U.S. Only: A Discussion

Before I get into this, I want to establish a few things. Firstly, I am very fortunate to live the life that I live. I have always generally felt safe in my country (for those who don’t know, I live in Canada). I have always felt as if I have equal rights as a female. Sometimes I have even felt as if I am treated (unjustly) better than my male peers. I am also white, so I have never been discriminated against for my race. I have always had a roof over my head and food to eat. Sure I’ve had my problems. I have depression, and my home life has never been great for someone in my mental state. I’ve also been bullied and I’ve never felt safe at school because of it, but in the long run, my mess of emotional scars called a brain is pretty minor. There are people who are much worse off than me. I say this before I get into what I’m about to get into in case this discussion comes off the wrong way. I am truly grateful for what I have, but there has always been something that as an international book lover frustrated me.

If you live in the US, you will likely never know how much power the phrase U.S. Only holds. On bad days, it completely controls my mental state. On good days, it fills me with frustration. As a Canadian book lover, those words make me feel like I am getting ¼ of the experience on a daily basis. I feel left out.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand why it has to be this way. Shipping is ridiculously expensive here. My family has had to pay well over $10 just to ship a $2 item. My brain gets all of this, but my heart doesn’t, and that’s the issue.

Where I live, I’m further south than some of the US, meaning I’m relatively close to the US. I also live slightly over 2 hours away from the “great” city of Toronto, one of the few cities authors actually visit if they come here at all. I am fortunate again, because while I once had to get on a train to my aunt’s house at 5 am to go to a 2 pm signing an hour away from her house, I can only imagine what it’s like for the girl sitting in Nunavut. Canada is also occasionally (thought far more rarely than it was a year ago) included in pre-order campaigns and giveaways. What about the girl sitting in South Africa who desperately wants a chance to win *insert title here*?

I’m just frustrated. I get that it can’t be fair, but is it bad to hope for it to be?

What does the phrase U.S. Only mean to you as a book lover? If you live outside of the US, how do you stop from feeling disappointed when you country isn’t included? Please discuss this in the comments. I really want to hear your thoughts. Also, please tell me if this came off as whinny. I want to know so I can improve and possibly do more discussions in the future.


11 thoughts on “U.S. Only: A Discussion

  1. I know that feeling ! But atleast being from Canada would be better since almost all of the giveaways and ofcourse , blogger programs are for us and Canada only . Being from India , it’s even harder for me to find anything that I’m eligible for . I hate it that the publishers , even those with branches in my country , forget that we’re here . And I can never ever go to a book signing because there’s absolutely no events going on here . We’ve got the penguin and harper and a lot more publishers here – but where is the book tour that we want ? Why are we not eligible for anything ? I’m sure this is the case for a lot of internationals .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry, I really do know how you feel. It’s like that with Penguin Canada as well, except a branch of the Penguin Teen tour came to Toronto on Easter weekend last year. I think publishers, especially larger ones with international branches like Penguin need to do a better job at including international readers.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m a US blogger. I really didn’t realize how hard it is for book lovers outside of the US to get the same things until recently. One of the international bloggers I follow talked about how they NEVER get swag because preorder incentives are almost always US only & because authors rarely go out of the country for events (which is why I ended up hosting an international only swag giveaway).

    It’s definitely understandable considering how expensive US shipping is and how much of publishing is based here. However, it sucks that so many international bloggers contribute so much to the community but rarely get the ARCs, Swag, and book festivals/events to show for it. As someone who lives in the US, it’s easy to forget that so many of the bookish people we follow aren’t even living in the same country as us when they’re just one click away on the internet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely eye opening, even for me to see all these people from outside of North America who get nothing, while Canada is at least occasionally included. This post really is helping me gain some much needed perspective.

      I agree that it’s completely understandable. I think the internet just makes it so much harder to accept because we can see what we’re missing out on.


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