I’ve Accepted That Publishers Aren’t That Interested in Book Bloggers

I've Accepted That Publishers Aren't that Interested in Book Bloggers

The rise of BookTube and BookTok, along with articles like the March 2021 New York Times one lauding the selling power of TikTok videos, resulted in a lot of demoralization among book bloggers. Publishers, it seemed, were no longer interested in working with bloggers and were sending ARCs (advanced reading copies) mostly to influencers on other platforms. Additionally, though publishers had declined to pay book bloggers for years, citing a lack of funds, there were suddenly reports that they were willing to pay influencers on BookTok. Book bloggers felt unappreciated, lied to, and betrayed. And people began talking once again about book blogging “dying.”

This May, Pages Unbound turns eleven years old. People have been predicting the death of book blogs during much of that time, though Briana and I do not think that is true. To me, the idea that blog are dying puts too much weight on what publishers think of bloggers and how willing they are to send bloggers ARCs. There is an assumption that lack of recognition by publishers (and authors) means book blogs are no longer worthwhile or relevant. I could not disagree more.

Book blogs are primarily a space for readers, one that builds a community among individuals who love to engage with and talk about books. They still serve that function–we have more views than ever here on the blog! But, over the years, some bloggers have begun to see the mission of book blogs as “supporting authors” instead. The trouble with this is that bloggers then spend countless hours laboring to read, review, and hype books–taking photos, posting reviews on multiple channels, sending out pre-launch Tweets, urging people to pre-order, maintaining several social media platforms to sing the praises of certain books or authors, etc.–all unasked for. The mission has become to act as unpaid members of publishers’ marketing departments. And, even though this work largely goes unrecognized, bloggers keep doing it because they hope that if they do more and more and more, they one day will be recognized–and paid–for it. But I do not see monetary compensation happening any time soon. The publishers have revealed their hands. They had the money and the ARCs all along; they chose not to use them on bloggers.

Knowing that publishers are not particularly interested in working with book bloggers is, however, freeing. Since bloggers are not in any sort of relationship with publishers, publishers cannot and should not expect anything from bloggers. There is no imperative to market books relentlessly on social media, to buy all the new releases as an act of solidarity, to urge all and sundry to pre-order a book the blogger has not even read themselves and cannot personally recommend. Bloggers are not being paid to work as publishers’ advertisers, and, frankly, I think we should stop trying. Doing all this amazing work free has only demonstrated to companies that, well, they are getting the work free! Why would they pay bloggers for it when it is already happening at no cost to them? Working even harder is not going to convince publishers to pay bloggers just because they are kind. Publishing houses are companies. The fact that they produce books, and that books are art, does not mean they are above financial concerns and calculations. Like any company, they will save money where they can.

Personally, I have never seen it as my duty to market books for publishers; they already hire people for that. Knowing this has allowed me to see my blog as completely my own. I am not obligated to write up lists of upcoming releases, or to urge people to spend money on certain titles, or to get out that social media post NOW before it is too late. I do not even have to read to a deadline if I don’t have an ARC. I can blog what I like whenever I like. I can celebrate backlist titles or talk about bookish things that do nothing directly to sell books. I can even admit when a book was not for me. Is none of that valuable because publishers do not pay me and authors forget to add book bloggers in their acknowledgements section, even when they include Bookstagram and BookTube and BookTok? I think it is valuable.

Maintaining my blog as a space for readers, and not as a marketing arm for publishers, serves an important function, even if it does little to promote this month’s hottest title. For me, the beauty of books is what is inside them, the worlds and the words and the ideas they contain. I love celebrating those things and discussing them with other people. I love finding like-minded individuals, who share my all-consuming love for certain stories or characters. I also love interacting with readers who have different opinions than my own, but who challenge me to see things in new ways. I love making new bookish friends! Not feeling obligated to advertise constantly allows me to create this space, one that is flexible and open and, well, hopefully somewhat distant from the need to constantly buy more and consume more and do more.

