Let’s Talk Bookish: Appreciation for book bloggers

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Discussions pertain to topics related to reading or books. Share your opinions, and spread the love by visiting other “Let’s Talk Bookish” posts.

Prompts: Do you feel appreciated as a book blogger? Who do you think appreciates the work of book bloggers the most? Do you think that bookish social media is aiding in the depreciation of book bloggers or is it supporting them? Is it wrong to want compensation from the book industry for our work?

I started blogging because I happened upon a discussion calling for more diversity in reviewers, and I was also searching for an outlet to talk about books. I didn’t know if anyone would read any of my reviews. I always feel appreciated whenever I receive views, likes, comments, and/or follows. Literally me, “Yay! Someone liked it! Oh! There’s a comment. Someone read this! ” Considering that I started with zero expectations and wondered if anyone would read what I wrote, nearly anything makes me feel appreciated.

That’s also how I show appreciation to other bloggers–likes, views, comments, and/or follows. I carve out as much time as I can to blog hop because it’s important for me to show my appreciation and be engaged. I genuinely enjoy the content from bloggers and love talking about books when possible. When I wonder about a book, the first thing I do is look to trusted bloggers for their thoughts. Appreciation, then, likely comes from others in the bookish community and are likely to also be bloggers themselves. We want to interact with others who share in our love of reading, and we understand the time and effort it takes for a single post, whether it be a review or a list of recommended books.

As more accessible alternatives to blogs become available, blogs may become less valued. Blogs are more text-intensive as opposed to newer platforms like Instagram and TikTok. More visual platforms likely require less cognitive effort. It doesn’t necessarily mean blogs will cease to exist or will no longer be valued. There will always be a place for blogs but they may not receive the same amount of traffic. Consider newspapers and the rise of television. Although most people say they get their news from the television, newspapers are still around. Each medium still has an audience.

With the time and effort expended, I do not think it’s wrong for bloggers to want compensation, especially if a blogger has a large following. Creating content on any platform requires a lot of work. Like with any job, there should be compensation for time spent and/or output. Those compensated should then be transparent about it, allowing readers/viewers to decide how much weight to place on the review.

I would love to know your thoughts. Do you feel appreciated as a blogger? How can people show their appreciation of you and your content? Should bloggers be compensated? Do blogs have a future especially with the rise of alternative social media outlets?

5 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Appreciation for book bloggers

  1. Great post Koo. It’s been discussed around the traps from different angles before, but I like the fact that you’ve introduced a new issue facing bloggers and that is the rise of the visual platforms, like Instagram. I’m on Instagram but not for book talk. For me it’s too superficial. I like the text intensive aspect of blogs. If others don’t, then each to their own.

    I’d also like to comment on your question about compensation. First, you say “Like with any job, there should be compensation for time spent and/or output”. I guess for me, blogging is a hobby not a job. Many of us put a lot of time and effort into our hobbies and we don’t expect “formal” compensation, though sometimes of course, depending on the hobby, we do. A prize for winning something for example. So, for me, blogging is a hobby and I neither expect or, even want, compensation, with one exception, if you call this an exception. And this is, I like receiving review copies (most of the time). When I do review them, I always make clear at the end of the post when a book is a review copy. So, I agree with you that whatever compensation bloggers receive – review copies or something more significant – it does need to be clear.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, there is an expectation when it’s considered a job but we’re less likely to seek/expect formal compensation when it’s a hobby. Like you, I blog because it’s something I do purely for the fun/love of it so I completely understand what you’re saying and don’t expect compensation. I also like receiving review copies when made available. This was actually an unexpected perk for me. “What? You’ll let me read the book before it comes out? For free? I just have to keep doing what I like to do, tell everyone and anyone who will listen how I felt about it?” Hehehe…

      I’d like publishers to be more open to compensating bloggers who provide quality content/have a large following when they’re asked to promote books as opposed to prioritizing/choosing to do so only to influencers on certain platforms. I feel like many of these bloggers are always getting the short end of the stick or can be chastised for asking the same thing that other influencers might be asking.

      Like

      • I take your point but I guess I don’t like the whole paid influencer thing. I tend to avoid content that is primarily promotional rather than true to the person’s heart, particularly when it comes to the arts. If people want to do it, that’s fine. I get that it’s another way of making money (in cash or kind) but overall it’s not content that suits me. Often with books, influencer-style content becomes superficial… Here’s this pretty cover, look at this month’s pile of books. I particularly hate it when they talk about items being “gifted”. No, they are not gifted, they are sent to you to promote them. So, yes, I understand that some may want to go down this path, but they won’t be the book people I follow.

        It seems like a fine line between what you are suggesting and influencers. Newspaper reviewers are paid, but by the newspapers not the publishers.

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      • You read my mind. I was thinking the same about restaurant reviewers and those who review music. They’re paid by the outlet but not the actual restaurant or the artist they reviewed.

        Liked by 1 person

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