Are you, or have you ever been…?

Do you primarily read, or review or read reviews of, the latest releases and bestsellers?

For me the publication date is one of the last considerations on my list when I choose a book to read. Don’t get me wrong, I love a new book and have been excited about  new releases, especially where series are concerned, but with a very small budget for new books, I largely rely on my library or e-format backlists for the bulk of my reading. I do utilise Netgalley for ARC requests, I haven’t yet considered approaching Australian publishers directly about receiving ARCs, and I am not sure if they are as generous as US publishers seem to be anyway. I am regularly innundated with indie book requests though – I’m commonly approached by up to  20 authors a week. As such, my blog reviews reflect my book sources and are reasonably diverse.

The book blogs I read  and visit most often,  have current posts that are a mix of genres and a mix of new releases and backlist titles from indie and established publishers. I subscribe via RSS to around 200 book review blogs and one of the reasons behind this post is that its much more obvious how many books in common blogs have when one after another the same book is listed in my feed. For a new release or upcoming title, I’ll generally only read three or four reviews before I decide if a book is likely to be for me or not and I confess that after I have browsed a dozen or so blogs that have the same review list of new release books and ARCs I quickly lose interest.  A lot of these blogs are very popular though (in that they receive a lot of comments, GFC followers) so my anecdotal conclusion is that there is a  majority of book blog readers who are primarily interested in the latest and greatest book. (This hypothesis is not to take away from the people behind these popular blogs – they often put huge amounts of work into their posts and are lovely people as far as I know.)

I’m sure the ability of a lot of these blogs to giveaway new release books also contributes to their popularity. Again though, it seems the fact that the book is a new release from a major publisher and perhaps because they are print editons,  is the major draw because entries for new indie titles – even those with great reviews – are almost always low. Right now I have ten copies of an electronic edition of an indie title to giveaway that I gave 5 stars (really rare for me) that has just half a dozen entries. Is it because it’s electronic, or because it’s indie? It’s true, indie’s may be a gamble in a way that a book from a familiar author is not, but since it is free I would have thought it would be worth it.

I won’t be changing my reading and reviewing  habits, my aim with this blog isn’t popularity (though I really appreciate those who subscribe or otherwise follow Book’d Out and take the time to comment). I do wonder however, if  I started reviewing (and giving away) the newest books and ARC’s exclusively what effect that might have.

Of course this is mainly conjecture, so I want to know what you think based on your own reading habits, or the blogs you visit frequently. Do you gravitate towards new releases to read, review or read reviews of?

19 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mary Preston
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 10:31:49

    New releases are what you tend to see reviews for. They are brought to the fore, making you more aware of them. Therefore, that is why I tend to seek them out.

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  2. LunaMoth
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 10:33:36

    personaly i review/read a mix of genres and dates and i like to see this on other blogs, new books are expensive so its nice to see others looking at indie or older books. It makes me feel like im not so far behind haha.

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  3. dancealert@aol.com
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 10:36:07

    I gravitate towards contests to win new books to read. I have a pretty large TBR pile right now so should stop and read a while, but I think I’m addicted to this. Anyway, although I am not a great writer I do always put a small review of everything I read on Good Reads, rather than my own blog.
    I put on my blog all the places I find with new contests to help friends get into blogging to win books too!

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  4. tahliaN
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 10:39:42

    I follow review blogs of reviewers who write good reviews and read the sort of books that I like. I don’t care if they’re old or new. I also get sick of reading all about the same books everywhere.

    I also appreciate reviews of indie authors because they are often the ones that are different and the books are usually cheaper. I can read lots of positive reviews of mainstream stuff, buy the book and find it completely forgettable, not bad, just not great. I’m finding that I don’t agree so much with what some of the publishers are choosing to publish. They aren’t taking risks on something different and I like different. So please keep doing what you’re doing. That’s why I’m subscribed.

    I actually like electronic give aways, but that’s because I have an ereader and as an Aussie I’m usually not eligible for print books from overseas, but no one wanted the electronic books that I had up for give away last week. They’re still there if anyone wants them- The Seers of Light and it’s sequel, great books.

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  5. Stephanie
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 10:50:37

    I am always behind, I feel. But I trend toward new releases. Honestly, it seems that is what my blog’s followers prefer and I am all about making these guests happy.

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  6. Inspector Librarian
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 11:02:08

    I’ve only just started blogging not too long ago, but already I know what you mean about the new review trend. I can definitely see the temptation. I just think that at the end of the day it would be really annoying to let reading become a chore when it’s meant to be a pleasure.

    And I know for fact I wouldn’t be able to commit to that any more than I can reading one genre on my blog. I definitely get distracted by new, shiny things, but my reading habits depend on the month, day, or lunar phase because some weeks I only read YA, some weeks I only read graphic novels, and some weeks I only read fluffy romance.

    Personally I like seeing what’s going on in different genres so I subscribe to all kinds of review blogs. And I definitely like hearing about books I would otherwise never heard of more than anything else or older books people are reading for the first time.

    Sorry that this is so long. BUT whatever you do, I’ll enjoy it. Just make sure you enjoy it too! 🙂

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  7. bernadetteinoz
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 11:17:20

    As far as my blog reading goes I’m attracted to good reviewers of the types of books I like – I don’t really care if they are new releases or not as my own reading is a mixture of new (a few ARCs and the occasional pre-order of something I’m fairly sure I will like), recent (last year or two as they become available at the library or in cheap paperback/eBook – this is probably my biggest category) and older titles (library, bookmooch, second hand…). I don’t mind reading reviews of new releases – at least enough for me to decide whether or not to add it to my wishlist – but I don’t go looking for them and I don’t want to read only about new releases – I like reading about something older that I may have missed. As I don’t review many new releases on my blog I don’t attract those kind of readers who are only interested in them and I’m really not fussed about that either – my blog is a hobby and I enjoy interacting with the followers I have – I wouldn’t want to be reading all new releases just to get more followers as I like reading older stuff too and I like discussing it.

