Privilege in the YA Book Community: Discussing Ways How Some Influencers are at More of a Disadvantage Than Others

It’s not a secret that some people are more privileged than others, all over the world.

I’m so lucky to be living in the US, not only because of what it means for me blogging-wise, but also because I know that there are other countries in the world where people don’t have the same opportunities or mangoes as me. And I feel so grateful for everything provided for me!!!

But lately, because I’m a Very Intuitive person, I’ve been noticing a lot of privilege in the YA book community. There have been discussions about adults vs. teens when it comes to YA, not to mention how marginalized reviewers aren’t getting books that represent them.

So after ranting out loud to no one because I’m pathetic, I’ve decided to write a discussion on some ways one can be privileged in the YA community!!

(For reference: When I say “influencer”, I mean groups of people like bloggers, booktubers, bookstagrammers, etc. and everyone else who has an impact on the YA book community.)

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US vs. INTL

I think this is one of the BIGGEST ways certain influencers can be more privileged than others.

If you’ve been around the community for a bit, you’ve probably noticed that there have been a lot of changes made that impact how accessible ARCs are to influencers who don’t live in the US. And they’re not good changes.

US influencers have a LOT of privilege when it comes to things like ARCs—and I say this as a US influencer—because many publisher headquarters are in the US, which means that they are able to ship in the country, but not really outside the US, because of “legal issues”. And also shipping costs. (Some publishers ship internationally, though!)

And not only is it just physical ARCs, but sites like Netgalley where eARCs (ebook versions of ARCs) were once available to INTL readers are not so available anymore. Here’s a great post by Laura explaining more into detail what went on!

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(these are a few of the ARCs I’ve been lucky to get)

And in a lot of non-English speaking countries, INTL readers who want to read books in English can’t get any from their libraries, or have to pay a fee to, and they often have to resort to purchasing their books (physical or electronic), which is not always what everyone can afford.

So US influencers are definitely at privilege here! I also personally believe that certain INTL countries (especially English-speaking ones) are at more advantage than other INTL (non-English speaking) countries, but I don’t really want to get into that since it’s not my place to discuss it.

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adults vs. teens

I’m aware that this is something that was discussed on Twitter some time ago, but I think it’s something that we still need to talk about!

There has been some debate on who the YA genre belongs to, and honestly? In my humble opinion, the YA genre doesn’t belong to anyone, and anyone who wants to read it can and should be able to read it. But the YA genre is AIMED towards the teen audience, hence its name, Young Adult.

The sad thing is that a lot of things relating to YA (such as awards for favorite YA influencers) are centered around adults. Of course, adults do whatever they want!! Read YA, blog about it, take pictures of YA books!!! But teens aren’t being appreciated as much as adults in the YA community when the YA community is… for them.

And another thing that puts teens at a disadvantage is the fact that they ARE a teen. As a teen myself, I can say that I really don’t have the money to get books, and my parents have other things to buy than books for me.

And I’m not able to get a job to get money because 1) I’m a teen and some places have an age minimum, and 2) I don’t have enough time, because of school all day for five days, extracurriculars, and homework on my free days. And I also have a thing called:

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(Of course, people other than teens can also be put at a financial disadvantage, which I’ll talk about later.)

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the “majority” vs. the marginalized

Is everyone ready for a rant???? Shut up May you’ve already been ranting.

There are so many diverse books that can offer representation to diverse reviewers. For example, if there was a book with a Thai MC, I’d be scrambling to request an ARC of it.

But a lot of the time, these books go to non-diverse influencers first, because they are more popular and can get the book more attention.

I GET publishers. They want the money, as does literally everyone else in the world, so they get those ARCs to people they know are well-known in the community and are able to get more people excited about the book.

But marginalized reviewers deserve those ARCs as well. Why get a popular influencer’s review of “I can’t comment on this rep because I’m not a part of the minority” when you can get someone who actually CAN talk about how accurate the rep is, and hopefully feel represented by it??

And the thing is, marginalized influencers do not usually get to see themselves in books at all. It’s true that books are becoming more and more diverse, but there are still so many identities not being represented in fiction. Feeling represented is amazing: You feel understood, and you feel like your story and voice are actually worth something.

