Discussing Blogger Appreciation and the Lack of It: Analyzing Answers, Stats, and Graphs From a Survey I Made!

Hi and welcome back to May rants: blogger appreciation edition!

I’m SUPER excited for this post, because it’s something I’m passionate about, and I spent a lot of time gathering information in order to write it. It’s also something I think isn’t talked enough about often, but has been discussed more recently!

I’m hoping that this discussion will be somewhat thought-provoking. I made a survey that I invited book bloggers, readers, and authors to take. I’ll be taking data from the survey itself and hopefully it’ll help people see how I and many others believe bloggers are underappreciated and DESERVE more appreciation!

Before I get started though, I want to first say a huge thank you to everyone who participated in the survey. I’m blown away by how many responses I got (a total of 143!). It really helped me make this post, and I had fun seeing the stats, like the nerd I am.

I really hope you guys find this post interesting, and I’m warning you in advance that it will be LONG!! As in, 3,000 words long!!!

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THE SURVEY

The basic info you need to know is that there were sets of questions for bloggers and readers, and those questions (and answers!) are the ones I’ll be talking about. If you want to know more, click here!

The survey was divided into three sections: bloggers, readers (everyone who wasn’t a blogger), and authors. Bloggers were asked questions about things that would show how much time, work, and effort is put into blogging, and show their perspective on how much they thought they were appreciated.

The reader section was similar to the blogger section, except it asked them from their perspective as a reader how much they thought bloggers were appreciated, and also asked about the influence of book bloggers on their reading. This shows the perspectives of readers versus bloggers, and also how much bloggers affect books and their reach.

And the author section is irrelevant since I won’t be talking about it in this post since barely any responded. Which I expected! And it’s okay!!

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BLOGGERS & TIME

how much time does it take you to write a post on average? (122 responses)

how much time does it take to you to write a book review on average? (121 responses)

As you can see, most blog posts seem to take around 2 hours to write, from the 100+ people who answered this question. Book reviews also take about 2 hours to write as well. 2 hours may not seem like a lot at first, but that’s without the context:

how many times do you post a month on average? (122)

how many books do you review? (122)

many of the “other” responses for this question were a variation of “most books I read” (because I forgot to include that) and “it depends”

how much time do you spend reading a week on average? (121)

To analyze all of these stats together, it takes about half of bloggers 2 hours to write a blog post. The majority of bloggers post about 5 to 9 times a month. That means it can range from spending 10 to 18 hours a month just writing a blog post for a lot of bloggers.

This is put into more perspective when considering reviews. Half of bloggers said that it takes about them 2 hours to write a review. A majority of readers review every book they read. I didn’t ask how many books they read each month on average (which would have been smart of me), but I’d say that based on just my personal observations in the past, it might be around 10-13 as an average. This amounts to 20 to 26 hours reviewing a month.

On top of all this blog post writing and review writing, you have actual reading, because a lot of the time, blog content relies on book bloggers reading books, and book reviews most definitely require books to be read. 60% of the bloggers in this survey reported that 9+ hours a week are spent reading books, amounting to 36+ hours a month.

Totaled? This is about 66 to 80 hours a month spent on blog post writing, reviewing, and reading. That. is. a. LOT.

Yes, I know that the “majority” is more like “half”, or not even half, but the point isn’t to get the math right, but to show how much time bloggers spend doing blogging-related things! Most bloggers WILL spend a lot of time, and I wanted to make that known. I am not a professional data interpreter okay!!

how much time do you spend interacting with other bloggers per day on average? (121)

how much time do you spend interacting with the book community on other platforms per day on average?

do you have other commitments that take up most of your day? (ex: school, work) if so, does it affect your blogging? (122)

is there anything else that affects your blogging? (ex: physical/mental health issues)

most responses to this talked about health issues, such as anxiety, depression, chronic pain, etc. other responses include things such as having to take care of a child, lack of motivation/inspiration, access to books/computer, lack of income, etc.

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I won’t be discussing much about the above stats, because it’s pretty self-explanatory, but I just wanted to point out that even if it doesn’t seem like it, interaction is SO important to blogging, and in order to be successful and grow, you have to talk to other bloggers! This takes up a lot of time and is often quite draining.

And of course, bloggers also have many other commitments outside of blogging, and 96% of those with commitments report that they affect their blogging. There’s an expectation of book bloggers to promote books, which takes a lot of work AND needs to be balanced with other commitments, and in the end, many don’t even appreciate bloggers for what they asked them to do.

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BLOGGERS & APPRECIATION

how many books (on estimate) do you think you’ve recommended / promoted / supported in the past 12 months? (122)

This question was to show just how many books bloggers promote and boost in a year, because many people don’t know how much bloggers do. The majority of bloggers who answered this survey boosted over 41 books the past 12 months, which is incredible!

