Should Book Bloggers Feature Discussion Questions That Focus on Specific Books?

Should Book Bloggers Feature Discussion Posts on Specific Titles

Discussion posts have become a staple of book blogs, with readers reporting that they often prefer to read discussions and bloggers reporting that discussions do indeed generate higher traffic than reviews. While book discussions started out as simple questions, with bloggers often just asking questions such as, “How many books do you currently have on your nightstand?” the length and quality of these posts have evolved over the years. Now, bloggers might discuss anything from whether series or standalones are preferable to consumerism on Bookstagram. What many bloggers still seem not to post, however, are discussions that focus on a single title or a single aspect of a book.

When I raise the idea that book bloggers might post in-depth discussions about specific titles, instead of talking about books in general, some bloggers seem hesitant. Part of this is a fear of sounding too “academic” and scaring potential readers away. Much blogging advice, after all, advises bloggers that readers on the internet have short attention spans, and thus anything text-heavy should be avoided. Extrapolation of this idea suggests that anything that sounds intellectually heavy should also be avoided–readers presumably do not want to read anything that might remind them of a high school English paper.

Blogging about the questions raised books need not be dry and tedious, however. Interesting ideas can be raised without clouding them in academic jargon or writing a post that becomes the length of a doctoral thesis. A balance can be struck with intellectual ideas and an engaging writing style. In short, bloggers need not dread that writing about books in-depth might make them sound overly scholarly and thus scare people away. Truly, a discussion post about a single feature in a book could be merely five or six paragraphs–the idea is, after all, to generate discussion, not to post the final word on the book. A post can simply raise a question or idea, and then let the rest of the conversation, with all its complexities, contradictions, and side trails, unfold in the comment section.

Here at Pages Unbound, we do periodically post discussions that focus on specific books, and, far from scaring people away, they often generate great comments! Our post on not liking The Giving Tree, for instance, generated a lot of like-minded comments, as well as a follow-up post that was equally popular, and then a post on why another popular children’s book, The Rainbow Fish, is also one we do not enjoy. Likewise, posts on how to interpret the ending of Lois Lowry’s The Giver and whether J. R. R. Tolkien’s Boromir is a likeable character have also proved popular. Some text-specific posts have generated fewer comments, but regularly receive views from search engine hits–for example, our post “Why I Don’t Like the Ending of A Heart So Fierce and Broken is still pretty popular, as is our post on why people should read The Lord of the Rings appendices.

Despite their mixed reputation, discussion posts focused on specific titles have many benefits for bloggers. Firstly, they allow bloggers to expand upon their thoughts on a book. Because most reviews are fairly short, they need to be focused and thus may only mention a few main points of interest, rather than everything the reviewer might wish they could talk about. Secondly, they open up the door for more discussion about favorite books–an especially wonderful benefit since many bloggers start blogs specifically because they want to talk about their favorite books with other fans. And, lastly, they allow bloggers to generate more content without having to read a bunch of books. One title could, in theory, be the inspiration for an unlimited amount of future posts!

But what kinds of discussion posts might generate the most discussion? At Pages Unbound, we have posted a mix of discussions on everything from classic works to childhood favorites to the latest YA bestsellers. These sorts of posts seem to work best for getting a conversation going. After all, people need to have read a book or at least heard of it in order to discuss it. So anything that people might conceivably have been exposed to or have strong feelings about (think, for instance, books regularly assigned to students or the latest release that everyone seems to be reading) is a reasonable choice. Taking up questions that have constantly intrigued readers (such as whether C. S. Lewis did Susan Pevensie wrong) could all get a conversation started. Not all discussions will take off, of course, but it could still be fun writing them!

For inspiration, here are a few text-specific posts we have written:

The posts range from more general questions–what makes a book or a franchise successful– to more in-depth analyses about characters or philosophy to opinions on fan-based issues such as romances. Discussions can be based around almost anything!