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  8. Jennifer (Book Noise)
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 11:37:48

    I’m drawn primarily to the new releases but if there is a review for an older release and it sounds interesting I do read those reviews too. Lately I’ve come across several older titles that are equally as interesting as the newer ones. To each his/her on but a book is a book and they all deserve an equal chance at being read. The same goes for self-published works…there are some out there that are fantastic so I review a variety of new/old as well as pub and self-pub works!

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  9. Nic @ Irresistible Reads
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 12:13:20

    For me I liked to read a range of publication dates and genre. I would say I am slightly more drawn to new books and their pretty covers. I definitely enjoy reading independent book reviews and love hearing about amazing unknown title. Also a big fan of Aussie books and 1/3 of my reviews are them. I think it is great you support indie authors 🙂

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  10. Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 12:52:04

    Great post. I tend to receive a lot of newly published work from mainstream publishers (and some smaller presses), so I do end up reviewing quite a bit of new stuff. However, I do love to mix it up a bit, and I try to avoid the really big-name stuff that everyone else is reviewing. I love literary fiction, and try to review as much of it as possible–particularly that written by female authors. These books usually come out of my own personal collection.

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  11. Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 12:53:30

    Just another quick note: I think the type of review is also important. If I’m reviewing a popular book I try to write a review that’s a little different from what’s already out there so that my readers don’t simply see me saying the same thing as everyone else. In these cases I’ll often do a thematic sort of critique, or compare the book with others that I’ve recently read, or try to add in a personal anecdote. I’m not sure if it works, but I hope so!

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  12. Kris
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 13:25:14

    I don’t consider myself an ‘official’ reviewer. I blog about the kind of books I like and give my thoughts. Sometimes they are new releases that caught my eye at the library and sometimes they have been on TBR list forever. I always try to give my fair honest opinion, and when I read other book blogs I get a general idea of some more books I’d like to read. I don’t necessarily go for the new releases though. I’m the girl that spends two hours in the library and just grabs stuff that sounds good that day.

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  13. Laura
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 14:11:47

    I also take advantage of my library but when I’m reading the new releases, time has passed and they’re not so new anymore. I’m reading books that were new a year ago, not that I mind of course!
    I like seeing a selection of books on the blogs I read–as long as it sounds interesting I’ll look into it. The new releases are always exciting and draw lots of hype though, and I like reading the first couple reviews of them.
    I read ‘old’ and new books and try to review them both on my blog. No sense not passing on a good read!

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  14. Leeswammes
    Feb 17, 2011 @ 00:30:02

    I review all sorts (dates, genres) myself. With other people’s blogs, I care more about whether the book appeals to me, than whether it’s newly released. Old books are good books, too!

    Re: your giveaways – I myself tend not to go for e-book giveaways as I don’t have an e-reader and enough e-books lined up to read on my laptop to last me some time (as I don’t read on the laptop quite as much as in a paper book).

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  15. Andrea I
    Feb 17, 2011 @ 02:05:05

    I go to blogs which review new releases, but I also appreciate the blogs that review indie authors. I have found quite a few indie authors to read. I like that they’re books can be purchased at multiple sites.

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  16. shelleyrae@ Book'd Out
    Feb 18, 2011 @ 14:46:11

    Thanks for your thoughts guys – I appreciate it!

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  17. Vicki S.
    Feb 18, 2011 @ 15:49:45

    I’m pretty much of the same opinion as you are. When a new book is released, I often feel overwhelmed by a landslide of reviews for it that day (usually ARCs) or in the week or two that follows (finished bought/library copies).

    I never read reviews of books that come later in a series I haven’t read due to inevitable spoilers, so that has me skipping a few reviews. And if I’ve read a favorable review from a blogger I generally agree with, I usually only skim later reviews (unless it’s an especially unfavorable one).

    As far as new vs old books, I generally don’t care. If it’s of a genre I’m interested in, then I’ll see what they thought. If it’s something I’m sure I’m not interested in, I’ll skim or skip the review entirely.

    Comment-wise, I tend to only comment on books I’ve already read myself, which tends to be pretty few. Otherwise, I limit myself more to discussion/question posts, like this one. And my readers tend to do the same. Maybe I simply haven’t established a good online/blogger presence yet.

    Don’t know if any of this was helpful…

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  18. Birgit
    Feb 19, 2011 @ 23:29:29

    With my favorite authors I almost always read their new books right away. Other than that I don’t really make a difference between new releases or old ones and simply pick those I feel in the mood for. Yet, when it comes to books I review (living in Europe makes it hard to get ARCs too, so I’m also mostly relying on NetGalley) I will make extra space for those when my to-be reviewed stacks get to high.
    BTW I rarely comment on other reviews and not many readers comment on mine. Maybe I should stop focusing on reviewing non-fiction, ha! No one seems to read those anymore …

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  19. Pussreboots
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 13:24:43

    For about 2 years I was accepting books for review. Now I’m only reading what I own or can get from the library. Publication date has very little to do with what I’m reading and reviewing now.

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