The struggles of being an international book blogger

Hello friends, happy Wednesday! How are you? I’m glad to write this now because I’m having a day off work today and boy, it feels GOOD ahah. Anyway, today I’m, as always, thrilled to be back with my Blogging Ways feature and a way to rant about everything blogging. I have had this blog post in mind for a couple of weeks now and I’m glad to actually sit down and talk about it all.

In case you didn’t know this, I’m French and living in France. I don’t know why, for people not knowing this, it always seems to surprise them. I’m not sure, I’m guessing I should take this as a compliment that my English isn’t so bad? Anyway, I’m not here to talk about how I eat baguettes (I do), but to talk about BOOKS and how, as the tiny French I am, I’m having the case of international book blogging struggles.

Before heading into this, disclaimer: I am writing this to zoom on the struggles I am having and trying to be honest. I’m not here to bash on people lucky enough to get physical ARCs, enjoy their local librairies and all. Just saying, you’re lucky.

The physical ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) problem

Let’s start this blog post with the most obvious – and controversial, really – topic of being an international book blogger, which is ARCs. In case you’re not familiar with this, ARCs are Advance Reader Copies, books bloggers are lucky enough to get before the book releases to read and review it. Being able to get physical ARCs at all is such a chance ; but when you’re an international blogger, it is basically impossible. Or at least, it is way, way harder. I have been blogging for over two and a half years now, I have built a pretty decent following and I have tried and requested physical ARCs more than once from publishers, but I actually never got one from big publishing houses. You know, just like you’re seeing all over on Twitter and everywhere.

I’m lucky enough to get e-ARCs once in a while, but sometimes the territory restrictions don’t allow me to be approved for some titles. Which, let’s be honest, kind of makes me sad. On the other hand, I’m just telling myself I am buying the books when they are released and even if I’m missing all of the pre-release hype people are always ranting on, I’m supporting the authors. Even if I’m waiting months after everyone has read the book to actually get to it.#foreverlatetothehype

The bookstore / library problem

I’m going to say something that will make most of you scream in despair. I have no bookshop or library – at least, none with the books I want to read. The only books they have in English are the classics, they have never heard of young adult books. If I want to read all of the books I love, I have no choice but to buy them online. In France, I’m lucky enough to get free shipping from Amazon, and BookDepository is also an amazing free-shipping option, but I know other bloggers don’t have that chance. BOOKS can get quite expensive veeeeeeeery quickly. I can’t browse in the bookshops and libraries for hours on end and get the physical book right away, I need to wait. Obviously, whenever I can fly away to an English-speaking country with bookshops, I stay in these places for hours on end reading all the books and my sister hates me.

The book events / conventions / author signings problem

As most of you probably know already, most of the bookish events and conventions are happening across the Atlantic for me, in the USA. Most of the authors are touring this very same country – and Canada as well sometimes, when their book is released. A lot of bookish events are also happening way way down there in Australia. There is an event that sounds quite amazing being held in the lovely and my favorite city in the world, London, in the summer, called YALC. Basically, everything is in English-speaking countries and I was born saying Bonjour and sometimes I’m not sure why because I speak English in my head and would dream of going to these events.

I can’t go to any of these things because of geography. I tried but apparently I am not able to teleport myself there. I don’t have enough days off and money to actually get on a plane and be able to go to these wonderful events I’m dreaming of. Someday, maybe. In the meantime, I’m living through all of you.

The time-difference problem

You know, that old song from Simple Plan going “You say good morning, when it’s midnight” ? Nevermind if you don’t know this song, you’ll get the gist here: this is a summary of my life as a book blogger, especially when it comes to the twitter community. On WordPress, no one cares or notices the time, really – or at least, I know I don’t. But whenever I want to try and get involved in the Twitter community, it is always hard to because most of the amazing Twitter Chats are happening when it is 1 a.m here and I need to sleep in order not to be a zombie to go to work the next morning, so I feel like I am missing out on a LOT of things because of time difference.

And geography, basically.

