Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Three Year Blogoversary- Cyn Balog Interview

Cyn Balog, author of Fairy Tale and the forthcoming Sleepless, has agreed to answer a few questions! Let's see what she has to say!

1) How do you handle bad reviews?

Not very well at first. I had to learn not to take them personally and to just let them go. My process is to ignore them for as long as possible. Before, I used to go to Goodreads and read my one-star reviews and cry into my keyboard. Now, I've been learning to laugh at them because even the most amazing books get bad reviews. Nobody is immune. And they really mean very little in the grand scheme of things. So says the author through gritted teeth.

2) What are your criteria for finding bloggers to send review copies to?

I don't want to turn anyone down, because I understand the difficulties of both sides. Publishers will only send to established blogs because they have a limited number of review copies and need to determine the best use of those, but then how does a blogger become established unless they have copies to review? Well, I check blogs to make sure that they've been around awhile and at least have been posting regularly, maybe if not on pre-releases, but at least on books that are already out there. That anyone can do, and it shows a commitment to blogging. Then I will send the name to my publicist as I don't send anything myself. If she can't send a book for review I try to send bookmarks, at least.

3) How did you find my blog, as well as any others you frequent?

All of my favorite blogs, I have on a reader I visit every day. Of course yours is one of them, obviously. It is like air and water and the TV show GLEE to me. I think that whenever I see someone make a good comment on another blog or maybe their tweet is retweeted, then I'll add them. I've gradually grown and added favorites over the years, so I have a lot of them.

4) Do you have any advice for bloggers writing reviews?

Always write nice ones for my books. Har. Well, my thought is not to have a star-rating system. Why? Because when you have one of those, a lot of people will just say, "Oh, she gave that 3 stars, she just thinks it's okay" and then not read the rest of what you have to say. I personally, NEVER do that, but some people are in a hurry. I am sure the reason people write reviews in the first place is because they want people to read them, yes?

5) Have you had a particularly memorable/meaningful review sent your way? What was it, and how did it make you feel?

I just got a review for SLEEPLESS from Kirkus, which was glowing. After the bitch-slapping they gave me for FAIRY TALE, I'd been living in fear of them. I half-expected Kirkus to start picketing outside my window any day, holding up a YOU SUCK sign. So to not have that happen was great.

No one will ever hold up a "You Suck" sign in front of your house because you and your books are awesome! Look for my review of Sleepless coming in early July. Now, on to the contest, I've got an ARC of Siren by Tricia Rayburn. To enter, leave a comment on this post with your thoughts on any of Cyn's answers or what's got you excited for Siren. The contest will be open until June 30th at 11:59 PM and is for North American residents only.


  1. Great interview. The advice about dealing with bad reviews is great advice really for any type of criticism. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for the great interview! This sounds like a great book. :)


  3. Great interview. I love hearing authors perspective on ratings/bloggers. I read (and liked!) Sleepless and will be posting a review in July as well. :)

  4. Great interview! and there will be no You Suck signs!

  5. Good advice about dealing with bad reviews!

  6. Don't enter me in the contest, but great interview!

    (Haha, I always like feeling validated for not using a star system.)

  7. I loved seeing an interview all about bloggers! Very interesting. :)


  8. Good interview!

    Tricia sounds very grounded about getting reviews. I've heard authors say they never read reviews because of a few nasty responses, which are usually from pros or just readers.

    I think that bloggers are the ones that lose with this stance. We are the ones that want to interface with the authors. But, that kind of attitude can isolate the author from the people who might give an honest review without lambasting the book, or the author personally.


  9. Awww, I love Cyn. I love how she'll send bookmarks, even if she can't send an arc to bloggers. So sweet!

    Thanks for hosting the contest!


  10. I loved the interview. I enjoyed getting an insight into how an author feels after reading bad reviews. Good job!


  11. I LOVEd the interview. I never knew that what authors felt about book reviews. huh. I can't wait for Siren to come out!


  12. i think your attitude on bad reviews is great. i wouldnt be able to handle the criticism of my baby like that!

    meaghan_koci (at) yahoo (dot) com

  13. What got me interested in Siren was the gorgeous cover art! Great interview btw!


  14. I stumbled across Siren and I instantly liked it. Besides the cover, it was the title. The interview was so funny, haha.


  15. I thought the point about star-ratings was very interesting (and true). A detailed review about why a book is good or how the book could have been better is much more meaningful than ratings anyway.

    sarahdc22 (at) gmail (dot) com