Algorithms versus Book Publicity

As I finished the review of Keith W Dickinson’s Dragonfly Delivery Company (you can read that here!), I reflected over my year’s reviews. Startlingly, I had only reviewed a single book by a female author.

Regulars will know I aim to boost indie and small press publishers. I attempt to balance reviews across both male and female identifying authors, too. This way I read a range of voices, perspectives, and genres. It has the bonus of knocking through the walls of echo chambers.

I didn’t manage that range last year.

Why, and how, had I avoided everything I actively seek to boost?

I got busy. That’s how. Life made me busy. Family, caring, moving house, study, and the implosion of post Covid-Society-Recovery troubles left me no time to consider what I read. It impacted the quantity too. I’d dipped into more books through audio.

A book is my preferred way to enjoy a story.

Throughout 2022, I relied on algorithms to nudge the preferred arcs my way. These snags of code can only respond to what we are already reacting to. The publishers’ output over the last two years has shifted with market trends. Distracted and overwhelmed as I have been, I stopped listening and engaging therefore; the algorithms didn’t work.

I’ll explore aspects of publicity moreover other posts this year. Publicity is costly. Be that in time, or in money. Book tours, Facebook and Instagram Ads, Mailing lists, Amazon Ads, Reviews, Podcasts… It’s an industry that drives book publicity in a none-responsive world.

Reviewers like myself on blogs, zines, BookTok, Bookstagram, podcasts and video channels have a vested interest. We hunt down new and interesting reads. Fortunately, then it is easy enough for me to rectify going into 2023. I return to the book hunt!

Authors need to remember this ‘life-noise’ is what readers deal with. Cutting through it is a skill.

Through visits to those little independent sanctuaries and stops at the library books on a shelf reconnected me and I discovered what I’d missed in 2022.

 If you, like me, need a refresh Fantasy Hive does a great job of covering female perspective, I recommend you pop over there to catch up. SFFWorld will expand your reading boundaries to outside of the western norms, and if you’re a BSFA member, check out BSFA Review.

If you’re looking to get your work reviewed use the contact forms on the sites above.


Shhh, I’m reading.