Bookish Ramblings: Is Blogging Becoming a Popularity Contest?

Hello and welcome to another Bookish Ramblings, a weekly discussion here on Books, Biscuits, and Tea. I usually post Bookish Ramblings on Mondays but I was really busy, hence the change in my schedule. The idea for today’s discussion topic hit me last week when… well, I was a little bit taken aback. This week’s post is going to be rather a rant then an actual question but I hope you’ll enjoy it and join in the discussion all the same.

Have you ever felt like more experienced bloggers don’t respect you or your opinion just because you’re a relatively new reviewer? Have you ever felt that people don’t take you seriously just because your blog is not as popular or because you don’t get as many books as them?

Well, that’s what I want to talk about this week. If I think about it, I pretty much belong to the underdogs when it comes to blogging and reviewing because of many things. To start with, English is not my first language. I live in Eastern Europe (a place which doesn’t really have a good reputation, if you ask me) in the middle of nowhere. I read and blog in English but naturally, it’s a bit more difficult to express myself in a foreign language and I make mistakes. I don’t have any bookish friends from this country. Or any publishing contacts from around here. None of the publishers -except the ones who are based in the UK and whose support I’m incredibly grateful for- deal with international bloggers like myself. I don’t get invited to blogger events or book expos for the exact same reasons I listed here. And the list could go on.

Why am I saying all these? Because sometimes I feel like some people don’t realize how privileged they are, and more importantly, blogging is becoming a popularity contest and it shouldn’t be. Have you ever felt like more experienced bloggers don’t care about you or your opinion about certain things because you’re a relatively new blogger? Or have you ever felt pitied or insignificant in the blogging word because you don’t receive as many ARCs -or books in general – as some other people?

I’ve been blogging for 8 months but I still feel that way. And all I can say is… seriously, people?! Seriously? What makes you better than any other person who might not be as popular as you, or might not get any ARCs or as many books as you? Nothing. Just because you get 30 books each week doesn’t mean you’re superior to anyone else. Just because you’ve been blogging for 2 years doesn’t mean other people’s opinion doesn’t count. Consider yourself lucky, be grateful for what you have and stop being arrogant and treating new bloggers or anyone else like second class citizens because blogging is not a freaking popularity contest.


  1. says

    I smell a story here….

    I’ve been blogging for over 3 yrs and I don’t feel feel that way. BUT, I DO feel blogging is a popularity contest. Even though I’ve been blogging for yrs, I am still very small. I do think that the bigger blogs don’t give others the time of day. They have become a book blog for other bloggers? Know what I mean? They tell everyone else what they should and shouldn’t be doing. When it is just their opinion.
    Mary-Sweet Bookshelf recently posted..Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite-ish Quotes From BooksMy Profile

    • says

      *cough* Yeah.. *cough* :) It’s not much of a story, there are just some people whose attitude makes me a little bit annoyed.

      And I know what you mean! I just don’t know why new or less popular bloggers shouldn’t have a say in things. Seems to be a bit unfair to me.

      • says

        I hear you. Many of the blogs that started the same time as I did (or after) are now HUGE. Once they started to get bigger I saw them change a lot. Their ego’s did get quite large.

        I think it is important to remember that we can blog about what ever we want and how ever we want. Also, I don’t want 30 books per week. I can’t read that many! It wouldn’t be worth it. I do receive a fair share, but it is manageable. Only take what you can rightfully review.

        I’m still a “small” blogger in number, but I’ve been around the block and seen A LOT over these last 3.5 yrs. It also takes time to get pub contacts. I don’t think I had any my first yr. Blogging has come a long way if newer blogs are receiving books. We also didn’t have NetGalley. Just have fun and forget about the know-it-all’s. It isn’t worth it.
        Mary-Sweet Bookshelf recently posted..Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite-ish Quotes From BooksMy Profile

  2. says

    Perfectly said!!! I feel this way sometimes too. I’ve been blogging for about the same as you, 8 months and I still feel this way often.

    I just want to scream and say well what you’ve said here. What makes them any better than me! I also sometimes want to scream this at publishing companies as well. It’s not just the bloggers that look down on new bloggers its publishing companies as well. Don’t get me wrong I am more than grateful for getting even one book a week and I love blogging but your right its not a popularity contest!!!

    Great post!!!

    • says

      Thanks Ali! Whoa, I must have been lucky with publishers so far because I haven’t experienced anything like that from them. 😮 Well, I mean, there were some bigger companies who didn’t reply to my emails but that’s about it. I’m grateful for all the other contacts I’ve got. :)

      • says

        Yeah its the bigger pubs! I have one that says just b/c I dont have over 500 followers yet they wont give me anything till I hit that lol (I’m close though lol) Plus I had one that said I have to be blogging for over a year! lol but like I said I love what you said here!
        Ali @Ali’s Bookshelf recently posted..Quote of the Week!!!My Profile

  3. says

    Firstly I have to say, if I didn’t know you through our personal interactions, I would never have guessed that English is not your first language.

    As I’m a little bit like the ‘strange kid’ at school in terms of the books I read and the way I express my opinions, I’ve never felt that blogging is a popularity contest for me personally. In fact, of all the online communities I’ve been a part of in the last 15 years or so, I’ve found book blogging to be one of the most open, welcoming and encouraging.

    Being ‘International’ is tough. Books are more expensive, publishers are only willing to send you e-books (if anything), and giveaways/events are either restricted or non-existent (for giveaways run by bloggers this is perfectly understandable I must say).

    But being ‘International’ (and I always put that in inverted commas as I think it’s a bit of a cliche) also has it’s perks in my experience – it makes you stand out from the crowd! Blogger from Hungary? Yeah, that’s Vicki! Blogger from the Netherlands? Yeah, that’s Celine from Nyx Book Reviews! Blogger from Austria? Birgit at The Book Garden! Aussie that lives in the Netherlands? Yeah, that’s me 😀

    Sure, we have to work harder than some other bloggers, but we also have our unique qualities :-)
    Kat B recently posted..The World Ends on Wednesday #4 – Battle of the Sub-GenreMy Profile

    • says

      I totally agree on the perks of being an international blogger! I’m not just saying this because you mentioned me and my blog *blushes*. Anyway, where was I? Right. Being the only (or one of a few) bloggers from a country does make you stand out … take the US and it all gets a big blur. I don’t mean this in a negative way, but when someone asks you about US book bloggers you can rattle down a whole list while in, say, Hungary, I know two and I know them by name and not only that, I actually visit their blogs more than once a month, because their blog content is awesome.
      *waves hello to Vicky*
      Birgit recently posted..Beyond the Shelf – Build Creative Writing IdeasMy Profile

      • says

        *laughs out loud* Thanks Birgit! And yes, that’s true! It’s really weird because even though I’m following hundreds of blogs and most of them are from the US, the ones who interact with me on Twitter or Facebook and the ones who became my best friends are from either the UK or somewhere else in Europe. (Well.. not all of them but the majority)

    • says

      Kat I have to agree with you! Being “International” means being unique but it sometimes makes things harder. I hate reading US only at a rafflecopter thingy instead of international. These are the times I really would love to be not “International”. But if these are the only times I and if it will stay this way I am happy.

      I don’t think that blogging is a populartiy contest IF you think of it as your hobby and as a way of expressing your thoughts about books and spreading the word about a topic you love.
      I hate it that I have posts which are not commentated on but on the other hand I love what I do and that’s fine by me.

