Thursday, 11 June 2015

Is it book bloggers' job to sell books?

“Do book bloggers sell books?” this is a question that gets thrown into the air every so often be it from publishers, readers or authors and each time it’s met with heated debate and generally concludes on the fact that because there aren’t any concrete numbers to go off, nobody really knows for sure. But I’ve started to wonder is it book bloggers’ job to sell books? For me personally, that answer is no.

When I started blogging five years ago I didn’t start this blog as a way of bookselling. I started it for purely selfish reasons. I wanted to discuss my thoughts and opinions on books I love with other people who have read them, I wanted to find other people with the same tastes as me and get recommendations on what else they’ve enjoyed, I wanted to share my excitement about an upcoming release and have somebody say “me too!” and that for me, five years later, hasn’t changed.

It wasn’t until a few months into blogging that publishers and authors would contact me and I was made aware that me fangirling about books to my online friends was somehow helping them whether in book sales, raising more awareness for a book or inspiring more people to read at all. The fact that my blog can help this industry that I love so much makes me happy but it’s not what I’m here for, if it didn’t, I’d still blog.

Placing a book bloggers worth on how many books we might potentially sell is massively misunderstanding what we do. Book bloggers are important to the industry because they shine a light on reading. Our enthusiasm for books is contagious and whether somebody reads a review of mine and buys the book, checks it out of the library, adds it to a wishlist or discards it as not for them isn’t the be all and end all for me. What’s important to me is that people are taking the time to read a post about books and are thinking about them and talking to me about them because that spark of being interested and excited and passionate about books is what I’m here for.

I don’t think that a book bloggers purpose it to sell books because as a whole we are doing something more important. We are getting to the root of why people buy books in the first place. We are nurturing a love of reading, we are creating an ongoing conversation about books, and we have created a community of diversity and different voices that are united by one thing: a passion for books. That is what will make someone not only buy one book in their lifetime – but several. This is what turns a reader into a book lover and this is what I’m here for.
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