How to support international book bloggers

I have been wanting to write a blog post like this one for a little while. Given the on and off conversations going on in the book blogging community and over on twitter about blogging, access to books, piracy, libraries and other miscellanous things, I just wanted to take a moment and shout out loud about international book bloggers.

Before getting into this, an important disclaimer about me: I am an international book blogger, I am living in France, yet I know that myself am in a position of privilege. I am working-full time and I have an income, though my budget when it comes to books isn’t great depending on the month (and my love for travelling). I also know that I got lucky enough in the past eight months to get in touch with some publishers and receive some ARCs and books early on and I am so grateful for that. If this obviously makes me an international book blogger that might struggle a little less than others, this blog post is dear and close to my heart. If you are an international book blogger and can think of other ways life would be made better for you, please please share it in comments so I can complete this extensive list and make it a resource for everyone.

It’s not a secret that blogging about books, especially young adult books, is an American-centric kind of system. The YA-books market is massive in this continent, compared to other countries, even in the UK. There was a thread on twitter that, well, despite searching again for hours, I couldn’t find again. But well, this just said exactly it: the young adult book market is veeeeeeeery American.

International book bloggers have their shares of struggles. I, and many other incredible book bloggers, have already mentioned these in blog posts, over on twitter, sharing them on instagram, and shouted about it on countless basis. Yet, there is something that people sometimes, just. don’t. get. No matter how much we scream about this.

πŸ’­ Why don’t you get the book at a library?

BECAUSE THERE IS NO LIBRARY to get my books from. Personally, I have small libraries all around, but with a very small selection of the kind of books I am reading. Some people don’t HAVE libraries AT ALL in the world. Having a library to get your book from is a chance and an incredible PRIVILEGE. Please don’t throw “libraries” around and tell anyone, everyone to get the book at the library, assuming that they can.

πŸ’­ Why don’t you buy the book in a bookshop?

Same answer, THERE ARE NO BOOKSHOPS. I know, sometimes we just don’t have bookshops, or/and we don’t have the young adult books we want there. I am lucky enough to live in France, where bookshops have sometimes a decent, even great selection of books. BUT books are more expensive, because of the shipping fees. Also to be completely honest, closest bookshop with the books I want is 100 km away.

πŸ’­ Why don’t you order online?

It is true that there are incredible websites offering a wide, infinite selection of books. Yet, Book Depository or Wordery do NOT ship everywhere. Amazon sometimes has shipping fees for some countries that are just as expensive as the book itself.

πŸ’­ What about ARCs and e-ARCs?

Book bloggers are in the extremely privileged position to be able to get books early on, review copies. ARCs are physical review copies = hello shipping costs = publishers sometimes won’t, because shipping a book can be REALLY expensive overseas.

e-ARCs are digital review copies, so hello, why not? Because, for me and most international book bloggers, there are so many titles on NetGalley that ends up on “Wish for it”. I can’t even request them. Wish for them. It’s basically wishing I will find signed books on my doorstep and tickets to BookCon in my mail. I never saw a wish come true so far. What about Edelweiss then? Some people are lucky there, I am not. E-ARCs are, just like ARCs, a sort of lottery, for most book bloggers, but even more for international ones.

So, all of that being said, I wanted to get to the heart of this blog post and what really, really matters, being:

πŸ’ž How can you support international book bloggers?

Book bloggers and this community is amazing and I have incredible friends from all around the world, I love them all regardless of where they come from, obviously. Given the complications international book bloggers are facing, though, I am obviously going to talk about them and tell some great steps we could take.

🎁 Host international giveaways

Whether they are book swag giveaways, books, pre-order giveaways, bookish boxes giveaways… if you can, think about making it international. So many book bloggers would be so grateful for that. I completely understand the shipping costs that can come from sending a book far, far away. If you can, though, think about using Book Depository, Wordery or for once, if you are able to cover the costs for one international giveaway yourself to send to the whole world, do it.

πŸ“š #booksfortrade, #arcsfortrade, #bookishwish

I’m not going to talk a long time on this topic, I’m just going to link to Vicky’s blog post, where she wonderfully talked about this topic. Give it a read!

Recently, another wonderful hashtag has made an appearance over on twitter, #bookishwish. Bookish Wish is a way for book bloggers and readers to wish for the books they would really love to have, but can’t currently afford.

