Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Am I Really A Book Blogger?

When you start out in the book blogger community, it’s very easy to feel pressured into fulfilling certain criteria before you can officially say you’re a book blogger. For example:

  • Taking blog/bookstagram photos on a costly DSLR camera
  • Your own domain name
  • Creative blogs with beautiful banners custom created for you
  • Hauling massive amounts of (brand new, pristine, often hardback) new releases
  • Receiving physical Advanced Reader Copies (ARCs) from publishers - bonus points if they were unsolicited
  • Literally every post on your blog being a review for a book that's yet to come out

These are all things that I have felt pressured to do/have, and because I don’t do/have them, I’ve hesitated to call myself a serious book blogger. Until now.

Spoiler alert: you don’t need any of these things to be a book blogger. You can use your phone to take photos, you can use free blogging sites like Blogger or WordPress, you can do a surprising amount of graphic design on free sites like Canva, and you don’t need to be selling off any important organs to have a huge haul every month. You can blog about books you already own and you can write about whatever you please.

If you talk about books in the book blogging community and want to call yourself a book blogger, guess what? Congratulations! You’re a book blogger! This is something I’ve had to repeat to myself a surprising amount of times - especially last week when I got my temporary bookshelves and they didn’t immediately look Instagram-worthy (I still love them, though).

Something which is good that’s come out of these thoughts surrounding ‘proper book bloggers’ is that it’s made me think more about which direction I want my blog to go in, and what I want to do more/less of.

Firstly, I’ve been getting involved in the community more - I’m now a Book and Brew book reviewer, and I’m reaching out to publishers more and more, and I’m also prioritising reading other people’s blogs. Secondly, I realised that I wanted to be reviewing more, and for this reason I went back to my lonely Netgalley page and requested a few eARCs. I thought that I had no hope seeing as my ratio was so low, but I was approved for some really exciting books, e.g. Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew J. Sullivan! It’s a whole new challenge juggling reading eARCs with books I already own but it’s fun, and makes me feel like I’m going in the right direction for me.

TL;DR yes, I am really a book blogger. I spend a quite frankly preposterous amount of my time talking about books and I love it to bits. I may not be a blogger with a massive following, and publishers might not know who I am (yet), but I am a book blogger all the same. We’re all here for the same thing, at the end of the day.

What about you? Have you had similar thoughts? I’d love to know in the comments below!
Happy reading,