July 25, 2013
Book Blogger - Media Professional or Reader with an Audience
About a year after I started blogging (and realized I was serious about it), I started thinking about a book bloggers role in the publishing and media industries. As book review sections of newspapers disappear, bloggers are filling the gap. While bloggers may not be book critics, we are still serving an important role in book discoverability.
Should book blogs be treated as media sites?
For the most part, I think authors treat bloggers as readers with an audience. They want us to review their books, but they also want us to publish on retail sites. I wonder if their book was reviewed by the NYT or Publisher's Weekly, if they would ask the reviewer to post on Goodreads and Amazon. If not, why do they ask me to do it?
You might be thinking, what's the big deal about posting your review on Goodreads and Amazon (or other retail sites)? One, the duplication of content on the web. Search algorithms penalize for duplicate content. Two, it diverts a blog's traffic. If the review can be read on another site, the reader never has to come to my blog. At least on Goodreads, you can link back to the blog post.
It's not like an author can't include a quote from a blogger's review on their Amazon page. There is a place for editorial reviews, which authors can insert through Author Central. The reason most prefer you to post your review as a reader is because of Amazon's algorithms. When a book receives 25 reviews, its visibility is raised.
As a book blogger, do you consider yourself part of the media industry? Or are you a reader who shares his/her opinion about books in an open forum?
If you are wanting to make a living from your blog (and there are people that at least supplement their income through blogging), then it is important to think about a blog's place in the media and publishing industries. It's your reputation and influence at stake. Blogging encompasses so much - personal journaling to family newsletters to product recommendations to news/gossip sites.
Is there a way to distinguish personal book blogging from professional book blogging? Is there any difference? Perhaps, we are kidding ourselves into thinking we are something we are not.
I would love to hear your thoughts on a book blogger's role. Should we be considered and treated as media?