I think that if I tried to take the blog in a new direction and to “support authors” relentlessly in a way that meant I was not just highlighting their work and bringing some natural visibility to it through my reviews, but actively chasing new releases and doing cover reveals and urging people to pre-order and promoting books I have not read or do not actually feel really excited about, I would feel drained. I would feel like an unappreciated underling in the marketing division. But I’m not! I’m not part of the marketing division, and so I don’t blog that way. And that’s why I still feel excited about blogging 11 years later, and why I still sometimes feel a creative spark when I start to write. I’m not doing it for the publishers or even the authors, though I am happy to give exposure when I can. I’m doing it for me.

72 thoughts on “I’ve Accepted That Publishers Aren’t That Interested in Book Bloggers

  1. tarakeating9655 says:

    Wonderful post, really made me think , as someone who has only been blogging a year I realised I fall foul of so many of these things, I don’t want to vlog or TikTok and I shouldn’t feel pressured to do so , or to post pictures a certain way on IG (become the staged photo bookstagrammer instead of my own natural photos). I started recently only joining blog tours for stuff I genuinely love and have time to read, but you’ve definitely made me think about how much time I spend worrying about deadlines for NetGalley and publishers for the sake of a free book and my sanity. Thanks so much for this and making me look at how I am blogging and spending my precious free time

    Liked by 2 people

    • Krysta says:

      I find it’s helpful for me to self-evaluate every now and then! Blogging can take up a lot of time and be a lot of pressure, if I let it. But I want blogging to continue to be fun for me, not something I stress about!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Sophia (Bookwyrming Thoughts) says:

    Yeah, I agree that trying to keep up with all the releases and cover reveals, etc. etc. is definitely exhausting especially when we’re not getting paid nor does it look like we will. It’s probably taken about roughly five years before I pretty much decided to hell with it – I’ll try my best to post around publication date, but it’s not a big deal if I don’t. Promotion is still promotion even if it’s after the hype is over from the community a few weeks after release. Even after a book’s publication they still have to market it at times to continue getting the book in reader hands (even if it’s usually more well known authors).

    I do think the day when all the social media sites go down for awhile is probably when publishers will actually realize maybe they should pay bloggers, but I think that ship has sailed quite a few times in recent years.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Krysta says:

      Yeah, I do my best to post around release date as a courtesy, but I don’t worry about it if it doesn’t happen because life happens first. And I didn’t enter into any formal contract promising I was going to post at a particular time. I think it all works out because they still get the marketing. And, hey, what has BookTok shown us if not that reviewing backlist titles can still boost those titles? My posting three weeks after release date can’t be that horrible.

      Also, yes, I think book blogs have a longevity that shouldn’t be overlooked in marketing plans. BookTok is popular today, but it may be replaced tomorrow. Blogs have been going for decades and, from what I am reading, they are still popular and still getting readers and views.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Carol says:

    Thank you for sharing thoughts that represent how many bloggers feel! What I can’t understand is why we can’t get a simple “thank you” from a publisher! Harlequin often thanks me on Twitter when I’ve tagged them in a review! It’s much appreciated when our efforts are at least acknowledged. I have a handful of authors who have thanked me.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Krysta says:

      I admit I would really appreciate a thank you. It hurts when I read the acknowledgements section of a book and BookTube, Bookstagram, and BookTok all get a shout-out, but it’s like authors don’t even know book blogs exist. 😦

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Mint says:

    “Publishing houses are companies. The fact that they produce books, and that books are art, does not mean they are above financial concerns and calculations.”

    I took a course on the politics of corporations last semester, and a common theme throughout the course was exactly this. No matter how they try to market themselves, companies are companies. They aim to protect themselves and their interests and to earn money. Their calculations have shown that book bloggers aren’t generating the kinds of returns they hope for, but those returns can be had on other platforms.

