May 28, 2013

Top Ten... (THREE #7) Tuesday (Freebie): What Reviewing Means...

Hosted by The Broke And Bookish (go check 'em out?)
Today is another occasion when I can think of a list which only has three things in but it’s definitely more of a discussion. I’m not very good at simple lists which don’t involve the simplest bookish things. That basically means book cataloguing is my thing (but not too much). Anyway, why am I writing this?
Oh yeah. It’s because I might be getting more viewers today. Maybe (everyone is at BEA it seems, I wanted views still :/). So, I saw that Top Ten Tuesday, which is a meme I wanted to get round to (I knew I’d probably not be able to list ten... the jinx of three? Or maybe four!), has...
Top Ten Tuesday Freebie (Anything you want!) listing today ;)
Hoorah! Perhaps it's because of BEA? Moving on...
For this, I already knew I’d only be able to list 3 but I’ve decided that’s enough because I’ll end up being quite wordy... By this I mean, if you don’t like *cough* rambles *cough* words... Yes, there may be a lot of words; something like that. Feel free to click away if you don’t like that or the topic which is about reviewing... I’ve seen a bit about all of these & I felt the urge to put my two “pennies” worth in.

What it means to:

1) To those in self-publishing
In other words, what is it like for indie authors? We don’t really care about the other “party”, Amazon. Not in this context, anyway. To them they are just things which sell lots of products & may stop a few products selling. But it’s not a massive loss if there’s an honest, or just plain negative, review out their which isn’t adding to the sales. They still have the advertising...
But what about indie authors? Can advertising match up to a review? I don’t think so.
They may not get lots of advertising like Amazon, site-wide? I don’t think so. Promotion is a big thing & that’s why it exists. That’s why book bloggers promote for them & many authors do lots themselves. Book bloggers often are along for the journey & it can be one of the most rewarding journeys. It tells us that just because a publisher didn’t put lots of work into a book it doesn’t mean the author didn’t. They did a lot of work.
And the end result? A product which can be still be bashed. Not in the same way, you can see the book around but there’s a war between indie’s & those who aren’t independent. Will this mean something? Not so much if the book gets reviews. 5* are obviously the best but anything 3* or above could potentially sell the book. Some indie’s clearly have put in half-hearted effort & decided the book is ready for publishing. Would that have 3*, 4* or 5* reviews? Not predominately by a long shot! Others have put in that work publishers would & made an outstanding book that should outsell many traditionally published books. That’s why we review them. They need the help to sell like traditionally books could and every little helps. People look at that book & know it’s been enjoyed. It promotes better & that’s why it means tons to self-publishers- we might sell books (a lot better by reviewing, ya think? That’s the point of this post). Whereas for the other party...

2) To those in traditional publication
This is the other third (penultimate) point of the post. It’s about those publishers & their authors. We can all list a few traditionally published authors even if we couldn’t indie’s. You may not know who publishes them but they have opinions on reviews, promotion & that includes author chats. Is Twitter a promotional tool for them? For how long for?
Well, firstly when it started... I read a post the other day where Sophia Bennett said, “How the Brontes lived without Twitter I will never understand.” She was talking about readers talking to authors, not promotion. But that, in part, got me thinking for this point.
Are we tweeting & expecting it to help traditionally published authors & all the others in that industry? Or are we just trying to make a connection (I swear I do this with both but ponder this yourself...) I think a connection matters to both. Of course, reviews do matter to traditional published authors in the way that they appreciate them & often retweet them. But do they actually sell them all the time? They might not. There really isn’t a lot of promotion besides so reviews are nice to see but I’m not kidding myself that they are appreciated beyond a certain time. I love authors appreciation but will I get publishers?
I have, sort of. I always say thanks for this especially as I don’t tweet to the publishers, just the authors. There are obviously some fantastic publicists. In light of this, you’d think a publisher connection would matter, wouldn’t you (already, in my case... I’m waiting :P)? I’ve heard annoyances of it. I don’t want to be a marketing tool. I haven’t posted reviews of ARC’s (yet but my first ARC review will be of an indie book FYI); I don’t always grab & review books within 6 months of publication. So I’m not the ideal, helpful blogger. In every case. I looked forward to helping authors, publishers & you name it. But I know that, or heard from somewhere & am led to believe- I’m unsure, publishers widely tend to promote the beforehand period, if they can be rolling in money soon it’s fantastic but after 6 months? That’s why I mentioned it. After that other books are the competition and what’s more likely is the book’s sales will start to dwindle. Is it really worth it having the majority of your sales over? Only... what is it normally? 20% royalties, a third if you’re lucky? And it’s done. It’s dusted. The books are sold, promoted, reviewed & that might be it. There may be reviews later, promotions & author/reader contact. I didn’t know I had so much to say on traditional publishing but my point is, I think book reviews for these books have good days & then all the rest are not of the same significance.

