Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Would You Still Blog?

I saw a topic yesterday on agent Nathan Bransford's blog that I liked: Would You Still Write If You Knew You'd Never Make A Cent? Personally, I think Sara Zarr said it best:

It's true that I "write for myself" in that I would never even start a book unless it was a story I wanted to explore, but I'm not one of those writers who would write and write and write even if publication wasn't a possibility. A book is a conversation, an interaction. For me, a book isn't a book unless and until it evokes a response, and hearing some of the responses directly makes the process feel whole.

Now, since my relationship with writing is chaotic, I don't know MY answer to that question. But I love Sara's. So... yeah.

Anyhow, I got to thinking about how this applies to bloggers. Most of us are not professional (in my immediate blogosphere network, at least), so we technically don't get paid. However, some of us are lucky enough to receive a few ARCs here and there, as well as review copies straight from authors. Hell, some of us actually ask for those. I think most of us are happy to consider this our materia retribution.

Which begs the question - would you still blog if you knew you would not receive review material from anyone, ever?

14 comments:

Just Blinded Book Reviews said...

I admit that it would be a lot more hard to review without some of the books receive, but I don't think that would stop. I don't write reviews for the free books, though it is a major plus, I do it to voice my thoughts and opinions, and that's it.

Jen Robinson said...

Definitely. I started my blog reviewing books that I bought or got from the library, though I pretty quickly started receiving books from publishers and authors. I've actually considered (and I've seen other bloggers to do this) stopping accepting review books, because the volume can become overwhelming. So, for sure I would blog if I didn't get books from publishers. But I can see that other people might not.

Lenore said...

I started reviewing books on my blog just to jot down my thoughts and to start converstations about books I read. Most of the books I reviewed in the beginning were books I bought or got from the library. I do think it's really cool to have the chance to read and review a book before it's out (which pretty much means review copies) but if they disapeared tomorrow, my blog would still be kicking.

What getting review copies does for me and my blog is it gets me reading a lot more and posting a lot more than I probably would otherwise.

Amee said...

Obviously you know what I'm going to say. Yes, I would still blog. As an active blogger I cut back on the amount of review copies I accepted back when I was still on Ravenous. It still holds true for me on Manifesto now. I have three (either here already or on their way) and I don't plan accepting more until I finish those.

Maybe it's just me but having review copies makes a blog more of a chore than something for fun. So now I only accept books I know I will like. I know it isn't necessarily fair for books with crappy synopsis but great content, but it's the only way that I actually can keep blogging.

So the question is really different for me than everyone else, I suppose. :P

Gabbi said...

Yep. I would. When I started out, all the books I reviewed were ones I lined up at a bookstore to get and paid for or I got as a gift from someone. As long as I got feedback (like the lovely and eloquent Sara said) I would definitely, hands down, keep reviewing.

Great topic, btw.

Shooting Stars Mag said...

I would still review. I would hope people would still read as well! I'm always getting books and going to the library, so it wouldn't stop my supply of books to read...:)

-lauren

Book Chic said...

Like others, when I originally started the blog, I didn't think about receiving review copies, and just planned on reviewing books I had bought or gotten from the library. This would've worked until I went back to college, lol, where I didn't have access to a public library or loads of funds to buy books, so having review copies was great.

But now that I'm out of school, and have more funds as well as a library card for where I live now, I could most definitely keep the blog going without review copies. The library here has a ton of books that I could review, and seems pretty good at keeping up with YA literature. They even have a room specifically for it. It's just fantastic.

Kelsey said...

When I started my blog I didn't even know what ARC's were. I didn't know authors were this involved with readers and reviewers, I didn't know you could just ask for free books to review. I had no idea about anything. I started my blog just to share my feelings about books, I didn't care about getting books then.So yeah, I would still be reviewing. But I agree with Sara Zarr, I doubt I would continue writing novels like that (If I was a writer) if I didn't get paid. I might still write, but not divot my life to it. Or like it would just be a regular hobby.

charybdisreviewz said...

I would definitely continue blogging, even if I wasn't getting feedback. I love it too much. Even if no one cares, its nice to have it out there. Truth be told though, I would probably swear a hell of a lot more if no one was reading :)

Accepting ARCs can get overwhelming. It's hard to prioritize when you have a book the rest of the literary world is clamoring for, but you also have work and school and family and blaaaaagh going on at the same time...

Alea said...

Don't think that would be a problem... looks at TBR room of books. I actually started my blog as just random stuff, a few friends read it. Then I started posting my Library Thing Early Reviewer reviews on there. Figured why not. Then it spawned into a largely book related blog. At first my own books and right now a lot of ARCs. I actually hope to get back to my own books sometime in the near future and sprinkle in a few ARCS, not the other way around! I buy tons of books still but I'm a little trigger happy right now with review copies dangled in front of my face. I do think ARCs help keep the material on blogs current but there are tons and tons of books that aren't brand new that can be of interest. A mix of both would be ideal to me.

Book blogging has afforded me a relationship with other blogs. At first no one commented and to me that meant no one read. I will admit my blogging fell off the deep end. But now that I've found a great community I really don't fear that/have to deal with it anymore. So thank goodness for that!

Chelsea said...

Definitely. Sure, it's a major perk to get free books, but I started off not expecting that AT ALL. I really just like to help promote books and talk to others about them.

Chelsie said...

Most definitely I would still blog. I've been writing reviews for years and years, and review copies aren't the only things that keep me going. I enjoy doing it (reviewing) and the blogging part has only made it more fun and interactive, so I'd definitely review without getting review copies.

YA Book Realm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YA Book Realm said...

Yep! I actually started off write book reviews for my school newspaper (I love seeing the reviews printed on the newspaper) and surprisingly people like the book section. Although, I don't think kids would be ecstatic over who the new superintendent of the school is this year (which is one of the articles in the newspaper is about). But yeah, I would.

At first when I started reviewing for the newspaper, I got all the books from the library. Now, I still get book from the library or through a program (like Simon Pulse It Teen Advisory Board or w/e it's called, or book divas etc). I don't get publisher or authors wanting me specifically reviewing their book. And I'm okay with that.

And like Sara Zarr, I love getting feedback on my reviews. Like if the person read it and what they thought of it or if they plan on reading it. I love talking about book with another book lover!

Great question!

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