Asking the real questions here. Don’t throw me bananas just yet.
I will admit it: this blog post has been a long time coming. It has been sitting in my draft, looking like a mess of ideas and rants for over two months now… I don’t know, I guess I finally decided to write this down and hope that you will appreciate it and not throw bananas at me. Sorry. I just really hate bananas (but you can throw me books. I’d be okay with that. Slightly hurt, probably, physically, but mentally happy, because books. anyway).
After having held this blog up and afloat the best I could and with all of my heart for the past three years, I had to start noticing something. Changes, if you will. Growth, maybe, or just a divergence in the young adult blogging community. I don’t know how to call this so, please bear with me.
Before, I only knew book bloggers on book blogs, writing blog posts about their favorite books, interacting with each other through comments, follows, likes and so on. Now, it seems like the community has developed and, if you ask me, even switched a little bit to other platforms, less blogging-y, more social-media.
Yes, I am talking about bookish twitter and bookstagram.
I could also talk about booktube, but to be completely honest with you, I don’t watch booktube at all, so I’m not going to mention it too much… but still, it’s a pretty big thing, too. And I don’t know how that works so I’ll just, not.
I subscribed to twitter with an account, linked to my blog, in early 2015, a couple months after I started this blog and it felt like discovering a whole other universe. When I started blogging, I did not know that there were so many book bloggers, I didn’t know there were so many book bloggers reading and loving young adult books as much as I did. But, really, it’s when I first got on twitter and since then, navigating its murdy, messy and dramatic waters everyday, that I got and still get amazed by how MASSIVE the book blogging community is, diverse, fun, amazing, yet very complicated, too.
Just like any social media – strike that, more than any other social media -, things are moving at the speed of light there. Get off twitter for a day and you’ll miss the storm of the year happening in the bookish community, or you will miss the latest hype book that everyone is talking about – heads up, this is probably a book that’s not being released for another five months or so. Yeah, does not help with the confidence there, I’ll admit it. On twitter, it is so easy to feel out of the loop in five seconds.
Yet, twitter also makes it super easy to reach out to your favorite bloggers, have a quick conversation, see what’s happening and what they have been reading and so on. Twitter makes interactions quick and easy, twitter moves fast, shares all of the drama and so on, while blogging is at a more… relaxed pace, I’d say. Your comments will be waiting for you and things are a bit less hectic. Or at least, they feel this way for me.
Yet, things are strange when it comes to book blogging, book bloggers and statistics and so on, especially in this new era.
I didn’t know before how big and influencers book bloggers can be – now you see over on twitter they have like 5 K followers and are spending their time screaming about young adult books and important issues. while you’re just, not. just because you feel more comfortable typing out your thoughts on a sunday morning on a platform you feel more at ease to.
Book blogging takes work, too. I am not under-mining anything here or saying that being on book twitter, doing threats or and bookstagram does not take work. I honestly admire everyone doing this. yet I feel like book blogs are more often than not disregarded, while influencers chatting all the time on twitter or with the artistic ability to make incredible pictures are more boosted. in terms of… I don’t know, publishers, seeing as influencers and “big” in the community and so on.
Sometimes, I just don’t know how book blogging fits in everything social – media anymore.
People check out blog posts that we tweet, but they share their thoughts via a tweet or retweet them, conversations happen a bit less over on blog posts sometimes, while some blogs are brilliant, appreciation is shown elsewhere and in a different way. People write twitter threads about the book they are reading instead of blog posts, they write threads about why we should read some books, about their most anticipated reads. People write long captions on their instagram pictures, sharing their latest thoughts on the book they are featuring and so on. People don’t write blog posts anymore, or not as much. Maybe. I don’t know. I just know that these things, somehow, tend to take more and more place in this community. And influence, too.
I can’t even mention how many times I wanted to buy a book because I saw it all over social media.
…Instagram and Twitter everyone screaming about it and hyping it up. It seems to work. It seems like these new social media influencers have more impact and weight than book bloggers. It seems like it matters more when you are vocal on a twitter thread than when you are writing a lenghty blog post about your feels.
I like twitter and I’ve been grateful to chat with amazing people there, I’m also really thankful for everything I can do there and trying my best to… well, do like everyone else. But I’m not that kind of person you’ll see screaming about everything. NOT because it does not matter, but because it’s not in my personality and it makes my anxiety sky-rocket more than ever, to even write down one damn tweet sometimes or / and chat with people I am so afraid of. I’m not scared of commenting on blog posts, not anymore, while I am terrified to even like a tweet of some popular influencer over on Twitter. I don’t feel at ease on social media all the time, and I feel like, for that, I am not a relevant figure in the bookish community.
DON’T GET ME WRONG here.
I am not saying that I hate everyone on twitter, on bookstagram, that I’m mad that they are taking more space in the book blogging community, space that book bloggers use to have and use to influence everyone. I am just saying that I’m seeing a switch here, in things. In how books are recommended now, how people are talking about books overall and spreading the love. Changes in what seems to matter, in what seems to make someone an influencer in the book blogging community, to me, as well. Bookstagram, Twitter, social media overall is a huge influence in our book buying choices, in our lives and everything else, too.
I don’t know where I’m going with this – just sometimes, I feel like work on book blog is disregarded a little bit – or I just feel like book bloggers working a whole lot on blog posts should and need to be appreciated more. Twitter, Bookstagram, everything social media takes work, but it’s also super hard to write a blog post like this and hit publish without looking back. Designing a blog, writing blog posts, formatting everything, trying to spread the bookish love, it takes a goddamn lot of work and… book blogging is important, too. I want it to stay the very same. I want social media and book blogs platforms to both thrive and for everyone to find their places wherever they feel most at ease. And most importantly, don’t feel like they’re missing out or not doing anything right because they are not on bookstagram (my feelings right now) or on twitter or anything else.
Whether you’ve been blogging for long or are new to this scene: did you notice the growing importance and influence of social media when it comes to the bookish community?
Are you on social media? Which ones, and do you feel like you have more influence there? Do you feel like it matters more to shout on twitter than to write a blog post? Can you juggle well between social media-ing and blogging?
Are you also influenced to get a book because everyone mentioned it on social media? Does this influence you MORE than seeing the book on book blogs, or not, or the same? I would love to know your thoughts on this topic, so feel free to let me know everything in comments!