Are Some People That Ignert?
I'm going to post one of the images from the original blog post here just to make it easier for me to let the bile rise up and the spew all over the paragraphs to come.
But then it gets worse. Oh, does it ever! Granting database, CD-ROM, and DVD transmission rights (What? There are people who buy CDs these days?) in perpetuity? Over a piece that's probably going to be a fluff piece designed not to be analytical but to be sycophantic? I knew some "book bloggers" were getting a bit too close to authors/publishers for there to be any real critical distance, but this would surely be beyond even their ability to put aside any self-decency in order to grovel, right?
Then there is the clause about the "unbiased rating system" and the scale of 1-5, with 5 being the highest. What in the name of the recently-departed Don Cornelius?!?!? That I have to bust out a multiple interrobang to reveal how I feel about this asinine demand ought to show just how dumb this entire "contract" is. I would never sign such a stupid thing, but to think that there are people out there that think a review has to be on a Gamepro-style 1-5 ranking (and maybe subcategories for how the characters sigh lovely into each other's ears the trite platitudes of treacly love or domineering quasi-BDSM that have graced us since the days of Harlequin or Gor, if not longer) boggles the mind.
With the fourth part, we progress further into the fine art of the dumbass leading the potentially dumberass. I am tempted to say, "It should go without saying that...," only to admit that for some, if that were to occur, that they'd have no clue at all (well, that is if they want to genuflect properly and not write a true review) on how to do this according to publisher/author desires. If I were to describe this purported "contract" in five words for less, it would be "Epitome of incestuous sychophantic suckitude."
The final part speaks for itself. Now if I could, in 400 words or more, be allowed to ream and eviscerate the sub-moron who thought this was a good idea and that even happy-go-lucky book bloggers/reviewers would agree to such dreck, I might be tempted to agree to a one-time anti-contract arrangement, but alas, I have bigger fish to fry (catfish, in this particular case). However, if it is not clear by now, these sorts of missives seem to emerge from the gooey, murky depths of online relationships between book commentators (excluding for the most part those who try to emulate older, more independent reviewing models, although they too have their moments, as I'll readily concede), publishing houses (including this growing plague of self-published/vanity presses, print and e-book alike), and authors forced to do most, if not all, of the actual book publicity. Although I doubt many would sign such a stupidass thing as the "contract" reproduced above, the temerity that some smaller publishing entities have is appalling. Sometimes, I really think more people should go HAM on those engaging in such questionable practices, as it might make things a bit more bearable for the rest of us who want to read commentaries on books that aren't laced with the razors of publicist/author-approved platitudes.