On her twitter yesterday Rebecca from The Book Lady’s Blog posted a link to an LAtimes.com article, “Book Bloggers Catch on with Publishers.”
It was encouraging to read how the community of book bloggers is impacting the book publishing industry and getting some recognition for its loyalty to books. I think a key to the growing success of book bloggers is their genuine interest in their reading. And the informal medium of a blog makes book reviews friendly and fun to read. I don’t answer to anyone, really, but my own conscious about the reviews I write and so, I don’t have an editor to please or a paycheck to strive for. And best of all I don’t have to write those ridiculous and worthless book blurbs that end up on the back of a book. Does anyone take those things seriously? That’s got to be the worst job ever. Ok, hyperbole. But I digress…
While the article does a great job of praising the book blogging sphere for its interconnectivity there’s one thing it didn’t address. How do we reach readers outside of our blogging community? I know book bloggers exist and so I actively read their posts for book reviews. But what about the general online community? Do they know we exist? Do they think to search under “Blogs” for a book review? I know that utilizing key words, etc, makes my blog more visible. But my site still looks unofficial. Will a person unfamiliar with blogs know that my review is worth reading? Or do they only care about what the NYT has to say about a book? To me, reading a blog review is similar to asking the locals where a good place to eat it. Sure, I can take a travel book's recommendation. But the locals always know where the good stuff is.
I’m grateful to the LA Times for running this article. That’s just the kind of spotlight our community needs. I hope book bloggers will continue to positively impact our beloved industry. I'm sure we will.