      Would I love to receive more notice? Yes, sure I would but maybe someday if I work hard enough I will reach this point. And if not … as long as I love blogging, participating in memes, taking to others and writing my reviews that’s fine by me.

      Maybe we “Internationals” should try to group a bit more and to spread the word that we are here as well. I try to support us and hope that this will help some of us to be remembered.

      And Vicky, Austria’s reputation isn’t the best either :)
      Karin recently posted..… in booksMy Profile

      • says

        Agreed! Although I think the giveaway issue is understandable because shipping costs a hell of a lot these days :( Unfortunately. But then again, why don’t Europeans restrict their giveaways to EU only? They’re usually international which includes the US as well, so … yeah. Anyway, you have a point there. As long as you enjoy what you’re doing, it’s great!

        Haha, although it’s much better than ours! 😀
        PS. I definitely support the idea and want us to stick together!

      • says

        Austria doesn’t have a good reputation? Apart from the image that you constantly wear lederhosen and do dances on top of snowy mountains, I can’t come up with a negative prejudice right now.

        Oh well. I come from the country that had legalised drugs and prostitution. The first thing someone asks you when you say you’re from the Netherlands is “Do you smoke weed?”.

        I think one way or another, every country has a negative image. The US looks pretty different from this side of the ocean than it does for Americans.
        Celine recently posted..Bout of Books 4.0 Readathon: GoalsMy Profile

    • says

      Completly agree, I´m an international blogger too, from Mexico actually and even though it is harder for us to get contacts and stuff it also makes us unique.

      Kate Douglas the Author of Wolf Tales and several other series once even refer to me in a post saying that i was her first blogger from my country and even email me and send me an physical ARC of one of her books, that made my day cause it did make me stand out, true i never ever recieve books but at the same time it gives me free reign about the books i review for my blog cause i only review what i want to.

      i´ve been bloggin for like 8 months too and it isn´t easy but it´s def. worth it

      Karla recently posted..Blood of a Red Rose Blog Tour and ReviewMy Profile

    • says

      It definitely is! Apart from some of the drama that has been going on in the past few months, I think it feels like a big family and people are usually very supportive :)

      Hahaha I’ve never thought about it this way, though. But you’re right! Although I don’t know what happens in 2 years’ time when I move to the UK? I’ll be “the Hungarian who lives in the UK” 😀 Anyway, great comment Kat!

    • says

      Your comment just made my day Kat <3 The fact that someone remembers me by my blog still blows my mind sometimes.

      But yeah, you're completely right. Even though there are downsides to living in Europe, or anywhere outside of the US for that matter, there are upsides to it too. It instantly gives you a certain personality, and that's a great thing in a world where there are literally thousands of book blogs.

      It makes me sad that people are seeing blogging as a popularity contest. I've been blogging for almost two years now, and I still don't belong to the "big ones". But I love my blog and I adore all of my readers and commenters.

      We should all just be one happy family!
      Celine recently posted..Bout of Books 4.0 Readathon: GoalsMy Profile

  4. says

    It’s always felt like a popularity contest. :-/

    I started blogging because I liked reading and wanted to talk about books. Here I am almost a year later. I don’t have tons of followers but I do have followers who interact with me on a regular basis. I value that SO much more than 1000s of followers who might not even read what I write.

    I think I’m a bit glad that I don’t have a lot of contacts (and therefore tons books books to read). I have the freedom to read what I want when I want. :)

    Great topic!
    Alison recently posted..Book Trailer: “Quest One: The Golden Scarab”My Profile

    • says

      Agreed! When I first started out and I barely knew what I was doing, I was dancing with joy after every 10 followers. Literally. At this point, I value those who regularly come back and read what I write so much more than those who hit ‘follow’ and never come back.

      Thank you! :)

  5. says

    I had no idea English wasn’t your first language–or that you were in Eastern Europe. That is kinda awesome. I love Europe history and would love to visit there someday.

    That has nothing to do with this post.


    I think it is a popular contest, sort of thing. Like when Goodreads did their “best blogger” contest and the winner(s?) got to go to BEA. wow. I did NOT enter, even though I had a few people ask me if I did because my blog was the only one they knew of. It was such a popularity contest that I cringed when I first read about it. Because you know who was going to get to go–the big name bloggers, the ones with lots of followers and views. The popular bloggers and it’s not right.

    And my fellow book blogger friend and I’ve discussed the “big name” bloggers and how they treat lower bloggers. Okay, whatever, you get a million ARCs a week and you know what? I’d rather keep the weeks where I get maybe three books in the mail because at least I can keep up with my review pile (okay, that’s bad. I can’t keep up but that’s because I’m always buying books.) At least I write GOOD reviews and put those reviews up when the book is about to be released, not months or years after.

    I’d rather have a small handful of viewers who value my opinion than a large following who just follow me because it’s the cool thing to do.
    ashelynn hetland recently posted..Waiting on Wednesday (34): For Darkness Shows The StarsMy Profile

    • says

      Aw, thanks! Lots of people say that but believe me, if you heard me talk you’d know it’s not my first language, haha. Europe is great! Well, not Hungary in particular but Europe.. :) And yes I am! Although I’m moving to the UK in 2 years.

      Anyway, I agree! I don’t want to and probably won’t ever be like them and I like to have some sort of freedom to choose what I want to read. And as for followers, I’m the same. :)

  6. Abria @ Shall Write says

    I feel that way sometimes too, particularly because my social media numbers aren’t very high. For ages I didn’t concern myself with the numbers, just focusing on the blog content, but I’m beginning to feel like it almost doesn’t matter about content quality as long as a blogger has a huge following.
    Abria @ Shall Write recently posted..Desperately Wanting Wednesday (5)My Profile

  7. says

    I think you have a great blog Vicky and would not worry about the larger blogs you talk about. A lot of people join the larger blogs for freebies and possibly do not visit the site again until the next giveaway! Your English is perfect by the way :-)
    P.S. I’ve added your button to my blog, so keep on blogging 😉
    Calum recently posted..‘Her Highness, the Traitor’ by Susan HigginbothamMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you Calum! :) Yes I know and the only reason why I felt the need to post about this issue is the unfairness of it all. I don’t like it when people are looked down on, that’s all. Other than that, I’m happy with the way my blog looks/runs and I wouldn’t change a thing. :)

  8. says

    You took the words out of my mouth. I believe that’s the right expression because English is not my first language, too. I totally agree with everything you’ve said.

    I do not compete with other bloggers, I just made my blog to say what I think about books that I read. Publishers requested at least six months blogging, at least 400 followers. When I finish reading a book, nothing is going to change what I think for that book. If it is a good book, it’s a good book, if it’s not, it is not. I can find myself in many different genres. Thank God that authors are looking for the content when they are searching for book tour hosts.

    And you have book blogging friends from Macedonia (at least three): Marina (Chick Library Cat), Silvy (Books are my life) and Trajce (I Love Teen Books).

    • says

      Thank you! :) And exactly! I love the way European folks stick together. *hugs* I might not have any friends from this neck of the woods but I still have many blogger acquaintances from all over Europe which is pretty fantastic!

  9. says

    I had a discussion about this with my sister last year (when she began to want to take part in the blog) and my friends this year (when they began to want to blog–though about cosplay not books). My sister more or less was like ‘Why aren’t you as popular as so-and-so? Why don’t we have this many followers? Why don’t you try to market harder?’ while my friends, who don’t do blogging (outside of Livejournal) were like ‘omg you have how many people following you? That’s so awesome!’

