Are Book Bloggers Getting Paid? {Book Blog Discussion}

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? 💖📚


13 thoughts on “Are Book Bloggers Getting Paid? {Book Blog Discussion}

  1. I’m so glad to see the hashtag I created inspired you to make this post, I’m amazed by the amount of research you did! I think you made a great job by giving actual facts about the importance of influencer marketing and how bloggers of other niches are getting paid for what they do. I hope that soon there can be a change and book bloggers start being appreciated for all the hard work we do to shed light on the books we love💖 great post!


  2. I’ve been book blogging for over 4 years now, and have not been paid for any of the work I do (unless you count ARCs and the very occasional free, finished copy). I think things need to change from the top level (at publishing houses) before anything can be changed and done for book bloggers to receive compensation.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have been a book blogger for six years and have never been paid once. Every time I see Booktubers or bookstagrammers talk about sponsorship, I wonder, what about us book bloggers? We paved the way and yet we are consistently overlooked. We know publishers see our value when they reach out to us, but it feels like they expect us to accept an ARC and that’s the end of the quid pro quo. I’m not sure that changes unless a large number of us demand something more.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I mentioned this post before in one of my posts and I appreciate it so, so much, I’m sorry I’m only taking the time to properly comment so late! ❤ I appreciated reading this so, so much and I aso agree with you that we have so, so much potential and that it's SO important to hype each other up and support each other, and hopefully together as a whole we can pave the way to create more and get more, too, because we really, really deserve it ❤


  5. I didn’t begin blogging with any idea of wanting payment. After 8 years of blogging that is still my stance. The value o bring to my readers is my independence, if you introduce payment for highlighting specific authors and books, the. That independence goes out of the window. Getting publishers to pay bloggers is going to harm independent presses – they can’t afford to do this so the end result is they there is even less attention to books by authors of colour or from smaller nations.


  6. We agree! This post is such an informative, well researched and persuasive bit of writing. There are odd occasions where you get an ARC or an interview with an author but that’s out of interest to write about them. The blog was started out of a passion for the media sector but find it very difficult to compete against the instagram giants that simply read. Very few of them have a book blog but its a great way to network. There are occasions where you feel lost with no back up from the giants who don’t focus on the little people because they get paid. Never expect anything out of authors, buy their books instead as that’s the aim of a book blog. Yourll be praised though their recognition and following..


  7. i have been blogging for two years and i have never received a single penny from it. at this point i have gotten used to bloggers being overlooked. it’s discouraging but you just have to deal with it lmao. this is a very insightful post! i really hope that someday bloggers would be given the credit they deserve


  8. I count book blogging as a way to save money more than make it. I can easily read 2-3 books a day. Writing about the books I’m reading slows me down so I’m not spending as much money every week on books.


  9. I’ve been book blogging for about 4 years. Very little compensation. I’ve changed blogs a couple of times, updated to our change in style. I hear so many bloggers talk about making money but the one point that many book bloggers keep coming back to is – if a publisher can get exposure for a book for free, why in the world would they pay me to do the same thing. So I think it’s going to be difficult to get that to change.

    Book bloggers definitely deserve to be compensated and I wish that wasn’t such a taboo subject. Many seem almost afraid to admit it.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s