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!

If you want to support me, (this would be deeply, deeply appreciated, but in absolutely no way mandatory!) I have a Ko-Fi, as well as a wishlist.

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TwitterΒ β˜‚οΈ Goodreads β˜‚οΈ Bloglovin ‘β˜‚οΈ Support the blog

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

270 thoughts on “How to support international book bloggers

  1. oh my god…everything in this post, but particularly the library comment! We don’t even have many libraries where you would find English fiction books, forget YA lit which is a smaller market – and I speak for two different Asian countries in this particular regard. Being a book blogger is already expensive enough when you have to buy nearly all the books you read, and aren’t able to get library access for some books, and makes the availability and means to read even more difficult.

    Additionally, and I know this isn’t strictly about other bloggers, but I wish American bloggers would also acknowledge that we don’t get as many incentives like exclusive editions with bonus content (this one always makes me sad because often there is no legit way to get those extras), or signed books, or even preorder campaigns goodies. I wish some, if they are able to, would host giveaways for that instead, or even just offer to buy those for INTL bloggers who are ready to pay for shipping.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so happy you could find a bit of yourself in this post! This library thing is so very frustrating – I’m lucky enough to have a regular income since I’m working so I can get books, even if I can’t all the time either, but I can’t imagine how complicated it is when you’re not :/

      Oh that’s such a great point!! I didn’t think of that when I wrote that post but you’re so right – exclusive editions and bonus content and everything seems amazing and I wish we could have an opportunity to get them, too!
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! ❀

      Like

  2. Living out in SE Asia comes with so many benefits. Convenience for book blogging is NOT one of them. This post speaks to me on so many levels and it really is a fantastic read. I wasn’t even aware that there were twitter chats because I’m never online at 6am. Thanks for this great post

    Liked by 1 person

  3. yes, yes, yes, couldn’t agree more! what a lovely post, Marie!! (might have inspired something for me to write too, but it’s just an idea so far haha) People constantly mention libraries, and while I’m lucky enough to have some near me, their collection of books I’m interested in is seriously lacking (for example, my local library doesn’t even have most series completed because it relies heavily on donations). And because I’m a student, I really have no income of my own. The last book I bought was for a class, and I can’t even remember the last book I bought to read for fun )):

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh thank you so much Marta, you’re too sweet! ❀ And it makes me so happy this could inspire you, too, please feel free to link back / send me the post or something so I don't miss it, if you end up writing it, I definitely want to read your thoughts! πŸ™‚
      It is SO frustrating when people mention libraries, assuming we all have the same access to them :/ Being an international book blogger is so frustrating at times 😦
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Marta ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It drives me crazy that people always suggest to go to the library. They have almost no books in English, they don’t invest in series… same in the local bookstore, they only have a few of the hyped novels. I wouldn’t be surprised they still promote The Girl in the Train here. I love it when others organise international giveaways, it really makes me feel included then and appreciated as an international blogger. My only wish is that publishers would do so too. I’m sure they can afford one international giveaway and it’s so often limited to the UK/IRE or US. Thanks for this fab post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That library comment always makes me SO mad. I appreciate it that people support libraries, it’s so important, but it’s also SO important to recognize that not everyone in the world has the same access to libraries :/
      Agree! International giveaways are so, so nice and I always appreciate them so much when people can do them ❀
      Thank you so, so much for your comment! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with everything in this article. I just started book blogging last October and, while I know this is an incredibly large investment, I know it’s all worth it. However I do have some disappoints with my national government for not allocating larger budgets to libraries so that they can order newer books and update their infrastructure, as well as build satellite libraries across the country. Still though, I’m very grateful for the international book blogging community with their generous giveaways and all-around support. It’s been a positive ride so far, and discovering so many books from around the world is just fantastic.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy you’ve been having a positive experience with blogging, despite the international struggles! The community overall is just so welcoming and I appreciate it so much when people can be inclusive to international bloggers as well ❀
      Thank you so, so much for your sweet comment! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m really new in this community, I’ve just started my bookish blog back in January 2019 but as I (slowly) grow, I try to get the attention of publishing houses. Because duh, it’s really interesting to read books in advance and be one of the firsts to talk about it, and help people discover those books, and all and all. But as a French book blogger, this is so discouraging. I’ve joined Netgally, and I had the extremely good luck to get books I’m interested in – but neither were “wishes”, I could directly ask for it. I tried Edelweiss. I asked for at least 20 books. All of those demands came back denied. This is so discouraging seeing mails, and mails, and mails, saying that no, you can’t have this. Specially because you don’t have the reason for all these refused demands. Mostly, it is because I live in France. I’m not interesting. I’d like to shout to every american publishing houses : give a chance to international book bloggers! It’s not because we’re not from America that we don’t like/read what you published!! And a lot of our viewers/followers also like those kind of books. You’re losing sales by doing so, mate. What a shame!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, first of all, a late welcome to book blogging and AHH hello I’m French too πŸ™‚ It’s so great to meet fellow French bloggers πŸ™‚
      I so get the frustration, most of the books are on “wish for it” on NetGalley for me, too, and Edelweiss hasn’t been my lucky place so far either haha. It can be so, so very frustrating and I feel like publishers could reconsider some of their publicity strategies when it comes to that for sure. ❀ I'm here if you need anything, really, always happy to help if I can! Keep on blogging and enjoying it, wishes are rare to be granted on NetGalley, but I'm living proof that bookish dreams can happen, some did for me πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh dear! *hugs* this bookish community is lovely.. but I totally feel the frustration being an international book blogger myself. You know.. even this happened, agent knocks me to know if I am interested, I say yes. She asks for my address and upon seeing I am from Malaysia apologised and said it would be too costly πŸ˜ͺ also lets not talk about the lack of libraries!