Book-specific discussion posts do not have to be boring or dry. Nor do they have to scare readers away! Many readers are waiting for the opportunity to talk about their favorite works and to think about them deeply. General bookish discussion posts are fun–but specific ones can be, too!

7 Book-Related Blog Post Ideas for When You Haven’t Read Anything Recently

Bookish Post Ideas

Need a post idea, but haven’t read anything recently? Here are some book-related post ideas for your book blog!

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Movie and TV Reviews

Book-to-film adaptations come out all the time! If you have not read a book recently, why not review a film or a TV show that is book-related? And there are plenty of twists to put on this. You can talk about changes you liked (or didn’t), or do a “Who did it better?” type of post. You could even come up with your dream cast for an upcoming adaptation, if you do not have a film ready to review.

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Game Reviews

Books can inspire more than movies. If you enjoy playing a game that is book-related–anything from a Lord of the Rings board game to a Nancy Drew video game. Or, if you do not want to do an entire game review, you can do mini reviews, lists of recommendations, or even a reflection on what playing a certain game has meant to you. You could even come up with a list of your dream games, or books that need games!

Collection Tour

Show off your bookish merch! Highlight special editions, beautiful covers, and cool illustrations. Or take pictures of some of your non-book bookish items–figurines, bookends, bookmarks, tote bags, T-shirts, whatever!

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Recommendation Posts

Recommendation posts do not have to start with books. Try recommending titles for people who enjoyed a certain movie, TV show, video game, or music album.

Quizzes

Everyone loves a good quiz! Try coming up with a personality quiz or a trivia quiz based on a favorite book.

How-to-Read Guide

Are you a fan of a long or complicated series or franchise? Explain to readers how the series works. What is a good starting point? Do they need to read the books in any certain order? Or can they jump in wherever they want? (Such a guide will work for comics, too!)

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Cover Commentary

Highlight several covers of one of your favorite books–then discuss. Do some work better than others? Are some completely off base? Which ones are your favorites and why?

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Why I Like Writing My Own Book Summaries for the Blog

Why I Like Writing My Own Book Summaries for the Blog

Many book bloggers use the summary from the publisher when writing book reviews. When possible, however, I prefer to write my own. Here are four reasons why.

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I Can Make Summaries Short and to the Point

A paragraph of six to eight sentences is sufficient for me to decide whether I am interested in the premise of a book. Yet so many official summaries seem to be several paragraphs long! I don’t want to feel as if I have read the whole book after just reading the summary. As a result, I like to write my own summaries that are usually only a few sentences.

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I Can Avoid Spoilers

This point goes with the one above. Really lengthy summaries often reveal almost everything that happens in the book. Some even casually drop plot twists. But I do not want to go into a new story already knowing that Character Z was just faking their own death or that Character Y will be betrayed by their lover. A few sentences hitting the main, non-spoilery points will do just fine. When I write my own summaries, I can take more care to ensure that major plots twists are not revealed.

I Can Try for Greater Accuracy

Sometimes official summaries can be misleading or say that something happens in the book–when it does not. For instance, somewhere I have a copy of Rainbow Valley with a cover that promises, from what I remember, that the protagonists try to save a chicken from being cooked for supper. They don’t. (Spoiler Alert!) The children simply arrive to supper to find the chicken already cooked. (End spoiler!) So when I write summaries, I like to try to say what actually happens in the book, instead of fudging events to make them sound more dramatic, or trying to, say, make a book sound like a detective novel when, at its heart, it really isn’t.

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I Can Reuse the Summaries

When I write my own summaries for book reviews, I can reuse those same summaries later for other posts–for example, if I make a list of recommended titles based around a similar topic. Using the official summaries for lists is not ideal because they are so long! I doubt most people want to read a list of titles where every title listed has five paragraphs of summary. Having short summaries ready to go for new posts makes blogging much more efficient.

Do you write your own book summaries? Why or why not?

5 Things I DON’T Look for When Following a Book Blog

5 Things I Don't Look for in Book Blogs

Previously, I wrote about five things that encourage me to follow a book blog. Below, here are five things that really do not matter much to me at all–despite a lot of the blogging advice currently out there.

