Are book bloggers important?

/ posted in: Reading

Ah, the perennial angsty post where we try to convince ourselves that we have purpose in life. Yeah, so I don’t really care about that. I read lots of books and like to talk about them. I don’t need anyone to approve. But, I had a conversation with an editor the other day that got me thinking.

I had reviewed one of her books previously. She had since put out several tweets about needing reviewers for the next book. I ignored it at first because I got a copy of the previous book and didn’t want to be greedy. But after several tweets I responded. Our conversation boiled down to her feeling that I didn’t do enough for the last book to warrant getting a hard copy of the new one. I don’t care about format. I’d rather have an ebook anyway. But I wonder now if people in publishing have any idea what bloggers can do for them.

Obviously the general public isn’t going to be influenced by what bloggers think. That’s easily seen from comparing year-end best of lists from bloggers with what actually sold during the year. I think what we do though, especially for small presses, is help with name recognition.

For the last book I:

  • Reviewed it on the blog (in my view or wrote an article about it, not a review in her view)
  • Reviewed it on Goodreads
  • Reviewed it on Amazon
  • Featured it in several lists since I liked the book
  • Did a giveaway of it and now it is living with another blogger who will do a lot of these things too
  • Put it on instagram in a bookstagram post of just this book and also in at least one group photo
  • Marked it read on Litsy
  • Requested that my library purchase it
  • Tweeted about each of the posts I made that it was in
  • Tweeted each instagram photo
  • Retweeted a few of her tweets about the book

That’s about all I can do except for buy each and every one of you a copy of your very own.  I’m pretty sure that any of my followers would see that book and think, “I’ve heard of that one.”  That’s the limit to what bloggers can do for a book.  We can make people aware that the book exists and that we think they should read it.

I have an ebook of the new book.  I’m going to be doing most of the same things for it.  I’ve already requested that Litsy add it since it wasn’t in their database.  I’ve asked the library to buy it.  I’ve only read the first few pages and I’m already promoting it.

I know that we are mostly talking to ourselves in the book world but we talk A LOT if we like a book.  I don’t think the powers that be recognize it.