    I’ve never…hnn I’ve never wanted to be popular or the ‘Best Site For This!’. I’m not like that in real life and I sure as fire won’t front on the internet like I am. Blogging is my form of fun and recreation and if my numbers rise? Well awesome! More people to talk with or to share book recs with or whatever.

    I’ve always been kind of a ‘oh hey more the merrier’ sort and I try to be helpful. It doesn’t take that much time and who knows who you’ll talk with (this happened last night on twitter, a blogger I didn’t know asked me a question and struck up a conversation with me to see if I could help her plan for Book Expo. All I thought was ‘oh! someone needs help!’ not ‘oh! what a freaking bother…’)

    Meh haters be hating. There was a whole thing about the ‘Blog Elite’ and the ‘Blog Mafia’ last year that ticked me off enough to post. Are there cliques? Sure howdy there are. Should it get folks down? Well…that’s human nature, but well I guess don’t let it ruin your passion for the books right?
    Lexie C. recently posted..BEA Post: Children’s Galley OfferingsMy Profile

  10. mandee wyrick says

    I can see your point, but I wouldn’t let it get to you. You have an amazing blog and loyal followers! I’m new to blogging and at first a lot of stuff bothered me but now it’s like whatever. We are ALL doing what we love, talking about books. If you’re interesting and YOU are happy doing what you are doing, nothing else should matter. It’s funny that saying “can’t we all just get along” is still valid today. And still very ignored.

    Anyway, I think you’re great. And so do lots of other people. Those of us who know and feel the same way can stick together. Everyone else can bite me. :)
    mandee wyrick recently posted..Movie Monday!My Profile

    • says

      Thanks so much Mandee! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not something that’s going to bother me for as long as I’m blogging or anything like that, I just know I’m not the only one who’s ever felt that way at some point. I know we’re different and I’ll just have to let go of comments like that. I just don’t like unfairness, that’s all :)

  11. CImmaron says

    My sentements exactly! My blog has been around for almost a year and even though we have over 600 followers I still feel small. Obvioulsy our numbers don’t compare to some blogs but I’m happy with the dedicated followers we have. In the 11 months that the blog has been up I haven’t garnered much publishing contacts. I didn’t go into the whole book blogging thing to try to get free books or ARCs. The reason I started the blog was because I needed another outlet to express my feelings about the books I read. Most of my friends don’t have similar tastes as I do when it come to reading material so blogging has really allowed me to meet so many different people around the world who share my interest.

    I do feel that the “Big” and “Popular” blogs can be a bit snobbish but I’ve found some who are willing to give you tips on this whole book bloggin world but for the most part I do feel that some don’t give as much respect to other bloggers, especially the ones who are fairly new to the game.

    I just keep telling myself to keep doing what I’m doing. This blogging isn’t a full-time job for me, it’s a hobby. I don’t make any money nor receive much book hook-ups or invitations to events. I just keep going because I love to talk about books.

    Wonderful post!

    • says

      Thank you! :) And I was the same as you! Most of my friends don’t even like reading, let alone the same genres as me, and that’s why I started my blog basically. I had no clue about blog tours, ARCs, or even giveaways – it’s so odd now! 😀

      And it’s definitely true – there are some more experienced bloggers out there who are willing to help no matter what, and they’re generally really helpful. With a few exceptions, of course.

  12. says

    Pfft…I blog to share books that I love, to build friendships with other book lovers and most of all because it makes me happy. Do I enjoy getting books?..Yep. Do I cry if I don’t?..Nope. Have I had my feelings hurt by other bloggers? Yes, but then I sigh, poor a cup of coffee and chat with one of my blogger buddies and remember this is why I blog :) I gotta tell you it doesn’t matter where you are from or what your native tongue is..if you speak passionately about books..all I see is a friend.
    kimba88 recently posted..Waiting on Wednesday : The Ravenous Dead by Natasha HoarMy Profile

    • says

      Aw, and how true that is! I love the fact that our love for books and reading brings us all together, even though we live in completely different places all around the world. And at the end of the day, that’s what I’m trying to do as well. Trying to remember that we’re in it because we like reading and that I shouldn’t even care about such comments.

      Thanks Kimba :)

  13. says

    Hi Vicky,
    Great post. I agree with you. I don’t have the problem you do, though I am lucky enough to live in Portland, Oregon where we have phenomenal book culture. That being said, I admire you for your efforts and especially your mastery of English. You could have fooled me. This is indeed a delicate topic. I have been blogging about six months now and I found it a bit hard to get my footing in the community. While many bigger blogs embrace new bloggers, many do not. I was super excited when some of the big bloggers returned the favor and came to my blog and commented. I thought it was classy. Although, there are many out there who don’t take the time to return comments. I am not criticizing them. I realize blogging takes so much time and effort and it is difficult to keep up especially when you have a big blog, but if you have a smaller blogger reaching out asking for help or one who continually visits your blog and leaves comments, make a small effort to show your appreciation. A little kindness goes a long way. As far as the crying about books and ARCs well get over it. It takes time to build your reputation. If you are a good blogger and your blog is consistently getting traffic and growing then over time you will get more and more requests and tap into the books. Don’t expect to get some of those highly coveted titles, especially right out of the gate. I know I am in the minority here but I am going to put this out there. I don’t participate in the IMM or any of the new ones cropping up. While I think many of the bloggers who do enjoy this meme show class when they share their books, there are some, who I won’t name… but they do videos with book shelves shoved full of books and they are receiving more books than they can possibly read every week, so what are they doing with them? Stacking them on the shelf? Think about it for minute. If you can’t read all the books you are getting in the mail, consider doing something good, give back to your community, share the books with underprivileged kids or poorly funded library. You never know your book gift can make a difference. Oh another great thing to do is donate them to the troops as well. I by no means want to seem preachy but I just wanted to share. Receiving books is a privilege. Don’t take it for granted!
    Heidi recently posted..Spring Blog Carnival Food BoothMy Profile

    • says

      Me too! It’s such a nice feeling when you’re basically a newbie and someone you look up to (blogging wise) comes to visit you :) But yeah, we’re obviously different and not everyone is like that. In general, I think it’s a fantastic community and apart from some comments here and there (whether aimed at me or anyone else), everyone is really supportive. I’m not even bothered about comments anymore because ever since I’ve been super busy with uni, I realized how difficult it is to visit everyone back and comment on their posts. I just don’t want some of them to look down on others.

      And yes!! This whole IMM/you name it issue was where my idea for this week’s topic came from. Normally I love to see what everyone else got because I always find some new titles but some people’s attitude is.. well, not so good. Looking down on others because you get 999 books each week and they only get 1 or 2? Not cool. They should just realize how lucky they are to be able to afford buying them and to get those ARCs as well. And -referring to some of the comments above- call me harsh but I think it needed to be said. And (again, referring to some of the earlier comments) I’m not trying to generalise because it doesn’t apply to everyone, but there are people like this out there.

      Thanks for the fantastic comment, Heidi!

  14. says

    This is a great post. I have to agree with you. I know at times its very annoying because that is what it is a popularity contest. I have been blogging for almost four years and my numbers are low. Would I love for them to be higher? Of course who doesn’t.

    Its so true about the big name bloggers thinking they are higher up then us and you see that when you go anc comment on their blogs and not once do they take the time to come and comment on ours but yet they preach that is how you get followers. I have stopped commenting on their blogs because I see how they are and its not fair and honestly I have found many little hidden gems in the lower followers.

