What began as a simple question in response to this New York Times article from 2021 discussing how Booktok has quickly risen to prominence in publishing distinguishing itself for impacting not only buzz for new (and backlist) books, but showcasing it with literal sales, it made me wonder: Is my blog even relevant anymore?
24hryabookblog began in the late summer of 2015 and since then it has allowed me to expand my horizons as a reader in addition to further developing skills as a writer through many posts and building my knowledge of social media…and lets not even begin to mention the amount of books I’ve read & authors I’ve gotten the opportunity to talk with and promote across my platforms. It’s been a truly unforgettable experience, each review, list, etc. has allowed me to grow. Yet, after seeing first-hand the reach of TikTok in correlation to bestseller lists plus spikes in Barnes & Noble sales for instance, it rightfully left me feeling depleted, like the sleepless nights, hours of editing, writing, researching were…worthless. Recently you may have seen less posts or interaction on here and that’s partly why, just part of a creative burnout right now. But that’s not what today’s post is about, instead I’m going to highlight why book blogs are still relevant in this ever-evolving book community.
*As a disclaimer I’m in no way saying Booktok doesn’t deserve credit, because the impact it has is identifiable and effective for sure especially when it comes to book sales exceeding 10,000 copies if it becomes “popular” (and in general seeing more people reading because of social media is incredible), I just personally remember the blogging community feeling even more undervalued when facts & figures were reported in this article (and many others since then).
Another recent piece of community news that not only shocked me, but also further pushed me to craft this discussion was CW at Artfromafriend announcing her departure from The Quiet Pond at some point this year stating “i’ve been thinking about leaving book blogging for a month now, and i think my heart is set on it….i am just tired (though satisfied) and ready to move on 🧡” The book blog-o-sphere is relatively tight-knit, even smaller compared to other online platforms, but I’ve come across a place full of support and endless hustle which is nothing to ignore. Blogging takes quite a few different skills and is an entirely different field when talking about books, but its clearer to see the process that goes into each post plus the impact it can have, especially when one of our community’s own decides its time to move on. The blogging community takes up a particularly unique space in the book world by having the opportunity to create that “first wave” of bookish buzz by interacting with authors through booktwt, promoting their books well before release (at-least from my perspective). This has without a doubt influenced me in discovery and consideration of countless books across genres, categories even publishers because of your recommendations!
Book Blogs still matter and have relevancy because when you think about it, there’s no algorithm involved in posting and it’s a space that’s entirely your own. Be it reviews, tags, weekly memes, gushing about why people should read “X” book, you write however you want and whatever you want – for as long as you want, because its a place you’ve created for yourself. In addition, don’t forget about the lifespan a simple blog post can have compared to other social media platforms, which diminishes quickly within days (even minutes) on platforms like Instagram, TikTok or even Twitter. According to this article from Convince & Convert, a digital marketing firm, a blog post can easily have a life cycle of over 2 years and continue to gain consistent traffic. Consider how many of your older posts are still getting views and visitors. For instance, The Saint’s Magic Power manga received an anime adaptation last year and after reviewing the first volume, I noticed throughout 2021 it became one of my more popular reviews slowly rising from 20 views to 90+ as the series was airing.
As I’ve spent sometime scrolling through booktok more, I found myself getting tired of the algorithm feeding me the same books over & over, yes there were occasional new discoveries but it was draining to see (for the most part) 2015-era Bookcommunity with occasional new releases. Additionally blogs make it incredibly easy to find specific content compared to Tiktok which relies more on hashtags or if your lucky, the user makes an identifiable cover image.
Another big reason book bloggers are relevant? Book Reviews! Despite having fun watching a booktuber review or reading vlog where they share their thoughts on a current read, there’s just something about consuming a bloggers review that just impacts me differently. Also, I often find bloggers are still crafting the most reviews compared to other bookish platforms because they are such a staple in the community (I know they happen on Bookstagram too, but I’m not on it that much…sorry! 😂). When it comes to ARCs, backlist or just new releases, I can always find at least one blog sharing their thoughts on a particular book with a review. With that said, another major relevant point that make blogs incredibly valuable is Discussion. There’s more personal conversation and exchanges that I’m sure have made us bloggers feel like we’ve impacted someone with either a rec or gush about a new favorite read.
Think of some favorite reviews or posts from book bloggers, they probably have quite a word count too and I believe these types of long-form posts are not given enough credit. To me, blogging still matters because of content like this, if there’s a book I dearly love (of which there are many) I’ll go searching for posts about it and read them mostly because I cannot find these discussions on other bookish spaces, especially for titles that are not as hyped up or lesser known.
Despite the evolution of promotion and influencing among publishing, I truly believe there will always be a place for blogging and the written word (I mean aren’t books?). No it doesn’t get nearly enough appreciation or recognition, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t still relevant or important. Like any space of content or media, it’ll have moments of transformations and I think blogging is in one of spots right now.
There’s of course moments when us bloggers feel like our work is irrelevant, especially when stats are down, no one’s really engaging with our posts or we’ve gotten major burnout, but we need to remember the community is here and our content may not be read right then and there, but that doesn’t mean we should despair. As the book community evolves, we should embrace these changes and see how they can inspire us to keep our community aglow, because book blogs still matter.
As a book blogger what are your thoughts on the relevancy of blogs? Is this something you’ve thought about especially when comparing to Booktok? 📚✨
I also recommend these posts that delve into similar discussions: Marie from Drizzle & Hurricane Books discusses ‘Why Having A Book Blog Still Matters’ , Kal from Reader Voracious discussing the relevancy of Blogs and how they are valuable marketing tools, and Bertie from Luminosity Library posts ‘Are Blogs Still Relevant.’