|Posted by michaeljmccann on August 1, 2011 at 11:09 AM|
It’s important to me that you understand how much I enjoy what I’m doing right now, because tone makes a big difference to me when I’m deciding what I’m going to read, as I’m sure it does for you, too. Some self-published writers who blog can’t help but voice their bitterness toward the publishing establishment, but I don’t want to go there. I made a choice to publish the Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel series on my own and I have to accept the consequences of that decision as well as the benefits, so there’s no point in beating on a pot with a wooden spoon on the days that I feel tired or a little down. No one wants to listen to that. For this reason I want to spend my time in this blog on things that I’m having fun with.
When I think back to my undergraduate days and how ideas and inspiration were communicated compared to now, I can’t help but shake my head in wonder at the revolution we’re living through. Technology has given all of us a platform of some kind or another, and thousands upon thousands of us are jumping up on that platform to have our say. As I mentioned in previous postings, I did a fair bit of research as I created The Plaid Raccoon and published Blood Passage, and in the course of that research I read a whole lot of blogs by a whole lot of people. Some of those blogs I wouldn’t go back to on a bet, but quite a few are worth following because the people who write them are interesting and the things they have to say are witty, informative, and entertaining.
Book bloggers are a very interesting cross-section of the internet universe. I’ve been querying a few of them for a review of Blood Passage. There are hundreds of book bloggers who write book reviews, and given that the Globe and Mail, New York Times Book Review, and the Calgary Herald will pass on the opportunity to comment on my publishing effort, it makes a ton of sense to pitch Blood Passage to book bloggers instead. Why? Because while professional reviewers are journalists with god-knows-what vested interests, book bloggers are amateurs in the true sense of the word: people who read because they love to read, and who write about it because they love to tell others what they’ve found. Like your best friend or your neighbour. Like ourselves.
They’re librarians who love books, stay-at-home spouses who want to keep their brains from turning to mush, recent university or college graduates struggling to find a job and unwilling to set aside their love of the written word, middle-aged working women and men who want to relax during down times with a really good read. Wouldn’t you rather ask one of them what book you should read next than a journalist whose opinions are bought and paid for?
A good starting point for me was a web page by Christy Pinheiro and Nick Russell at http://www.stepbystepselfpublishing.net/reviewer-list.html. It contains a great list of book bloggers who review books. I used it to find potential reviewers but I urge you to use it to find people like ourselves who are sifting through mountains of stuff for something good to read.
As I mentioned at the beginning, tone is very important. You’ll find that most of these bloggers are posting to have fun with it all. These are the ones I enjoyed the most. You get an idea of where they’re coming from when you see the title of their blog: Bitsy Bling; Book Bliss; Café of Dreams; Candy’s Raves; Can't Put It Down; Coffee Mugged; My Need To Read; Tomes of the Soul. How can they not be having fun?
Many are trying to balance positive and negative reviews. Some declare right up front that they’ll only review the books they liked and will simply just not review a book they couldn’t finish or didn’t like. Most, though, will tell you if they don’t think a particular book is worth buying. That’s good for us as readers, because there’s nothing worse than investing $15 on a book that you put down after 50 pages and never go back to.
A tip for female readers: if you’re interested in romance novels, some of these bloggers are pretty liberal with the beefcake graphics. I was mortified, but you might not be. Just a thought.
It’s all part of the fun, I guess.