Thursday, September 29, 2011

Blogger Confidential: Book Community

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 10 questions asked to 13 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. Learn more about the Blogger Confidential series on its main page.

What does blogging add to the book community that you feel would otherwise be lacking?

"Blogging adds a personal connection and a whole lot of enthusiasm to the often isolated task of reading...." Stacy, Shannan, Nancy, and Sarah from Girls in the Stacks

"First and foremost: book recommendations! I’ve been blogging for so long that I honestly cannot remember how I used to find out about new books. I guess I occasionally went to the bookstore and browsed (but was too poor to ever buy anything), and I got a lot from the library (but they were old). Book blogs are the ONLY way I find out about books, and now it’s the only way my family and friends find out about books.
 
It also adds a TON of socializing opportunities. How did people meet other book lovers and authors before? I guess you’d go to a signing and hope that the person you were next to in line was nice, and then tell the author “I love your book!” before they moved on to the person behind you. Now I can go to an event and meet up with people I KNOW share my interests and I can say to an author “I’m Enna Isilee” and instantly we have things to talk about! It’s the best ever. My whole world would be SO DULL without book bloggers/blogging." Enna from Squeaky Books

"Blogging starts a conversation that crosses countries, ethnicities, social groups and every other boundary, physical or otherwise, that’s out there.  Word of mouth is so important to the success of any book.  If a reader is excited they are going to tell their friends and blogging increases the number of friends who will hear about a book.  But the conversation doesn’t just stop with talking about a book a reader loves, it expands to topics within a book or sharing common experiences with others.  The recent #YASaves hastag on twitter is a great example of this.  Everyone who’s part of the online book world was able to participate and share their thoughts and feelings about how YA books impacted their lives.  It was great to see this!  But all of this comes back to selling books.  Conversations leads to promotion and promotion leads to more books sold, so I think blogging  is just one more way to start or keep a conversation going. " Pixie and Stacey from Page Turners Blog

"A sense of community. I think bloggers give the average reader a glimpse of the publishing world, writing, and authors in general that they don’t get elsewhere. We are sort of the bridge between the reader and the author, in many cases." Jenn from Jenn's Bookshelves


"Honest reviews from people who love books. The synopsis on the back of a book is usually very cleverly written to entice you into wanting to read the book and yes you can read reviews in newspapers and things like that but what I like about reviews from the book blogging community is that they will give you an honest opinion. They are not being paid to do this and do not receive any gain from it which means you can trust the review. Of course, there are always going to be exceptions but it’s about finding a blog that you like and trust. I’ve gotten many recommendations from other blogs and gone out and bought the books in question." Lynsey from Narratively Speaking

"Blogging about books gives book lovers a voice in the publishing world. We have an easy and fun way to communicate with publishers, authors, and other book lovers. As the target audience for the books, we are a great avenue for word-of-mouth (or word-of-keystrokes) about books. We get the word out – Loud and Proud!" Melina from Reading Vacation

"I think that there is a definite level of excitement that bloggers bring to the book community that would be lacking without us! And connections... reader to reader, blogger to reader, blogger to blogger, blogger to author... I really think that those connections take the book community to a whole other level!" Kristi from The Story Siren

"Word of mouth. We get so much information out there to everyone on a daily basis. If there were no blogs it would be like before, only if someone you saw came up to you and mention said book would you probably here of it. Blogs have taken this to the next level." Yara from Once Upon a Twilight

"I think it definitely helps spread the word about books and authors now that print reviewing is on the decline. It also just brings in a huge variety of voices and opinions on all sorts of books, and discussions that raise awareness of various issues going on with teens today. The blogging community really brings a lot to the table." James from Book Chic

"I would have to say a community where your average reader can find out about bookish things and read reviews. Before I was a blogger myself, I loved being able to find out what people my age or had my same interests thought about books. Blogs helped me decide what to read next and even presented books on their blogs I hadn’t heard of before. Even as a reader, I didn’t completely trust reviews I saw on Goodreads, etc. just like I don’t trust them now, so I turned to book bloggers to steer me in the right directions. Blogs were more of my speed as opposed to professional reviews." Jacinda and Jasmine from The Reading Housewives of Indiana

"Reading is a solitary activity. Blogging has made it to where that is no longer completely true. There are things like read-alongs where you can read a book with a group of people and then discuss it. Even if you don’t read it with a group of people, you still get this whole community of people to discuss it with. It is something I have never really seen before (other than book clubs) and I love it. I think readers really love it too." Katie from Katie's Book Blog

"One thing blogging adds to the book community is a broader community itself. Most of my friends in “offline” life don’t read – or don’t read the same books I do. But the blogging community has connected me with so many other people who love the same kinds of books that I do. I love being able to connect with others who share my passions, and be able to gush about the same books on Twitter or in blog comments. It’s a great outlet.

What’s more, blogging has really added a whole new level to reviewing and promoting books. On the reviewing side, I much prefer hearing thoughts from others who share my taste in books – rather than a “critical” approach from a traditional book reviewer. (I feel the same way about movie critics, too; I rarely agree with them.)

Likewise, blogging gives authors and publishers an entirely new way to reach potential readers. Promotional work is something I really enjoy doing on Novel Novice, and because I support books and authors, I LOVE getting to help promote their books. It’s a great feeling to hear that a Novel Novice visitor bought a book on my recommendation. I know not all bloggers are trying to sell books, but I am very open about the fact that I want people to go out and buy and read the books we recommend. (Or, hey, borrow them from the library – that’s totally cool, too!)

I think what blogging also embodies is the wave of the future. Technology is changing the way the world works, and this is just one example of an industry adapting to new technology. " Sara from Novel Novice

"Where do I start? A few things off the top of my head: 1.) Thousands more books are reviewed because of blogging than could ever be reviewed in a newspaper. 2.) Fresh relevant content is produced at a frequent pace (usually daily) which is not possible with a magazine or weekly newspaper review. 3.) Readers are able to develop a relationship with blog reviewers in a way they can't with print reviewers and are therefore able to trust blog reviews to a different (hopefully better) degree. and 4.) We've revolutionized the way many bookstore websites function now - as many of them have added their own blogs to keep up with the direction in which the industry is headed." Wallace from Unputdownables

3 comments:

  1. Great question today. I really enjoyed reading everyone's responses. It's amazing to me how everyone feels the same thing, even though they may feel it a bit differently. (Does that make sense?)

    My favorite thing about book blogging, which may responders mentioned, is the sense of community and turning an otherwise solitude act into something social. I'm very social, so book blogging is a perfect way for me to encompass my love of reading while still "hanging out" with friends.

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  2. This was such an excellent post!! I'm still so new to the book blogging world - but I have gained so much in the three months been I've involved! It's changed the way I read - no longer REALLY old books from the library or whatever I can get CHEAP on my kindle or nook... but I have found so many good books.

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  3. I am having fun seeing how the other answers differ from mine. Thanks for including me Emily.

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