I have been going back and forth about whether or not to write this blog. Then, once I decided I would write it, I chickened out about posting it a little bit. Not because I care if I piss people off, but because I don’t want to seem… pretentious? Full of it? I don’t know.
I’ve been a casual observer of the online book community for a very, very long time. Really since its birth. I’ve been reading blogs (both author and reviewer) since I can remember. I joined Goodreads long before everyone started bitching about it. I admittedly just entered the BookTube community, but it’s the same shit on a different plate. So what’s the deal?
The book community is incredible, by the way. Let’s just get that out. This blog is not about how much I hate our community because I absolutely love it. But you can love someone and not take their shit, so that’s kind of what I’m doing here. I mean, look at me, I’m a part of it too now. I’m a content creator too, albeit an unsuccessful one.
There’s too fucking many of us
This is the first problem, and maybe it’s a good one to have, I don’t know. There are just too many of us with our blogs, YouTube channels, 5,000 word Goodreads reviews, etc. It is so hard to create original content because there are probably 50 other bloggers posting the same thing on their free WordPress or Live Journal accounts. You basically have to light yourself on fire to make it as a book blogger.
A case study, if you will. I’ve been working on this blog for quite a while. I was posting a lot for a couple of months then disappeared for about a year before I started up again. That was definitely my mistake, and my posting consistency is definitely making a difference. However, a few months ago I started another blog in another, very specific niche. Homegrown Vegan is a blog about a first time vegan gardener, aka me, and the delicious food you can make from your backyard. In the month I’ve been working on Homegrown Vegan, my subscriber count passed this blog up within the first few weeks.
It’s not because my other blog is fancy. It’s also on a free WordPress account. I am still engaging with other blogs just as much, but it’s different enough to stand out. There, I am new and interesting. Here, I am just another cat lady spilling tea on my book and oversize sweater.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. I wish I had a huge group of friends just like that. But I don’t so I come here, where you crusty cat ladies are waiting to talk books with me. It just doesn’t make your blog any different than anyone else.
No one gives a shit about YA
If there’s one way to get heaps of readers quickly, it’s focusing on YA. Young adult fiction is cool, don’t get me wrong. I just feel like you’re really appealing to the lowest common denominator there. YA novels are short, quick reads. They are incredibly easy to review. They have a huge audience of young adults and older adults. And despite how popular these bloggers are, there never seems to be an end to the new YA bloggers or BookTubers.
If you’re looking for a great new blogger to follow, you have to wade through the army of YA reviewers to find someone actually writing good, in depth reviews on actual literature. Or popular suspense. Or huge scifi series. Or anything that isn’t a 2 hour read. I want the rest of the book community to thrive. Everyone that isn’t reviewing YA, I want you to take the online world by storm. I want to hear YOUR opinions. Tell me what you love, what you hate. I want YOU, not dime a dozen YA fans.
Actually, I think those are really my biggest issues with the book community. You know, there are just too many of us and those that are popular enough to stand out are doing the same old YA bullshit. I feel like we are more than that. I hope the book world can even out, because right now we are lopsided and misshaped. This community could be great if we value everyone creating content for us, not just one genre.
So tell me, friends, who are your favorite non-young adult bloggers or BookTubers?