So maybe, publishers, you should consider prioritizing ownvoices reviewers? Or at least giving them more of a chance?

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(And also something that I personally don’t like in this community: Some diverse ARCs are given to influencers who don’t even ask for it, and they may not ever read it. I think that getting ARCs without ever requesting would be SO so cool, but… when it’s diverse? And it could offer representation to someone? And you give it to an influencer who isn’t in that minority and may never read it? Hmm.)

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“richer” vs. “poorer”

(I don’t actually mean richer and poorer but more like… “those who can afford more” and “those who can afford less”)

And we have FINALLY reached the main inspiration for this post.

About a week ago, I was randomly going through bookstagram accounts, because I like looking at pretty pictures of books (is it possible not to??). So I visited a very popular bookstagram account I knew of, and scrolled through the comments, looking for more accounts with pretty photos.

But soon I noticed a pattern. I knew that this existed before going through the accounts, but I hadn’t really thought much of it.

The popular bookstagrammers who seemed to have gotten publishers’* attention had:

  1. Lots of followers, because they probably have good photos
  2. Good photos, because they probably have a lot of (physical) books to take pictures of*
  3. A lot of (physical) books, because they probably can afford it and/or publishers probably gave it to them
  4. Publishers gave it to them, because they probably have established themselves on bookstagram (back to step 1) or somewhere else, which means they are probably US influencers (since publishers usually are only able to ship to US influencers)
  5. Can afford to buy books, and they are probably adults

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To go even deeper: How many of these people are not marginalized reviewers, receiving diverse ARCs/review copies that represent other people?

Of course, there are definitely other ways to establish yourself in the book blogging world without having to be able to afford a lot of (physical) books. (For example, I would say I’m pretty established, and I buy about 5 books each year with my own money—though of course, I’m privileged to have a good library selection.) But it’s often that way on bookstagram, as an outsider looking in, and bookstagram is becoming increasingly important.

I’m not going to assume anyone’s financial situation. Who knows where all everyone’s books come from! If it came from their own money, great! If it came from other people, whether it be family or friends or publishers, also great! But if you can afford to buy the book while someone else can’t, maaaaaaybe that person should get the free review copy instead of you?

(Obviously this is just my opinion!!! And probably a lot of people will disagree with me!! And that’s fine!!! But while I think everyone deserves to get books, there are some people who can afford it more than others and therefore don’t really neeeeeed to get that ARC from publishers, when they can buy it themselves. **This is mostly talking about unsolicited ARCs.**)

And I don’t mean to hate on bookstagram or its users. (Or anyone able to afford books, for that matter.) I know that it takes a lot of work, and I really look up to them!! And I know that ARCs are very very exciting, no matter your financial situation!!

But I just think that we should start be talking about this privilege more, because it exists everywhere in the YA online bookish world.

*I know that there are more aspects to a good photo than this, but THIS IS A VERY BIG PART OF GOOD BOOKSTAGRAM PHOTOS!!

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so?

I think that what makes me the most frustrated is that influencers without much privilege have to fight at least 2 times harder to get the same opportunities as privileged influencers, and most of the time, that opportunity falls through BECAUSE they are not in a position of privilege.

An example I like to use is with INTL influencers. I know a lot of INTL influencers who are lucky enough to get physical ARCs, but they had to email publishers many more times than I do and prove themselves more and just fight harder in general.

And it’s not fair. It’s not something we can change easily. But it just really frustrates me to see that privileged influencers are just constantly being rewarded, while the less privileged barely get anything, even if they put in the same effort.

And this is because of privilege. And often, there’s really not much we can do about it. But what we CAN do is talk about it, raise more awareness, and get privileged influencers to help out our not-so privileged influencers, which is what people in privilege should always be doing!!


shall we chat

so, what are your opinions on this? do you think you are in a position of privilege? do you have a good library selection? how do you think we should tackle the topic of privilege in the community? and PLEASE feel free to (respectfully) disagree with what i said, or let me know if i said something problematic!!!

p.s. hi everyone!! so a quick mental health update: I was actually feeling quite well at the beginning of March, but the week I was off from school, it worsened and got to the point of me breaking down at night. surprisingly, I think going back to school has proven a good distraction for me and I can say I’m doing better now!! I’ll try my best to comment on posts or reply to comments but I have no idea when I’ll be able to function regularly again at the moment. hope you’re all doing amazing!!!