The book blogging community and readers can send them said books without asking for anything in return (if you want something in return, that’s #booksfortrade) and therefore realize a #bookishwish. The generosity of book bloggers and this community has floored me, honestly, this past week. This also made people host giveaways and made them do their very best to help people, even international ones. Check out the hashtag on twitter, boost people’s wishlist if you can. It costs absolutely nothing and will bring someone’s happiness, for sure.

Also, to find out more about #bookishwish, I’d heavily recommend you to read Shealea’s wonderful post explaining the initiative way more amazingly than I ever could.

πŸ—£ Boost international bloggers’ voices

International book bloggers are doing a tremendous job at… well, just being book bloggers. Boosting author’s voices, raising awareness, boosting authors, even sometimes organizing events and everything else.

I could mention JM @ Books Freak Revelations who hosts incredible PH-based events and does amazing things for this community all around and is such a bright soul. I could talk about Shar & Shanti, some of my favorite bloggers in New Zealand, always writing such mindful conversations.Β  I could talk about Shealea, always such a bright, PH-based book blogger sharing incredible work and recommendations on her blog. I could also mention Marta, an incredible soul from Romania deserving all the love. I can mention Pam, super-inspiring and super-heroΒ  writer and book blogger from Ecuador, Aimee’s bright, positive voice and love all around from the Philippines, Kat from Vienna, Austria, because she is my favorite human being in the community. I could go on for DAYS.

🌏 Be mindful of time-zones

I love twitter chats, but I haven’t been able to participate in one in a thousand years. Because of time-zones. Let me break this down to you: there are a lot of book chats happening at 8 P.M EST.

8 P.M E.S.T =Β  2 A.M C.E.S.T = 8 A.M. GMT+8 = 10 A.M A.E.ST

So… I’m in CEST and I am sleeping at 2 a.m, I’m sorry.Β  GMT +8 is Manila (Philippines)’s timezone and people are going to work/school maybe, in Australia (AEST) people might already be at work or sleeping or something. I’m just taking these time zones as an example. I am aware that no time will ever be okay for every single reader out there, the world is big and we can’t accomodate everyone unfortunately. I am just saying that there is a better way to do this. Like, change things up every now and then, 8 PM EST, then maybe earlier, or later, etc.

I know that there are so many things that, despite trying, we can’t and won’t be able to change, as international book bloggers. We can’t magically hope that NetGalley will suddenly try and grant all of our wishes. We can’t change publishers and their policies, nor can we make everyone rich to host amazing opportunites and giveaways for international bookworms all around the world.Β  We can’t make libraries appear everywhere they are needed.

Yet, there are some things we can do, or at least make the first step to try and do it more. Make a giveaway international when we can afford it. Boost our fellow international book bloggers, just because they deserve it. Try to change twitter chats’ times, every now and then, to make international bloggers be part of the game, too.

There are many things I did not include in this blog post that you can do, in order to support international book bloggers, things that should not be forgotten either. They are not particularily “international”, but they are supportive and THEY MATTTER, way more than you think they do, such as:

  • Giving their blog visits, likes, comments, sharing what you appreciated about them, linking back to their posts, sharing them on your social medias…
  • Donating to their Ko-Fi account if they have one, buying their bookish merch if they do so…
  • And so much more, that I listed in my general blog post on how to support book bloggers.

πŸ’» Other interesting posts to check out, whether you’re an international book blogger or just want to find out more about our issues:

I really hope this post could be useful to you and that you learned something from it and, most importantly, that this will encourage you in trying to be more inclusive and mindful of international book bloggers, as much as you can within your own means, obviously. Even small things help.

Book bloggers: do you sometimes feel frustrated by the lack of inclusion, if you’re an international blogger? Does this discourage you, sometimes? Would you enjoy being able to participate in, say, twitter chats, if they happened at more decent hours? If you’re from the US, were you aware of all of these struggles?

Do you have other ideas and things that could be done to support international book bloggers more?

What are some of your favorite international book bloggers? Please feel free to share them and give them a shout out in comments!

Posted by

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

150 thoughts on “How to support international book bloggers

  1. Yes to all of this. I am only very really on the periphery of the community, especially these days so this stuff doesn’t affect me so much any more, but I used to find the Twitter chats thing in particular incredibly frustrating. I love books, but not enough to sit up until 2am to talk about them!

