ebookclassics

2015 Book Blogger Discussion – Bookonomics: Do You Hope Your Reviews Influence Book Sales?

2015-Discussion-Challenge3

You may have seen this post and the Twitter furor that ensued afterwards. I’m pretty sure I saw some other posts in the American media about whether or not reviews by book bloggers actually results in sales and I’ll post those articles when I hunt them down.

While there is unlikely any hard data on how much book bloggers influence book sales, do you hope your reviews help sell the books you’ve fallen in love with? When you blog about a book, do you think about how you might be promoting an author? Or are you mostly interested in just talking about the book?

Personally, I’ve only thought about it when participating in blog tours. I mostly read for the pleasure of experiencing the book, but when an exceptional book comes along, I certainly don’t mind shouting from the rooftops to encourage others to read the book and, if it happens to be the case, giving a lesser-known author some recognition. If that results in sales, great! But I will probably never know.

Thanks for your thoughts!

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29 comments on “2015 Book Blogger Discussion – Bookonomics: Do You Hope Your Reviews Influence Book Sales?

  1. janceewright
    May 9, 2015

    I agree. Ultimately I started blogging as a way to connect and read great books. When I really love a book, I’ll tag that author when I Tweet about it, but ultimately I’m not trying for anything greater.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      May 10, 2015

      Me too! When I blog or tweet about a book, I’m mostly talking to the book blogging community to say look what I read, but I don’t think I’ve ever wished a hundred people would run to bookstore to get the book.

      Like

      • janceewright
        May 11, 2015

        Right. If I really love something, I’ll say “Hey you need to go read this now!”. But mostly it’s just for fun!

        Like

  2. Brian Joseph
    May 9, 2015

    Fascinating topic.

    I have seen certain books “make the rounds” around book blogs. One has to think that this has ay least some effect upon sales.

    I occasionally read newly published history books that are not all that popular. I guess in the back of my mind I am hoping to encourage a few like minded people to read the book. My guess is that if this is effective, it is only effective with one or two people out there 🙂

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      May 10, 2015

      I’ve thought about the “make the rounds” books because after I read That’s Not English and probably 50+ bloggers reviewed it as well, we did a great job of promoting it to ourselves, but now we all own a copy of the book and may not have influenced the sale of the book whatsoever.

      It is probably truly more effective to follow your method of reading books that are not heavily marketed and bringing them to the attention of readers who may not have heard of it, even if it’s only one or two people.

      Like

  3. Boy, it’s pretty hard to make a living writing, publishing, or selling books (except for the lucky few). And publicity seems to be a total crap shoot.

    In terms of your question, perhaps since I personally buy very few brand-new books (sorry, authors!) I don’t really think of my reviews as selling books. I do hope they generate interest of some kind. Another of my habits is putting books on my TBR list for years before I actually get to them, so the influence might be delayed.

    In my library borrowing, and occasional buying, I am definitely strongly influenced by bloggers that I trust. I am sure that blogs do have a positive effect, though it might not outweigh the cost and effort of getting books to them.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      May 10, 2015

      I feel for the authors as well, it must be a stressful process just to write a book and then go through the business side. I like how you said it can take you years to get to certain books, so your influence can be delayed. I think this must be the case for many of us. As for me, I’m definitely reading a mix of new and old books, and a majority of them I get from the library. I buy more second-hand books than new books for myself.

      Like

  4. Angélique
    May 9, 2015

    The thing is, I *did* read books (that I wouldn’t have read otherwise) after reading blog reviews. It’s actually blog reviews that made me try other genres. I also found out about books I would have never heard of otherwise. For me, book blogs definitely make me read more.

    Obviously I hope people will feel like reading a book I reviewed (positively) after visiting my blog. More importantly, I hope people will get to know about books that do not get lots of coverage in the big media (I review mostly Canadian Sci-fi & Fantasy). It’s hard to measure how much visitors are more inclined to check Canadian literature after that. I think book blogs keep literary discussions, curiosity and passion running (which leads to more books bought). You can’t really measure that.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      May 10, 2015

      Agreed! I don’t think there is any way we can measure how book reviews persuade a reader to read a book, let alone go to the bookstore and purchase it.

