Too often I see indie authors upset and discouraged by bloggers policies that state “No self-published books!” many times I have seen authors take this personally like the reviewer is saying they are less worthy. Sometimes these authors even try to tell the reviewers that they are missing out, that they are making a mistake by not accepting indie books. But here’s the deal, it isn’t (always) personal.
Yes it is true that there are readers out there who do think being traditionally published is better than self-publishing. Readers who turn their noses at the mere mention of self-publishing (and organizations, author festivals, awards…) But not every reader is so. Yet still many are closed to accepting self-published book review requests. Why is that? Well here is a breakdown from a book bloggers prospective.
1. Volume of requests
When I was accepting review requests I would get flooded by requests from self-published authors and marketers who worked for self-published or indie authors. In all my time reviewing I did not receive a single request from the big five publishers, yet I still ended up with an impossible amount of requests to fulfill. The majority of book bloggers blog for fun and do not receive any compensation for doing so (and yes free review copies are received but this isn’t a perk, it is an exchange for much more time and effort than the book cost). In order to keep sane many bloggers only accept requests from larger publishers simply because it is manageable. By reviewing from the big five a reader can request and receive a limited number of books, review books already owned, and check out library books all without feeling swamped under a to be read pile that is much too large for any reader.
Now does this have anything to do with the author? No! This is simply a way for the reader to manage their hobby and enjoy it.
2. Quality of work
Now this is where it can be a reflection on the choice to self-publish. As a reader I have read many indie works that have been professionally edited, formatted, and designed but I have also read some down right garbage in terms of quality. Not taking into account the story, there are things that must be done for a book to be of quality; editing, formatting, and cover design. Unfortunately with the freedom of self-publishing also comes the fact that there is no guarantee for readers that these three things have been done. If I receive a book from a traditional publisher I am guaranteed that the book has been edited, formatted, and designed by a paid professional. Although I still may not like the book (and may even think it terrible) I am at least guaranteed that it will be readable unlike self-published work where there is no guarantee at all since the author has no one he must report to before clicking the publish button.
Now this might be a hard thing to read if you are a self-published author who has paid for good editing, formatting, and design but please read on as I’ll talk about why this does still matter and how readers do take notice!
This is one of the hardest things for me to write about. When I first thought about starting a blog to review books I almost didn’t because of the behavior of some authors against bloggers. It was a nasty flame war that seems so common on the internet these days, it can be easy to ignore. But we can’t ignore it. Unfortunately there are always some bad apples in the bunch that ruin things for many of us. For self-published authors, these authors who have lashed out at reviewers for deserved one-star reviews have made many bloggers cautious and rightfully so. The difference here between self-publishing and traditional is again that the self-published author has no one she must answer to. Unlike a traditional author who is under a contract and answers to a larger company a self-publisher is on her own. So who can a blogger turn to if a self-published author behaves poorly? A lawyer? That seems to be the case for most but many can’t afford that. If a traditional author behaved badly a blogger could document the encounter and reach out to the publisher to handle the matter. And poor behavior many not be of this caliber either. I have also seen authors (and marketers) send requests for books in a genre the reviewer does not accept meaning they did not read or ignored the reviewers policy. I’ve also gotten requests to review books even after I stopped accepting requests or even worse gotten them on my work email even though it was clearly stated my work email was for contacting me about my services only. Because of authors behaving unprofessionally many bloggers do not accept requests from self-published books.
Now again this can be hard to read if you are a self-published author who appreciates bloggers and accepts warranted criticism, but let’s break this down even further.
Although a blogger may not accept requests from self-published authors this does not mean they do not read self-published books! Too many times when I see authors trying to tell bloggers to review self-published books I think they forget this fact. A blogger may not accept requests from self-publishers just like a publishing company may not accept unsolicited reviews. It is a form of protection from all the things mentioned above. These reviewers may very well read indie authors they know produce quality work and are professional in their behaviors. This is where your editing, formatting, and cover design are key. When making connections with bloggers your book must be of quality in order to receive reviews.
So let’s stop trying to convince these readers to change their policies and instead focus on what we can do as professionals in this industry to produce quality work and make the connections we need to get it out there.
