Friday 16 August 2019

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We Book Bloggers Need to Recognise Our Worth

We Book Bloggers Need to Recognise Our Worth

Book Bloggers Need to Recognise Our Worth

Last month, YA author Courtney Summers sent out her third newsletter of the year, "She knows she's talented," about her path to realising she's good at what she does, acknowledging it, and, ultimately, that her success is down to her hard work. She was particularly talking about herself as an author, and other authors, but it got me thinking about about how I think of myself as a blogger.

"I waited years for someone or some milestone to signify I'd earned my career. This in spite of the countless hours of work I'd put into my craft, the talent I knew I had, the deadlines I'd met, the accolades my books received, and the audience I built. While I waited, I often apologized for or disclaimed the utter audacity of my having them. Do that enough, self-doubt creeps in. Doubt yourself, you'll act accordingly." From "She knows she's talented," by Courtney Summers.

I often talk about how Once Upon a Bookcase is a small blog despite ten years of book blogging. And while that is true in regards to stats and followers compared to other blogs, I realised it's also putting myself, and my blog, down. And even though I've figured out a way of blogging to combat stress and pressure that works for me, and am quite happy with the way I blog, I do compare Once Upon a Bookcase to other blogs I love - or myself as a blogger to other bloggers; their content, their reviews, so much more interesting, so much more detailed and nuanced. There are two particular blogs I have in mind, and I do kind of beat myself up comparing. Why can't I read more like them, more analytical? I read a story, they read a story with discourse about topics and exploration of themes that I miss.

But comparing isn't going to get anyone anywhere. I read how I read, and I blog how I blog. I'm a bloody good writer. And ten years isn't small. It's a bloody long time, and I have worked really hard to get my blog to where it is now, a blog I can be proud of and love completely. I did that. I did that.

This is also something I've seen in other bloggers, to a certain degree. With the nominations for The Third Annual 2019 Book Blogger Awards, so many bloggers have been overflowing with gratitude when they discovered they've been nominated via Twitter, but also surprise. Surprise that they've been nominated, surprise that people love and enjoy their blogs so much. And it's made me think that, collectively, we bloggers don't give ourselves enough credit. I'm not sure we recognise our own worth.

Look at what we do. The hours we put into our blogs, the passion we have, the successes we've reaped - yes, I'm talking award nominations, but also every single comment, every reply to a tweet, all the reader/blogger engagement. Our blogs were once non-existent, but now look where they are!

And it really got me thinking about earlier this year, when, time after time, authors showed they didn't appreciate or respect bloggers enough. Could this be because we're not blowing our own trumpets enough? Should we not demand respect for all we do for publishers and authors?

"[W]hen you reject your talent and hard work as critical components of any success you experience, you will also reject them as valid reasons to want, ask for or expect any or more success." From "She knows she's talented," by Courtney Summers.

This is really interesting to think about when considering the idea of whether or not book bloggers should get paid. This post isn't going to get into whether or not we should, but just think about it - what is our time, our labour, worth? What have we earnt - what are we owed - for what we do? At the very least, respect and appreciation for the time we put into promoting authors' books. Read this Twitter thread from Jen of Pop! Goes the Reader on her experiences of asking publishers to pay her for her work, and this tweet in particular. If our time and effort didn't make a difference, publishers - and sometimes authors - wouldn't come to us. Isn't that, in and of itself, something to be proud of? Our blogs are successful enough that publishers/authors want to take advantage of our platforms. We just have to be careful that they don't end up actually taking advantage of us.

It's food for thought. We need to recognise our successes, that those successes are down to us, and recognise our worth. And figure out for ourselves, individually, what that means in regards to how we see ourselves and our work with publishers/authors.

You may also like:

Why Authors Should Respect and Appreciate Book Bloggers How I Approach Blogging to Reduce Stress and Pressure Tenth Bloggerversary: What Blogging Means to Me, My Favourite Book from Each Year & Giveaway!

Over to you graphic

Do you recognise your own worth? Tell me all about your blogging successes! Where do your thoughts lie in regards to appreciation from those we work with? What do you think we're owed/have earnt for our work? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. You're so very right. I'm the same as you, constantly comparing myself to others and putting myself down. "Why isn't my post doing just as well as theirs? Why aren't my reviews so concise and informative? What can I do to be better?" The truth is, we're all doing the best we can under our circumstances. I had to take a 2 year break because I burned myself out constantly trying to keep up with everyone else. After my long, long break I told myself I wouldn't get myself so down again. Now, I blog about books I read because I want to, not because I *have* to and it's made a huge difference to my stress levels.

    I might never get nominated, or win an award or influence people into buying a particular book, but I'm enjoying what I'm doing because I am WORTH that enjoyment.

    Great post!


  2. Love this!

    Our blog ( is fairly new, but we've enjoyed the process so far. It can be easy to compare us to more successful bloggers. We need to realize how far we've come since April. Thanks for posting this!