Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Online book reviews?

Galleycat posted a blip about former LA Times book reviewer Steve Wasserman's new digs--he'll be reviewing online. Steve says he thinks that online reviews will someday become a viable alternative.

I think "someday" is overly cautious--I believe that blogging is a much more direct way to reach a readership. I haven't quite figured out how to harness blogging in order to best reach a reading public for books I'm editing, but it's something I think about everyday. After all, online readerships are much bigger and much more directly targeted than paper readerships these days. There is literally no better way to reach a specific readership--if only we can figure out how to do it. Even really casual associations (don't worry, I won't take this as a shameless opportunity to promote TheBookBook) offer readers suggestions and end up driving some traffic.

The challenge as an editor, of course, is very similar to the challenge for getting yourself traditional reviews--to establish credibility for yourself as a reviewer while still not doing a disservice to your own company and your own books. You don't want to oversell your own product to these blogs and make them distrustful of what you have to offer, especially when they are inundated with literally thousands of new books to read and review each day. At the same time, you're bound to do your best for all your books. The difference is that blog/reviewing at this juncture has a little less formality associated with it than regular reviewing, which means there are limitless possibilities for an editor to try to reach out to niche blublications (that's my new word I'm coining. Please feel free to pass it around liberally.).

Does anyone have any favorite book review blogs to suggest here? I have my own ongoing list that I track (muwahaha, how wonderful it is to have intern stooges that I can force to troll the internet for me!) but I'm really interested to hear a) if you like to take book recommendations from blogs, and b) which blogs you like best, big or small. Share, please!!


writtenwyrdd said...

I don't check out book review blogs that specialize in book reviews (unless they are just there to poke fun); however, I do check out books that are mentioned with enthusiasm by bloggers whose sites I read.

That said, I bought Lottery because I've been hanging out on Pat Wood's blog for the past year. And Stacia Kane's book because of the same reason.

Jill Myles said...

I love DearAuthor.com for romance novels and such.

For more literary leanings? I don't know, but I confess that I love your blog with much love. Like a wild love thing. With bad grammar.

PS - Have you considered a livejournal feed? I know livejournal has a lot of cross-over activity between friendlists, but Blogger perplexes me by its lack of such a friendly list.

Stuart said...

Pat's Fantasy Hotlist is the place to go for Scifi/Fantasy (fantasyhotlist.blogspot.com).

He does reviews, author interviews, and give aways. Good model to keep me coming back. He also has links to a bunch of other blog review sites.