Great post! I don’t take review requests from anyone, regardless of how they were published. But the way I see it is I’d rather be the one doing the requesting (or the buying!). I do read a lot of self-published books, but I don’t like being pitched to. I prefer to hear what’s good (through word of mouth, etc.) or just browse around and pick what I want to read on my own.
So it’s definitely not personal!
Kate Tilton says
It is the same for me Ashley, I used to take requests but after a while it was just too much so I closed down requests. I find that blogging about books that I want to read (whether I have bought them, requested them, etc) makes blogging a whole lot more fun and manageable. And as you said, it is definitely not personal! 🙂
Katherine Hajer says
Now this is a policy that makes sense to me. Evaluating review requests takes away time from reading and reviewing books.
Generalising based on publication method does not make sense to me — for every point above, I can think of a trad publisher or trad published author who shouldn’t be getting a pass on it just because they’re trad.
Having said that, I don’t see any point in arguing with individual bloggers about it. Even if you can convince them to consider self-pubbed books, they’re going to read and review any self-pub with prejudice.
Kate Tilton says
Ashley and I both have the same review policies now. We both do not take requests but rather review what we choose in our reading.
As for the points above the biggest one I found for me personally was the volume on requests from self-published authors verses requests from traditional publishers. Many bloggers (like me) don’t get many requests from traditional publishers so leaving requests open to those publishers doesn’t take away much reading time. Compared to the hundreds of requests that can come from self-published authors for some the volume is just too much to handle. In that way I really believe for many bloggers it isn’t about being anti self-publishing but simply about managing time so that they can review books (including self-published books).
But yes, I agree! Instead of spending time trying to convince bloggers who may have a prejudice against self-published books that time can be spent connecting with readers who don’t!
Melissa Robles says
Great post, Kate! While I haven’t had the need to turn down indie authors yet, I do understand why many bloggers don’t accept them anymore. The reasons are fairly the same as yours but I would never have said it as well. If authors want their books to stand out from the pile, they need to give readers quality books, and ask politely when it comes down to review requests.
Although, I do think some bloggers are rather rude when turning down requests. Don’T they know that the same thing applies to them? Be Nice. 🙂
Kate Tilton says
Thanks Melissa. This was such a hard post to write for me because I love indie authors but so many posts seem to be pushing bloggers to change their policies and I do not believe that is the right thing to do. Book blogging should be fun and about encouraging reading not about getting pushed into things a reader might not be comfortable with (as there are many reasons why a reader might limit their acceptance of requests).
Being polite and kind is for us all. I totally agree and strive for that with everything I do as I know you do too. Thank you for being such an awesome part of this community Melissa.
Patricia Lynne says
Good point. As a self published author myself, it does sting to see those policies, but I do understand why. If I were a book blogger, I’d want to limit having to deal with unreasonable people too. (I also think the reason you don’t see many traditional authors behave the way some self pubs do is because they didn’t make it through the system. They flipped out, but it was at the agent or publisher and not out in the open like on a review. In the end, their behavior didn’t get them the book deal, but self publishing means skipping the agent and publisher and flipping out at the reader. Either way, not a smart idea.)
Kate Tilton says
Thanks for commenting Patricia. You know I love self-published authors like yourself so with this post I was hoping to bring to light some of the reasons why reviewers may limit their requests that may not even be a thing against self-publishing itself. Sometimes I find that authors think because a reviewer might not accept self-published books in their requests that they have a thing against it when it may simply be because their TBR pile is currently too big.
There are so many reviewers out there and I believe in helping authors find the right ones for their book. I believe spending the time to find those reviewers and make connections is the better way to spend the limit time authors have and I hope this post will encourage authors to not take each policy to heart because it really isn’t personal.
Kriss @ Cabin Goddess says
Great post, Kate.
Kate Tilton says
Becky LeJeune says
Excellent post! All of the points you mentioned have made me more than a little gun shy in accepting self pubbed work for review.
Kate Tilton says
Thank you Becky! I find that if these things do concern you but you do want to read self-published work the best thing to do is to make some connections with self-published authors. Check out other reviews of their work, see how they interact on social media. Just taking the time to find the right book and author really makes a big difference. 🙂
Laurie Laliberte says
While I agree with most of what you have to say here, I feel the need to step in and say that #2 is not entirely accurate. In the past few years, I’ve read a few books put out by big five publishers that obviously never even crossed the desk of a copy editor. They were loaded with misspellings and poor grammar (not just grammar that’s incorrect for the sake of style). So quality is not guaranteed by big houses as it once was. However, I do agree that not enough indies take the time to have professional editors go over their work.
