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.