    I appreciate that it can be harder for some bloggers to make their competitions international when they have to eat shipping costs, but when people are in a position to do that it seems very unfair to exclude so many readers simply because they don’t live in the US.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you – I completely understand the shipping costs struggles, it is SO expensive at times. But when people can afford it or when they can use other ways to make giveaways more inclusive, like book depository for instance, I and international bloggers appreciate it SO much ❀

      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve never understood why NetGalley doesn’t allow International Bloggers to request books. It doesn’t cost anything extra, right? What about buying ebooks on Amazon? Do they charge you extra for doing that even though it’s a digital copy? I’m not going to lie, I’m very unfamiliar with how things work for you guys, and it sounds like it’s terrible. We check out 50+ books from a library down the road every week, so it’s not something I’ve ever had to deal with. (Mostly children’s books and a few for me.)

    Maybe things will get better in the future! Fingers crossed!

    — Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t understand that either, maybe it’s a rights question, I’m not sure :/
      I am not buying e-books on Amazon since I don’t have a Kindle, but as far I know you are not paying extra, as long as you’re ordering on your amazon’s country website. That being said, most of the time when deals are shared online for e-books, well, they’re only available for the “.com” website and sometimes that doesn’t work out well for everyone.
      It’s really amazing that you got a great library close-by that you can make good use of πŸ™‚ Thank you for your support and for reading, that means a lot! ❀

      Like

    1. Ohh Australia! I dream of going there someday haha. I’m sorry to hear it’s so difficult here for you as well, that’s so bothering. I really wish everyone could have the same easy access to books 😦
      Thank you so much for your comment ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I try to make most of my giveaways international by using The Book Depository (unless I’m giving away a physical book I already own — for those, international shipping can just be too cost prohibitive). Since most bloggers pay blogging expenses out-of-pocket, it can be hard for them to include international bloggers in their giveaways. But supporting our international blogger friends is always a great idea!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so sweet of you, thank you for trying to make international bloggers feel more included by using book depository when you can! ❀ I completely get it about the shipping costs, these can be quite, well, WAY too expensive, it's unbelievable sometimes.
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment and support, Nicole, it means so much! ❀

      Like

  4. I feel like traveling this summer has made me so much more aware of how difficult accessing English books can be. When I was in Hong Kong, all the book stores I went to had an English section that was only three bookshelves wide. The thing is, the books in that section consisted of children’s books, middle-grade novels, YA, classics, and adult novels — so you can imagine all the books for sale were just the most popular, bestselling books. I was craving new YA releases SO SO much this summer, but getting a physical copy overseas was just so much more expensive and tedious that I settled for waiting until I got back home to the U.S. (And the same situation occurred in Japan as well.)

    Posts like these open my mind so much and make me realize that I should never take my home for granted again. I literally have a library with the best selection of new and old books five minutes (!!!) from my house — when I compare that to how I had to drive nearly an hour down to downtown Hong Kong to a book convention to get a copy of The Language of Thorns, I definitely feel extremely grateful for where I live. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I’m glad that travelling made you a bit more aware of things like these – here, I’m lucky if I get one shelf of English books in a bookstore, let alone one shelf with the books I’d actually like to read haha. It’s frutrating, I love browsing in bookstores but I can’t really do that 😦

      It’s so, so amazing you have a library so close to you and that you can enjoy it, that’s so great πŸ˜€

      Thank you so much for your sweet words and support, that means a lot ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. YES! Thank you so much for sharing this. I feel like it is so important to be aware and to acknowledge that there is so much variety and differences among different countries. I try my best but I sometimes forget too. Thank you for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When I still lived in Hungary, I did visit the library on occasion (we had 1 for adults and 1 for children in my town), but the selection was not so great. Like, i couldn’t get English books there. Most of the books were translated to Hungarian, and we had a few Serbian/ Croatian and German, because we have a small community of these nationals.

    Buying English books from bookstore was also a pain, had to order them online and they were quite expensive.

    As we are talking about 11 years ago, we didn’t have kindle back then. I don’t know how kindle works in countries where there’s no Amazon. I remember one of my friends from the UK got a kindle here for her sister who lived in another country and set up an account for her, so she was able to buy books that way, but i don’t know what the actual options are.