Kate Tilton says
Good point. I should have been more clear about that. With the big five publishers: Hachette Book Group, HarperCollins Publishers, Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Random House, and Simon & Schuster I’d be confident to say all of these books have seen an editor. Now if we get into smaller traditional presses and indie presses this might not be as much of a guarantee. Still with self-publishing their is no guarantee (no one backing the book) which is one reason some reviewers might be wary.
But as you mentioned their are lots of changes now to the publishing process and editors are getting less and less time which each book compared to the past so this may very well change!
Dahlia Adler says
Thanks for this post, Kate! I’m self-publishing NA soon, so I’ve begun the whole “making a list of bloggers to send review requests to” thing, and bumping up against “no self-published books” more than I expected. The thing is, I completely get it, for all the reasons you listed – I’ve read enough self-published books that obviously weren’t copy edited (or were really, really poorly copy edited) that I don’t buy them anymore unless they were recommended to me or I’ve already read by that author, so as a blogger, I certainly wouldn’t put in the time without being sure! And as someone who effectively put out a free publicity service, I was definitely overwhelmed at the number of self-pubbed titles thrown at me, especially since there’s not much I can do with them.
At the same time, there’s so little traditionally published NA, and plenty of us traditionally published YA authors are self-pubbing it, that it was surprisingly to me to see so many NA bloggers draw the line at that point. I guess, where else do you draw it? But when I think about the NA I’d have missed covering if I only covered the trad-pubbed stuff, I’d have missed all but one of my five-star titles.
Kate Tilton says
NA is a wonderful genre and it has been slow going to be accepted by traditional publishers making self-publishing the way to go for many of these stories. I find this super exciting because I love the NA genre. But yes lots of bloggers get so overwhelmed with requests they have to draw lines to cut back, but the point of this post is just because they may not accept requests that does not mean they do not read self-published work so we should encourage that by creating better quality self-published work and keeping up the professional standards of conduct. Hopefully that got across! 🙂
Shen Hart says
I run a book review blog and so much this! We actually review primarily indie books because I will soon be an indie author myself and well we wanted to give them a bit of a helping hand.
Wow. Just wow. The amount of vitriol we’ve received thanks to our honest reviews! I’ve had one person and her fans devote a solid 3 months to ruining my editing business after I dared give them a 3 star review. I’ve got into big discussions where people have blocked me because I don’t view reviews as promotion for the author, I view them as something to give the reader insight into the book. They told me that I work for the author, I’m sorry, I do what now? You think I work 20 hours for $2.99?
I have a list of authors who’ve sworn to give my debut book negative reviews because I dared write honest 3 or 2 star reviews of their books. They’re planning on ruining my reputation as an author before I have a chance to start it.
As I’ve told indies many times over, there’s a very good reason why so many book reviewers won’t review them. You’ve covered all of the main points perfectly but I just had to share my experiences too. I refuse to give in but still, it’s a very unpleasant process at times.
Kate Tilton says
Great points Shen! Just because we may accept books for review does in no way mean that we are obligated to like the book and give a positive review. Behavior like you have mentioned is why many reviewers have closed their doors to accepting requests and while that may sting for authors who would never behave as such I believe that if authors focus more on their work and making connections they will come out ahead.
Terry Tyler says
Well said, absolutely, and good for you! I am fed up with ‘indie’ authors whining about not being ‘accepted’. It’s up to us to produce books that are of a good standard, not the duty of readers, bloggers, reviewers, etc to make allowances.
Kate Tilton says
Thanks Terry! This was such a hard post to write because I know so many indie authors who are not like this at all but I think it is good to remember that not everything is a personal attack online and that we should all focus on producing the best work we can (because that is what will get us noticed in the end!)
M.M. Justus says
It really is a shame, though, that book bloggers are making these one-size-fits-all prohibitions. Can’t they find a way to deal with the problems you’re listing in a way that doesn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater?
Kate Tilton says
In many cases bloggers do make exceptions, they read self-published books from authors who have taken the time to make a connection with them. So just because a blogger may be closed to requests does not mean that they always completely reject self-publishing.
