There are a lot of secrets in book blogging. That sounds rather ominous and far more dramatic than reality, but it's true. With stats, there are hierarchies; with cliques, there are enemies; with unsolicited review copies happily received, there are unsolicited review copies that aren't. Often shown is simply the positive side of things - book blogging is great fun, after all - but there are negatives, too, as I once discussed in my post about why you shouldn't start a book blog (ooh, controversial.)
That blog post, however, was only my opinion. And one of the great things about book blogging is that there are so many opinionated people from all kinds of different backgrounds and with all kinds of different experiences. So a while ago I decided to set up an online form where bloggers could anonymously reveal anything that irks them about book blogging... and today we're going to hear from them.
Welcome to the Book Blogger's Confessional.
'I received a book to review, and then received an email two days later from the publisher asking if I'd had a chance to read it yet. Umm... blogging isn't the only thing going on in my life. And I take longer than two days to read a book. So... thank you, but... ?!'
'I think self published authors are underrated and don't get the recognition they deserve. Some bloggers refuse to read them because they don't have a publisher and I think that's awful.'
'A publishing company keeps sending me unsolicited review copies and it's getting out of hand. I can't shift a lot of them because many are proofs, and I can't go back to them again and again saying "PLEASE STOP SENDING ME THESE!" I am so grateful to have the opportunity to review books, because it's something I envied in other bloggers before I did it myself, but when I've explicitly told them that I despised the first book in X series, and then they continue not only to send me more from that series, but similar books too, I lose the appreciation that I once had...'
SAME. I get that it would be difficult to keep track of people's likes and dislikes, but it can get very overwhelming very quickly...
'Smaller blogs are completely underrated by both bigger blogs, as well as by publishers. As a blogger on a smaller blog I don't receive review copies of books, which is kind of crappy. Us little guys can do just as good a review!'
I only read two bigger blogs these days; the rest are smaller and newer, and they're great.
'I don't like the sense of being left out I feel in the community nowadays. I've blogged for years and there feels like a sudden shift and I'm not part of the cool kids anymore and I haven't been told why. It's like school all over again. Is it because I don't this or that or a random reason someone has invented? The good side is that I don't really care that I seem to be offered less books and invites but I just wish I knew why I was picked as one the ones to boot off the list.'
R E L A T A B L E.
'I just don't get how there is any space for any more big book bloggers. I kind of feel like I came to late. :('
It's never too late! Just keep at it.
'I hate when people send you emails for 'opportunities' and they haven't even looked at your blog, let alone actually correctly named it! Also when I'll come home and there will be a parcel, don't get me wrong I am super grateful, but if it's something that I'm completely not interested in or is completely unrelated from my blog I won't do anything with it so it'd be much appreciated if you'd let me know first or ask me if I would like it!'
'where do I even start. I love book blogging, I really do - but it frustrates me how book bloggers are the underdog in the blogging world in terms of making a (semi?) career out of it. beauty bloggers and fashion bloggers and travel bloggers and parent bloggers are flown round the world and given opportunities book bloggers could only dream of. when anyone brings up their opinion on book bloggers being paid there is outrage and that isn't fair at all.
something I've also noticed are the 'cliques' - in general pretty much all book bloggers are really lovely and welcoming towards newer/other book bloggers but some seem less so - especially if a book blogger strays too much into their 'blogging territory' in terms of the main themes they post about, or if another blogger seems to be achieving more "success" than them. GET OVER IT - you don't own a certain 'subject' of book blogging, anyone can post about it - and if you're jealous of someone else's success then keep it to yourself, don't try and turn other people against them.'
PREACH. I've blogged about book bloggers getting paid a few times, and I always get a positive response... alongside some backlash. Ask yourself why you're so against other people doing what they want to do, something that doesn't negatively affect you or anyone else. *shrug*
'I've had my blog for almost 5 months and I haven't received any books to review :('
Keep going! 5 months is a very short amount of time. And not every book blogger receives books to review. Review your own for now, and hopefully you'll get noticed. Meanwhile, there's lots of other cool stuff you can do: Twitter chats (I recommend #teenbloggerschat...), making friends, entering giveaways, interacting and generally having fun.
'I feel super guilty at how many unread review copies I have that have already released, but there's school and life and I swear I'll get to them eventually.'
Same except I don't think I'll ever get to all of them hahahahahaha help.
'Sometimes I don't have the energy to read, or write about reading, but because I'm a book blogger I feel like I'm failing if I'm not able to manage those things. There's a pressure that comes with doing this, that you don't notice is there until you can't handle it anymore, and that pressure only increases when publishers come a-knockin'. They use bloggers for such a big part of their ad campaigns nowadays and even though the author interactions and ARCs are really great, sometimes it feels like we're doing their jobs for them, only we're not getting paid for it. It honestly really worries me the extent to which publishers are now exploiting bloggers, especially the younger ones.'
Book blogging looks easy from the outside, but like many hobbies and professions, there are hidden pressures and negative aspects that you'd have no idea about until you're doing it yourself.
There we have it: what book bloggers really think. Or, should I say, what some of them think. Thanks to whoever contributed (t'was anonymous so I can't thank you personally!) and let me know your answer to the big question below...
Are you surprised at these 'confessions' or did you find yourself nodding along in agreement?