It doesn’t seem like that much on its own, but if I take the average from each category (5, 18, 33, 41), multiply them by the number of bloggers for one, and add them up, you would get a total of 3,429 books. That is TRULY amazing. (I mean, there are probably books that many people promote, not just one, but you get the idea.)

(Also my calculator wouldn’t let me do parentheses momentarily and I ended up getting like 4,000,000 and I was genuinely Terrified for a second.)

do you feel like you and/or your work is appreciated by other bloggers? (122)

do you feel like you and/or your work is appreciated by YA readers who are active online? (122)

do you feel like you and/or your work is appreciated by authors/publishers? (122)

I think the break-down of this is super interesting. It seems like pretty much over a third of bloggers consistently have no strong feelings about how much others appreciate them/their work. The answers that lean more strongly towards yes or no vary per group of people, though, which I think is telling.

From the perspective of a blogger, I personally feel like me and my work are appreciated by other bloggers. (I think that as bloggers we all know how much work it takes and are able to appreciate others for it!) My own opinion seems to be backed up by almost half the participating bloggers.

As for how much YA readers in the online book community appreciate bloggers, the yes’s go down and the no’s go up (just barely!). I don’t have any particular analysis for this but if I guessed, I’d say it’s because there are readers who don’t know about how much work bloggers do, but there are quite a few whose reading habits are influenced by bloggers!

And finally, there are the authors and publishers. We see a big increase in no’s; it almost doubles. Many people seem to think that publishers view bloggers as expendable or just people to use, and I sadly agree. And in a recent Twitter discussion, some authors showed how little they cared about bloggers and their work (even though, you know, I’ve seen bloggers promote their work ALL the time).

do you feel like physical review copies are enough compensation for your work? (120)

do you feel like digital review copies are enough compensation for your work?

Compensation is a topic that I think goes hand in hand with appreciation. Because if you appreciate bloggers and their work, would you continue to let them labor for “free” or compensate them? I’ve talked this a bit before, but compensation is an extremely tricky issue to handle, especially with book reviewing, so I’ll just leave these stats here to speak for themselves!

Also, some food for thought: I personally think that it’s a lot easier to get compensated on Youtube (monetization) or Instagram (ads, sponsorships), but blogging? A lot harder. Just a little something to think about!

would you like to or do you think you deserve to receive MORE appreciation and/or compensation for your work? (120)

And the last question: do the bloggers who filled this survey out believe they deserve more appreciation and/or compensation? Almost 96% of participating bloggers said they wanted to receive more appreciation, with about 55% of those 96% wanting more compensation as well.

The amount of bloggers wanting more appreciation is overwhelmingly high, as a group of influencers that should already be appreciated (at least to the point where at least half bloggers don’t think they deserve more), and that makes me really really sad!

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READERS & BLOGGER INFLUENCE

have you ever added books to your TBR / checked out books from your library / bought books, because of a blogger? (130)

if you said yes above, how many books (on estimate) have you added to your TBR / checked out from your library / bought, because of a blogger, in the last 12 months? (129)

have you ever read a book directly because of a blogger? (130)

if you said yes above, how many books (on estimate) have you read directly because of a blogger, in the last 12 months? (128)

Okay, first of all, I need to mention how much it bothers me that the last graph is ALMOST a peace sign but not quite there!!

Second of all, and less more importantly, look at how much bloggers influence reading!!! Out of the 130 readers who answered this, 129 have become interested in / actually bought or borrowed books because of book bloggers, and 127 of them have read a book DIRECTLY because of a book blogger.

That’s such a high fraction! Look at the influence bloggers have!! That’s AMAZING!!! I don’t want to hear any more of this “bloggers have no impact” nonsense!!!!

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READERS & VIEWS ON BLOGGER APPRECIATION

do you appreciate bloggers and/or their work? (130)

not to vague anyone or anything… but I’d hate to be the 2 people having “no strong feelings” about appreciating bloggers on a survey about, you know, appreciating bloggers

do you feel like the majority of YA readers who are active online appreciate bloggers and/or their work? (130)

do you feel like authors/publishers appreciate bloggers and/or their work? (130)

We see that same increase of “no”s when it comes to authors and publishers, except it’s a MUCH higher increase. A lot of people seem to think that publishers (more than authors) don’t show bloggers enough appreciation, and I personally agree! These stats don’t show the reasoning behind why people think this, though, but the next part does:

why do you think people might not appreciate bloggers as much?

I got so many interesting responses for this question!! I wish I could share them all since they were all so insightful, but I’m only going to discuss the most common answers I saw, and also a few that stuck out to me.

(There were also a few responses that made me a little frustrated, but I’ll hold off from commenting on them.)

