Discussion Post #1 |Are book blogs still relevant for book reviews?

discussion


You may be wondering why I’m even asking this question. It just started about a week ago when I came across a sign up form for a certain publisher’s ARC mailing list. There was a part in the form where it states that “you don’t need to have an official “blog” anymore to be a reviewer, but having social media presence definitely helps.” They then asked if I have accounts on certain social media platforms and my number of followers. Typical stuff publishers asks.
And that was when the question started to form in my head. Are book blogs still relevant for writing book reviews?
Honestly speaking this got me thinking hard if I’m still putting all my effort on the right platform. Sure, I talk about books on Twitter, I post Instagram photos of books I’m reading but, at the end of the day, I still put more effort when it comes to writing book reviews on my blog (which are also crossposted on Goodreads).
And what does “anymore” even mean? It appears to me that before, you have to have your own blog to be acknowledged as a reviewer by publishers, but now, that doesn’t seem to be the case.
I’m not generalizing and that just seem to be the preference of one or some publishers. But what do you think?
Maybe I just got a little confused when they used the word “anymore” which I took in a different way. Because if I don’t need to have a blog, where do they expect me to write my reviews for their books? Let’s say I really don’t have a blog but I’m on Twitter, do they expect me to write a review in 140 characters? Would that be enough as long as I have “social media presence”?
I guess things are really changing, and with the book community continuously growing bigger and bigger, it seems necessary to adjust to these changes. In all honesty, my greatest struggle is keeping up with my social media presence and that’s a huge part of blogging, we’re walking talking advertisements of the books we’re reviewing if you consider it. When I started blogging, I never really thought of these things cause I didn’t know about it. All I cared about was sharing my thoughts about the books I’m reading and that’s it. But today, I feel like I need to have people to actually listen to me and get them to read my review. Oh, the pressure. (I’m going a bit off-topic here, but I guess I found my next discussion post.)
So, going back to the main question, are book blogs still relevant?
I asked the question on Twitter and the results are below:
I can’t actually say the same for publishers but fellow book lovers who voted on the poll picked Goodreads as the most effective platform, and book blogs comes very close in second, followed by Instagram (Bookstagram) and Twitter respectively.
It was no surprise that Goodreads got the most votes for being the preferred platform for reading book reviews. That actually answers part of my question earlier, if I don’t have a blog, I can always post my reviews on Goodreads. But does it make personal book blogs irrelevant then?
I think otherwise.
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14 thoughts on “Discussion Post #1 |Are book blogs still relevant for book reviews?

  1. This ha been bugging me for the longest time now and thank you for writing this post Bea. I think since the book community has been flourishing all throughout different social media platforms users(readers) always has their preferences to where they would want to read reviews. But I personally love reading reviews through blogs, I do get that some publishers say that you don’t have to have a blog to be considered as part of their mailing list since bookstagram has been mainstream and you can post “pretty” photos I think it’s one of the leading platforms publishers consider and having a huge following is definitely a must!

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  2. I am also seeing this shift towards social media reviews particularly, bookstagram. Social media is a great tool for gaining audience but I think blogging will remain relevant. Personally, I prefer reading and relying on reviews from book bloggers that I look up to or whose reading tastes are the same as mine rather than relying on the reviews of the general public in Goodreads. As for the trend in bookstagramming all I can say is that ultimately, we want more than pretty book photos, right? We want lists of feels. We want shouty caps. We need to express bookish thoughts in words. So, book blogging, FTW!

    Also, I suck in social media. 😦

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  3. This is an interesting and wonderful post, Bea! Book blogs are still relevant. I trust reading reviews through the blog and Goodreads. In my case, I cross post on Goodreads first before my blog because it’s more accessible to majority of readers and most of them are active. Instagram is a great platform too but you have to be consistent in posting photos which takes a lot of effort. If I will choose one social media to share reviews, Goodreads is my number 1 choice.

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    1. Thank you, Bea! No doubt about goodreads for sharing reviews since it’s an established site for readers. I mean it’s gonna be there as long as people are reading books. Even if blogs become “extinct” (I hope not!), I believe Goodreads will still be there. As for bookstagrams and other social media sites, I totally agree with consistency which takes a lot of effort. So it’s still gonna be blogs and Goodreads for me. 🙂

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  4. This is such a wonderful post, Bea, thank you for writing it. I have been asking myself the very same question for a little while now – I feel like social media presence, being…loud, for a lack of better word coming right now, on twitter and instagram, is so, so important, sometimes even more than the blog platform? Just a feeling. I really love reading reviews through blogs, even if sometimes I tend to read them on Goodreads just as well, blogs are always the first platform I turn to to read book reviews. Maybe with the community growing and changing, publishers are looking into social media a lot more. Great discussion! 🙂

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  5. I’d say I’m split between book blogs and Goodreads as far as finding reviews–but I use them for different reasons! If I’m looking at reviews on Goodreads, it’s because I’m interested in reading a book and want to see what people think of it. But book blogs are really what help me to discover new books, from there maybe I’ll go to Goodreads to see what others think, but more often than not I trust the opinion of the bloggers I follow and I’ll add a book to my TBR based on their reviews alone!

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  6. What a great post 🙂 before I started my book blog, I used goodreads to read reviews most of the time and then slowly but surely discovered book blogs and bloggers and started reading reviews on there. But I never really written any reviews before I started my blog.

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  7. The problem with goodreads is that only those who know about goodreads can see your review. Those who actually go to the site and read about a book and its reviews. When I didn’t know about the book blogging community, I would usually rely on reviews from amazon. It’s probably why Tor asked about amazon reviews (and ranking) as well. Goodreads isn’t enough. It has to get out there for the public to easily find/see.

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  8. I usually read reviews on Goodreads now, but before I ever heard about the platform, I used to look up reviews on blogs (google was a good friend 😛 ). Now, I guess people mostly care about Instagram and Youtube. Book blogs are not as important, but for people who prefer to write their thoughts instead of talking, they’re essential. Great post! 😀

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  9. Honestly, I don’t use Goodreads half as much as I used to. It used to be my go-to place for reviews, but not I use it to just shelve books. More and more I’ve seen conversations about how Goodreads reviews are not always honest and ratings are inflated, etc. I’ve started noticing this myself, once it was brought to my attention. Book blogs have become my #1 source for reading book reviews, mostly because I stick to a solid group of bloggers who I trust and have the same taste as me. I’m guessing general consumers lean more toward Goodreads and Instagram for reviews, but I’m still quite iffy about them…

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