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!