Monday, August 29, 2016

Discussion: Is book blogging falling out of trend?

Sometimes I have these ideas for larger discussions but just cannot fully flesh out all of my ideas. These ideas usually come to me on the spur of the moment and during either time spent in the shower or at 3 AM when sleep just seems like an utter impossibility. This is one of those times, and I have no doubt that in the comments there will be a brand new large discussion in itself.

Hahaha, okay so I'm sure the title of this discussion got a few raised eyebrows  but please hear me out and consider firstly my position in all of this. Recently I haven't been so active in the book blogging community at all (been quite the lurker really) and while I have my own personal reasons for this, I can't help but notice that in general the book blogging community seems to be getting noticeably less active as a whole. I've noticed a decline in comments on some of my other favorite blogger's blogs, and when chatting with a few they've admitted to a sharp decline in stats over a recent period of time. Furthermore I see a lot less interaction between blogs in general and unfortunately even a decrease in meaningful conversation between members on social media.

While I'm sure this can be attributed to many unique factors I cannot help but also notice the uprising in popularity when it comes to booktube and bookstagram. This has lead me to wonder.... has book blogging reached its expiration date? Does it have an expiration date? Are we nearing it or beginning to head towards it? Logically new trends and forms of media will always exist and continue to develop in our technological era that we live in. But are book blogs a way of the past now, the current roads of promotion for new releases being something more accessible for people on the go and through already popular apps?

I do definitely notice that many publishers and some authors are making using of instagram and such to promote new titles. It can certainly be a powerful marketing tool. As for the core member group of bibliophilies, I've seen some that have moved entirely from blogging to these new forms of media. Some seem to be doing so at a slower rate. I honestly am not involved in bookstagram or booktube, but from what little I've observed and more so what I've heard: they're both thriving and growing communities.

I do know it is quite sad (even for myself) to think of something that had such great importance to me as the book blogging community to be a trend. However it's difficult for me to deny that things certainly seem to be waning at the moment. Do you think this is just a lull in the community? Or do you think that this will just continue and other forms of media will rise? Do you think I'm crazy?

All pertinent questions.

10 comments :

  1. I actually agree Larissa. I'd like to think perhaps it has something do to with busy lives and not perhaps having the time to read lengthy reviews but sadly I think it has more to do with popularity. With a site like Instagram, it's all about appealing to people through an aesthetic. You can have an image posted that's liked by thousands, but how many actually stop to read the caption? Only a small fraction. Is Instagram like blogging, where we should take note of a persons reach by comments to indicate readers are interested, rather than just a 'like for like' type scenario? Booktube isn't something I'm personally interested in. I do respect those who use the platform as just the editing along can take up more time than writing up a blog post, but it's not something that appeals to me and I could count the amount of clips I've watched on one hand almost.

    I really hope we soon find a resurgence in book bloggers, because I find that overall, that's what keeps me buying books for myself. I want to hear about how books make us feel, what they're about and that's not something I can get by browsing Instagram or social media.

    Another incredible post Larissa and you're always on point <3 <3
    PS. I've missed you terribly!

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    1. Yes I'm glad I'm not alone in this. Lol I was like am I just throwing myself to the sharks by writing a book blogging discussion about how book blogging is fading? I agree with you that while real life certainly comes to play you cannot overlook the appeal of apps like instagram. You really do get the instant gratification with likes and it becomes much more about the visual style like you said. I also feel that with youtube/instagram/whatever you get a much larger promo reach (as you're using an already well known medium and girl don't underestimate the power of hashtags) which I feel appeals to the publishers.

      Thank you Kelly <33 Girl I miss you so much it's not even funny. I'll forever and always be #teamkelly and you're part of the reason why I keep returning to blogging despite my unofficial breaks haha.

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  2. Beautifully written post, I love how you manage to write about such controversial topics with respect and objectivity. I personally think that whether blogging is obsolete depends on who you're blogging for. Are you doing it to engage with other bloggers? Then it's definitely still going strong. Are you doing it to allow non-blogging readers to discover books they love? These readers might have started to turn to booktube or bookstagram as it's more immediately accessible from their own Instagram feed or YT subscription page. Are you doing it for publishers to notice you? Some large publishers have definitely shifted larger book promos to booktube in particular, because of the wider audience these big names have -but in Australia I think many books still get sent to bloggers, and many publishers still do not send it to bookstagram only accounts. Are you writing just for yourself? Then it'll never be obsolete. Sorry that probably made no sense hahaha.

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    1. Thank you Aentee. You do bring up several interesting points (:

      This is my personal view but I do feel the engagement with other bloggers has gone down though which is partially how they post came into existence. I've just seen a lot less blogger interaction on blogs specifically. For sure though there is no denying that non-bloggers gravitating to different media forms. And girl as for blogging for yourself I get, but for me personally I know I'd get frustrated talking to a blank wall all of the time eventually.

      I'm not trying to be negative even though this comment really makes me sound like it oops.

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  3. So... yeah, this is a thing, I think. But I also think it's probably cyclical, and will come back around. I think there's a few things that made this kind of a perfect storm. First, bookstagram has been picking up, no doubt about it. It's quick, and easy to get a bagillion likes if you have an eye for it (and all the pretty props, and like, lighting, I have no idea, I suck at it)- so it LOOKS, on the surface, as the more "popular" outlet which is why so many people flock to it.

