Wednesday, December 29, 2010
"What Do You Think About...Wednesday" With Shanda Cottam
Today's "What Do You Think About...Wednesday" question is answered by Shanda Cottam. Shanda is the founder and moderator of LDS Women's Book Review Podcast and book review blog. The podcast started almost five years ago. LDS Women's Book Review has had a very strong presence in the LDS Literature World. Shanda remains busy being a stay- at -home mom to her four kids, a supportive wife to her husband, reading as much as she can in her "spare" time, blogging and editing podcasts.
-What do you think about the role of book reviewers
in promoting authors and their books?
Word of mouth is the best kind of advertising. Almost every book I have loved was recommended to me by a friend. Book reviews have been around since the beginning (technically whoever read that first book/scroll/pictograph and expressed an opinion about it was reviewing it, right?) but with the blessings of technology come the real advantages of book reviewers to authors. At no other time in history has word-of-mouth advertising been able to travel so far, so fast.
While it is nice to have your book make the NY Times Bestseller list, or have some famous columnist review your book, not many authors get that opportunity. Sometimes it can even be disadvantageous. As Bree Despain recently expressed on Twitter, "Reviewer for large newspaper fully admitted to me she didn't read TDD [The Dark Divine] & only *skimmed* a part of TLS [The Lost Saint] before pubbing her 'meh' review. What?" Luckily for Bree, whose launch party for The Lost Saint was held last night at The King's English in Salt Lake City, she already has a large fan base and her books have received many positive reviews from those who have actually read her books.
Since I first started reviewing books several years ago, I have been delightfully surprised by the number of book reviewers/bloggers on the web, but even more so by the sense of community among them. Virtual "blog tours" are becoming more popular. Within the "blogosphere," news of a good book travels quickly. Sometimes so quickly and effectively that, thanks to Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) being distributed to book reviewers who then spread their love of the book to blog readers, there is a huge demand for these books well before "launch day."
In short, I think that book reviewers play a large role in helping authors promote their books, and from what I can see on book blog after book blog, most authors and publishers feel the same.
Thanks so much Shanda!
Make sure you go and visit LDS Women's Book Review and listen to the podcasts. (You will hear me there too, because I am proudly a member of LDS Women's Book Review)