    I know I try and comment on bloggers who come to my blog. I think if you do that you come off as more of a sincere blogger and in the long run people remember that.
    Cindy’s Love of Books recently posted..The Mailbox Post (April 30th – May 5th)My Profile

    • says

      4 years? WOW! And yes, I’m the same as you! I just stopped bothering with people who don’t take the time to … not even visiting me back because I know it takes a lot of time but at least replying to the comments we leave on their blogs. So I definitely agree with everything you just said :)

  15. says

    For what it’s worth, I absolutely love your blog and value your opinion. I think this blog has loads to offer and if you only reviewed one book a week, I would still love you and still love thsi blog.

    And, I never would have guessed that English is not your first language. This all comes across brilliantly 😀
    Ashley Prince recently posted..Top Ten Favorite Dumbledore QuotesMy Profile

  16. says

    I’m fairly new to blogging myself. Only five months in. One thing I never thought about when I started my blog is that I would have to “market” it using social media. I just wanted to write it and have others “find” it and hopefully like it. But it doesn’t work like that I guess.

    I did hook up with a group of bloggers and we do help each other promote our blogs so that is a perk, I guess. But most of them are so much more popular than my blog and I sometimes feel intimidated by that. Kind of like the geeky kid in school who wants to sit at the cool kids’ table. So I agree with you that it does seem like a popularity contest. But I’ve realized that I can’t control how popular they are or how unpopular I am. I can only concentrate on writing what I want to write and if no one likes it that is ok too.

    By the way, you communicate very well in English – better than some for whom it is their first language! 😀
    Cheryl recently posted..Coming Home by Rosamunde PilcherMy Profile

    • says

      It’s crazy, isn’t it? I had no idea there were such things as blog tours or giveaways or ARCs. And the idea that I’d have to market my blog didn’t occur to me either :)

      Aw, thanks so much Cheryl! And don’t be intimidated, your content is great and that’s what matters. I’m glad to meet a fellow Rosamunde Pilcher fan, by the way. I just left you a comment. :)

  17. says

    I have been book blogging for 10 months and at the beginning I did feel like it was a popularity contest (didn’t like it) especially when I saw or read tweets and posts on blogs about how people were obsessed with numbers and their klout score thingie and things like that. But my annoyance quickly wore off because I chose to ignore that and get back into book blogging 100%.

    I started blogging because my friends wanted book recs and I was the only bookish person they knew. And for me it is all about the books I get to discover, learning about books/ writing/and publishing, and making awesome friendships with fellow bookish/writing peeps.

    And for bloggers who feel small. They shouldn’t. If you are a blogger, you are a blogger. Ignore the numbers and do your thing. If it’s in the cards for your blog to flourish as you wish it to, I think it will. What is important is that each blogger tries their best at blogging and that’s it. Ignoore the rest and don’t let someone else make you or your blog feel small. No one should feel like that. Period.

    When it comes to Arcs. I am always honored when I do get them. But is it my sole purpose to blog? no. I actually prefer buying books since I like to take my time to read books and feel guilty when I can’t finish an arc soon after it was sent to me, lol.
    Jennifer recently posted..Waiting on Wednesday (17): Stolen NightsMy Profile

    • says

      Same thing Jennifer said. Getting advanced reader copies of books isn’t a measure of success – there are some of us who don’t even accept them! And look, it’s not fair to generalize about “bigger blogs” because I’m sure they don’t all act the same way. Plus, if you don’t like how some people are acting, stop interacting or focusing on them.
      Tanya Patrice recently posted..{Bloggers Recommend} Unforgettable MemoirsMy Profile

      • says

        I didn’t mean to generalise them. Maybe I should’ve expressed myself differently. Anyway, I know it doesn’t apply to everyone and I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. I know several bloggers who have been blogging for a longer time and they still interact with people and treat them equally. I just don’t agree with the way some people look down on others who don’t get ARCs or not as many books in general, that’s all. I’m sorry if it was a bit harsh, as I said, I didn’t mean to generalise them or hurt anyone.

    • says

      Great comment and you’re right! I love getting ARCs but you don’t have that much freedom with them. Reading your own books is quite different!

  18. says

    Firstly, I had NO IDEA that English wasn’t your first language. Your English is perfect!

    Secondly, I completely know how you feel. I’m from Ireland so I’m pretty isolated in the blogging world too. There is one UK publisher who has sent a few books to me (and I’m so SO grateful to them) but that is it, really. I still have more books than I can handle so it’s not a big deal but I do feel out of the loop a lot of the time.

    I get twinges of jealousy sometimes and then I realize, I don’t care. I have my own blog and I’m doing my own thing and I’m loving it. I’ve met some wonderful people and at the end of the day, we’re all just here to talk about books and it doesn’t matter how we obtained those books. 😀
    Nicola recently posted..Tour stop: Giveaway of Vaempires: Revolution by Thomas WinshipMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you! :)

      You’re from Ireland! That’s so cool, I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland 😀 And yeah, I’m the same as you. I’m not complaining because I still have more than what I can cope with, but it’s weird when people actually look down on you based on how many books you get or based on what books you review. I mean, seriously?

  19. says

    Haha I’ve been blogging for a few years now and I don’t really have a huge following, which is fine by me because my blogging is a personal thing and it’s really a difficult and miserable thing to try to please other people so that they’ll follow my blog. After all these years I’m still blogging for myself so I don’t expect many people who don’t know me personally to be interested. I have a few treasured followers and I’m okay with that. :)

    Your blog is awesome, by the way. I admire your attitude towards what you do. In the end I think we just need to have heart in what we do and you have that. :)
    Lei recently posted..Holy crap it’s already Thursday!My Profile

    • says

      Aww Leah, that’s really kind of you, thanks! And yes, I do agree with you! At the end of the day, you just have to do it for yourself and enjoy it. :)

  20. says

    I understand what you’re saying, and I do agree in some ways. Some bloggers do behave quite arrogantly and do give off an attitude that they think they’re superior…does that make them popular? Not necessarily. I don’t think popularity really has anything to do with blogging at all. Yes, if you have tonnes of followers, your blog is technically “popular”, but I still don’t think popularity is what defines blogging. You shouldn’t blog because you want to be popular, but because you want to. Yes, it’s amazing and always fantastic when you gain followers or get fabulous comments on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else…but it shouldn’t be why you do it. You should blog for yourself and then followers will follow because they see your passion, and popularity doesn’t come into play at all. This isn’t high school, and thank goodness for that because sometimes there’s already too much drama among bloggers. Popularity is like money, it isn’t something material, it’s symbolic and an ideal. If you don’t place value in popularity than it doesn’t matter. I blog for myself, and don’t really care about being a “popular” blogger…and that keeps me happy. :)

    I think it totally sucks that if you aren’t close to publishers, you don’t really get as many physical books as other bloggers, but I do understand why you don’t, shipping is expensive, it’s as simple as that, and ARCs also already cost the publishers more to make than finished copies, so cost-wise, I understand it. Also, with Netgalley and sites like Edelweiss, getting physical copies is no longer the only way to get advance copies as a blogger. Most of the review books I get are egalleys, and I live in Canada near a few publishers, and honestly, most of the books I get…I buy. I buy way more books than I ever did before I started blogging, and my to-read pile totally reflects that. haha Anyway, publishers are also making books available internationally through sites online, and I think that’s fantastic because it’s a lot to ask them to send things internationally. Many publishers even have their own person newsletters and such where they exchange egalleys that way. Even in Canada, we’re limited to the amount of publishers that we can receive physical books from, and shipping within our own country is seriously overpriced, so international shipping must be seriously daunting…and it would be asking a lot of publishers. They don’t have to give us free books…it’s a privilege for all of us, not just bloggers who live near publishers. If you think about it, publishers haven’t even been sending bloggers books for all that long, so it isn’t just bloggers near publishers that should realize how privileged they are…it’s ALL book bloggers. We all should be grateful for the relationships we are able to have with publishers now. I know personally, all of the publishers, publicists, authors, and such that I’m in contact with are incredibly friendly and they’re very accommodating, even through Netgalley, and that’s something I’m so grateful for. I love reading, and I’m honoured that the publishers, other readers and bloggers even want to hear my opinion…and that’s something that I’m thankful for everyday. Not many people get to share the things they love like us bloggers do. :)

