Hi dear friends,
I am back again with a topic I’d like to discuss with you today: book bloggers and what you expect from them. Or rather from us.
On a side note when I wrote “how do you love your book bloggers” I wanted to add “Rare? Medium? Well done? ” 😀
Back to the topic I am really curious to know what you expect from other book bloggers and what you feel you have/want to do as a book blogger.
Do you want book bloggers being neutral or “going all out”?
Do you want book blogs to be only about bookish topics or do you like reading about other posts like movie, travel or let’s be bold politics?
Do you only want to learn about the latest book releases and sales? Or you can’t stand (too many) promo and want only reviews or posts about the publishing world?
Do you think that we have to use our little “nook” to open others eyes to some grave or sad topics?
Do you …?
Let me start this post by saying that of course I don’t think there is a “good” or “bad” way to blog about books! I’d say the only good way is the one that makes you happy and is aligned with your beliefs.
Now when I decided to launch a blog (bold idea for me) I thought I would post twice a week about a book I reviewed and that would be all.
Yet I changed my mind pretty soon beginning with promoting books without reviewing them.
As far as promotion is concerned I try to keep it “reasonable” between one to maximum two posts a day because I presonally don’t like blogs filled with lots of promo posts. It makes me feel like visiting Amazon or The Book Depository.
I want to read and write fresh “own voice” content on the blogs. Yet I will still promote (see duty below).
2.Meme and tags
I soon discovered that the best part of blogging was its community and interacting with other people passionate by books like me!
What better way than to add some meme and tags right? These are a great way to connect with other bloggers and their topics make it for interesting contents (even when Shanah “forces” me to find Hogwarts House’s reads!).
3.Show your true colors
The third step to my journey was finding my own voice.
I noticed that the blogs I found most appealings were the ones with bloggers showing their personality, their opinion. They talked about their likes and dislikes but not only about books! The more I could “connect” with them, walk in their shoes the more I came back.
That’s quite logical as it is a similar process while reading a book. I am above all else a character driven reader. It wasn’t unexpected that I was drawn to people opening up to their followers and sharing their feelings with them. Strongly opinionated bloggers like Alexandra really drew me in!
Nobody wants to talk to a salesman with a bland and rehearsed speech right?
No one wants to read reviews that could be a copy/paste from other reviews because “the characters were loveable, the author was a genius and the story was perfect”, right? I kid you not I’ve read these generic reviews and honestly they leave me wanting! But writing reviews will be another discussion post.
I found my own voice through The Sunday Post as it has that first part where we speak about our “private life”. Of course I won’t give specifics about my work as I have an obligation of secrecy! But I wanted to give you a peek of the woman behind the pen. I hope I make you feel like you know me by now!
My own voice also came with some …discussion posts and rants (about “Invite Only” or how I despise people trashing books they haven’t even read). I also show my personality (hopefully) through “non-bland and generic” reviews. I am passionate about all bookish matters and want to share it with you. I am quite miss bossy pants when I love a book LOL
Now being opinionated is good and well IF you are respectful and back your rant with facts! I hate bashing and trashing. I hate people gratuitously bad-mouthing books, authors, bloggers. Just for the sake of it.
If you have a strong negative opinion, I’d be very happy to read it (I just adore a good and heated discussion) but you’d better come up with good arguments be respectful or I’ll see you rather as a hater. Don’t forget that words can be weapons of mass destruction and you’d better handle them with care!
4. Non bookish topics
Can we speak about touchy topics? Politics? Abuse? Outside of books?
Of course we can if we feel like it! There is a blogger, Wendy “By Hook or by Book” who does it splendidly! She opened my eyes on so many injustices I was very happy and grateful to visit her blog! The same as I love reading “eye opener” books I love visiting “eye opener” blogs.
Yet I don’t speak about it on my blog because I love to keep it rather “light”, occasional rant aside. I also don’t feel enough “informed” to build believable and “iron clad” posts about serious topics like politics or science.
5.Do we have a duty as bloggers?
Do we have to be the voice of others? Create awareness? Elevate other’s minds?
I think this is a deeply personal question. I consider that my duty (and this is my own free choice) is to help other readers find their next best read. I also want to help authors get known if I believe in them.
I know that writing a book, publishing it and having people get to know it is a tricky business. Many talented people write amazing books and yet live in the shadows, never getting the love and attention they deserve.
When you don’t find a publishing house you have to find other ways to promote your book. That’s why when I see a promising blurb, a lovely cover and feel convinced that the book deserves to be read I will accept to promote, even without reading it (I can’t read them all!) as I want to give a hand to the author.
I also think that we have an opportunity to be heard and we can speak about “touchy” topics in the bookish world in the hope of changing them for the better. I know I know this is my “dreamer” side, my Don Quixote resurfacing but what can I say?
I want to be actor of my life. I don’t want to complain and do nothing. I want to be a drop in the ocean and I believe that a drop can ripple and change the tide.
To sum it up, I love my book bloggers: honest, engaged (even if it’s to write reviews), opinionated if they back it up, true to their beliefs, passionate and having the time of their life! Diversity of posts and topics is a plus.
