It’s been a long time since my last discussion post. I was recently talking to a new author, who had only recently discovered the book blogging community. She posed a very simple sounding question to me:
I’m going to be completely candid in saying that I am not certain of the motivations of bloggers. It seems a little too good to be true. I must be missing something. What, ultimately, is the goal of a blogger/reviewer?
So my discussion today is exactly that. Why do I blog about books?
First off, I will be entirely truthful and say I would love to make money reading books. I don’t see it happening though. And making money off my blog? Ha. I haven’t made enough off any affliate program yet to even pay for a single book. Or even the shipping of a single book. So it’s obviously not for monetary reasons. In fact, when I hold giveaways for physical books, I pay the shipping myself. (Hence my love of ebook giveaways.) That’s why those giveaways are restricted to US/Can. Shipping costs from Canada to anywhere are high, even within Canada. We don’t have media mail like the US. Every time I get a package from the US and see a $2.50 or less shipping stamp, I want to weep with envy. But I digress.
I love reading. I always have. Like most readers, I want to talk about the books I read. In real life, the only person who is willing to talk books with me is my sister. We share many books, and have some good discussions. But not every book, and not on a regular basis.
My blog helps me keep track of the books I read. And my thoughts on those books. It also gives me a way to share my opinions on said books with other people who are interested in talking books. Reading other blogs, I find lots of great book recommendations. If I can influence even one other person to read a book off my read list, I’m super happy. And if you want to share your opinion of it with me, even better.
I think the whole community atmosphere of the book blogs is one of the biggest draws. There is almost no bashing of books, authors, or other bloggers. Everyone has an opinion to share, but even when it’s a negative review, it’s still done in a respectful way. I love finding other reviews for books I’ve read. Both positive and negative. If the review matches my opinion, I can say hey, I know exactly what you’re talking about. Wasn’t that part awesome/horrible? Or if it is a differing opinion, maybe I can learn something that I missed that may change my mind about the book.
Being truthful, I can’t neglect the benefits of being a blogger – free books. Since I love ebooks, and self-published authors, I get a lot of requests to read and review books. Which equals free ebooks for me. So I get to read lots of books, discover awesome stories that I’ve never find otherwise, and I didn’t have to pay for it? Sweet deal.
My author friend had one other comment:
To do all this work out of the kindness of your own heart seems to benefit only the authors/publishers/etc. Am I wrong in thinking this?
In short, yes, you are wrong. But in a good way. I like the idea of helping others, but even if I didn’t have a blog, I’d still be reading lots of books. By having a blog, not only am I reading lots of books, I have gained a whole community to discuss them with, I have found many books I’d never pick up on my own, and I get to do it all without breaking my budget. If it benefits authors/publishers/etc, that’s just an added bonus.
What about you? Why do you blog about books?