Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Block Party: Why I Think Bloggers Are the New Booksellers

Technology has changed a lot of things, and the world of publishing is no exception. Holly, the author of A BLUE SO DARK and PLAYING HURT, has gotten very good very quickly at navigating this new world.

Right before I got my undergraduate degree, I remember a girl in one of my lit classes asking the prof, “How do you know what new stuff is good to read? Where do you start?”

What she was saying was that she’d been buried in her classroom reading so long—so inundated with thick classics—that she was completely out of the loop, as far as contemporary lit was concerned.

She got snickered at, though—because at that time, in my hometown of Springfield, MO, she had plenty of bookstores where she could browse and become reacquainted with contemporary writers.

Now, though? My hometown has no independent bookstores. Not one. Recently, my favorite used store closed. The Borders Express in the mall shut down around the holidays, and the larger Borders is in the process of shutting its doors, too.

The loss means the art of bookstore browsing is dying—and not just in my hometown. Walking aisles and pulling spines is no longer something you can do on lunch hours or Saturdays…it’s something, quite frankly, you do online.

And nothing—NOTHING has helped introduce readers to new authors quite like book bloggers. Instead of having a bookseller who can recommend titles, we now have bloggers.

Bloggers have been instrumental in connecting my books with the right readers. They’ve been incredible to me, shouting my praises from Twitter, using their own money to pass along copies of my books in tours.

I know exactly how much work bloggers have put into helping to promote my books—and I’m eternally, eternally grateful…



  1. I've found so many amazing books because of bloggers. It goes to show you- though the industry may be changing all around us, there will always be people who advocate for books. That kind of passion is, to me, what sets this industry apart from so many others! :)

  2. Wow. That is so interesting, although it makes me sad to think that our bookstores are closing.

  3. I agree - book bloggers are awesome. I've found out about so many good books because of them.

    It is really sad that bookstores are closing though. :(

  4. While I visit a lot of book blogs, I don't really "read" very many of them. I look for what books get mentioned over and over again, and then skim for words that are repeatedly associated (i.e., brilliant voice, dystopian world - something that gives me a feel for what it is and why it's popular).

    That's just the way I read - I don't want to know anything going in (I want to study the book and figure it out for myself), but I still have to choose what to pick up. I used to think that I didn't want to be a lemming, just reading what everyone else was reading - but then I started to figure out that certain books get buzz for a reason.

    This is what I'm posting about next week for our "Book of the Month" series - books with hype.

    Thanks for stopping by the Block Party, Holly!