Do Book Bloggers Clickbait?

In one way or another, we´ve all been confronted with clickbait before. You know, that moment when you see an interesting headline and click the link, only to have discovered that the article has little to do with the headline? Yeah, that. That´s clickbait in all its glory.

 

 

As annoying clickbait is, there´s no denying that it works. It´s wrong, for sure, but that doesn´t stop it from happening. Because people want views- They want attention. Is that a crime? Well, to want attention isn´t a crime. You can hardly fault anyone who wants their work to be seen. It´s the fact that a false bait is deliberately used to achieve that goal that doesn´t sit well with many.

Lately, I´ve noticed an increase of people blaiming book bloggers of clickbaiting.

 

 

Can book bloggers clickbait? It´s possible. It wouldn´t surprise me if they did use this tactic to gain views. I can´t say I´ve seen a clickbait post by a book blogger, though. Not yet. Up until this point, it´s just people abusing the word clickbait for lack of a better term to describe their anger toward something they didn´t like. The word itself has become a popular insult in the book blog community.

But do book bloggers clickbait? They could but I think it´s highly unlikely that they are using this form of trickery. I´m not denying book blogger´s clickbait existence, I´m just saying it’s not as widespread as it is in online journalism. From what I´ve seen, the supposed clickbait blog posts ( from book bloggers ) were either misunderstood or in fact, understood but not accepted due to personal reasons. Or the book blogger post didn´t fit with the intellectual standards of others. It´s 2020. Words mildly confuse many book people.

 

 

Should there be a moment when a book blogger uses clickbait to gain attention… Well, I can´t say there´s any reason to go ape-shit over that. This is not me condoning clickbait in any way, shape, or form but it´s hardly worth getting the pitchforks out, wouldn´t you agree? It´s irritating, especially when you believe you´re about to read something you´re really really interested in. But not life-threatening. A reader/blog visitor has the opportunity to ignore the clickbait once they realize what´s happening.

Again, I´m not saying I´m pro clickbait when it comes to book bloggers. I very much disagree with this method when it´s done intentionally because I think it´s pointless.

And because I would hate to be called a click baiter myself I´m going to repeat the headline of this blog post and answer the question directly ( to clear up any confusion )

Do Book Bloggers Clickbait? Yes and no, but I´m leaning more toward no. There is a huge chance that book bloggers word their headliners incorrectly or can´t find a better way to come up with something eye-catchy that would fit their blog post. Misunderstandings happen every day. Did you hear that Karen and Ken? Shit happens.


What are your thoughts on book bloggers who use clickbait?

What are your thoughts on book bloggers who´ve been accused of click-baiting?

Have you ever been called a click baiter or accused another book blogger of click-baiting?

Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤


Thank you for reading this blog post. I truly appreciate it.

Hope you have a wonderful bookish day.

Much love,

Books & Wine Monday: Advice From The Elderly On How To Survive The Heat

Hello and welcome back to Books & Wine Monday.

( Apologies for the non-bookish post and for the missing book + wine pic )

I hope everyone´s been doing well these past few weeks. Personally, I can´t complain. Life, with all its current difficulties, hasn´t been too harsh on me. How can it be when you sit in front of a fan and a portable air conditioning system from sunrise to sunset.

Life is grande when your eyelids don´t sweat. It´s also wonderful when you don´t produce boob and ass crack water.

I know, I know. Body fluid talk isn´t flattering. But I don´t really care. It´s hot. I´m melting. I need to complain. 38 C in the shade ( 100 F ) isn´t exactly my idea of living a good life if you know what I mean?

Speaking of living life- I haven´t done much reading this month. I can´t even remember if I read a book last month. I´ve been too busy collecting ancient advice from every elderly woman living in my area on how to battle indoor heat. Because you know, I live in a country where A/C only exists in grocery stores and some cars.

