When my first book, Uphill All the Way, came out, in 2004, I don’t think I knew what a book blogger was.
Now, twelve years and nine books later, I consider a blogger/author meet up in a cellar bar in Birmingham city centre a fantastic place to spend a Saturday afternoon, not just for fun, but for the networking. I knew a lot of the bloggers personally, a lot more I’d only met online till the event (but I’m very happy to ‘make it real’), and some were completely new to me.
Book bloggers have a huge appetite for books, they read widely, they’re enthusiastic about authors, they make contacts with publishers, and they spend a lot of hours reviewing books and maintaining fabulous, interesting, well-read blogs. They also network with other book bloggers and utilise social media to get news of reviews, interviews and giveaways out there. It’s a real labour of love.
When Uphill was published, the publicist was chasing a few coveted review spots in newspapers and magazines. Now, there are enough book bloggers to go around, ‘blog tours’ can be organised to reach as many readers as possible. NetGalley is a conduit to make review copies available. The electronic world has opened these opportunities up.
What’s not to love?
But what do book bloggers get out of the deal? They get to read a lot of great books, either pre-publication or early in a book’s life, they get invited to launch parties and to events at big publishing houses, they get access to their favourite authors, they join authors’ street teams.
It’s a lovely symbiotic relationship. And, for me, a reason to spend Saturday afternoon in a bar talking about books. (As if I needed one.)