Common answers I got were along the lines of:

  • People are unaware of how much time/effort/work bloggers put into their blog »» This is very true, and that’s why I wanted to have questions for bloggers asking them about the amount of work they do and how long it takes!
  • People write off blogging as “just a hobby” or a waste of time »» Also very true, and it’s quite weird how it’s “just a hobby” and yet publishers seem just fine using bloggers for promotional blog tours and reviews!!!
  • Publishing views bloggers as expendable and dispensable, and they are often “used” »» This definitely goes in line with what I said before and I totally, 100% agree.
  • Blogging is a less popular platform even though others take the same amount of work »» This is exactly what I think! Bookstagram, booktube—those are amazing platforms (and I’m part of one of them!). But it’s DEFINITELY evident that they’re more popular than blogging, and this can’t really be “blamed” on anyone, but it’s disheartening for sure.
  • Bloggers are lumped in with the bad apples »» This is so true and sparked the whole discussion on Twitter! Some bloggers may do bad things, but the rest of them should NOT suffer for those select few’s actions! (And like, there are lot more people than just bloggers who do bad things, too.)

Here are just a few specific responses that I really want to discuss!

berry 2 “Honestly, I think we are appreciated. I think we all do this because it’s something we ENJOY doing and I think if people are expecting or thinking they deserve compensation outside of ARC copies then they’re not blogging for the right reasons.”

I… really don’t agree with this. I respect this person’s views, but I just want to bring up some things! First of all: Just because we enjoy doing something doesn’t mean we can’t want to be more appreciated for it? Like I love doing dance, but I feel like a lot of people  underestimate it and wish it was more appreciated!

And second of all, why is it a bad thing that people think they should get compensation for doing something they love? I mean, I would love to be paid to solely read books. Does that mean I’m reading books for the wrong reason? No, I’m just reading because I love to! And if I can get paid for it, even better!

(Plus, blogging is a lot of work, and being compensated would be like a token of appreciation!)

berry 2 “idk i think they rarely interact w bloggers. it’s mostly bloggers supporting bloggers”

I wanted to highlight this response because I think it’s extremely relevant! It’s very true that most bloggers are supported by only bloggers, and not really anyone else. And it’s strange to me, since anyone can read this blog post, just like anyone can watch a booktuber’s video. But things like this are really hard to fix or change!

berry 2 “publishing can kinda suck and it’s easy to take advantage of bloggers”

berry 2  “[…] bloggers, booktubers etc. being numbers rather than human beings in publishers’ eyes”

I really love these two answers. It’s definitely really easy to take advantage of bloggers and let them do a lot of labor without giving much support back. And the numbers vs. human beings thing is SO big, in my opinion. Stats are pretty much everything publishers care about, especially when it comes to review copies, which are pretty much the only existing form of compensation for bloggers.

do you feel like bloggers are properly compensated for their work? (130) 

The results of this question is so interesting to me! It wasn’t the exact same question as the questions in the blogger set, about physical ARCs versus eARCs, but I do think that regardless, non-bloggers seem to believe that bloggers aren’t compensated enough, more than the bloggers themselves believe!

do you feel like bloggers should receive MORE appreciation and/or compensation for their work? (127)

I think it’s really interesting how this is the same question from the blogger set of questions, however, the percentage of “yes to both” jumped! (Of course, anyone was allowed to answer the reader set of questions, and I know many bloggers answered both the blogger and reader questions, so a part of them are included.)

But still, from 52.5% being “yes to both” in the blogger section, to 69.3% being “yes to both” in the reader section, that’s a large jump! And it goes along with the compensation question in this section—non-bloggers seem to think bloggers deserve compensation more than the bloggers themselves do.

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BONUS: READERS & UNDERPRIVILEGED BLOGGER APPRECIATION

looking back, I probably shouldn’t have included this bonus section because it added about 400 more words to the post. but it’s too late because I like what I wrote and think it’s important!!!

do you feel like marginalized bloggers’ work is less appreciated than non-marginalized bloggers’ work? (127)

similar question as above; do you feel like IPOC bloggers’ work is less appreciated than non-IPOC bloggers’ work? (126)

similar question as above; do you feel like teen (13-18) bloggers’ work is less appreciated than adult (19+) bloggers’ work? (127)

I personally believe that marginalized, IPOC, and teen bloggers are less privileged than non-marginalized, non-IPOC, and adult bloggers. And it’s quite something to see that there’s a larger fraction of the privileged versus a smaller fraction of the less privileged, saying the less privileged are appreciated.

Okay, that was worded kind of (A LOT) weirdly, so here’s an example! Of the bloggers that answered the question about IPOC, about 70% were non-IPOC, while 30% were IPOC. (By the way… that’s Yikes.) Of the 70% non-IPOC, 26% said that IPOC are not less appreciated. Of the 30% IPOC, 11% said that IPOC are not less appreciated.

It’s difficult for me to word what I’m trying to say. But there are more non-IPOC answering this question. And there’s a higher fraction that think that IPOC bloggers aren’t less appreciated. It reflects the same general sentiment of more white people than IPOC thinking that racism doesn’t exist today. And that makes me really sad(Note that I’m NOT equating racism to “less appreciation”, though.)

* Some people mentioned that they weren’t familiar enough to bloggers to see if any group was less appreciated. That’s fair enough, which is why I’m mentioning it.

