02 February, 2011

What's Credibility?

What makes a blogger credible? Or maybe, the better question is, what makes a blogger not credible? Lots of bloggers lately have "joined the publishing game" or are making some kind of contribution to the publishing industry, Tor being one of the main proponents.

And then you have bloggers who aren't part of the publishing game, some by choice, others not. Other still have abandoned blogging altogether or are deliberately separating themselves from a "game" as possessing undue influence.

I for one, and maybe I'm the only one, think that a blogger who's been inducted into the publishing game is that much more credible. Obviously they've done something so well that even publishers have taken notice.

In addition, I'm an avid fan of reading - yes, I'll admit it. :) Now that us bloggers have some people on the inside, don't be shy. Tell us about it. Let us know what your up to, and don't hold back. If in the past you've shown independence and impartiality and well, credibility, then we can still trust you to give us your opinion. It's okay.

So, what I'm saying here is - You're awesome! You can be awesome and keep blogging. I talked to the credibility police and they said it's fine.

What do you think? Am I completely wrong here? Do you think people will stop visiting a blog because they feel it is or will become overly biased because the blogger is now working in the publishing "game"? Whether people believe they'll be biased or not, do you think they'll be biased anyway?


Brenda said...

I have never even worried about a blog authors bias because, for the most part, reading a review doesn't decide for me if I'll read a book or not. Reading a lot of reviews that have the same general opinion might sway me one way or the other, but one blogger who works for the publishing industry is not going to sway me, so their bias (or non-bias) is a moot point.

Tea and Tomes said...

Credibility is kind of subjective, I think. On one hand, a blogger can be well-established with publishers but not share my taste in books, and so although in some circles their opinions will be trusted implicitly, I may not give a fig. On the other hand, bloggers who have an in with publishers may feel the pressure to not say anything bad about the books published by the companies they're working for or having a good relationship with. It's a toss-up, and I think it ultimately comes down to how well one knows the blogger. Ones who have good relationships with publishers are definitely doing something right, but that doesn't make them more reliable or credible than someone who's just beginning and hasn't had the chance to establish that relationship yet.

Perkunos said...

I to a have a blog and I've never received a novel to review. I would do it if the novel would interest me. But unfortunally I live not in the UK or USA so I would never received a novel. But that's okay.

To respond to your question I usally read several reviews in several blogs or amazon to get a feeling what I might get of the book. I don't mind reading reviews of novels that were offered by the companies. Some blogers are making only a glowing review of each book and others are more credible. It's like everything else. There are always good people and bad people.

Bryce L. said...

@Brenda - I'm the same way. I slowly get really excited for a new book, but only after lots of searching and browsing of reviews, unless it's a blogger whose tastes coincide with my own.

@Tea - Good point. There are some bloggers who I know won't let me down when they recommend a book and others where I need some extra opinions.

@Perkunos - I'll just refer you to the above. :)

Bastard said...

I don't think it adds anything one way or the other. I've seen some bloggers being "inducted into the publishing game" that clearly have low understanding of the genre they review.

But, they review a lot, and with their misgivings, have a following of like-minded people, so that works in their favor and fits the purposes of the publishers to reach those types of readers.

So, adding "credibility" seems quite trivial, considering how flawed the reviews they make actually are.

But, I don't think people should look down on bloggers for being part of the publishing game and vice-versa.

Bryce L. said...

@Bastard - Welcome out of the forums. :D That last point you make was my main reason for writing this, so I guess credibility is probably the wrong word. Or I guess, I just mean credibility in the negative sense.

Working for publishing shouldn't ruin your credibility especially if you've already proven yourself.