Now that you know all about my expectations, this is your turn! What do you want from book blog(ger)s? What do you like/dislike? What are you trying to do? What are your goals and desires?
I can’t wait to read your thoughts!
Thanks for reading.
Love this Sophie! I think it’s hard to put your true self out there sometimes, but the more I do, the more fun I have in the blogosphere. I also like to follow the blogs with more ‘personality’ to them, but it’s not as much fun to follow ‘Debbie Downer’ ones. Honesty is a great thing but you have to be diplomatic as well, and I think you have a great balance!
Love this post! Especially agree about sharing your voice 🙂 I think it’s so important in the bookish community, cos we’re all so different. And of course we can talk about whatever we feel like!
I love bloggers who post book and related stuff with a bit of their quirky personalities. I do not read promotional stuff like blitzes or cover reveal nor participate in them, but I understand why it is important. I love anything that involves interaction!
I like your expectations and what you want to get from your book bloggers! I think like you, I am happiest when some of their personality shines through the books as well. It makes it more fun getting to know the person. hopefully my blog achieves that!
This is a great post!!
I do try to mix up my blogposts, but I read a lot and work a lot and don’t have much time to write ANY blogposts, so they are usually reviews on my blog.
I do plan to re-introduce my GetToKnowMe-tag, and to also write a bit about other stuff I’m doing so followers can get to know me!
I do agree on your post, I like my bloggers honest with an argument based opinion!
I primarily follow book blogs to read about bookish stuff, but I do enjoy wrap up posts and discussions, where we get to know the blogger a little better. Politics turns me off, but hey, it’s your blog and you can be you. I just probably won’t read/interact on that post.
Hahaha Sam exactly we do we. That may be the most important advice that I could give a beginner: being true to himself or herself. If you try to disguise your personality thinking you will be more “marketable” people will feel it!
Thus was a great post! For me I really enjoy reading people’s perspectives on things other than books or whatever the main topic of their blog is. I don’t think it’s very realistic to think that people just have solely one interest and one passion so, I enjoy variety!(:
Gigi you are absolutely right! We are not definde by one passion only but have lots of interests. That’s also what makes people so interesting indeed. For example I love books but I also love sport, baking, art and music!
Fabulous post, Sophie and you bought up some interesting topics. Blogging for me is extremely personal and it’s been a journey, that’s for sure! I think I’ve learned a lot about myself along the way and it’s forced me to climb out of my comfort zone. But I’m still learning and I have a long way to go. Having said that, I often turn to the blogosphere for guidance and distraction and fun and connection. I feel like I’ve made some real friends in fellow bloggers (ie you!) and I love looking around at all the variety out there! I wish I had more to blog hop and comment. I think my Instagram is the only place where I tend to let my saucy side out and I have a separate Facebook account for my family but I tend to keep mostly to bookish topics pretty much across the board. But I do love reading about other stuff and actually follow several blogs that are NOT book related!
Hahaha yes I know you get saucy on your IG account Trisy and I love it! You show your wild side 😉 Making friends with people having the same love interest about books is definitely a perk of blogging!
Great post!!! This is a super interesting topic 🙂
I love opinionated bloggers! And I love it when they go all out and talk about what they love and hate (as long as they do it respectfully without being mean to anyone!) I want to know what everyone things and I know we all have different opinions!
I also like blogs that do a lot more than just reviews. I don’t like reading reviews for books I haven’t read. Deciding to read a book I don’t want to be influenced by anyone, but after reading it I want to know what everyone else thought! Blog hopping is super hard to do on blogs that only post reviews because if I haven’t read the books they did then there are no posts for me to comment on!
Brittany this will be another of my discussion posts! Reviews ! LOL But I tend to be like you: read the reviews only once that I have erad and reviewed the book 😉
What a great discussion topic, Sophie! I personally like to keep the majority of book promo stuff on my blog’s twitter and instagram. I have occasional blog tour and author interview on the blog, but I want my content to mostly be my unfiltered opinion. When I visit a blog, I don’t like seeing too much promo–makes me question how much is the actual blogger, and how much is just them repping the company!
And with book-related content, I like a mix! With anything in life, it’s good to have balance. If I follow a book blog, I expect mainly bookish content, but I don’t want 100% book reviews. It’s nice to diversify.
Well Sha I do agree that promo is better suited for FB or Twitter or … I do share some on the blog but try to keep it “reasonable”.
Interesting topic. I love it when bloggers show their personality. I want my bloggers to be honest and mostly book-focused. I’m fine with occasional non-bookish posts, but mostly I want to hear about the books! The biggest reason I read book blogs is to figure out which books I want to read.
Well yes that makes sense of course! And thank you 😉
I don’t think that there is a right or wrong way to book blogging to be honest. As long as you are true to yourself and honest and don’t take advantage of others, there is no harm. I am not a big fan of bloggers that go crazy on politics to be honest because I suffer from depression and anxiety and too much politics stresses me out too much that I can get panic attacks too easily. I like to be aware of what is going on in the world but I don’t like to be too invested in politics or I suffer from it physically. So in my book bloggers, my favorite things is talking about books and bookish topics because it gives me the “warm fuzzies” and really calms me. But like I said, I don’t think there is a bad way to blogging, as long as you do it with your full heart, it doesn’t matter.
