I started thinking about this when I read the charts of what was selling on Amazon.  I hadn’t heard of most of the books.  I feel like I’m pretty immersed in book world.  Why wasn’t I hearing about any of these super popular books on blogs?

Here’s what is on the New York Times Best Sellers list as I write this.

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I hadn’t heard of any of these books.  Has anyone read these?  Has anyone seen a blogger discuss them?  Honestly, I love Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series but I had no idea this was out. 

This is the nonfiction list.

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Ok, first of all, this is bloody terrifying. The first two books are pro-Trump screeds? Not good. 

Educated looks good and David Sedaris is funny but again, I hadn’t heard of these books before looking this up. 

So why is this?

  1.  Bloggers are so immersed in bookdom that we see the mid-list books that sound amazing and head for those.
  2.  Do these fall under “guilty pleasure” reading?  I don’t like the term but you know what I mean.  I’ll read the Silva eventually because I’ve read the rest of the series but I won’t blog about it.  That’s mostly because it is number 2 million or something in the series so it is hard to talk about and have it make any sense to people who don’t know the series. 
  3. Are there other reasons I’m not thinking of?


11 Replies to “Are Book Bloggers Out of Touch with Publishing?”

  1. I’ve seen Educated around quite a bit on blogs but not the others (though I’ve heard of a couple of them). I mostly read YA and blogs that review YA, so I’m not surprised that I haven’t seen these. But it is interesting when the bestsellers aren’t the books we’re talking about. Hmmm….

  2. I do not find it terrifying, but then again, I do not see the NYT Bestseller list as a be all, end all. As a book blogger, I do a combination of new stuff (much via NetGalley and/or Edelweiss) and older things anyhow, so hyped up “popular” things are not things I would blog about generally.

    The Star Wars I knew about because I happen to like SW books, and I read the first Thrawn novel, which I enjoyed, so I knew this new one was coming.

    The Clinton/Patterson book I knew because it has been all over social media (or at least the social media I follow). When Stephen King has a new book out, I usually just go “that’s nice.” May or not pick it up later. The others I had no idea, but they are likely outside my reading interests anyhow.

    The nonfiction above were not really on my radar, but then again, politics books are not something I actively seek out (after 2016 I did a self-imposed reading moratorium on any books related to politics, activism, social stuff, etc. to keep the sanity). I do read a good amount of nonfiction.

    So I would not worry too much. Also, I am a librarian, and as another commenter here pointed out, publishers often target their book ads and blurps differently to libraries.

    Best, and keep on blogging.

  3. Most of the book bloggers I come across read and review YA most of all, and those seem more like books for adults. I hear about business books frequently because I’m subscribed to meta bloggers (bloggers who blog about blogging/online marketing/etc.) who read those other books, but then they still stay within certain trends. I also think a lot of the book bloggers are younger. I’m 27 and would read some of those books perhaps (have heard of/seen “Calypso”, but I seldom see bloggers who aren’t at least 4 years younger, which doesn’t sound like a lot at a glance, but adds up in terms of life experience (which I also never expected myself to think about younger people, but wow).

    TNYT bestseller list is more about elitism than general “oh these are the actual bestselling books”, so I never take it too seriously/as an accurate portrayal of books out there. William Blatty, author of The Exorcist, took TNYT to court and lost, because the latter’s defense was that it’s an editorial product. More information about how bestseller lists work on this article, but I found that most disturbing about them, so I’m not confident in considering that those need to be mentioned/advertised more, necessarily, since they make it to the list. Ah, I don’t know how to articulate this better.

    The books I see book bloggers discussing tend to be ones I’d never have heard of. I think it’s because of book bloggers that so many of those books get recognition.

  4. Pro-Trump books? I didn’t know Trump fans could read . . .

    I’ve heard of all of these books except the Trump ones and the Starwars one. Educated and The Outsider have been on my TBR list since before they came out. I follow 1000+ blogs, so I see a lot of books every day. I don’t know if that’s normal.

  5. I have! I have! Yay me. I’m feeling very smug. Let me explain how I came across the 3 out of the 10 I have heard of (ok maybe I shouldn’t be that smug):

    1 – Thrawn – Came up on my recommend Audible listening titles when I got my new credit this month
    2 – The President is Missing – I saw the authors plugging it on The Late Show (on YouTube as I live in England)
    3 – The Outsider – Also on The Late Show (on YouTube)

    This post has made me think that I need to re-explore the blogs I am following. Am I following too many people with similar tastes and therefore not broadening my reading horizons?

    1. See, you find out about what is considered popular from non-blog sources.
      I don’t know what the answer is. I think it is natural to follow bloggers who will recommend books that we know we will like. I’m always looking for more good blogs with adult book reviews and recommendations.

  6. I think Krysta makes a good point — many book bloggers aren’t focused on the stuff that ends up on Official Publishing Industry Lists. That said, a lot of Official Publishing Industry Lists (and op-eds, and seasonal catalogs, etc.) aren’t really about the bestsellers — bestseller lists excluded, of course. When I was buying for a public library, a lot of the stuff we got from publishers focused on particular topics (relevant to current events) or continuing series or movie tie-ins, with the occasional prize-bait or sure-to-be-challenged title — stuff the publishers hoped would be popular, of course, but I’d say much of what I’d read had more in common with ruminating book blogs than with whatever entertainment the general public is going to go for.

  7. I follow mostly YA bloggers, so I wouldn’t have seen any of them reading nonfiction or adult titles! However, I have noticed that there is a disconnect between when is popular on the book blogosphere and what receives critical acclaim/is recommended by publications like Kirkus or SLJ and gets bought by libraries. I don’t know if what is popular on the book blogosphere ends up on children’s bestseller lists, but I do know that the average book blogger doesn’t seem interested in books educators, librarians, and book “experts” think are important.

    1. I don’t read a lot of YA so I’ve moved away from following a lot of YA bloggers but even in adult book blogger spaces I don’t see a lot of these books. So where do bloggers fit into the grand scheme? Totally unimportant? Important just to other bloggers who want to know about more niche books? I don’t know.

      1. I think book bloggers are mainly important to other book bloggers? I don’t know many non-book bloggers who read book blogs.

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