** I’d also like to note that someone brought up international bloggers, and I want to bring them up as well! I TRULY don’t know why I didn’t include them since I was looking at underprivileged bloggers. And I was also debating adding other marginalized people as well, such as queer bloggers, but for some reason I didn’t? My brain is weird! However, in hindsight I realize I should have included them in this, and I apologize!

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CLOSING THOUGHTS

First of all: I am EXHAUSTED after writing this post. It probably took me 6 hours total, and even more setting up the survey (ironic considering the topic). But second of all: I truly hope that this post was able to open your eyes to certain things, or convince you even more that bloggers deserve appreciation. I think it’s important to discuss, and while it was draining, writing this post was worth it.

I don’t know, maybe this was sad for you to read! Maybe it was fun. Maybe it was frustrating. But I think we could all end on a little positivity:

just for fun, name a book you read / became interested in because of a blogger (or a few)! name the blogger as well if you can!!

I had so many responses for this question, a lot more than I expected! And because I want people to see that their recs are being taken to heart, I’m running a thread on all the books and bloggers that were mentioned. You can find it here!


shall we chat

did you read this whole post?? (I would be genuinely surprised if you did tbh) what are your thoughts on blogger appreciation? do YOU think we deserve more appreciation? compensation? did you like the graphs as much as I did???

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66 thoughts on “Discussing Blogger Appreciation and the Lack of It: Analyzing Answers, Stats, and Graphs From a Survey I Made!

  1. basically every YA book I read is because of bloggers. You, Olivia @ Purely Olivia, Lu @ Lu Reads, Ju @ Paper Blots, Cait @ Paper Fury, and so many more! I truly appreciate all of you and the work we do… is hard. I just finished writing a post that took me a few days. The comment about us having a harder, less known platform is very true as well. PLUS please never feel you have to spend that long on a post just for us, although I fall prey to this as well. As always, lovely post May xxx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aw, Rhiana! I’m sure so many of the bloggers you mentioned (myself included) would be so happy to hear that we’re able to inspire you to pick up books. And yes, the work bloggers do is terribly exhausting, but because of comments like yours, it truly makes it all worth it! I hope you never feel like you have to put a huge amount of effort into posts as well ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I read the whole thing and sO APPRECIATE ALL THE WORK THAT WENT IN. Like I do those pie stat/graphs just for end of year reading and they’re fiddling and can get frustrating and you did so so many of them here so *sends you chocolate* you deserve it woah you go💛💛

    anyway it was really interesting to read this and get more perspectives 👀I do feel like bloggers are kind of being written off these days as “bad apples” due to those handful of bloggers behaving super badly at cons and stuff. It sucks that it’s tainted it for everyone. But with the “publishers just view us as numbers thing”…I want to also say that publicists are really swamped and probably deal with SO many names/bloggers/urls every day (not to mention NG requests and dealing with their actual authors etc too) that it would be really hard for them to know us all by name?! I also have heard publicists are under appreciated too so afjkdslad yeah that’s worth thinking about. But I do love how the book community supports bloggers and we’ve really got each other’s backs so that’s epic (well lol sob except for sometimes like when twitter schisms). I do wish bloggers could get paid. All these hours. Like if we could get paid for views or something, like booktube, that would be awesome. Being compensated doesn’t HAVE diminish our honesty.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Aahh CAIT!! Thank you so so much. And haha the pie graphs were a little easier since they were auto-generated by Google Forms, but the whole creation of the form took some time!!

      And yes I totally agree — it makes me super frustrated to see the way some publishing pros badmouth bloggers because of the few people who, for example, sell ARCs and things like that. I totally agree though — I hope my post didn’t come across as ungrateful to the work publicists do, because I know they’re super busy and have a lot of people and things to deal with! I just feel like many times the identity of the blogger isn’t taken into consideration when it’s important (such as with diverse books), and stats overtake that. But I do understand why that is — it’s just all very complicated haha!

      Oh I love the idea of being paid for views! That way people wouldn’t worry so much about being paid for reviews and therefore the possibility of dishonesty (even though some booktubers get paid that way but there doesn’t seem to be much hesitancy about that)

      Like

  3. I always show the love when someone influences me to add a book to my TBR or when I read one because of a blogger. The post I commented on before this one was letting someone know I added a book to my list because of their post.

    Shame everyone doesn’t do this.

    To me, blogging is an enjoyable thing and I like knowing that my words have made someone curious about a certain title. Full payment is literally being told that, in my eyes.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love to let people know I’ve added books to my TBR because of them as well! (Though sometimes I see that friends have added books to their to-read shelf on Goodreads and then I just go and add it without telling them haha). And I see where you’re coming from! I personally would love to get money for my work, but the kindness of others in this community is enough payment for me as well ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I read (almost) the whole thing, May!

