Trends I Think We’ll See in Book Blogging in 2023

Typically, Briana guesses the blogging trends for the new year, but I thought I’d give it a try this year! Here are trends I think we’ll see in 2023.

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Less Stress About Working with Big Publishers

All the hype over BookTok and the swarms of publishers seemingly willing to pay for reviews led to a bit of shock for book bloggers, who had been told for years that publishers simply did not have the money to pay for reviews or promotional content. I think many book bloggers consequently accepted last year that many of the big publishers simply have little desire to work with bloggers. As a result, I think bloggers will focus a bit less on trying to get publishers to pay them. This may lead bloggers to work more with indie authors and smaller publishers. Or bloggers may choose to read more of what they want and less of what they think they “ought” to be reading to be current with an industry that seems like it is ignoring them.

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More Rereads

This ties in with my point above, but I think more bloggers are choosing to blog for themselves and not to stay relevant or to attract large page views that could get publishers to send them ARCs. I have already seen a number of bloggers committing to rereading the books they love and rediscovering a joy of reading, without the pressure to keep up with hyped releases. I think more bloggers will follow this trend.

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Fewer YA Reviews

YA book reviews used to dominate book blogs, perhaps because YA books also dominated the publishing industry, and bloggers wanted to stay current. However, I have seen quite a few bloggers saying they no longer relate to YA. I have also seen more bloggers branching out into MG and adult books, even though they have not said outright why they might be switching to other types of reads. I expect to see more diversified reviews and not just the same hyped YA fantasies reviewed on every blog.

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More Midlist Reviews

In general, I have seen fewer bloggers hyping all the same books. Even books that are being marketed heavily and seem primed to be all over my feed have not appeared! I think this goes with the general theme of my predictions this year, which is that bloggers will continue to commit to reading more of what they want to read, and not what they think they “have” to read. I also think more bloggers will commit to promoting midlist titles and books they see as deserving of notice, even if these books are being overlooked by more traditional marketing pushes.

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More Audiobook Reviews

Interest in audiobooks has been growing over the years, and I see no sign of this trend stopping. I imagine this trend might be even bigger than it appears since not every book review is necessarily going to note that the reviewer listened to the audiobook, unless comments on the narration seem relevant.

Let us know in the comments if you agree, or if you have predictions of your own!

44 thoughts on “Trends I Think We’ll See in Book Blogging in 2023

  1. Eustacia | Eustea Reads says:

    I hope many of these trends hold true, especially one that you sorta mentioned (though not as a main point): bloggers blogging for themselves.

    Given that the money for book reviewing is on other platforms, it makes sense that bloggers do what’s fun for them, and I think that should translate in more diverse and lively blogs. I’d love to see more midlist, MG, etc type of reviews that haven’t been as common!

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      Yeah, I’ve been blogging for over 10 years and watching book bloggers try to monetize the entire time. I never had a lot of hope it would happen, and I think it’s reasonable for bloggers to blog for themselves and to read what makes them happy. Because publishers are never going to show their appreciation for all our marketing with cold hard cash. So why work for them free? I’d love to see more diverse blogs, too!

      Liked by 3 people

  2. reader@work says:

    I’m one of the bloggers who is attracted to YA books but then I can’t relate to them as well anymore. I’m trying to diversify and focus on less frontlist after the next few months (too late for that lol) and I think that given some things I hear about how some authors are treated, there are publishing imprints I’ll want to give less of a platform to

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    • Krysta says:

      I think part of the reason I like YA fantasy more than YA contemporary is often that I don’t understand all the angst and drama of something like going to prom (which I didn’t even care about as a teen). As an adult, I know these are not life-altering events, and it’s hard to get emotionally invested. But if they are literally trying to save the world, then, yes, I can be invested.

      Ah, yes, that’s true, as well. Lots of news coming out of the publishing industry that I think has soured the public a bit.

      Like

  3. RoXXie SiXX says:

    Hey Krysta,

    by roaming through English-speaking book bloggers but representing German book bloggers, I got to say, that a lot of your predictions are already the norm in the German blogger community.
    Most German bloggers keep their blog alive for themselves; not for likes or any other fame. Also, I’ve never been told, that there are actually any book blogger here who get paid by publishers for their reviews. Receiving an ARC is kinda the payment.
    Most big German publishers usually have their own kinda blogger plattforms where you can register and ask for an ARC. But also NetGalley is pretty popular amongst German-reading book bloggers.

