Welcome to my new Friday feature!
In each bi-weekly post, I will be
exploring my thoughts on several
When I first began blogging about books, I debated with myself just what kind of books I wanted to blog about. My tastes are very eclectic, so I finally decided that I would simply blog about my favorite genres. So A Night's Dream of Books began as an eclectic blog, and has remained thus to this day.
Unfortunately, from what I've seen on the blogosphere, there aren't that many eclectic blogs. I've noticed that most book blogs deal with young adult fiction, and, while I love this genre, I also love others. For instance, of the several fiction genres, I love classics, fantasy, science fiction, and Christian fiction, as well as paranormal romance and urban fantasy, along with contemporary and historical romance. As for nonfiction, I love psychology, art, literary criticism, philosophy, and even some theology, as well as other spiritual topics. I've recently become interested in conspiracy theories, too, for the purpose of critical analysis, not of blind adherence to them.
This brings me to another aspect of the book blogging world I've noticed: few blogs deal with nonfiction, with the notable exception of Babbling Books, a very interesting blog run by Brian Joseph, who covers literary fiction, as well as nonfiction. I know there are more such blogs, and I simply need to seek them out.
As for blog design, there are all kinds, from the very simple -- minimalist, I call them -- to the very elaborate, with lots of images and colors. Even from the beginning, I gravitated toward the latter group.
All of this brings me to the point of this post: what genres do I want to blog about, and what type of blog design do I prefer ? Looking back over all of my posts, I see that a lot of them cover young adult fiction, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy, with occasional posts dealing with other genres. I would definitely like to publish more posts on classics and literary fiction, as well as more nonfiction. However, this presents a dilemma for me: I tend to get more comments on posts covering young adult fiction, as well as paranormal romance/urban fantasy, than I do on posts covering other genres.
You might be wondering, at this point, why I'm concerned about these things. After all, I do have more than 1,100 GFC followers, 408 Bloglovin' followers, and 111 Linky Followers. But having a lot of followers doesn't guarantee lots of comments. As everyone knows, a blog with little to no interaction between the blogger and the readers means that somehow the blog is not engaging readers.
The whole thing really has to do with demographics. Just what reader demographic is my blog intended to appeal to? Well, there's the crux of the problem. My blog design indicates it would appeal more to the YA crowd, and not to the type of reader who enjoys literary fiction and more serious topics. I could, of course, modify my design to appeal to this type of reader. However, I don't see myself doing that, and there are two reasons: first, I'm a very visual person, and second, I was an Art Major in college. I don't like simplicity and restraint in blog design. Instead, I love bold, vibrant, images and colors! For some reason, literary fiction and nonfiction seem to be associated with more plain, even staid, blog design. Such blogs are apparently taken more seriously by 'the literati'.
I find this to be a very curious prejudice in the blogosphere. Why should very artistic, bold design mean that the blogger in question is not interested in important, more intellectual literature and nonfiction? Why should this even imply that their reviews are not to be taken seriously? On the other hand, when someone who prefers young adult fiction comes to my blog and sees a review, or some other post, about literary fiction, or perhaps nonfiction, why should they then stop coming to my blog?
So I do have a dilemma..... I can either confine myself to the YA genre, and perhaps get lots of comments, thereby losing any opportunity of appealing to readers of 'serious' literature and nonfiction, or blog exclusively about these topics, thereby alienating my YA followers.
And what of my blog design? Should I change it to a simpler design, with more subdued colors, in order to attract more readers of literary fiction and nonfiction?
I have long pondered these issues in my mind, and I see that the basic question underlying my dilemma is whether I want to change the genres I review, as well as my blog design, in order to achieve popularity as a blogger. I do want my blog posts to have more comments, as this means more interaction with my readers. But am I willing to transform my blog dramatically in order to achieve this? In other words, am I willing to stick to one genre only, or to downplay my blog's exuberant design so that it becomes a shadow of what it is now? I have finally come to the realization that the answers to these questions are all the same: "No". This is who I am, these are the books I love to blog about. This is the type of blog design I love. I have to be myself, not only in real life, but in the blogosphere, as well. Besides, readers can always select which posts really interest them, and comment on those.
On the other hand, maybe the problem is just a question of getting more exposure through social media. In order to help myself in that regard, I've just opened a Twitter account. Until very recently, I was relying on Facebook and Google + to get the word out about my blog. While I do plan to continue to post to Google +, I am not going to do so on Facebook any longer. The reason is that FB is now expecting those who have fan pages to pay in order for their posts to appear in FB's news feeds. Well, I can't afford to do that; boosting each post would cost a minimum of $5.00, and promoting the fan page itself is $10.00 a day. This means that I would have to pay $300.00 to promote my page for a month!
So, now that I have a Twitter account, hopefully that will bring me readers who are interested enough in my posts that they will be more than happy to leave comments!
What kind of book blog
do you have?
What's your opinion about
Let me know in the
comments section below!