      I really enjoy how your blog focuses on Canadian Sci-Fi and Fantasy, I haven’t come across another blog like it and your reviews inspire me to get back into this genre or check out books that are not promoted by the Canadian media. I think it’s fair to say that is the goal of the majority of us; to introduce other readers to all the great books we’re reading and nothing more.

      Like

  5. DoingDewey
    May 9, 2015

    I was just thinking about this because I was wondering what, if any, impact the blogger focus on reviewing diverse books has on publishers and on other reader’s habits. In that one regard, I would particularly like to be able to have an impact. However, I rarely see another book blogger attributing their decision to read a book to one of my reviews and I only occasionally hear from my mom that she or a friend picked up a book based on my recommendation. Other than that, I have no evidence that my blog influences anyone else’s reading decisions.

    Looking at it from the other side, even as a blogger who is deeply immersed in the book blogging community, I pick my books based on what interests me in a publisher’s catalog and almost never alter my reading decisions on the basis of a single review. I might occasionally go out of my way to pick up something getting rave reviews, but I’m more likely to avoid a book because of a single or a few negative reviews, perhaps as a result of having so many other books to choose from. This leads me to suspect that this guy is right – we’re not having much of an impact individually, but perhaps as a group.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      May 10, 2015

      I wondered myself whether the big emphasis on reading diverse books was having any kind of affect on book sales. I certainly have seen book panels and marketing campaigns with a lack of diversity, so I’m not sure if publishers get it yet. It makes me curious about how they strategize what books to hype and market to the public.

      I have added a countless number of books to my TBR reading reviews by other bloggers (including you! I’ll look at my list and tell you which ones, definitely The Map Thief). Like you, I may not pursue a book if I’ve seen more than one negative or meh review.

      Liked by 1 person

      • DoingDewey
        May 12, 2015

        Since starting blogging, I’m much more aware of the publishing world and am always wanting to learn more about it! Maybe I can find a book about it.

        Thank you! That’s nice to hear 🙂

        Like

        • ebookclassics
          May 13, 2015

          If you do find any related books, please share your finds. I think we would all find it fascinating!

          Like

  6. Cayt
    May 9, 2015

    I suppose I don’t really think about it. I started blogging because I love to read and I like to talk about books with people. I thought a blog would be a good place to do that. And I love recommending books to people! But I hadn’t really thought about book sales. I do love my favorite books so I would hope that a few more copies are sold when people read my reviews, but that’s the reason I do it. It would be nice to make a different though. 🙂

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      May 10, 2015

      If I made the difference to an author who really deserved some recognition, I would feel really good about that. But I never really thought about book sales either until I saw that post and some other articles around the same time. I think it’s fair to say we all just want to read and talk about books with each other.

      Like

  7. I would like to think that reviews can help sell books – although I think it’s more likely if the review is posted to Amazon or another outlet that gathers them for the book. I guess I think it does help because I buy books based on others reviews sometimes, perhaps the amount of sales from book blogs is not significant though. I agree with you thought that I mostly think about that when I’m reviewing for a publisher or if I really loved the book.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      May 10, 2015

      I haven’t posted a review on Amazon or any other site that sells books, but I have participated in a few blog tours and even then — I have no idea why — I never thought about the book sales, I just thought about the opportunity to discover another great book and telling other bloggers about it.

      Like

  8. WordsAndPeace
    May 10, 2015

    as organizer of virtual book tours (France Book Tours – all genres represented, as long as they have some type of connection with France), it is not unusual for authors to tell me that indeed their sales went up during the tour, so book bloggers do have an impact!

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      May 11, 2015

      Oh, it’s so encouraging to hear that book bloggers can make a difference. Thank you for sharing this news with us!

