Here are my annual predictions for what I think book blogging will look like in 2021, touching on what I think will be new(ish) in what bloggers are reading and what they are reading.
E-books aren’t new, obviously, and book bloggers have been reading and featuring and even photographing them for years, but I think e-books might be a bit more prominent as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Libraries may not be open or may have limited options for borrowing physical books, and people might be avoiding going in-person to libraries or bookstores. Budgeting might also be a priority for those who are unemployed or have received reduced pay. Buying e-books or borrowing them from the library can save readers money and help them stay at home.
More Book Bloggers Trying to Monetize
I touched on monetization in my 2018 predictions but not in my 2020 ones because this is a topic that comes up with book bloggers fairly often, and then it seems as if most don’t actually move towards monetization (which is fine; I certainly haven’t!). I do think the conversation was a bit more serious towards the end of 2020, and I saw bloggers discussing how they planned to make a bit of money and how they were putting together media kits, so perhaps 2021 is finally the year more book bloggers get some cash!
More Book Bloggers on Pinterest
I had this in my 2020 post, as well, and I do think book blogger activity on Pinterest picked up last year, but I also continued to see book bloggers ask about the platform, how to use it, whether it’s worth using, etc., so I think we’ll see even more bloggers join this year. (For what it’s worth, I recommend it! You can read how I increased our blog traffic by using Pinterest here.)
Awards Get More Contentious
Awards of all kinds have received criticism in the past couple years. People are perpetually frustrated that the Goodreads Choice Awards let readers vote for books that haven’t even been released, for instance. Readers have also noted that the GRC Awards are focused on popularity (ratings and reviews), which may or may not correlate with book quality. Informal blogger-run awards to recognize bloggers have received backlash for seeming too cliquey. And in November 2020, Epic Reads tweeted they’d received feedback their Book Nerd of the Year category did not have diverse nominees, and they hope to fix that in the future. I don’t know exactly what this means for awards in the future. Will they change to address feedback? Will some be canceled? Only time will tell, but I do predict that, whatever happens, we’ll all have something to discuss.
More Bloggers Attend – And Post About – Online Bookish Events
Obviously a lot of bookish events and conferences went virtual in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and that trend will continue at least through the first half of 2021, before a vaccine can be widely distributed. ReedPop announced, however, that BookExpo and BookCon as we know them will be canceled entirely, forever, and that whatever replaces them will include a hybrid of in-person and virtual events, to better serve people who can never make it to in-person conferences. Likely other event organizers will continue to offer virtual options even when in-person meetings are possible. But will bloggers post about them? I didn’t see a lot of posts about attending virtual BookCon or a virtual author event, the way I’d normally see posts from people who went to in-person ones, but maybe 2021 is the year we start writing about our virtual experiences, as well.
What trends do you think we’ll see in book blogging in 2021?