    Thank you for the post πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no! I’m so sorry this happened to you, it’s so frustrating to let you hope like that ugh, I hate that it happened 😦
      At least we all have each other, the support of the community and its generosity is amazing ❀
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is an amazing post Marie! Everything you’ve said is to important and relevant to the book community, and I hope lots of people read this post and take a minute to think about what it’s like for international bloggers. I definitely feel lucky to have access to libraries and publisher ARCs in the UK, but this post reminded me to check my privilege and to try and do more for INTL bloggers. I’ll definitely be doing another INTL giveaway soon πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh Kate thank you, you’re too sweet 😭 I’m so happy you enjoyed this post and thank you for being so thoughtful and generous, it means so much ❀

      Like

  9. As an international blogger, I know how lucky I am to live in the UK. We have a market, and decent shops/libraries. However, so many books never make it across the pond to us from America, and the same (e)ARC issue occurs here. I’m so glad you’re talking frankly and openly about the issues many of us face, when it feels like you can be so alone in the situation

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Wow! Such a passionate post, Marie. I’m sorry you have to go through all of this as an International Book Blogger. It made me checked my privilege here in Canada immediately. I take to heart this post and will try to support International book bloggers however, I can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this, I am aware of Kaleena’s amazing program to share ARCs around the world and have already read her Edelweiss blog post, unfortunately not much luck so far ahah πŸ™‚
      Thank you though!! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I feel so seen by everything you’ve written here! I’ve only just started blogging, tweeting and basically trying to be more active in the book community, but the struggle is definitely already very real. I often question just what I’m trying to do every time I try to get/do something and end up rejected. I’m based in Indonesia, and I think in terms of all book markets and especially for English books, it’s a pretty obscure location that people don’t think twice about saying no to. We don’t have libraries, and books that we get here come out MUCH later than a lot of other places. ARCs are pretty much impossible to get and what you said about e-ARCs is pretty much it.This post is amazing. Thank you for writing this!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much for your sweet comment, I’m so happy you could relate to this and know that you’re not alone struggling with these things. ❀ Thankfully the intl book blogging community is amazing and so, so supportive. This always warms my heart to think about that ❀
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Finally, someone is talking about this! I’m a book blogger from Serbia, and I experience these issues all the time.
    We do have lots of libraries and bookshops, but the books you can find there are usually older and you can’t find any of the currently popular books. Most books that I see other bloggers talk about will probably never be translated.
    Those that are published here, get published usually at least 5 or 6 years later (and only if they’re by well-known writers) or when a movie based on them comes out.
    As for the giveaways, just like you said, it’s very limited. You at least live in France, it’s almost impossible to get a hard copy if you live in Europe, but in a non-EU country. The same goes for Amazon – their shipping fees for Serbia are enormous. If the book costs $8, the total fee will rarely be less than $40, and you have to wait like 2 months to receive it.
    Thanks for this post πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comment and for taking the time to share your experience! ❀
      It's so frustrating sometimes and wow, the shipping fees for Amazon are gigantic, this is… wow. I'm so sorry you're experiencing this. The intl community has been so thoughtful and generous and I can only hope this goes on. We all got your back ❀ ❀

