5 things I’ve learnt from 12 months in the Book Blogging community

Hi everyone,

I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the past 12 months since discovering some little sub-groups within the book blogging community.

I had no idea exactly how many book bloggers there were, or that blogging was such a big thing (I feel so old and out of touch saying this!) but I was pleasantly surprised at how many of us there are world-wide. There are two groups in particular that I’ve been a part of quite actively over the past year (although not as active as other members), both of which have Discord chats where we can chat, share posts/reviews, ask each other for help etc and just generally interact.

My first feeling when I discovered these groups was “O wow! I’m finally going to make some friends that really get my love of books and I’ll we’ll end up lifelong friends!” Naïve of me, yes, I know.

Not only do I suck at social interactions normally, but when I’m not faced with talking to people face to face, I often forget to reach out and chat. Meeting people in these online groups obviously was never going to be easy for me.

In that time, I’ve learnt a few things and I wanted to share 5 of these with you, in no particular order of importance, just what came to my head first.

  1. I’m against bullying, discrimination etc like I think the vast majority of the world is. However, I’ve noticed some differences between my laid back Aussie view and those of some people in other countries. In some cases I even felt attacked for asking for the other sides point of view or suggesting that maybe someone was taking something a little bit too seriously. I mean, what has the world come to if you can’t even crack a joke?
  2. There’s a vast range of experience with blogging from those who are yet to start and those who have been doing it for years. Naturally everyone is going to have different levels of knowledge, experience etc and we all have different paces of learning. I’ve found that although some people are incredibly patient, others aren’t so much.
  3. There are so many tour organisers out there that work with authors to find bloggers, distribute books and create artwork etc. I’ve been working with Rach Random Resources the longest, then Dave at The Write Reads and I recently tried out Goddess Fish. They each do things a little bit differently so depending on how you like to work will depend on which organiser is best for you as a blogger.
  4. It’s possible to ask authors and publishers for ARCs (advanced reading copies) of books. This can be done in a lot of ways, from approaching authors or publishers directly, and from other sources like NetGalley. At this stage I’ve only used NetGalley as I’m kept pretty busy with my TBR pile, Rach Random Resources tours and the requests I get from authors. At the moment I haven’t really had time or the desire to approach authors or publishers directly with everything else I’ve had going on in my life this yr.
  5. Like every part of society, there’s nice bloggers and some not so nice bloggers. I get that we’re never going to like everyone we come across. I’m adult and mature enough to understand this and not expect to like everyone I come across. Yet some of the bloggers that I’ve come across are older than me, and act like teenagers that haven’t learnt how to be polite yet. In those situations, I try and do the mature thing by calmly and logically explaining my point of view and then walk away. Or I just don’t engage and stay out of it. I don’t have the time or mental capacity to deal with that kind of behaviour. I avoid it in my real life, so there’s no way I’d want to be a part of it in my digital life.

I’d love to hear what others have found from being involved in various book blogging communities, so please comment and tell me what you think!

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