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The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs: the new literary force Paperback – September 1, 2007
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Top Customer Reviews
Despite an unconscionable number of typos (especially considering the authors are editor and publisher respectively at the British publishing house Marion Boyars), this is an entertaining and informative survey, steering readers to sites they may never have heard of, from the thoughtfully appealing Dovegreyreader to the in-your-face Social Disease.
The authors organize their chapters by type of blog, i.e., Author Blogs; Booksellers Blogs; Fan Blogs, Obsessives and the Extreme; The Literary Establishment and Its Blogs, and also by theme, i.e., Review Pages vs. the Internet; Alter Egos or Inflated Egos: Why Do People Blog?; The Internet and Its Uses: Dialogues about Freedom of Expression and Personal Interest.
They include background material on how and why the blogs got started and plenty of quotes, some of them extensive, to give readers an idea of style and substance. There are blogs that stick to what the blogger is reading and blogs that venture out to the latest literary parties and gossip; blogs that fulminate and blogs that promote; blogs that shock and blogs that inspire.
They discuss the role of genre blogs, the influence of the Internet on reader's choices and the future of print reviews. These discussions are thoughtful enough but the meat of the book is the helpful introduction to the vast seething sea of book blogs out there. You could spend all your time reading blogs and never get to a book or you could use this handy guide to steer you to those that appeal and avoid the rest.
It should be obvious why I bought this book: I'm a blogger, and I blog about books. I wanted to see what these two publishers had to say about a subject I hold close to my heart.
The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs is divided into chapters according to the various types of blogs: Booksellers' Blogs, Publishers' Blogs, Fan Blogs, Writers' Blogs, etc. As I read, I found several blogs that are familiar to me, but I also found many more to check out. Gillieron and Killgarriff both believe that book bloggers have a very important function in the world of book publishing today:
"I would like to see the voices of the book bloggers heard even louder. I think there is a major problem, despite the pages of feverish comment on literary prizes, radio shows, interviews and profiles, in that the media manages to talk about books in a way that goes over the heads of the vast majority of people. The book bloggers have developed loyal audiences, and I compare them most closely to newspaper columnists who may be your favourite to read each week in the Sunday paper. You get to know a personality and a style, and you find nuggets of new information each week, which makes you go back the following week for more. The book bloggers have another twist which makes them more loveable-- they write their thoughts for free."
There are dozens of nuggets of information in this small book, and best of all, a list of all the book blogs' URLs in the back to make it easier for you to find them. I found this book very easy to read (despite several typos!), and a very informative look into the future of book publishing and selling from the viewpoints of two UK publishers.
What I got instead was a wonderful tour through the literary blogosphere that really captures the issues of writing, publishing, selling books, and reviewing in the age of the blog on the one hand and huge corporations on the other. (And yes, amazon is discussed at length.)
In the process, I was introduced to blogs that help writers get published (e.g., Miss Snark, the Literary Agent), writers' blogs (e.g., Toby Litt and Jeanette Winterson), book sellers' blogs (The Bedside Crow had me with this post: "I put a customer's credit card into the PDQ machine He punches in his four digit number. There is a long pause while the machine thinks. We both wait and wonder; does the bank have any money?") and review blogs (e.g., bookninja). In the process, I learned about Virtual Book Tours and online book clubs. I also learned that small, independent publishers scout websites such as frontlist.com for talent but I hesitate to recommend frontlist in this review.
But most of all, I learned about where to go to at least begin to find quality book blogs. For, in the literary blogosphere, the problem (for me at least) has not been one of separating the good blogs from the bad but of finding the good to begin with. In this regard, Rebecca Gillieron's and Catheryn Kilgarriff's recommendations have been invaluable. I didn't always agree with them--but they were an excellent place to start and since most blogs have a blog roll that's all I needed, really.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I was expecting this to be a guide more on tips for running a book blog. Instead it's just a book about reading book blogs. And a strange one at that. Read morePublished on June 18, 2013 by R.A. Sengele
If you aren't familiar with the universe of book blogs, this book by publishing world insiders in the UK is a helpful introduction and overview circa 2007. Read morePublished on January 21, 2012 by L. M. Keefer
This book. penned by a publisher and an editor, both female, appears to me to be an absolute insider's view of the book world. Read morePublished on February 9, 2011 by Iona Main Stewart