Trends I Think We’ll See in Book Blogging in 2020

See my 2018 book blogging predictions here! (Apparently I didn’t do 2019.)

Continued Popularity of Audiobooks

Audiobooks have been rising in popularity for the past couple of years, and I don’t think that’s going to stop. With more people reading audiobooks, we’ll see more reviews and more features like “best audiobook narrators.”

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Increased Readership for Middle Grade

Publishing industry employees have been mentioning now is a great time for middle grade books, even as YA is starting to feel a bit stagnant to some people, and I’ve seen multiple bloggers say they’re interested in checking out more middle grade. Will this be the year more people check out this category of books?

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More Original Content

I’ve also seen multiple bloggers mention they hope to keep up their passion for blogging by posting more original content, whether that means more discussion posts or personal posts or just doing fewer memes. Personally, I do think original content is the way to stand out from the crowd and really establish your voice as a blogger.

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Fewer Book Bloggers?

The fate of book blogging has been under discussion for a couple years now, as Booktube and Bookstagram take off and users there obviously get far more followers than bloggers. While I enjoy blogger and far prefer reading other blogs to watching Youtube or scrolling Instagram, it is possible blogging will experience a downward trend. Hopefully, however, the community will continue to be vibrant where it does exist and welcome any new bloggers this year!

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Continued Emphasis on Visuals

I mentioned visuals in my 2018 post, and I think this is related to the perception that it’s difficult for blogs to compete with platforms like Youtube and Instagram. In an effort to draw readers who like that visual component, bloggers will continue to focus on graphics and original photography and may even embed video or audio into some blog posts.

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More Pinterest Use?

I documented my own Pinterest use and growth in 2019 and explained how I was able to get a significant amount of traffic from it. More book bloggers seem to be becoming aware of the possibilities of Pinterest, and I see more becoming active on the site and adding Pinterst-ready graphics to their blog posts.

What trends do you think we’ll see in book blogging this year?

Briana

65 thoughts on “Trends I Think We’ll See in Book Blogging in 2020

  1. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

    What a fascinating post Briana. I’ve read in the past about Pinterest growth and know many who are successful at gaining followers that way. And I do hope middle grade books become more well read. Harry Potter actually started life more as a middle grade series that transitioned into YA so there’s lots of potential to find great series.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I was COMPLETELY skeptical that Pinterest would be useful for book blogs, but I have been proven wrong!

      Yes, there’s so much great middle grade out there. I’d love to see more people give it a chance instead of writing it off as “just for kids.”

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gerry@TheBookNookUK says:

    This is a very interesting post and I’d love to know at the end of this year how accurate these are! There are some that I hope come to fruition and some I really don’t. While I don’t personally listen to audio-books I think they have a valid place especially for those who are visually impaired and so I think they should be considered as valid as paper books or e-books.

    I’d also be happy to see original content in people’s blogs but then again, I’m just as happy to read a meme or two. I think it’s about balance but what that balance looks like? No clue. I’m still trying to work it out for myself.

    I actually prefer reading blogs to Booktube and Bookstagram and so while I also understand the variety of medium’s I hope that blogs don’t lose their place. I feel that there’s more free reign to voice opinions and comment but I could be wrong. I’ve actually felt that I’ve *had* to join Instagram just to keep up with what’s on trend.

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    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Me too! I am not sure I could quantify the results though; they’re mostly my observations. I also don’t listen to audiobooks, but I do kind of understand their popularity.

      I admit I stopped reading memes entirely, but there are often so many in my feed, I can’t choose which to read. I can’t read 50 Top Ten Tuesdays, so I just skip them all!

      I also prefer blogs and think there is more room for discussion and often less animosity. I hope I am wrong about fewer bloggers and we see a revival.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Gerry@TheBookNookUK says:

        I tend to read the memes from bloggers that I know have similar tastes or those I consider friends just to see what they’re reading and if I can get recommendations! I also like if there’s an interesting theme otherwise I don’t rigorously stick to reading them all.

        I’m new to Instagram so haven’t seen any animosity yet but I must confess that’s the reason why I have stayed off Twitter. Every time I consider getting involved some drama usually happens and I slide back out.

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  3. alisoninbookland says:

    I would love more original content. Reviews are always helpful. I always skip over tags/memes so I’m dying to see really awesome posts this year.

    Visuals have only increased in popularity since I started book blogging 9 years ago. Back then the only images in posts where a book cover and/or a meme image. Now people include their own photography, their own design elements for the formatting of posts, and Pinterest worthy graphics. I love it! It makes everything so eye catching.