    Ice Planet Barbarians, A Song of Achilles, It Ends With Us… so many books have blown up on TikTok within the past couple of years (with or without publisher support). In contrast, I haven’t seen that same kind of traction with book blogs. I can see why publishers want to invest in this platform when there’s so many recent sase studies of success.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mint says:

      A late-night random addition from me, but I think there’s more theoretical monetization potential with self-published authors. A lot of self-published authors still seek out book bloggers for reviews, a lot more so than BookTokers/BookTubers/Bookstagrammers. But many may lack the resources, or willingness, to pay the reviewer for their service.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Krysta says:

        Good point! I do think self-published authors do tend to express more appreciation toward bloggers!

        At the same time, if I had a self-published book, I wouldn’t offer to pay anyone to review it because a bunch of bloggers would happily review it free…. So there’s not currently any real incentive for authors to offer anything more than a review copy.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Krysta says:

      I think this is a reality that can be difficult for book bloggers to accept. We work really, really hard, but we aren’t showing that we can generate the same results as BookTok if we get paid. I don’t even know if measuring results is easy for bloggers. It’s not like you can search a hashtag and see how many bloggers are all talking about a book at the same time. And it’s hard to quantify how many eyes I got on a review if I post it multiple places like Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc–which some bloggers do, as a courtesy. So it’s harder to demonstrate that bloggers are a good monetary investment in contrast to BookTok where something goes viral and then you see it rocket up the bestseller list, and there seems to be a strong connection there.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Rosie Amber says:

    Book blogging has always been a hobby for me. I haven’t chased hot new releases, my blog quickly aligned with indie and self-published authors where marketing budgets rarely exist and many of them do support our reviews on social media and the majority thank us for working with them. I have grown my own social media pages to promote and support these indie authors alongside fellow book bloggers – it’s my choice.
    I left book blog tours years ago for two reasons. I refused to use my social media to positively promote a book that a tour operator was getting paid for and too many of the books on tours were mediocre and there was unwritten pressure to give them a positive review.
    This book blogging route suits me, but many find it hard to understand, I am frequently asked if I get paid to do all this by non-bloggers/ non-readers, sometimes I ask them if their hobby pays well, but mainly I explain that for me it is all about the love of reading, and I end it with a smile.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Krysta says:

      I think if it works for you, that’s what counts! I don’t need my hobby to pay, either, and I’m perfectly happy just rambling on about books on my own schedule. The rise of the side hustle and the idea that you have to monetize everything is frankly exhausting to me. If the problem is that our regular jobs don’t pay a living wage, I don’t think the solution is for everyone to side hustle our way into financial security and never have a moment of free time. I find it relaxing to have hobby where I don’t have to worry about productivity and can just have fun with it and with making new connections!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Janette says:

    I totally agree with your comments. I’m certain I wouldn’t want the pressure that the possibility of earning money might bring. I blog because I enjoy being part of the community as well as for my own satisfaction. I only post reviews for less than a quarter of the books that I read and would hate to feel that I had to post reviews because a publisher expected me to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      That’s one reason I don’t even request ARCs most of the time. I don’t like reading to a deadline because that makes it feel like a chore instead of a hobby. I’d rather be completely independent and read what I like when I like.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. louisesreadingcorner says:

    I honestly don’t know what publishers want from anyone; blogger, bookstagrammers, booktokers. I’m old, I don’t like booktok, there’s only a few of them that actually recommend books I’d enjoy, there’s very few that actually review/recommend books.
    I have a bookstagram account, I have a good following (over 9k) and good interaction. I was posting daily reviews but I very rarely get any books from publishers, I often see people with less that 2k followers who post once a week getting loads of books from publishers, I just don’t get it.
    I’m now posting less on Instagram and have started a blog. I’d rather focus on actually reviewing than getting a pretty picture where nobody reads the words alongside it. It’s only a couple of weeks old but I’m sure it will build up and attract people who actually want to read about books.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Krysta says:

      The way ARCs are distributed has puzzled me for years because, as you say, larger and more active accounts often don’t get them, while smaller accounts with hardly any followers do. Sometimes I think there must not be any research that goes into the distribution and it’s really just semi-random!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Briana | Pages Unbound says:

    Yes, I think a lot of people start blogging because they want to talk about books with other readers, and it can be really freeing to keep that in mind. It lets you blog how you want when you want, and it frees you to write negative reviews, which would definitely not be a thing if your goal would be primarily to market books. Publishers not sending us ARCs or money is not keeping us from having conversations with other readers, which I agree is still the most valuable part of blogging for me.

