Typewritter sorry message

Is Sorry Really the Hardest Word? Does a Blogger Deserve an Apology? #MPBooks

Typewritter sorry message
Image from Pixabay.com

Does saying sorry make you weak? Does apologising for a simple mistake ruin your reputation? Does that apology matter to you if you are the one who was wrong? That’s what I want to discuss today and there’s a very personal reason, please read on…

Imagine this scenario: Your blog/website is on show at a special event and lots of people get the chance to read it (and I meant LOTS). But part of your blog posts are copied from someone else’s blog. You asked permission beforehand of course and she (let’s pretend this blogger is a she) agreed to have you re-print some of her posts, as long as you promised to let everyone know where those blog posts came from, that they weren’t yours but hers, and you promised to put a link to her blog too.

Now, imagine you’ve attended this event, and plenty of people have read your blog and you’ve gained more followers and connections with important blogger people. Your friend (the fellow blogger you re-printed some posts from) is excited too, thinking how cool it was for so many eyes to see her posts. But there’s one problem. You made a mistake. You re-printed her blog posts, but you put the wrong blog address under her posts so if anyone wanted to look up her blog they couldn’t. Instead they’d be sent to some other website.

So this was a mistake. You didn’t mean to put the wrong blog address next to her posts.  So you apologise to her and quickly edit your blog so her posts now appear there with her real blog address attached. That fixes anyone new seeing her re-printed posts. But what about all those people who attended the event and followed you as a result? How are you going to let them know that it was your friend’s posts and not some random site? Some of them might have tried to look her up but couldn’t find her.

Your friend wants an apology, a public apology.  A quick message on your blog to let everyone know you made a mistake. But is your friend being unreasonable? Is making a short post on your blog or social media (to all your new followers) really that big a deal? And if so…why?

Ok, so if you’ve managed to stay with me through this scenario, this is what’s basically happened to me, kind of. You see on my old blog (one which was pretty successful a year ago and is still archived online) I wrote a review for a book I was given by a publisher. This review was really popular, it was reprinted (with my permission) on several other online sites. The review was so well liked that the publisher even asked if they could use if as part of their promotional magazine for the London Book Fair this year! So of course I agreed as long as my previous blog’s name and address was printed along with the review. Every time that review has been reprinted somewhere I’ve received lots of messages from people, so I was excited about the prospect of people at the London Book Fair reading it and possibly contacting me (maybe a slim chance but you never know).

Imagine then, a few months later, my shock and honestly, my horror when I check out the magazine (now printed online) and some other website was credited for the review. It wasn’t a fellow review site, it was an online newspaper. I checked and checked that website and found no copy of my review anywhere so it couldn’t have been a mistake of seeing it re-printed there. So I contacted the publisher and let them know what I’d seen.

They were apologetic, initially, and said they’d try to fix things, but over a week later and nothing was done.  I’d had several emails back and forth but nothing happened until I told them what they should do.  I had to tell them I wanted the creditation in the online magazine fixed so it had my own blog’s address attached and I wanted them to make a quick apology on their social media feed as some people may have genuinely wanted to get in touch with me, or at least view my old blog after reading that review (maybe nothing would have happened but you never know…).

The online magazine was amended. Good. But the apology was apparently not going to happen. They didn’t want to put out a public apology, they said they wouldn’t be  ‘facilitating an apology’, that their social media feeds are only for author/business promotion and it ‘would serve of no interest to our followers’.

The thing is their social media is filled with plenty of non-promotional tweets.  Some even fun quotes.  I also think that it would serve of interest to someone, at the very least it would make the publisher seem nice and friendly and dare I say a little bit humble.  But am I wrong in thinking this? The thing is, before you answer (and believe me I would really like to hear from you about this) let me share some facts about this issue.

