Throughout 2020, there has been a near-constant cycle of discussion on Twitter about book bloggers’ feeling under-valued, particularly in comparison to other segments of the online bookish community, such as a Booktube and Bookstagram (and maybe even BookTok, which is very new!).
The vast majority of book bloggers blog because they enjoy it. There is no payment received, and many bloggers don’t even receive “compensation” in the form of ARCs or free books to review. Many bloggers who do review ARCs, especially international bloggers, only have access to digital galleys, so they’re not even receiving a physical product–just early access to reading a new work.
However, it can be difficult to spend hours a week reading, writing, formatting posts, taking photos, making graphics, promoting posts on social media, etc., even when you love it, if you feel as if no one is reading your content or if they don’t think it’s as valuable as other types of online content. To help address some of that, I’ve put together a list of some ways to boost and support book bloggers.
Read Book Blogs
This is obvious, but it’s also so essential I think it deserves the top spot on this list. Bloggers blog because they like to do so–and really nothing is more rewarding than knowing other people are reading and enjoying the content you are posting. However, reading book blogs also boosts their stats, which can help bloggers who want to ask publishers for ARCs or even ask to be paid for their time: more people reading the blog means the publisher is more likely to agree to their request.
Comment on Book Blogs
Comments are basically the lifeblood of blogs. Bloggers can know people are reading their content if they look at their stats and see they’re getting pageviews, but comments mean people found the content engaging enough to take the time to respond to it. Bloggers love this and love having discussions! And, again, comments can help bloggers who want to receive ARCs or other compensation or even just grow their audience because other people can see the comments and that the blog has an active and engaged audience.
Share Links to Book Blogs– Everywhere
If you want to help book bloggers boost their audience and influence in the online bookish community, sharing links to blogs–either the homepage or to specific posts you find interesting–is key. People can’t read blogs if they don’t know they exist.
Places you can link to and promote book blogs include:
- Youtube description sections
- Goodreads forums
- Your own blog posts
- Anywhere else you post online
The idea is to expand beyond the book blogging community and bring book blogs to the attention of people who might not normally read them or even be aware of them.
Write a Post (or Video/Instagram Post/etc.) about Why You Enjoy Book Blogs
In a world where “experts” are constantly saying visual platforms like Youtube and Instagram are the future (or, at this point, the present), some people may need convincing that book blogs offer something worthwhile. So, if you like reading book blogs, it can help to explain to other people why you like them and to point out what features blogs have that platforms like Youtube and Instagram might not.
Boost Book Blogs in Awards When Possible
There are frequently online “awards” for bookish things, and sometimes these awards (like the Epic Reads Book Shimmy Awards) have categories that essentially amount to “best bookish influencer.” Book bloggers are not often nominated for these awards. (If they are, there will be about 10 Booktubers/Bookstagrammers nominated and one blogger.) So, when possible, you can nominate and vote for book bloggers!
If You Have a Blog Tour, Share the Blog Posts
This is directed more towards authors/publishers, but if you are asking bloggers to take part in a blog tour, asking them to spend time reading a book and creating content, or to post authored content on their blogs, and to do so to a specific schedule in order to promote a book– you should share that content! Link to it on social media and encourage your followers to read it!
Talk about Book Blogs in Real Life!
There are a lot of people who are not involved in the online bookish community AT ALL. So if you can work some book blog promotion into real life, blogs might get more readers! If you have a blog, you can even start with promoting your own, either by mentioning it to friends or “casually” leaving your own bookmarks or business cards in library books or other places. Or you can tell people about other blogs you like to read!
*Katie from Doing Dewey says, “I’ve recommended bloggers who review a specific type of book several times when non-bloggers have asked for book recommendations :)”