    That said, I’ve really started to dislike blog tours and street teams, where publishers suddenly come out of the woodwork to demand free marketing without payment, posting specific content at specific times, etc. No thanks.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Krysta says:

      Yeah, I see blogging as a hobby and so my enjoyment of it doesn’t rest on whether publishers are willing to pay me to do it. And I don’t really want to be paid at this point because then they WOULD have grounds to tell me what to post and when. But since we have no relationship with each other right now, they can’t. And so I definitely agree that contacting bloggers to do free labor and post their promos on certain days is taking advantage of bloggers and their passion for books. I think bloggers keep hoping that doing all this free labor will make publishers realize how valuable it is, but they’ve only come to realize that they can make us work for them free.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. tealveyre says:

    Great post 🙂 One thing I’d add though; I do a lot of release blitz posts, cover reveals, preorder posts, etc. I’ve never ever thought that publishers would one day pay me for this. I just enjoy doing it. I only advertise books that I find interesting, that I plan to read or have already read. I also don’t find it stressful and only do it when I feel like it. I’m on the blogger list for a couple of publishers, but when I’m not interested in the arcs they offer, I don’t take them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Krysta says:

      I think if someone enjoys doing the advertising work, that can be different! We tried doing some publisher-related stuff in our early days and I just found it really stressful to have publishers wanting specific posts on specific days and asking for last minute changes, when they weren’t offering anything in return. Now I just ramble on about books at my own pace, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      That’s true! I read a lot of books that aren’t the big ones being hyped, and I wouldn’t want to read only bestsellers just to get views.

      Like

  10. thecritiquesofafangirl says:

    This is such a great post! And so damn important!
    When the shift towards TikTok and reels happened it was heartbreaking but I have realised that my blogging space is mine alone and without curating it to impress anyone I can truly and unapologetically be me and that amazing 🤩
    Though I do wish and hope that there is some appreciation if not monetary but at least acknowledgement of what book bloggers do
    Thanks for sharing this amazing post 🤩

    Liked by 2 people

    • Krysta says:

      Yeah, I wouldn’t mind authors acknowledging book bloggers sometimes. I see some thank BookTokers and BookTubers at the end of their books, but it’s like book bloggers don’t exist. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Books Teacup and Reviews says:

    So well said. I’ve been lucky publishers send regular NetGalley widgets and I don’t have to request books anymore but being an international blogger I never received physical ARC even though I see some international bookstagrammers receive them. It’s annoying. So I stopped chasing the publication date. I hardly review books by publication date unless I received eARC at least 2-3 months before the release date and I read them only when I’m in mood for it. That way I make it fun reading for me than an obligation to read eARC. It’s not even hyped by the time I read them.

    It’s important to keep the blog and reading fun and only way we can do it is by reading at our own pace and our own time without deadlines. That’s why I also stopped participating in blog tours and if I do participate it’s because they have become friends and I actually want to read that book.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Krysta says:

      Yeah, I don’t worry too much about reviewing before publication date anymore. I’m not getting paid to work to a deadline, and we get more interaction and views after the publication date since more people have read it by that point. So I don’t stress about it!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Whimsically Meghan says:

