Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Armchair Bea - Does Blogging Really Make A Difference?

Book Expo America is taking place this week in NYC. A few bloggers put together Armchair Bea to allow bloggers to virtually attend. Find out more about it here

"Today is ALL about things BEA oriented. Posts for today should be "bookish" in nature, the kind of things you'd find when looking through the panels and exhibits at BEA."

My topic - Does blogging really make a difference?
I love blogging and talking about books, though sometimes I wonder if people consider blogs reviews when deciding what new titles to read. If your a blogger or frequent visitor I am not talking about you. (of course the answer is yes) But what about people who simply enjoy reading?

One mark against blogs reviews (this is an assumption) is that its all personal opinion from non professionals. Professional or not, all reviews are personal opinions. To counteract this possible negative, I always try to link to an excerpt. If a visitor who discovered my blog when they googled a title believes my review is too nice or not critical enough, I say forgot me (its not about me its about the book) and go read the excerpt.

Sometimes I link to reviews by other bloggers and professional reviewers for the same reason.

Is that enough to get people to consider blogger reviews? What else do you think can be done?


Stephanie, PQW said...

I think all reviews are important! As an aspiring author I look at what all people have to say; sometimes more than just the 'professionals'. When I write my focus is not the editor or the agent. While they are important they are not the only opinions to consider. The weightiest review comes from the author's target audience, the non-professionals. When a blogger suggests a book, I give a look. Their recommendation is definitely something to go on.

Arena @ {thenerdswife} said...

I, personally, value the opinion of bloggers more than that of professionals.

Bloggers are usually just your Average Joes who just love to read, like me.

My opinion tends to align more with their perspective than "professional" reviewers. I can relate to them better.

I look at a recommendation from a blog the same way I would from a friend.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I think professionals can be wrong - they are just like bloggers after all, but who (usually) write better! :--) Plus, professionals are probably under more "political" pressures (like to be nice to certain publishers and/or authors) than bloggers. I always look at BOTH.

Kara Schaff Dean said...

Well, I'm a blogger AND a professional, so I've got it covered ;) As a Librarian and a Reviewer, I see a lot of books, and I read about a lot of books. One thing I've learned is that a word of mouth recommendation can be just as valuable as a starred review, because in the end my mission is to get the right book to the right person. Blogs certainly facilitate that mission.

Charlotte said...

I vaugly feel that the vast majority of people who act on my recommendations and buy or borrow the books I talk about are other bloggers...and I wish that I could know if I was, in fact, reaching "ordinary" people looking for books to give their children...I see these people, I think, showing up in google searches, looking for "fantasy books for 12 year old", and I am so sad when they just hit one page and, presumably feeling overwhelmed, leave in 10 seconds.

I sometimes think of doing a whole series of very basic list posts for this sort of google search, but it's just not as rewarding as writing longer reviews!

Gwen said...

In my mind, the only differences between a pro and a blogger is a paycheck and a larger audience. That being said, I trust the more personal touch that blogger reviews offer.

With bloggers and their blogs, you build a relationship. As times goes by, I know what sort of book or genre you will like and vice-versa.

I read and write "professional" reviews as well as blog. They both have their upsides, but I love reviewing for my blog. It is freeing to say what I am thinking, to gush, to rant, and most important of all to me, to know my audience. With my paid reviewing gig, I have to be subdued, try to steer clear of comparisons to other books that the reader may not have read and frame it to appeal to a wide audience, some of which may only read one book a year or be buying for a gift.

Bloggers, more than any other avenue of learning about books, influence my reading and even my life!

Anonymous said...

I have started choosing some of my books based on reviews I read on blogs.

Like you post.

Athira said...

I give more importance to the opinions of bloggers than professional reviewers. Mainly because bloggers are like me, who read for pleasure and mainly because, I have a good measure of that blogger's taste in books, so I find it easier to decide if I will like a book.

Chrisbookarama said...

My own preference is the blogger review. I've chosen lots of books that way and I'm just one person.

Doret said...

Thanks for the comments everyone.

I will read any review with an open mind. Be it professional or blogger review.

I think both should types of reviews should be able to work together. A person shouldn't have to dismiss one for the other

Valerie said...

Seems like this question is geared towards book lovers who don't write blogs themselves. I do blog about books (not professionally!)but the way I see it, there are a very small pool of professional reviewers compared to book bloggers or people who leave reviews on sites such as amazon, LibraryThing, etc. So I think, yes, blogging does make a difference to people who are looking for good books to read because there are more of us book bloggers than professional reviewers.

Tif Sweeney said...

I'm a blogger, but I do tend to go with blogger opinions so much more! I can find more a variety, there are bloggers that I find I trust and like the same genres as I do, and simply, they are more personable and more easily to relate to! BUT, that's just my opinion!!