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53 thoughts on “Privilege in the YA Book Community: Discussing Ways How Some Influencers are at More of a Disadvantage Than Others

  1. your discussion topics are always SO relevant and interesting and you’re so well spoken and articulate and i just LIVE for these posts!!! 💖

    and i’m glad to hear that school distracts you and has helped you get better. i always find that my mental health gets so much worse when i’m off of uni and have nothing to do to distract my mind. anyway, sorry for this short comment but just know that this post was fabulous and relevant and i agree with EVERYTHING you said and i love you!!! bye!!!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love you Jackie!!!!

      and yeah same. like I get way more stressed out when I’m in school, and I procrastinate a lot, but being out of school means I have nothing to do?? and nothing keeps me from spiraling into depression??? which is great since I’m going to get out of school in a few weeks for summer break 🙃🙃

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes to all of this! I have been thinking recently about ym privilege as a US book blogger. Books are made available here first too so if you want to be at the forefront of the hype train that makes it easier. And most ARCs are only available to US influencers which I mean makes sense legally but still is a privilege that should be addressed.
    Also as a teen I agree that so much of the YA community is run by adults. Not that they shouldn’t get to read YA or do what they ant with YA, but teens shouldn’t be overlooked when the community is for them.
    And yes, marginalized influencers should get to read diverse books representing them. I also think it is important for the majority to read diverse books to gain empathy and such, but do they need to get them first???? Before it is published??? and before the marginalized reviewers who are represented get them??
    Great discussion!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, I totally forgot about books being released in the US sooner than other countries! I mean, I can’t afford to buy a lot of books anyways, but I’m very privileged to have the opportunity to in the first place.

      And definitely! I see a lot of adult influencers in YA — and while that’s amazing and completely fine, teen influencers need to be recognized as well!!

      YES EXACTLY!!! People from other backgrounds should be able to read diverse books as well, and no one is saying that CAN’T get those ARCs… but ARCs need to go to ownvoices reviewers as well/first.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. loved this post! You always find the best topics to discuss! I agree with this on so many levels especially the part about YA being for adults or teens (I think they should be for everyone because YA is awesome and should be shared with the world) and the part about minority vs majority. Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. i love this post so much thank you for it smol!!! i 100% agree with it and i’m especially mad right now about publishers not giving arcs to ownvoices reviewers. in the words of simon spier, get the fuck away from me

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  5. Love this so much, May! I totally agree. Your discussions are so relevant and truthful! The only thing I disagree with is “minority vs marginalized.” Like I totally, 100% get where you’re coming from. I totally would rather see diverse books going to diverse readers. I mean I’d give ARCs away if I had them! But I think that people in the majority also have an opinion about diversity, and their opinion isn’t any less important than those in the minority. YES, I want those in the minority to have a voice and an opinion. But it’s easy to think those in the majority have nothing to contribute since they’re not in the minority, while I think they definitely have opinions and insight in diversity and important things they want to say. I have a lot I’d like to say about diversity, but I feel like no one listens to me bc I’m in the majority, which is frustrating.

    Anyway, thank you SO MUCH for making this post! It’s so so true and helpful and relevant, esp for someone like me who’s gearing my blog more toward books and writing. Love you May! 🙂 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, I’m so glad you liked my post!! And yeah, we’ve talked about the whole majority-minority-opinion thing! Like I said before, I think that people in the majority do have the right to have an opinion, but I personally wouldn’t trust it as much as someone who is in the minority group being represented in the book. (In regards to that minority person saying how accurate the rep is.) Sorry that you feel your voice is being stifled! 💕

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  6. Such a great post as usual, May!! Thanks so much for the shoutout and for linking to my post!!

    When it comes to intl readers, access to libraries can sometimes be very limited so oftentimes ARCs may be the only way some people can read books, and having our access to e-ARCs be severely limited really hurts. If you get the chance, read through the comment section of my post – so many of the comments are from intl readers and it breaks my heart.

