The Evolution of Book Blogging

Sunday, May 18, 2014

I've been a bit reflective and contemplative about the past four years as a book blogger lately, and it's brought a few things to mind. The book blogosphere is an incredible unique little niche of the blogosphere as a whole, and it encompasses so many things. In the past four years, I believe that the vast nature of it has spread, as well, making it so that it embraces new genres, new authors and new mediums - all of which contribute to this ever-changing literary climate in which we find ourselves.

Whereas other blog niches seem to revolve around the same things more or less, the book blogosphere is one that seems to continue to morph with the changes and evolution of literature, as well. For example, as e-books and e-publishing have become more prevalent, I see more bloggers focus primarily on those niche markets. With the introduction of the newly-coined "new adult" genre, there are now niche blogs that focus primarily on that genre. It's pretty fascinating to watch.

However, it's brought new things to mind, as well, which I've shared with some other bloggers, as well. It seems that as the industry changes, blogs need to change with the times, as well, or they become stagnant. I've found that since my last hiatus, the book blogging world definitely changed, and I felt as though my blog lost a little traction then. I came back to a newly diverse and growing field of amazing book blogs that understood the new trends in the market, whereas I seemed to stay true to my roots. At times, it's great, but I also wonder about the overall longevity of my blog in this climate.

I know that sounds so doom-and-gloom, but it's really more of a reflection than anything else…one that's amazing and excited by all the changes I've been able to see come about in the past four years. For example:

  • The rise of Netgalley and subsequent rise of Edelweiss revolutionized the way that publishers could market their books to the book blogosphere who can, in turn, market the books to the public. 
  • The general acceptance and newfound prevalence of self-publishing has been refreshing to see and support, especially because it's been a hard-fought battle for many authors to prove their merit to the general public.
  • The rise of genres within certain markets (ex: dystopian in YA) has led to a growth-spurt in book bloggers and book lovers looking for a new sort of book to crave. It's exciting to have watched the boom of these little genres really take off.
  • The acceptance of book bloggers as grassroots marketers is an ongoing thing, but I've seen more and more authors and publishers really support and appreciate what book bloggers do, making it all the more worthwhile.

There a million other things I could probably list here, but it's fascinating to me that that list could change on any given day, week, month or year, as well. Book blogging has taught me that I need to roll with the changes, and it's something I'll be striving to do in the coming months. So long as I feel I can contribute even a little something to the book blogosphere, I intend to stick around.


  1. I've been blogging for 2 and a half years, and already I feel pretty much like you do. I'm not someone who makes or accepts changes easily. I like doing things a certain way, which is a disatvantage in a field that changes so quickly. But I still tell myself that being reliable and recognizable is enough. Hopefully I'm right.

  2. I guess I have stagnated in a way, but that is cos I review what I always wanted to review and enjoy it :)

  3. Four years is such a huge achievement for any blogger this way, especially one in such a small niche as ours. Overall I think us bloggers will embrace change as it is, no matter where the publishing industry goes in the future. Lovely contemplation Mel :)

  4. I've only been part of the blogging community for two years now (almost to that two year anniversary!), but I love how it has already evolved. Even through author-blogger situations, the entire blogging community has come together to stand up for what they believe in, just as we've always stood up for the books we've loved and encouraged publishers in their marketing endeavors. I can't imagine blogging without NG or Edelweiss, mostly because the majority of my ARCs come from those websites as I don't have the shelf space for any more in my house, but they truly have changed the way bloggers and publishers interact regarding upcoming titles. Wonderful post, Melissa, and thanks for sharing! :)

  5. Like Maja, I'm not big on change. But I've found that by reading a lot of blogs (even if I'm not always the best at commenting! Oops!) I become familiar with at least some of the "new" things that have become the norm. I have an idea of which books are making a big impact (though I still make an effort to read older and more varied books), and what bloggers are talking about and doing on their blogs.
    I still do what I want with my blog - after all, the whole reason I got into blogging in the first place was to review older books rather than just the new releases I got to review on the A&E site I reviewed for - and I'm fine with being a smaller blog because of it. I've always said that the day it stops being fun is the day I stop blogging. This is also the reason I rarely accept or ask for review copies. I want to be able to read whatever I'm in the mood for.
    I enjoy participating in readathons and link-ups, I enjoy using GIFs (relatively new in my blogging world) and I've also found that Twitter has become a huge part of my online book world. Change can be hard, but I think whether it puts a timer on the relevance of your blog really depends on why you're blogging and what you hope to get out of it! I'm fine with having a small group of followers who like how I blog, as opposed to a growing group at the expense of my personal voice, style and evolving tastes. Hopefully you'll be able to find a balance between doing what you enjoy and incorporating some of the new things going on in the blogosphere that leaves you with a blog you're proud of.
    Great discussion post - definitely got me thinking!

  6. I do follow a wide variety of blogs (not enough, though, and I don't really interact with many of them) so I feel like that keeps me somewhat in the loop. Lately, my blog's been veering away from the all-YA it started out as to more eclectic with YA, PNR, UF and romance. It wasn't really conscious, more just what I've been drawn to. At the moment, I still feel like I've got something to contribute but who knows what's going to happen?

  7. Great post! I'm a new blogger (just over two months) and I'm really glad I decided to jump into this whole crazy thing :) I came into blogging already knowing I was going to be a bit of an 'odd duck' since I'm an avid reader, who doesn't actually own any books. I get all of my books from my local library, which gives me a different perspective than a lot of other review blogs.

    I don't participate in ARCs and such, and have a pretty eclectic mix of old and new on my blog. I was a bit concerned about how this would go over, but so far I've gotten a lot of positive feedback and I'm really enjoying being a part of the book blogging community!

    Just found your blog and now following you through bloglovin :)
    Finley Jayne

  8. Great post! I just realized that my RSS feed isn't updating with your posts, so I haven't stopped by lately. I'll have to figure out why. It's odd since it worked after you switched to .org.

    One of the big changes I've noticed is that there doesn't seem to be one YA blogger queen. There's a few big blogs of course, but not necessarily one person - like The Story Siren - that everyone aspires to be.

  9. Change doesn't bother me, however I tend to march to my own drum. My reading taste is very eclectic and my blog reflects reviews from YA to Adult. I have noticed changes, and an increase in publishers/self-pub using bloggers as a viable marketing tool. Some of the changes I like and others make me shiver. I am happy on the course I have chosen and blog because it is a passion. Hopefully that attribute is what draws peeps to my site and not the latest and greatest trend.


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