According to The Guardian, attention spans have been decreasing for a while now due to an overload of information, and social media platforms have thrived because of it. Twitter and Tiktok, both of which enforce limits on their content and design the flow of information around low attention spans, have seen a rise in book-related content and the creation of book communities over the last few years. Book Twitter, affectionately known as Booktwit, and the equally comparable BookTok, are mainstream ways to review and market books, with large access to target audiences, especially for YA and SFF authors. These platforms seem primed for marketing, which begs the question:
Are book blogs still a worthwhile marketing tactic for authors?
In other words, with the accessibility of Twitter and TikTok, are book blogs even worth considering as a platform for promoting books?
The short answer is yes. The popularity platforms like Tiktok and Twitter might seem to dwarf blogs in comparison, but they’re unique in several key ways that can benefit both a book and its audience. Here’s why:
Book blogs review ARCs
Advance review copies (ARCs) are some of the most valuable tools used to promote a book. Not only do they create buzz for the book’s release, but they also create a semi-competitive environment for popular reviewers. Creators on Booktok and Booktwit only have a few hundred characters or just sixty seconds to get their message across, so reviews of ARCs are few and far between.
Book blogs are thorough
Book blogs take the time to go in-depth with their reviews. One of the best things about book blogs is that they do exactly the opposite of what Booktwit and Booktok communities do: they provide a thorough analysis of the themes, target audience, and diversity of the book. If a book blogger thinks your book is perfect for a certain age group, their review is some of the best press you can get. While a Tiktok can only summarize talking points, book blogs take the time to convince you.
Book blogs have loyal audiences
One reason you might feel disinclined to reach out to a book blog to market your book is because there isn’t an obvious indication of the size or reach. Unlike Instagram, which shows your follower count, or Tiktok, where you can see how many people have viewed a given video, the stats for a book blog are private and reserved exclusively for the blogger. With that being said, book bloggers were first to arrive on the internet scene, and that means they’ve built up loyal followers who are more likely to trust their word than the word of a social media influencer who just came across their page.
Not only do book blogs have loyal audiences, but book bloggers often cross-post their material across several platforms. Because blog posts require audience commitment, bloggers will often set up a Twitter to promote their work as well, which generates even more reach.