When I started this blog in '08, I mainly was reviewing young adult books because the explosion of the YA market was so that I wanted people to know that being an older adult reading a genre that was typically for the 'teenage' market was okay. In fact it is better than okay. I found myself enjoying the YA market a bit more than the traditional adult market.
I found the authors a bit more approachable. Especially the new authors who were just starting out. Authors like Michelle Zink, Jeannine Garsee, Lisa Schroeder, Maggie Stiefvater all started reaching out to us bloggers to help them get their books out there. There was a camaraderie with the authors and bloggers; We did what we could to help out these authors.
But then the Blogging world exploded. People saw that if you read a book and reviewed it, you could approach an author or a publisher and request a book. Everyone and their mother started blogging. Right now the blogging world of books is over saturated.
Now with the YA market on a slight decline in favor of the new 'New Adult' market. Remember those teens in '07 when the YA market exploded? well now they're in college and want something a bit more 'adult' to read. They want to see experiences that they are having written in books. The romance market is also exploding thanks to the self-publishing revolution.
There are more bloggers out there than ever before and it's become political. People gang up on other bloggers because they didn't happen to like a book that has a million followers or likes. Authors have street teams like the minions in the DESPICABLE ME movies. Bloggers only gush about book, they don't really review them as much as say how much they love this character.
This is what I see:
"OMG, ______ is such a great character! What he did for ______ at the end was so amazing. He's my new book boyfriend!"
I've attended five Book Expo America's in NYC, and each year, they became progressively worse, because the amount of bloggers that showed up ruined it for the ones who took the time to set up meetings with publicists and publishers to get the word out there for authors and books. Some bloggers were literally hoarding books. "Take one." publishes after publisher said. But people were taking two, three, sometimes four or five. For giveaways or friends. Generally if you gave a publisher your card, they would mail a book to you. After this past BEA, I decided that I'm not attending it anymore. I found the publishers and publicists were not as friendly as in years past. I think they too became disheartened with bloggers.
I always thought of myself more as a reviewer, than a blogger. I like to review books. The good and the bad. I don't like what I see nowadays. It's become a dog eat dog world. Authors complain about bloggers requesting things for giveaways and the like. You have authors complaining about other authors and how they shouldn't bite the hand that feeds you.
And of course, you have the ones who will step on everyone to get to that elusive top. Is it worth it anymore? We've become a world where an opinion on anything can have serious backlash. I love reading, but with the advent of Facebook and the drama created from various authors who love to put down other authors in passive/aggressive ways. And somehow the bloggers live for this stuff.
I'm going to be reviewing more now that I'm settled in my new house in Arizona. I'm not going to partake of many blog tours that are blogger run. I'm done with promoting authors. I'll do my reviews and have a few contests here and there. I want to go back to the basics.
I want to forget the last year...