    In the last 2-3 yrs I could watch how more and more German book bloggers were willing to explore books from indie publishers or even self-publishers. And a huge amount of them also reading a lot of books full of LGBTQ+ and diversity topics. 😁
    Some even try to raise awareness of reading more books of POC and/or LGBTQ+ authors.

    Big German publishers usually have their own kinda blogger plattforms where you can register and ask for an ARC.

    Cheerio
    RoXXie

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      I think that’s really cool! I’ve watched book bloggers try to monetized for over ten years, and I never really thought it was likely. But, at the same time, bloggers were working really hard to get their views up–all to be “paid,” as you mention, with an ARC. Which publishers often hand out like candy at conventions and such with no one having to prove that they’re going to promote it to 5,000 followers. I always thought it was a lot of effort for a free book. So I would be happy to see more bloggers writing to make themselves happy, and not to chase after money I don’t think is coming.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sophie @BewareOfTheReader says:

    Well I think you nailed it! What I also hope to find in blog posts is blogger saying no to just “sex sells” for books that are not meant to be sex orgies. That’s something I noticed in some books like the last Sarah J Maas and the last JLA. They have romantasy or even fantasy but recently dove into smutt heavy to the point of it overtaking the story. And I feel there is a pressure from piblishing houses for authors to do that given the rise of smut on tiktok. And don’t misunderstand me I read smut and have nothing against it. But there are books where it’s the purpose and others where it shouldn’t

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    • Krysta says:

      Okay, this comment made me laugh! I have to agree. I prefer books with focused plots and if they derail into a sexy scene that is irrelevant to the plot and/or character building, then, no. I can do without. Honestly, I could do without the description, too. If I need to know they did the deed, that can be communicated tastefully so we can get on with our fantasy adventure, because that’s why I picked up a fantasy adventure!

      Interesting point about TikTok. I’ve seen a lot about what kinds of books are favored by the platform, but I so far have stayed away.

      Like

  5. FictionFan says:

    Interesting! I can’t speak for other bloggers but certainly a lot of your trends tie in with my own views. I’ve noticed a drop in publisher enthusiasm for traditional bloggers (or maybe it’s just me!) and I can’t blame them – I’m not at all convinced that we actually sell books in significant numbers. And there do seem to be fewer blog tours – a pestilence on blogworld, imo – especially from bigger publishers. I’m more than happy to get off the new release treadmill and do more mood reading and re-reading. So I think you’re probably spot on in your predictions!

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    • Krysta says:

      No, I think publishers are working less with book bloggers. All their enthusiasm is for BookTok. I think, though, that the PRH vs. DOJ suit revealed very publicly that publishers don’t really know what they are doing/don’t use research or data to make decisions. There’s this sense that BookTok can make your backlist title into a bestseller, so they’re all flocking there and pouring in money, but no one really knows how to create a trending title there, do they? You just have to hope you pour stuff into it and get lucky.

      And, yeah, I agree book bloggers don’t have a huge reach in terms of followers, so I have never been surprised publishers didn’t want to pay for content. I don’t think book bloggers are irrelevant or insignificant, but I once saw a food blogger with a book deal say she got millions of views, and I don’t think even the “big” book bloggers years ago reached that level of an audience.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Samantha @WLABB says:

    I raise my hand as one of the bloggers reading less YA. My reasons being that I am not enjoying the stories the newer authors are putting out. I miss the fluffy YA of yesterday. I am reading a LOT more library books too (accounted for almost 60% of my 2022 reads).

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    • Krysta says:

      I found last year I was less attracted to YA releases. A lot of the synopses seemed the same, so they didn’t stand out. And there is an emphasis on putting out books that address like 10 hardcore issues, and it can be very overwhelming as a reader and, really, just for the book itself to try to handle all that. Sometimes I just want a straightforward fantasy to relax at night, not something that is going to send me into a spiral of despair. I have a feeling I’m going to do more rereads this year and more older works, and sit more with books I know I will enjoy.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ali@abookishlife says:

    I’ve been moving away from YA for the last couple of years and it seems like a lot of the big YA authors, Cassandra Clare, Holly Black, Leigh Bardugo etc are making a move to adult too. I get the impression even teen readers are looking for adult reads. I am starting to wonder what the future of YA is. Everyone seems to be looking for spice in their reads probably due to the popularity of SJM and CoHo.

