Saturday, March 26, 2011
Do Bloggers Sell Books? Is That the Right Question?
So, I started leaving a comment on this post over on The Story Siren's blog, and soon realized that my comment was turning into a book....which seems to happen any time I give my thoughts on something...haha. So, I decided I'd post my thoughts here.
There's been so much written lately about whether or not blogs sell books. I'm not sure how much insight I can add, but I wanted to say that, if I were to guess, I would guess that blogs and bloggers are very important to getting the word out about debut authors, and less well-known books. I think, in the overall scheme of things, they probably have very little impact on the sales of established authors or well-publicized books.
However, what bloggers are doing, that I think is a point that everyone is missing, is creating excitement and buzz for reading YA in general. Just take the book blogging world for example. A few years ago, there were (from what I've heard) a handful of book blogs. Over the past few years, the buzz and excitement created by those blogs has grown, expanded and is practically ready to burst at the seams now. I see this trend growing and growing. It's a snow-ball effect. The reason for this is community. People like to belong, they like to have friends and "family" that is interested in the same thing that they are. They like to talk about the things that they are into. And the more they talk about it, the more into it they get. I guarantee you that bloggers, followers, twitter users etc. buy ten times the amount of books than they would have if it weren't for the community. It spurs us on, it gets us excited, it moves us into action. Some of it is even competition driven. People want to have the most, they want to be the best, the want to know first. Yes, this can be annoying sometimes, but honestly, authors, publishers, and people who love books should be ECSTATIC about this. Why? Because in the end, it sells more books!
Here's my story with blogging. Before the Twilight series, I read NOTHING. Not just only a little here and there....seriously, nothing....ever. I completely fell in love with Twilight, and started wondering what else might be out there that I would like. I went to the library, and started picking up books randomly, but didn't really find any that I loved. I just had no way to know. So, I went where so many of the people in the world now go for information: The Internet. I started googling YA book reviews, and I came across a blog. At the time I didn't know it was a blog, because I had no concept of blogging. But I went on, left comments on reviews, and asked for suggestions of other great books. The people on this blog gave me some suggestions, which lead to more reading, which lead to wanting to share what I was reading with others, which led to starting my blog.
When I started this blog, I had no idea there were other book blogs out there. I actually started a website first, and then realized that a blog was more interactive. I went to the library, bought books at stores, and had no idea what an ARC was. After a couple of months, I began to realize that there was a whole book blogging world out there that I never knew existed, that I could talk to authors on Twitter and they would actually respond. This was incredible. The more I started reading blogs and chatting on Twitter, the more books I bought and reviewed. I can name 100 books that I never would have looked at twice if it hadn't been for review from other blogs. This community has turned reading books into living books. It's one thing to read a book and enjoy it. It's quite another to read it, share it, hear about it from others, and talk about how amazing it is with hundreds of other people who loved it as much as you did. And what does that make me want to do? Buy more books.
So, do book bloggers sell individual books? Sometimes. Do book bloggers sell books as a whole? Absolutely!
Can't seem to keep my mouth shutly yours,
P.S. Thanks, Kristi, for starting this discussion!