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    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Same. I basically no longer read tags and memes partially because I think many of them are not that interesting and partially because there are so many I give up in despair. If I see 30 posts of the same meme in my reader on Friday or whatever, I can’t decide which to read so I read none of them. I would love to see more original content. I actually think discussion posts might have been down in 2019. I used to do a weekly round-up featuring mainly discussion posts, and I really had trouble finding enough in my feed to do the round-up–even when I made it a monthly instead of weekly thing!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Never Not Reading says:

    I agree that blogging has become increasingly visual. I am sad that by visual it seems to mean graphics instead of gifs, gifs being MY preferred means of communication, lol. But I also notice a lot of bloggers discussing how little time they feel they have for blogging, and a very visual post is *definitely* more time consuming. So, we’ll see how that plays out!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Milliebot says:

    I struggle the most with original content. But that’s something I hope to keep adding in the new year. Maybe I’ll also check out Pinterest. I know you’ve done several posts on it, but I honestly still don’t “get it” or why people would want to look at book ones haha. Makes me feel old 🀣 I should get better with filler graphics too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Part of me doesn’t understand why people would look at book-related content on Pinterest either (unless it’s teachers or librarians looking for educational ideas or reading suggestions), but apparently they do!

      Like

  6. Christina @ The Bookshelf Corner says:

    Great topic! I read a lot of middle grade novels last year. I try to repost most of my blog posts on bookstagram and I can see how visuals are outperforming prose these days. I’ve thought about using Pinterest for blogging purposes but I could never figure out of to do that effectively.

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    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I love middle grade, and I’m always excited when I see other people reading it!

      I had to really sit down and read a couple articles about using Pinterest, but I think the fundamental advice people have is generally all the same, so you don’t necessarily have to read too much about it–just enough to see what basic practices people agree on.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Holly says:

    Such an interesting post! I completely agree about the sort of competition between blogging and more visual forms like Instagram and Youtube.

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  8. Grab the Lapels says:

    If we’re going visual with Pinterest and YouTube, I’m going to sink like a stone. I don’t want to buy things to make cute pictures (especially all the tchotkes people add to photos), as I think it adds to environmental waste. And if you’re constantly using things you own to take pics, how long can that last? Maybe people have more stuff than I do.

    My problem with YouTube is I’m not the kind of person who has headphones all the time, so if there is an audio component, I have to wait until I’m at home, have my headphones, and actually remember to pull up the video.

    I AM interested in seeing more audiobook reviews. Right now, I think there is only one blogger I follow who does audio with any kind of regularity.

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    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I agree. I’m not immensely interested in buying a lot of props *just* for Instagram, but I do struggle with trying to make photos look different while using mainly items I have around my house. Like, how many times can I put the same strand of Christmas lights or the same mug or whatever in a photo because it becomes noticeable? That said, I haven’t had a ton of free time lately, and the first time I dropped was Bookstagram because it’s just so time-consuming to take the photos in the first place, and I’d rather focus on my blog.

      I don’t like watching videos in general, but I agree that there are so many places it’s inconvenient to listen to audio at all, and I’m probably not interested enough to remember to watch the video later.

      I think that’s true. I see bloggers do some audiobooks sporadically, but I can only think of one blogger I really associate with audibook reviews. I don’t listen to them myself though….

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      • Grab the Lapels says:

        Are you not big on listening to audiobooks while doing dishes or driving? I know some people can’t focus on audiobooks while driving, but doing the dishes is fairly mindless work. I used to listen to audiobooks in bed before I fell asleep, but then I got a weighted blanket, which makes me pass out.

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        • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

          I can’t really focus on audiobooks if I’m doing anything else. Even if I’m doing dishes, I’ll start thinking about whether the dish is clean enough or whether I rinsed all the soap off or something stupid, and then I miss part of the book. I have to just sit there and listen to them while doing nothing, at which point I might as well just read because it’s faster than the audiobook anyway!

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  9. CHARIS RAE @ charisrae.com says:

    What a great post idea! I definitely have thought a lot about the possible decline of book blogging. It makes me worried, but I’m hoping to re-implement more writing/lifestyle elements into my blog to make myself stand out. *fingers crossed*

    I 100% agree with the audiobook trend! I listened to The Hate U Give audiobook over Christmas break and am now hooked on audiobooks from my library’s app. I hope the voice actors and productions as a whole will also improve as popularity increases!

