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Why I hate "US ONLY" -DISCUSSION-

February 15, 2016


I'll go straight to the point, I hate when people choose to do something labelled "US only". I find it inconsiderate and unfair.

Let me explain a little.

More often than not, giveaways are for US only. Same with arcs tour. Also, a lot of blog tours will have physical copies available for US residents only. And don't even get me started on the book tours or the author signing...!

Why is it that the US always has priority? Because of costs issues? I understand that sending a book across the ocean can be expensive, but spending an extra five dollars to send it to another country in North America won't make you broke. And if it does, then maybe you shouldn't be hosting a giveaway or whatever it is that your are hosting in the first place.

I understand that when it comes to giveaways, a lot of them are hosted by teenage book bloggers that might not have all the money in the world, but guess what? I'm a teenage book blogger too! I'm a student going to university next year, but I can spare five dollars for the occasions I decide to host giveaways.

"Well Sophie, just do a 'Canada only' giveaway"

Yeah, there's a problem with that suggestion.

Canada has a population of 35 million people. The US? 321 million. Now, add to that the fact that Canadian book bloggers are a minority in the blogosphere.
Conclusion: nothing stops me from hosting a "Canada only" giveaway, but if I want to reach more than ten people, I have to extend it to "North America only".

Now back to the blog tours and the publishers giveaways. I understand that a lot of YA authors are US residents and that three of the "Big Five" publishing companies are originating from the United States of America. But I would like to participate in a blog tour where I can do more than an author interview or an excerpt release. Those are fun, but I would like to help promote a book by sharing my love for it, not how nice the author was.

I find this entire thing unfair because while no one forces me to extend my giveaways outside my country, I don't really have a choice if I want to reach more than a couple of person, and people in the US can just keep it to their country.

While this was more a rant than a discussion, I do hope that you realize how lucky you are if you're a US resident. You have the book conventions, the tours, the author's signing, the great TV shows, and the giveaways. Please remember that in the future.

I want to hear what you think of all of this; I truly do! Explain to me why you agree or disagree with me! 

Take care lovelies,
Sophie

20 comments:

  1. I'm totally agree with you! You don't know how jealous I am when I see a book signing events pics or book events like BEA, because I couldn't attend that. Perhaps someday, when I have a steady job that give a lot of money, but that's not a guarantee. Now, I understand if a teenage book blogger would do a US only giveaway because If I were them, I'd probably do it too (the shipping cost from US to here is around $22. That's expensive for me), but what I don't understand is why publisher's giveaway is ALWAYS US only. With the amount of books we bought, I bet that they're rich, and an extra $22 won't be a problem. Anyway, this turns out to be more rant-y than I expected, but great post Sophie! You just expressed what we international blogger felt all the time :D

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    1. Exactly! Some people have brought up some very good points about why US residents keep their giveaway to themselves, which I can understand. But the conventions and the bookish events, that I still don't get.
      And of course, I live in Canada and I admit to having hosted a US/CAN only giveaway, but that was before I heard of the Book Depository, that was before I realized how less opportunities international bloggers get.
      As for publishers, I don't get it either. If I were a publisher, I would host international giveaways all the time to try to promote a book all over the world. Someone brought up the possible reason that maybe publishers simply aren't allowed to do that?
      Let it all out dear! I've been thinking this post over for a while now and I feel that it was necessary to write and share it, not to make every US resident ashamed of living in the US, but to make them appreciate it, aware of the privileges they have that international bloggers don't always get.
      Thanks for stopping by and sharing your opinion!

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  2. I think the reason publishers can't send books outside of the US and Canada for blog tours and giveaways ect. is because of territorial rights. I understand how frusturating that can be but I think its really out of the publishing companiies control for where they can ship to. Also, for a lot of us teen bloggers those extra 5 dollars can easily turn into 23 dollars if its multiple books and thats quite a bit in my opinion. Looking at it from a US perspective I really do feel bad for you guys though :( I don't think its fair people outside of the US dont get as many opportunites from publishers or author events. I would be super annoyed if that was me and I dont get why publishers dont do more to get authors to bloggers in other countries.

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    1. I hadn't thought about the territorial rights and any other rules that may apply when writing this post and I am glad that people brought it to my attention. While that may apply on an international level, do you think it still applies to the "continental" level? By that I mean that rarely will publishers host an event that includes any other country besides the US. I am simply wondering if you would know something about thing as it would take away a lot of my frustration concerning the matter!;)
      I understand that 5$ can quickly become more, but then again, people could host less giveaways? I don't know how other bloggers think about giveaways; for me, it's something I did once in the 8 months I've been blogging (excluding the WIFSY giveaways that Izel and I just started, which is a different story) so it's a special occasion, you know? For me and for the people who read my blog.
      Anyhow, I really appreciate your comment! You brought up some really good points that I hadn't though about, so thank you for that!:)

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    2. I'm pretty sure that even after the issue of territorial rights, companies and individuals have to deal with the legislation around sweepstakes. The laws dealing with what is a legal giveaway would vary from country to country, not by continent.