    Yes! As I was reading I just kept nodding my head because I wholeheartedly agree with your viewpoint on your blog. I don’t accept review requests on my blog and I’ve never done a cover reveal or blog tour or anything like that because 1) it sounds waaay too stressful and 2) I’ve heard bad experiences with working with authors/publishers, which I don’t need in my life and lastly I just like doing what I want to with my blog, plus, I also read a lot more backlist books than newer books so it defeats the purpose of publishers getting in touch with me.
    Amazing post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      I did a couple blog tours years ago, and I have to say I personally did not have great experiences. They were organized by the publishers (in one case, an intern) and not blog tour companies, and they sent material super late, barely gave me time to read the book, etc. In one case, I got a “guest post” from a bestselling author that was less than 50 words long. It was honestly embarrassing because I would never post content that short/uninteresting myself, and then I was obliged to post it for the tour, and obviously no one was really interested in reading it.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Eustacia | Eustea Reads says:

    “Book blogs are primarily a space for readers, one that builds a community among individuals who love to engage with and talk about books. They still serve that function–we have more views than ever here on the blog! But, over the years, some bloggers have begun to see the mission of book blogs as “supporting authors” instead. ”

    This is SO TRUE! I feel zero need to keep up with new releases because while I know new releases are imp to authors, my book blog is not their marketing platform. I will talk about new books if they interest me but I don’t feel an obligation to.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      Yeah, I think reviews are to help readers determine if they want to purchase or read a book or not, and that’s a separate thing from just doing positive ads for authors. If publishers want marketing done for them, I think they can and should pay for it, not expect bloggers to do labor free.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. BonnieReadsAndWrites says:

    I review a lot of historical fiction and I still get a lot of ARCs. I think BookTok is for the younger crowd and there are a lot of people who aren’t on it. I also devote Saturdays to self-published/indie books and I do my best to help them however I can.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Tales from Absurdia says:

    Terrific blog as ever, Krysta.

    I will disagree on one point though. My blog has gained a lot of traction off the back of indie publishing houses. I’ve built some wonderful relationships with indie publishers too. It’s a strong reason that I continue to blog.

    I agree with the general thrust of it though – especially when it comes to the big publishing houses. We’re completely anonymous to them and it’s incredibly irritating. However, like you, I’ve moved beyond them and tbh, I rarely review books from the big players.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Krysta says:

      Good point! I think indie publishers and smaller publishers are more willing to work with bloggers! And that’s something we should keep sight of and feel grateful for!

      I couldn’t even get approved by the Big Five on Edelweiss, so I gave up. It’s easier for me to get new releases from the library than get approved!

      Like

    • louisesreadingcorner says:

      If anyone was interested in doing a discussion post spotlighting indie publishers, what genres they produce and any great books you’ve read by them, I think that would make a really interesting post.

      Liked by 3 people

  16. eleennaeisloved says:

    When I started building my blog, I felt anxious because I wasn’t hitting the “musts” of book blogging or marketing. But you know what? You are so right, and this post validates a lot of things I’ve been afraid to voice out.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      I think it’s normal to feel that way starting out! I did, too! But as I went along, I started realizing that a lot of the advice out there isn’t based on much or doesn’t really apply to book bloggers.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Yeah I don’t think publishers will show an interest in bloggers any time soon, but that is very freeing! I’ve always thought it’s a good thing that there’s less money in blogging in terms of meaning you find more honest and thorough reviews, by people who are just doing it because they are passionate about the books. I also don’t think it’s dying- it’s just not an enterprise that can make money. I don’t want blogging to become another marketing arm for publishing. In fact, it was one of the things that made me start to dislike a lot of booktube. I think there’s a lot of reasons publishing aren’t interested in book bloggers, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing on balance. Fantastic discussion!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      Same. I don’t follow a lot of the big bookstagrammers because I just feel as I’m being advertised to. I don’t even know if they’re getting actual money or just a lot of ARCs, but when every post is a photo of a book they haven’t even read yet with a caption that sounds like marketing copying, it’s not really something I’m interested in. I think if bloggers ever DID get paid (LOL), they would need to find a balance between having some sponsored posts here and there and still posting mostly content that sounds authentic.

