We are, most of us, volunteers who provide a free service to writers, acting as their PR and/or marketing agents without the benefit of the title. Through rants, raves and simple mentions we raise the visibility of books and writers who may or may not need the help, though they generally do, unless their names are Stephen King, John Grisham, JK Rowling or a handful of others.
Publisher’s budgets are cut nearly to the bare bone; they realize the value of book bloggers. That’s why we get so many books for free, in hopes we’ll read and publish reviews of the titles they send or offer via ebook.Though, sometimes publishers get a big overzealous, bombarding bloggers with loads and loads, too much reading for any one person. Not that I’m technically complaining, mind… I’m far more upset there’s not more time in the day to read than I am having too much to read. Send away, loves! Send away. I do want to express how I miss the “extras” I used to receive: the Belgian chocolates, signed posters and even comic books that used to arrive occasionally, accompanying the books for review.
[HINT to publishers and/or authors reading this. I can be bought and quite cheaply, too.]
I’m curious how long book bloggers have existed and how long our work will continue. I’ve been blogging since roughly 2006 (after a couple years I moved from a now-defunct platform to Typepad and am now engaged in the glacially slow immigration from here to WordPress), with the occasional pauses, but I’ve seen other blogs go belly up since I’ve been tapping away at the keyboard. Still, I’d love to find out who was technically first out of the gate, is s/he still blogging and how many regulars are there, in this great big world of literature.
I know I was somewhat early, though by no means the first. I must have seen predecessors, models for my own endeavor, though goodness knows I don’t recall whom that would have been, anymore. By the numbers, it’s a daunting task researching who the early book bloggers were but I have at least one source, a book in which Bluestalking was included (without permission being asked but I’m not angry about that so much as not even realizing I’d been mentioned at all):
- Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Marion Boyars Publishers Ltd (September 1, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0714531510
- ISBN-13: 978-0714531519
This would be a very good place to start, as it was written only a year or so after I started. From there, blog rolls stemming from the blogs mentioned in the book would be another potential source. Plus, there’s always asking, somewhere and somehow.
At any rate, I may take all this research somewhere. I haven’t made any firm decisions but I believe there’s material enough there. This is an early hint, a bit of foreshadowing, of things to come. As a librarian, I know how to research, how to find information and what-not, which isn’t a bad thing at all. And I have a few ideas knocking around my brain. I know I’d love to read about the topic and if I do, then others must surely, as well.
To be continued…