      It almost might just not make financial sense for publishers to hold a convention in a country that they're not based in. Is the market in that country large enough to justify the cost or does it make more sense for them to rely on people doing online international orders?

      I agree it can be annoying. There are books published in Canada that aren't in the U.S. It would be nice if everyone everywhere had access to all the books. But usually there's red tape somewhere preventing it.

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    3. Oh! I'm glad you commented again because your first comment was lost!-_-
      Now that I'm reading over what I wrote, I realize that I didn't express myself properly. Of course, there is going to be laws in each and every country so even doing something in Canada might not be authorized. What I should have said is that I don't get why the publishing companies don't do something everywhere they are represented. For example, I know that Harper Collins have division all over the world: US, Canada, India, UK, Australia. Why can't they all tlak to eachother and try to offer the same opportunities everywhere?
      Thank you for sharing your input on the matter and I'm sorry about your previous comment!

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    4. I'm pretty sure they don't do events everywhere partially because of the territorial rights and partially because of monetary issues. I don't think most publishers are as wealthy as people want to believe. Editors, for example, make about $30,000 and live in NYC--that's not very good pay for what they do and it's worse when you're in a city that costs so much to live in. It's also rather expensive to print a book and probably most books don't recover their printing costs. So to host an event in a country where they have a more limited audience, possibly just due to the lower population of the country, doesn't make financial sense, especially if the fans in those countries are already following the U.S. market and don't need to be advertised to. Even in the U.S., it seems most events are held in NYC because that's where most publishers are located and it's going to be less of an inconvenience for them. So you can be from the U.S. and if you're not close to NYC/don't have enough money for travel and boarding, you're just as out of luck as if you didn't live in the U.S. at all.

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    5. Considering all those factors, I guess it's a lot to ask of publishers, but I can't help the frustration I feel, even though I now understand why some things might not be able to happen.
      It would be nice though if they at least started by trying to reach everyone in their country. As you say, a lot of things happen in NYC and that can be frustrating for US residents too, if they live on the other of the country.
      Thank you for sharing all this information with me! As mentioned above: while I still feel frustrated, I understand a bit more the situation, thanks to you:)

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  3. THANK YOU FOR SAYING THIS!! As a fellow Canadian blogger I can't hElp but agree! I'm constantly seeing things that are US only, or Australian only. No. Canada is here too!! We have bloggers too! I feel as though every giveaway should be international. It might seem unfair to the person who is hosting the giveaway because they have to pay more money. But I disagree. They chose to host the giveaway in the first place, so why not just make it fair for everybody!!!! Is it really that hard? I'm tired of being the forgotten country. Um hello? We give you maple syrup and poutine. Although I like neither, appreciate it. Allow me to be in giveaways. Also online stores should really learn that Canada is cool too SHIP TO US PLEASE!!!

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    1. Hahaha! I love your comment Maya!:D
      But I feel that, while this issue frustrates me a lot, we are still not completely out of the loop. A blogger from India commented (her comment can't be seen right now because of technical issues-_-) that Indian bloggers or New Zealanders have even less opportunities than us.
      I guess I just want to make it clear that I'm not trying to bring all the attention on us or to get pity from people. I also don't want to make this all about Canada. Of course, I'm Canadian so I'm going to talk about what I know - my country - but I don't want to forget the rest of the world. I guess I should've added that in my post...
      Anyways! To end this reply, I have to say that you are right on one thing: if it wasn't for us, the world wouldn't enjoy the deliciousness that is maple syrup!^^ (poutine...? Well I'm not a fan eitherXD)

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  4. YES ON SO MANY LEVELS.
    The majority of the book blogosphere is really US citizens imo, and it kinda makes me sad whenever I see a US only giveaway - it prevents so many other international bloggers from joining in!
    For me, I'm Australian, and there are some huge AUS bloggers out there, so I'm actually fairly lucky in international standards, but I still get so frustrated, because most of the books/authors/bookish events (*cough* BEA) are in AMERICA.
    A couple of days ago I was pretty annoyed because I found out the GR giveaway for Lady Midnight ARCs was US only.
    I could go on for ages about this...but I won't.
    All I'll say is - thankfully there's The Book Depository, because I have a feeling that there would be more US only giveaways without TBD

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    1. Someone said in a comment that was lost that her way of seing it was that by doing US only giveaways, she could at least give back to some of her followers, instead of not doing a giveaways at all, or less of them. It makes sense, but international followers might get tired of always being left out...
      I know! BEA is a dream for me, but unfortunately, I live way too far and I can't take that much time off school/work for a book convention...:(
      Goodreads giveaways are usually good with keeping their giveaway international though. Or well, from what I've heard. I don't participate to those as I'm not 18-_-
      Right? Thank the gods for TBD!

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  5. I don't do giveaways, nor do I participate in them so for me it's a non-issue. I actually skip any blog posts that feature giveways, and if a blog has a lot of them then I won't follow them/read them. Seems a bit spammy to me. On the shipping issue-I used to do a lot of shipping for my ebay business, and it's actually pretty expensive to ship to Canada (I live in MI). I could ship some things overseas for cheaper than to Canada for some reason? Really weird!

