A Reader's Respite is supposed to be posting a book review right now. We spent the entire afternoon blending the perfect combination of wit and literary criticism, expending considerable brain power (not to scoffed at around here), and was just about ready to hit the POST button when....
....we discovered that this very same book has been reviewed on no less than a dozen or so other book blogs in the past week.
Now we all know that when an author or publicist wants to generate a little buzz for their book, all they have to do is send out a bazillion copies to the book blogging world.
And it's a great system. Really, we love generating buzz. We're just not so crazy about seeing the same book reviewed on twenty different blogs all within a few days of each other.
But we don't live in a bubble, either. Like it or not, we are a part of that larger book blogging community.
So we were pondering stuff. Like how to avoid this problem in the future. After all, when a book blogger is contacted about reviewing a book, we seldom (if ever) ask how many other book bloggers are receiving that very same book at the very same time?
In short, A Reader's Respite is starting to feel the weight of responsibility to our readers. The responsibility to provide reviews of books you may not have known about, rather than the latest hit coming down the pike.
Now this doesn't mean that we won't occasionally accept a review copy. A Reader's Respite reserves the right to participate in a blog tour if we feel the book is especially deserving (like the Daphne du Maurier hype right now ---- reprinting her old books is just too cool to ignore!).
And over the next month or so, readers will see reviews of newer books as we wrap up the review commitments we have made.
But beginning around July, you won't be reading about the newest "in" book around this joint. Hopefully, you'll stick around to read reviews of books you might not otherwise have noticed!
What think you?
Wow, what a great purpose for a blog! I know that I definitely will enjoy your future book reviews. :)ReplyDelete
I love this idea Michele.And, I agree with you...how many reviews of the same can you read? Though, speaking for myself, I also write reviews to keep a record of the books I read and what I liked about them...ReplyDelete
I do read new releases, but I mostly concentrate on older books (the older the better) as well as reprints (Plaidy, obviously). I just recently wrote a review for a book that at least 5 other bloggers I know, also wrote about- I had the same exact feeling you had. Enough is enough...at this point, rather than entice reading; the opposite is bound to happen;)
I like that plan. It's a big part of the reason I have stopped accepting any review books at all. I can't wait to see what you review going forward!ReplyDelete
I hope so, Iryna. Be sure to tell me if you don't like it and I'll change the format back!ReplyDelete
Ms Lucy - I hear ya on the reprints! That's why I'm an avid follower of your Plaidy blog!!
Lezlie - I've always loved the fact that you review a lot of classics and older books. There are a bazillion excellent books that have been published in years past and I just feel like I'd rather catch up on those before reading newer ones, LOL.
Yeah! I'm relatively new to the book blogging world-- and the blogs that stand out the most to me are about books the blogger(s) read because they wanted to, and when they wanted to--not because it was an ARC that is going to be out in the bookstores in two weeks.ReplyDelete
So, go for it :-).
Me think me likey. I'm not a slave to the ARC's. I've got a few coming up, but I tend to read based on my reading challenges and what I am interested in. With my WWII books for my reading challenge for example, I try hard to find ones that are good but unique. How many times can I read a review of "The Reader" for crying out loud? As far as the newest and shiniest books, I am always a day late and a dollar short, so when I actually get around to them, they are old news! I understand where you are coming from, and I wholeheartedly support you!ReplyDelete
I think this is an awesome idea. I've started limiting the review books I get. I used to get a lot of them, but now I'm a lot more discerning and only take the ones I think I'll like, and even then, not always. I'm definitely finished taking the ones where the author sends it directly: too many issues when you end up not liking it.ReplyDelete
I've always tried to have a mix of books on my blog, old and new, and I love finding reviews of older books on other blogs too.
Terrific idea. I look forward to seeing what turns up here.
Do what you gotta do, girl!!!! I don't mind seeing more than one review of a book. It helps me remember it. But I love to see all kinds of reviews...as long as it reflects what the blogger wants to read.ReplyDelete
Even if a book has been reviewed a gazillion times already, for the most part, I find different bloggers can come up with amazingly different perspectives (except of course for the plot summary which one could skim after a few gadozen times). I don't mind either way - you've got "sassy commentary" that no one else does! So even if you were a rose, you would be different from all the other roses - oh wait, that's from The Little Prince, but apt, all the same! (or different...)ReplyDelete
You are a rose among thorns!ReplyDelete
Valerie - yeah, that's kinda what I'm thinking these days. I want to see a blogger review books they want to, no matter if it's old or new.ReplyDelete
Amy - I do agree with you, I like to see the new books coming out and am really interested in them. So I guess what I'm saying is that I want everyone else to review those for me, lol. You know what I mean, right?