In my experience I used to accept requests from everyone. I found that all my requests came for self-published titles and the majority from publicity companies. The requests got to be so frequent I had to close down that part of the site so that I could read what I’ve already committed too. Still I get almost daily requests for book reviews. So for me I still review both indie and traditional books I just do not accept requests from either which seems to be something a lot of bloggers are doing now due to the volume.
But I wanted to write this article to show that it isn’t always this personal thing against self-publishers, generally it is a matter of volume control and unfortunately there isn’t many ways to curb that besides not accepting requests (a blogger might try to set limits to say books with only a four star or above rating, etc, but often I find many bloggers experience authors and companies ignoring those guidelines so more drastic measures are taken).
Hopefully as time goes on more authors will be able to make connections with bloggers and get the book reviews they need. That is what I am hoping for!
S. L. Saboviec says
I do accept SP requests, but because of that, I have to take breaks from accepting for all the reasons you listed. I get so many requests, of which a lot need an editor, so sifting through the pile to pick out the minimum standard of professionally produced work takes time. I used to not be so choosy, accepting books that were poorly edited, but I can’t in good conscience fail to mention that. And I don’t like pointing out negatives — thus I now scrutinize each and every request. If the SP work appears to be the same quality as I would expect from a book I would pay for, I will consider accepting it. (Next comes the “do I even find this book interesting” test!)
I closed for submissions in mid-August and am still getting unsolicited requests (which yours aren’t, of course, Kate, since I signed up to be part of your community!). I haven’t decided if I’m looking at any of them or not, but as you mention, submitting to a blogger who has big red letters saying NOT ACCEPTINH REQUESTS smacks of unprofessionalism.
Kate Tilton says
Yes, I have found the one thing people seem to miss on is the fact that because there are not the traditional gatekeepers for self published work it means blogger have to take the additional step of vetting work for quality in addition to testing it for personal preference and this takes more time. So I hate to see bloggers who choose not to do this (most likely because of the extra time) chastised for that choice. So many of these bloggers are reviewing books out of their love of reading and that should be encouraged instead of torn down.
I understand why bloggers like yourself also close submissions (I’ve closed mine and still get requests too!). When I individually look for bloggers for a book I take care to read the entire review policy and try my best to match up books with those who will enjoy the read (it doesn’t always work but I think putting in the effort is important). I think it is healthy to close submissions and focus on the ones you have (and your other commitments) and that shouldn’t be frowned upon. Too often I hear “it is there job” when talking about reviewers responsibilities but the truth is this is NOT a bloggers job in most cases, it is their hobby. I mean we wouldn’t go out an tell someone playing golf for fun what they should or shouldn’t do, right? It should be the same for bloggers.
So hence this article which I hope will show authors that really in the majority of cases this is not personal, and I hope this will help us all show each other kindness and support in our journey to share the love of reading with others.
Tahlia Newland says
Very well said. When my blog was more of a book blog, I used to not accept self-published books for exactly the same reasons – despite the fact that I self-published my first book.
But I did send SP authors to the Awesome Indies to get a review. I set up the Awesome Indies to accredit and promote SP books that met the same standards as mainstream books. Even then, we had to change the system for accepting books for review to lower the number of requests and the chances that our reviewers would have to read poor quality and not suffer abuse . So any book that has gained Awesome Indies approval is of the same quality as a mainstream book, there aren’t a lot of AI approved books around, (unfortunately) and the authors are likely to be the professional ones, so it would be good to see reviewers make one exception here and accept AI accredited books for review. Trouble is, few people know about the Awesome Indies, but if you want to find good SP books, that’s the place to go to find them. http://awesomeindies.net
Kate Tilton says
When I started my blog I wasn’t a book reviewer, I then moved to taking requests (from all authors) and have since moved on to not accepting requests at all. And these choices came simply from the amount of requests received It was just too much to handle with everything else (work, school, #k8chat). So I felt this was important to share, how sometimes it isn’t a person thing against how authors publish but simply a choice that has to be made on the bloggers part in order for them to be able to continue to do their hobby.
I also started something similar to your program, #K8approved books. For this badge I give it out to all published books that I believe are good quality. And I really hope that will help! Thank you for sharing your program as well. It’s helpful to have sites like yours to look at for reviews!
