Friday, April 29, 2016

Book Blogger Hop No. 47: Books Reviewed - for Publishers, or Authors?




Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop,
hosted by Billy @


For more information, click HERE.


What to Do

1.) Post on your blog answering this week's
question:

Do you read and review books
mainly for publishers,
or authors?

(submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews)

2.)  Enter the link to your post in the
Linky list on Billy's blog.

3.)  Visit other blogs on the list and
comment on their posts. 

4.)  Be sure to find out next week's
question when you visit
Ramblings of a Coffee-Addicted Writer!


My Answer

To be quite honest, I really prefer to review books mainly for myself.  I would much rather read the books I would really enjoy reading, and have plenty of time to review them. Since I'm a slow reader, this is a real plus!

I have reviewed books for blog tours in the past, which means these reviews have been for the authors, as they're the ones who pay for these blog tours. However, the free review copies (whether print or e-book editions) do come from the publishers, most of the time, so I'm indirectly reviewing for the publishers, as well.  

I've only been directly contacted by a book publisher once -- I was sent a copy of Menagerie, by Rachel Vincent. The publisher for this novel is Mira. They sent me the PRINT edition of this book a few months ago, and I'm ashamed to admit that I haven't read it yet.....but you see, this is the problem with getting review requests (and free books) from book publishers. They expect you to review as soon as you can. This means that, if you receive free books from several publishers, you can get overwhelmed! This is why I have a note on my blog policies page about not accepting unsolicited book reviews, from either publishers or authors. I just don't know when I will be able to read and review the book in question.

For blog tours, I actually do mostly promo posts, or interview posts. Since I've heard that many bloggers consider blog tour posts to be spam, I've come up with a little gimmick in order to insert some original content in promo posts. Usually, these posts will include an excerpt from the book being promoted, so then I will include a mini-review of this excerpt in my post. This might make some people think that I'm just doing more advertising for the book I'm promoting, but I refuse to write such mini-reviews for books I neither like nor ever intend to read. These mini-reviews do express my honest opinions of the book in question, just as my full-length reviews do.

From time to time, authors (mostly Indie authors) will email me to request reviews of their books. I will consider reviewing  such books on very rare occasions. A book does need to be in one of my favorite genres, and be written competently, for this to happen.

Having stated all of the above, I would love to request ARCs or finished copies from publishers. Of course, many bloggers do this. They also request review copies from NetGalley and/or Edelweiss. I have never requested either printed copies or e-books from publishers, for a very simple reason: I have SO many unread books sitting on my bookshelves! And I currently have over ONE HUNDRED e-books on my Android phone's Kindle app!! I need to read all of these books!!  And I read so slowly, and don't have as much time as I'd like.....

Now I need to make sure I get to Menagerie as soon as I possibly can!!  

    

What are your thoughts?
Please leave a comment,
and I'll go check out your post!







16 comments:

  1. I guess this is a something that all book bloggers experience.

    I smiled at your second to last paragraph. I feel the same way. I also get a fair number of review requests.There are hundreds, perhaps thousands of books to read. I seem to be moving like a snail as I read through them. I wish I had the time to take review request as some of the books look good.

    I do not think that there is anything wrong participating in blog tours. It brings attention to books that folks might be interested in that they did not know about.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Brian!

      I totally agree with your first statement. While many book bloggers might not acknowledge this problem, I'm sure they go through it, as well. On the other hand, the situation I've described is not a problem at all for other book bloggers -- those who are fast readers, that is1

      Yeah, it's actually funny! It's also sad at the same time.....all of these WONDERFUL books out there that we'll never get to read....

      I'm glad you have nothing against blog tours. What I've noticed -- and have pointed out in two BBH posts recently -- is that I get either VERY few or no comments on my blog tour posts. And this happens even when I include mini-reviews, which DO constitute original content. Then I've done a bit of Googling about this, too. One blogger in particular (who shall remain nameless) even published a post about blog tours, stating that they're considered spam by many other book bloggers. I haven't been able to find any solid statistics about this, but the fact that I hardly get comments on these posts tells me they're not popular at all. To put the icing on the cake, I get very few comments even when a GIVEAWAY is included in the post!

      You are, of course, right that blog tours ARE important; they bring new books to the attention of readers. This is crucial for Indie authors, as they don't have the backing of a well-known publisher who can put together a massive marketing campaign.

      I have begun to feel that the "rewards" are not worth the effort. These posts literally take me HOURS to put together. So it's very frustrating, as well as disappointing, when I don't see any or very little reaction from blog visitors or regular readers.....

      Well, I won't eliminate blog tours completely, but I HAVE been participating less in them. It's even more discouraging when I fail to get a simple "thank you for hosting me on your blog today" from the author whose book(s) I'm helping to promote....

      Thanks for the thought-provoking comment!! :)

      Delete
  2. I love reading at my own pace as well.. For some reason, I get more joy out of the reviews I sit down and write for books I read for myself. I don't feel rushed to finish them by a certain time and I don't feel as though I am going to hurt someones feelings if I didn't like the book, you know?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Peyton!

      I feel just the same way! This is actually true for anything we do in life; when we don't HAVE to engage in a particular activity, but WANT to do it, of our free will, then we get a lot more enjoyment out of it, whatever it may be.

      This is especially true of reading and reviewing books. There's no pressure when YOU choose the book you really want to read and review. You read it at your own leisure, and review it whenever you want to.

