Tag: publishers

Book Buzz or Manipulation?

Posted November 16, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 8 Comments

Recently I found myself reading, and discussing on twitter, a particular piece found on the NetGalley tumblr page. This article is a typical puff piece about how great NetGalley is and what they can do to create book buzz and make a book popular. It was transcript of a speech Lindsey Rudnickas (NetGalley’s Digital Marketing Manager) gave on ‘“Book Buzz & Discoverability in the Future of Storytelling’. Basically she was saying, give NetGalley your business and we can make your upcoming book a hit.

Sure, this was a typical marketing pitch but it left a bad taste in my mouth. I felt more like a tool (the literal meaning of tool) rather than a book blogger. I use NetGalley and have enjoyed the benefits of getting to read a book before it’s released from publishers as well. I just wondered are we just tools used to manipulate people into buying the books they want to promote.

This is a little cynical but it was worth taking the time to think about. I have the opportunity to be in direct contact with some people who work marketing for a publisher. Most of them are friendly and supportive of book bloggers. We just have to remember this whole thing is a win-win situation for both the blogger and the publisher.

I know most people know this but this article made me feel more manipulated that I wanted. Should I feel manipulated? Out of the 272 reviews post so far (as of the 4th of November) 64% of the books are book I own, 19% are provided by a publisher, NetGalley or a similar service and 17% are library books. This is nothing to be ashamed of; I think if I read what I want to read then I shouldn’t feel this way.

It was just something to think about; I’ve often said these publicists could save money by being selective with what books they send to the bloggers. I know some of them will be more selective or communicate with the blogger before sending out books. This whole strategy of sending every blogger the same book may seem weird but reading this article I can see what they want to achieve. If there are a heap of reviews on the one book (positive or negative) the book will be recognised, talked about and there we have buzz.

So how do you feel about ARCs or Galleys? Do they over take your life? As a blogger do you think you have a healthy balance between what you want to read and what has been sent to you? Do you feel manipulated? Let me know in the comments; maybe I’m one of the few but at least it was something to think about.