One of the main gripes I hear lately within the publishing world, is the lack of written space for book reviews. The area available in many well known magazines and national newspapers has shrunk so dramatically, only a Borrower could read them, and even then they would need a magnifying glass. Alongside the recent dismissal of Amanda Craig from The Times, it seems that the printed media world is turning it’s back on it’s long term written companion.
As book bloggers we do our best, always trying to boost the popularity of newly published books and debut authors online. Through our blogs, joint review sites, Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook, we spread the love of books to the online community. But what about the off line community? Is there any way as book bloggers we could reach out to them and convince them that what the next book to read is?
I was always under the impression that the answer would be no. Until I came up with an idea. I decided to contact my local magazine. Now this publication, may not be able to compete with it’s richer, more sophisticated relatives, but it does get read by a lot of the local community – from youngsters to parents, right through to their grandparents. Not only does it provide useful adverts for local traders, but it also allows us to catch up with local news and events, not to mention being freely delivered through our front door every month.
So I contacted the editor of the magazine and asked if she would be interested in publishing my reviews in her magazine. She requested a sample and after just a few hours I received an email back, saying she would be happy for me to send them and hopefully she would be able to fit them in each month. I thought nothing more of it, until this popped through my door today.
And lo and behold, over half way in, my review for A Little Night Magic by Lucy March, appeared in the magazine. To say I was chuffed, would be an understatement. So not only had a reviewed this book online on my blog, I had also managed to get it into a local magazine which would reach many of the offline community who don’t always know what new books are available.
Now if I can do it, what is stopping the rest of the book blogging world doing the same. It wouldn’t take you long to approach your local magazines and newspapers to see if they were interested in featuring one of your reviews you have already posted online. The good thing about book bloggers, is we cover the whole country, so why not get out there and see if you can pull in some readers for the books we all love, by getting your reviews published locally. Don’t expect to get paid for it, as you probably won’t; but as book bloggers we only review for the love of books anyway. By doing this, I see us helping to spread the word a little bit further than before and perhaps we might be able to help bridge the gap now widening with the loss of written reviews.
Go on – spread the book love!