Hi everyone! First off, I’m so sorry for the long title! I wanted to make sure that everyone knew what this post was about before clicking on it! So, if you don’t know, apparently people have “found out” how hard it is to be a book blogger? I don’t know how it start exactly because this week I haven’t had the spare time to be on social media as much because of school, but I work up yesterday morning to a lot of blog follow chains on twitter and people talking about how underappreciated book bloggers are and all of this other stuff. THEN, sometime yesterday something else happened where people are now talking about how some bloggers felt pressured to rate books higher for blog tours and there has been booktok drama for a while. I don’t know, apparently I had been missing a lot of bookish drama,
Onto Topic #1: Underappreciated Book Bloggers
I’m not sure how exactly this topic came about on Twitter about how book bloggers have it hard when it comes to being seen when people have moved onto posting on platforms like Youtube, Instagram, and more recently TikTok to share bookish thoughts.
If you’ve seen some of my blog posts, it should come as no surprise that I like blogging better than bookstagramming. I feel like blogging is my niche where I can talk about books safely and still post personal stuff about myself without losing half of my following/views like some other platforms.
Yes, blogging is a lot of work, but I prefer (and feel more comfortable) writing words than being in front of the camera for booktube or even more recently booktok. I feel like to make a good video, you need a lot more than just a computer or a phone; you need good lighting, a good background, and a lot of time for editing (which is something I definitely don’t have). Plus, I have one of those southern accents (which I would describe mine as more of a “Southern Belle” type accent, but I feel like so many people would find ways to “flaws” about me if I ever get to the video part of the book community.
I’ve been blogging for almost two years now, and it was SO hard to get my foot in the book community (and I’m pretty sure it was because of my blogging platform). I would spend so much time trying to boost my posts and get 1 or 2 views if I was lucky (and it didn’t matter if it was a review/tag/unboxing/whatever). After about three months in I was ready to give up on blogging because I didn’t feel like anyone appreciated me or my content. Then I moved to wordpress on Jan. 27, 2019 and in the 4 days left in the month, I already had more views and followers than I did in the three months on my other site.
When I started, I honestly thought the blogging community was dead (because who would think of blogging in like 2018/2019), but I was surprised to see the amount of people in this community, but it was obvious even then that blogging wasn’t the main platforms used in the book community when you have booktube and bookstagram that can reach more people quicker because they are their own social media platforms that uses things like hashtags and promotions to help boost content even easier. Sure, you can buy different packages with blogs, but for many of us this is a hobby that we might not want to spend extra money on.
Each format of posting in the book community whether it’s a blog post, photo for Instagram, or video for Youtube/TikTok takes time plan out, edit, post, and share. I’m not saying that this method or that one has it harder, but bloggers (from my standpoint of being both a blogger and bookstagrammer) takes a lot of time from start to finish. I can easily spend two hours each time I make a blog post because I have to write the post, go over it quickly to make sure it makes sense and I didn’t accidently take some out, format it on WordPress, find photos in my media library that fits the content, insert a featured image, and put in my signoff at the end. Then, I have to post on Twitter about my new post, AND I normally try to take a photo for bookstagram that correlates with the blog post which I have to set up, edit, tag engagement groups, and spread in little bookstagram pods via DMs. Oh, and let’s not forget that I’m now posting the image and applying the link to the post on Pinterest where it gets me views on Pinterest but no clicks to my blog.
Normally, I’m not one to share my stats just because I feel like it’s not something I need to share and secondly I don’t want anyone to compare their own stats with mine and feel bad about themselves. But, I wanted to do it now to show how much easier it is to be seen on bookstagram than with a blog even with cross posting. The top photo shows my stats for one week. It has taken me almost 7 months to get that many views on my blog. Even the amount of views one of my post gets more views in 22 hours than I get in one week on my blog.
I feel like being a book blogger is also hard because you can’t see facial or hand gestures of the person typing like you would if you were watching a video. I try to insert how I feel in between asterisk to indicate when I *grimace*, *laugh*, or whatever, but I don’t do that in my reviews because I feel like I have to be super professional incase an author or someone from a publishing company sees it and feel like I’m a joke of a blogger because I try to my the review somewhat more realistic. I try to write out how I feel/react to things as accurately as I can given that I’m typing my posts because I want to be someone that others can see genuinely cares about the content I post and want to show my personality through it.
Sure booktube has the ability where you can listen to the person talk while you do other things and are able to multitask, but I feel like more times than not those videos last 15-30 minutes when you could easily read my post in like 5 minutes top, or you can just skim a blog post for the high points and gist of what I’m posting about and go along with your day. Reading most blog posts aren’t as time consuming as you think.
Topic #2: TikTok Drama
Apparently there’s some hate against the BookTokers? Idk the full extent of it, but from what I gathered from Twitter is that the beef is about the same books/series being seen or recommended pretty commonly on the app like The Cruel Prince, Throne of Glass, ACOTAR, and from what I saw the little while I was on the app The Royals series by Erin Watt.
Then it also seems like there are A LOT of contrasting opinions between the people on Twitter and Tiktok. I’m not getting into all of it but just search “Booktok” on twitter and you’ll get an eyeful, but based on what I saw on twitter about booktok, it makes it seem like those on the tiktok app are taking the words for face value and not seeing the complexities of some stories (but again, I haven’t been on tiktok in weeks, so I can’t really say either way).
Does this give the right to people to complain? NO, not at all. I haven’t been on Tiktok in weeks (and have deleted the app) but it has a funky algorithm like Instagram.
Topic #3: Blog Tours and Rating Books
If my memory serves me correctly, this is the first time in my two years of being an active part of the book community online in any form has seen the topic of people being afraid of posting a negative review for a blog tour and giving it a falsely high rating.
Blog tours are meant to be promotional for the book and author. Plain and simple. Out of all of the blog tours that I’ve participated in, the organizer would state that if your review is less than 3 (or whatever set number) to hold the review until a week or so after the tour ended. Not every book written is the right one for the reader and we all have different opinions, and these tour organizers know that they’re just asking not to post the review while the tour is running. They will often offer you the opportunity to post in excerpt in place of what would have been your review.
Then, there was also talk about how some blog tours prioritize BIPOC, LGBT+, and ownvoice reviewers. Which I don’t see the problem if they first select x amount of people that have similar characters as the MC (sexuality/race/etc.) and x amount of people who aren’t but still qualified.
I feel like I talked about a good bit today but still barely touched the surface of it!
What are your thoughts on some of these things? Let me know below!
Happy reading until next time,