There was recently some hubbub about the potential threat of book blogs being shut down for an excessive amount of blog tours and book blitzes. The argument was (the majority of) blog tours and book blitzes can be considered advertising or spam and advertising or spam is not allowed on free blogs.
I really do have to agree that for the most part book blitzes and blog tours can be pretty spammy. Reading the same post on 5-10 blogs is boring. It doesn’t give me any good information. Yes, it is possible to put your own twist on the posts the tour companies or authors send you but so few bloggers do that.
Here’s the thing, every blogger is different. I completely understand that. If you want use your blog to promote authors and books. Awesome. If you want review books that you only borrow from the library, that’s fantastic as well. If you want to post nothing but reviews for books you get from publishers, that’s fine as well. Please don’t mistake me for passing judgement on you or your blog. I’m merely commenting on the trends I’ve been seeing.
If you been around my blog long, you’ll see that I don’t do many promotional posts (blog tours, spotlights, book blitzes). I, as a reader, really don’t like seeing those posts on other blogs. I pretty much always skip over them when I come across them in my reader. To be perfectly honest, I won’t follow a blog (or will unfollow a blog) if I see many promotional posts. When I read a blog, I want to know what that blogger thinks about things. I don’t want to see what someone is asking them to promote. I much rather read about things they found organically on their own (or picked up because of a friend).
When I started blogging 3 years ago, blog tours and book blitzes weren’t really around. ‘Big’ book bloggers would get access to ARCs from publishers and of course self published authors would send just about anyone ARCs who wanted them. Over the years, the hype of book blogs has grown and now blog tour companies started popping up all over the place. Every few weeks, it feels like I’m getting emails to join as a tour host for one of those companies. When I was a younger blogger, I did join a tour or two and post a few promotional posts. It was initially exciting for someone to consider your blog. After a while, the magic was lost. The books were okay but I’d much rather read what I want and talk about what I want.
At some point along the way, it seems like there was a shift where promo posts started to become ‘cool’ and they were popping up on more blogs. I guess it’s a game of balance. If you’re able to do promo or tour posts every once in a while and you jazz it up to make it unique to your blog, those posts can be interesting. The other side is posting too many of those posts with little to no original content between can make a blog really dull. I really miss the days of seeing more different and interesting posts on blogs.
I’ve worked really hard to keep the focus of my blog as a reading journal rather than an advertising platform for authors. I don’t accept many review requests (compared to other book bloggers). I don’t think I’ll be joining any more blog tours. I won’t be posting any promotional posts. Does that mean I won’t be telling you about books? NO. I have no problem shouting from the rooftops that I love a book. I just feel much better telling you about books that I’m excited for rather than someone telling me to promote a book.
How do you feel about promotional posts and blogging?
How do you find your balance?
Rachel from Parajunkee did a great post on this topic recently if you’d like to read more.