    I also think that you’re being a little harsh with other bloggers. If someone has been blogging for 2 years, they do deserve a little respect…just like you do. I’m not saying that they should feel entitled and everything, but 2 years of blogging accounts to a lot. You said you’ve been blogging for 8 months, which is awesome and your blog is fantastic. You’ve done so much, and I actually really enjoy reading your blog, but think about all the work you’ve done in 8 months and multiply that by 3. That’s a lot of work, you’ve done a lot of work…we all work hard on our blogs, and while I don’t feel that people should become arrogant or rude to newer bloggers because of their experience, I do think that they deserve a little credit for sticking with it so long. A lot of bloggers stop blogging after a while, so personally, I’m always incredibly happy when bloggers I love continue to blog for longer periods of time…and I don’t think that they should be all labeled in a bad light just because they’ve been blogging longer. Sure, some bloggers who’ve been at it for longer treat newer bloggers badly or don’t reply to their comments and stuff like that, but I definitely don’t think that’s how most bloggers act. I’ve been blogging since October 2010, and I don’t think that entitles me, but I do know that I don’t often have newer bloggers contact me or reach out towards me. Often I have to do that myself, with older and newer bloggers. I’ve left plenty a comment and not had a reply, but that happens. I understand it too because sometimes I don’t have the time to reply to comments either. Real life gets in the way of blogging sometimes, so I don’t think it’s always fair to judge other bloggers when they don’t have time either. Now if someone goes out of their way to be rude…I totally think they deserve to be labelled as rude and such, but I’ve never had that happen to me personally. All of the bloggers that I’ve had replies from or have been in contact with, whether they were newer or older bloggers, have been very friendly. I’ve made some great friends through blogging, I’ve made some acquaintances, and I’ve also never gotten a reply from some, but I never would have gotten any of those responses (or lack of them in some cases) without trying to connect with others myself. So, I’m just saying. Don’t judge all bloggers based on the time they’ve spent blogging. It’s just a number, and no matter how large that number is, we all deserve respect. One blog post deserves respect. It takes a lot to put yourself out there through your blog, so I think we all deserve respect for that alone, and as I mentioned, don’t just assume a blogger is rude or maybe won’t take the time to talk to you because they’ve been blogging longer. If you email them, and say you love their blog or even if you email them to be all “Why don’t you ever reply to comments?” I’m sure you’ll get a reply, and in most cases, it will probably be a good one (although if you ask them why they don’t reply, say it nicely or the reply probably won’t be too nice either 😛 haha). I know if any of my blog followers or even people who aren’t followers emailed me, it would probably make my entire day (unless it was a hate email…then I’d probably be really upset), so if you want advice or want to reach out and make friends with a blogger, don’t be afraid to. Take a chance and you might just make one of the best friends you’ll ever have. :)

    Thanks for sharing this post, Vicky. I think it’s an interesting topic, and it’s great seeing the different perspectives that everyone has on the subject. :) Now, my comment has gotten way too long already, so I’m gonna quit now or I’ll probably just ramble forever! haha

    Happy Reading!
    Ambur :)
    .Ambur. recently posted..Trying to Score Giveaway Winner!My Profile

    • says

      I definitely agree – I’ve had more than enough of high school so drama is the last thing I’d like to see in the blogging world. :)

      And don’t get me wrong, my concern wasn’t the fact that I’m not popular or I don’t get lots of ARCs. I just don’t think that people who do and who look down on other people for not getting as many as them should not make other people feel inferior. That’s all. :)

      I didn’t intend to be harsh and I do respect experienced bloggers. Most of them have been really supportive so far which I’m incredibly grateful for. My post was aimed at people who think they’re better than others just because they have more followers/get more books/you name it. I applaud them for what they achieved and I look up to them – I was simply referring to the fact that this doesn’t entitle them to look down on others. Because some of them do.

      I’m sorry if my post made a different impression, I didn’t mean to generalise. Or hurt anyone.

      • says

        Me too..and I pretty much stayed out it then, just like I do now. 😛 lol

        I agree, the people that do view it as a popularity contest and choose to use it as a reason to look down on others need a serious attitude adjustment. 😛 Oh don’t worry, I don’t think you were too harsh, but it is important to remember that not everyone is rude…which is definitely a good thing! haha

        Yeah, most have been great when I’ve reached out to them, too. :) I definitely think you’re right about that. It’s the ego and sense of entitlement that sucks…although usually those people that behave that way aren’t very nice in real life anyway. The world is full of jerks unfortunately. 😛 Don’t worry, I don’t think you hurt anyone, but I do think it’s important to always acknowledge that it isn’t everyone who’s like that. Probably just because I’ve been hassled too many times for English stuff, like essays, in school for generalizations. I guess we know that eventually it does get engrained into you. 😛 haha

        Thanks for the very interesting post, and for replying in comments. :)
        .Ambur. recently posted..Review: Croak (Croak #1) by Gina DamicoMy Profile

  21. says

    I definitely know what you mean. I think the blogging community can be kind of cliquish sometimes, and when you’re new it’s hard to infiltrate that clique. I remember when I first started and I really didn’t think I was good enough, or popular enough, but I put myself out there and I’ve made so many great friends. I think the hardest part is just putting yourself out there and attempting to become part of the community that you admire so much. There are always going to be some people who are closer than others, but I don’t think that those people think they’re better than anyone, they just have more experience to support them and let’s face it, those who have been blogging for four years know what they’re talking about. I think the best thing to do is just not take things personally and blog for the love of it :)
    Anna @ Literary Exploration recently posted..Waiting on Wednesday [38] Asunder by Jodi MeadowsMy Profile

    • says

      True! :) When I started out, I had no clue what I was doing and I know it took me some time before I figured out how it all worked. All in all, I think it’s a great community and people are very welcoming and supportive (in general) – you just have to put yourself out there and figure out how to make friends or be part of this community. :)

  22. says

    I read your Bookish Ramblings post every week and though I don’t always respond, I wanted to say that I really enjoy them!

    I had no idea that English isn’t your first language. You express yourself so well that if you hadn’t said anything, I would have probably never known. I took Spanish throughout high school and college and can say about three phrases so bravo.

    On to your topic, I’ll have been blogging for 2 years in July (holy cow!) and I’ve definitely noticed some of the things you’ve mentioned. A lot of the “bigger” blogs I follow though are actually really sweet. Lori from Pure Imagination and Angela from Reading Angel are two blogs that instantly come to mind. I know that from my end anyway, I’m always extremely grateful for any support I get from publishers, authors or other bloggers. My blog has definitely grown a lot since that first post when I felt like I was shouting into a vast black hole but I’ve always tried to stay true to what I want to say and I feel like all blogs will grow with hard work and dedication. If we all just keeping doing what we do, people are bound to notice it and participate. Like you, for instance, with these posts. It made me want to comment!