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Design

I read book blogs for the content, so it does not matter to me if a person has a spectacular header or a mediocre one. Likewise, I do not mind if someone only uses graphics of book covers, but does not take award-winning Instagram photos of books. Plus, if I am reading a post in the WordPress Reader, I cannot see the full web design, anyway. It is important to me that a site be clear and easy to navigate–but paying for a professional template or for a designer to make custom buttons and graphics is not going to be the deciding factor in my decision to follow. The content is.

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Grammar

On a personal level, I really enjoy grammar. However, despite what the comments section on the internet may lead one to believe, grammar and adherence to standard grammar are not a markers of one’s intelligence. People say perfectly insightful things all the time while using awkward grammar or making typos. And that is what matters to me–the content of what someone is saying, not how they say it. Of course, I want to be able to understand what a person is saying in the first place, but an incorrect preposition or some unusual phrasing is no big deal. And making it one is not really kind to people. Some may never have learned rigorous grammar or some may be learning English as a second or third language. Getting stuck on grammar does not make sense when people are reaching out to communicate. I think we should reach back–not point out any perceived mistakes.

GIFs and Small Amounts of Text

A lot of bloggers will suggest that having large chunks of text is bad, and they should be broken up with GIFs or other images, lest readers become fatigued. For my part, I don’t mind reading long posts and often even enjoy it–so long as the content has a clear structure and is not rambling or repetitive. I actually really don’t like seeing GIFs at all, and I don’t read GIF-heavy content as much as I read text-heavy content. So go with whatever your writing style is! You will find readers who appreciate it; you do not need to guess what “everyone” wants, because everyone never wants the same thing.

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A Custom Domain Name

Many bloggers will suggest that bloggers should pay for a domain name to look more professional and be taken more seriously. This may matter more for other types of blogs, but book blogs are not customarily monetized right now. Removing the “WordPress” from the address bar does not matter to most readers and surely does not impact publishers’ decisions to send ARCs or authors’ decisions to do blog tours or interviews. Getting a custom domain name is a completely optional expense at this point for people blogging as a hobby, and bloggers should not feel pressured to spend money on it if does not make sense for them.

Lots of ARC Reviews

There was a time when many book bloggers felt pressured to be on top of the market and to be able to put up reviews for books no one else had access to yet. I tend to prefer reading reviews of books I have already read, so I can have a discussion about the books. Consequently, ARC reviews are not that compelling for me; I don’t care if a blogger never reviews an ARC at all.

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Conclusion

For me, the content is the most important reason I read a blog. Are the posts original and the voice engaging? Are the discussions in-depth? Do the reviews have structure? And does the content appear regularly? Graphics, grammar, and domain names–these are all secondary features that matter less to me. At its heart, blogging is about writing, not so much graphic design or photography or many of the other features that book bloggers have come to prioritize to look professional. And blogging is meant to be somewhat accessible. Have a computer and internet access? You can blog–no fancy equipment required. So the writing still matters most to me. Interesting ideas are what inspire me to click follow.

What are some features about blogs that you do not particularly look for?

5 Things I Look for Before Following a Book Blog

What makes me follow a blog? I do not really need fancy graphics or a professionally-designed template. However, I do value ease of access and consistency! Below are five things I look for before I press “follow.”

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A “Follow” Button

Having an easy way for readers to follow a blog may seem obvious, but a lot of blogs are actually missing a visible “follow” button! But if I don’t see a “follow” button, I have to open up the WordPress Reader and copy and paste the blog address to follow it. I’m frankly a lot less likely to do all that than I am simply to click a button.

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Recent Posts

After I check that I actually have a way to follow a blog, I then check to see that the blog is still active. Of course, bloggers do not need to post every day. However, I do value blogs that are fairly consistent with new content. If it has been a month or more since the last post, and there is no notice about going on hiatus, I start to wonder if the blog is still being updated.

