What makes the book community an astounding place to be is the variety of bookish content that can be created across blogs, bookstagram, and even booktube. We created these platforms because of our love for books and connect with like-minded readers who feel the exact same way.
However, inspired by Cielo @Bellerosereads recent thread, its abundantly clear that book bloggers hardly see any payment for their work. Many say in the 4 years (maybe even more) they’ve been creating content, they’ve maybe made $20 through affiliates however a vast majority have made $0.
Why could this be? Lifestyle, fashion, and beauty bloggers according to this recent 2020 Huffington Post article are making a couple thousand dollars when creating blog posts alongside other social media content.
Although these are isolated cases, it’s clear that brands are able to pay for their content not only through Instagram, but also for blog content that has a good shelf-life in regards to whatever product their looking to promote.
Before we get into more logistics lets talk a little more about what companies are usually looking for when promoting, in this case lets talk about upcoming book “X.”
If “X” is a debut that publishers are really looking to sell many will include national print publicity, social media campaigns, and I’m sure there’d also be early ARC mailings alongside word-of-mouth or influencer promotion.
So who would this blogger be and why should you care? Well it all depends on whether the publisher is looking to reach out to a micro- or macroinfluencer. Micro, much like you or me are the bloggers who have followers from 1k to 10k. Why these kinds of influencers are important is because, the close and tight-knit readership fosters and maintains direct interaction with followers, creating a sense of community.
Microinfluencers very much carry more weight over the longterm and that’s because our audience is our peers (fellow blogger friends, readers, etc.). We are not here to market, but to simply build connections over our love of books.
Additionally, Influencer Marketing Hub also shared that in response to “The State Of Influencer Marketing 2020: Benchmark Report,” 91% of brands, marketing agencies, and other industry professionals who participated, believe that influencer marketing is effective. I won’t find it surprising to see these numbers increase or the state of influencers evolve over the next year and into 2021 , especially with the impact of the virus.
I know I’ve found myself reading and picking up certain books more because fellow book bloggers or bookish creators had talked about it, even hyped it up through their posts!
For example if “Blogger A” is your fellow blogger friend, wouldn’t you want to pick up this book more because they wrote about how great it is? This all leads back to the influence that bloggers carry and how that doesn’t really reflect necessarily in payment or compensation for our work. What we essentially are is free marketing.
However I also want to highlight the work that bloggers have done to push publishers into offering ARCs to more #OwnVoices reviewers. Through specific contact lists, blogger-run book tours, etc. I can speak for myself and say that I’ve been contacted over the past year for promotion of books from Latinx authors (Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From and Each Of Us A Desert).
It seems like publishing and the world of books is still catching up to the idea of sponsored/paid influencer marketing like the other juggernaut industries such as lifestyle or beauty, for instance. But I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given.
Now I’m not here to say we need to be making millions of dollars on a single post, but I am hoping to highlight other industries that are able to pay for this kind of publicity. We do valuable work, so us bloggers should appreciate and recognize our contributions to the book community.
There’s such a variety of ways bloggers can be compensated (not only through reviews) there can be blog tour posts, book lists, etc. The beauty of blogging is how creative the written word can become.
Now where do we go from here?
Transparency is important and talking about these topics matters, so this is very much a great start. As bloggers, we need to acknowledge and bring more awareness to our influence in the book community. Even if we may not get paid, its important to be open with fellow creators and encourage conversation with publishers to compensate for the time and work we put into talking about their books.
This Publishers Weekly article that examines tapping into the power of influencers from 2018 states that “many influencers below that [10,000] threshold…create great content…influencer-created content works better than brand-created content, always, always, always.”
We need to remember our value and worth as content creators, even when there are days it feels like no one is reading our stuff. As bloggers it’s important to not only support each other, but help one another. Us book bloggers are part of an ever-evolving and growing community, so we need to support and hype each other up!
Let’s read each others blog posts, like tweets, donate to their Ko-fi’s, Patreons, even a simple comment can go a long way. If we want to see change for the book blog community, we have to be part of that change.
Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to your favorite bookish brands! It can even be that book subscription box or candle you like! A simple email can help establish you and your blog.
There continues to be fantastic bloggers creating such inspiring content and delving into this topic of payment for our work is an important starting point.
Thank you for taking the time to read this discussion! If you are a book content creator what’s your thoughts on this topic? 📚✨
Share your story, how long have you been a blogger and have you seen any compensation for your work? 💖📚