In other ways, I know I’m lucky, and geography has nothing to do with that. I’m lucky to spend my weekends writing blog posts and enjoying what I am doing, having this little place to fangirl about books and having people understand it. Being a book blogger, a YA book blogger, reading books mostly in English, and living in a non-English-speaking country has a LOT of struggles and more than once I have felt envy. It’s only human to, I guess. But I also guess that I can eat my baguettes and enjoy my delicious French food. Whenever I’ll get to travel again, I’ll spend a whole lot of time in bookshops and annoy people and it will all feel quite exceptional to have all of these books at hand, even if just for a moment.

If you’re an international blogger, are you feeling some of these struggles? How do you deal with it? Did you ever get a physical ARC? Do you have book budgets, since books are harder to get by?

If you’re not an international blogger (meaning: you’re not experimenting these struggles), did you know about all of these struggles? Would you enjoy your bookshops a bit more for us, please?

Feel free to share your thoughts in comments!

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

204 thoughts on “The struggles of being an international book blogger

  1. I’m not international, I live in the U.S., so I only know so much of what you’re talking about, but I CAN IMAGINE. Right now I live in a really small town with a very small library (and I can’t get a library card anyway, as I can’t prove that I’m a resident of the town – which is another story). I get most of my books online as well, and I mostly read kindle books because I’m broke forever. So I can’t really participate in Bookstagram (something I came to terms with recently). I’m not “blogging famous” so I don’t get the physical ARCs and even if I did, I wouldn’t have the space to house them.

    All that to say: you’re not alone in feeling like you’re somehow missing out on part of the blogging community. BUT I think this community needs more voices like yours. For all that we’re about diversity, I wish we had more diverse voices from people with different experiences. I think it’s fascinating that you’re French, but you think in English. I honestly admire that SO MUCH because I tried teaching myself French and pronunciation is SO HARD!!

    Anyway, thank you for sharing your thoughts so honestly. I think it’s so important that we all try to recognize the ways we’re lucky, even when it doesn’t always feel like it. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, SO much, Christine, for sharing your thoughts about this topic ❀ I have to admit that I sometimes feel a bit left out of everything because of these struggles but it makes me happy to hear you feel differently and like I'm bringing something different, so thank you SO much for telling me that, it means a lot to me ❀ ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You know, I think that I knew that you were from France at one point and I totally forgot. Your English is impeccable! I totally empathize with you and your struggles. In Canada, it seems that we have less opportunities than the US, but we do get quite a few authors who visit. It must be so much fun to go into a bookstore when you are on holidays, though. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ohh, thank you, that means so much to me ❀ It is a lot of fun, and another reason why I always look forward to my holidays – to end up hours browsing in the bookstores ahah πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I live in US, so I don’t feel the restrictions that you do, but I definitely won’t be taking what I get for granted. I think it’s amazing how you live in France but you blog entirely in English! I definitely could not do that in Chinese or Spanish ❀ No matter what, your voice is heard, and you were one of the first blogs I followed when I first started blogging, so I'm always going to remember that! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you SO much, Alice, you’re so sweet ❀ ❀ That means so much to me, thank you ❀ Also, yes, enjoy the bookstores – and buy books?! – for me as well ahah πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Omg that Jet Lag ref made me feel SO old! Lol. But seriously, Marie. YES TO EVERYTHING YOU SAID! And I know that Philippines maybe get it a tad bit better since the time difference is a clean cut 12 hours (sometimes 13) and international authors, a.k.a. mostly-based-in-the-US authors, come visit us from time to time but I feel you to my bones all the same. Requesting ARCs is especially hard; I mostly get mine, if I ever do get one, from authors who are generous and kind to mail abroad. Same dilemma with local (independent) bookstores and libraries. </3 But you're absolutely right. I guess it's a matter of looking at things and putting them into perspective. Thoughtful article, dear! And the "Deal with it" gif is so on point I cannot!