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Navigability

If I can’t navigate the site, I cannot tell if it has content I would enjoy. I like blogs that have a wall full of current posts that I can browse through rather than ones with landing pages where it is hard for me to see what is being posted. Sometimes landing pages only have one or two categories, and I’m not really sure where to find the other types of posts that do not have a button linking to them. I’d rather use a sidebar to navigate, rather than having to go back to a landing page all the time.

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Shared Interests

Of course, I enjoy reading blogs where the blogger and I have shared interests. This could be a shared taste in books, but it could also mean engaging discussion posts about bookish matters, hobbies that are interesting (even if I don’t participate in them myself), or cute cat photos.

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Variety of Content

This goes with the above, but I like seeing a variety of content on blogs just because it gives me more opportunities to find shared interests. I may not read a lot of adult fiction or romances or paranormal books, but if a blogger who reads these things also blogs about other things or has in-depth discussion posts, I might still be interested in following!

What do you look for when following book blogs?

Do Book Bloggers Still Hype Books?

Do Book Bloggers Still Hype Books

Ever since early 2020, when the covid-19 pandemic started to shut society down, there seems to have been a shift in publishing and in book blogging. In past years, publishers used to hype up certain books of the year, and bloggers would join in, rounding up anticipated reads, posting ARC reviews, or trying to post a review the day of (or shortly after) publication, if they could not get an ARC. Sometimes my feed would have five reviews of the same book, from five different bloggers. Those days seem to be gone.

During 2020 in particular, it almost seemed as if book marketing had stopped, on the publisher end. I had difficulty naming any big releases last year, and I saw almost no one talking about anticipated reads. The world went inside, and enthusiasm for hot titles waned as people grappled with trying to work or school from home, manage childcare, navigate health crises, and mourn loved ones. Perhaps it helped that publishers didn’t even seem to be publishing certain books. Release dates were pushed back and it wasn’t even clear anymore when certain books would actually be available.

Now, in 2021, I can at least name some titles that are supposed to be “big” this year. It helps that certain popular authors had new books come out. Even so, however, my feed is still empty of hyped releases. Anticipated book lists are sporadic and I no longer see five reviews for the same book at the same time. In fact, there were several notable releases of the past year, such as Maggie Stiefvater’s Mister Impossible, for which I somehow did not notice any reviews in my feed.

I do not know if it is just me, but it seems like book blogging has changed a lot over the past year and a half or so. I no longer see several bloggers all blogging about the same books, and I can no longer point to any one title that is currently “hot” in the book blogosphere. Because I no longer seem the same book pop up in my feed all the time, I have started to rely more on other sources for book recommendations. It is yet to be seen whether this is a new trend, or just an aberration.

Have you noticed the same trend? Do you still see the same books being reviewed? Have you started to read other books, instead of the ones being hyped?

Why I Think Comments are the Single Most Important Way to Support Book Bloggers

Disclaimer: Ok, some people would probably argue paying book bloggers is the #1 way to support them, but not every blogger has a ko-fi or Patreon where they are asking for money, and I’d personally say paying bloggers should be on publishers/authors/people asking for marketing and not other bloggers. This post is more about how blog readers can support bloggers.

A consistent theme in the book blogging community is that many of us started our blogs to connect with other readers– and that we value conversations and friendships more than anything else. When people answer questions about why they love blogging, they often answer “the community.” When people explain what they consider success for their blogs, they often say “connections with my followers.” So, while conversations about whether blogging is dying, whether bloggers should be paid, and whether bloggers are valued continue in the community, I personally believe that the most important thing we all can do to support other bloggers and keep blogging alive is to leave other bloggers comments.

In recent years, I’ve noticed that our traffic here at Pages Unbound has grown, but the number of comments we receive on each post has gone down. In casual conversations with other bloggers, I’ve had many report the same: they just don’t seem to have as many conversations with other readers as they used to. No one is quite sure why, though speculation includes the fact there are just so many platforms (Twitter, Youtube, Instagram, TikTok) that it’s hard to keep up with them all to the fact that people might just prefer other platforms entirely. A lot of people seem to think it’s simply “easier” to comment on something on Twitter than on a blog.