I’d rather not have a fleeting moment...

But is that what I have as a reviewer?

3) To those reviewers and readers
I’m not just saying book bloggers because book bloggers can have definite not fleeting moments. We’ve seen those spotlights which have stuck electrics, both ways. There’s some which aren’t making it. I like to think I’m not one of them but you can’t spot them. You can guess. It doesn’t take such a guess to see who is making it. It’s there in the stats, the review requests & the connections. Bloody hell, to quote Ron Weasley! You can watch it from the distance and...
It’s love. At first sight & every sight after that.
Gosh, this sounds corny. Hopefully reviewers & readers aren’t just after that dream. It can be one of the aims but every little helps us too! Every review request, every library book & every pageview. We can be seen more & value some reviews over each other. Personally the reviews I know authors have seen might be the ones that seemed like the most fleeting moment but they stick with me.
To us, reviews mean a lot. There’s a reason one doesn’t just read a book & tick it off.
Reviewers care. That’s what I believe. Reviews are why many of us are here. How many would just be here to promote without reading. Just promoting, just reviews... It would be horrible, I imagine, to just be bogged down in that. What if meme’s became more important than reviewing? What if tweeting was the no.1 priority? Imagine it.

Do you think they are my priorities? Do you think they are yours? What are your thoughts on the meaning of reviews? Let me know what they mean to you & if you agree or not. These are just my opinions & as always, I need yours!


Roberta R. said...

I'm one of those who review "oldish" books (if not plainly old sometimes), mainly because I can only shop for books a couple of times per year, and I'm not considered ARC-worthy (so to speak) yet. Maybe I'll never be, what with being in Italy and the publishers having to spend more money to send books out of the U.S.A./U.K./whatever country they're in...Though they might be more inclined to do so if I were a successful blogger, but then again, I will never be that if I don't get ARCs and stuff - so we've come full circle. But whatever the publishers do/think, I still believe in the power of reviews even when they're about "oldish" books. Or even old ones. Because I do pick up novels that are not the latest craze, and I usually need to read opinions about them too. Because books can be reprinted. Because the world didn't start yesterday. Because I'm a hopeless dreamer ;).
Quote: "What if meme’s became more important than reviewing? What if tweeting was the no.1 priority?"

I happened to read this post the other day...and it made me think. Sadly, memes and tweeting ARE the priority sometimes. Or even often. We need to go back to books, where it all started...

Trish Hannon said...

The most important thing I look for in a blog followed closely by discussions and a long way behind are memes. I review because it makes me think more about the book and makes me feel a little connected to the book world that I love so much. The Brontes and twitter comment made me laugh :-)

Trish Hannon said...

Sorry, got interrupted! What I look for is reviews first.
I find great books thanks to reviews and I get to cross some off too when I hear mentions of stuff I hate. I read lots of Indies and I love that, you never know when you'll hit on a gem.

Anonymous said...

This is an interesting topic. For reviews, they mean something to me because I can get my thoughts out there, and I can read the thoughts of others, finding new books in the process. :)

Sunny Duvall said...

Oh, I really like your topic! Of course, I'm always fine with rambling (I even enjoy reading it lots of the time!) because I'm a rambler myself. You made great points, love the list!

