This week has gone by in an interesting fashion. All of Tuesday, I thought it was Monday, and all of Wednesday, I thought it was Thursday. And now it’s Friday, and I’m just ready for the weekend to come so my mental clock can reset itself and stop stealing entire days from my mental timeline.
But before that, we have to discuss this week’s topic. Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, hosted by me and Dani @ Literary Lion, where we discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.
Today’s topic is courtesy of myself: appreciation for book bloggers
Every now and then, there seems to be an event that triggers a discussion of whether book bloggers (and sometimes book influencers in general) get the appreciation they deserve. But I don’t think we’ve talked about it in LTB or that I’ve added my two cents in a post of my own, so today, we’ll get to fix both of those mistakes.
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Do you feel appreciated as a book blogger?
Actually, yes I do.
I feel appreciated by all the commenters and readers who take time out of their day to read my opinions on this little corner of the internet. The internet is so v a s t and consuming, yet I’ve still managed to cultivate my own following who engage with my posts and read the books I read and appreciate what I do. Nobody’s forcing you to do so, but you are, and that is the best thing that makes all the time and effort I put into posts worth it.
To be more precise though, do I feel appreciated by the book industry as a whole?
Not so much.
And it kind of makes sense because I’m one voice in a sea of many who blathers about books and things book related. The industry can’t really go around and individually appreciate all of us. However, it would be nice if the industry was more acknowledging and appreciative of what book bloggers do.
I think it’s really…not annoying exactly, but disappointing that book bloggers are usually the ones who have to support and “reward” each other. Say, in the form of the Book Blogger Awards for instance. I don’t know, I feel like that should be something that the industry does to “thank” us, not something that we have to do for each other. And maybe it is better if we do it for each other so it’s more community based rather than publishers pulling the strings, but it would be nice if there was something that the industry did as well.
Book get all sorts of awards all the time. Well, what about the bloggers who work tirelessly to bring those books to other people’s attention? Why can’t they be rewarded too?
Some might argue that “blogging is a hobby; you choose to take on all this stress for yourself; if it’s so much trouble just stop doing it”. They actually have a point; blogging is indeed a hobby and nobody is forcing us to keep doing it. But even then, considering how much we try to support books and authors, the least that we should get is a “thank you”.
This is not to say that authors/publishers don’t ever appreciate us: there are definitely authors who do thank readers and bloggers in the acknowledgements of their books, and it makes me so happy to see those. I’m just saying it would be nice if we felt the love a little more from the rest of the industry.
Who do you think appreciates the work of book bloggers the most?
I think book bloggers appreciate each other the most, because they know the amount of work that goes into running a blog. They know the struggles of reading, and posting about said reading, while constantly thinking of ways to be unique with the post. Blogging can be so annoying and frustrating sometimes, and there’s no one who could understand that better than bloggers themselves.
Is it wrong to want compensation from the book industry for our work?
No, I don’t think it’s wrong to want compensation, since publishers are so eager to utilize our resources and time for free. For some people, they may already feel compensated by getting ARCs or cover reveals and other exclusive things like that, but some people might want actual compensation that can help with the upkeep of running a blog.
Blogging can be expensive, time-wise and physically, like if you decide to self-host. I’ve thought about self-hosting, but I want to be able to pay for it myself, which I can’t do right now. It’s not worth it to self-host because there’s no way for me to replace the money I’ll be spending to manage my blog and the time I’ll have to put in. That same time which could be used doing other things, like getting a real job where I get paid and am able to keep the money.
One can argue that that’s the price of having a hobby, and indeed it is. But if a blogger wants to get paid for doing what can only be described as advertising for publishers, then there’s no problem with monetizing that hobby.
However, I think that that would be hard for a blogger to demand since there are so many other bloggers out there who would be willing to do it for free. Publishers have the luxury of finding someone else and those bloggers who do seek compensation might not be able to afford that, so they’ll have to accept whatever they get. And what they get might not be in the least bit fair for the cost that the blogger will have to pay, so it might even result in a toxic dynamic.
But I suppose that that’s a discussion for another day.
Do you think that bookish social media is aiding in the depreciation of book bloggers or is it supporting them?
I don’t think bookish social media is helping book bloggers at all.
Everyone wants shorter content to consume, and bookish social media offers that in spades. So many people nowadays have Instagram, or Twitter, or TikTok, and they get their news and information from there. Blogs on the other hand are longer collections of words, but I don’t think people have the patience for them anymore.
It’s really not hard to see why. There’s only 24 hours in a day, half of which we technically lose to unproductive things like sleeping not that it’s not important!!. That only leaves 12 hours to do everything that must be done, and reading 1000+ word posts (like this one) takes precious time that people would rather spend scrolling through Instagram or watching a 30 second TikTok. They could probably go through 10-15 TikToks in the time it takes to read one post. You tell me, what’s better? 10-15 short videos that can recommend several books in a few seconds, or 1 long post dedicated to just one book?
Yeah. It sucks. But it’s true.
You know, sometimes I wonder if books themselves will become extinct because they’re just too long for our increasingly shortening attention spans, but I hope that that never happens. And as much as I want blogs to never die out either, I think their popularity will severely dwindle as newer social media are brighter, flashier, and much much shorter.
And there you have it, my two cents for today. You know, ironically, there’s this annoying voice in my head that keeps thinking that blogging is a hobby, I have no right wanting to be thanked/appreciated, but I also know that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a little gratitude. Obviously, I have to work on my own self too.
Be sure to visit Dani’s post to join the linkup!
Some questions for you:
- Do you feel appreciated as a book blogger?
- Do you think bloggers should be compensated? What’s your counter to the “it’s just a hobby” argument?
- Is book blogging a dying art? How do you think social media is affecting blogs?
- And for fun, what’s your favorite dinner?
Talk to me in the comments below!