Over the past few weeks, I’ve been pondering the direction of my blog and what roles I want it to fulfill. In the past, I’d never given too much thought to what role my own blog played. My content has changed over time, but those changes have been organic rather than deliberate.
Over the past month or two, I’ve been working more closely with several publishers and reviewing many of their new titles. It’s something that I’m very excited about, as I’m discovering a lot of wonderful new books. I’ve also been contacted by authors and publishers for publicity requests such as cover reveals, book trailers, interviews, and guest posts.
When I began my blog back in 2011, I didn’t know that book blogs were even a thing. I was looking for something to put on a resume (and a way to stop driving my friends crazy by ranting about whatever book I’d just finished while at the bar). What I didn’t expect was the welcoming and supportive book blogging community. If it wasn’t for the blogging community, I’d have stopped writing reviews a long time ago, for the same reason that I can’t keep a journal for more than two weeks before it ends up sitting on a shelf gathering dust. In the past, I’d run into someone maybe once or twice a year who was as excited about books as I am. Now, going online and interacting with people who share the same passion is one of the highlights of my day.
The internet is our generations’ bohemian café, where people gather and share ideas. For that reason, it has become an integral part of marketing and publicity schemes. Publishers give out review copies to bloggers because it helps them sell books. Bloggers write about books because it is their passion. It’s a win-win situation, but sometimes it can get taken to an extreme. I’ve visited some blogs where it seems like the blogger doesn’t have opinions. If every post is a meme or cover reveal, it makes me wonder whether that blog is anything more than a marketing tool. On the opposite extreme, some bloggers don’t accept any review copies, and stick to reviewing books that they’ve purchased or borrowed.
The rise of technology has inevitably changed the face of the publishing industry and literary culture. It makes me wonder what role I want to play as a blogger and reviewer.
In the past, I’ve mostly stuck to reviews, with my “New Acquisitions” posts to let people know what books I’d be reading in the near future. At the same time, while reading other blogs, I get excited for books that some of my favorite authors are going to release but that aren’t in the ARC phase yet. When I find out about new books, I’d love to help get the word out about them. I want to find a middle ground that I’m happy with, where I can promote and support the authors that I love while still focusing on reviews and commentary.
I don’t quite know where that middle ground is. That’s where I’d like your help. What do you like reading in a book blog? How much of a feature is too much? How do you feel about reviews, mini-reviews, cover reveals, author interviews, guest posts, blog tours, book trailers, memes, etc.? Do you have any feedback about what works and what doesn’t? Do you think there’s anything that would improve my blog?