      Like

  9. Naomi
    May 10, 2015

    This is a great discussion! I’m glad I came to it late so I could read everyone else’s comments. When I started blogging, I just wanted a place to talk about books with other people (which I found!), but soon I started to hope that I could bring about at least a little awareness of lesser known authors and books (especially because I try to focus on CanLit which is not as widely known) and I have even gone looking for some books that I knew not many people were reading. Whether it has worked or not, I will probably never know, but I am having fun trying (most of the books have been surprisingly rewarding), so it’s a win-win situation. I am having fun, and the books and authors are getting a tiny bit of attention they might not otherwise have gotten. I do feel encouraged by the comment above from Words and Peace.
    Personally, a lot of the books I have read or added to my list are from reading blog reviews (I am easily swayed by the bloggers that I trust to have similar tastes to my own), and I know I would continue doing what I’m doing and reading blog reviews whether or not they make an impact in the book-buying world.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      May 11, 2015

      You read a lot of interesting books and I have noticed in the short time you have been blogging that many other bloggers have found their way to books they never heard of because of your reviews. I agree with you that if we can make an impact on the book-buying world then fantastic, but otherwise talking about books and interacting in the community is rewarding in itself.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. jennielyse
    May 10, 2015

    I love supporting authors by reading their books. Also, support comes from buying those books and getting others to buy those books. So, yes, I do hope my reviews will help in that way, but it’s not my ultimate goal. I just love talking about books and hope that others will want to read the book because of my review, whether they borrow it, check it out from the library, or buy it.

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      May 11, 2015

      Even though we’ve discussed this topic and learned that we can make an impact on the sale of a book, I don’t think many of us will change what we’ve been doing. But it may be at the back of my mind now when I buy books for myself and others.

      Like

  11. I started blogging just because I wanted somewhere to be able to chat about the books I love and to hopefully find some good recommendations.
    I am always up for promoting authors and their books that I think deserve a whole lot of love. I think bloggers are important in the world of book sales, we may not actually sell the book, but it’s on our recommendations that other people buy them 🙂

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      May 13, 2015

      Agreed! Authors deserve lots of love and I’m pretty sure they appreciate how much bloggers help promote their work.

      Like

  12. Sam
    May 20, 2015

    I’m the same as you. I read for enjoyment and then write down my thoughts and post those thoughts on my blog. I don’t think about how my review/rating is affecting book sales. But, I do absolutely love to rave about books that I loved, and of course I would be happy if that review boosted sales of a book that I am a huge fan of!

    When it comes to blog tours/promos, I only do them for books that I am personally interested in or have already read and liked. So, I am assisting in getting the word out there for those books. But my reviews are merely my honest thoughts. I don’t worry about whether my review affects sales. Everyone has different tastes and opinions when it comes to books anyway, so I’m not sure how much of an impact our blogger reviews have…

    Like

    • ebookclassics
      May 21, 2015

      I can’t think of any way publishers could determine whether the reviews by bloggers affect sales, but I’m sure they’re very happy to have us promote books and authors anyway!

      Like

  13. While I don’t specifically write my posts to sell books, I do kind of like the idea that people are finding great books through my site. I actually had a specific instance one time where an Indie author contacted me and said that she saw a boost in her sales that she couldn’t explain. She did a search and the only thing she could find was that I had raved about it in a Top Ten Tuesday post, so she thanked me for spreading the word. I have to admit that I kind of loved hearing that. Now, I’m sure I didn’t gain her TONS of sales – and a mainstream author certainly wouldn’t notice a boost based on my blog posts, but I kind of liked the idea that people might see that I loved a book and want to check it out too!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    Like

  14. ebookclassics
    May 31, 2015

    Thanks Nicole! It’s so great to hear another example of an author who may have received some greater recognition because of a blogger. You’re right, it’s probably not tons of sales, but I’m sure she really appreciated that you raised awareness of her work. At BEA this week, publishers made it very clear they respect bloggers and how much bloggers contribute to the success of a book.

    Like

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This entry was posted on May 9, 2015 by in Bookish Thoughts and tagged .

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