    Like

    1. Libraries are complicated, especially when we’re living in a foreign country where English isn’t the first language, it’s hard to get books in their original language there, in bookshops already and in libraries they are non-existent sometimes, haha.
      Oh that’s fantastic that one of your friends was able to do that – I have to say, I don’t have a Kindle so I have no idea how that works out. I wish things were a bit less complicated for us international bookworms,but well… we’re doing our very best haha πŸ™‚ ❀
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m from the UK, so like you I have a few frustrations but I recognise I’m really privileged compared to bloggers in other countries. I find getting hold of ARCs nearly impossible. I do have a library close by, but it rarely has the newer YA titles. Books come out in hardback over here first and then we have to wait for a year or more to get the paperback!
    I do find it difficult to participate in Twitter chats, they always seem to be on at 1 am my time. I’d join in lots more if they were a bit earlier. I really appreciate bloggers who host international giveaways and I think the bookish wish tag is a great idea. Thanks for writing this post, you’ve got some great ideas.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank YOU for your sweet comment, it makes me so happy that you enjoyed this post ❀ ❀ I get your frustrations, it is hard to wait for paperbacks to release sometimes and to feel out of the loop for everything sometimes :/
      Thank you! ❀ ❀

      Like

  8. Yes to everything you said here Marie. As an international book blogger living in a third world country, I can personally confirm that there are countries where online shopping isn’t allowed due to legal mumbo jumbo, libraries are nonexistent and 99% of bookstores don’t even sell the original copies of foreign titles (they reprint them illegally and then sell those lower quality reprints) because the original foreign titles are so expensive that only a very small percentage of readers would be able to afford them. This is a really great post Marie, I love how you are spreading awareness here.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is so important for people to realize how complicated it can be to get books. For some people in the world, it’s really easy and it’s far too easy to forget that it’s not like that everywhere in the world. It’s so important to be aware of the accessibility to books and how it’s different and REALLY hard in some places, too 😦
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment, I am so happy you enjoyed this ❀ ❀ ❀

      Like

  9. As an intl blogger, I must say I’m not super bothered. Mostly because I’m a money situation that allows me to get the books I desire (obiviously I cannot get over board with my orders) and I can use both Amazon or Book Depository. I still manage to get a good numer of eArcs. But so many are on wish.

    Still, no libraries here. I’ve a major laugh at people thinking that the books I read in English can be found in Italian libraries or even bookshop. Okay, some bookshop have some titles, but jut a few numbers and paperback cost as much as an hardback.

    Okay, this is not exactly the best example, but I think it might show how things are quite filtred trhough a only and unique view.
    I remember once that a reader in book Twitter community, one that is quite know and looked up, I think, saying something about why people where getting so interested in book boxes when they could just pre-order for getting the swag. It left a bit… what?
    Now, I perfectly know that many people cannot afford a book box (since it isn’t cheap) but it left me think because many times the famouse pre-order with swag can be purchased with US based bookshop/publishers and: 1)maybe not everything can be shipped to intl folks 2) the shiping cost is giant.
    Talking form my perpsective, as someone who cannot travel often and meet authors, getting a book box is actually more convinient. For special edition, bookplate, my only chance to get an author’s autograph, getting chats with author and actual swag. All things that if I purchased separetly, it would be like buying a box for two or three times. Maybe even more because for some little things, like a candle for example, I once was proposed a ship cost of 30 and over euros.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s fantastic that you are able to get books – it always feels like such a privilege to be able to do so when so many people have more difficulties than us in that area.

      Same here, it makes me laugh thinking people feel like we have all the books we want, while the situation is actually so very different here. I’m glad if this post can open some people’s minds a bit more about the reality when it comes to intl bloggers and readers and accessibility to books πŸ™‚

      YES that’s a great argument – so many pre-orders contests are made US-only and sometimes if we want a little more, book boxes are the way to go, but they are SO expensive. For me it’s never worth it because I am not a big fan of swag haha πŸ™‚ But yes, the shipping costs are way, way too big sometimes, unfortunately 😦

      thank you so much for sharing your thoughts and for your sweet comment! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Hello Marie ❀
    Great post πŸ™‚ I agree that the YA book world is very America-focused. I am fortunate to be in Canada where it is fairly easy to access books through the bookstore or the library. I've heard a bit about the struggles of international bloggers but I gained more appreciation of it after reading this post. It is amazing how you and other international bloggers continue reading and blogging with such passion despite these obstacles. Thank you for sharing ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so much Sophie, your sweet words and support mean the world to me and to other international bloggers, I am sure ❀ I'm really happy if I could open people's eyes and minds a bit more with this post πŸ˜€