      Like

    • Krysta says:

      I think that is something that maybe bloggers are hesitant to acknowledge in the conversations about being paid. Content is often popular because it seems honest and organic. If posts are sponsored and the content seems more like marketing copy than an original, honest review, the things that first attracted people to follow and like a particular influencer could disappear.

      I know I follow blogs for honest thoughts and not advertisements, and, truthfully, anything sponsored is going to make me think, “Well, they probably can’t be 100% honest about it! Maybe they’ll mention one little negative, but they still are being paid to promote it, so they’ll want to give positive vibes overall.” I don’t fully trust anything sponsored–not just book reviews.

      And I know people always point to periodicals and whatnot where people get paid to review as “proof” that paid book reviews aren’t going to be skewed by the money, but I think that those reviews are being paid by the periodical, not the publishers. Their work and livelihood isn’t necessarily on the line if they one-star something.

      Like

      • theorangutanlibrarian says:

        Absolutely agree with you!! And I know, I feel the same way about sponsored posts! (That’s why I’ve seen people moan about a book for ten minutes and then go “but I’m giving it five stars”) yeah exactly. Also I think unfortunately paid reviews like those can be skewed (especially in the movie industry where they won’t give media outlets access to premiers without positive reviews :/ )

        Like

        • Krysta says:

          Okay, thank you! I am glad someone finally said it. What is with the reviews where the person seems to not like it at all, but then goes ahead and tries to recommend it anyway? Are they hoping we wouldn’t notice? That we would look at the stars and convert everything else into a positive in our heads? It’s very confusing, but I do think it is a way to try to look like a good publishing partner. I assume publishers aren’t going to keep giving you stuff if you keep one-starring their books….

          Like

  18. inkspellonyou says:

    Loved this post. It does really put things into perspective. Since I found out about NetGalley, I have been reading a lot of books from there and, even though I only request what I really want to read, I have been feeling a little pressure and also that I don’t have time to read all the ones on my TBR shelves; so I have decided to only read one eARC per month. It is something I enjoy but I don’t want to make things overwhelming.

    I also like how you want to make your blog for readers and not authors or publishers. I think that’s why blogs are cool: because it is a space to share honest opinions about books and have sincere discussions. That’s probably why I am a little weary about sponsored/paid posts. Either it is an honest review or is publicity. I don’t think reviewing eARCs is the same thing though. At least I don’t feel obliged to give a good rating; I have given two stars to eARCs sometimes. I do try to not request things that I don’t think I will love, but that’s only because I like to be intentional about my readings.

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      I feel pressure just trying to get through all my library books sometimes, so I don’t usually ask for ARCs. I can’t handle the stress, lol!

      And I think it’s natural to take sponsored posts with a grain of salt. I assume the FTC asks influencers to note when they received a product for review precisely because it is human nature to want to review a free product favorably. I’m skeptical about all sponsored posts, not just book-related ones.

      Liked by 1 person

      • inkspellonyou says:

        Totally understand the pressure thing. That’s why I decided I’m not allowed to request more than one eARC a month.

        Same. I take all sponsored posts with a grain of salt, but I also like to believe someone will not want to make a sponsored post about something they completely hate it or didn’t connect enough.

        Like

  19. Charvi says:

    I really love the narrative you’ve taken, I truly resonate with it. I blog because I want to explore new topics and discussions and write what I want to. Of course, I support authors along the way but that’s not my main goal. I think it used to be as a new blogger, or when I was introduced to arcs and publishers and the whole thing. But I’ve certainly been here long enough to stop craving all the arcs and wanting to get compensation. Still sucks that we don’t get it but I’ve made my peace with it and yes it really is freeing. I get to do what I want, when I want in my space 🙂

    Great post!

