The New Hotness
by P.E. Mari 10:32 am 8 comments
Marketing is an incredible force. We know that in blogging. While we don't have a vested interested in selling a particular book, Mari and I do our best to share what we like.
Every once in a while, a new book explodes into the blogosphere and sends wave after wave of hype. This is probably carefully orchestrated by publicists; cover reveals, blog tours, giveaways, review copies, all strategically given to create the perfect storm.
When it clicks, it's amazing. These books become must reads not just because they sound cool, but because they are cool. Everyone is reading them and everyone wants to talk about them. When you haven't read the book, you feel left out.
If the book is good enough and released at the right time, and pretty much everything goes right, it reaches Twilight or The Hunger Games iconic status. The ceiling for most books is probably City of Bones or Divergent type fame. However, most books don't have that type of staying power. There is very rarely that much hype for the next books, unless it's the end of a beloved series.
What I notice ends up happening is that the first book is read by everybody. Maybe more dollars are invested in marketing it, but it's the one that gets all the focus. The sequel that comes out the next year still has some hype, but not near as much. I've seen it happen with Delirium, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, Die for Me, etc.
It's no wonder that, in the year I read a crazy amount of books, most of the books I read were the first in a series. It's a problem I think most book bloggers have: we start series, but we don't finish them. I haven't understood why, until I noticed all the hype a book like All Our Yesterdays got just a few months ago, and how now it's barely out there. It's not because the book is not good, but because there is an absence of active marketing the book.
The marketing skews towards the new hotness. If you read the first in a series, if you like it, it's likely you'll end up reading the sequels. I read Wither, and although it took me a very long time, eventually I read the sequel, Fever. The hype the first book gets is to attract as many readers as possible, and hopefully many of them will stay around for the entire series.
It's not a bad idea. It seems to be very profitable, but I think it affects blogging even more than we think. The blogosphere gets all caught up in some very hot title that is ignored later on- that doesn't seem right. Some books just don't have staying power.
Maybe the best way to judge a series isn't by how successful the first book in the series was. The hype is honestly irrelevant for the entire series unless it continues. If the second book can generate hype even with reduced marketing budgets, because bloggers genuinely love the book, that's a book that will sell well.
This idea of "the new hotness" as a blogger also reminds me not to get too far into the game. Sometimes, it feels like there needs to be new posts about new books every single day, but perhaps just posts about what books I can manage to find in the library are just as valuable. The problem with the new hotness is that it's absolute, and everyone is so focused on staying top of what's hot that some books end up slipping the cracks, and months later I realize how amazing a book is and I'm shocked at how little press it got.
Patience is a virtue, and there is never enough time to read all the books I want to. However, what's the rush in reading what's new? There are so many cool books I haven't heard of, and one of my reading goals is to get to as many of them as possible. So while I'll totally get caught up in the hype of the newest hot book, it's also important to look at what sequels people are still reviewing because consistency says a lot more, in my opinion.