    What really annoys me is that while YA can be read by anyone, it is FOR teens but a lot of the time, adults speak over teens when it comes to important matters, or even flat out ignore them. I don’t know if you’re on twitter or not, but I’ve seen teens kicked out of their own community by adults (I’m thinking of one adult in particular who has since left themselves because people finally starting calling them out).

    Also, I cowrote this sentence???: “Why get a popular influencer’s review of “I can’t comment on this rep because I’m not a part of the minority” when you can get someone who actually CAN talk about how accurate the rep is, and hopefully feel represented by it??” I 100% agree. It also really really annoys me when I see influential reviewers – mainly book tubers – get a whole bunch of arcs unsolicited and they NEVER READ THEM. Like you said, this is even worse when it’s ownvoices. thankfully, I’ve seen quite a few influencers do a giveaway or send that ownvoices book to an ownvoices reviewer/reader.

    I never really thought about bookstagram before, because I’m not on there much, but I definitely think you’re on the right track.

    💕 Great post!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi May! Your post made me think a lot.. and I’m still thinking and trying to analyze what is going on. I agree with all of the points you made and I wonder how things will turn out in the future, with publishers, YA bloggers, minorities and bookstagram… I think I will keep thinking about this the whole day!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Your discussion posts are always so lovely to read, May! Thank you for writing this, I think it’s really important and I hope a lot of people read it. 🙂

    I pretty much agree with you on everything! I’m also blessed to live in the U.S. for tons of reasons, but one of them being that I have more opportunities for ARCs, giveaways, and the like. Also, I think you either made this point or a point pretty similar to it, but it does occasionally frustrate me that only blogs with TONS of followers (either blogwise or on social media!) will get a lot of physical ARCs and such (and then maybe not even be able to read them all), while smaller bloggers don’t have this opportunity. I do understand that the publishers want a larger audience to see the books though! And I definitely know that bigger bloggers have worked really hard for their success, and do deserve the opportunities they’re offered. It can just be a little frustrating as a smaller blogger, to want those but not be considered since your blog won’t reach a larger audience.😊

    Finally, I agree with you that diverse ARCs should go to the people they are representing! As a person in the majority, at least in the part of the U.S. where I live (white, Christian), I would actually much rather read reviews of diverse books I want to read from a diverse reader…because, in my opinion, they can give more insight into it than me. If that makes sense.

    Anyway, great post as always! I’m glad your mental health has gotten better after going back to school, and I really hope you’re continuing to get better❤️

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  9. Ahh finally someone is talking about this. I’m so glad you decided to Do a discussion post about this issue. As an international blogger I get ignored by a lot of publishers even for own voices books and it hurts to see such books go to people who have no clue about it. I am glad for organisations like diverse book bridge that gives books to marginalized teens but seriously we need to do more. I get that publishers want people who are more popular but sometimes it’s better to give the book to own voices reviewers first, cause they are basically who the book is targeted towards.

    Sending warm hugs your way May, hope you get better soon. I really don’t know if my words would help but I’m sure all this will pass . 😘😘😘

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  10. this. this post is what we need today. as an international blogger, i do face a lot of problems – mainly in getting ARCs. what i don’t understand is why netgalley decided to stop giving e-arcs to people outside of the US?? they’re electronic??? you don’t even need to pay shipping charges???? nyehh.

    there’s so much stuff i want to say but you basically said it all – smaller bloggers also get marginalized, kind of. we don’t really get the opportunity to receive many physical ARCs :/ and then being intl it’s even worse ://

    aNYWAY MAY (rhyme?? kind of???) GREAT POST AS USUAL ❤ ❤ i'm glad your mental health is getting better!! let me know and i'll send more fluffy spierfeld fics your way 😉

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  11. Ok… this post is PURE PERFECTION!! Like, I’m not an influencer but I still somewhat relate to this post if that’s possible??
    This post brought up a lot of good points that I never really thought about, like the differences between us and intl- I mean, there’s 194 other countries than the US- I’m pretty sure other people want ARCs! Also, that point of the differences between diverse influencers and others- I’ve never thought about it, but if I read an ARC about, idk, an Arab girl, I could be like “This is accurate!! Go read this!!” or “Hmm.. some stuff wasn’t accurate, like….” So in a way, it’s BETTER if the ARC’s go to the marginalized people!!!
    Okay, I’m done with my own mini rant 😉 Great job with this post!!

