I was planning on writing a book review today, since I’ve been flying through the review books, but the book I finished this morning was that good to warrant a review here. It did teach me a new way to curse — God’s balls! — but that’s about it. Sweet story, not worth the amount of thought for a review.
SO I figured I’d talk about something I saw on Twitter the other day. I can’t remember who had posted it, but it was something along the lines of WordPress deleting blogs that were just posting book blasts, blitzes, cover reveals, giveaways, etc. and it got me thinking:
What ever happened to originality in book blogging?
When I first started blogging 5 years ago, there were very few book blogs I could find. Mostly they dealt with reviews, so that’s how I started, writing up reviews of the books I had read. Not so much “reviews” but my general thoughts — spoilers included — of the books I was reading. Then I started to get more creative with the blog and wrote up discussions, personal posts, songs about books and so on.
These days, there have been so many blogs that I wanted to follow, so many bloggers I wanted to get to know, but then I realize all they post are promotional posts. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with a promotional post, really. I’ve done them once in a while, but I try to stick to things like cover reveals for books I’m really, really excited for, or writing up a post about my favourite books or series. I do get review books from publishers, but not in the double digits each month like other book bloggers might.
I wonder when book blogging turned into a promotional tool. I’ve always been of the thought that to be a book blogger means you share your love of books. If you get review books from publishers, you share your thoughts — good or bad — of those books. Personally, I love going to a blog where there’s MORE than just reviews, more than just promo posts. To me, seeing the same promo posts on each and every blog gets tiring. Heck, even seeing the same review of a book on all the blogs is tiring (one reason I tend to stray from posting around release dates — that, and sheer laziness).
There are a few blogs out there that actually think outside of the box when it comes to posting and I love that. Share your bookish stories in real life, or make a list of books you’d take with you on a desert island, or have a discussion on why you never lend out your books or what makes you a crazy book person. Be unique and just write something outside of the norm. I swear, your readers will thank you because if they’re like me, they want to hear the voice of the person behind the blog, not just see tons of posts that they will eventually just gloss over.
These days, there are hundreds upon hundreds of book blogs and a good portion of them do tons of promo posts. Is there a reason for this? Have we lost our ability to be creative when it comes to writing a blog post? Have we forgotten what blogging is all about?
I decided to look up the definition of blogging and found this:
See how it says “new material” or to “write about” something in a blog? It’s not just about pasting generic posts that will be the same on every other blog. If your reason to blog is to just post these things so that you get free stuff from publishers, maybe you should rethink your ideas. Make your blog stand out and write your blog for YOU. When you look back at all the time you spent blogging, will you be happy with it? Will it document that time of your life how you want it to?
I think this is one of the reasons I stepped back from what I had previously been doing when it came to blogging. I wasn’t being unique. I wasn’t letting myself tell stories about myself before book reviews anymore and I wasn’t letting myself write posts at the spur of the moment anymore. It became a job to me where I thought about the reader first and me second. While readers are indeed awesome — and I thank every single one of you who reads this blog and have read this far — I have to think of me first. These days, having a family and a house and other priorities to take care of, I want to make my blogging time matter, whether I’m writing a review, or a discussion, or sharing a song with my readers.
In the end, shouldn’t we be doing things that make us happy? Shouldn’t we be letting our creative wings fly and let our blog be a reflection of our life, rather than a dumping pot for promotional vomit?
I can only hope that more book bloggers start to be more creative and unique in their posts — it makes me happy as a blogger to see that kind of material!