    My biggest problem with the recognition (or lack thereof) that bloggers get is that the booktube people can get paid very easily for their work, even if their videos don’t really mean anything. But some bloggers (you, for example) write long, original, and intricate posts about relevant things, yet most bloggers who do that don’t get paid anything! That makes me a little sad. It’s so much harder for bloggers to get compensated, even though they sometimes could be doing more work than the other parts of the book community.

    Blogging is enjoyable as a hobby, but it would be nice if the blogging community were more appreciated!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aw, thank you so much, Xandra, that’s so sweet of you! I definitely think that the kind of booktubers who get paid for pretty much all their videos regardless of “meaning” are the booktubers who are super popular and worked hard to get there? But I definitely get what you mean; I think that there’s the same work being put into doing the same thing — talking about books! promoting books! — and some are being compensated and some aren’t, and it makes me sad 😦

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  5. This is such an incredible post! Thank you for taking the time to compile all these answers. I know it couldn’t have been easy.

    The charts on the time bloggers spend didn’t surprise me at all. I know how much time I spend reading books and revieweing them. Posts that do really well like book lists take up EVEN MORE time. And like you said, we have to interact with other bloggers to grow our blog.

    The ones on blogger appreciation surprised me quite a bit. I expected to see more bloggers asking for compensation for their work. It’s really sad that book bloggers have the mentality that a paid-for post would be dishonest. Many authors and publishers think like this but I didn’t expect bloggers to think like this too. Why do we distrust ourselves so much? Bloggers in every other niche get paid for their work except book bloggers. And it seems book bloggers that should fight for compensation don’t want to. It’s really disheartening.

    The charts for IPOC were not surprising at all. Privileged people tend to think like everyone else is privileged. I would have loved to see a chart for international bloggers but what you have done is amazing already. Thanks May! 💗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Aahh Taiwo, thank you so so much! ❤ And yes, same! Honestly I almost expected more time to be spent on blogging-related things, which is sad considering how much time was already reported to be spent!

      And yes, I so agree! It's really sad that some bloggers don't even think they deserve compensation for their work when they work so so hard! It might be a self-esteem reason, or for some (since I saw this come up a few times in the survey), they already feel like they're getting enough from what they already have that they don't want any more!

      Ah I 100% promise that if there's a next time for another survey like this, you will see intl bloggers included! ❤

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  6. Aaah I love this post so much!! I truly admire and appreciate all the work and time you put into this as well!!! ❤️❤️ I’ve always felt bloggers are under appreciated. So many bloggers have outside commitments, and balancing life, reading, reviewing and blogging is just so impressive and they deserve all the appreciation!! I do think bloggers understand and appreciate each other more, and I think a lot of the under-appreciation stems from a lot of people not realizing how much time blogging really takes. it was so interesting to see that translated into actual stats! Compensation is so much harder on book blogs I think! Specifically monetary compensation, like you said booktubers and bookstagrammers have more avenues more readily available to them for sponsorships, ads and such? Which really sucks for the book bloggers who put a ton of effort and thought into their posts and don’t get as much in return. It’s also incredibly sad (but unsurprising :/) to see how more of the privileged didn’t consider non-privileged bloggers to be less appreciated ahh. This was an amazing post May!! ❤️❤️

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    1. Aw, Aline, thank you so much! So glad you loved the post ❤ Yes, I agree with you completely! I feel like often the only people outright showing bloggers appreciation are other bloggers themselves, and I feel like that AND the reason bloggers are underappreciated can be tied to just not knowing how much work bloggers put into it all.

      And yes, definitely! We all do the same work, just through different means, and it's unfair that some get compensated while others don't. Thank you so much again!! ❤

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  7. As a new blogger I love this time breakdown. When I look for resources on how to write reviews so many people say it makes them under 30 minutes while it takes me two hours. I’m average!

    I think if you (or someone else) were to do another survey it would be interesting to consider the blogger’s native language. I started reading in English because only to most popular books get translated and that’s usually books that don’t rock the boat too much (yeah for progress, it’s getting better) and it was almost impossible to access diverse books otherwise. This also affects blogging. I consider myself to be a fluent English speaker and I’ve done part of my education in English, but I still make a bunch of mistakes. Also, all the writing practice I had was academic and I don’t want my posts so read like essays.

    I assume that the readers who answered the survey are more familiar with book bloggers than the average reader or the average booktube watcher. It would be interesting to see how their response to the same question would compare.

    I read The Poppy Wars before I saw anyone on YT or GR talk about it because of bloggers. I think that bloggers and booktubers have a very different relationship with ARCs. I see way more constant support for pre-release title from bloggers than on youtube, but most of my backlist recommendations come from youtubers. So much stuff to look into! Thank you for doing this survey and amplifying this conversation.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ahh I’m glad you liked the time breakdown! It was a lot of fun for me to analyze haha.

