The book community is a passionate one. If you’ve spent any amount of time in it, you know this. Readers have taken this great thing and created spaces for it on social media platforms and on servers. We love the worlds that authors create and there is nothing better than sitting down and discussing (or typing out) all the feels for a book.
With all that passion comes flare ups over hot topics. 2019 is no different. Two weeks into this fresh new year and already bloggers are being smeared for just being bloggers. This is actually my second (really third as I’m editing while I’m typing it up to post) take on this topic. Twitter had me all up in arms today. I helped build Once Upon a Chapter because I wanted to connect with other readers. I am very passionate about reading (aren’t all bloggers?) and didn’t have a lot of people to discuss that with in my day to day life. I reached out to message boards online which spilled over to book blogging.
I think if you talk to most book bloggers you’ll find that our priority is connecting good people with good books and not for as many ARCs we can get our grubby hands on for nefarious purposes. If you have somehow mercifully missed this recent batch of Twitter drama you can click the link but be warned it’s a rabbit hole and I’m pretty disappointed in some big YA authors. Mary does a great job of calling it out which is why I chose to link her thread. There are PLENTY.
I even saw a Tweet (I’ve lost it since) from a person in marketing or a publicist that said that bloggers weren’t as important as book sellers or librarians because word of mouth marketing can’t be tangibly quantified so it isn’t worth as much. Let that sink in. I so badly wished I could find that Tweet. Let’s imagine for a moment that GoodReads didn’t exist. Now take away Amazon reviews, now take away Barnes and Noble reviews, now take away blogs. Most bloggers I know cross post their reviews to both big book retailers. How quantifiable is word of mouth and/or bloggers now?
Let's imagine GoodReads didn't exist. ...How quantifiable is word of mouth/blogging now? Click To Tweet
I know that I am not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. This most recent blow up has caused me to take a step back and re-examine my thoughts on the love/hate relationship I seem to have with the book community. (I adore it but I hate the constant petty drama that blows up.)
For the most part I’ve stepped away from requesting ARCs. In fact I no longer actively seek them out. I will take them from a few people that approach me but I still weigh how much I want to read the ARC versus my time constraints. I don’t like putting unnecessary pressure on myself. Buying my own books or borrowing them from the library doesn’t put as much or any pressure.
Lots of life changes forced me to let go of a lot this year and the blog was a victim of that. It reminded me though of how much fun reading is when there are no strings attached. I’ve fallen in love with reading again. I think by taking all that I’ve learned this year and blogging for the right reasons (for FUN!) will let me fall back in love with blogging again.