Saturday, 12 October 2013

Has Book Blogging Fallen Out of Fashion? - Follow Up & Findings.

Image Source: We Heart It




You might remember that a little while ago I wrote: This Post asking if book blogging was on the way out, or, as I put it, had fallen out of fashion.

The post proved popular and people had a lot to say – not only in blog comments, but on Twitter and via Email, so I decided to post a follow-up post here today for anyone who read the original post and was interested in finding out more.

In my initial post I commented that over the summer months I had seen a drop in visitors to the blog and many of you agreed that this year summer saw a slowdown in the blogging world. I’m not complaining too much – weather wise we had one of our best summers in years. But the summer slowdown made me reconsider my summer spotlight; in future I may take some time off from blogging during the summer months and maybe do a summer round-up instead of blogging all summer long.

The thing about the summer slowdown aspect of blogging though, is that it seems to have continued into autumn – maybe traffic and comments have picked up a little, but I still feel like the book blogger heyday is behind us.  Maybe I’m wrong. I still love blogging, but looking through the list of bloggers I follow, I see that a lot of bloggers (some who were very prominent bloggers when I first started blogging) now no longer blog.

People are still eager to blog about books, though, which is always great to hear – and for those of you who asked about it, I responded in comments, but I also have some further tips for when you are starting out which I've posted below. I know that starting out in the blogging world is tough – it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to build a blog.

You can check out my Busting the Newbie Blues advice:  HERE and HERE.

I also wrote a little article on BEATING BLOGGER BURNOUT a while back if anyone is suffering at the moment and wants to check it.

In my initial post I wondered if the only people reading and commenting on book blogs were other book bloggers – The answer is NO. Non-book bloggers read book blogs for recommendations but for the most part, the majority of comments come from other book bloggers. The reasons given for not leaving comments were mostly that it’s time consuming. Also, people read via email, on phones etc. and it’s not always possible to leave a comments.

Bottom Line: Book Bloggers receive 99% of comments form other book bloggers – and if you want comments on your blog then you need to give comments to get comments in return.

Speaking of comments, let’s talk about those BookTubers who receive lots of comments. I thought the findings on BookTubers were VERY interesting.

First off, a lot of book bloggers said they had never heard of BookTubers –and even more bloggers said that they were interested in being book bloggers – not BookTubers.

Readers, too, left feedback saying that they would prefer to read a review over watching a review stating that watching a video review is far more time consuming than reading a review; on the flipside though, people did comment that BookTubing often has that personal touch that blogging lacks, so maybe that accounts for the growing popularity of BookTubers.

And I can see BookTubing and video reviews continuing to grow, because last week, for the first time ever, I was contacted by a publisher and offered a book, not for (written) review on the blog but for video review. I know this is just one book and one publisher, but it’s interesting to note that publishers are now considering video reviews as an avenue for book promotion – so maybe they’ve seen something in the rising popularity of BookTubing too.  All I’m hoping is that book blogging and BookTubing can happily co-exist, which I’m sure they can.

And, I’m not all that worried about the state of book blogging overall, because: 1- I still enjoy blogging – even after all this time. 2 - I loved finding out that people are reading and enjoying the blog even if they don’t have time to comment – I totally understand that people don’t have time to comment but it’s nice to know that there are readers out there and that they took the time to come say hello. And 3 – if blogging has fallen a little out of fashion, then fashion is cyclical and everyone knows that everything comes back into fashion eventually, um, right?

What do you think?

Any further thoughts since I first posted about this topic?

And what do you make of the findings – especially the thoughts on BookTubers and video reviews. Has anyone else been contacted re: video reviews?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

22 comments :

  1. Great post, Leanna! I definitely agree with your thoughts on 'BookTubing'. For me, written reviews beat video reviews hands down. Book blogging isn't supposed to be about who has the best camera or the best lighting or the most stageworthy personality. It's about passion for the written word - and it should stay that way!

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  2. I've been blogging in one form or another for well over a decade and over the years I've seen blogs come and go. Some blogs have been about for years and then suddenly disappear, others for just a year or two before the blogger gives up.

    There can be many factors or why things go quiet... and summer is often one of them. If the weather is nice then people are less likely to be indoors, similarly it's a time when a lot of people take a holiday. Personally, I often find Christmas/New Year the quietest time as people spend more time with their families etc.

    I also think Twitter and Facebook have had a slight effect on blogs as people readily put their thoughts available in short form, where as blogging takes more time and energy.

    Either way, I hope and I'm sure blogs are here to stay for quite some time yet. :)

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  3. The majority of the book bloggers I followed when I first started out now no longer blog - lots and lots just suddenly disappeared or else faded away. I always hope that some of them will make a comeback.


    I agree with you on Christmas/New Year - that's always quiet, but I found this summer very quiet too, and this is the first time I've noticed that. It's probably because we had good weather this summer - and we usually don't!


    You're right about Twitter too (I don't really use Facebook) but I often get replies to blog posts on Twitter. I guess it's just faster/easier.

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  4. Coming from someone who used to be a BookTuber, I think that blogging will always, for the most part, be a bit more popular than BookTubing. Here's the thing: when you look at the "popular" BookTubers, they all have super high quality videos with superb editing. In my opinion, if you want to "make it" in BookTubing, you better have a DSLR and $500 editing software.


    Bloggers don't look for that. As long as your posts are readable and you don't have a sloppy design, bloggers will generally pay attention to you. It's more about the content, if you will.


