Bookish Ramblings · Discussions

How Book Marketing Affects our Reviews?

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I have been wanting to discuss about this topic for a while now… and I finally got around to put my thought in some kind of order to make my usual rambling more understandable… I hope… Anyway, all of this is besides the point which is how much a pre established concept can affect our enjoyment and ultimately our reviewing of a book…

What I mean is… how a book cover, an author’s blurb, a clever tagline or one that links the book with a popular show or another similar book… In laymen’s terms a marketing strategy can make or break a book. (at least according to me)

We have seen this phenomenon a lot with how Romance novels are now being “packaged” in order to reach a wider audience — the so hot right now illustrated cover — Which is a great idea because it makes it easier to relate and they are cute and fun covers that call to us (the target audience)…

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However, here’s where I think the problem resides… what happens when these cute and fluffy covers don’t match the inside of the book… Let’s be honest when we see these types of covers our mind makes the connection to happy and light and funny, right? What happens when the book is anything but that… like for instance the good luck charm by Helena Hunting or even Meet Cute also by Helena Hunting. Both are good books (in my opinion) but the covers portrait something that the books are not… they are a little more heavy than expected…

So, does that affect our actual opinion on the books… in a way it does… maybe we won’t say the books are bad or anything (unless they are) but since we were hoping for something else… we feel cheated and let down.. so I don’t think we would be totally unbiased while judging the content of the books…


Let me give you another example… How about when we throw a tagline like this one… For the Lovers of Game of Thrones… or… The resurgence of Vampires — you might see where I’m going with this… It’s useful to link a book to a more popular one if it has similar elements, the downfall of that it’s that it establishes expectations in regards to the book that when they are not met can damaged a book from the get go… You are setting the bar and ultimately screwing the chance of that book…

There’s a case going around that is not quite this but it does relate to it a bit… The Beautiful by Renee Adieh (I’m going to be a little spoilery so be warned.) It has been marketed as the Vampire come back book to YA… and the truth is that there’s hardly any Vampires in it… (end of spoilers) Which has irritated many reviewers… Understandably so, but I wonder if their opinion would be the same if this campaign wasn’t behind the book and we could just enjoy the first book in series most likely where there might be or not Vampires present…

When we get ideas set in our heads it’s hard to remain impartial… this is why reviews are always so very subjective and will depend on our backgrounds, what we enjoy, the triggers we may have… but it is sad to see a potentially good book being put down just because of a seemingly good marketing idea that doesn’t work for a book…

What are your thoughts about this topic? Let me know all about it in the comments below… Have you been a victim of this marketing let down? I want to know…

As Always

Happy Reading


5 thoughts on “How Book Marketing Affects our Reviews?

  1. I totally agree with you! I’m much more likely to pick up a book with a cute cover, but sometimes it’s surprising. The main one that has bothered me in the past is Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey. This book had a cute cover and a funny synopsis, and I was totally unprepared for the insane amounts of sex, sexual conversations, and overall steaminess of this book. Wow. Weird. So I agree, marketing definitely affects our reviews and our perspectives when we begin reading a book.


  2. I was actually thinking about this exact thing the other day! The marketing ploy I’m getting really sick of is books being advertised as ‘for fans of [insert random popular author]’. The books just happen to be in the same genre but are completely different so the name dropping feels so desperate. And it’s always the same popular authors too!
    On the covers, I quite like the illustrated trend. It definitely makes romance reads easier to have on the train, haha! But agreed, it can be a bit inconsistent with the stories dealing with heavier themes. I found this with The Bride Test by Helen Hoang.
    Great post idea. 😊


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