Wednesday, 24 November 2010
When it's the Last Sacrifice Embargo!
Ok so I want to make this clear that this post is not intended to be a criticism of Penguin UK in any way but this is a rather perplexing issue that I want to talk about. Do tell me if I'm over-thinking these things.
I saw a tweet on Sunday 21st from Cassandra Clare stating that "Embargoed means no advance review copies. No one reads the book before its release. Bookstores can't open the boxes of books before a strict date. Foreign publishers have to sign non disclosure agreements that they will release no information or excerpts from the book. The publisher's employees are basically not allowed to read it. That's an embargo."
I know that there are restrictions on us UK bloggers in that we are not allowed to post quotes, excerpts, opinions or reviews of the book until its release date as we agreed when we signed the confidentiality agreements before the books were sent out, but when you compare this to what Cassie Clare defined as an embargo, is it really an embargo?
This is not the only book in the past year which has been under Embargo, back in August Mockingjay (the third and final book in the Hunger Games Trilogy) was supposed to be under lock and key until the 24th/25th yet some bloggers including Kristi of The Story Siren had copies nearly a week before that date and a US newspaper actually broke the embargo by posting a review - with spoilers - the day before general US release. I'm sure that the majority of those lucky folk in the book blogging community didn't break the embargo but when it's such a highly anticipated book and a final book in a series isn't there always the risk that someone may break ranks and post a spoiler-filled review before anyone else has a chance to read it?
I am by no means pooh-poohing the fact that I was one of the incredibly lucky people who got a copy of Last Sacrifice. Heck No! I am *ecstatic* to have been given the opportunity to read the last book in a series I adore earlier than everyone else, but I'm feeling slightly antsy about the fact that thanks to me and a video I did showing my reaction to the arrival of my copy of Last Sacrifice, it has become common knowledge amongst VA fans on *FOUR* continents that I, and several other British Bloggers have copies of Book 6. I feel rather exposed even though I haven't actually said anything about the book itself. It's the fact that I've publicised the existence of it which may prompt other people to search out spoilers before it's officially released.
I think that the definition of an Embargo that Cassie Clare stated is more reminiscent of the Deathly Hallows release than may be needed by other Highly Anticipated YA books even if the genre is now much more publicised than it was pre-HP. Until there's another book or series that reaches the world-wide, generation-spanning furour that Harry Potter did then I don't think that such extreme embargoes are necessary. Early Reviews and ARCs are part of what creates the hype and interest in a particular book in the months leading up to it's release date although if the blogosphere becomes flooded with reviews of one single book in a short space of time then it can have the opposite effect and by the time the book is generally available people are too tired of all the hype to bother picking it up straight away.
What Penguin has done with Last Sacrifice has worked very well I think, a select group of bloggers who get to read it early - BTW I'm really rather glad that it was UK bloggers since no offence to the US bloggers but you get so many awesome books before us it made a nice change :P- and with the embargo on reviews until December 7th there is enough excitement and anticipation especially with the addition of the teaser trailer quotes from Penguin Australia to ensure that release day should be a big success.
I really can't wait for everyone to be able to read Last Sacrifice because I'm dying here not being able to share my thoughts with you all! Only 13 Days to Go!!
This has been my first proper discussion-style post so I would love to know your thoughts about whether book embargoes should be stricter or not, should bloggers post reviews of highly-anticipated or last-in-series books before or after the release date and with or without spoilers? Let me know if there's any other points about the issue of Embargoes that I haven't mentioned.
Have a great Wednesday Folks