None right now

Monday, January 9, 2017

Discussion: Backlist Books

Hey y'all! So this is a discussion post I've been meaning to write for a long time, and I'm so happy that it has finally seen the light of day.

So, I realized in 2016 that I tend to read and buy more backlist titles than new releases. Or at least, that's how it feels to me. And when I saw a Twitter thread months ago from author & blogger Dahlia Adler (At least, I'm fairly certain that's who the thread was by. It's been a while, sorry!) encouraging reviewers to give more love to backlist titles, I really got to thinking about older books and how they fit into the book community.

For those of you who have come across the term "backlist" but have never really known what it means, it essentially means books that were published more than a year ago, though the definition is a bit floppy, I think.

Anyway, so, I feel like the book community is dominated by popular, new releases. If you ask me (which, this is my blog, so I don't actually care if you ask me), this applies to all platforms, whether we're talking about blogs, youtube, instagram, and even twitter. It makes sense--shiny new books that you've eagerly waited to get your hands on, that those lucky enough to get ARCs have been buzzing about--it makes sense that you want to talk about these books. Plus, these are the books everyone else is talking about, so of course you want to be able to fangirl together, to join the discussions. That's what this community is for!

But where does that leave the older titles? Of course, I wouldn't say it's RARE to find people talking about backlist books, I'd just say that it's much MUCH less common. And why? There are so many lovely gems that are being passed up in favor of the SHINY NEW. Like I said, it makes sense, but, like, at the same time it kind of doesn't. Older releases are not inherently better or worse than newer releases. The reviews and content focused on older titles is not inherently better or worse than the reviews and content focused on new releases. Personally, I think I get more excited to see posts about older books that I kinda forgot about rather than seeing posts about the same book that's already all over the internet. I also feel like your review or picture or video or WHATEVER is going to stick out so much more, rather than just fading into a blur of all the posts about that same book. And let's be honest, odds are those of us in the community have already seen so much about the book that we have already formed an opinion on whether or not we want to read it.

I wish I could find Dahlia's twitter thread about this, too, because she talked a lot about the industry side and how reviewing backlist books can be beneficial for the books' success. I don't really know all the lingo, but I think the idea is kinda simple. By talking about backlist titles, you're bringing more exposure to a book that has probably fallen under the radar by now, potentially boosting sales. If a book doesn't sell enough, it goes out of print. Like, there are SO MANY WONDERFUL BOOKS that have gone out of print because people just kinda forgot about them. Isn't that sad?? That's why I started my Flashback Friday posts (and eventually added giveaways). Because I don't want my favorite books to be forgotten. I need to do what I can to keep them on the radar.

So moral of the story is that I don't think we should stop raving about new releases, but we SHOULD also make sure to give the oldies some TLC. What if one of those backlist books is sitting in a shop right now waiting to change your life? What if you're passing up the most beautiful book in the entire world because you're so focused on new releases?

Like I said, I know that our community doesn't completely ignore backlist books (there is even a 2017 Beat the Backlist challenge hosted by NovelKnight), but I think we could always do more, you know? I tend to read a lot of backlist books for the reasons I've talked about and because they are usually cheaper and because a lot of times they just sound interesting. And I'll keep reading backlist books. I'll read ARCs and new releases, too, but I don't think I'll ever stop giving backlist titles attention. Excellent books are excellent books, no matter when they were published.

Do you read a lot of backlist books? What are some backlist titles you wish more people would talk about. LET'S CHAT ABOUT BACKLIST BOOKS, OKAY? THIS WILL BE FUN.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for taking the time to read what I have to say and give your opinion on it. It really means a lot to me. And of course, I will do my best to return the favor. However, as easily distracted and scatter-brained as I am, please don't be offended if I forget to comment on your blog.