There is a big controversy in the blogosphere about whether or not book blogger help sell books or not. Also how we are not professional and we are just in it for the freebies. All because an author received a bad review.
First and foremost from what I understand this author approached the bloggers to review her book. If she didn't think they would help with her book sales then why approach them in the first place.
Next, am I a "professional" writer or reviewer? Not in the sense that I get paid for this blog or to read the books I read. Is my blog free from mistakes? No. Is the grammar always correct? No. Do I love what I do? Yes. Am I passionate about getting the word out about reading and books? You Betcha!!
I did not start this blog to get free books. I started this blog to spread the word about books I read and to let others know about the ones I loved. My husband is not a reader and I was thrilled to have an outlet to talk about my passion for books.
I spend Hours a day working on my blog, writing the various posts. I spend hours a day reading the books that I review. Would I still do this if I did not receive free books? Yeah as I mentioned before I started this blog just talking about the books that I read. Actually this blog started on my other family blog and it became so much that I thought that it need a forum all to itself.
As Far as selling books. I was figuring it up and the average book that I review is posted about an average of 30 times from the time I receive the book till I actually post the review.
When I first receive a book I will list it on Good Reads, Shelfari, and Library Thing as a book I want to read
(3 mentions) Anything I list on Good Reads gets automatically mentioned on my Facebook Page (1 mention 4 total). I usually participate in In My Mailbox at TheStorySiren.com. So the Book is mentioned in that post (1 mention 5 total) Each of my blog posts gets automatically tweeted about and posted on my facebook page (2 mentions 7 total). I also usually participate in It's Monday What are You Reading? over at Bookjourney Which a book will usually be mentioned for four weeks at least (coming up, what I am reading, this week on the blog , last week on the blog)( 4 mentions 11 total) Each of these are tweeted and put on the face book (8 mentions, 19 total) . Then comes the actual review (1 mention, 20 total) Tweeted and facebooked (2 mentions, 22 total) I usually post the review on Good Reads, Shelfari, Librarything, Amazon and if it is an audio book either on Audible or Christian Audio. (4 or 5 mentions, 26 or 27 total) Remember anything that gets put on Good Reads is posted on Facebook (1 mention, 27 or 28 total). I post about any books that I review on my other blog which reaches an entirely different audience (1 mention 29 or 30 total) This gets automatically tweeted and put on face book (2 mentions and grand totals of 30 or 31). I have had people who have read my reviews on ALL the various places I post that they will putting a book that I posted about on their TBR lists.
I use the recommendations from other bloggers for my personal reading and for books for my daughter. Yes I do get free books but I also still buy books (I just bought a book yesterday for my daughter and I belong to both Audible.com and Christianaudio.com) And I rely on reviews from other bloggers to help me make my decision.
As Far as writing a bad review. Not All of us like everything. It would be a pretty boring world if we did. Not all of us like everything that the same author writes. I personally love Misery by Stephen King but couldn't stand Cell. The FTC disclaimer we have to post even says that when we receive books that we are not to be required to write a positive review. We as blogger need to make sure that we are writing about the book not the author but I personally have never read any reviews that put down the author. I personally wrote a negative review just yesterday. The book was just not up my alley. But I sought out positve reviews of the book and linked to them in my review so my readers could make up their own mind. As in life you are not always going to get glowing reviews. Just take what you can out of the experience, learn from it and carry on.
Do I read every book I receive? Unfortunately no, there are just not enough hours in the day (after all I do work full time, homeschool my daughter, have a family, go to church etc). But I try to fit as many in as I can. When I receive a book I go straight to my calendar and see where I can fit it into my reading and reviewing schedule. Yes Since I have started blogging I now have a reading and reviewing schedule and yes most of the books that I have bought get pushed back so I can place the books that are sent to me at the top of the TBR pile.
I love Book Blogging and I love the bloggers I have become aware of through it.