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      Yeah, I see supporting authors as a nice bonus, something I’m glad that will benefit books I like if it happens while I am blogging. But I don’t feel obligated to promote authors or books. I think it’s much more pleasant to form a bookish community than to worry about getting paid. I wouldn’t mind a “thank you” now and then, though, or some general acknowledgment from publishers that book bloggers still exist.

      Like

  20. Sahi says:

    This is such a relatable post and I felt it very deeply. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and making us all bloggers feel seen and good about what we do 😊😂

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Kyra says:

    This is so relatable. While this blog is new (I started it this year) I have had a book instagram for several years and have recently started a tiktok account. I recently discovered that many publishing groups will not engage unless you have a very large following (10k or over) on either tiktok or instagram. It’s a shame since I find it hard to get a large following.

    Thank you for sharing and making all the bloggers no matter how many followers feel seen!

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      I can imagine it’s very difficult to get that many followers! And it’s possible earlier users had an advantage, if they started out when there were fewer accounts to follow? I don’t think we’ll ever get 10K followers here, but I’m okay with that!

      Like

  22. Tammy says:

    This is an excellent post! My blog is also eleven years old this July, so I feel you. At times it feels like such a grind, and sometimes publishers feel so pushy, asking for things and not even sending ARCs (which could be seen as “payment”) But ultimately I keep doing it because I love books so much. And I’ll never be on TikTok, lol.

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      Yeah, we’ve had some bad experiences with publishers asking for things last minute and so on. It seemed weird that they were being pushy, as you say, when they weren’t paying us! An ARC is nice, but now most ARCs are digital copies, so even that feels less exciting.

      Like

  23. DoingDewey says:

    My blog is also turning eleven towards the end of this year and I share your feelings on a lot of this! Personally, I wouldn’t want the pressure of being paid to highlight particular authors. Even with ARCs, I feel a little bad giving a negative review. They’re not enough to make my blog feel like a job though or to make me feel obligated to review every book I’m sent by a particular date.

    Personally, I’m not sure I’ve noticed a drop in interest from publishers. I feel like I receive as many review copies as ever, once I account for how much I’m requesting review copies at any given time. I wonder if there’s more of a change in genres that are more popular than nonfiction? Other genres might have started with more interest, so a change might be more notable.

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      Hurray! Happy anniversary!

      Yeah, I think the idea some people have is that we would blog as usual, but just get paid for it, but I’m sure publishers would want to pay us to highlight specific authors and titles, and post specific content. Then it’s not really my blog anymore.

      I think a lot of the dissatisfaction with publishers not sending ARCs is actually with YA books. I could see if nonfiction books were still being sent out because there aren’t really any glowing reviews about how BookTok will sell your nonfiction book and you should put all your money there instead….

      Like

  24. Stuart Danker says:

    Wow, 11 years is a long time, and it’s great that you still feel the spark to write. I think that that’s the only reason why someone should maintain a blog, and not for ‘money’, or ‘fame’, that many people think bloggers are entitled to. Anyway, wishing you many more decades to come, and a long life of writing exactly what you want!

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      Good point! I think enjoying blogging is what makes it worthwhile, in the end. If I needed money to want to do it, it would just be another job.

      Like

  25. kristilynhygge says:

    I just started book blogging again after years of not doing so and I never really thought of getting books from publishers as one of the perks. I used to be in contact with publishers for reviews and promotions about books, but I think I’ve accepted that that’s just not me now. I love talking about books but I kind of like it to be on my own terms, reading what I want to read, talking about what I want to talk about, etc. I think one of the reasons I came back is because I just wanted to talk about books and be a part of a community, never for free books or money or anything.

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      I think that’s the secret to longevity as a blogger. You have to really enjoy blogging just for itself, and to be part of the community. Expecting too much from publishers is going to lead, I think, mainly to disappointment.

      Like

  26. Sheri Dye says:

    What a wonderful post, Krysta! Eleven years and still loving what you do.. that’s mind-blowing.
    Congratulations on coming so far and for being an inspiration to newbies like me who have only been at it for a little over a year. ❤️

    Like

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