Sandy - damn. My next book was The Reader. HA. Okay, I'll wait a few months to get to that one. I'm feeling like a thorn amongst roses, ha.
Holly - I like your mix. You really seem to balance it all well and that's kind of what I'm striving for in the future.
Rhapsodyinbooks - I do like the differing perspective out there. And I hope people continue to review the new stuff (so I can add to my tbr pile!). I'm just trying to figure out what doesn't feel right around this blog (mine) and fix it. *sigh* I'll be searching for the right combo. ;)
I don't mind multiple reviews on the same book especially if it's a truly fantastic book. But I do think that we need to balance out those reviews with reading from our personal collections, reading lists, etc. I think balance is key.ReplyDelete
I'm like Natasha - I don't mind multiple reviews, but I do love finding older books reviewed on blogs. I recently fell in love with 84, Charing Cross Road because of a blogger who reviewed it, and it's definitely not a new book! I will look forward to your future reviews.ReplyDelete
That's great! I'll still be around to read your review. I don't just want to read about new releases, I want to read about some oldies or lesser known books.ReplyDelete
Finally some common sense, I hate reading reviews about the same book over and over and over. I don't even bother reading them, I usually read the first one or two and then I just keep scrolling on Google reader.
Sounds like a great plan.ReplyDelete
Natasha - absolutely! I just felt we were getting a little unbalanced around this blog at least and am re-working things to find that balance.ReplyDelete
Carrie - I love discovering older books that I might have missed via blogs...it's so much fun when that happens. :)
Alaine and Bybee - thanks for the support, we'll see how it goes. Let me know, though, if you end up liking the old way better. It's your world, I'm just living in it! ;)
I'd love to know which book it is! I haven't seen any book which has been overly reviewed this week.ReplyDelete
I don't mind seeing three or four reviews for the same book, but have to admit that if I see more than that I switch of.
Yay. And rest assured that I will be addressing this issue on the Book Blogger's panel at BEA. I have ideas on how to correct this situation.ReplyDelete
Note too that whenever I mention the fact that I review older books (back list), publicists and publishers are generally very happy to hear it.
I have two specific ideas that I will be presenting at the panel (keeping them selfishly to myself for the time). But I am open to any thoughts any of you may have.
Michele, reading is supposed to be fun and not because you are supposed to be reading something. As much hype as the latest and greatest releases get these days, I'm having more fun finding those out of print long forgotten novels, including Du Maurier's back list.ReplyDelete
I have been reviewing books since 2002' and as a general policy I only review books that I have requested.ReplyDelete
On my site, bookpleasures.com, I make it very clear that I would appreciate if publicists, authors and publishers do not send me books I have not requested. However, unfortunately, I still receive tons of books that I have little interest in reviewing.
I'm thinking it's a good idea. I don't mind seeing reviews of the same book around everywhere but what I'm missing is reading some of the books I bought because I thought they'd be good even though they are obscure, unknown titles. I hope to get rid of my tbr pile enough to start posting reviews of those soon. I say make your blog what you want it to be. Those who enjoy your writing and witty style will be back no matter what.ReplyDelete
Personally, when I see the 22nd review of the same book in 3 days, I start skimming. I love reading reviews of older/more obscure/lesser known books. I'm looking forward to yours!ReplyDelete
Bookpleasures.com sometimes posts more than one review of the same book. You would be surprised as to how two different reviewers interpret a book! In fact, I have seen where one just loves the book with all of its shortcomings, while another could hardly wait to put it aside.ReplyDelete
I think it's so important to have a good balance. I try to have a good mix of "hot" new books, new books fewer people have heard of, and good reads from my personal TBR list.ReplyDelete
Few things bug me more than seeing the same book reviewed on 20 blogs in the same day. I know that's one way to do a blog tour, but it drives me nuts, and I end up ignoring all of those reviews because of it.
Your voice and your take on books is uniquely yours, and I'll keep hanging around whether you're reviewing the newest thing or something obscure that you're into and no one else has heard of.
I think this is totally you Michele. You are unique, your writing is unique and I totally get your reasoning!ReplyDelete
I've asked before how many other book bloggers were going to be reviewing a book I requested or was contacted about. I don't think, though, that I've ever gotten an answer, just that "other book blog reviewers will be reviewing the book, too."ReplyDelete
I've considered implementing a similar policy for my blog, but I think I'm addicted to ARC's--and I'm often surprised when I seem to be the only one, or one of just a few, who have reviewed a newly or about-to=be-released book. (Of course, sometimes mine is just the first in a forthcoming avalanche of reviews...)
