Let’s Talk: Should Publishers do more to acknowledge the work of book bloggers?


Well guys, here we are. The last discussion post of the year!

…which might actually confuse you all slightly, since I upload them every Wednesday and this is very obviously not the last Wednesday of the year. BUT after uploading a discussion post every single week for a year, I’ve come to the point where ideas are running low. So A Frolic Through Fiction is taking a li’l break from it’s weekly discussions – and with the amount of posts coming from me this December (trust me, there’s A LOT), what better time for the break than now? But don’t you worry, they’ll be back early 2017. Just need some time off to think of new topics!

And so we get to this week’s topic, inspired by the recent BEA changes.

Should publishers do more to appreciate the work of book bloggers?

Now, I don’t know much about the whole BEA situation. I live in the UK, so I’ve not really looked into the American book conventions because in reality, I’ll never go. However. I certainly couldn’t miss the rage of the bloggers who were affected by BEA’s new changes. Apparently, there’s a whole application process you have to go through just to have a chance of going, and this year they’ve made it so much more difficult to get in. Or “professional”, they call it. I had a quick look through and it does look quite difficult to fill all the questions in. Not only that, but it’s ridiculously expensive.

But I do get it. I remember how much anger was circulating through the online community after the last convention, when people realised that a few of the people going to BEA would hoard ARCs and even sell them. I understand that this is their attempt at listening, at sorting the issue. Still, a few bad eggs ruin the experience for everyone else.


Let’s face it – blogging is hard work. A lot of hard work.Β 

Not only do we spend hours typing away, but we have to promote our own work constantly in the hope of getting any interaction. Then there’s the design – the design of our blogs, the photography, the title images and graphics for each individual post. All done in our spare time and for free. Β 

And the sheer amount of influence we have on the publicity of books can’t be ignored either. Booktubers are popular for reviews, sure, but written reviews? Well, that’s what the majority of us are here for. And it’s not even just reviews. Every single post we write is about books, promoting them to anyone who will listen.

And yes, we do this because we love to. We love reading, we want to talk about books, so we do. But sometimes, when situations like these changes to BEA come along, bloggers might feel like they simply aren’t appreciated enough. All this free publicity we’re giving them, only to be told we can’t go to their fancy convention because we’re not professional or rich enough? Well that’s just charming, isn’t it? Granted, that’s the more “extreme” of cases – and it’s not really the publishers, it’s the organizers of the event. But even little things, like the publishers sharing your twitter link to good reviews, or a simple “thank you for writing a review!”…Not that common, are they?


Personally, it doesn’t bother me at all.

I do all this because I love to. I expect nothing from the publishers in return.

I’ve been lucky enough to see some benefits from my work as a book blogger (and now booktuber). I’ve been sent ARCs from publishers and authors, which I’m so incredibly grateful for. I never thought in my life that I’d be able to work alongside publishers, helping spread the love for books. And if anything, it’s helped me find my way in the world, because I now know specifically that I want to work in Publishing when I’m older. I want to be on the flip side of where I am now, working as a book publicist, being the one seeking out bloggers to send ARCs to and raving on social media about how great all the books are.

Yes I know there’s more to it than that but this post is already long enough so shhh

Here’s to hoping I get there.

I see book conventions and wish I could go. Where I am now, I’d have no chance of saving up enough money to travel to London – where the majority of them are in the UK – nevermind staying there for an entire weekend and having enough money for the convention itself. Do I begrudge the publishers for that? No. It’s not their fault. Sure, it’d be nice if I could go, but it’s just something to aim for in the future.

I do all this because I love to. I will never stop saying that. Anything publishers do to acknowledge me and my blog/booktube is appreciated by me way more than they probably realise. Any shares, tweets, reposts, mail, follows, anything at all, from anyone. I cherish them, take them to heart and appreciate it beyond words. But I don’t set out to win them. I’m here because I love it.

So now it’s your turn!

What’re your thoughts on this?

Do you think publishers need to appreciate book bloggers more?