    While BookTubing is really popular, I feel like more people will be inclined to start a blog, as opposed to start a YouTube channel. With that said, I don't have anything against BookTubers. I, myself, have favorites. But blogging has been going on for a long time. YouTube has just started becoming popular in the past year or so. Blogging is timeless, whereas YouTube is a trend, so to speak.

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  5. I've wondered the same thing. i noticed that my comments have fallen off lately, at least on my book reviews. It seems like the only time I get very comments is when I participate in a weekly meme on a blog, like Top Ten Tuesday, or Snapshot Saturday. Because I can look at my statistics, I know that people are looking at my blog, just not leaving comments. Just about the time that I think I will pack it all in someone at school or church will make a comment about a book I blogged about and how much they appreciate my recommendations. Then i think, "well, maybe I will go on blogging. Someone appreciates what I am doing."


    I also consider my blog as a journal for myself. In the old days I kept a journal of all the books I read and a bit of annotation, now I keep a blog. So it is for me more than anyone else.

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  6. We may become the old foggies of the reviewing world but I think there will always be a place for book blogs. Just like there will always be a place for real books in an ever digitalised world.

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  7. I loved that post, so interesting - as is this one!

    I remember saying in the comments how against booktubing I was, and now having thought about it for the last month, I think it is something I would consider. However, it would be a side project to the blog, I just dont have the time to sit editing videos when I want to be reading books.


    I can see why publishers want book reviews on video, it's instant quick advice and if you're favourite blogger is being emotive about a book on screen it sells books.


    However, I find it incredibly difficult to concentrate on a video longer than 5 minutes, that's why I love blog so much, I can concentrate on reading.

    I definitely agree book blogging won't be the most popular medium, but I think as vlogging is so different to blogging it will always be visited and utlised.

    I may be proved wrong, but I think there is more you can say in a blog than you can on screen, more you can be scrutinised for. There is still an anonymous element to blogging that I prefer.

    Saying that, I probably will start a vlog at some point, but nothing that I feel would overtake my blog. Ultimately I am a writer not a TV personality, and I am far more articulate in written form.

    If I am a little honest as well, I've not warmed to a lot of booktubers or youtube stars other than Tyler Oakley, I'm not sure why.

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  8. ChristinaBookAddict13 October 2013 at 14:11

    Fantastic post. Thanks for the follow-up. I love to hear what people think about book blogging and commenting, etc. Book Tubing is such an interesting concept and I definitely would watch a few video reviews out of curiosity, but it is SOO not for me. I am not surprised a publisher asked you to share your thoughts via a video review. I hope it is just a passing fad though. Thanks for sharing this with us!

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  9. Stina Lindenblatt13 October 2013 at 14:21

    This is a topic I've struggled with too. I used to have a blog focused on writing. Because of this, I tended not to comment on book bloggers blogs. Most, I find, don't comment back when your blog is a writing blog. Only writers comment back. Soooo I tended not to leave comments (I just read the posts).


    But then I lost my domain due to issues renewing it (that's what I get for purchasing my domain through Google, I guess) and had to start anew. This was just before I got to announce my 2-book deal. Yep, timing sucked BIG TIME. Instead of starting up a new blog focused on writing, I decided to focus on upper YA and NA (since my book is being launched in a few months). But then I was faced with a whole new issue. Most of the non book blogs I was following had nothing to do with the categories I write...so my blogging has slowed down. Seems silly to comment on blogs whose owner won't be interested in what I write about on my blog. I don't mind though. Before, I was getting 30-60 comments and commented back on each one. I was easily spending 10+ hours a week on blogging. Not anymore.

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  10. I don't think Book Tubing will take off as much as one might think. I know for me, I don't want to have to sit through a whole video review. I can read through a review much quicker and for most people time is an issue. I groan every time I see a vlog for Showcase Sunday. Maybe non-bloggers like sitting through that, though because they have just a few blogs they visit all the time for their recommendations, but for me, it's just a huge time drain. Plus, most bloggers don't want their face up on the internet other than the occasional photo. But that's just me.

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  11. Really interesting post Leanna!


    I completely agree about reviews - I'm far more inclined to read a review for a book than I am to watch one, but on the flip side I think it's interesting to see the possibilities that video can open up. I think (& hope) that blogging and book tubing will exist happily alongside each other :)

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  12. Leanna, I love this post. I do think that the true "heydey," if you will, is behind us, but I don't think book blogging is dead. I needed a hiatus (albeit a long one), but I came back. I think a lot of bloggers just do what I did - too much too soon. We need to keep having fun and sharing our thoughts :)

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  13. The fascination with the YouTube stars was a short-lived thing for me - I still check out Zoella's haul videos but that's about it! Let me know if you ever do start vlogging - I'll check out your channel! :)

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  14. Commenting on blogs is very time consuming. When I first started out I used to spend a ton of time on comments - and I used to receive comments in return. Now I don't have the time to spend so I basically just visit and comment on a couple of my favourite blogs a few times a week.



    Good luck with the release of your book! :)

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  15. ^ Same here, so not just you! :)

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  16. Me too, Jesse. :)

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  17. I'm so glad you came back, Melissa! :) I agree - blogging should always be fun!

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  18. Very interesting to see the follow up Leanne. It's great that lots of non book bloggers are reading reviews, I never considered the fact that only the bloggers will leave a comment. However when I think about it, it's only a very small % actually leave a comment as compared to the page views so maybe I do have non book bloggers visiting too. I appreciate all visitors of course but I'd love to know more about those lurkers!
    And I'm a bit taken a back that a publisher offered you a book for a video review only. I think that's a bit cheeky to be honest!

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