Yes, I can see your point...and I can see the publicist's point too, trying to get a 'buzz' going. It just reaches a point where it is self defeating for them I think.ReplyDelete
I don't mind a few reviews of the same book...but too mahy and I stop looking at them.
I am starting to think a balance is needed. ARCs are fine...and I assume there will be other reviews out there for the ARCs I request, but either I tend to pick mainly more unpopular books...or the fact that I am often behind helps spread them out.
but I do like to throw in some books I just want to read or older books, and I may lean toward adding more of those.
But really Michele...WHAT WAS THE BOOK??..it is not nice to tease us.
unlike Jena..I often feel I am last in the avalanche...lolReplyDelete
This is actually one of the reasons why I don't publish book reviews on my own site and prefer to discuss books in general. Not only do I walk away feeling original but I also get the feeling that I might have mentioned something different and new to someone. I, for one, am curious to see what obscure books you will encounter.ReplyDelete
Latest musing: If there was a way we could stagger our reviews, that might be more beneficial for the author because his or her name would stay in the limelight for longer than a few weeks.ReplyDelete
Well, I think I'd read any review you wanted to write, but yes, I see your point! I like reading the new releases but it's important to me to keep the balance. Not sure I'm doing such a great job of it lately, because I'm reading and reviewing at a snail's pace.ReplyDelete
You have made me examine my reading habits for the last year and I am shocked to see how little reading I've done spontaneously for pleasure. I'm going to write my response in a post on my blog later this week. Thank you for the enlightenment.ReplyDelete
I know what you mean. I am okay with reviews of the same book everywhere if they are spaced out. I cannot handle it when everybody posts the reviews of the same book on the same day. It's really very irritating.ReplyDelete
But then it's okay, because most of the bloggers, even if they review the latest books, also review old books.
Of course, I'll stick around! You can't get rid of me that easily lol. I hear what you're saying and understand completely. In fact, I've been cutting back on review copies. I just received the last of the ones I agreed to read and I'll be catching up over the next few months. After that, I figure I'll still read some new books because I enjoy it, but I want to read more of the books that have been sitting on my shelves for a while.ReplyDelete
Diary of an Eccentric
What a great conversation! I have to say that your reviews always have your unique voice, which is why we love your blog. So, even if I've read a bunch of other reviews or even read the book, I still like to hear what you thought about it.ReplyDelete
I had wondered which book you were referring to! I would love to know what you thought about that whole Clark/Helen twist. I was seriously annoyed. :)
I wrote up a whole post about my worries about blog tours (I remember when they didn't even really exist in the community!), but then I was afraid to post it and stir up too much controversy. ;) Anyway, I definitely agree with you: I skip posts that are part of blog tours now.ReplyDelete
This is a great topic! I'm conflicted about the whole thing myself. There are books on my shelves that I'm dying to get my hands on, but I don't have time because of my other commitments. That being said, I have read some absolutely wonderful novels - either requested or unsolicited - that I might have never read if it weren't for this system. Balance is definitely the key, but how do you create it? I can't wait to hear more about Beth's BEA panel.ReplyDelete
My confusion aside, I love A Reader's Respite and that won't change with your new policy. We should blog for ourselves in the way we see fit. Variety is the spice of life.
It does seem that there are days when I see the same book reviewed on almost every blog I visit. My plan is to get the books and then sit on them forever until and then get off my lazy butt and read and review them. By then, everyone has forgotten about it and then it seems like I am original! (or lazy and I'm just deluding myself). Honestly, I love a mix of books on blogs and it is neat to see a bunch of different takes on the same book sometimes!ReplyDelete
I like it . Sometimes as a book blog reader, I get tried of seeing the same book reviewed over and over. Even though I enjoy reading everyone opinion, I do like a mix.ReplyDelete
I wholeheartedly agree with you. It is somewhat infuriating to see that the book you're about to review has already been reviewed on 20 other blogs. But I also agree that sometimes the hype is well deserved and not to be ignored as with du Maurier. I'll definitely stick around for reviews of books that are not the new 'in'.ReplyDelete
Yes, I will still show up to read your reviews! In fact I look forward to them. :) I have recently adopted a similar philosphy but haven't advertised it to my readers yet.ReplyDelete
The changes that I am making are not so much because of the multiple reviews of the same books, but because I'm not finding enough time to read and review the books that I really want to read. Instead I'm bogged down with review copies, and like you say, they are already being read and reviewed by many other bloggers.