      And ooh, that’s a great idea! Native languages are definitely important to consider, especially for those who have a harder time writing things in English but want their content to be read by more people. The time and effort non-native speakers is likely different from native speakers, so thank you so much for bringing that to my attention! ❤

      Ooh, that's super interesting — about the whole pre-release book hype from bloggers versus backlist book hype from booktube! I honestly don't watch too much booktube so I can't add to the conversation but thank you for your thoughts ❤

      Like

  8. I’ve been blogging for eight years now, and of course it’s a hobby and I do it because I like it. I wouldn’t have made it this far otherwise. That said, I wouldn’t mind compensation (who wouldn’t, really?), and the appreciation thing is more important than it might seem on the surface. Now, I don’t really need things like publishers tweeting “I love bloggers!” or authors including bloggers in the list of people they thank in the book. I actually just don’t want publishers and authors actively insulting bloggers (and then expecting free promotion from them) or directly asking bloggers for free promotion and then not respecting them or their time.

    I actually have a post scheduled for a couple weeks from now about why I rarely do blog tours and, frankly, it comes down to the publishers (big ones) not respecting my time or the work that goes into my blog. I had one blog tour where the author sent a “guest post” that was a five-bullet point list that was 40 words long. That’s shoddy work that disrespects my blog as a place that posts valuable content. I would never write such a post for my blog, and the author runs a blog of her own and certainly wouldn’t have written something with so little effort for her own. In another blog tour, the publisher sent me an e-ARC then asked for author interview questions within two days. Apparently I have nothing else scheduled in my life that would make this difficult. The publisher then sent the author interview back to me the day before it was to be posted, which again assumes I can drop everything and schedule the post immediately to be on time. They sent the blog tour banner to everyone three days after the blog tour had started. Sure, I’m not a professional, I’m not an employee. But If I’m not getting paid to do this, you cannot assume I am free at the drop of the hat to promote your books at your whim. THAT is really all I’m asking.

    I do tons of promotion free without compensation or appreciation, and in a way, that;s fine because I am choosing to do it; no one asked me to. But if they DO ask me by sending an ARC or asking me to do a blog tour or whatever, I do want to be respected, and I think a lot of publishers and authors fall a bit short here.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I also want to add, for bloggers serious about compensation, that I saw a marketing employee from a publisher tweeting about this and it basically came down to: If you want to be paid for promoting books, you have to ask.

    There were some more details like doing the paperwork to make your blog a small business (or whatever the official legal term is) and putting a list of your rates somewhere on your blog so you can refer to them. But if you want to be paid, you have to ASK the publisher to be paid because they are not going to volunteer money when apparently you are willing to do the work for free. (And he notes they may not like your rates or may not want to pay at all if they think they can get a blog with an equally large audience to do it free, but you will not find out unless you ask them to pay you.)

    Liked by 2 people

  10. So I’m just going to start by saying that it’s unacceptable that 40% of bloggers feel unappreciated and publishing needs to do better. We absolutely need to appreciate the work that bloggers put in.

    But when it comes to compensation, I think it’s trickier and can’t just be based on time investment. Because then from a business perspective, since we’re talking money, it’s reasonable to see why that might be tied up with statistics more than time and labour. I definitely feel that people should be paid for the impact they have on book buyers, but not necessarily the time they spent writing a blog post. And bloggers DO have an impact, I’ve heard some make decent money off affiliate links!

    I also remember bookstagrammers doing a big joint post about wanting to be paid, but I checked all their sites and no one had a good services page set up. So I think it’s fair to compensate book influencers but sometimes we need to put ourselves out there a little more!

    Just trying to extrapolate from what you’ve said so we can figure out how to move the community forwards in discussing reasonable compensation!

    P.S. idk why but your commenting system hates me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! It made me really sad to see the high percentage of bloggers who felt unappreciated, but also motivated me more to want to do something about it. And I definitely agree with your thoughts on compensation and appreciate your voice!! I honestly haven’t given too much thought about compensation because 1) it’s super tricky, and 2) not something I’m actively seeking out, but I definitely get why getting compensated for time and labor would be unreasonable!

      (and I’m so sorry about the commenting system thing!)

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  11. I think the compensation question is always interesting because I think we all (or most of us) started blogging with the understanding that a blog was a personal hobby that we weren’t going to be paid for. In fairness to publishers, they see that I, on my own initiative, set up a website where I write about books because I personally like to read books and to write about them. Why would they offer to pay me to do something they see I am doing anyway–especially if I don’t ask to be paid?

    I know we’re all book lovers and want to support authors and publishers and that is part of why we do what we do. But publishing houses are businesses, not our friends (and, honestly, most people’s friends try to use their professional skills without paying, too). When businesses see someone who is willing to do free marketing for them, they don’t typically offer to pay out of the goodness of their hearts.

    So, really, if if book bloggers want to be paid, I think we would have to collectively ask to be paid. Right now tons of people are more than happy to do free labor for publishers or to do marketing in exchange for ARCs. If book bloggers want actual money in exchange for doing reviews or blog tours, they would have to ask for it directly. More than that, we would have to do it together, because there’s no reason a publisher would pay me to write a review if someone with a comparable audience is going to do the same work free.