But what is the result of this? Bloggers feel that no one is valuing their content, and that can be a depressing thought to someone who has put hours into planning, writing, formatting, and promoting a post. And when people feel that they’re “wasting their time,” they might decide it’s time to quit blogging. I’ve never thought that blogging is dead, or even necessarily dying– but it might die if tons of bloggers decide they’re not getting what they want out of it, which is readers who are interested in what they are posting and conversations with readers about books. To me, it seems clear that the one thing that can really revitalize blogging, even more so than (some, probably the biggest) bloggers being paid for their work, is readers leaving more blog comments.

Yet I also think that more blog comments can lead to the payment that some bloggers are seeking. When bloggers request ARCs or payment from publishers or authors, they’re generally self-reporting their stats. I assume the majority of people are honest about their page views and visitor count, but a publisher can never be sure. I myself have been confused by blogs that claim to have a billion followers and views yet, when I look at their sites, have zero comments on every single post. Are they lying about their stats? Are their page views from bots? From people who don’t really care about their content? Who can tell? When I go to a blog and see every post has 40 comments on it, however, I know I’ve found a blog that people like to read. This might also be interesting to publishers when they decide where to give out ARCs and, maybe, money.

No one is obligated to anything, of course. I myself don’t comment around as much as I’d like or as much as I’d use to, as real life responsibilities catch up to me. However, if you’re really invested in supporting bloggers, I think commenting is the way to go. Retweets and likes on posts are nice, but it seems that what people really want are readers who are interested enough in their content to take the time to leave a comment and say so.

Briana

Why Your Book Recommendation Posts Should Have More Than Three Books Listed

Frequently when I am blog hopping or scrolling through my WordPress reader, I find posts titled things like “Three Books about Mermaids” or “Two Books Featuring Mermaids.” Or maybe it’s just titled “Fun Middle Grade Fantasies You Should Read,” but when I open the post, there are only three book recommendations. Lists that are this short are always disappointing to me, and when I do book recommendations, I aim to list at least five books, but preferably 10 or more. Here’s why you might want to make your own book rec lists longer:

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Longer Lists are Better for Blog Traffic

If you’re interested in growing your blog traffic, particularly in getting more hits from search engines, longer lists are your friend. When people go to Google and search something like, “Books Set in New York City,” the top results are probably going to be lists with 10, 20, or even more books included on them. If your list only has three books on it, there’s a good chance that a list of 20 or 50 books already includes the three you are featuring. So the search engine is going to recognize that and feature blogs and websites with long lists as their top results. If you want to rank, you need to think of other sites as your “competition” and provide information that is as or more valuable than what they are providing.

Example: A quick Google search gives me these top two results of lists with 31 and 40 books respectively:

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Short Lists Are Less Useful to Readers Because They Eliminate Half the Books on the List Anyway

Even when I want to read a book about a certain topic, I don’t have an interest in every book about that topic. There are thousands of books about dragons, but if someone lists “three books about dragons,” there’s a very good chance I am going to look at that short list and think, “no, no, no,” and leave without adding a single one of them to my TBR pile.

This is particularly true if the topic of the list is very broad. What is even on a list of three books about dragons? Are all of them YA books? If I don’t like YA, I automatically will have no interest in any of them. But maybe they’re all different age categories. Maybe this three-book list includes one picture books about dragons, one middle grade fantasy, and one adult nonfiction book about the history of dragons featured in literature. This is interestingly varied, but if I am looking for a middle grade book about dragons, only one book on the list applies to me — and I might have already read it or not be interested in reading it for some reason. If I am looking for a YA dragon book, none of the recommendations help me at all.

This is why longer lists are more helpful to readers and more likely to provide them with valuable information to, ultimately, actually add one of the books to their TBR pile.