    Unfortunately I also worry a little about the future of book blogs. It seems like Booktok has taken over and is the place now determining the books being read. Hopefully as you suggest Blogging will move to support the indie authors and become more about reading what you want.

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    • Krysta says:

      Yeah, I think the YA market might have lost its footing. There was that big boom when everyone was reading YA, and so everything was marketed as YA just to sell it. And then YA became dominated by books that weren’t teen-focused and maybe should have been in the adult market in the first place. Now people are moving away from YA, and I wonder what will happen. Will YA become for teens again? Will younger teens get books again?

      I know publishers are really into BookTok right now and a lot of bloggers are heading over there. But I have hope there’s space for bloggers. The content we put out is fundamentally different. We can do longer-form reviews and analyses that have longevity and can get picked up by search engines even years later. It’s different and hopefully that means it is still relevant.

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  8. Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies says:

    Interesting thoughts! I have no interest in TikTok or BookTok, so I’m definitely letting all that hype pass me by. I enjoy blogging still, and don’t have any expectation that publishers will care what I do! I actually find that the blogs I regularly enjoy the most are the ones talking about books that they genuinely care about, not just focused on new releases. I hope your trend predictions end up coming true — they all seem very positive to me.

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    • Krysta says:

      I have exactly zero interest in BookTok. I’m excited there’s a platform that is getting a lot of people into reading, but short videos aren’t my preferred format for information or entertainment. And I think there’s a lot of freedom in not worrying about what publishers think! I keep seeing people saying book blogging is dying, but they just mean (I think) that we are getting fewer ARCs. But book blogs are still here and the community is still energetic, engaging, and lovely!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Zainab says:

    Yeah I definitely think that people will move away from YA a little bit – which is interesting since that’s all I ever read, so it will be good to have some more recs! 😆 I totally agreed with your point about publishers, I only ever worked with a publisher once but honestly I was going to buy the book regardless 😂 So, if you truly enjoy the book – I don’t think it matters!

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      In a way, maybe it was inevitable because YA was so big for so long. Trends come and go all the time. I really like YA, but I’ve been branching out more recently and enjoying it!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. A Storm Of Pages says:

    I definitely see the same trends, and I know for myself that that is how I’ve been approaching my blog the past few years – it’s more a record for me, and for me to shout about books I’ve loved, than trying to stay relevant with what’s popular. I do have some semi-hyped new releases, but usually only because they’re just want I wanted to be reading anyway. And yes, I have more and more audiobooks (Scribd makes me greedy) and I don’t think that’s going to change!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Ari Augustine says:

    I’m part of some of these trends 😀 Sort of? I grew up largely on adult fiction, then read mostly YA fiction due to publishing jobs, and now I’m back to embracing adult fiction. YA just doesn’t relate to me anymore, but I also think this shift is partially due to just not liking *where* YA has gone as of late. I’m still reading the rare YA gem, but we’re most adult fiction now on the blog. We’re also focusing more on the backlist, Indie pub (small publisher), and moving away from the hype machine of big publishers. Staying relevant is exhausting, but I think I’m also over the glamor of reviewing for publishers? Is that a thing? lol I’m seeing more and more bloggers turning to quality small publisher books, so I hope this becomes a trend.

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      I can see that! I’ve always found YA to be less interesting than MG, for instance, because it usually devolves into trends. The Hunger Games gave us all those dystopian novels, Six of Crows a bunch of heist novels, etc. I don’t want to read something written just to cash in on a trend. I want to read something that feels original and exciting and like it doesn’t necessarily care about the market (even if it does). Plus there are so many books being published anymore, I can’t keep up. I don’t have the energy or the time to be excited about thousands of new releases. I’d rather just pick up a few things that look especially compelling.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Julie Anna's Books says:

    I’ve only been in the book blogging space for a couple years now, but I do agree – even on other platforms, I’m seeing a greater variety of books and fewer ya titles than usual. And as someone who has burnt out on blogging several times, I did resolve this year to put less pressure on blogging, what I read, how much I read, and keeping up on new releases.
    I’m curious to see how long the BookTok boom will last as well – it’s been around for a couple years now and is still going strong, but since I’m not really on TikTok I’m wondering how/if trends will change over there. But I think no matter what platform is big or small, I like having my little blog. I just enjoy creating content and blogging is the best medium for me, as it is for many others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      Yes to this! I’m trying to reevaluate my reading and my blogging this year, and not over-commit myself to a bunch of books. Everything at the library looks interesting, but I can’t read them all! And I want to spend some more time on other hobbies.