My thoughts are to only request review copies of the books I can't live without, and even then I might just wait and check them out from the library. Because I have noticed that by the time I get to a book in my stack it's usually around the time it releases and so it's available at the library. Then I can review it at my own leisure without the pressure of deadlines from publicists or publishers.
I've quite enjoyed reading the comments to this post as well as the post itself. I will admit to switching off when I see the 10,000th review of a book. I'd definately be interested in backlist reviews as it's mostly what I read and enjoy. Just as long as you're still enjoying yourself.ReplyDelete
I've had a lot of the same thoughts as you lately. I need to find a better balance myself once I get through all the 'commitment' reading I have to do.ReplyDelete
ok well if anyone is reading this far, Are you bored OR SOMETHING?!ReplyDelete
But I wanted to say, that as a fairly new blogger.. I was wondering what the protocol was myself. It does seem in the last month that I've seen many the same books going round and round and wondered, gosh, is my input going to matter?! So what to do?
I am glad to know that the oldies will still be of interest.. so that I can read and review the bookshelf that sits patiently.. at my liesure.. so when I get to it, it may be fresh to someone else later on.
It's the books we love that need to be recognized. It is often the little nuggets that make a difference.ReplyDelete
Keep doing what you're doing...
Making a difference is what you're doing, Michele :]. Thanks!
I wait a bit until most of the review hype has died down to read the book that everybody is reviewing (or I don't read it at all). Mostly, I just read books that nobody else is though. Like the next book I'm reviewing was written in 1922 I believe but their was a movie adaptation a couple of years ago of it.ReplyDelete
I think the idea is on target. I've been to at least four blogs lately that were all about the same book. Unfortunately, it didn't make me want to read it, instead I felt like searching for something different.ReplyDelete
I agree. I have held off on posting a review just for this reason. I can't stand to see 15 reviews of the same book in my reader. It has the opposite effect on me! I end up not reading any of them!ReplyDelete
I wrote my response post and I linked back to you.ReplyDelete
Yes that's very annoying. I limit the review copies I accept for books I belive are well spread out and try to put my review up when others aren't. I also try to find new places to find review copies that I think others haven't found yet to keep new stuff going. I would like to go back to what I used to do and find older books and review them.ReplyDelete
Oh! I love it! I am so tired of seeing reviews for the same books on every blog I visit. After a while, I don't even care about reading the book. In fact, I have put off reading one particular ARC because I saw it on 5 different blogs 2 weeks ago and I am sure more are coming.ReplyDelete
I used to do this post that highlighted blogs that were reviewing books not seen on every other blog. Not many people seemed to be interested, which surprised me because I was more interested in these reviews than the ones on the same books over and over! Here, everyone seems to love this idea. Odd.
But I think it is great. I applaud you. I have been wanting to see more of this since I got into blogging in January. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I love reading reviews of backlist books, or even favorite children's books mixed in with the "hot" new upcoming book.ReplyDelete
Like Elizabeth commented, I tend to skim when I come to the 10th review of the same book in one day. Having said that, I'm posting a review on Thurs for a book that I thought was hysterical spot-on describing a particular sub-culture I've known ... and it's a one-day tour, so I'll be in the bubble that day :)
As commenter #53 (! wow) I'm coming a bit late to the discussion but wanted to say right on, Michele. I brought the "overexposure" issue up on the Historical Fiction forum last year and didn't get much response, so am glad to see it getting so much attention here.ReplyDelete
There have been some times I've been the 10th person to review the same book within a week, and no matter how much I enjoyed the novel, I find this discouraging. It can also make it seem like publishers (not us) are directing our content, an impression I don't want to give. I'm definitely accepting fewer review copies as a result. I'll be at the BEA session on book blogging and will look forward to hearing how others are addressing the issue.
I agree with much of what you said. I tend to read older books and review them. Its interesting we were discuss that on twitter the other day about the same book review repeatedly and the book tours. A bunch of us say it can be a turnoff and I tend to wait a year or more before I read the book if at all. I do get tired of seeing the same book time and time again for as long as 4wks sometimes. A recently overdone book is Mating Rituals of a Wasp. I am at the point where I do not want to participate in a giveaway for nor do I want to read it. I am sure its a good book but a lot of blogs put it in overkill and same for the Georgette Heyer books.ReplyDelete
Sorry if I offended anyone.
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