Derek Birks says
Hi Kate. I thought your comments expressed the frustrations of book bloggers very well. I’m a self-published author but if I were you I’d also need a means of reducing the volume of requests. There’s a lot of emotion in writing and I think the self-published author has to distance himself from it when dealing with the promotion side of publishing. If you write a professionally produced book then you have to promote it professionally. The best advice anyone gave me was to be patient and build your readership steadily. If your work is any good, you’ll get there without haranguing people about it.
Kate Tilton says
Thank you Derek, that really means a lot to me. Your thoughts on professionalism are dead-on. When it comes to dealing with book bloggers many have made choices to reduce the number of requests and often this has nothing to do with the author who happens upon their blog, yet many times I’ve seen authors take it personally like the blogger was against them. It is a shame because as you said if your work is good then you will find readers and build your community without harassing or taking offense with those who are not your audience.
Great post Kate! I hate it when I get requests from authors who obviously haven’t read my review policy. If you have written steampunk novel I am clearly not your audience so it’s no use pitching your book to me when I don’t read steampunk. Nothing personal. I don’t care about the way the book was published. One thing that bothers me a lot is when they write my name wrong. My google plus name is not a real name. It’s wooden fairy translated to english. So I wonder how they got my email address, because my real name is written on my blog in the section about me.
Kate Tilton says
Thank you Barbara!
Reading a blogger’s review policy is so important and sadly so many people skip over it which ends up wasting their time and the blogger’s time. When authors (or marketers) reach out to bloggers it is important to do so with respect (read their review policy, get their name correct, read a post or two and leave a valuable comment). So it is understandable when bloggers cut off requests to try to curb this. That is what I wanted to share (and also encourage authors that in general that has nothing to do with them personally).
Heather Day Gilbert says
Good post and I agree on the professionalism. While it’s easy as an indie (or ANY) author to look at some callous bad reviews and want to spout off, the professional response is to keep your mouth shut even in the face of an unjust, unfounded review (yes, this is something I’ve had to learn! 🙂 ). And when reviewers say they can’t review self-pub books, you don’t keep hammering away to “make” them do it. I have seen many review walls come down in just the past year as attitudes toward indie authors have changed. I think that’s a reaction to a solid effort by many indies to produce edited, superior products that can compete. The more of these books that get out there, the more reviewers will be apt to be on the lookout for them.
Kate Tilton says
Yes, professionalism is a huge thing for all of us (authors & bloggers). Having respect for one another is so imporant. Many times bloggers set limits in order to keep their responsibilities manageable, and yet I see so many authors take it as a personal offense and go off on how bloggers should read this or that. It makes for a very toxic environment and that is so sad to me. I hope that more and more we can all show eachother respect and support while focusing out energy on spreading the love of books rather than telling people what to read.
Great post Kate. There is only so much time in the day and bloggers have to make choices all the time. For me, I like to know that someone (hopefully a team) saw this book before me and deemed it worth spending my time on. Sure, they get it wrong sometimes, but since the volume is not as excessive, the misses are less frequent as well.
Kate Tilton says
Thank you Kristopher. I can understand that. With so many books out there and requests being sent to bloggers sometimes you have to set limits or the blog can not be maintained. Even authors sometimes have to decide not to answer ever email from readers in order to have time to write. I believe we need to respect those limits and not get insulted by them, you know?
Thank you for writing this article!! Since I started doing book reviews a few years ago, I have had to update my review policy at least once or twice a year. Some authors are wonderful and a pleasure to work with. Some are down right rude. I’ve had one start emailing me every day after they had sent me their downloaded self-published book. They had been told from the beginning it would be 4-6 weeks. The author would say things such as, “you are taking food from my family’s mouth. how would you like it if i did it to you”? “why haven’t you reviewed the book yet? My family needs to eat”. “this is how I make money and if you don’t publish the review, I don’t make any money”. After a week of emails like this, I politely emailed the self-published author and told them things had changed and I could no longer review their book and I wished them the best. I appreciate their enthusiasm, however, my family comes first and they always will. I’m not being paid to review the books.
I also don’t accept requests if someone pitches me a book that in my policy I don’t review.
