Read Roger has a discussion going about blogs helping to create book buzz. In years past, I used to talk about blogs letting the traditional review journals do their traditional work of reviewing new books. Blogs, I insisted, could create a new reason for existence for themselves and fill a need by focusing on older books. (Which, these days, can mean last winter's.) Blogs could do something different and unique by reminding readers of books they'd missed, books that had value, books that were overlooked. Instead of trying to do what review journals do, this different medium could try to do something different.
Read the situation that inspired Roger's post and the comments he received. Does it sound to anyone else as if the blogosphere has been sucked right into the "big opening" that the publishing industry seems committed to right now? That the decision is made, a large portion of the blogosphere is supporting the status quo and will chat up the new until a new new comes along?
You may tell me if I'm being jaded and harsh.
Y'know, I don't think you're being jaded and harsh. Not at all. For the first long while of me reviewing books on my blog, they all came from the library. And then, we started being courted by publishers, and we accepted books from one, and reviewed for a children's lit ezine, so took a few more from here and there, through a third party who was receiving tons of them.
We're now back to mostly hitting the library; it feels like we all blog about the exact same book at the exact same time, and exactly what is the point of that? We wanted to talk up libraries, what was quietly being shelved there, and what people might have missed, and are glad to get back to our original idea...
I think that there's something to what you're saying, Gail. It certainly is easy to get pulled into the hype. But I still think that there are plenty of individual bloggers who care more about finding great books than about promoting the flavor of the month. And discussions like the one at Roger's will make some of us, at least, stop and think about what type of blogger we want to be. The whole blog focus angst thing comes around periodically anyway - this is another trigger.
You are totally not being too jaded - we are all seeing blogs where the same dang book is reviewed over and over and over. For about five minutes I felt worried about how I often lag so far behind at Bookslut (I have a two year old book in it this month) but then I thought this is crazy. I can't even begin to function on this one month turnaround business - I don't want to function that way and the column is not designed for it. Next month I have a few new and some old and heck in August I've got another one that's two years old. I do still request titles but I try very very hard to go for what everyone else might be missing (plus what I like). It works for me and I just can't worry anymore about what everyone else is doing.
Trust me - they will get burned out from all those ARCs soon enough.
As an author, I really don't see the value of having everyone covering you for the book publication and then forgetting the book exists. Those people who do the book blasts with something like 30 bloggers blogging about them on one day? That seems so short-sighted to me. It's over and done in twenty-four hours.
But to have bloggers still talking about your book months or two years after it comes out, really can do you some good, keeping your name in front of the public and reminding people of that book they were interested in for a moment and then forgot about.
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