Earlier today I found myself involved in a conversation concerning posting book hauls on the blog. The conversation mainly dealt with publishers getting annoyed over bloggers pestering them after seeing someone’s book haul. The conversation went on for some time and veered into the direction as to whether we should post these picture or not. I came away with the impression that many people viewed the book haul posts as bragging. Now these posts have always sat heavily on my conscience as I do receive a lot of review books, so I am debating whether or not to continue with Letterbox Love.
In my defence there are five of us on the Serendipity Reviews team, soon to be six. As a team we are made up of aspiring and published authors who learn so much from the work of other authors and we get a feel for the publishing market as a whole. I am also aware that certain publishers tend to retweet these posts as a way of promoting their books, so I have never been under the impression that publishers would like us to stop them. I have a good relationship with all the publishers I work with and not once have they asked me to stop these posts.
Also many of the books delivered are unsolicited. In fact, half to three quarters that arrive at my home have appeared down this route and I am always truly grateful for that. If they don’t appeal to my reviewers and I, I normally give them away internationally so another blogger gets the chance to read them.
I‘ve always viewed the book haul posts as a way of showing what books will be hitting the market very soon. I am passionate about the books coming out and I know I can be rather loud when it comes to showing people what to expect. Not once has anyone ever told me to shut up and if they don’t like what I show them, they know where to hit the unfollow button on the way out. Many of my blogging pals feel the same way and we try our best to highlight the books with publishing details such as synopsis and dates of publication.
I will admit to occasionally begging for a book. The lengths I went to get Amy Plum’s Die For Me are now legendary and Amy has since nicknamed me Hurricane Viv. As I have progressed as a blogger, I have wisened and now quietly offer sparkling cupcakes instead of *coughs* offering to sell members of my family.
With the growth of sites such as NetGalley, offering everyone review copies, I can’t help but think the publishers really don’t mind that we ask for books and then show them off. I have never ever had a publisher give me my marching orders. At the Mira Ink event I went to last night, the love and gratitude from the staff made us all feel like we do a worthwhile job. Not one of us walks around as though we are owed these books - as though it is our God given right as book bloggers to receive them; each and every one of us are grateful for what we receive. I hope that our efforts to advertise books helps to sell more of them, especially as the book space in newspapers and magazines diminishes.
However with the growth of the book blogger market within the UK, I’m now beginning to feel even more uneasy about posting these posts. I don’t want to be a bragger, I can assure you I have absolutely nothing to brag about. I honestly don’t want to alienate people by showing them all the books that I receive. And I wanted to ask you as readers of this blog, whether you would like me to continue with these posts or not. What are your thoughts on the books we show? Are we coming across as bragging? Should we stop?
To Letterbox Love or Not! You decide?