If you have a list of 40 books about dragons, you can now break it into categories: 10 picture books, 10 middle grade books, 10 YA books, and 10 adult books.

Alternatively, you can narrow the topic of your list: 40 middle grade books about dragons. And you can make it as narrow as you want, as long as you have enough books to make a decent-sized list. 20 middle grade books about dragons published in the last 10 years. 20 diverse middle grade books with dragons. 30 middle grade books with dragons that can talk. Now, if someone has an interest in this topic, the list has a lot of information for them to help them find a new book to read.

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One challenge I personally find to making very long lists is that I generally like to feature books I have read myself or that I feel I know enough to confidently recommend. If I were to make a list titled, “100 books set in Florida,” there is no way I will have read all of them, so making the list would basically involve Googling and finding other people’s lists and taking the books off those list to add to mine. This is definitely something people do, particularly bloggers who are blogging to make money and need their posts to rank highly in Google, as well as large bookish sites. You know whoever makes the Penguin Random House lists hasn’t personally read all 40 books they’re recommending on a single topic. So whether you’re comfortable making lists that include a lot of books you don’t know much about is up to you. I’m generally not, which is why most of my lists are 10-15 books instead of 45.

Do you prefer reading longer lists? How many recommendations on a list are you usually interested in?

Briana

10 Post Ideas for Book Blogs When You Haven’t Read Anything Recently

Creating content for a blog can sometimes seem quite the struggle, especially if you have not read any books recently and have nothing to review. But book blogs can talk about all things bookish–there’s no need to limit yourself to reviews or even memes. Here a few ideas to get you started posting.

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Recommend read-alikes.

This is one of the most common book blog posts, but always a welcome one! You can do a straightforward recommendation, like our post recommending books if you like Nancy Drew. Or you can try to capture some of the enthusiasm for something trending, like our post recommending books for fans of sea shanties or YA novels for fans of Bridgerton.

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Create a personality quiz.

People always enjoy taking a personality quiz! You can try a standard one like our “Which Female Character from Murder on the Orient Express Are You?or you put your own spin on the personality quiz, like with our “How Obsessed with The Lord of the Rings Are You?” quiz.

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Highlight some of your favorite author’s books.

Sometimes a beloved author has one book that really stands out to readers and that gets all the love. If readers are into one book, however, they may interested to learn that an author wrote more. We highlighted some of our favorite authors’ works in posts like “Beyond Anne of Green Gables: The Other Novels of L. M. Montgomery” and “A Brief Introduction to Tolkien’s Non-Middle-Earth Books.”

Another option is to take a really long series like Redwall or the Discworld books and create a guide explaining what each of the books are about, how they are related, and where new readers might like to start. This allows you to draw on your extensive fan knowledge to create a post you might not have realized will be really helpful to others!

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Post some book trivia.

Put all your bookish knowledge to use with some fun trivia-filled posts! We’ve done posts such as “Ten Things You May Not Have Known about J. R. R. Tolkien,” “Classic Books with Lesser-Known Sequels,” and even a series on bookish misconceptions.

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Weigh in on a bookish controversy.

This does not have to mean something really controversial, where you are afraid of backlash, but could mean a question avid readers keep returning to. For example, we weighed in on whether the Chronicles of Narnia should be read in publication order or chronological order. Think of some issues your bookish friends have strong opinions on, such as whether a certain book counts as canon or if poetry excerpts or songs should be in the middle of books. Then explain your stance and watch the discussion ensue!

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Create a discussion post (or several) based on a specific book.

Many book bloggers seem afraid to post a discussion about a specific title, rather than on a topic that is merely generally bookish. However, our book-specific posts are some of our most popular! We’ve posted on everything from not liking the ending of King of Scars to whether Tolkien’s female characters have any depth. We have even weighed in on the great Team Keefe vs. Team Fitz debate being held by fans of the Keeper of the Lost Cities books.

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Talk about a childhood favorite.