      I am interested to see where BookTok goes, too. It’s great that the platform is getting people excited about reading. I just wonder how long publishers will see it as some sort of magic marketing tool.

      Like

  13. Zezee says:

    That’s interesting about fewer YA reviews. I’m also seeing more folks turning from that category either because they’ve “aged out of it” (their words) or have lost interest.

    Like

  14. Jacqueline Diaz says:

    As someone who runs a retro-romance blog, I would love to see more “re-read” reviews. Although my idea of retro is 1970-2000. Retro could be 2010 today! Still, I’d appreciate new reviews for 13-year-old books. Nostalgia is fun.

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      I think older books get more views than people think, too! It’s easier to get a discussion going when more time has passed and more people have had a chance to read the book!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Jenna @ Falling Letters says:

    I feel like you reached into my mind and pulled some of these out! Less stress about working with big pubs, more rereads, more midlist… I’d be happy to see a trend away from YA continue. I feel like it used to be harder for me to find blogs I’d like to follow, because I don’t care much for YA. But as you’ve noted here, there does some to be a lot of diversifying happening with what folks are reviewing nowadays (in terms of target age of books, midlist titles, etc.)

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      Yes, I remember when it felt like every single blog was a YA blog! Alongside a thriving romance community that I didn’t get too involved with only because I don’t read a lot of romance. Sometimes it almost felt like our blog was not destined to succeed because we were eclectic and no one was really interested in MG books or adult non-fiction. Now I see more reviews of both!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. La La in the Library says:

    This has always been me! Ha ha. 😁

    Every time I saw bloggers saying they wanted to be paid, I shook my head because I used to write music reviews, and I knew both sides. I reviewed for a regional entertainment paper for “free” (I was given tickets to concerts) and I could say anything I wanted, but the East Coast magazine I freelanced for, and was paid by, had the rule that nothing negative could be said about any performers who advertised in the magazine, or any performers who were represented by any agency that advertised in the magazine. I don’t know why people trust paid reviews. 🙄

    I think your predictions are spot on. 👏👏👏

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      Yes, this makes sense to me because I don’t remember ever reading a really devastating review of a book in a major review publication. Sometimes they might be neutral, like when someone writes a recommendation letter for a not-great employee and it comes out like, “John works here and he’s on time and he’s friendly,” and it signals that there’s perhaps nothing much there to rave about. And a few times I’ve seen a sentence or two noting what might be perceived as a minor flaw before the review moves into a sort of pleasantly vague, “But it’s overall a worthwhile read.” But they don’t seem to regularly blast books with scathing one-star reviews. I’m sure publishers wouldn’t submit books for review if that were a real, recurring possibility.

      It reminds me of the book blog tour discussion here, where some of the blog tour organizers took offense that I said I don’t put a lot of stock in blog tour reviews. But then a lot of the commenters admitted that when they didn’t like the book offered to them on a tour, they would offer to do a different promotional post instead. There was this argument that, “Blog tour organizers don’t prohibit bad reviews!” But then there also seemed to be a shared understanding among the participants that it would be bad form to give a negative review AND that they should still offer to market the title in another way even if they didn’t personally like it or endorse it.

      I know that if bloggers were paid to do reviews, the same sort of discussion would crop up. I personally wouldn’t put the same amount of faith in a paid review, even if people were reassuring me that the money wouldn’t affect their endorsement.

      Like

  17. Snapdragon says:

    I been reading the books I wanted to read since I started blogging. Over the past year I have notices less YA being review. Hopefully these trends keep going. It would be nice to see different book being review.

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      That sounds excellent! I am try to re-commit myself this year to reading fewer books–just ones I am especially interested in–and maybe concentrating on a few of my other hobbies.

      Like

  18. Molly's Book Nook says:

    If all of this happens, it makes me very happy. I’ve been on a very long hiatus from blogging and want to return but am going to do it at my pace and read what I want. Which aligns with everything you’ve listed here! It would be wonderful to see more diverse books being reviewed and not just the hype ones!

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      It looks like a lot of bloggers are committing to more stress-free blogging, and I find that very encouraging! Here’s to a great year of reading for all of us!

      Like

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