What is a book blogger and are they a viable marketing tool?

I really like all the positive discussion lately on what is a book blogger, what is their job, their responsibilities and are they a viable marketing tool. I wanted to wax poetic on a lot of this as a am a marketing professional and there are several misconceptions and they are easily cleared up.

What is a book blogger?

A book blogger is anyone who reviews, talks about, posts pretty pictures of, waxes poetic about books online in any shape or form. It can be diary style, marketing style, it can be on WordPress, Blogspot, Self Hosted, Tumblr, or even a private diary domain. The common thread is that we are all in one way or another talking about books online. A book blogger will positively faint at the sign of new books with giddiness, they are maybe your not-so-average reader in the fact that they read voraciously and are able and willing to share thoughts and feelings about books. However not every blogger is going to do this well, or use criticism or journalistic integrity.

That is why it is important to make sure if you are sending books to a blogger to read back through and make sure they are a good fit with the book you are sending them. It takes you ten extra minutes but it saves a lot of he said, she said hurt feelings if a blogger who has been known to not like this type of book criticizes your client.

Are bloggers a free marketing tool for me to tap into

Sometimes, but only when we want to. Again these little domains of ours are in fact ours. When we love a book we will sing it from the mountain tops Julie Andrews style. When we (at least when I) have some issues with a book I try to explain it in a way that lets others know it was probably just a personal problem, because let’s face it. We are all subjective. So yes you can tap into blogs like mine and like The Story Siren which is awesome, and at times allows her blog to be used as a marketing tool. However you can’t expect us to jump behind every book and try to sell it when our hearts aren’t in it, when we spend hours reading for free, when we just didn’t love it that much and when selling those books means we have to spend more time marketing them. So yeah ARCs and swag rock, but it doesn’t make us slave labor. I get a lot of these questions:

Can you tweet this?
90% of the time yes!

Can you post this?
90% of the time no. I don’t know what it is, haven’t read the book so I can’t stand behind a product I have no idea what it is.

I spend a lot of time Tumbling, Twittering, Blogging, and other stuff. I enjoy using my blog as a free using marketing tool for the books I love! However not every blogger is going to feel the same and your mileage may vary.


14 Responses so far

  1. Gravatar

    I love these definitions of a book blogger. My blog is diary style entries and no formal reviews, but I do still consider myself a book blogger but not necessary a reviewer.

    I really hope this post clarifies things for authors that are confused about the different types of book bloggers.

  2. Gravatar

    Thanks Bella! Not everyone wants to market books, but when it comes down to it we all just want to talk about our favorites and what we love reading.

  3. Gravatar

    I run 3 book blogs. YA, MS, and Hot Romance.

  4. Gravatar

    Wow cool! I don’t have enough time for this one :D I haven’t read enough lately :(

  5. Gravatar

    This is great : )
    I also always try to explain why I didn’t like a book or something about it in my reviews to because it usually can be a personal problem, I never even contemplate flat out trashing a book because I didn’t like it because I’d never want anyone to do something like that to me.

  6. Gravatar

    Misty we all have life experience which in turn makes us a subjective reader. Just because I don’t like bacon doesn’t mean you won’t. It’s how you present the fact that you don’t like bacon.

  7. Gravatar

    Well said! I hope thosein the field take note and follow suggestions

  8. Gravatar

    This is such a good post! It’s great to read it from someone who is both a book blogger AND who has a marketing background. Clear, interesting and to the point. Thank you!

  9. Gravatar

    Great post and I love your definitions! I always find it odd too when I get asked to just post about something that I know nothing about.

  10. Gravatar

    Having found my way to your beautiful blog via the Authors Helping Authors post, I’ve been thinking about this subject a lot lately too. You’ve captured it really well with your sensitivity towards both sides and I think that’s so important – there’s good eggs and bad eggs in both blogging and marketing so there’s always the risk that someone will wind up feeling put out one way or another. But hopefully posts like this will help!

  11. Gravatar

    Thanks for the info. I do book reviews on my site and I’m also a self-published author. Your words ring true from the reader’s end and the writer’s end. Research is key to finding success. You can’t go all in without it, and if you do, be prepared for the consequences.

  12. Gravatar

    I’m glad you consider that someone who posts photos (i.e. Tumblr) can be a book blogger too. I sometimes wonder if those on WordPress (and similar) see my blog as inferior and not a “real” book blog because it’s not got the same format. I post photos first and everything else second. I’ve only recently started posting my reviews on my blog and used to just put them on Goodreads.

    (Also, I was wondering if you had replied to my enquiry – I said I had contacted publicity teams but hadn’t heard much back – as I saw the link on Twitter but then clicked it and it had gone! Haha).

  13. Gravatar

    Oh my… I didn’t realise I was commenting on an older entry – I can’t remember how I got here xD

  14. Gravatar

    This is really interesting. I am looking for book blogs about picturebooks. I’ve found some nice ones, but am always interested in more.

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