Even if you have not read them in awhile, you probably have strong memories about your favorite childhood books. Tell readers why you loved them–and if you still, do! For instance, we’ve written posts such as Why I Still Love Nancy Drew to showcase our love of childhood favorites.

On the flip side, you could discuss a childhood book that disappoints you now or that you never liked at all. We’ve written on Why I’ve Never Liked The Giving Tree and Why I Never Liked The Rainbow Fish.

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Compare adaptations.

Plenty of books have film adaptations! Try talking about your favorites, such as which film version of Little Women is best, whether you play the Nancy Drew PC games, and more!

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Show some library love.

Readers love the library! Even if you haven’t read anything recently, you talk about other bookish things you love: the thrill of browsing, library resources you love the most, libraries you have visited, what your dream library would look like, and more!

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Share blogging tips.

Bloggers are always looking to improve, and our posts with some of our tips are some of our most popular. You can share everything from graphic design tips to a list of places to how you plan your schedule to a list of resources bloggers can use for editing images. We have a whole page of blogger resources!

What are some of your favorite non-review posts to write?

Also check out “How We Come Up with Discussion Post Ideas!

5 Reasons Book Blogs are Great Places to Promote Books

Although publishers seem to be concentrating their marketing an efforts on bookstagram and booktube, sending influencers on these platforms ARCs and even monetary compensation that book bloggers often are not offered, book blogs are still excellent places for promotion. Here are five reasons publishers and authors should still work with book bloggers to have their books featured on blogs.

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Bloggers Who Feature Books Generally Read the Books

I am not saying that bookstagrammers and booktubers don’t read books; clearly they do. However, it is also very common on these platforms for large influencers who have been sent books for promotion to only run a promotional post (perhaps because they are given so many books they literally cannot read them all). So they wave the book in their air during a video, noting they were sent the book and it looks interesting (but they haven’t read it), or they post a pretty photo on Instagram and write a caption with the book summary and say it looks interesting (but they haven’t read it).

Book bloggers are much less likely to do this. When book bloggers post about books (barring posts like TBR lists), they have generally read the book. They aren’t recommending it because they were sent it for promotion and are being paid to tell people to read it; they’re recommending it because they actually read the book and liked it. And genuine recommendations are worth a lot.

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Bloggers Post Full Reviews

Booktube and various social media are great for generally putting a book on my radar, for letting me know that the book exists in the first place and other readers seem to be hyped about it. But if I want to really know whether I should read a book, to try to decide whether I would like the book or whether I should spend the money to purchase the book, I look at reviews on blogs. Some bookstagrammers and booktubers do long reviews, too, of course, but I personally find them most accessible on blogs; I don’t like listening to ten minute videos, and my eyes sort of glaze over if an Instagram caption gets too long. Book blogs are the perfect platform to find full, in-depth reviews that actually help me make up my mind about whether or not I am going to pick up a book.

Blog Posts Have a Long Life, Marketing Books Long After Release Date

If I tweet something, I’m lucky if people see it 20 minutes after I posted it. My Instagram posts get the most interaction the day they go live. On my blog, however, I have people looking at posts I wrote 8, 9, even 10 years ago. Getting social media attention for a book around release date is important, but keeping buzz about the book alive long after its pub date is worthwhile, too. Blogs can help backlist titles find new readers and make new sales for the author, even long after the blogger posted about the books.

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Bloggers Post on Multiple Platforms

These days, few book bloggers have just a blog. If you send a book blogger a book to review, it is highly likely they will also talk about the book on Goodreads, Instagram, and Twitter, not to mention a variety of other platforms ranging from Amazon to BookSloth to Pinterest.

Blog Readers Love to Discuss and Debate

Blog comments are a great place for readers to discuss and debate books. Blogs aren’t just one and done things where the blogger posts a review and that’s it; often readers will continue discussion of a book and what did and didn’t work for them in the comments. This is also a place where readers might discuss questions a book raised or themes it touched on, which is exciting for authors who hope their book will get people thinking and talking.


What are some of the best reasons you think book blogs are excellent places for book promotion?

Briana