    And we would have to do this in our communications with publishers. We would have to actually say, “No, I’m not going to read and review your book unless you offer fair compensation” and then name a price. Otherwise, it’s easy enough for publishers to ignore the fact that book bloggers kind of feel like they ought to be offered compensation.

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  12. This was a fascinating post. I found it super interesting that it seems like most people feel that eARCs are not enough compensation for bloggers. I think I voted the same for that question when I did the survey, but honestly am still not sure why I feel that way? I think it depends on if I reach out to the publisher and they’re willing to send me some physical copies as well. Compensation for blogging is such a tricky issue though, because I think if bloggers were compensated, more attention and compensation would go to non-marginalized bloggers because of problems in our society in general, and it also seems like most of what gets views and the most follows are big accounts by white and other non-marginalized influencers. Compensation is just so tricky and on the one hand I’m kind of glad it’s a level playing field in that nobody is compensated, but I also wish there were other ways for bloggers to feel more appreciated by publishers and not feel used. This is all so complex and I think your post does a great job of highlighting so many issues.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. For me, I think it’s because an e-ARC isn’t really even a *thing* (especially if you get one of the ones that expire, and you don’t even have the digital copy). So basically they’re “paying” me with the opportunity to read the book before it’s official publication. It’s like trying to pay me with “exclusive early access.” And I don’t care about that. I’ll happily just read the book after it’s published and get it from the library, and I’m basically in the same place.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I agree with you! When I filled out the survey myself I think I also said that I don’t feel eARCs are enough compensation, but I don’t really know why I feel that way either haha. And I definitely agree — monetary compensation is such a tricky and touchy subject when it comes to how it relates to bloggers (and I don’t have more complex opinions on it since I’m not actively seeking it out!). And you’re so right! It’s very true that a majority of the more popular influencers/bloggers aren’t marginalized/white, so it’d definitely give those people an edge compared to the less popular marginalized/POC bloggers, and that’s 100% an issue. But thank you so much for leaving your thoughts here, I appreciate it! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad you found it interesting! And to answer your question honestly, I have no idea! I’m just one blogger of many, and not a super big one either, but I think that posts like these can open publishers’ eyes as to how much of an impact bloggers have!

      Liked by 1 person

  13. A lot of this post is definitely interesting. As a fairly new blogger, I don’t really expect any specific kind of appreciation (however you define that) or compensation. The fact that I’ve received any arcs at all digital or physical is still so crazy to me. I do this because I want to promote books, so as long as that’s what I’m doing I’m happy. All the rest is just a bonus.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, I definitely agree with that! I would love to get monetary compensation for my work, but I feel like what I have is enough compensation for me right now! I think I personally definitely want more appreciation/recognition from publishers, but that’s something that’s hard to attain and takes time to so I’m okay with where it’s at right now! But yes — I agree with you so much on wanting to promote books ❤

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  14. may, this was such an amazing post! the hard work that has gone into it is astounding, and i .. cant even.

    i truly think the book blogging community deserves so much appreciation and compensation than it currently receives, which makes me so sad right now.

    the book blogging community has rec’d me so many of my fav books (the hate u give, simon vs., six of crows, crazy rich asians, evelyn hugo, etc.) bloggers spend so much time on their content, and on top of that run multiple social media outlets (i have so much respect for those who have bookstagrams omg)

    blogging and the community have also helped me through lots of difficult periods in my life and i love you all ❤

    (also we love stats)

    i love this post and you, keep up the amazing work!! 💓💓

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, TAASIA, THANK YOU!!! Yes, I love this blogger community so much and it pains me so much to see some amazing bloggers not getting the appreciation they deserve!! And oh god, I have found so many favorite and also incredibly meaningful books because of bloggers and it’s so wild to think about where I would be without those books??