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  12. May, I like REALLY love this post. I feel like this all needed to be talked about in one organized, concise blog post so thank you for that. International readers are definitely not as privileged as readers in the United States for all of the reasons you mentioned above. I got so disappointed in NetGalley when they stopped doing the international reader thing – I feel like it’s so unfair to international readers because since publishers usually don’t ship books internationally, now it’s nearly impossible for them to get ARCs to read for review on their book solely because they don’t live in the US which is so unfair 😦 I would give up all of my privilege that comes with living in the United States if that meant that international readers could get a better chance at getting ARCs to read. I definitely agree with you on marginalized influencers and how they should be considered for an ARC of a book that fits their marginalization before the majority just because they have more followers. Thank you again for this post ❤

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  13. As an INTL, not-so-teen (I just turned 18 a few months ago), AND a marginalized (Chinese) reviewer, I totally get where you’re coming from. Aside from the INTL ARC thing, which I’ve somehow gotten over after my 4-ish years of blogging, I’ve actually not thought about the teen/marginalized thing before. I’m thinking about it now, and it SUCKS, especially the teen thing. Some teens actually churn out more interesting content, and more genius posts than some adults, but the fact that they’re teens automatically make them less credible in a sense. And it would make so much sense for publishers to send out review copies of diverse books to reviewers who actually KNOW about the stuff the author’s writing about, since their reviews would actually make more sense. :/ But yeah, I kind of try not to think about the privilege thing in general anymore–I don’t want this kind of thing to diminish my love for book blogging. ❤ Awesome post, though! I'll bookmark this for my monthly wrap-up.

    – Aimee @ Aimee, Always

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  14. i’m so glad you mental health is getting better and i adore you sm & i agree with everything????? my comment is so boring but I can’t believe how many physical books ppl can afford sometimes??????? even being from the US i’m a pooorrrrr college student and the library is my only friend in this cold expensive world c:

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  15. Interesting post…I’m sure I’ll be thinking on this for awhile. On one hand, I see from the publisher’s side. They want to publicize the books, so naturally they’re going to send it to the people with the biggest following. I don’t think they consider much beyond that, just the number of people it will reach. But you bring up a great point about privilege…there is a cycle where people who can afford more books and better equipment will naturally have a bigger following. I think we have to be careful not to generalize this TOO much, though…I’m an adult (barely feel like one but I’m almost 25 with a full-time job so I can’t really fight it anymore) with a good camera and I can buy books whenever I want. But I work hard for the money I earn, and I saved up money for YEARS to get my camera, and even then my following is basically nonexistent. XD There’s so much work that goes into bookstagram and book blogging, and that doesn’t always translate to the amount of followers someone has, but I assume that most of those with thousands of followers really work at it. If they happen to be white, in their 20s or 30s, and financially stable, does that mean they shouldn’t get ARCs sent to them? I don’t know. It’s a tricky topic, and thank you for tackling it and making us think. 🙂

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  16. This is a wonderful and very important post, May, thank you for writing it and talking about it. I have to agree that there are some parts of this community that are privileged and have more advantages than others, and it sometimes just feels SO unfair, because it’s just, well… it’s because of where they live (in the US), for instance and well, that sucks. As an international reader and book blogger, I don’t have a library to go to to get all of the books I want and have to buy them. I know I had and have to work twice as hard to be able to try to get ARCs and, I’m still feeling like I am on a sort of privileged side, because if I struggle and if I don’t always succeed, I did get a couple of ARCs and I feel really lucky. I know I’m also privileged in the sense that, even if I can’t buy thousand of books all the time, I can afford to buy books, something that other readers can do and I am grateful for that. I really think that this is a topic that should be mentioned more often and that work has to be done by the publishers to put ARCs, important, diverse books and everything else in the right hands, of teens who can’t always afford the books but desperately need and want the representation. I don’t know how and if we can change things a lot and how this works, but still having these conversations matter.
    Sorry that was a rambly nonsense comment haha, lovely post ❤