What I loved most about asking these elderly women ( I´m sure they are somewhere around their 80s ) was how willing they were to pass down their useful information and smart ass advice. Thanks to Gertrud from around the corner I now know I shouldn´t open the house door at all * insert major eye roll *. The other ladies, though, had some steady tricks they swore worked.

  1. Keep the shades down during the day but open your windows at night. Good idea but not really something I wanted to do since we don´t have fly screens on our windows. By opening our windows at night we´d be eaten alive by anything that has wings. Still, I can see this working.
  2. Open the windows at night and hang a cold wet towel over the curtain rod. Leave overnight and remove the wet towel before the sun rises. Then repeat. I figured this would be more effective for me because the towel would prevent any bugs from getting in. I tried this method out and… it works!!
  3. Build a swamp cooler. This one wasn´t new to me because my brothers and I used to build these when we were kids. Now, as an adult, I can´t seem to find the energy in this scorching heat to get in the oven ( that´s what I call my car now ) to get crushed ice ( another luxury we Europeans don´t always have in our homes ). But I will say this: If anyone does manage to get some ice just put it in a bucket and let the fan blow at it. The results aren´t enormous but the semi-cool air helps a little.
  4. Isolate your walls better. Yeah, that one really helped. Do I look like I´m going to tear down my house right now and spend a stupid amount of money I don´t have? Come up with a better one, Emma.
  5. Spend time in the basement if you have one. To be honest- This worked the best for me. It not only cooled me off but also made me aware of how much stuff I need to get rid of.

Then there were things like stay in the shade and drink cold drinks, buy a pool and sit in that all day, buy that new cooling pillow, etc. As much as I enjoyed these trinkets of wisdom I found they only work really well if you act fast, are on time or if the sun isn´t trying to melt your body and soul. Either way, I´m ready for Autumn and Winter.

Fingers crossed the weather will cool down pretty soon so I can get some much-wanted reading done. `Cause, I do miss reading. I never thought I´d say this one day but… I kind of miss writing reviews, too.

So, what did we learn today? That asking the older generation for advice is actually a good idea. Most were delighted that I came around, except for Gertrud. She wasn´t too pleased that I interrupted her daily plant watering routine. I guess that´s it for this week. I shall now try to peel my legs off this wooden chair so I can feel like a human again.

Thank you for reading this blog post. I hope you enjoyed it.

I hope each and every one of you has a wonderful week. Be sure to share the book love.

The Art Of Giving Readers Power

Kind of a sinister title for a blog post, don´t you think? The Art Of Giving Readers Power– Sounds dark and highly controversial. Well, I can assure you this blog post won´t be dark but I can´t guarantee this will be a controversial free read. That will be for you, as a blog visitor or as a dedicated follower, to decide. Either way, I hope you enjoy this topic as it´s been something I´ve thought about for quite some time.

The Art Of Giving Readers Power

One would think that readers are silent, harmless human beings. They don´t have any sort of power because they´re the ones at the end of the bookish stick. Readers and book bloggers just read and sometimes write reviews.

 

 

Many have failed to acknowledge the fact that readers are actually the ones who hold the imaginary golden fountain pen when given permission. 

Now, I know what you´re thinking. And you´re partly right. But hey, it´s okay.  Just know that I´m going somewhere with this post. Back to the imaginary golden fountain pen wielding readers.

When I say ” when given permission” I mean when authors consciously include their readers in their writing process or ask questions on social media regarding a new idea.

Sometimes we see posts that look something like this:

“If I were to create a Hero who has a temper, would you see the Hero as someone who´s abusive?”

“I´m writing a book. What would you like to see happen in this book?” 

Of course, these questions could be seen as an act of kindness. Maybe an author wants to honor their dedicated fans by letting them pick a direction for the author´s story. Or perhaps an author has lost their writing mojo and needs a little inspiration. You know, that certain push to get things rolling again.  Whatever the reason- Authors are giving readers the opportunity to give their input. Is this is a smart move? I think it depends on from which side you´re seeing this. 

