Posted in Chit Chat

All the hype: Is it good? Or bad?

When a book is due to be released, it’s normal for the publisher to push it and start gaining interest and excitement for it.

But sometimes I wonder if a book is so hyped and so heavily marketed, that it loses something. 

That ‘something’ isn’t necessarily tangible. It’s an invisible loss. But I still feel it.

Sure enough once I’m invested in a series I will happily go along with all the hype for the sequel. A standalone or first in a series, however, I can be wary of the hype.

Gathering a keen readership pre-sale is never a bad thing, and it works. But I can’t be the only person that doesn’t feel the same pull towards these things. I am, at heart, a mood reader. I love books, new and old, but it takes a lot to sway me with the hype.

It got me thinking though.

What are some of the pros?

  • Full reader backing before publication. This is important for the publisher and the author.
  • ARCS, blog tours, and swag, oh my! A book that is attracting big hype will develop more for potential readers to wet their appetites and for them in turn to convince others that this book will be awesome. And I do love me some swag.
  • It makes for a popular blog post. I’m not ashamed to say this, because it’s true. Writing about a hyped book will pull in views. But that doesn’t mean you should write any old gumpf just to piggyback off a book’s marketing whirlwind.
  • The library will probably have a copy. I’m not flushed with cash, so I take no shame in visiting the library and checking out anything and everything that catches my eye. If I love  a book I’ll buy it at a later date when I can afford it. But libraries aren’t always on the ball with the newest releases, unless they’re tipped to be MAHOOSIVE, then they’ll usually have a copy or two ready to rumble.
  • It’s fun. Hype can be a real hoot to get involved in, especially if you believe in the book being pushed. It’s exciting and can lead to some pretty cool connections and creative ideas.

Are there any cons?

  • The risk of disappointment. This is the biggest side effect of hype, for me. If I’ve given in to it and pre-ordered myself a copy of the book, or rushed out to buy it on release day, there is nothing more gutting than to then have it not live up to all the hype it was creating. This is where the library is often a safe bet for me. There’s no loss and I actually feel less chagrined or judgmental than if I’d bought it.
  • Flooding of the feeds. Guh. A hyped book is released and for the week before and at least the fortnight after, everyone and their cat is blogging, tweeting, instagramming about it. And it gets boring to look at. Blegh.
  • Other books get overlooked. There are some great books out there that just didn’t get the attention they deserved because they had to live in the shadow of THAT HYPED BOOK and there was no way of competing. It’s not fair, and it makes me sad. But then, it also makes me a little smug because I can feel like this lesser known book is all mine to love and to cherish, without having to share. Finders keepers! And it better damn well remember me when the world wakes up and notices how fantastic it is too.

Overall I think the pros outweigh the cons, but I’m still going to be turned off by super hype of a book. It’s like a knee jerk reaction for me. Maybe the teenage rebel in me is kicking out and saying ‘I’m not gonna read that cos you told me to’. Ha ha!

How do you feel about book hype? Do you take any notice? Does it effect your reading habits?

 

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Author:

YA writer. Epic reader. Professional procrastinator.

7 thoughts on “All the hype: Is it good? Or bad?

  1. I agree with you about flooding feeds. There have been a couple of books recently which have been SO hyped on Twitter that it has put me off reading them at all. I like to make up my own mind about whether something is worth reading or not!

  2. I can relate to this a lot, especially about feeling disappointment about hyped books. So many times I’ve started reading a book with the expectation that I’ll LOVE it because that’s what everyone says, but in reality it’s not as good as my ridiculously high expectations wanted. Sometimes there’s something to be said for going into a book without knowing anything about it!

  3. I find hype gets me excited to read a book more so than it deters me from picking it up.

    With books that I pick up only because everyone has been reading them, I try to go in with low expectations to try and give the book a shot. And I would say 50% of the time it works and I enjoy it.

    If it is a book that I wanted to read before the hype-monster appeared, I avoid all the hype as much as possible. I don’t read any reviews or check its rating until AFTER I have finished reading it. Partly because I don’t want the book to be spoiled but mostly because I don’t want to go in with anyone else’s expectations but my own.

  4. The disappointment and feed flood is the WORST. The feed flood didn’t bother me at first, but I really try to comment back on blogs and such to friends. Well when 50 people are posting about the same book I feel like I really don’t have anything else to say about it after the 80th post and I will just “mark as read” those blog posts on bloglovin. But then I feel kind of sad about it. :/ Great post!!!! This all is so true.

  5. Hype is not the greatest, but it’s still necessary. Books need to be bought and sold somehow, and I think that the crushing disappointment that comes from a heavily hyped book that wasn’t what you wanted is worth the dramatic book hangover that comes from a heavily hyped book that you LOVED. Book hype definitely makes me take notice of a certain book, and I think that’s, all in all, a good thing despite the potential disappointment. There have been many books that I would’ve never picked up had it not been hyped. Hype isn’t always a good thing, and it does affect my reading habits both negatively and positively, but it does many pros.

    Great discussion post! 🙂

    – Eli @ The Silver Words
    #Commenting365

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