    Great topic!
    Amber M recently posted..Waiting on Wednesday: Splintered by A.G. HowardMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks so much Amber! :) Haha, I took Italian in high school for like… 4 years I think? But apart from introducing myself in a very short sentence, I wouldn’t be able to use the language at all. English is different for some reason but I have no idea why. It’s easier I guess? A little bit, at least.

      I agree! I should have mentioned it but I didn’t mean to generalise – some of the more experienced bloggers I’ve met are really supportive in every way.

  23. says

    Seeing how you’re still green behind your blogging ears and how I have been blogging waaay longer than you have … alright, just teasing! No blogger is better than another blogger, and frankly it’s not about the follower count (alright it does feel neat when you hit certain milestones) but about the content you present.
    I know I could have a whole lot more blog readers if it weren’t for two facts – I post about all kinds of bookish things, but only very few reviews (and a lot of readers are mainly in for the reviews it seems), and secondly I review mostly non fiction (but you know that already *wink*). But I like my blog as it is and I love my loyal blog readers, some of which have already become good friends to me.
    Would I ever consider changing my blog to be “more mainstream”? Nope. The only changes I make are those I feel like making, not because I want to win the “popularity contest” but simply because my blog is growing along with my blogging persona.

    BTW when I first visited your blog I figured you must be from the UK because of your web addy. Honestly, I wouldn’t have guessed that English isn’t your native tongue either. Of course then I saw that you’re from Hungary and it’s nice to have some blogging neighbors here in Europe!
    Besides, we all make mistakes. A typo here, a word spelled wrong there. This happens to the best of us. Oddly enough blogs by non-native speakers often have a lot less mistakes. And I’ve seen blogs by native-tongue bloggers that were full of the most gruesome grammar mistakes *shudders*.
    Birgit recently posted..Beyond the Shelf – Build Creative Writing IdeasMy Profile

    • says

      Yep, I don’t think anyone should ever change just because some other genre is more popular. It’s actually something I talked about in my previous Bookish Ramblings post but yes, I still think everyone should blog about what they read and like, not what is popular.

      Oh,yes! My addy used to be .com but I had to change it when I moved from Blogger to this self-hosted site. And since I’ll be living in the UK soon (well, 2 years but who cares? :D), I decided to stick with

  24. says

    I’m from Belgium – that’s Western Europe – and I have to say it’s very difficult for us international bloggers to get review copies of basically anything, except in eBook format. My blog isn’t that spectacularly popular, but I’m happy with the way it is now. I don’t want ‘followers’ as much as I want friends or people genuinely interested with what I have to say. My reviews tend to be long, which sometimes puts people off I guess but which the authors/publishers very much appreciate, and I think that’s the most important thing. I write what I want to write and if people enjoy it, that’s a bonus.

    I do think blogging sometimes is a popularity contest, but it’s up to the blogger to decide whether or not they want to participate in it.

    Thanks for this thoughtful and inspiring post!
    Majanka recently posted..Book Review: Intuition by Jayne FordhamMy Profile

    • says

      Are you? Whooop, I’ve been to Belgium 6 years ago (on a v short visit) and I loved it. It’s such a gorgeous place.

      And thanks for the comment! I do agree with you and I don’t normally take part or even care about such things, I just felt that it needed to be said. I agree that a certain number of people who are actually interested in what you say is more important than the number of your followers. x

  25. says

    I am an underdog blogger too. In India, the concept of ARCs is non-existent and no one wants to ship long distance, so I hardly (if ever) get any physical ARCs. Thanks to NetGalley, I get a few ARCs.

    However, thankfully, I have never felt pushed down by any other blogger. I have found everyone helpful and nice here. And I am not in any competition with anyone. I blog because I like to not because I need to compete with someone about how many books I got or what I read. It would not be pleasurable then just a way to hoard and show-off, which is so uncharacteristic of me.

    English is my second language and I make mistakes too probably though no one has pointed out or waved me off for that.

    Perhaps, being an underdog has some advantages here. The people who show off or pull down people don’t think my blog matters even as much to try to pull it down. LOL!

    • says

      Same here! I have absolutely no idea if the concept of ARCs actually exists in Hungary or not, but I certainly haven’t heard of them so far. We’re definitely lucky we have Netgalley, though!

      Thank goodness, I don’t usually feel that way either, I just know from some friends that it does happen. But as I said to Dalene below, I’m still amazed at all the support you guys give me and the fact that there are people out there who are actually interested in what I have to say and I think this is what matters, not a number or your popularity. I just wish people would respect each other a bit more. :)

  26. says

    Before I read this post, I had just been thinking about my goals and direction with blogging. I have been blogging about 5 months and review all genres, but was throwing the idea around about showing more support to indie authors or other specific avenues (still researching my direction). I have slowly been tackling one thing at a time so that I get it right (in my mind) and feel like I am contributing worthwhile.

    I read a blog about a month or so ago and she had set a goal of a specific number of followers and asked “what now?” because she had reached that goal. I kind of took that sour and decided I didn’t want to do that, but that I would set goals every so often to further my contribution(s) to the reading (bloggers) and writing (authors) community.

    I think there is room for everyone and I think we should all help each other out the best that we can. I am grateful for my blogger associations I have made in the past five months!!
    Dalene recently posted..The Kindle Shelf (May 10)My Profile

    • says

      Great comment Dalene! I was the same as this other blogger when I started out and I was literally jumping up and down when I saw that my number of followers gone up but ever since I’ve been on this self-hosted site I’m on now, I stopped setting goals altogether. I’m doing it because I like it and I don’t think my blog will be any better if I get another 50 followers. I’m still amazed at all the support you guys give me and the fact that there are people out there who are actually interested in what I have to say and I think this is what matters, not a number or your popularity.

  27. says

    Great post! I’ve been blogging for five months and I try to steer clear of all the blogging and blogger drama. If anything, I don’t my numbers get me down, nor the fact that there are bloggers out there who do “act” superior in their tone when it comes to their blogs. Yikes! But, you know what? Just remember why you created your blog in the first place and keep working at it because you love what you’re doing. To me, it’s not a competition. I’ve actually enjoyed meeting a lot of like-minded people online via my blog and I really appreciate that. Just steer clear of blogs and bloggers who may “rub you the wrong way.” I don’t let them get to me.

    You’re doing a great job!

    P.S. Popularity is overrated anyway! 😀

    • says

      Thanks for the tips! :) I usually try to avoid blogger dramas and just concentrate on reading but I couldn’t let this one go. I’ll have to try and ignore people who act like this, I guess. You’re right!

  28. says

    ou’re from Hungary, right? I’m from Poland and well.. I don’t have money to buy all these new relases, even via TheBookDepo. They don’t come out in Poland and i feel.. Aliened. When I see a giveaway of these books it’s usually US/CAN only. I don’t know what to do with publishes… I use netgalley but I often got deciclind because I have less tan 1000 followers… Okay it’s pretty hard and I’m chaotic. But I feel better when I see other “international” book bloggers. 😀 We work harder!
    Disincentive recently posted..[16] Interview with Eve A. James, author of Rose AwakenMy Profile

    • says

      Hehe, it’s definitely quite overwhelming at first! And yes, I live in Hungary *waves* :) We do need to work harder in terms of ARCs but I don’t think the amount of books we get should determine the quality of our blogs. We do have our own opinion even if we don’t get as much ARCs as other people.

      I love your picture, by the way!

