There’s a heavy emphasis on new releases both in the blogosphere and most bookish social media, but I have found myself wondering if the hype around them is merited, or if it is all marketing. I personally have been reading a lot less of them this year (partially due to me trying to conquer my huge backlist TBR), and I haven’t really been missing them or finding that they were much better than the books I’m reading now.
New releases are hugely marketed by publishers, and we all see that in ways like ARCs, blog tours, cover reveals, and more. This is even more clear on social media, especially ones like Twitter where people will retweet cover reveals and tweet about what book came out that day. Book influencers with larger followings (and book bloggers, to a lesser extent), will talk about these books, which they probably received from the publisher, and then that creates the hype around them.
Another aspect that factors into this is ARCs because when a book comes out the only reviews that will be available are from people who have received them. That’s a fairly small group of people and therefore limits the variety of opinions on said book. People seem to tend to rate ARCs higher, this is something that I’ve noticed myself both in general with books’ ratings on Goodreads, and in my (somewhat limited) time of reading ARCs because there’s a bit of guilt attached to not liking it.
I’m not the only person who has noticed this, Emily @ Frappes and Fiction discusses it in an interesting post where she also points out how our opinions on books are influenced by other people. The ratings seem to lower over time and stabilize, but at first, they tend to be high, therefore a lot of people will have higher expectations for a book that may not be merited.
Because of all that, new releases gain a lot more attention and so that’s what people end up talking about. It can be exhausting to keep up with all of these new releases, and one might wonder if it’s even worth it, since a lot of the hype is just promotional to boost the book’s sales.
Obviously, one’s enjoyment of a book is largely subject to personal opinion, so one could argue the point that at the end of the day, new releases are the same as all other books. Deciding whether or not to keep up with new releases is largely up to personal preference, but there isn’t anything that makes these books necessarily better than other ones. A lot of what seems to make them more promising reads, like their high ratings and everyone talking about them, is temporary and will probably change in the future.
It’s true that in online bookish communities, there is a heavy focus on new releases, and that oftentimes, keeping up with them may allow a blogger to make more connections through them. That being said, I think that, especially in book blogging, one can talk about solely backlist titles and still be a successful blogger. This may not be true for other platforms, and I really can’t speak for most of them as my experience with them is rather limited.
Personally, I think that new releases are books like any other and that if the hype is deserved largely depends on the individual book. Speaking of them as a whole, I would say probably not, as a lot of it is simply marketing, but I do keep up with some of them, as there’s always the chance of finding an interesting read here and there.
What do you think of the hype around new releases? Do you keep up with them or think that it is all marketing? Let me know in the comments!