Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Blogger Confidential: Book Hype

Have you ever been faced with an issue while reading or blogging and thought: I wonder what other bloggers think about this?  No matter what genre or audience you blog for, we all face the same problems.  Are you a publisher or author wondering what goes on in a blogger's (and by extension a reader's) head?

Blogger confidential is a series of 12 questions asked to 11 bloggers about the nitty gritty details of blogging. Everything from what prompts a blogger to pick up a book, to what happens when a book doesn't live up to its hype.  This series was inspired by Wastepaper Prose's Author Insight series.

If you feel inspired by any of these questions, leave your answer in the comments, or create your own post!

This week's question:

Does a preconception of a book affect your review? Do you write a review differently if you feel a book doesn’t live up to the hype?
  
"Preconceptions definitely do affect my reviews, as does its genre. I think it's a natural part of human interaction: if the book leaves you feeling let-down and underwhelmed, that's going to be the tone of your review. If you close the book feeling pleasantly--or even ecstatically--surprised, same thing. I think that preconceptions are inevitable, even if you've heard absolutely nothing about the book before you read it. Even merely reading the jacket or back cover summary will give you certain assumptions or expectations. It can't be helped!" Steph from Steph Su Reads

"I stay away from the hype. I read reviews, and tweets after I read the book for myself." Pam from Bookalicious

"It does. Sometimes I won't like a book that everybody else seems to be raving about or else I'll love a book that receives a lot of negative reviews and I'll start to question my savviness as a reader in the first place. Questioning oneself about whether or not you’re a good reader is awful! I haven't written my review yet for Day for Night (didn't finish it) because I keep thinking that maybe one day I'll come back and finish it to see what they hype was as I just wasn't getting it. If I think a book didn't live up to the hype I'll usually just say so." Natasha from Maw Books

"I don’t think I write the review differently, but I will certainly acknowledge that I was aware of the hype and that—for me—it didn’t live up to it. But the way I go about writing the review remains the same. I talk about how I heard about it and where I ran across it, I write a spoiler-free summary, and then go into my reaction, what I thought of it, and why." Angie from Angieville

"I try not to get caught up in hype surrounding books I have for review because I’ve found that it definitely has the power to skew my opinion. Sometimes I’ll actively seek out reviews, both positive and negative, so I have a well-rounded preconception. There are also times when I’ll wait a few days before writing my review so I can look past my preconceptions and analyze the novel for what it was, not what I wanted it to be." Sara from The Hiding Spot

"If I feel the opposite of what the general YA blogging consensus feels then I definitely go harder and ensure I am more exact in my reasoning. I've read two books that have lived up to the hype in the past 2 years, the rest have fallen by the wayside. I always start reading a book with optimism but it doesn't take long for reality to hit. Of late I have taken to asking a few trusted bloggers if a book is worth my time because I hate being disappointed. That being said, when hype for a new release is based solely on cover art and an author's online manoeuvrings then I am very wary." Adele from Persnickety Snark

"Sometimes, if a book "claims" to be one thing, but ends up being completely different, I can get irritated and end up not liking it. I tend to have different moods as far as books go. Sometimes I'm in the mood for romance, sometimes fantasy etc. If a book claims to be paranormal, then ends up basically a high school drama, it gets on my nerves!" Andye from Reading Teen

"I actually try not to read too many reviews before I sit down to read or write the review for this very reason. Of course I find books based on reviews I read, but I honestly have a slightly poor memory when it comes to reading those. Thus the reason for my "wish list". I have had a situation where the book did not live up to the hype and it was pretty difficult to remove myself from that impression without some effort." Danielle from There's A Book

"I would not say that my preconception affects my review, but rather how I look at the novel in general. There have been numerous novels that I have heard glowing things about, but when I read it, I am not too impressed. If the novel does not live up to my expectations, it does not effect how I write the review. However, I will from time to time comment on my expectations in the review. I feel like for certain novels this can be important to the review. But I always make sure that when doing this that I explain what I was expecting and how it did not live up to expectation X. I feel like if I do not give that full explanation I am doing myself, my readers, and the novel / the author a great disservice. I whole heartily believe in honest reviewing, but sometimes it is necessary to fully explain what you were looking for." Kate from The Neverending Shelf

"Yes. My reviews are really my reactions to books. If a book is hyped there is no way for me to stand apart from all that hype...it's part of the reason why I chose to read the book and my overall experience with it. If I don't like it, I will still try to discuss the merits of the book, but the story of a book in one's life begins before you read it and doesn't end even with a review, really. So I think it's hard to completely divorce yourself from your expectations. Additionally, most readers of book blogs are looking to increase the discussion of their reading material in their lives and keeping your reviews personal is one way of doing that." Amy from My Friend Amy

"No, I don't think preconception of a book affects my review. What is hype, anyway? A bunch of people who like something and talk about it? So if that's what hype is, then it's not *that* much different than if a friend recommended a book. I guess if people feel there's hype, then there's a certain amount of peer pressure to like a book, but I don't feel that I *have* to like a book. I like it or I don't. I recently reviewed a very popular book that I really didn't like, but that most people seem to like. So when I posted my review, I thought I'd get a bunch of people saying, Sorry you didn't like it, but I did. What I actually got was a ton of people who came out of the woodwork saying they didn't like it either." Trish from Hey Lady! Whatcha Reading?

6 comments:

  1. Thjis was a great post! I think, sometimes, hype creeps up on me, like the new Laura Lippon book, but if I know about something that will get a lot of buzz ahead of time, I tend to stay away until I've gotten a chance to read it and weigh in. Truly, though, I'm the only one who can write my blog post so the only thing it will do to read ahead is to make me ramble about compared reviews in MY review if people like a book I hate or hate a book I love. :O)

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  2. Good post. I've had a few books that I saw a lot of hype for and ended up being dissapointed with...I think I would have been dissapointed in them either way though. I try to avoid reviews of books I really want to read since I often find spoilers in them.

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  3. It's interesting to see the different responses that's for sure~~

    I am suspicious of every book I read unless I've already read a book in the series and like it. The more hype there is... the more suspicious I am especially for YA romances. Also, when I'm writing the review, if there's been a lot of hype surrounding the book and I didn't like it, I'm likely to state this up front.


    Sniffly Kitty
    Sniffly Kitty's Mostly Books
    Loving the Reviews Challenge

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  4. Hype doesn't really affect how I review books so much as whether or not I'll pick them up. If I review a hyped book I'm always careful to specify what I liked so much about them.

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  5. Hype is bad when the book doesn't live up to it. Instead of going into it hoping for a good story, you go in expecting awesomeness. That's kinda hard to live up to. I find that, on occasion, I get so tired of hearing about a book that I totally stay away from it. Just looking at the over hyped book makes me tired and I know that I've got negative feelings about it from the start (which isn't fair to the book).

    Jennifer (An Abundance of Books)

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  6. How fun to read! I agree with these. If there is a book coming out that I really want to read I try to avoid reading to many reviews of it. However sometimes you just can't avoid the hype, and yep, sometimes a book just can't live up to and i'll admit it in my reviews for sure!

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