Another reason I had to change my policy is for a while, I would receive 20 or more requests a week. I would carefully go through them all and accept the ones I decided to review. I then would transfer those emails into a folder called, “Waiting on Delivery”. If after I accepted the review and that author never responded back or never sent the book, I would then transfer the email to a list I was keeping for authors who sent requests and never sent the books. I realize they email many reviewers in a mass email. However, when they receive accept emails, they forget that we are reserving their space for the book to be reviewed. We declined other books so we could review theirs. And then when they don’t send their books, that prevented another author from getting theirs reviewed.
We can all definitely work together but manners is key.
Kate Tilton says
Thank you for taking the time to share your story Maggie! I agree, manners is a huge part of this. I wrote this article hoping to explain how many times reviewers make these policies not to slight them or out of spite but in order to keep their workflow manageable so that they can continue to review in their spare time. The authors that have respect for that are the ones who I want to be reviewing and helping. Respect and manners are key.
Margaret Meps Schulte says
It’s an uphill battle for self-published authors, but if we produce books that match the quality of traditional publishers, and if we behave professionally, we will get our rewards.
Case in point: My book, Strangers Have the Best Candy, was the first Indie ever nominated for the Diagram Prize. We all know there are many poor-quality self-published books with awful titles, but the Diagram Prize is not a total farce. The fact that they have finally accepted a self-published book (after 37 years!) means, to me, that they recognize that some Indies are just as good as books from publishing houses.
Kate Tilton says
That is a great way to look at things Margaret! I certainly believe self-published books can be just as good or even better than traditionally published books. What I found so frustrating personally was when self-published authors or those that work for them would lash out at bloggers for not accepting their books. As a blogger who used to accept review requests I used to get hundreds of requests from self-published authors and found that I just couldn’t keep up, so I closed my site to requests. It wasn’t an attack on self-published authors and yet some people seem to think so. That made me terrible sad so I hoped this article would bring to light a few reasons authors might think about before they take offense.
It answered questions I didn’t even know to have yet since I’m still very timid about asking for reviews.
So glad to be better prepared!
Kate Tilton says
Thank you for taking the time to read this post Cathy! I’m thrilled it helped you get better prepared for reaching out to bloggers. In my experience many bloggers are very nice and really love authors so don’t be afraid to ask questions and get to know us. 🙂
Yes! As both a book blogger and a self published author, I definitely have felt this conflict from both sides. I do accept books for review, but I make it clear up front to the author that I don’t guarantee finishing the book or even reviewing it. I then glance over the first few pages and can usually make a pretty quick decision.
So I understand why book bloggers are reluctant to accept self pubbed novels. I’m reluctant myself. But I’m still struggling to get enough reviews of my own books, even with high Goodreads ratings and good cover design. Do you have any thoughts on how a self publishing author CAN get serious consideration from reviewers?
Kate Tilton says
It can be a frustrating situation on both sides. For authors looking for reviews, I suggest looking at blog tour companies that offer review tours or queries, reaching out to your newsletter list, and looking at blog directories for bloggers with review policies that state they accept book requests that line up with your book. (I have links to directories here: https://katetilton.com/bloggers/.) It isn’t easy but respecting reviewers and bloggers leads to better results in the long run.
It’s a hard decision, turning down a self published author, people need a chance, but lordy, I’ve been sent some ( unsolicited) some rubbish.
I’d be more inclined to give a book a go if the author could at least say the book had been checked by a professional editor. Is that a realistic option for self published authors?
Just one more point, I’ve discovered that sometimes, a traditionally published book with masses of gushing reviews is no guarantee of a getting a good read. I’ve come to the conclusion that less than good writing has become more acceptable in popular fiction.
Kate Tilton says
It can really be a challenge. Eventually, I had to stop taking requests from everyone because my work has become full time and I don’t have time to filter through review requests anymore. I’ll still occasionally review a book but cutting out the request process has saved me buckets of time. I think for many that is one of the driving factors, people blog for a hobby and suddenly they are getting so many requests it stops being fun and becomes a second job.
I can see how listing an editor with a request would be helpful for sites that do take requests but I think it is best to respect those who have chosen not to take requests from self-publishers because we never know the reason. I work with mainly self-published authors and when I send out review requests on their behalf I make it a point to read every policy and be sure as much as I can that the blogger does want requests. I still am emailed about taking books to review although I’m not a book blog and don’t accept requests so I know how frustrating that can be.
And yes, you are right there are some books out there that are popular not because of the good writing or story. I do think that is a little easier to spot than other things though, what do you think?