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    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Every year I get a bit worried that blogging is going into a decline, but I really do hope it will stay strong or even see a resurgence! i prefer reading posts to watching videos myself, and I think Bookstagram varies wildly in content. I guess some people actually post long thoughts and reviews, but a lot of it is just short comments or basically ads.

      From what I know about audiobooks, they can be expensive to produce, especially ones with multiple people doing voices for different characters, but I do hope that becomes more common because I think it’s more immersive!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Amber says:

    I also want to drive more into middle grade books. I feel like they don’t get enough love. Middle grade books might be written for younger readers but they can still be enjoyed by anyone. I also hope book blogging doesn’t go away. I’m not really into the whole bookstagram thing. I use to booktube back in the day but my love for it disappeared. I feel like there is way more original content on blogs.

    Amber @ Escape Life in the Pages

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    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I agree! So many middle grade books are so good and so creative. I kind of love that they don’t *have* to be realistic and some of them have wildly imaginative story lines. YA often seems interested in being dark (even though a lot of writers will say YA is about hope), and I like that middle grade can just be fun and joyful–but also comment on serious topics, if the author wants to go that route.

      I have never watched Booktube, as I am not interested in watching videos in general. Interesting to hear you think blogs are more original!

      Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I spent years not really using it, but after I took the time to read a few articles on it, it really helped! Most of them have the same fundamental advice; I’m not sure if there are really “secrets,” though people do disagree on how often a day you should pin or if you should delete old pins and details like that.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Lois says:

    Yes to all of the above. I think a lot of people have come to value audiobooks so I definitely think we’ll see an bigger feature on them. Like you, I prefer to read blog posts to watching videos/instagram posts, and I do think there will be less bloggers but I also think bloggers will find ways to adapt their blogs to the changing trends.
    Pinterest is a platform I am going to try and branch into. Your post on how to utilise it made me realise how much potential there on the platform so I just need to dedicate some time to it.

    Like

  12. A Storm Of Pages says:

    It will definitely be interesting to see what kind of developments will happen this year! While I do enjoy BookTube, it would be highly unlikely for me to swap as I wouldn’t be comfortable putting my face online, haha. It would be fun to see some small video or audio bits included in posts though, especially audio – kind of a mashup between blog and podcast? I both love and hate the fact that posts are likely going to need to become more visual, as I currently suck at that – the pretties posts I have are for readathons where the creators made illustrations to go along them!

    Like

  13. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction says:

    Love seeing your perspective on the possible trends! I agree that it will be sad if blogging goes way down—I MUCH prefer reading blogs to watching videos. I know I’m sort of a dinosaur when it comes to that, though. And I hope you’re correct about middle grade—since I’m currently on submission with a middle grade book, I’m excited at the prospect that they’re gaining in popularity! πŸ™‚

    Like

  14. Marie says:

    This is such an interesting blog post! I agree that book blogging seems to be on a bit of a downward spiral for the last couple of years now…. I just hope that, if youtube and bookstagram and things like that will keep on rising, that good old book blogs won’t disappear, either. I much prefer reading blog posts than watching videos, but that’s my opinion ahah πŸ™‚ fingers crossed! πŸ™‚

    Like

  15. Beware Of The Reader says:

    Excellent blog post! I think you are right about fewer bloggers as vlogger are on the rise and bookstagram too! I confess that I would not do a vlog (I am too old and this is not my mother language so you’ll get a French accent LOL) but I took a strong liking to bookstagram!

    Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I’m very private online, so I’m not interested in vlogging partially because I don’t want to be on camera! I’m also not sure making videos or being charismatic on camera is really my talent. I think an accent would be fine, though!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Nicci (@SunnyBuzzyBlogs) says:

    I personally can’t stand “Booktube” (it’s not just booktube, I’m bored out of my face watching any Vloggers) so I really REALLY hope that that isn’t the future of book blogging… Bookstagram I see as a compliment to a blog, not as its own thing (although it 100% can be for some – I love the pictures!).

    I’m definitely up for more original content and more non-book related posts from my bookish people. Memes are fun too but they get very samey if you do enough of them…

    I hope you’re correct with your middle-grade prediction! I read quite a few because my son is in that age bracket and I read with him plus listen to his audiobooks (when he’s finished with them) so I’d enjoy seeing them around more.

    Great post! πŸ™‚

    Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I hate videos in general because it is usually SO MUCH FASTER to just read the content. Someone can make a 12 min video about something they could have said in 2 in, or something I could have read in 2 min if they just posted a transcript. Videos are good for visual things, of course, like if I want a tutorial on how to do something, but I’m not convinced personally there’s a huge benefit to a video book review over a written one.