    Add to that, it's summer for the majority of the community. So they're probably not spending as much time blogging OR on blogs. But it's easy to click the little heart. But the reality of Bookstagram? It can't replace blogging. I mean, it can in popularity, I suppose, but look, you're never going to get the content of a blog post in one picture/caption. You simply aren't. It has its purpose, and good for people who've been successful on it, and I hope it continues for them. But it isn't a substitute, IMO.

    Add to it that I think we are having a major community shift right now. I see older bloggers moving on, and we're probably in some kind of transitional phase. I hope. That is what I keep telling myself anyway. 😂

    As for BookTube, I have no idea what goes on over there. So maybe they're doing great, but it's like they're not on the same plane of existence that I am so... I am no help there bwahha.

    Also, if other book bloggers are anything like me, they're probably frustrated and discouraged and pissy like me. No? ;) LOVE this post, as always, Larissa!

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    1. I like your thinking of it being cyclical, I'd hope for something like that. Bookstagram is pretty much the one thing I've noticed and know the most about, it's definitely been picking up the pace. Lol don't worry Shannon, I suck at it too.

      For me (being the uni girl haha) summer should be the time of the year I have more free time to blog but apparently that is not the case lol. I don't deny that there certainly is that quick convenience factor of just clicking the red heart. I think you make a good point that while bookstagram may replace blogging in terms of popularity (and tbh I feel because of this it's gonna become publishers #1 promo/marketing tool, really you can see how much books are already benefiting from it) but you're correct that in my view that bookstagram won't be able to emulate the depth that blogging allows. I suppose the big question then becomes- does that matter? I want to personally scream yes to this but who knows what others may think.

      LOL booktube is big enough that I felt I had to include them in this post but if I'm honest I'm not that well involved in their community at all to really comment on it. All I know is that it is thriving.

      Hehe I feel you shannon [; Thank you darling!

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  4. Yes I agree with Shannon! (And also this post is gold and I've been looking forward to you posting here!)

    This happens most of the time during the summer, people just aren't as active when it comes to commenting back. Like even though I had all the time this summer, I was just LAZY haha. Though I did keep up with posting photos on instagram. It's hard to do that during the school year when I basically work from 9-5.

    I can see why bookstagram is so popular! And same with booktube. However, it is harder to have a huge following on there. And the followings between blogging and instagram/youtube can't compare (or I least I know it can't for bookstagram, I don't watch booktube at all because I have no time). For bookstagram you have to thousands upon thousands of followers before you're even considered popular. But for book blogging, I think if you have more than a thousand you're considered really good!

    Also I really have yet to see publishers send books over to bookstagrammers just because of their instagram account. Usually there's a blog on the side. And I think that overall is going to drive people back to blogging (being honest here haha).

    Also, what drives comments are reply back. I know I haven't had the time to check out new blogs. I probably would get more comments if I ventured out and commented on blogs that also commented back, but I haven't because I have no time TO comment back hence why some blogs aren't getting as many comments from me as they used to!

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    1. I agree with Shannon so I suppose I agree with you ;p and <33 love you val

      I do agree with commenting back (lol I'm always lazy with it though, even when it's not summer). Instagram certainly has the convenience factor going for it!

      Is it harder to have a following there? I honestly would have assumed the opposite, it just seems to me there's more users on it therefore more people likely to see your posts?? idk though. Good point though on how many followers you need to be considered popular.

      Lol you have a good point about ARCs would drive one person from one social media form to the other. Hahaha sad but true. Though I have seen some who do get books on there. Idk how widspread that is though.

      I do know about commenting back and think it defs helps with receiving more comments on your own blog. Though I think this is a widespread thing, everybody is receiving less comments (even those who comment back) which is actually another reason i wrote this post

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  5. Great discussion! I think book blogging has seen a decrease. Especially with the popularity of GoodReads, which has an already built in community and is often a quicker way for readers to share their reviews. When you're blogging it's a little harder to build up your readership and takes more work to keep your blog active. There's also the "like" feature perk, which offers instant gratification. While some blogs also have this feature, I think people are less likely to "like" a blog post than "like" something on GoodReads. I know that I sometimes even forget to check for that feature when visiting someone's blog.

    I also agree about Bookstagram's rising popularity. Publishers are striving to figure out how to capitalize on that and interact with that community. When I was at BEA several publishers had bookstagram stations where people could arrange a display with an ARC to post on their Instagram account. It also felt like mentioning you were a book blogger on the exhibit floor got you some side-eye.

    Despite this, I don't think book blogging will go away. I think that the community got a little over-saturated for a while and that we're seeing a decline in blogs starting up as these newer platforms gain popularity. It's not necessarily a bad thing or the death toll for book blogging. I think, if anything, book blogging will just become more of a niche thing (more so than it already is).

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  6. This is definitely an interesting discussion! While I have definitely had less comments on my blog as a whole, I think it's because I myself has had less time to blog and visit other bloggers blogs myself. I can't really correlate my busy and hectic life this year to the decline in blogging though. I think the correct answer would probably be that book blogging is changing, but I don't see it going anywhere. Booktube has been around for ages, bookstagram is a new medium but I still rely on blogs for reviews and recommendations. I can definitely see a difference in conversations on social media but I don't think it's a bad thing because we've had so many important topics discussed this year alone.

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