Review: The Essential Book Blog: by Ken J. Howe, Saul W. Tanpepper, Michael Guerini and Cheryl L. Seaton

The Complete Bibliophile’s Toolkit for Building, Growing and Monetizing Your On-Line Book-Lover’s Community: A Guide for Writers and Readers 

Volume 1 of Brainstorm Guides


Title: The Essential Book Blog:

Subtitle: The Complete Bibliophile’s Toolkit for Building, Growing and Monetizing Your On-Line Book-Lover’s Community: A Guide for Writers and Readers

Authors: Ken J. Howe, Saul W. Tanpepper, Michael Guerini and Cheryl L. Seaton

Genre: Non-Fiction, Blogging

Year of Publication: 2012

Published by: Brinestone Press

Series: Brinestone Guides

Rating:  4/5 stars

After writing book reviews and other articles for for three years , I decided that it was high time to build and manage a blog of my own, not only to review books I enjoy or dislike but to befriend other book bloggers, to build a community of readers and to take my passion to a whole new level. Therefore, with this plan in mind, I began doing a bit of research and I found the book I’m going to talk about today: The Essential Book Blog written by Ken J. Howe,  Saul W. Tanpepper, Michael Guerini and Cheryl L. Seaton.

The structure of the book is as follows: an introduction, eight main sections in which the topics of this guide are discussed, parts which include subtopics marked by capital letters and those subtopics contain smaller subdivisions marked by numbers and low case letters; the eighth part includes three appendixes, there’s a small section informing the reader about the authors who wrote and contributed to this book and there’s a note regarding services and products mentioned in the guide through hyperlinks.

In the Introduction, we learn that this guide is not only for amateur and semi-professional book bloggers, but also for authors who want to familiarise oneself with the book-selling industry, which is constantly changing as well as the way we read, books, but also the book community of readers itselfBook reviews play an important role in the reading community and that’s why they “are the foundations upon which people discover, share, and sell books in this new digital publishing era.” (Loc. 234) In other words, book reviews are crucial for any writer because they have a great impact on the best-seller charts through the power of the Internet, a blog and Social Media. Whether you write book reviews for pleasure or for profit, this guide will help you understand the process of book reviewing and give you the resources to succeed in your book blogging journey.

If bibliophiles of the past gathered in small groups in cafés, parks or private homes where they could share their reading experiences, now, thanks to the Internet, there is a plethora of websites, blogs, social platforms and groups dedicated to certain books (fandoms I would add), where book lovers can share their opinions about their favourite books with other avid readers from around the world, regardless of their background, nationality or religion.

“Along the way, these new book-lovers are forging new friendships, interacting with other readers and authors in ways never before possible and only imagined, and, most exciting of all, becoming part of a worldwide marketplace where the pleasure of reading and sharing books can also be income-generating.” (Loc. 261-263).

This book teaches every reader (reviewer, blogger or author) “the fundamentals of book sharing through the art of book reviews” (Loc. 274) from how to write a review, to reach out to other reviewers, to create an online presence, to grow your community, getting (free) books to review and earn money ethically while pursuing your passion. And authors will learn how to get more reviews by reaching out to potential readers through book reviewers.

I enjoyed reading this book a lot because the writing is plain and simple, sometimes humorous, the explanations are clear and the writers give tons of useful tips on building your blog, writing reviews, getting traffic and exposure, making your blog profitable and so on and so forth. There are a lot of things I’ve learned from this guide and I will surely reread some of the sections and apply some of the tips to my blog to make it more user-friendly for my followers and potential readers. The only downside of this guide is that it was published a few years ago and some pieces of advice might be irrelevant in the future because the Internet is constantly changing too through new trends and Social Media. Also, some of the links from the book don’t show the source anymore. However, the overall experience of reading this book was amazing and I highly recommend this guide to new book bloggers.

Before I wrap it up, tell me how is your blogging journey so far?


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