Opinion Matters: Comparison Marketing of Books

If you liked this then you’ll love THIS!

 

How many times have we seen this type of marketing for books? And yes, I’m guilty of doing it myself in reviews. Just recently I told readers if they liked Big Little Lies then they would love The Mummy Bloggers. Shame on me for treating readers as unintelligent robots incapable of reading a blurb and forming an opinion. But I’m not really wanting to focus on bloggers and reviewers when talking about this tendency. We do what we can to review books non-stop without sounding repetitive and sometimes comparisons just slip out.

 

 

It’s the marketing on the books themselves that I want to address. What’s on the covers and media ads we see splashed around. Because while comparison marketing can be a very powerful persuader, this isn’t always necessarily a good thing. What if, for example, you hated the comparison title being quoted? This very notion came to my attention recently with a glaring example of a comparison gone wrong. A blogger who I follow and have a lot of respect for indicated she was reluctant to read The Dry by Jane Harper because she had seen it being marketed to fans of Girl on the Train, which frankly, she hated. I’m with her there! But I loved The Dry and apart from both of these novels containing a twist at the end, this comparison is a bit slim to be honest. But accuracy of the comparison aside, let’s get back to the real point, which of course is this:

If you hated Girl on the Train, how likely are you to pick up The Dry if this was written on the cover:

If you liked Girl on the Train you’ll love The Dry.

 

 

Pass. And then miss out on a terrific read. This is but one example. There are countless others. One could argue that the scales are tipped towards this leading to more sales not less. Publishers know which of their books have sold well and therefore use these ones as comparison titles, making the assumption that if one hundred thousand people thought the book was good then it’s a sure bet to compare to and the one hundred that didn’t can just mosey on off and find something else to read.

 

Well, in an effort to do my bit, I pledge to do the following:

  1. Cease making comparisons in my reviews. I don’t do it much but the fact that I can reel off an example with ease makes me uncomfortable enough to feel like I’m a contributor to this marketing tendency.
  2. Never judge a book by its comparison quote. It’s a load of rubbish anyway, an obvious marketing ploy and I will not fall victim to it – in a positive or negative way.

 

So what do think about comparison quotes? Do you use them as a guide, regard them with a grain of salt, or ignore them completely?

 

2 thoughts on “Opinion Matters: Comparison Marketing of Books

  1. I use them as a guide but also take them with a grain of salt. It gives me an idea of the genre of the- so if I’m in the mood for a personal memoir, I won’t pick up something that’s the next Game of Thrones. But if a book is compared to a book I like, I don’t necessarily expect a similar experience reading it. Does that make sense?

    Liked by 1 person

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