As an author, I can imagine that having a reader´s input is extremely helpful. 

As a reader, I can imagine the excitement when an author asks for an opinion.

All this looks like a win/win situation for everyone. That is… If one wishes to see it that way. Personally, I´ve tried seeing author questions on social media as something special but failed because I can´t stop wondering about the reasons. 

Why on God´s green earth would an author want a reader´s opinion? Have they run out of ideas? Isn´t that the worst thing an author could do? I mean, authors come up with a story and write it. Is it necessary to listen to the crowd? 

 

The Art Of Giving Readers Power

Authors are artists. Some are desperately trying to make a living off of writing. Some writers are barely keeping the dream alive while others are still trying to set foot in the business. Let´s not forget that it´s 2020. We´re living in a fragile time where it isn´t as easy to be a self-published author as it was 10 years ago. Readers certainly aren´t the people they used to be. Even feedback has changed. 

Book feedback in 2020 is either extremely good or extremely hurtful or the feedback doesn´t make a whole lot of sense. “I´m giving this book 2 stars because the ink on page 23 was smeared.” * sigh * Sadly, decent feedback isn´t as popular as the extremes, so they often go unnoticed or are immediately forgotten. 

There seem to be three main types of reading tribes. The ones who´re overly sensitive. The ones who´re fairly neutral. The ones we don´t know exist because they don´t hang around social media. A pissed off reader will do all they can to voice their disapproval. Negativity spreads faster than a wildfire in our community. 

Some authors tend to think they can´t afford to receive negative feedback as this would jeopardize book sales. They can´t take risks in an already hot environment. 

And that´s what it boils down to- Book sales. At the end of each day, the artist needs to make a living. In our world, it´s become easy to offend and trigger people with the simplest things. In order to prevent that from happening authors ask their fans/readers questions and therefore give power. It´s also about keeping the existing fanbase happy. 

I agree- Greater crimes have been committed. It´s also good to mention that not all self-published authors take this route. But isn´t it still sad that many do?  

 

“If I were to create a Hero who has a temper, would you see the Hero as someone who´s abusive?”

This is clearly an author who´s unsure about how their character will be perceived by their audience. The author is aware that abuse is a trigger topic but doesn´t see their character as someone who´s abusive. To avoid future backlash they decide to ask a reader, thus giving a reader power. Imagine the author has a little over 1000 online fans/followers. 100 are regularly active but only 20 react to an author´s question regarding their work.

20 readers say that the author´s Hero is, without a doubt, an abusive asshole ( without having met the character ). The author has two choices at that moment:

    Not create a character with a temper

    Make a note to include abuse as a trigger warning
You see, the power had already been unleashed the moment the feedback came in. 20 readers voiced their opinions. 20 readers were enough to change the course of a potential bestseller. 20 readers are enough to fill an author´s mind with doubt. 

And because this system had proven to be useful for an author they repeat it. Authors are then unaware that they´re allowing their readers to influence them. In the end, readers will feel empowered that they made a change for the better. A change that wasn´t necessarily better for everyone else. And the more this happens the more changes we´ll see with writers. 

Tough subject, right? 

Now, I know there are readers/fans and authors who´ll find this whole blog post appalling. There´s no doubt in my mind that someone is reading this right now, cursing me from the comfort of their homes, for even having entertained this absurd thought. And that´s fine. 

There are readers who prefer when they´re asked for their opinions to make their reading experiences as pleasant as possible. And, of course, there are authors who are all too willing to cater to their readers’ needs. Which is also fine. I might not agree with that, but okay. 

Still, one simple fact can´t be ignored- It´s all about money. It´s all about sales. The dream needs to stay alive. Whether it´s a question about characters, the plot, content warnings, or even about the blurb… I don´t think it´s the best idea to ask about these on public platforms for everyone to see and leave a comment. 