      There are days my entire feed is just 30 bloggers doing the same meme. I love when someone posts something else and mixes it up!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

        I’ve heard that from other people, and it’s a problem on Bookstagram, as well. It’s like once you get really big, you stop actually reading the books and you just become some sort of ad account for books you were sent and didn’t actually get around to reading.

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  17. Sammie @ The Writerly Way says:

    I love these prediction posts! I definitely agree that audiobooks will probably continue trending up. They seem to be hitting a stride lately.

    This year will definitely be more middle grade for me (in a large part due to my job), but I’ve noticed quite a few people wanting to read more middle grade, too. Which I think is great. Honestly, whenever adults give attention to something, it benefits, which means the kids will benefit from it, too. And the kids have been overlooked for so long as it is.

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      I love MG and think it would be phenomenal for more adults to recognize it as actual literature. On the other hand, I fear for MG a little bit if a large segment of adults start reading it. When YA became an adult thing, the adults started trying to regulate it, based on what they thought teens “ought” to be reading. I think MG has benefited from being read mainly by children and adults who are largely, librarians, and parents, because it has allowed MG to remain before flexible and creative, without regulatory oversight by the Twitter mob. Frankly, I would hate to see a world where MG books start to be censored, as well.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Sammie @ The Writerly Way says:

        That’s also true, and that’s my big concern. I think YA was on the cusp of adult literature, though, and with no NA really to speak of, it seems like a sort of natural push that it would trend older. I’m not sure that MG *can* trend older without simply being YA. I also have a hunch that the people who are turning to MG are almost doing so *because* of YA being pushed up the way it has and are wanting the more whimsical, fun reads? I have absolutely 0 facts to support that, though. That’s just a gut hunch.

        I don’t want to see them censored, either. I know that’s a problem at our library and we have to be careful what we put out, because we live in a highly Christian, Conservative area, and they *will* complain (and have) if they’re offended by something on a shelf, even if it makes no sense whatsoever.

        Like

        • Krysta says:

          I think authors may certainly be moving out of YA because of the possibility of being cancelled. But there are plenty of MG books now that I think Twitter would hate, and I’m not sure I want to see a mass exodus from MY in the future. Right now MY authors are, for example, writing books about overcoming prejudicd, even though book Twitter said such books should not exist because no one should be prejudiced or have to learn not to be. In my opinion, prejudice is still a problem and I think books telling people not to be prejudiced can be good. But that could change if MG faces the same scrutiny YA does.

          Liked by 1 person

  18. shanayatales says:

    I hope the book blogging community stays as is, and thrives. But even as I say that I have to agree that the competition and the lure of the more visual medium of bookstagram and booktube cannot be denied. There is definitely momentum there, and many might switch. I personally am going to stay put. Love blogging too much to quit.

    Like

  19. BookerTalk says:

    The trend I’m seeing is a move away from challenges and towards more ‘free-form’ reading. In other words, people reading whatever they want to without feeling they have to read a particular book just to meet a goal or a deadline

    Liked by 1 person

  20. WordsAndPeace says:

    One trend I have been seeing more and more, is book bloggers doing less challenges, and focusing more on their TBRs – at least it seems to be a trend for bloggers who have been at it more many years (the 10th for myself), maybe newer bloggers still do lots of challenges- and reading what they want when they want. Also less are doing book tours, which makes sense as there are so many ways to get books for free these days, besides the public library of course.

    Like

  21. Kelly | Another Book in the Wall says:

    I love this post, Briana! I really think that you hit the nail on the head with all of these! I wholeheartedly agree that many book bloggers have chosen to focus on posting more original content. Due to this, I think there will be an increase in discussion/personal posts, and perhaps there might even be a decline in popular, recurring memes. I also think that many blogs are beginning to utilize Pinterest for blog post promotion!

    Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Krysta and I were just talking, and in one sense I feel that there are actually fewer discussion posts than there were a year or two ago. Honestly, I sometimes struggle to find enough to add to my monthly round-up! Which is odd considering how many people say they want to do more original content and discussion posts.

      Like

  22. Carol says:

    I love a great MG read and am thrilled to see you think it might be a growing trend! I’ll do my part! I’m already collecting titles for MG March! πŸ˜πŸ™Œ

    Like

  23. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Yeah I do worry that there will be a downward trend of bloggers- but I also hope that there will always be new people who find a passion for blogging because I think it would be a shame if the community were to shrink!

    Like

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