Well I agree with you and havinf too much news about politics or disasters or …. one of the things I do when I feel stressed or low is avoid the news on the TV and the radio! I feel powerless and it just makes me suffer.
Great discussion question, Sophie! Personally, I love to follow bloggers who provide a mix of content like reviews, memes, and promos – but in a good balance! Definitely prefer it to be review-heavy, though the odd meme to find out what new books are coming out, or to find out more about the blogger’s personality is nice too. If I follow a blogger for bookish content, I also prefer that they talk about mostly bookish things. A couple of off-topic posts like movies would be totally cool, but something like politics would be a huge turn off! I already follow news sites and political feeds for that, when I read about books, I want to escape! 😀
Oooh Mogsy when you say” when I read about books I want to escape” you just gave me an idea for another discussion post LOL But yes I tend to avoid blogs filled with political topics 😉
Ha! Personally it’s really difficult for me to like blogs a lot. Most of them are filled to the brim with promos and its so off-putting. I love sass and sarcasm, and I love it when people get sassy about the books they’ve read. Reviews are fun to read if it’s not just about the book, but also about the reader themselves, because that is something I always try to do. Also intellect. That’s important. Let’s not forget that
I know you love sass and sarcasm Ari! I love it too LOL And not promo only please as it is off putting indeed.
I like my blog to be about books and authors. Maybe some movies. And I’m not big on sharing my personal life. That’s why I love the Sunday Post too. I can share about my life without going on and on. While my blog is bookish, I follow lots of blogs that are about fashion, art, science and other things of interest to me. I also like participating in the memes and discussion posts like this one. I may not have a lot to say, but I enjoy the interaction.
Laura I should follow blogs on science too as it was one of my favorite topics at school! And yes the Sunday Posts are great to share some details about our personal life but not without going into specifics 😉
Oooh great topic!
Personally I use my FB blog page for tours, covers and all the promo stuff and I use my website for books I’ve reviewed and stuff I want to post (99% books!) and not all the PR company stuff…..
Saying this I don’t mind seeing PR company stuff on wordpress as it alerts me to books I might have missed seeing as FB reach is non existent!
I prefer bloggers have their own opinion and not just blowing smoke up an authors eeeerm bum so they get considered for another arc! I want totally honest reviews, but respectful ones of course!
Fab post ❤❤
Thank you Caro! And yes I thinks FB or Twitter are better to promote even if I do it on the blog too. But I try to keep it “contained” as I want more reviews, discussion etc. on the blog.
I absolutely LOVE this post, Sophie. Running a book blog and balancing is not as easy, as I naively believed before I started my own. Back then I thought I’d just post reviews and talk about books. Since starting I’ve made a post on the COCKYGATE debate, and about an author who stalked a reviewer – and now wants to profit on it, by publishing a book. Those are book related matters, and as I heard about them I felt that I should say something. But I don’t think bloggers have a duty to do something, if they don’t feel like it. There’s nothing wrong with keeping things light 🙂
Oooh Bibi don’t start me on the Cockygate! I was furious and appaled! Now as you said there is nothing wrong in keeping it light either. But your blog is you space so if you want to express your opinion, you just do you 😉
Yeah… Cockygate was SO far out! And I agree, everyone should run their blog as they see fit. It’s their little corner of the internet to do with as they please 😀
Personally, I don’t think a book blogger has to blog just about books. I have no expectations from any of the blogs I follow and like to read. In fact, most of them post quite a cross section of book-related posts, personal posts, memes and well, other stuff occasionally.
I do have to say, I really don’t like blogs that are ALL book promos or book tours, or all memes. I just don’t follow them.
As for my own blog? I like to post a variety of book-related posts, and try to keep my posts interesting. Oh, and of course, you know I’m kind of opinionated about my reviews, but, to my credit, do not talk endlessly about politics; which is a huge turn-off to readers.
And no, I don’t feel I have a duty to or an obligation to my readers. If they like what they read, they’ll follow along as and when they have the time, which is all I can hope or ask for. 😀
I love that “take it or leave it” attitude Alexandra! You don’t need to please others, you do you and if we follow that means we are a match made in heaven!
This is a great discussion topic! As far as me personally, I like to see bloggers with opinions about what they read. I am not a super fan of the blogs that are nothing but positive promotions. You’ve got to have some kind of voice/individuality to you! However, I don’t need my book blogs to be strictly just about books! I know I have a separate blog for non bookish things, but when it comes to following other blogs, I really do enjoy a small variety. Call it a little spice :]
I really enjoy the interactions with other bloggers so discussions, tags and other similar posts are always something I look for among the reviews and wrap ups. Great topic!
It’s the same for me Samantha! I confess that I look for mainly book topics but a little variety, discussions etc is good! Thank you 😉