The other day when I was getting all my reviews on a consistent layout, I noticed something: My review almost always deal with novelties only. Even when I started blogging over four years ago, I almost only posted reviews of the books that were currently published at the time. The reason for this is obvious: publishers offer us a really fantastic yet easy way to always read the latest books with review copies. I too receive or request many review copies. But I also buy a large part of the books myself. I would say that I have a good, balanced relationship. Nevertheless, here on the blog we primarily discuss review copies, because this is something I, like many others, really take very seriously. The books I buy myself often fall by the wayside.
Novelties vs. Backlist
It’s really like this: My bookshelf will soon burst because I buy more books, or rather, I buy more books. exchange, than I can read. Because I want to have and read almost all the books that many like, love and praise. I read them months or even years later or they are sold/exchanged/given away unread at some point. This is really a shame in many ways. For me, for the books and the authors, and for the money I’ve invested at one point or another.
But on blogs (also on mine) mostly (felt) only novelties are reviewed, because for the books that were published 1, 2, 3 or more years ago, nobody is interested anymore (also felt). Even with books that have been published only a few weeks ago, hardly any seem interesting. The book was published in March this year? Who cares anymore, in the meantime 300 other books have come out again. Unfortunately, like probably many of you, I don’t have the time to read half of every publisher’s spring or fall program. And unfortunately I don’t have the time to read 10 books and more per month either.
By the way, from a business point of view I understand this novelty thing very well – the publishers promote the current program, because this is just the main source of income. After all, the publisher has to cover his costs and make a profit. Older books are certainly still bought, but probably not to the extent of the current ones and if they are, then they probably only have a minimal share of the annual sales. (Just a guess, I don’t work in the publishing industry so I have no insight into such things.)
Also from a reader’s point of view I can understand the hype around novelties – new releases are always interesting, especially if the publisher invests a lot of money in the marketing campaigns. I do not see myself as an exception. I also click through the publisher previews every half year and add titles to my wish list. But my other reader’s perspective tells me: the books that a publisher published a few years ago are still interesting after all. Just because they are now backlist titles and no longer get big marketing campaigns or attention, they are still worth reading for that reason. Why do I ignore my shelf full of unimagined book possibilities?
finish with them!
It has actually become somewhat exhausting to always be behind the latest trends. All this self-generated stress gets on my nerves. My pile of review copies is always kept relatively small so that I don’t put myself under pressure. But still, trundles a new release after the other with me, which wants to be read and reviewed. The SuB continues to rise, because the titles I do not receive or request, I continue to buy. All this makes me sometimes not enjoy books anymore, because in the back of my mind is the knowledge that there are still countless other books to be read. I have enough on my plate, reading is supposed to relax (me) and the blog is a hobby. But I often notice that it all threatens to become a burden. And when it comes to that, something is wrong with me and I have to put the brakes on.
I like to give the older books that have found their way onto my shelf at some point the same attention as the new releases I read. I also want to fall into their world and immerse myself in the author’s story. There are reasons why all these titles are on my shelf. I would like to explore these reasons, find out if they hold true. I myself decide when, how and above all what I read. If the book was published 10 years ago, then it is so. Who cares?
I think I would like a good mix for the blog. I don’t want to swear off new releases completely, but I also don’t want to make them the sole focus anymore either. Maybe I’ll come up with a new category where I draw attention to backlist titles. But maybe you should just be really consistent and ignore everything for once.
Your opinion is asked!
Of course I’m curious – what interests you more, what do you read more?? Are you more the novelty or the backlist type?? Or do you like a good mix? And when it comes to reviews – do you prefer to read reviews of the new releases, or do you like to read reviews of older titles??
8 thoughts on" Novelties vs. Backlist: Why all the new releases are sometimes exhausting."
A few years ago I also read mainly the new releases, also because of review copies. But since I don’t ask for them anymore, I get more and more to dedicate myself to my SuB and finally read the books I bought years ago because I really wanted to read them. With some, the interest is already lost and they no longer meet my taste, but I discover in between but always treasures. The age of books is really not relevant and the ones from 2-3 years ago can be at least as good as the current ones. Especially since you don’t have to wait for the sequels anymore&
yes, that’s how I feel too. I just read all the new releases and somehow it gets on my nerves. I would like to explore what has been on my shelf for years but somehow … no idea. Review your SuB books? For me the age of a book is also not relevant, for all I care it can be published 10 years ago, but I just have the feeling that no one is interested in exactly these titles, but everyone is always focused on the new releases..
All the best, Ela
If I have something to say, I’ll review them too. Although I notice that the clicks are significantly less, but I have every now and then a comment in the direction of "I did not know that yet, sounds good" and for that it is worth it then. I also often hear that people don’t want to see the same books on every blog and that brings a bit of variety in, which I also like myself.
Ah, okay. For books where I don’t have as much to say, I have a category called "books on fast forward" so I can at least give a brief glimpse. Thanks in any case for the feedback. I think I’ll try to read more SuB books and present them to you. Because really seeing the same books on every blog is boring in the long run&
i very rarely get to read the new releases directly. Although I also receive the one or other review copy, the majority of my reviewed books are then rather from the backlist. Basically I do not worry about it.
However, I’ve noticed that when I review a new release, it gets clicked on much more often. Therefore, I sometimes feel as a blogger from the community (unconsciously, I’m sure!) to be urged to post mainly reviews of new releases and the best still on the release date.
If everyone mainly reviews new releases, it leads to the fact that you constantly see the same books everywhere. On the one hand, I think that’s great because it makes for more of an exchange. But most of the time I don’t feel like reading more than two/three reviews of the same book. This gets totally boring. In fact, I find it much more interesting to discover books on blogs that I’m not already bombarded by on all sides anyway.
that’s right, I also noticed that the number of clicks on new releases is higher than on backlist titles. But I also find these books interesting. But maybe it’s because many people already know the backlist titles and therefore have no interest in them. However, I can also understand your comment that this pushes you a bit into exactly this new release direction. I have the same feeling.
It’s also true – if everyone reviews the same book is boring. If I see the same book on half the blogs I follow, I might click on the first 5 and then that’s it again.
I try to get a good mix and review both new releases and books from my SuB. This succeeds sometimes more, sometimes less well. But I’m definitely with you on that – a mix and especially some variety is definitely good.
Thank you for your opinion, I’m very happy that more people hold this view.
All love, Ela
your post is really great written and I can only agree with you.
Unfortunately, it seems that most are only interested in new releases and leave likes for them. If you want more attention as a blogger, then I guess there’s no other choice but to go for novelties. Unfortunately, this leads to the fact that on each blog the same book is shown and one thus also quickly loses interest again. I guess it’s not easy and it’s the mixture that makes it. I try to read novelties as well as older books. I also like to re-read my favorite books.
thanks for the nice words!
I agree with you that you get more attention when you review the new releases. I’ve personally noticed that too – not only on the blog, but z. B. even in the form of a simple picture on Instagram. But it’s just a pity, because even the older works can be totally exciting.
It is indeed not easy and I try to manage this mixture somehow – sometimes more, sometimes less successful. I will certainly continue to review new releases, but I still don’t want to lose sight of my SuB and read one or the other book from it.
I think it’s great that you are trying this mix as well. To see the same books everywhere is rather boring in the long run.