Many newspapers have been drastically reducing the space devoted to book reviews. At the same time, blogs where books are reviewed and discussed have proliferated on the internet. Are these trends related?
Book blogger Jerome Weeks thinks they are, but in a surprising way. Book blogs haven’t caused the decline in newspaper reviews. That’s happening because newspaper advertising is declining, forcing cutbacks of all kinds. But book bloggers are benefiting from these cutbacks, Weeks says. Publishers are shifting their advertising from print to the web and a significant amount of this money is going to blogs.
Weeks sees Jessica Crispin’s Bookslut blog as the leading success story. She makes a living from Bookslut. Says Weeks: “to put this in an even larger context, just so we can fully grasp its significance: It has been fairly rare in the history of American literature that anyone has made a living writing about books in any medium, in print, online, on air, whatever.”