The end of the flow of free books, which will soon be reduced to a trickle.
– Carolyn Kellogg
Has book blogging hit the wall? A marketing department email sent to bloggers on Thursday by William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins, indicates some kind of horizon is in sight. What’s on that horizon? The end of the flow of free books, which will soon be reduced to a trickle.
“Message is essentially: if you don’t review enough of the books we send you, in the timeframe we want you to, you’re out,” Rebecca Joines Schinsky tweeted Thursday. Schinsky, who writes and edits The Book Lady’s Blog, is one of the leaders of the latest generation of committed book bloggers.
“Can you imagine them sending this to Horn Book or The NYTimes?” added Pam Coughlin, who blogs at MotherReader.
Many publishers enthusiastically send books to bloggers, and today’s book blogger may rake in free books like leaves after a windy fall day. But it wasn’t always that way.
When blogging about first began, publishers, like many other long-established businesses, looked at the form with justifiable skepticism. If just anyone could start a blog, what role could bloggers have?
Eventually, that skepticism faded. People who like to read books, it turns out, were reading things on the Internet. Those things included blogs. They included book blogs. As time passed, many early book bloggers, many of whom focused on literary titles, moved on to other things — book reviewing, publishing short stories, writing novels, even writing for newspapers.
Full disclosure: I am one of those bloggers. And yes, this is a blog.
As early literary bloggers began shifting into other roles, a new generation of book blogging enthusiasts swelled behind them. The scope of their conversations was broader than ever — in addition to focusing on literary fiction, book blogs emerged where readers could discuss romance, horror, fantasy, and many other genres, some of which had struggled to find mainstream coverage. Book blogs were something publishers began to see as a way to expand the discussion of their books in new and exciting ways.