    PS. "My English isn't so bad?" WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!
    PPS. If it's any comfort to you, the day I visit France, especially Paris, is probably the day I cry in the streets.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH thank you so, so much, Miel, that’s so sweet of you to say ❀ In a way, if book blogging is a bit harder to deal with at times, it's also really rewarding because we are fighting all of these struggles and shouting our love for books anyway πŸ˜€
      Also, hahaha that comment about Paris made me laugh. I hope you'll get to visit France someday – there are SO many pretty cities here πŸ˜€

      Like

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  6. YES TO EVERYTHING!!! I agree with this completely! I’ll also add one. There are a few conventions this year happening in Italy where authors that I’m honestly dying to meet are attending, BUT IT’S TOO FREAKIN FAR AWAY! ALSO, a lot of preorder campaigns are US only too. So not fair! I kind of get the big conventions, especially if it paid by the authors, but I totally don’t understand why big publishing houses aren’t even trying to get their international bestselling authors over the ocean, without making the authors pay for that themselves. Anyway, I agree with everything you said, especially the Twitter thing. Every time I try it out, there’s an online event at 2 am or 3 am for me and I’m like “But I wake up in 2 hours after that, I can’t not sleep”.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much for your sweet ccomment, I’m glad you can relate to this post πŸ™‚ All of the events seem to be taking place far away (in reality) and / or at nights (online) which always makes me a bit sad, but well…we have our perks living where we are, I guess πŸ™‚
      Thank you ! πŸ™‚

      Like

  7. I’m an international blogger and I totally feel you!!!!! I had a discussion on ARC as an international blogger with a friend and we felt its so crap to be rejected even for e-ARCs πŸ˜‘ But at the moment I dont even read enough or blog enough to request for ARCs so I don’t feel it as bad…as for missing out on the hype…I’m always on the “forever late” train πŸ˜‚ At least in Malaysia we have a healthy selection of English books but omg SOOOOOOO EXPENSIVE its a struggle πŸ˜… I love book sales πŸ˜„ But I can totally relate!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha welcome to the forever late train, I’m living there πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚ πŸ˜‚ It gets pretty cozy after a while πŸ˜‚
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and struggles with me – I hope things will get better, and well…we are dedicated readers so that’s something positive to remember πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I relate so hard to this post, and I’m not even technically an international blogger. I’m from Puerto Rico, which is supposed to be part of the US but all the publishers treat it as international *sighs*. The timezones thing is frustrating because all my friends are in different timezones! I always seem to be saying “hi” just when they’re going to sleep, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no – that really sucks, especially since it is supposed to be part of the US :/ I’m so sorry to hear that. It IS frustrating, yes, everytime I feel like I am missing out on things, there when everyone is going to bed / sleeping / at work or busy during the day It’s really hard to find moments to have long conversations…but they happen at times ahah πŸ™‚
      I guess we are really dedicated to blog and share our love for books, because despite the struggles we keep on going πŸ™‚ ❀
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Marianne! ❀ Also, you are the first blogger I'm meeting coming from Puerto Rico, that's so cool πŸ™‚ ❀

      Like

  9. I get what you’re saying. I live in L.A., and while access grants itself to me, I’d kill to live in NYC, which to me, earns its “American Book Mecca”. I can get there, but with a cost and my budgets not always up for the challenge.

    Keep doing what you do, even when the hurdles feel impossible to jump.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you for sharing your thoughts about this with me. It’s funny, no matter where we are, we have different bookish struggles after all πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much! ❀ ❀

      Like

  10. This is such an amazing post, Marie! Although I don’t really have experience as an international blogger, I’ve lived most of my life in a developing country where libraries are virtually non-existent, and I had NO idea ARCs even existed until a couple years ago. So I definitely understand the struggle it is for international bloggers, but that increases my respect for y’all tenfold. The motivation you have to keep blogging despite being unfairly left out in so many things- like giveaways, Twitter chats, etcetera- is so commendable. Here’s to hoping the book community keeps expanding and growing to the point where everybody feels properly represented in it. πŸ’›