      Like

  13. I feel this so much! I have the weird position where I’ve bounced between the US and Europe, so I have definitely more privileges than others in the intl spheres, but some of the dialogue I’ve witnessed is just so awful. So thank you for this post, I hope it helps people get a clue into what it is to be an intl blogger s- which is how I started and am now again

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Loved this post! As a Jamaican based book blogger, it’s hard. Our libraries are more catered to the educational aspect of reading. And even if it’s or enjoyment, it’s usually books like Nancy Drew or the Hardy Boys. We have book stores as well but it’s the same thing with libraries -educational- and the books that are just for reading are usually adult romances (the erotic ones) or mostly Nora Roberts, self-help books and such.

    We recently got a book store that caters to reading for fun but their YA selection is usually so small. Like you’ll go in there and see a book for a series and buy it, only to realise it’s the last or second book and they don’t usually have the first.

    Most of the hard copies of books I own, I’ve got through giveaways. I consider myself pretty lucky when it comes to book giveaways but most of the time the books I want are usual for the US/UK and I can’t enter. It baffles me sometimes when I see a giveaway and the book is being bought through Amazon and there’s a follow-up tweet that says “sorry intl readers” I mean if you can buy it from amazon you can buy it from BD, right? I think books from Wordery are actually expensive compared to everywhere else.

    Also buying books online is really expensive because hello, exchange currency? A new hardback would cost $25 and that would be $3,350 in Jamaican dollars. So being an international reader is pretty hard.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so much, I’m so happy you enjoyed this post and thank you for sharing your experience as well ❀
      I agree with you about giveaways, it is a little frustrating at times. I understand the shipping costs when a person is sending a book themselves, but sometimes for other kinds of giveaways, book depository, which ships to a lot of countries, would already be a great alternative. I wish we could all be rich to send books all around the world, but unfortunately that's not how it is hahaha.
      I get that so much, new hardbacks can get pretty expensive, usually I wait for the paperback or just… watch regularly to see if the price drops haha πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much for shaing your experience ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Again, thank you, Marie, for putting this up. Even though I’ve only been extra active in the book blogging community, these struggles experienced by INTL book bloggers have been present for quite a while now.

    It IS discouraging at times because here we are, just trying to channel our passion for books by helping authors and publishers shine even more light on their books, but a lot of times, we just don’t have access to ARCs (not even e-arcs! E-ARCS!! Which doesn’t need to be shipped!!! How hard could it be to give out e-arcs??)

    I’m from the Philippines and even though we DO have libraries, they’re mostly not funded adequately by the government to have an even wider array of selections (even if there’s a library in the area, it mostly contains academic books and paraphernalia). How sad is it that I’m already 25 years old but I’ve NEVER been in a library here in PH.

    We have bookstores too! I’m privileged enough to be working in one of the major cities and have access to book stores. But how about those living in farther provinces? 😦 How about student bloggers who are under a tight budget? How about working bloggers who have to prioritize other expenses over buying physical copies of books?

    I wish the non-INTL community would be louder about this. So MORE publishers will maybe realize that β€œoh shucks INTL book bloggers are actually important!)

    I’ve so many thoughts about this and I want to say more, but for now, this would do. Haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam, thank you SO much for your sweet words, I am honestly so happy that this post resonated with you and your support means the world ❀
      Thank you for sharing your experience with it all! I agree that at times it can be a little discouraging, especially when it comes to e-ARCs… there has to be some rules we don't understand, but… that's it, I'd love to understand instead of just feeling, shut out, somehow.
      I'm 200% with you here, I wish non-INTL people would be more vocal about our issues and that publishers would give more shots to us, as well, because we matter and can make a difference, too, I really believe that ❀
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment, Pam!! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Love that we’re on the same page here with a lot of INTL bloggers. This whole thing can feel like we’re being shut out at times, but at the end of the day, our passion for reading is still there and all we can do is shout louder. ❀

        Liked by 1 person

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