      When I first started blogging, this was how I proceeded. Then I get hung up on how many followers and comments I had, so I tried to "build up a fan base". Then the blog tour companies began to contact me. I also began getting review request from Indie authors....

      Blogging is much simpler when you just read the books you want to read, and review them. You can also accommodate review requests, if you want, but you, the blogger, are in control. It's not necessary to feel overwhelmed! This is the way I'm thinking now, after nearly five years of book blogging!

      What you say about hurting an author's feelings is very true, as well. Some blog tour companies even ask that you not post a review if you're only giving the book two stars! If you're reviewing a book on your own, you don't have to worry about this.

      Thanks for the great comment!! :)

      Delete
    2. P.S. I just noticed you're following me with GFC!! Thank you so much! I'm going to follow you back!! :)

      Delete
  3. NetGalley and requests from publishers definitely get overwhelming. I have so many books both from publishers and from my own choosing that it feels like my reading is tightly scheduled which isn't always a good thing. I think it's smart to keep reading at your own schedule. I don't have a problem with blog tours - though of course that could be because I participate in them! As long as the post has some original content I'm good with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Katherine!

      You're absolutely right that a book blogger's schedule can get very tight! We just can't accommodate every author or publisher who sends us review requests. And yes, we want to read books of our own choosing, too. In fact, we really should give such books priority.

      I'm glad you have no problem with blog tours! As I stated in my post above, I have been including mini-reviews of book excerpts that are part of a tour post. Sadly, this hasn't really had much of an effect on the number of comments I get for these tour posts....

      As I told Brian in my reply to his comment above, I feel very frustrated and discouraged when, after putting SO much time and effort into creating a blog tour post, I get very few to no comments on it. It's even MORE discouraging when the author doesn't bother to stop by in order to thank me for hosting them!

      Thanks for the great comment!! :)

      Delete
  4. I agree you can get overwhelmed. I read a few review books but not many for that reason.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Emma!

      Yep, it can get overwhelming! So I do limit the number of book review requests I accept.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!! :)

      Delete
  5. I space my requests out and try to have them done ahead of time.

    I do get overwhelmed at times, but somehow I manage to get the books done.

    I have to watch how many and when I request. :)

    Wonderful answer as always, Maria.

    Happy Hopping!!

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog Hop Answer

    ReplyDelete
  6. Before I have gotten caught in in requestion books from publishers through NetGalley, Edelweiss etc. and quickly became overwhelmed (I'm still trying to catch up!) While I love receiving these books, some I might otherwise not have picked up and loved, there is that time expectation. So I think to keep the pressure off it's important to read at your own pace :)
    Enchanted by YA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Anna!

      I've never requested any books from any publisher. Instead, if I'm going to review a book, I've always gotten a copy from a book tour company -- whether print or e-book. (I do prefer printed books.) But yes, it can get overwhelming! So I mostly do promo posts and author interviews for the tour companies. Occasionally I'll review a book, though, if I really like the plot.

      I'm now trying to get back to reading and reviewing mostly the books I've picked out myself, and already own. As you say, it's definitely important to keep the pressure off!!

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting!! :)

      Delete
  7. As soon as I read the question, I thought "I read for ME!"; so of course that's exactly what you said, and I ADORED your answer. But yes, I do read for publishers/authors when they send me something I really want to read or when I request a much anticipated release. It can be overwhelming, and I finally had to make out a chart to keep up with releases and when I needed to post. But I'd rather have too much to read than not enough ;) The important thing is do what makes you happy and what you're comfortable with. I hope you get a chance to read Menagerie. I absolutely loved it. It's heartbreaking but wonderful. Awesome post, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Michele!

      Thanks for the nice compliment!! I GREATLY appreciate it!! :)

      I like your idea of making out a chart for keeping track of the books you receive, and when you're supposed to post the reviews. But still, it can get overwhelming, for me, at least, since I'm a slow reader.

      As for not having enough to read, that's not a problem for me at all, since my shelves are full to bursting with unread books.....lol.

      Of course, the important thing IS to read what one wants, what makes one happy.

      I think I've been hesitating to read "Menagerie" precisely because it's heartbreaking....but I really do have to get to it!

      Thanks for the super nice comment!! HUGS!!!! <3 :)

      Delete
  8. I've had very similar experiences to you, and in fact, I recently took about a 2 year break from blogging because I felt like I wasn't able to read the books I wanted to read and I was putting myself under a lot of pressure to fulfill all of the blog tour requests and publisher requests. I couldn't read at my own pace and I didn't have time for the books that I would pick up off the shelf on my own. So I'm determined now with this comeback that in order to keep myself from burning out again, I'm going to seriously limit the number of requests I accept and do most of my reviews on books that I pick out myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Tevya!

      You took a two-year break from blogging? Yeah, I can relate to that! That's what I did with my second blog, MINDSPIRIT BOOK JOURNEYS. I did it because it was getting to be too much, posting to two blogs. I've considered doing that with this blog, but I'm afraid people wouldn't be interested in reading my posts after the hiatus ended, and I came back....

      I am now posting to the other blog again, but I don't do this as much as for this blog.

      I've been cutting back on the blog tours, so I can finally start reading all the wonderful books I have sitting on my shelves!!

      Thanks for dropping by and commenting!! :)

      Delete

THIS IS NOW AN AWARD-FREE, AND TAG-FREE BLOG. Thanks for the compliment, though! : )

Thanks for your thoughts on my posts! I always reply here, as well as comment back on your blog. Have a WONDERFUL day!! :)