Guiltless Reading Confessions: Are press releases helpful for bloggers?

  • Date Wednesday, October 09, 2013
Guiltless Reading Confessions is a new feature where I can blabber about bookish things, bloggy things, and generally just speak my mind. I warn you, this is mostly just "streams of consciousness" so please don't nitpick. Feel free to jump in with your own two cents. I look forward to chatting with you! I'm linking up my confessions to "Let's Discuss" hosted by Oh Chrys! and The Fiction Conniption. Don't forget to check out more bookish discussions!

Whether you like it or not, we book bloggers are marketers. Authors are looking to us to tell the world about their book, and they cross their fingers and hope that we sing their work praises.

Which brings me to the book press release. You know, the piece of paper that is often stuffed in the review copy providing all the book details, information about the author, the release date, the formats, price, and of course, a glowing excerpt or review (or two, or three), among others.

I've got a number of them still stuffed in the books, and honestly ... I don't think I even bothered to read them!

But I do find that the press release is of great help to me when its included in the email with the book pitch. The book pitch is the first point of contact with the blogger, so it is basically a personable version of the book press release.

I really pay attention to how the book is pitched to me. I pay attention whether the author has taken the time to read my review policy, check to see whether their book what I like to read. Then if I find the book intriguing enough, I'll open the book press release and see if I really want to read and review. But the paper press releases stuffed in the mailed review copy is useless to me ... I've likely read it already!

In conclusion, I think the book pitch and the book press release are equally important. I think authors and publicists need to spend time doing both well.

Bloggers, what do you think about book press releases? Are they helpful when constructing your reviews? How are they helpful? Do you use some sections when writing your review?

Authors, you may want to check out these resources:



10 comments:

  1. Honestly, no. I usually find that they are just a copy of the blurb. They don't really help me in review writing. I only ever found one useful as it described the real life events which inspired the book.

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    1. Now THAT is interesting! I guess it won't apply for every book though, but if there's anything compelling about why the book was written, that really gives some good insight for a reviewer or reader.

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  2. I don't use them at all. And now that I think of it, in 4 years blogging, I have yet to read one. I read the title, look at the cover and might glance over the synopsis. I don't need much more to go on than that.

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    1. Ha! Really? I guess you're right ... they're redundant :)

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  3. I don't use them at all. Normally, when a book is sent to me, I just read it without giving a care about the press release. Most of often than not, they're over the top and will just make me feel awkward when my opinion for the book isn't that great.

    Like for example, there's a book that I've read a month ago where the press release said it's that it's the nest blah blah thing and when I've finished reading, I was very annoyed. It was certainly not the next blah blah thing. It was crap and I had the burning desire to write a review that will prove the press release wrong. Hahaha. Yes I know, I am cruel. :D

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    1. I agree that many are over the top! And I know about those books that are just overhyped. It's disappointing indeed. Come to think of it, every other book I get probably has "next best ..." or "if you liked [insert author]" -- sometimes they're pretty far off the mark.

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  4. I've had a couple with books I've won or been sent, and most of the time it's just information I can easily find online - a blurb plus some social media links, as well as the release date. It doesn't give me anything extra and doesn't get me any more excited for the book. Although it's nice to feel like you're getting some 'official' documentation, it doesn't add to anything.
    And to be honest, even if they contain praise for the book, I tend to ignore it! I don't like to base my reading habits totally on the recommendations of others - although other bloggers etc praising a book may draw my attention towards it, a favourable review from a critic generally won't.

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    1. I agree with you Rinn, I ignore praises for books. I don't pick a book for how good The New York Times or Kirkus (which reviews are paid for anyway) say it is.

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    2. So true Rinn, it's redundant info when it's sent with the review copy anyway. I think the majority of the comments here already show that it is pretty useless.

      I always take the praises with a grain of salt. Just like the very first reviews on Amazon which are likely written by people the author knows. Paid critics will ALWAYS have nice things to say about a book which is why I think the book blogging community is so critical.

      Thanks for the great comments Rinn! Sooo looking forward to November! :)

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  5. I don't pay attention to the pitch at all. I do not read any email offering books for review. I just read what other bloggers recommend and what I like. I see a book, I like the cover, I read it.

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