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    1. I get what you mean. Giveaways and promotions can seem spammy yes. If the content of a blog consists of those things only, I'll probably skip it too.
      That's really intersting, what you're saying about it being more expensive to ship to Canada than oversea. I wish I knew why there's such a big difference...

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  6. I ... I don't know whether or not to agree. I mean. I do get so very frustrated when giveaways are not in my country, which is practically never unless INTL. And to be honest, if you're a book blogger and you're doing your own giveaway for a huge book box that is US only, you could just buy a bunch of books from TBD and have them ship it. Or split the price and do two giveaways, one US and one INTL. Or something.

    There are so many ways around it and I think it's great that you're raising the point it needs to be acknowledged that some parts of the blookunity are more privileged than others, and we shouldn't just sit around saying, "That's the way it is."

    And also: you are so right about all the events being in the US. Literally. They have signed book giveaways and book signings everywhere all the time and just gah. It's also so much easier and more affordable to buy new releases. I really feel this step should be taken by the publishers, though. Or authors! Some super nice authors do INTL giveaways all the time and it's just <3 <3 <3

    (It also makes commenting SUPER awkward. Like, "Cool author interview! Really excited for the book now! Thanks for the giveaway ... um, good luck to the US ppl I guess ...")

    I recognise the practical constraints around the issue -- then again, one might point out things like minimum wage and abolishing slavery had practical constraints. Of course this is on a much, much smaller scale. It doesn't mean we shouldn't call out privilege in the blogosphere.

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  7. I understand your frustration, and someone already mentioned this, but it actually is hard for big companies to do things internationally unless they're a really big corporation that already has their feet wet in other countries. Even though you might not think it, physical books have been on a decline for a long time. They're starting to go up again, but still the numbers aren't as good as publishing companies probably want it to be. Also, marketing costs money. ARCs cost money, and they give it to you for free.

    If you think of this, the publishing company has to:
    pay the author for their work (and I'm not sure if talent agents work the same way as literary agents but if they do, the agents get a percentage)
    Pay the editor
    Pay the graphic designer or artist that makes the cover
    Make some kind of profit
    Pay for all of the resources that it takes to print, bind, package, and then ship out the books
    Pay the people who print, bind, package, and then ship out the books
    Pay the shipping for physical ARCs along with everything listed above

    Already that's a huge expense. And then now they have to pay for marketing. Don't quote me on this since I have no idea, but there's a chance that the authors don't have to pay the travelling expenses to do those tours (there's also a great chance that they do). And like someone else already said, if the company is based in NYC or here in California, they have to make a good chunk of money to really be considered making a profit to keep the company alive let alone being "rich". Cost of living here in California is ridiculous.

    This is only for things that are domestic to the US. If there were things outside of the US, that would raise the expenses greater considering the conversion rate of currency in some countries and then travel expense like airfare and hotels and even then, they would probably be limited to European countries or countries that spoke mostly English. If we're talking huge international, I would assume the book has to be translated (adding more cost).

    And if the publisher is independent or smaller? Forget it.

    From a business side, if I considered all of the cost to market a book, I'd probably go with staying inside the continental US since it's cheaper and it probably reaches a wider audience. Then I would see how sales go from there and see if it's justified to go international.

    From a blogging perspective, it might cost an extra $5 to ship to Canada, but that's for one book. If I was shipping out a huge box? It's by weight and holy moly that'll get expensive. With USPS I don't trust international unless it's priority and the smallest box costs well over $20. If I wanted to go elsewhere, the prices just go up since everything is by weight and then customs. I'm a college student and while I've done giveaways before, I couldn't afford to do international but I still wanted to do SOMETHING to show my gratitude.

    I understand your frustration but I promise that it's nothing to spite you. It's just not a good investment to most companies and it's just not possible for a lot of bloggers.

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  8. I totally understand what you are saying. When I do giveaways, I typically do international because The Book Depository does ship books for free to other countries besides the US. That allows me to make sure everyone is covered. But when it comes to ARCs or blog tours or whatever, I have a feeling it's because of publisher's rights and all that legal stuff. That's why NetGalley offers certain ARCs for US only or even for UK only. But I know it sucks. Great post.

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    1. Hi Cynthia!
      That's one thing that I don't really understand--> why people don't use The Book Depository more! I mean, it's free shipping EVERYWHERE! (or well, almost) I guess people want to avoid having to buy a new book...
      And yeah, before I wrote this post, I hadn't considred the whole legal thing with the publishing house. It makes sense, I get it, but it's still frustrating!^^
      Thank you!

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  9. I definitely agree! Whenever I see a really cool giveaway and find out that it's "US only," I feel really sad. Same with conventions and signings! I don't even have a signed book yet, even though I've already been reading a ton of books since I was a kid.

    Then again, I do understand that some people just want to save money and all, but sometimes being left out on the cool stuff isn't all that good a feeling. *sighs* In the end, I just accepted it. Great post!

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    1. Exactly! I get that it can't be international all the time, but when you see US ONLY everywhere, it makes you feel left out... I kind of accepted it too, I just wish there would be more events where I live.
      Thanks for stopping by Mara!

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