  29. says

    I love your bookish ramblings! and to be honest i think that you should rant more often! what you are saying is so true. some times it feels like some of the book blogs are subconsciously mocking everyone else because of their popularity
    According to everyone ;P i read to much, I read about 70 books a year (not a lot for some people) which is a lot considering I have a constant flow of exams and coursework for college. I would love to start a blog of some sort. But being from the UK and living out of the country for a few years has reduced my English to baby vocab! i probably wouldnt get any visitors!

    At the end of the day a blog, should be for blogging, sharing your opinion and finding great reads. Not a popularity contest for who gets the most books and who gets the most readers and views:’)

    Thats my rant over ;D
    Alex :) recently posted..alexsarahlouise: UK PUBLISHER MONTH: Enter @BookChickCity’s giveaway for chance to win THE IMMORTAL RULES by Julie Kagawa! @MIRAInk Profile

    • says

      Haha I try! :) Thanks Alex. Exactly my point! And you would have readers, are you kidding me?! :) The UK bloggers’ community is lovely anyway and I think most of my blogger friends are from the UK. Not all of them obviously, but the majority lives there. And they’d be really supportive, believe me. Plus, you’d already have one reader. *hint hint* Just let me know if you do start a blog! 😉 x

      • Alex :) says

        I will keep you posted on the subject of setting up a blog :) i need to get all of my work out of the way first! :) Thanks Vicky :)

  30. says

    First off, great topic. Something that should be discussed but is often over looked.

    Secondly, I do. July will be my first bloggerversary and while I’m so pumped, I still only have around 70 followers. I mean it is what it is, I do my best to comment on other blogs I follow and participate in some memes but to me, memes seem like silly and empty posts for the most part. So by choosing to stand aside and run things my own way, I don’t have as much popularity but I’m still doing what I love and that makes me okay with that idea.

    To some of the more popular blogs, I do feel like they look down on me and my opinion. And have been talked down to me before when I stated what was on my mind, causing me to second guess my entire decision to blog in the first place and made me feel like everything I was doing was wrong and for nothing. It shouldn’t be that way. We’re all here for the same reason and that’s to get good books out to people, we should focus on that.

    I will also say though that there are certain blogs, such as Jenny from Supernatural Snark who has been nothing but wonderful to me as a baby blogger. She’s helped me tremendously through personal e-mails back and forth just about anytime I had questions about anything.
    Jordan Butcher recently posted..Review: City of Lost Souls by Cassandra ClareMy Profile

    • says

      Exactly! We’re all here for one thing and that is our passion for reading. I just don’t think some people should look down on others because well.. what makes them more qualified or better in any way? Nothing. Just because you or anyone else does things in a different way doesn’t mean they’re wrong or don’t have an opinion. :)

  31. says

    I know exactly how you feel.

    1. I have been blogging for almost.. 4 months, if I’m right. That makes me such a newbie. It makes me feel very small sometimes if I see the popularity of some bloggers. What gives them this ‘special’ thing, which gives them so many followers and comments? It’s a bit scary sometimes, because I work as hard as them. Perhaps even harder, because we newbies have to build up an identity. We have to make friends and really makes us stand out in the blog community.

    2. English is not my native language. I’m not as fluent as other English talking people. I have to think hard about my lines. I have to re-think my grammars. It’s not so easy as it might look.

    3. ARC’S. I don’t think I will ever receive ARC’S or copies from companies, because I live international (Netherlands). I don’t care, but I have the idea that it makes you less.. popular in the blog world. It seems like such a normal thing to receive 30 books every week, but it’s not! I would be so grateful to get a book. I even feel grateful that I receive e-books on Netgalley.

    So.. I understand your post 100%
    Melanie @thedailyprohecy recently posted..Review 20. Lisa Cach – Wake unto me.My Profile

    • says

      Agreed! I’ve been wondering about this as well. I think it has something to do with a, the blogger’s personality or how much it comes through, how original/likeable one is b, the content of the blog itself – I still think that YA blogs tend to be a bit more “popular” in terms of comments and feedback than blogs that feature less well known books.

      And yes, the third point was where my frustration came from this week. I just don’t know why people who don’t get ARCs or not as many as other people should be looked down on. :)

      Thanks Melanie! xxx

      • says

        And what I wanted to tell you: I think your English is perfect – at least, as far as I can judge :p I’d never suspect that English isn’t your native language :)

        And looking at all your comments, I’d never think that you’re so new to the blog world. Your blog looks pretty and professional and I can tell that you have some commited followers :) That’s also amazing!

        So, keep on the good work and I believe that you’re blog can be so popular too some day :)
        Melanie @thedailyprohecy recently posted..Review 20. Lisa Cach – Wake unto me.My Profile

        • says

          Aw, thanks! :) It’s not – well, I’ve been studying it for like 6 years and on top of that, I started reading in English about 4 years ago, which also helped a lot.

          And yes, it’s incredible! I’m so grateful for all of your support really. x

  32. says

    First of all: *Hugs* You sound so much harsher than I’ve ever heard you…whatever happened…don’t take it personally!!

    Second: Your English is much better than many a native speaker…so you have nothing to worry about there!

    Third: I can definitely relate to how you feel. I think we’ve both been blogging for just under 9 months and it definitely does feel hard sometimes to “break in”….to engage with other bloggers who just seem so much more popular. I try not to take it personally…1st of all since I am kind of shy and don’t put myself out there enough an 2nd b/c I figure if they have that many followers/comments etc…they probably just can’t keep up. (Luckily I’ve not come across many who were outright rude.

    I try to just remember that my blog is for me…and to remind myself to work on cultivating the friendships/acquaintances I have made.

    Fourth: I can’t imagine how different it must be to blog outside of the US. Less access to everything: books, authors/signings, etc!

    Melissa recently posted..Cat Thursday – Basking in the SunMy Profile

    • says

      Aww, thank you! *hugs* Yes, well.. I didn’t want to be rude or particularly harsh, and normally I’m not like that. I’m also shy when it comes to interacting with others in real life or anywhere else, although it’s much easier when it comes to social networking.

      Thanks! :) xxx

  33. says

    First, your English is really good, I didn’t know it wasn’t your first language! And I agree, I have been blogging for about 9 months now, and I definitely noticed that there seems to be the “popular” bloggers, and then the rest of us. I don’t get ARCs (unless I win them on Goodreads), and just about all of my books are library or bought, but I try not to let that get to me, and just keep doing what I do because I enjoy it :)I’m glad you posted this, there are definitely many people who would agree with you. Don’t let anyone put you and your blog down, enjoy this *hug*!
    Kelsey recently posted..From the Review Pile (1)My Profile

  34. says

    I learned early on, almost three years ago, that there was some kind of popularity contest going on and I promptly decided to march to the beat of my own drum. While I am grateful for the books I receive for review and for the book tours I’m a part of, I would still blog about what I read, even if it was just about books from my home library. As a matter of fact, I started out doing just that on MySpace years ago and no one ever read it. I still did it! Ultimately, you have to do this because you want to and for yourself. Otherwise, everything that goes on in the book blogging world (oh, the drama) will drive you crazy.

    Great post, Vicky. I like your blog very much. Don’t change a thing. :)
    Michelle @ The True Book Addict recently posted..Cat Thursday: Authors and their cats (11)My Profile

  35. says

    Hi Vicky, thanks for an interesting post. I think your English is very very good. I think it can be hard when a blog is new to get established. I try and just work hard at my blog and write good reviews, but I don’t always get many comments, I guess it just takes time. Anyway, I really like your blog.