    ~ Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment, Aimal ❀ I'm happy to see progress with this, at least I'm always glad whenever I see international bloggers getting physical ARCs, some bookish events taking place, or even Twitter chats at an okay time for me. I'm hoping things will get better for sure, but I'm also and will always be dedicated to blogging because I'm loving it, no matter if it's easy or hard or anything. To share the love for books πŸ™‚ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  11. YES TO ALL OF THIS. I especially feel you on the lack of English titles in libraries, like you said — the only English titles are classics, which I’m not really interested in. I rely very much on e-ARCs in that way, although, again, I don’t get approved for everything because I live in Belgium. It can be really frustrating sometimes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh you’re from Belgium? That’s great, hi, neighbor! πŸ™‚
      It really is frustrating – and sometimes I don’t get that we get denied some titles because of where we live. I understand for physical ARCs, since it can quickly get expensive to ship books, but when it’s all virtual…. I don’t really understand all of it ahah.
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment ❀ ❀

      Like

  12. I’M WITH THEM SO MUCH!! I mean, mine wouldn’t be to the degree of yours because, being Australian, I at least have the opportunity for a lot of ARCs! But like when the Americans talk about their cheap book prices, I just cry because howwwww. A book for me is like $16 for a paperback and $30 at least for a hardcover. Haha…yeah, no I can’t afford that mostly. LIBRARIES ARE LIFE. And I love Edelweiss for the fact that it doesn’t seem to care about territories? Either that or I accidentally signed up as American oops hahaa. But Netgalley loves to just disprove me for everything. I don’t get it?! Like it’s an eBOOK. Why can’t it be available to more of us?! Gah.

    *cries with you and shares the cake*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. THANK YOU for the cake, Cait, that’s so sweet of you ❀ ❀
      Right?! Whenever I'm lucky enough to find an actual English bookshop in big cities in France, they are so expensive :/
      You're so lucky, ahah, I still don't get Edelweiss, and NetGalley is sometimes so…capricious?! It's weird hahaha.
      Thank you so, so much ❀ ❀

      Like

  13. I live in the U.S., and I’ll admit that I know it’s way easier to get ARCs over here than in other countries, but I honestly had no idea about the lack of libraries or bookstores that sell YA books in other countries. That’s a real bummer. I usually buy my books online anyway because they’re cheaper, but I do love going to my library or bookstores just to browse, so I’ll definitely be enjoying that a lot more now that I know YA in English isn’t a big thing everywhere else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was in an English-speaking country just a couple days ago and being in the bookshops there, with an incredible selection of YA books, was just a dream haha πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Kelly! I hope you’ll enjoy your libraries and bookstores ❀ ❀

      Like

  14. Same here, I’m a frenchie moving in England soon so I’ll blog in English about my new life but I had a long time considering whether I should write in English or French ! I have decided to blog in English and I’ll provide French translations if required !
    And I totally agree with you, bookshops lack novels in English, even stores like Fnac or Cultura. But fortunately, I live near the biggets independant bookshop of Brittany and they have a more than decent number of YA and detective novels ! Anyway, stay strong because the struggle is real !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Having a great library with ALL the books you want to read – or at least loads – is like, a dream πŸ˜‚ It’s so great you can enjoy it so much! Thank you for stopping by, Kristin ❀

      Like

  15. I read your about after reading this and feel like I’ve met my bookish soulmate! I live in the Philippines, so receiving physical ARCs is sometimes impossible, but I’m grateful that I received a Kindle a few months back which allows me the options of e-ARCs. While I do have the option of buying certain books, I don’t have the finances for it! Popular books are quite expensive, so most of the time I just wait months to get them – because even secondhand, they’re still too expensive for me. I’ve been lucky enough that a few of the authors I’ve approached were willing to send me physical copies of their books in spite of the shipping fees.