      Like

  11. THIS POST, it speaks to my soul!! I 100% second everything you said Marie, because as a fellow international bookworm I feel this soo much. Especially the thing with Netgalley lately … it’s just frustrating how nearly everything is ‘wish for it’ and I hardly get approved for anything anymore 😦 The different timezones can also be quite frustrating when it comes to literally anything. However, I’m glad that a lot of Readathons have sprints running several times a day so that everyone has the chance to participate πŸ™‚ That’s because they also have hosts from different timezones!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh this is so awesome, I did not know that about readathons! I don’t participate in them often – actually, not at all haha – so I hadn’t noticed. I am so happy to hear they do that in order to be more inclusive, that’s awesome πŸ˜€ At least some progress is happening, let’s hope this keeps on going this way πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Yes to the times! I’m dyscalculic, and have trouble processing times in day-to-day life. So even the simple act of linking to a time-zone converter when you mention times, or using IST/GMT, would help me a lot!

    One thing I would def. add is that Americans often don’t understand that we have different release dates for books, films, TV shows, etc. – something that they don’t think is a spoiler because *everyone’s* seen it (*rolls eyes* – that’s kind of a snobby FOMO attitude to begin with,) *is* a spoiler to us, because it hasn’t even been effing released here yet! *sighs* Lol! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you, it would be so useful and important to just help people make the conversion, it’s not always easy to convert all of the timezones, it would be way easier to have some help or a direct link for us to know right away if we can make it, or not, at that time πŸ™‚

      YES YES YES. That’s such a good point as well. I’m thinking of Love, Simon for instance, that movie released THREE MONTHS after it was released in the US, in my country, but by then I just knew the entire movie already. It is so frustrating :/

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Such an awesome post Marie! Definitely agree that us international book bloggers have it tough since this is such an American-centric niche. Netgalley is especially disheartening, or give-aways that are US-only, and I’ve been dissapointed about missing a Twitter chat so much as well! But yeah, we should definitely all do our part to boost international bloggers. I’m thinking about including a little spotlight in my monthly wrap-ups, where I share the love and boost a particular blogger, focusing mostly on international bloggers. Every little bit helps!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that is such a brilliant idea if you do that, spotlights always warm my heart and are so appreciated in the community, too ❀
      It's so complicated sometimes to have access to books or just, to feel like we are not left out of this. We're doing our very best, but it's frustrating when doors close on us anyway 😦
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet words and your support, it means a lot! ❀ ❀

      Like

  14. I knew about all the struggles but I can’t imagine not having a library or a bookstore! How can you read? You guys are magical! Well I love hearing about your blogs and I love to support!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Hi Marie,
    I just agree with everything you just said. Being an international book blogger often isn’t that easy and I guess we people from more privileged countries are lucky to live here and have online shops actually shipping here. It’s even worse for people who don’t have access to Book Depository or something similar. And the thing is, a lot of us, no matter where we come from, read English books and for the mentioned reasons it’s difficult to get those books. And those who don’t read in English are dependent on publishers from their country to publish and translate it (which can take years and years and then the translation is probably bad). The next problem is talking to publishers and trying to work with them. I’m usually decliend or people don’t even bother answering me but what am I supposed to do? It’s not my fault I’m not American or from the UK.
    And the giveaway thing you mentioned? Completely agree. Because most of the time I go “Wooo a giveaway” just to go “oh, US/UK only. ok bye”. And I understand that for people like us but tbh, I think publishers have enough money to make one or two giveaways international?
    I don’t know, it’s just not that easy for everyone as some people think it is.
    Really great post!

    Kat

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed this post, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about it, Kat! ❀
      Translations take so much time and sometimes they just never happen, which is frustrating. I'm so thankful to have access to book depository and I'm so sad and frustrated for people who can't even get their books from there. I wish things were easier 😦

      Thank you so much! ❀ ❀

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.