Wednesday, January 2, 2013
The Cost and Value of Book Blogging + Survey
I believe there is value in what book bloggers do.
From time to time, that's something that's easy to lose sight of, since both marketing buzz and drama can add to the noise that surrounds a book's release. But if you're ever feeling discouraged, it's crucial to remind yourself that if we weren't an increasingly important piece of the puzzle, we would not have the access that we do. Bottom line: Netgalley, Edelweiss, and ARCs are an option for us because there is a demand for citizen reviews.
Even as more mainstream media outlets are covering Young Adult literature, how much of that coverage is determined by the publisher's marketing push? How many worthwhile books never get noticed by newspapers and magazines because there isn't enough time and space and interest to review it all? And of those few books that are reviewed, how do you know you can trust that writer's opinion, if you haven't established enough of a familiarity with their taste or foibles?
For me, that last part is key for why GoodReads and blogger reviews are my #1 source for every single book I pick up, so it is occasionally frustrating to come across misconceptions about why bloggers do this at all. The most common accusation is we're in it for free books. Hah! As if a $10 book could ever come close to compensating the amount of time it takes to read a book, write a review, and promote the post. That's in addition to doing blog tours, interviews, cover reveals, etc.
The Cost of Book Blogging
Aside from the time it takes to produce content, there's also the actual dollar amount it requires to run a book blog. I've been eyeing the amount I spent on shipping books, buying books, etc. over this past year, and I was curious what other bloggers were investing in their labors of love. I'd like to invite all book bloggers of all genres to participate in an informal survey, which covers general blogging questions as well as actual dollars and cents. Ideally, we'll get a good sampling of blogger participation, so the results will remain anonymous unless you choose to reveal your name.
Take the survey here
The deadline is January 20th and I will share the results once I've compiled them. By the way, I sent out just two preliminary tweets before the holidays and judging from the dozens of responses already recorded before the official post even went up, this topic has struck a chord with a lot of bloggers. I think the results should be a pretty eye-opening experience.
While many authors and publishers certainly do express appreciation for what bloggers do, my hope is that in seeing some concrete figures, we'll also shed some light on the amount of time and effort and dollars we invest on a regular basis. In clarifying the cost of book blogging, I think we'll be illuminating the value of book blogging as well.
Questions? Comments? Please leave them below! And thanks in advance if you choose to take the admittedly long survey. We don't often ask this, but in the interest of greater good, we'd appreciate it if you'd share this project with your blogging/reviewing circle as well. Feel free to grab the above button if you like.