    What really saddens me is when there are giveaways for the book you want but they’re only for US and Canada entrants ><

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BOOKISH SOULMATE, yes I’m so happy to meet you FINALLY ❀ ❀ Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ❀ I'm so glad – but also very sad – that you can relate to this. Popular books are quite expensive online as well sometimes, it's so annoying :/ It's so great you found some authors willing to send you their books, that must have been great to find them in your mailbox! πŸ˜€
      OH, same here. So many US / CAN giveaways :/
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment ❀ ❀

      Like

      1. It IS so exciting – even if luck is never on my side, it’s always fun to see them happening πŸ˜€
        Ohh thank you so much, you are so, so sweet!! ❀ ❀ ❀

        Like

  16. I. RELATE. SO. MUCH! ARE YOU READING MY MIND?!
    I don’t like it when people say “support your local independent library”. LIKE?? I DON’T HAVE ONE??? I WOULD BUT LOOK THERE IS NO LOCAL LIBRARY TO SUPPORT!! Give me one and I gladly would! Also I’ve never requested Arcs but it makes me sad knowing that I have no chance of me getting some. New releases?? FORGET THOSE. Only shipping takes about 3 weeks mate. It’s never going to be a new release by then is it?? ARGHH much frustration. But hey I guess we CAN read books in BOTH languages so there are twice as many books for us!!
    AMAZING POST <3!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh I’m SO glad you can relate, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SWEET COMMENT ❀ ❀
      Same here – I would happily support my local library but…it's hard to without actually having one to support haha. Where are you from, if you don't mind me asking? πŸ™‚ Oh yes, you're right, at least we can read in both languages so that's pretty awesome ::D THANK YOU! ❀

      Like

      1. I think ALL OF US are pretty awsome for being all around bookworms that struggle with all this and STILL have a passion for books so…WE DESERVE COOKIES AND CAKE ❀!!
        (I’m actually from Romania. Yup it’s pretty much like Narnia in the way that nobody has ever heard of it or think it’s real.)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. OH YES, definitely. It’s pretty cool that we are so stubborn we want all the books and WILL GET THEM no matter the struggles πŸ’–
        Ohhhhh that’s so very cool, you’re the first blogger from Romania I meet. I LOVE IT.

        Like

    1. It is a bit annoying – I’m grateful to have online bookshops to buy from, but can’t do that too often, money doesn’t grow on trees unfortunately πŸ˜‚ I guess, on the positive side, I’m not buying too many books and only focusing on the ones I reaaaaally want to read? Ahah. Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Krysta! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Omg! I only saw this post now and DAMN SO RELATABLE. I’m not a book blogger but I dream to go on book conventions and etc. Everytime I see my timeline discussing it I cry a little and then go try to research passages prices and etc and then I cry a bit more because yes, maybe in two years if I stop eating.
    Thankfully here in Brazil we have lots of libraries/bookstores that sell YA but I only survive on e-books though because priceeees.

    And I don’t know where to ask this but it seems like good place so: since you are also a French writer, how do you deal with all the publishing problem? I believe you are writing in english, but do you pretend to self-publish or go for traditional? (have you wrote about this before? I’m sorry if you have)
    It’s something I have been thinking for some time now (putting the the cart before the horses), and I would love to talk about it with other international writers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OH THANK YOU! I’m so glad – also, I’m sorry!- that you can relate to this post. I would DREAM of going to all of these bookish conventions. Maybe someday we will, who knows! πŸ˜€

      No, I haven’t written about this before – to be honest I’m not to the point where I’m thinking about publishing, so I wouldn’t know how to answer your question. Obviously, publishing would be a dream, but for now, I’d be happy to read my full story once it’s done and edited and everything haha. I would dream to be traditionally published someday πŸ™‚ What about you? πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes! Maybe someday we can go to all those fun conventions! (I hope they are as fun as they look like)

        And I totally understand – because I’m also not in the point to think about it – but still get anxious thinking (let’s say I think too much about things I shouldn’t hahahaha)
        I like the idea of publishing traditionally, but I also like the freedom of self-publishing, so I’m not sure. Maybe when my story is done and edited things will have changed so much that I will have new problems to think about.
        You do well by only focusing on the story right now!
        And thanks for the answer! TvT

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh yes, someday we will go to all of these fun bookish events πŸ˜€
        Oh it’s okay haha, I get it, I sometimes overthink everything as well, you’re not alone πŸ˜› Best of luck for your story! ❀

        Liked by 1 person

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