Does it matter to you whether a publisher is interactive with bloggers or not?

How do you think would be a good way for them to show their appreciation?Β 

Join the discussion in the comments!

Also, if you have any requests/ideas for future discussion topics in 2017, please do let me know! I’ll be creating a list during the break so I’ll write down all ideas πŸ™‚

Until next time…


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23 thoughts on “Let’s Talk: Should Publishers do more to acknowledge the work of book bloggers?

  1. Great post! I’m the same as you, it doesn’t really bother me at all. But that could just be because of my location and, like you, not being able to go to book conventions. I live nearly 500 miles away from London for a start. However, I’m always super happy when I receive a book via Netgalley – I feel this is one way they do show appreciation.

    Lauren @ My Expanding Bookshelf

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t think publishers really owe bloggers anything, beyond the general respect and goodwill one ought to show consumers/fans. Yes, blogging is hard work and incredibly time-consuming but 1) publishers in most cases aren’t asking us to do it; it’s own choice choice and 2) whether we greatly affect sales is hard to quantify. Sure, we’re doing hard work, but the publishers’ main interest is whether that work is translating directly into sales. And who knows? The blogosphere talks a lot about how “no one reads reviews” and how our follower counts are smaller than blogs in other niches. I’d be hard-pressed to know whether anyone purchased a book simply because they blogged about it.

    I do think publishers need to be careful to not be too obviously mercenary. Of course they are focused on profits and sales. They’re businesses first and foremost, but good business and high sales are often related to treating customers kindly. And in the case of art (music, movies, etc.) to treating fans kindly. (Everyone gets irked when celebrities are jerks to their fans, for instance. You know, “be grateful for the people who let you get this far.”) So, no, publishers don’t owe bloggers anything, including entrance to BEA, but I do think they don’t want to outright dismiss or insult bloggers. (And no company as a whole has done this, but some individual employees aren’t always subtle about disliking bloggers. They can. That’s fine. But I’d probably keep that talk in the office and not on public forums like Twitter.) Appreciating people who are doing free advertising for you can’t really go amiss.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Very true. While I do think bloggers have a lot of influence in the book buying industry, they don’t really owe us anything. Even though reviews aren’t exactly the most popular of posts, the general hype we build up as a collective just by talking about books does a lot to help. I for one have bought most of the books on my shelves because I’ve seen others mention them, even if not in review form. But yeah, just because we do all this work, it’s not like the publishers are asking us too. We can’t expect entry into conventions easily etc etc just because we have this hobby.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Right. It sounds like some kind of question for Miss Manners: “I went over to my sister’s house and cleaned it for her, and she didn’t thank me! Was that a breach of etiquette on her part?” I imagine the answer is something like (ignoring questions of how you get into the house): “Well, it was really nice of you to clean her house and good intentions deserve a nod of thanks, but on the other hand she didn’t ask you to clean her house in the first place, so it’s not like she owes you showers of gratitude for your self-appointed task.”

        So, in general, I think it’s good business to celebrate fans and anyone who’s giving you free publicity. Like, people have taken to celebrating fan art, videos, etc. because that’s all free marketing for your product, and why not encourage that? So, sure, publishers should probably encourage bloggers, out of pure self-interest. But if the question is “Ugh. We’re doing all this work, and the publishers don’t care!” then the answer is probably “Well, they’re not making you do it. If it’s not fun, just stop.” πŸ˜‰ (Not that I think people are saying it’s not fun.)

        Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such an important matter to talk about. I’ve started my blog not long ago (after delaying to write more posts and finally being active) and it’s really wonderful to follow such amazing people like you, grabbing my attention to the real stuff and something good I can play around in my mind. And now that I’ve spent more times in wordpress, yes, it is truly hard to manage even one blog. I love that you’re doing this because you love to, I mean, at first, I was like, ‘Hey, those publishers aren’t paying enough attention, it’s really not fair’. But as you talked about the love of doing this, I’ve gotten a good second thought afterward. Anyways, another great post by you, you know what? I think you may have become one of my favorite bloggers πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m just happy to get free books. I don’t think publishers owe us anything. I like helping small press and self-pub authors get the attention they deserve when they do good work. I like the fact that people trust me enough now to reach out to me and ask “Hey, have you read this? What do you think?” (Still amazes me when that happens!). But ultimately – free books, and the bit of money I make from advertisements on the site.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s amazing when people show they trust your judgement and want your opinion! That in itself can be a reward of blogging πŸ™‚ Free books are definitely a bonus (I haven’t earned anything via adverts as of yet and don’t think I will anytime soon) and that definitely shows that publishers do at least think of bloggers when it comes to the marketing process!


  5. I wrote a post about this and said that publishers need to appreciate bloggers more but after reading your post I realize you’re right it isn’t the publishers fault it’s BEA’s decision to not include bloggers. I do think BEA needs to be more inclusive but I do agree with most of your post. I love blogging I’ve never received an arc but it doesn’t matter because that’s not why I blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah BEA would definitely have benefited more had they left things the same and maybe just tighten the rules/security on how many books per person gets, rather than exclude a whole load of bloggers. That’s hardly fair. But if things like that bothered bloggers to the extreme of them feeling like they don’t want to blog anymore, then they’re clearly blogging for the wrong reasons

      Liked by 1 person

  6. To be honest, I’m not quite sure. I don’t know much about BEA. I think it’s great that bloggers and booktubers get arcs but whether publishers should acknowledge more bloggers work? I don’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah it really is a hard one to judge! It took me a while to write this post actually because the views sometimes overlap, and then there’s different circumstances…it’s tricky!


  7. I feel the same way! To me, blogging is a hobby, I do it for fun and to be apart of the bookish community. I am not in it for recognition or any type of acknowledgment. I also think Publishers do not owe us bloggers anything… including ARCs. Any type of recognition or incentives (ARCs) should be considered perks.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. While I don’t feel that I’m owed anything as a book blogger, I have to admit it feels great when an author or publisher acknowledges a review. I have found that authors are far more gracious, appreciative, and approachable than I had ever imagined. When a publicist doesn’t respond to an email or “like” or RT a review, I try to remember that they have big jobs and we are likely (understandably) to be low on their priority totem pole.

    With regard to BEA, I agree that the process for bloggers was quite cumbersome. Like most of us, I was horrified to hear about the blogger who was taking tons of ARCs and selling them. That said, she did have a legit blog so I’m not sure that this process will ensure that doesn’t happen again.

    It’s also worth mentioning that in addition to your work history and stats, the application for bloggers asks for 2-3 professional references. As I was filling out the application, it occurred to me that 2 of my 3 references were publicists I met at BEA. I hope they will take into consideration that new bloggers, though they may not have great stats or impressive references, really need access to events such as BEA in order to make those connections.

    Great post, BTW.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      I completely agree. I don’t expect acknowledgement when it comes to review on twitter from the publishers, or even the authors, because more likely than not they have a huge following & I’m just one more person talking about it – however great that is for them. They have more important things to do!

      And that’s a very fair point (about BEA being a place for meetings/opportunities). Though I’ve not been to a convention myself – I wouldn’t know what exactly happens there – I’ve seen a fair few people point out the fact that their references are from people they wouldn’t have known unless they went to BEA in the first place. If the opportunity to get in just isn’t there anymore, it sounds like it’ll end up being a cycle of the same group of people every year from now on.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I would like to go to a convention and plan on going with Gretchen and Lily when they go to the NY one in the summer again…but I don’t get to go a lot because of where I live (Michigan is far from most of the action).
    What is the BEA? I’ve never heard of it and couldn’t find it when trying to search it! Help me, Ashleigh!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s BookExpo America, but this year it’s just called BookExpo i think, so you could try searching that? I don’t know much else about it I’m afraid, apart from authors go there and there’s promo sort of things like handing out ARCs and merchandise


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