I don’t like posting rants on my blog. It makes me feel icky and like I’m complaining, which I guess I technically am, but that’s besides the point.
I’m making an exception for this though.Today, I want to talk about the newest blogging controversy and the disrespect bloggers experience in the book industry.
As I’m sure you may have seen, an article came out on how book tiktokers, or booktokers, can make hundreds or thousands of dollars from sponsorships and deals with publishers. And since that article came out, people have been commenting on bloggers on how we’re basically worthless and book tours are useless scams after they spoke up saying that we should be compensated too.
I am getting so tired of being shit on by publishers and authors.
Every time some kind of article comes out talking about YouTubers, TikTok, Instagram or whatever in relation to book reviewers, they are praised. But book bloggers wanting compensation for their reviews, for their promotion, and we’re seen as greedy and evil. I absolutely hate the hypocrisy of the situation. Reviewers using media other than blogs deserve compensation from their hard work but bloggers shouldn’t? What the hell kind of thinking is that?
And as someone who owns a book tour company – who has to do the tours for free because publishers don’t have $20 of marketing money to spend on tours – it’s so frustrating. We ask for the bare minimum to compensate our time, the cost of the website, and other inherent costs we face. And yet, publishers can’t find money to pay us the minimum amount for all the work we do. If we even want to offer tours, we have to do it for free, otherwise we would never be able to run a tour again. And it fucking sucks.
And it’s even worse as a blogger. As a blogger, I’ve made barely a few dollars from ads on my blog and zero dollars from publishers. I’ve spent over $100 to host my own site plus the hundreds or maybe even thousands of dollars on books to review. And while I would have spent the money on books anyways, I definitely don’t have to take hours from my day reading them quickly, drafting reviews, and promoting them on social media. Is asking for compensation too much to ask for? Granted, I’m a small blogger, but I see other, larger bloggers who receive nothing for their hard work. It gets me so angry.
I’m so tired of the hate we receive. Hosting a website costs money, unlike sites like YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok. And just like these platforms, writing reviews, designing the posts, and spending time preparing for them takes a lot of time. The average blog post takes me over an hour to write – if I haven’t had to read a book to write it. Sometimes I could be writing posts for hours during the week, trying to think of and get up content that I’m proud of and enjoy.
And don’t get me wrong, I love blogging. It brings me a lot of joy to share my thoughts and connect with people who have the same interests as me. But it’s an expensive hobby and I shouldn’t be shamed or ridiculed or discarded just because I’m a blogger. And I see the difference in treatment as a TikToker and Instagrammer. If I request a book for review and don’t include those sites, I’m basically tossed aside and not even considered. I had to restart a bookstagram in order to even have a chance at reviewing books and partnering up with publishers for free.
While free books are a great compensation for the most part, they don’t pay the bills. And the amount of time I put into blogging is almost as much as I put into my full time job. I watch as other bloggers, who write amazing content on beautifully designed websites, are thrown aside for people on other platforms because publishers think that’s where people are.
What they seem to forget is without book bloggers, there wouldn’t be whole communities of book nerds joining together. The word of mouth recommendations are huge and while they think that an Instagram post with 1,000 likes will sell books, honest and good reviews sell more. I worked as a bookseller and saw how far recommendations and reviews go with people. Even now, I see the same ten favorite series circulating these platforms and nothing new gets discussed or discovered.
It’s time that publishers acknowledge bloggers and all the hard work they do. Their referrals create big business for them, even if they want to ignore it for other platforms. If they don’t start appreciating us, they may lose their biggest ally and lose their biggest supporters in the process.
Okay, I’m glad I got that off my chest. What do you think of the current blogger drama? Every time I hear people shitting on bloggers I just get so mad. It’s just not fair.