  • The first is that the publisher I’m dealing with isn’t one of those big name publishers it’s a smaller publishing house.  Still a publisher but nowhere near the scope of the likes of Penguin and such.  They deals with bloggers, they even reblog reviews by us bloggers no matter how small our following is.
  • Big businesses and corporations always make public apologies, whether in newspapers, online or on TV, I often hear companies making an apology if they stated the wrong person’s name in an article, show, etc.
  • Book reviews are copyrighted articles themselves. A book review (assuming it’s a proper blogger style review and not a three-word review) is a unique piece of writing and is the copyright of the person who wrote it. That means that if it’s re-printed somewhere else, without your permission, it’s considered to be stolen and people go to court over copyright of their writing (look up copyright law for more information).  
  • I never would have agreed to have my review used if I wasn’t credited as the author of that review.  I made this clear to the publisher when they asked to reprint it.

Now I’m not saying I’m someone who wants to go to court over this. A review is hardly a 400 page novel. But the fact is that it DID take me a long time to write that review, about an hour if I remember, and a lot longer to look back at it and edit it. I worked hard on it and clearly people really liked it or I wouldn’t have had it shared and re-printed so many times. The publisher themselves wanted the review! Out of all the promotional stuff they had on this book, they chose my review to be a part of it, to promote both their book and themselves.

So is it really wrong for me to want them to make a public apology? It would take less than 30 seconds to type one tweet saying ‘We’re sorry we credited ‘book name’ review in our London Book Fair magazine to the wrong website. Here is the right one.’ Is it really that big a deal to do this? Am I really asking too much?  Am I too big headed about this or should bloggers stand up for themselves in situations like this?

Do I deserve a public apology? Yes or no. And if no then why not?

I’d really like to hear your opinions on this issue. I still don’t know if I’m alone in my thinking or if I do deserve a public sorry.  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 

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21 thoughts on “Is Sorry Really the Hardest Word? Does a Blogger Deserve an Apology? #MPBooks

    • You know I hadn’t thought of that, thank you for the idea. Perhaps someone who deals with copyright issues as well. I haven’t phoned them no, not sure I’d want to at this stage anyway, I like the email as I have proof of what was said but with a phone call, when dealing with someone who’s being difficult there’s no proof unless you have a recorder and I’m worried it might come down to something that serious. Anyway I’ll give them one more message to respond, I have several ways to contact them so if they don’t answer I’ll know they aren’t going to do anything…they so far haven’t answered my latest message which was very polite :/

      Liked by 1 person

      • You can ring them and follow up with an email conversation – that way you have the proof, but also a telephone call will be more effective. Because face to face, or a close to face to face is the best communication method, you build a relationship – even in this mess.

        all the best with this.

        but do try to move on as quickly as you can, and do what you need to do to get the resolution you want, but don’t let it be all you think about as you attract more negativity in your life. Try to meditate – of course i will say that…

        anyway you take care
        speak soon.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Yeah they should apologise as it’s the decent thing to do! I’d be interested to know which publisher but think it’s irrelevant that it’s not one of the bigger ones. Quite honestly I could see one of the big publishers sending out a tweet or short FB post apologising so there’s no reason that a smaller publisher shouldn’t.

    It’s fine that they altered the review in the end but the fact they won’t apologise means they don’t care and they should.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I was thinking that myself, that the big name publishers wouldn’t hesitate to mention it on twitter or something, it’s not that big a deal to them and big companies always apologise without much difficulty. If I don’t hear back from them (they’re currently not responding to me) then I might just post another blog post with more details of what happened to sort of end this chapter.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I think you are owed a public apology. I can’t understand why they wouldn’t want to make things right. You have every right to feel disappointed and upset over this matter. Writing a review is hard work and YOUR hard work should be properly acknowledged. I’m so sorry this happened to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, I so far haven’t had a single person say that I didn’t deserve a public apology. It’s such a silly thing that they won’t do it as it cost nothing and people who saw the incorrect review still think it came from a different site. I do have a follow up post I’m writing up with more information on whats been happening, I’ll know for sure this week if they are ever going to do anything about this. Thank you so much for commenting and reading ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you nobody has said the opposite so far. Seems so silly that they won’t do it, I think the big publishers would so I don’t know why they won’t :/ Thank you for reading and commenting I really appreciate it

      Liked by 1 person

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