In my most humble opinion, I believe it´s important for authors to write about what feels right for them. Writers create stories for us to read. They challenge us with their thoughts and ideas and push boundaries. Authors aren´t out to destroy their readers’ wellbeing in any way. I have yet to encounter an author who wakes up in the morning and thinks “Today I´m going to fuck em all over so they end up needing life long therapy.” I don´t believe that. Just as much as I don´t believe any reader has a right to think that authors SHOULD write stories the way they want them to be. Creativity should be encouraged and celebrated. Not restricted. 

The Art Of Giving Readers Power

Reviews from readers are powerful on their own and should be enough to help an author make any adjustments ( if necessary ). Social media should be used to interact with fans/followers in a fun way. But that´s just my take on the topic. 

Nonetheless- I wish each and every author all the success in the world. 


What are your thoughts?

Do you think authors should ask for a reader´s opinion?

Have you seen an author ask similar questions on social media? 

Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤ 

 


Thank you for reading this blog post. I truly appreciate it.

Keep sharing the book love,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Art Of Understanding Book Blurbs

Just recently I had a brief Twitter exchange regarding blurb information.

The question went something along the lines of: Is it okay for an author to withhold possible important plot elements from a blurb? A simple question. Simple, but not easy to answer.

And in that short moment, I thought to myself “Book blurbs- What a great topic to dive deeper into.” And what a great topic to have an opinion on.

This question isn´t anything new. Blurb discussions have been combed through before, but thankfully, not as often as any other book topic has. So let´s get to it!

 



I think it´s safe to say we all know what a blurb is. Or do we? Do we all know what a blurb is for? Are blurbs important? Is there a word limit for blurbs? How much story information is too much information? Are spoilers allowed? And most important: Is it okay for an author to withhold plot elements from a blurb? These questions deserve answers.

Any reader who´s looked up a book has been confronted with a blurb. But unfortunately, not many know the difference between a blurb and a synopsis. It´s not a crime to not know one from the other as an everyday reader. An average reader will simply think of a blurb as a story description or, as my friend always says, “That bit on the back.”. It´s not even a sin if book bloggers and authors confuse one for the other. But it would be helpful if people in the book world knew the difference between a blurb and a synopsis.

 

Let´s Introduce The Blurbnopsis

 

An easily made mistake in the self-publishing niché is when authors write blurbs for their books and end up creating something in between a blurb and a synopsis without realizing it. This isn´t, by any means, career-ending, but it happens. It may be because an author doesn´t know how to write a blurb or has difficulty writing one. Maybe they asked for advice and were misinformed. Also, some writers don´t know the difference between a blurb and a synopsis. A blurb is supposed to sum up the main aspects of the story without giving too much away. It´s a sales pitch because an author is trying to get a reader interested in their story. A synopsis is a whole story ( including spoilers ) in a nutshell. A story crammed into anything between 500 words to max. 2 pages. A synopsis is written to send to publishers, agents, or ( if self-publishing ) to book cover designers and marketing gurus. Pretty easy, right? It´s pretty easy to unintentionally mash the two together if you don´t know the difference or if an author isn´t sure about what to include in a blurb or not. But not every author who writes their own blurbs are clueless. 

 

 

To include or not to include…

A blurb can come in many different lengths. I´ve seen mysterious ( and often cryptic ) one-liners. I´ve seen blurbs that come pretty close to short stories ( with a story beginning and end ). Then there are the blurbs that give just enough info to tease a reader without spoiling the whole story. Which one is considered to be the perfect blurb?

Well, a blurb is generally 150 – 200 words short. So, technically, something in between the one-liner and the short story would be great.

A writer has the chance to give a 200-word sales pitch- Words that will lure a reader in to buy their book. But does this really work for every author/ for every book? In some cases, authors feel that 150 – 200 words aren´t enough to make a story sound appealing. 

This is a tricky aspect of a blurb: How much of a story to include or not. Because a blurb can make or break book sales. When writing blurbs– What should be included or not? What parts of a story should be mentioned? 

