't touch her books in a blog tour is definitely not going to be a big deal for The Gal in the Blue Mask. She's not the only publishing company in town, nor are her authors the only authors around - is she planning on informing Amazon that I'm not allowed to buy books published by her? Are her authors not allowed to give me books to review?
The Gal in the Blue Mask may not really mean shit in the great scheme of things, but my blog was one that each and every author that she has knew they could/would be on. Instead of hurting me, like I guess was her plan, she hurt herself and her authors. Taking a blog out of the equation (especially for something as silly as hurt feelings, which should never come to play in the business world) takes away views of the book, which means lost readers, lost reviews, lost sales.
I know I don't usually share stuff like this - mainly because it is rare that I deal with something like this (I hate drama, especially unnecessary drama) - but I just had to let this all out in a safe place where everyone loves books and no one judges me because I am friends with some authors and can't stand editing issues in a book.