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I loved reading your post, May!! The stats don’t really surprise me, tbh. It’s not new that bloggers are underappreciated, and I can feel it in the publishing industry here in Portugal, where booktubers are more popular and therefore, more approached. And only the big blogging names are given attention to. I can get the idea it’s mostly like that anywhere in the world. It’d have been nice to see some stats about international and/or queer bloggers! Maybe if you do a similar post in the future 😛 And the first book that came to my mind was The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, that I read because of Fadwa @ Word Wonders 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so very late responding to this but thank you so so much, Marta!! And yeah, I definitely do thing booktubers are much more popular, and it’s not a problem that they are, just that it means a lot less recognition is given for bloggers. And yes, I definitely don’t know why I forgot to include intl/queer bloggers but if there’s a next time, they’re going to be included for sure ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  16. This post was absolutely phenomenal and offered crucial insight about what needs to be changed in the blogging community and publishing world. I think we need to make a better effort to promote and support bloggers, as they put an incredble amount of effort and passion into their work and deserve to be appreciated…I know from experience. I would not say that I don’t fell appreciated, I just have a small audience (under 100 followers). Only “big bloggers” make it into the publishing world where they are noticed by people other then themselves. Also, we love the statistics lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aahh, Katie, I know I’m replying super late but thank you so so much!! Bloggers definitely need to be more promoted and recognized, especially since so many of them work hard at what they do! I’m sorry you don’t feel appreciated enough ❤ I think it's understandable why attention is given to the big bloggers, but it still sucks massively ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I think bloggers shouldn’t go into reviewing for the sole purpose of compensation, but if it happens along the way, great! I think we definitely deserve more appreciation, especially teen bloggers like myself. But it sucks, because if you ever go online, it’s always popular bloggers who get the publisher’s eye. Publishers appreciate the blogging community, that I don’t doubt, but I don’t think they realize how vast it really is, as they’re only supporting the ones that skim the surface. Our of bloggers that publishers appreciate/compensate, it’s always way more towards the popular ones, like booktube and bookstagram with thousands upon thousands of followers, and almost always adults. When it comes to teens, the numbers go way down. And I don’t even want to know how marginalized teens are affected, because it’s got to be way worse. I just wish publishers and authors didn’t do things solely based on popularity and/or bias.
    I don’t even know where this is going anymore, but hopefully my point came across.
    Anyway, the last book I read was Sightwitch by Susan Dennard. 5 stars. Loved it.

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  18. This is an incredibly fascinating post and I applaud you for the time and personal effort you have put into it!

    For me the most interesting elements are the ones on how long it takes someone to write a post/ how often they post/ and how often they interact with other bloggers. It would be interesting to see if anyone feels that the time they put in is comparable to what they feel they get out i.e is there any correlation between time taken to write a post/ quantity of posting/ quality and quantity of blogger interaction and how many followers/ comments they have for instance.

    It’s also interesting to see the responses based on compensation because I do think that is a tricky one. A lot of people have gotten into blogging as a hobby but over time it seems that the hobby has become less of a hobby and more of a free marketing platform. If this is the case then what do authors/ publishers feel is deserved compensation? What do the bloggers themselves feel is appropriate compensation?

    I wonder if what bloggers get out of blogging is all about what the ultimate goal is. For instance what the compensation or outcome is if some are wanting to connect with publishers, if some are here for interaction, if some are using it as a starting place to market themselves/ their own future product.

    These are all just me spouting random thoughts, I’m not anticipating any answers! 😛

    This was such a brilliant post for you to have done and is incredibly thought provoking.

    Thank you for taking the time to do this.

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  19. I read this entire post and I commend you on writing both this and writing and going through all of the surveys! I have bought and read so many books due to other bloggers but off the top of my head I read Strange the Dreamer because of Joel from fictionalfates!

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  20. This is SUCH an amazing post, May! I can really tell you put so much work into it and it’s just really wonderful.💘

    I agree, the topic of compensation is just so hard. I just feel as if it should be easier for book bloggers to be compensated (like you said, it’s easier for youtubers, instagrammers, even lifestyle blogs due to sponserships!), because at the end of the day we are also influencers and should have a chance to be compensated for our work.

    I do love seeing how much other bloggers have influenced what people read! I get so many recs from the blogosphere and it’s just amazing to see that bloggers have made a true difference in the books people read. 🙂 Again, really great post!

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  21. AHHH MAY I LOVE THIS POST SO MUCH! Your hard work and dedication to the book blogging community is amazing and I can’t express how much I appreciate you dedicating your time to share these stats!! ❤️

    The amount of time and effort that bloggers put into their work, should truly be recognized more by the publishing industries. As you can see in the stats above, bloggers have a huge influence over who reads what books, and they greatly help promote new releases.

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  22. Wow, a whole lot of work went into this post, so thank you for that. It’s sad that so many bloggers (and especially POC bloggers) feel underappreciated. I went into blogging with zero expectations and I’ve gained SO MUCH through my blogging—not monetarily, but life experience and connections with other people. Because of this I’ve generally been content with the level of appreciation I get, even if it doesn’t come directly from publishers. But it’s always disheartening when you see controversy crop up on Twitter and people talking negatively about bloggers. We work a whole lot harder than people realize!!

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  23. Um, WOW to all of these charts! This is such a great post! I just saw a favorite author doing a survey on Facebook the other day wondering if anyone really looked at blogs anymore for book recommendations. It was a bit irritating, because I think we do. And I know I’m always reading and promoting, hoping that I am getting through to people. But even if I don’t always, I blog because I love talking about books and reading books. You put so much effort into this post, I think it totally shows how much work bloggers do. Thank you so much for doing all this research!

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  24. agree agree agree agree!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is a wonderfully detailed post May! thank you for putting in so much work! it’s super important to talk about privilege and undervaluing the work of bloggers in this community and as much as I wish it wasn’t a problem, these stats help prove that it is!

    Like

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