Well, from what I know, the information in a blurb should consist of these points:

  • The stage setting
  • Character introduction
  • Situation reveal
  • Problem/Threat reveal
  • Adding what´s at stake

The idea of a blurb is to reveal enough to catch a reader’s attention without revealing any essential plot points. There has to be a hook.  Without a hook, a reader can´t get hooked. (I´m feeling my poetic side tonight ) It´s hard to believe that many authors think that readers need more information in order to grab a reader´s interest. Yet, it happens. Quite a few authors and readers feel that 200 words aren´t enough. 

 

 

Additional plot elements in a blurb can be considered spoilers…

And this is the point where the blurb trickery continues- A spoiler is when essential plot elements are revealed in a blurb. But since it´s 2020 and most people have created their own definitions of many words it´s hard to determine what a true spoiler is and not. Hell, it´s hard to know what people understand when they hear/read the word essential. We shouldn´t be asking questions like ” What is a spoiler?” anymore. Instead, we should start asking this version: “What do you think is a spoiler?” 

If we step back and look at this whole blurb issue from a distance then we´ll see that a blurb is, in fact, sort of a spoiler. It´s a spoiler that teases. A sort of bullet point guide to inform a reader. Without the blurb, none of us would know jack aside from the little information a title and cover image gives.

So, are additional plot elements in a blurb spoilers? I´d say yes. If it´s not necessary then it shouldn´t be included. Yet, for some reason, many readers aren´t satisfied with many book blurbs because there´s a lack of what some readers deem `crucial` information. This so-called crucial information could be anything from up or down the scale. Thanks to our ability to misinterpret words and our wonderful ability to give feedback ( which is often based on our emotions ) we´ve made it hard for some authors to know where to draw the line between spoilers and adding essential plot elements. An author may know the difference but since many cater to their readers’ needs they tend to give in to not disappoint. Authors don´t want to make mistakes. 

 

 

Fit For A Blurb Or The Content Warning Box?

Another issue would be- To know what crucial information is vital for a book blurb and what can be shoved in the content warning section. There´s a high demand for content warnings in the fiction world. Withholding any type of `significant` information of a story could possibly aggravate an existing fan base and/or new readers. Many readers think certain blurb information is more suitable for the content warning box.  It´s for an author to know and decide which goes where. But then again… This is a war that can´t be won, so the point is rather arguable. 

So, how do authors solve this blurb problem? After having done so much homework on the topic I´d say authors have two choices:

  • Write a blurbnopsis ( blurb + synopsis ) in order to please the existing fan base and potential new readers
  • Write a blurb and move on

Because a blurb is what grabs a reader’s attention in the first place. It´s as simple as that. There is no recipe to follow. There are only guidelines that can be followed or ignored. 


I can´t say for sure if the blurbnopsis or blurb approach is the best because I´m not trying to sell a book. I can only share with you what I prefer when checking books out. I´m more of a less blurb is more type of person. I prefer the element of surprise, even if the story ends up being a total miss for me. I´ll take that chance over the “safer option” any day. Because, at the end of the day, there´s no guarantee for anything.

When I´m hunting for books and I happen to stumble upon a blurb that includes way too much information then I feel my curiosity level sink and I will move on to a different book. But that´s just me and my weird self.

How about we find some real answers to all the questions I presented above?

I can easily answer with: A book blurb is necessary. But the size and length depend on the story and the author ( or publisher ). It also depends on the genre and readers. Yes, I included readers because it´s 2020. One might not think readers are capable of shifting an author but.. they do have that power over some authors. Feedback, for as lovely and necessary as it is, is a double-edged sword ( more about that in my Should Authors Be Crowd Pleasers? )

Are book blurbs with spoilers okay? In my book, yes and no. If the word count in a blurb is around what´s considered to be normal then I have nothing against a spoiler. If the blurb turns out to be a synopsis then I´ll be like “Thanks for saving me time, money, and effort to buy your book.” 

