What the blog?

A blog is an online diary. You’re reading one right now. I write my thoughts down, usually with no idea what I’m going to write but rather whatever comes to mind. There are all sorts of blogs about all sorts of topics. As an author, I tend to follow blogs about books. There are lots of them on Facebook too. Pages that people set up as a blog to share their . . . thoughts.

I had to pause there. It’s supposed to be where they share their thoughts and experiences, but frequently they are doing something else on their blog. They’re not sharing their thoughts or experience, they’re advertising for other people. Books they’ve never read, books they may never read or books they don’t even like the sound of, are being advertised on their blog. Hmm.

So instead of reading the books they want to read, and sharing their thoughts on them, they are “forwarding” ads. Not always. Some blogs do publish reviews on their page, but are they books they really wanted to read or are they part of a “blitz” they signed up for along with a lot of other blogs so suddenly Facebook is all about a particular book being crammed down your throat as the best thing ever?

When did this happen? How did people decide what to read before Facebook and “release blitzes” and hundreds of ARC to get hundreds of reviews on release day? Word of mouth. That’s what a blog should be. That’s what a review should be. A genuine recommendation. Sure there’s a time and place for sharing ads and helping authors get seen, but what’s the blog supposed to be?

I see a lot of confessions (on IABB) where bloggers want to give up their blogs because they are under too much pressure from desperate authors who want reviews for their books and they have to be 4 or 5 ☆ reviews and they have to be done in a strict timeframe. Sounds like a chore. No wonder they want to give it away.

If you have a blog, it’s your blog and it’s up to you want you want to do with it. I write the books I want to write, and I have no intention of being the same as everyone else. Your blog should be what you want it to be, not the same as every other blog – just change the name and cover photo – like so many books seem to be these days.

What the blog? Be you. Blog your way and enjoy!

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