*Warning: this is going to be a long read*
Hi guys!! 😀 So this post was inspired some experiences I had so far regarding the book marketing programs. As a book blogger, I always enjoy sharing my thoughts about a book, rate it and hear what other people think about it. But sometimes, misleading book marketing can be frustrating and also the blogging and marketing misconceptions by other bloggers and readers. Addressing these issues, I decide to resume it in this post with the help of my co-blogger Lashaan and.. THE ORANGUTAN LIBRARIAN WOO!
How many times a book has been compared to The Night Circus and… IT WASN’T ANYTHING LIKE IT? For example, Caraval and The Lonely Hearts Hotel.
“Caraval was one of the biggest marketing flops this year for me. All I heard before I picked it up was that it was “the next Night Circus”. My goodness was this a disservice to the book- because whatever you think of it, Caraval was to Night Circus as chalk is to cheese. And as usual the hype train got derailed as I began reading and I ended up getting a lot less out of the book than I would have if I had gone into it without so many preconceptions. ” – The Orang-Utan Librarian
And here’s The Lonely Hearts Hotel’s blurb on Goodreads: With echoes of The Night Circus, a spellbinding story about two gifted orphans in love with each other since they can remember whose childhood talents allow them to rewrite their future.
Don’t get me wrong, The Lonely Hearts Hotel was an AMAZING book but it didn’t look ANYTHING like The Night Circus. So my question is, what’s the point of mentioning popular books when the actual book has nothing to do with it? Because of this marketing, people reading The Lonely Hearts hotel expect MAGIC, A CIRCUS, SPELLBINDING ROMANCE. But there’s nothing about magical in this novel and people get disappointed. Do people writing the synopsis even read the book or they just assume it has a romance vibe so automatically they think of The Night Circus?
“ What I am finally coming to understand is that if it is compared to the Night Circus, be prepared for something completely different. And I will never understand this hype because it nearly always backfires on the book. Surely it is better to be pleasantly surprised than let down? So why make these grandiose claims that never turn out to be true?”- The Orang-Utan Librarian
“As heart-warming and satisfying as it may be that your new debut novel is compared to a award-winning bestseller or two, I strongly believe that every book should stick to selling their story and its author without the need of such comparisons. Every book should have the opportunity to rise to the top and become an iconic creature of its own. Every book should have the opportunity to be known for what it is and who it was written by instead of drawing fame through proxies. This trend of comparing, and often missing the mark, only helps boost initial profits upon release, but if the comparison doesn’t make any sense to the reader, expect the book to take a huge blow, especially when bookworms can be quite vocal out here.
I doubt the trend will ever die as it seems to help plenty of individuals pick up a book faster than they used to, I just wish blurbs were a little less revealing and had a lot less comparisons to big hits.” – Lashaan
I’m very grateful to be a part of the advance readers for different publishers like Penguin Random House, Hachette, Flatiron Books, etc. I actually think Blogging is the main platform where the book trending begins and ends. Of course, it can start on Instagram and Tumblr with beautiful covers and pictures. But people tend to want to read reviews about the trending book and that’s where blogging comes from. I love doing that and being able to help other people decide if a new book is worth their times or not can be very precious.
Since the beginning of our blogging adventures, we’ve realized how much a review by a blogger can have an impact on reader’s who seek an opinion before a purchase.- Lashaan
Some people may not agree with how we are sponsored by publishers, hosting giveaways, or helping the publishers get more followers and likes, but I actually like it. I don’t think there’s something wrong in having the opportunity to giveaway hardcover books and incite people to participate. Let’s face it, books are expensive. I acknowledge the privilege I have to receiving free books and giveaways are a great way to give back.
Often, the giveaways we put up are opportunities to give back to a community that glows of love for books- Lashaan
Sometimes, I receive an extra copy of a book or I go to a book convention that other people didn’t have the chance too, my first thought is : omg let’s host a giveaway! You know, because it’s the same exciting feeling when you’re giving a gift ! But if our followers think it’s not in accordance of their practice, they can unfollow me any day.
Helping publishers reach a bigger audience through ARC reviews and giveaways is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful opportunity that Bookidote has given us. – Lashaan
And last but not least, the sponsored honest reviews. I’m not the type of girl to sugarcoat as you can probably notice in this post. When I receive a free book in exchange for my review, the publishers know the Bookidote’s oath: we will review it with honesty no matter what happens. I am the type of person to always finish a book to really give a more depth to my review, explaining what was wrong and if the ending was actually worth it.
“The key to successful blogging is honesty. Whether you engage with publishers often, rarely or never, what people are looking for is what *you* think. It’s actually bloggers honesty that can save a book from hype- because it’s thanks to so many bloggers that I am made aware of how a book may not live upto expectations. And surprisingly enough, a critical and balanced review can be more helpful than one that is all gush!”
– The Orang-Utan Librarian
“It is spreading this love for books that initially started everything on Bookidote and being able to share our honest opinion on a book will always prevail over anything. When partnering up with publishers, there will come moments where we help in expanding their fanbase, as well as ours, in hopes of reaching out to readers who have yet to meet us or discover a publisher and all the books they release. Hopefully, these opportunities will only rally us together in an optic to make our blogging voices even stronger and bigger than they already are, and in hopes that reading will only become bigger everywhere in the world.” – Lashaan
So I think blogging can be a great tool for book marketing as long as you don’t piss off the bloggers by comparing everything to The Night Circus 😉