Thanks for stopping by my TTT :)

AwesomeAmy said...

@Roberta: This bad friend is late commenting back but I had a lot of Twitter XD I swear it's not always my priority- I've got reviews done too since this post :L Because I love reviews. More on that later though. I see her point but she was saying the promotional vehicles don’t have to read. I’ll tell you straight off, that’s true. But many of us, not all, aren’t interested in just that. I know reviews aren’t a must & I could do more of them but I’ll quote that, “For most bloggers book reviews are the least trafficked posts. They’re the posts that get the least comment love.”
That’s frankly untrue for me. I don’t even view blog tours & stuff that much because they are so repetitive. Often I feel no need to comment on them unless it’s a tour I’m in or wished I had been in. That defeats the point! Although yes, "You can be just as effective a promotional vehicle with or without a review" I think it's best when people can be bothered to review, or maybe interview, during blog tours. A standard promo I'll mark as read in my feed but actually not have read. I'm fed up of book bloggers who think reviewing doesn't matter. For the authors, as I've mentioned, it does! It's not OK to know what you want to read but never actually read & review. Many do it on NetGalley & it's not fair! If you say you'll review, guess what? You kinda should. There are other bloggers who would & I hate selfishness. That's the root of it all honestly XD

@Trish: I only look at meme's when I'm doing it too. Sometimes if I have a lot of time I'll find other meme's & think about joining. They are never my priority. I may not read as many reviews as I'd like but when I can't I keep my eyes peeled for book hauls I can quickly flick through. Discussions too ;) The way many bloggers have got a meme overload is ridiculous. Why would you want to spend your time on meme's mainly? They do take more effort for some of us if we're willing to comment & actually be active about it. I'm not a potato memier (technical term?)

@Ana: Thanks for sharing & popping by! Have I seen you here before? *giggles* Finding new books... Via any posts you can in this blogosphere. If I wanted to find out about them it's not via a meme or similar. However sometimes I wonder, do I need to find more books? XD That's beside the point! :L

@Sunny: You're welcome & thanks back at ya ;) Rambling is so satisfying. Whoever invented it was genius. I'm glad you don't mind my rambles XD

Emily said...

You made some great points here! Reviewers DO care; that's why we're here. When I write a review, I feel it is necessary to write my honest thoughts as eloquently as I can, even if they are negative. We as bloggers give each review book individual attention, whether that involves a rambling review, a GIF-filled review, a deep literary analysis, and/or a fangirling session about the fictional boys. I hate how memes always seem to get more views than reviews, and if they ever overtook them I'd be devastated, to put it lightly.

Thanks for stopping by my TTT and leaving a super-nice comment!

Kelly W said...

Oh, this is a fantastic topic! You brought up some great points, especially with indie authors and reviewers/readers themselves. For the big corporations, we're like ants swarming out of an anthill. Numerous and not signigicant - with the exception of a few of the more influential book bloggers. Which is okay, because I don't blog for corporations anyway. I blog for myself, my followers, and my favorite authors.

Thanks so much for checking out my TTT, and I can't wait to see your next one!

AwesomeAmy said...

*gawps* Thanks for checking out both of your TTT's? But they were awesome! *rewinds the comment*

@Emily: Aww, thanks! Reviews sometimes are overtaken but there's lovely exceptions & things which make it worth the lack of views for certain reviews, I don't think author's would ever thank us for our "thoughtful meme". To be fair I love all comments (yes, I'm grateful that you did stop by) but authors are the best at it when their books are given that individual attention. You described it really well!

@Kelly: Ooh, now I'm really happy... Yes, I blog for those people too. I mean I'd review a book to help out a publisher but only if they ask me about it and/or I decide it's worth it to request the book. I'd still think to myself, at the end of the day, it's for the author. They'll benefit proportionally more than the publisher; that's what makes me forget about the royalties & all the selfishness there can be unfortunately. And if my readers feel they benefit by getting a recommendation (or advice to not pick a certain one up)? That's the best!

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