Trends I Think We’ll See in Book Blogging in 2021

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.

See my 2020 blogging predictions here! (And tell me if I was right!) You can review my 2018 predictions here.

More E-books

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.

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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!

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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.)

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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.

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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?

Briana

36 thoughts on “Trends I Think We’ll See in Book Blogging in 2021

  1. Carol says:

    I guess I’m ahead of the trend as a 99% e reader! During the shut down I didn’t miss a beat! It was great! I have attend local author events in the past but not usually the large conferences so I’d be interested in some online events! I attended an online author event with Fredrik Backman this year! I can certainly envision more virtual events in our future!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I like e-books sometimes, but then I go through periods of getting tired of them, which is really frustrating because all my holds seem to come in right when I don’t want to read e-books anymore!

      I attended one virtual event with Leigh Bardugo which was pretty fun– but also very geared toward mega fans. I did not have a bunch of exclusive swag to find in the scavenger, and I didn’t cosplay! It was still interesting, though.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ashley says:

    I love how you mentioned an increase in eBooks, and have to agree. In 2020, The patrons of The Boston Public Library borrowed 3,000,000 eBooks/audiobooks. I also agree with you about the book awards and then the book blogger run awards being cliquey. With the Goodreads Choice Awards, I’ve even written in books that I have read and enjoyed, especially if they’re by minority authors, and I have always voted for the more diverse books if I’ve read them. It’s interesting that you wrote about monetization because it’s something that I’ve thought about but don’t think it will be worthwhile because I don’t have a large enough following. This is an excellent post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Ah, that’s a lot of e-books and audiobooks!

      I’ve written in books before, too. It’s just so hard to get the required number of people to write books in that they make it to the next round. :/

      Yeah, Krysta wrote her post about not minding not being paid a couple weeks ago, and I’m with her. I’m not inherently against monetization, but personally I’d want to make a noticeable income to consider it worth the trouble. I’m not interested in trying to monetize in order to end up making $10/year, which is what seems to happen to a lot of bloggers, especially going the affiliate link route. And I can’t even get publishers to give me physical ARCs when I cold email them, so there is no way I’m going to convince them to send me $50.

      Like

      • ashley says:

        I have to agree with you about how difficult it is to get write-ins to the next round, I still feel like I’m doing my part by writing books in though. $10/year isn’t worth it to me to monetize.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

          Sometimes I wonder if there ARE bloggers making a “decent” amount of money and they’re just not telling us. They’re not obligated to, of course, but I’d be far more inspired if I saw a book blogger say they actually do, in fact, earn $1000/month or whatever.

          I’ve seen more bloggers listing prices on their blogs, but saying you charge $50 for a cover real and getting someone to actually pay you that are two different things, and I have to say that some of these bloggers seem to have lower stats than we do here. I’m skeptical authors and publishers are going to pay someone with “only” 2,000 followers or 100 page views per day, but if they DO, I’d think it’d be very inspirational for other bloggers to know about it.

          Like

  3. christine @ ladygetslit says:

    These predictions are fascinating! I’ve been away from blogging in 2020, but I’m interested to see what happens with book events. I attended a virtual conference for educators this past fall, and I have to say that I honestly wouldn’t mind attending more virtual events. I don’t have a lot of extra money for travel, so I’ve never been to BookCon or anything like that. Plus, I wonder how much easier it might be for authors to attend these events if they’re virtual as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Yes, I even saw some authors on Twitter basically saying they didn’t care about large events like BookCon being cancelled because they were never invited by their publishers to participate anyway, and they think they’ll get more opportunities virtually, instead of the “big” authors.

      Like

  4. novelfables says:

    Great insights! December was my first month in the Book Blogging community; generally, my blogging experience has been technical writing (web development), so it’s nice to gain insight from someone with more expertise in this niche. I do hope to see more book bloggers on Pinterest!

    Like

  5. mistysbookspace says:

    I’m on Pinterest but I have no clue how to use it to help my blog. I’ve seen people sharing their blog posts on Pinterest but I don’t know how to do it which is why I’ve personally not utilized it.

    Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Personally I’ve found the pins that work best are usually things like lists, or something you can imagine a non-blogger who likes books wanting to search or read. So even discussion posts, which tend to get a lot of views from the WordPress reader and from other bloggers, don’t do as well on Pinterest for me as things like “10 Books Set in NYC” or whatever. I see a lot of people pinning reviews, and I do too sometimes, but they don’t get clicked a lot, and I often wonder if other bloggers are getting clicks on those.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. BookerTalk says:

    I do hope that your prediction for monetising blogging doesn’t materialise. if I see bloggers asking for payment for reviews, then I will stop following them – I want independent thought not ‘reviews’ skewed by the fact someone has been paid.

    Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      The ones I have seen are asking to be paid for guest posts, cover reveals, author interviews, Instagram posts, and other thing more promotional in nature. I think people are realizing readers are wary of paid reviews. I have no idea if they are getting paid for anything they are asking, though, or how it would affect followers if a blog did end up featuring a lot of sponsored content. Personally I would not like to read too much content that came across as an ad, so it would have to be creative content. But then I don’t really read cover reveals or author interviews now, when they are free.

      Like

  7. Julie Anna's Books says:

    I agree with seeing more book bloggers on Pinterest! I used to be a lifestyle blog so I’ve known about Pinterest from that, and when I started book blogging I noticed there weren’t as many book bloggers on the platform. But now I’m seeing way more book blogs on Pinterest, and I’ve been finding lots of new blogs that way!

    Like

  8. jawahirthebookworm says:

    I too only started getting into ebooks after lockdown and especially after I launched my book blog and became an “official” book blogger. This is mainly because most ARCs I get are in a digital format. I’m still getting used to them and they’re not so bad now versus when I first started reading them.

    Pinterest seems to work for me too! Though like you said they’re usually great with lists, trendy topics, or social media templates /graphics. The more visual it is the better! Hence I don’t do a pin for every post on my blog rather I focus on posts I feel would generate great engagement on Pinterest.

    Really insightful post!

    Like

  9. Eustacia | Eustea Reads says:

    Interesting! For monetisation, I wonder if it’ll be the bloggers in the West leading the way – I think options for those of us in other countries may be limited.

    I tried Pinterest for a bit but it’s a whole other social platform and I gave up. Perhaps I’ll try again in 2021!

    Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      That’s very possible. I’m skeptical most people will be able to earn much money at all (I did see someone on Twitter yesterday say she made $200 in the last year, which is the highest number I’ve seen someone admit to), but if there are opportunities, I’m sure it will be easer in the West to get them.

      Yeah, I failed at Pinterest multiple times and just committed to actually reading up on it and trying to figure it out this time, and I think it’s paid off fairly well! It’s still bigger for other niches because I’d say I get maybe 70 blog views a day from it, while other types of blogs are like, “I got 1000 views from Pinterest today!” but…whatever. 😛

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Sammie @ The Bookwyrm's Den says:

    I definitely think ebooks will be more of a thing! Especially with libraries yo-yoing between open and closed. I’ve noticed that even our patrons are using OverDrive more often ( they’re not book bloggers, but since bloggers tend to be library patrons, too, I assume I can extrapolate).

    The awards thing is really interesting, too, and I’ve seen more people looking at them with more critical eyes, so I’ll be curious to see where it goes in the future. I can understand the arguments people are making, but I can’t always see an easy solution to the problem, so I wonder if places that hold awards will find a creative way to combat it.

    Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I’ve definitely been reading more ebooks myself! My library is still open for curbside pickup and even indoor browsing, but I don’t plan on going inside till the pandemic is over!

      Yes, I’m not always sure what the solution to the awards issues are either, especially when they’re community-nominated> in the case of Epic Reads, for instance, people nominated the Book Nerd of the Year, so if the nominees were not diverse, that had nothing to do with Epic Reads itself. They can ask people to nominate more diversely or sort of curate the nominations, but any possible solution seems to have its own issues, as well.

      Like

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