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  17. I love this post May. 🙂 ❤ I've seen a lot going around WordPress lately about privilege and who the YA genre belongs to (I agree with you when you say it doesn't belong to anyone but it is targeted at teens and young adults, hence the name). I think US bloggers do have that privilege like you said in that publishing companies based in the US can and will send them ARCs, and there are plenty of publishing companies in the US and less internationally, however at the same time as an adult with my own job I have the ability to buy the books I want to buy which puts me at an advantage as well (I mean, I don't have Twitter or Bookstagram so I'm a little behind there but that's a personal thing (I'm too lazy to update more than WordPress!)).
    It would be amazing if publishers did get the books out to the people that need them, so teens without the money to spend on books and in the case of diverse books people who'll be able to comment on the representation like you said. I think when it comes down to it publishing is always going to be driven by profit so I feel like that's always going to be a second priority for them behind bloggers who can generate that buzz.

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  18. This was a really thought-provoking post! I haven’t really done any ARCs, except for a few digital books for tours (though I’m actually about to get my first physical ARC), so I don’t quite understand how it all works?? 😛 But that does suck how unfair that is, especially since authors are now hiring sensitivity readers you’d think there’d be less of that.

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  19. I definitely agree about how much harder it is to be international sometimes. Especially for people in non English or even simply non Western speaking countries. Though I live in Ireland, I have a way higher chance on getting ARCs than a person in Africa. And it sucks because a lot of African people speak English fluently? Especially when there are so many other languages in a single country so they have to communicate through English?

    And I agree with the diverse ARCs going to diverse readers first. Especially when the author isn’t from the marginalised group. Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann had a lot of problems when it was an ARC (I think it was about how the MC seemed to be almost changed into a sexual person when she met the hot guy? Which seemed to ‘cure’ her of her asexuality?). The final product turned out to be way better when it got fixed and now there are quite a few asexuals happy with the final product.

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  20. HI! This is emmie, i think i may have commented on here once or twice. i just wanted to say that this post is REALLY GOOD and REALLY IMPORTANT to everyone in the bookish community. I’m very glad that someone was able to write about such a hard/universal(ish) topic and get that message out there! It’s like the YA civil rights act or something :).

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  21. I don’t think any genre belongs to anyone. Take for example “women’s fiction”. Not even sure what that really means, but i don’t think anyone would slap that book out of a man’s hand. And why should they? It would be like going into a museum with paintings and being told you can only look at painting of women because you are a woman.

    I kind of look at books in the YA category like i would look at movies with rating. Like suitable for a 13+ or a 16+ audience, etc. That said, I also don’t think that adult books can be read by anyone. I was reading book written “for adults” when I was 14, and i enjoyed them a lot.

    When it comes to buying books, money is indeed a thing to consider. When I was a teen, my mum bought my books, on account of me not having an income. We were not rich by any means, but my mum is also an avid reader and she would always get me books. Sometimes secondhand ones, but i don’t see any harm in that. Better for the environment anyway 😀

    This is why i love my kindle so much, because book cost less. I think when it comes to digital products, anyone could buy them from anywhere. I haven’t properly researched it, but i know i could make an account on the japanese amazon, and buy stuff from there, so i think anyone could make an account on UK or US amazon and buy digital copies… don’t take my word for it though.