Do I think it´s okay for an author to withhold plot elements from a blurb? Yes. If I were an author I´d strive to want to surprise my readers. I´d like for my readers to be excited instead of dreading the unknown. Thankfully, I´m not an author, so…  I don´t have to make decisions on whether or not to adjust the book blurb guidelines for whatever reason.

As for including too much information– I think many authors are far too generous when it comes to their blurbs. By offering more information they´re basically shooting themselves in the foot.

But as I said above- This is just me and my weird views. There are plenty of readers who prefer a blurbnopsis. There are countless fiction readers who´d rather know exactly what a book is about than experience a story with having a rough outline of the story. 


What do you think? Have you noticed a difference when it comes to blurbs? Which type of blurb do you enjoy seeing- A short one or a blurbnopsis? I´d love to know your thoughts on the subject. ❤ 

If you enjoyed this blog post then I highly encourage you to leave a like and a comment. 

Hope you have a wonderful book-loaded day.

Much love,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buchrezension: Wer, Wenn Nicht Wir – Barbara Leciejewski

  • Buchtitel:  Wer, Wenn Nicht Wir
  • Autorin:  Babara Leciejewski
  • Genre:  Romanze
  • Buchseiten:  318

 

Nach mehr als zwanzig Ehejahren haben sich Viola und Florian auseinandergelebt. Außer den beiden Kindern, der gemeinsamen Wohnung und einem Trauschein gibt es kaum noch Berührungspunkte. In der Hoffnung, mit jemand anderem noch einmal neu anfangen zu können, trennen sie sich – einvernehmlich und vergleichsweise harmonisch.

Doch es gibt noch eine letzte Hürde auf dem Weg in ein neues Leben: einen längst gebuchten, teuer bezahlten Luxusurlaub, der sich nicht stornieren lässt. Die beiden haben nun die Wahl zwischen zwei Übeln: das Geld zu verlieren oder mit dem künftigen Ex-Ehepartner – in getrennten Zimmern – noch einmal zweieinhalb Wochen zu verbringen.

Allerdings ergibt sich plötzlich auch noch eine dritte Möglichkeit, und mit ihr beginnt eine unvergessliche Zeit auf Rhodos … 


ENDLICH! Nach so vielen Monaten habe ich ENDLICH ein Buch gefunden, das mir unheimlich viel Freude gebracht hat. Es ist sehr selten das Bücher Charakteren haben die älter als Mitte zwanzig sind. Genauso selten ist es auch das die Charaktere älteren Kinder haben und mit dem Alltag kämpfen müssen.

Wer, Wenn Nicht Wir von Barbara Leciejewski war genau das was ich lesen wollte-eine Geschichte über eine eingeschlafene Ehe und die Konsequenzen einer Trennung mit Kindern. Also, quasi ein romantisches Cliché Soufflé mit ein wenig Humor und Spannung.

 

Die Freude war unendlich groß als sich rausstellte, dass die Geschichte nicht übertrieben Dramatisch war, sondern genau so wie man sich eine halbwegs zivilisierte Trennung vorstellt-Einfach in der Theorie aber kompliziert in der Umsetzung. Und so ist die Geschichte geschrieben. Man hat keine andere Möglichkeit als Mitleid und Verständnis für Viola und Florian zu empfinden, weil die erwähnten Situation absolut nachvollziehbar sind.

 

Eine wundervolle, zeitlose und schön geschriebene Roman für alle Romantik Fans.

 


Das Cover – 4 Sterne: Süß. Auf jeden Fall ansprechend.

Die Geschichte – 4 Sterne: Nachempfindbar. Romantisch. Klassisch.

Die Charaktere – 4 Sterne: Viola und Florian waren das absolute Traumpaar.

Mein finaler Gemütszustand: Vollkommen zufrieden.

 

Erhältlich bei Amazon.de