While I was perusing twitter the topic of book blasts came up and I felt like discussing them on the blog since they have become a rather polarizing topic. Some bloggers love them and others hate them with a vehement passion. The biggest complaint I've seen is that:
Books blasts don't offer any unique or exclusive content
A book blast is just the same information offered on multiple blogs on the same day. There isn't anything new or any reason to visit other blogs on the blast because it is just the same information.
While I agree, it is mostly the same thing over and over, there can be different content on each blog. Different excerpts from the novel being promoted or different quotes/photos to break up the monotony. I think it depends on who is hosting the blast as to how much different content will be featured on each blog.
Book blasts only seem to focus on New Adult books or books that aren't in my favorite genreThis is something I've heard multiple times and I don't know if it's true or not. I can't find any evidence supporting this hypothesis that New Adults are more represented in book blasts. I do think, from what I've seen, the majority of books featured in blasts are self-published. Maybe self-published is what people really mean when they say "books outside their genre".
In my opinion though, it is self-published books that benefit the most from Book Blasts. The internet can be a big, scary place and without the help of a publisher books can be listed on Amazon and never heard from again. It is up to the authors to do all the marketing and be the hype-person for their novel. That is really hard! Book blasts are an easy way of getting a variety of bloggers who would probably never reply to the author's review request to feature and take an interest in their novel.
They are annoying, I hate seeming them on everyone's blogsIsn't that the point of a blast? Have the novels information featured on a multitude of different blogs to get the word out about new titles? Book's that are on blast should be featured on a wide variety of blogs because, I think, Book Blasts are really meant for non-bloggers.
As book bloggers we often forget that the bookish community is a whole lot bigger then our little corner of the blogosphere. This isn't a criticism, merely something I've noticed. Before I became a blogger, back when I was just someone who really liked to read, I rarely ventured away from Goodreads. In my Pre-goodreads days I got almost all of my books from Half Price Books, Powells, and my mom's or sister's shelves. It would have taken a lot for me to notice a book. Something that would have caught my notice would have been 10 or 20 sites featuring a new book all on the same day.
Last ThoughtsThese are just some of the main point's I've heard in the polarizing discussion on book blasts. So tell me: do you love them? Hate them? Have my explanations and arguments swayed you one way or another? Tell me in the comments!
In interest of full disclosure I haven't participated in a book blast since December when I promoted The Offering by Kimberly Derting (a book I would have been more then happy to feature book blast or no). I'm not sure if my lack of participation is due to a decline in book blasts or if I haven't had space in my schedule, I'm thinking it's a little of both.