I woke up this morning and realized it was 2015. Yes, I realize I posted something to that effect roughly a week ago, but that was just because everyone else seemed to be doing it. It hadn't really sunk in. Being perpetually behind the times, I am just now catching up to the rest of you. So this morning, as I was pouring my first cup of coffee, I suddenly looked up and said, "Holy crap. It's 2015 already."
That's me. Always ahead of eight-ball.
Anyway, this led me to thinking about all of the changes we've been seeing in the book blogging world in the last year. Mostly good ones. Because, allow me to just say this out loud here, book blogging could use some fresh changes. It's been nearly a decade since book blogs became common place throughout the interwebz and up until recently the basic format really hadn't changed. (Snooze.)
But all that's been changing. In fact, you might even want to call these changes....dare I say it?....new trends in the book blogging world. They're pretty exciting. Check it out...
Old School: Book blogs as commercial-like ventures.
New Trend: Small, independent book blogs that are as quirky and individual as the owners themselves. No more flashy ads, gimmicks to gain zillions of followers, daily commercial-like reviews. Book blogs are trending towards the more personal, with a small-town, indie-bookstore feel to them. It's pretty awesome.
Old School: Daily/weekly reviews of the newest book releases.
New Trend: More focus on backlist books, favorite authors, opinion pieces, and essays. This is a very encouraging trend as there really were few things more irritating than opening up a feed reader and seeing fifty reviews of the same new release any given week. And if it was boring for a blogger, just think of how readers must have felt. (Mark read, mark read, MARK ALL AS READ, GAH!)
Old School: Book Blog Awards. The rules? You must pass this on to at least five other bloggers!
New Trend: Laughing at Book Blog Awards. (Okay, some bloggers may not remember these, but trust me, they were very popular at one time. And holy crap....they multiplied like bunnies on Viagra.) Today's Blog Awards aren't as superficial but most blogs don't clutter up their sidebars with things like this anymore. Visual trend on book blogs for 2015? Less is more.
Old School: Posting nothing but book reviews.
New Trend: Diversification. We really saw this take off last year with the increase in popularity of webcomics, but now we're seeing things like podcasts (Serial, anyone?), BookTube, long-form journalism, Lit Journals, and other mediums that have been around quite a while really being embraced and used to their full-potential. We're seeing them featured on more and more book blogs and this is quite encouraging. It showcases the individuality of blog owners and really gets us away from the ho-hum of the generic book review.
Old School: Reviewing as many books as possible.
New Trend: Quality over quantity. We're seeing more and more established book bloggers cutting back on the number of books they are reading and reviewing each year. This is an encouraging trend as more bloggers are making the move towards quality reading and posting over sheer volume. Bravo!
Old School: Book world drama.
New Trend: errrr, nevermind.
I'm pretty thrilled to see these new changes taking place in our online book community. Every time I see a book blogger challenge traditional blogging conventions, I find myself
encouraged jumping up and down with glee and immediately wondering how I can apply my own take on the trend to my own blogging (or lack thereof, depending on the week, the phase of the moon, or whether Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow that year). Because after all these years we need fresh perspective, new format, and a formal ban on the words "lyrical prose" in all book reviews. Okay I just made that last part up, but do you think we can at least take it under consideration?
Now go forth and be creative! Oh, and Happy 2015!