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  22. I didn’t know I was waiting for a post like this until I read yours!
    Thank you so much for talking about this topic, as I agree 100% with you and am an international reader myself with a small library in my town and not many opportunities to get English books. There is also another frustrating aspect if you are an international reader; small blogger events, no signings and no special editions! 😦

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  23. This post is so great, May! It really makes me think, which is 100% my favorite part of amazing blog posts. Sometimes, I don’t think I’m THAT privileged but I need to take a step back and just look at the bigger picture.
    Ahem, so yeah, I definitely have some privilege. I’m based in the US, I’m an adult and I’m practically in the majority. I think sometimes it’s easy to compare yourself to everyone around you, and think you’re not privileged. I look around and I attend a private school and everyone feels so much more privileged than me. Stable homes, parents paying for their school, & mostly non-LGBTQ+
    But your post made me really think of people outside my little bubble. And while I know I have a better life than most people, I don’t often really think about that. And how that impacts the blogging world.
    I think richer v poorer is such a sad comparison. I work really hard, sometimes 3 jobs at a time. I don’t buy new clothes, or a nice car, or cool things. I do buy books. But that means I can’t afford to go out to eat or movies, and things like that. So I’m not rich but I do work to afford a few books. Also, I can have a credit card 😂

    I think we should be honest about privilege in the community and work to include marginalized people. Send ARCs to own voices readers. That’s a huge thing publishers can work on.

    Also, I hope your mental health continues to feel better! I find school schedules keep me focused and helps my mind stay a bit more sound – so I totally get what you mean. Sometimes, the worst days for me are when I don’t have much homework or nothing to do all weekend. That’s when I have to let myself breathe and drink water and stay semi-alert for panic & depression.
    Love! 💕💕💕

    (This comment is insanely long???? Kind of sorry)

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  24. That’s such a great, well-written post!! 💕 It’s definitely very needed, because a lot of privilege exists in the bookish community. I really liked that you talked about different kinds of privilege, because we might be privileged in one aspect but not in another. I definitely have privilege of my own that makes access to books and general life easier, but on the other side I have a hard time gaining access to other things (arcs, events etc.) as an international Reviewer.

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  25. I’m happy to hear your doing better when it comes to your mental health May! ❤️ Don’t worry about replying to comments and such, just take care of yourself okay? ❤️

    Also I love this post – it’s really well-written and I agree with you on all your points. It frustrates me so much to see soooo many ARCs go to big non-marginalised influencers. Like can’t they set a maximum of how many arcs go to the big name non-marginalised people and then make sure the rest go to people who are actually represented in the book? I wish Netgalley would let you tell the publisher that you’re interested in the book because it represents you too. Like they want to know WHY you’re requesting it and it’s so… shallow? Like yeah I’m requesting this book because the summary mentions rep that’s important to me, but the publisher won’t know THAT’s why I’m requesting it.

    My library suuuucks. Like the biggest branch in the city barely has any YA books, let alone English ones, let alone ones I’m actually interested in, and then I have to pay a yearly fee afbshd no thanks

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  26. This was so interesting, great post! Some of these I have thought about before, and others I hadn’t at all.

    As a UK blogger, I have found myself frustrated with America getting so many amazing ARCs, but then I compare it to other areas like Australia that get even less than that and it makes me feel so sad. PEOPLE FROM OTHER COUNTRIES LIKE TO EAT LOTS OF BOOKS TOO, OKAY. As you say, its especially hard when you see bloggers receiving ARCs they haven’t even asked for and may not even read when you’re living in a country where they are so limited.

    The “majority” vs. the marginalized is a very interesting one that I hadn’t considered from the reviewers perspective and is an excellent point. Adult vs teen is a very interesting one for me as well. When I started blogging I was very much in the teen bracket, but I’ve been blogging 6 years and would be considered an adult reading YA now (not that I feel like one!!!) I’m still trying to work out where I sit with that myself having grown up within this community.

    In an ideal world we would look to have all of these things, but unfortunately, like every other industry books are a business, and a business with more limited funds than others (such as the beauty industry), and they’re going to go where its a) the most financially sensible (not shipping books far afield) and b) where they think they will get the biggest audience. Sad but true. Having said that, in 6 years of blogging I’ve seen a lot of changes happening in terms of publisher-blogger relationships. I really hope these will continue to evolve to become more inclusive!

    Thanks for a thought-provoking blog post! 🙂

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  27. Yes May!! As an international blogger and long-time reader – this speaks to my soul. No hate to all you US/more privileged readers, I’m so done with how the book community (especially companies such as Netgalley and publishers) are treated the less privileged readers. I completely agree with everything you just said, and you did in a such a respectful and eloquent manner. Hats off to you.

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