  36. says

    Fascinating discussion! Would never have known English wasn’t your native tongue if you hadn’t said anything!

    As for the popularity thing…couldn’t agree more! There are several blogs that started at the same time I did that now have 10 times the followers I do, but I’m happy (usually) with the pace I set. I’d rather have people that actually read my blog rather than follow me just to win a contest, then never return.

    As for publishers, well, I’ve been blogging for three years now and was turned down by a major publisher last month because I wasn’t established enough. Not really sure what that meant, but I let it go because I have plenty of books to keep me busy (thank goodness for netGalley!). :)
    Alexia561 recently posted..Book Review: Lover Reborn by J.R. WardMy Profile

  37. says

    Totally agree with you, I sometimes get the brush off from “popular” bloggers when I would tweet on something they tweeted and i think to myself, why would people do that? I mean no matter what, I would never give people the brush off because what gives me the right to think I’m better than them? obviously not money, books, OR even how popular my blog is. I really do believe blogging HAS become a popularity contest, especially with people doing contests for who comments the most on their blog etc.. I blog for the BOOKS to reach as many people as possible, and not just to get famous and get as many hits as i can, where the material of my blog is irrelevant.
    Juhina recently posted..Review: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen – JuhinaMy Profile

  38. says

    While I have been blogging for ages, I’ve only recently turned seriously towards book reviews. Earlier, I just reviewed books that I loved which I had purchased/borrowed. Then I entered a few giveaways, won a few and blogged about them. I review books only when approached by the author and the author agrees to ship it all the way to India. So I guess, I haven’t faced any ugly incident till date.
    I can understand how you feel. Your English, by the way, is perfect and your blog is way cool. So just chill and don’t let these people annoy you.
    I blog, because I love to read and spread the word. Nothing else. I think this should be the spirit in blog land, it is not a competition. Cheer up.
    LuKa (Lubna) recently posted..Chess is Child’s Play – Teaching Techniques that WorkMy Profile

  39. says

    Fantastic post, Vicky.

    My background is from WoW/MMO gaming, and it is the same thing there with some people. It is certainly not something unique to the book blogger community, so that’s something, there’s nothing wrong with us specifically! 😉

    The two sides of it that I saw (although of course there are a myriad of variations across both themes) when people were guilty of it were:

    1) New bloggers cropped up [i]all the time[/i] many of them literally posting a welcome and disappearing. Others may survive a month, two, six, then vanish into the nether never to be heard of or from again.

    After a while it can get a bit draining to continually invest in these people, and I must admit I fell prey to this line of thinking as well. That’s not to say that one cannot be polite in your interactions with them!

    2) The second is one of more selfish motivation, ‘You can’t help me build my platform, thus I have little to no interest in you until you can’.

    That one really irked me to no end, the whole vibe along these lines just [i]oozes[/i] out of the people who see the whole thing as a way to make money either from monetising their site or selling whatever it is they ultimately want to sell. They try to run things like a business, with a vicious business mentality.

    There are several I can think of like that in the WoW/MMO community, and I’m sure some of you can think of some in this one too, but I must admit I haven’t perhaps read quite widely enough to see them myself yet except for one possible candidate.

    I suppose I should clarify as well though, that I don’t think monetisation of a blog in an of itself is evil or bad if handled appropriately. Nor do I think seeking publicity for your blog is a bad thing, cos hey, we like to be read!

    My second point is really about those where those two aspects overwhelm everything else, and you can see an agenda behind almost everything they say and even who they say it to!

  40. says

    So I saw this and wanted to comment, I’ll admit first that I got about halfway through the comments because it’s 1am and I’m kind of tired, but what I read was a lot of interesting opinions. I’m not all that big either and I have noticed some of what you’ve mentioned above. I’m not international and I’ll never be the type of person who only gives perfect reviews so that authors and publishers like me. My blog has existed for about a year but I’ve only been blogging about six months of that because family issues made me give it up for about half that time. What following I have I mostly gained at the beginning of my blogging because of you guess it giveaways. I did do a few that were US only when I was supplying the prize only because when I started blogging I said I’m not going to invest any money into this venture and then when I did invest some money in prizes I didn’t want to spend more to pay for the additional shipping. When you’re using a lot of giveaways to increase your following shipping costs can add up and I think that’s why you see giveaways that are US only so often. However the UK community has a giant group of Bloggers as well so I’m starting to see just as many that are UK only. I think on either side of the fence it’s disappointing when a giveaway is like that but I think most of it has to do with cost. (and yes I know that wasn’t what your post was focused on but there are a lot of comments about it so I wanted to state my opinion.) When I came back to blogging I stopped doing contests for the most part although I am planning to bring some back in a few and far between sort of way. What I noticed looking back through the first block of solid blogging I did that it seemed I had more events and contests than I did reviews and that’s not why I started blogging. It made me start to see the point many industry professionals – those paid to write reviews or books and paid to publish and promote them, have made when they compare book bloggers to Mom bloggers. When I first started blogging I found that comparison offensive because we all know how many blogs exist with posts every 20 minutes just to promote products and have contest to increase the sales of said products. When I saw how much of my content was contest in order to gain a following I was like wow they really do have a point so when I came back I decided not to worry about followers or jump into the rat race that is gaining recognition as a blog. I think to gain that recognition you most times have to cross the line between quality content and shameless promotion. What following I’ve gained has been enough to usually get the titles I want on Net Galley and though I’m not on any publisher mailing list I’ve never asked to be. Many of the most recognized blogs have more contests than content and that content which they do have often doesn’t seem to qualify to me as an honest opinion. I completely agree that though most book bloggers are very friendly the hobby and the recognition is a large popularity contest. I think more than half of the followers any of us gain follow because of contests or more often because of contest requirements to follow in order to enter. I would say less than a tenth of followers actually check blogs they follow to read the reviews daily and probably only half of them read any reviews at all. In some ways I’m just as bad, I never say no if someone wants me to follow and I usually click the follow button on any blog I visit because I think it’s polite. Some of those blogs I never return to and unless I have a reason to return regularly those that I do return to only get visits from me once a month or every couple of months because there’s just not enough time to read them all. I think some of the larger blogger have stopped even the pretense of following others because they consider themselves to be the authority on blogging and feel they’re offering enough support in their “words of wisdom” and while they tell you don’t blog just to get free books over and over again that’s not the example many of them are setting. I fail to believe that every book those bloggers read is “The best book ever written.” “To Die For” “Absolutely Fantastic” or any of the other falling all over themselves reviews which are the only ones posted on some of the more followed blogs. If they’re never offering a negative opinion and have more contests than content, more events and wow that author is cool post than actually offering any opinions than I wonder how they’re not blogging in order to get free books. They may have massive followers and be well known in the blogging community but if they’re lacking actual opinions that help readers establish whether or not a book appeals to them and they’re hardly offering reviews at all then regardless of how many books they get for free they’re not being followed for presenting a book blog, they’re being followed for the chance of gaining a free book through one of their numerous contests.

    When I started blogging I gained followers at a rate of approximately one hundred per month. I reached 100 followers in about the first month I blogged. The road to gaining followers is fairly strait forward, it’s contest, blog hop, contest, twitter lots, facebook tons, lots of forum time, popular MeMe often. Tour companies definitely and reading said tour book is in many cases optional. Just promote, promote, promote and you’ll gain your blog attention and eventually gain publisher attention and respect. The formula should do fine every time. But when you look back at your archives are you really going to be pleased with how few and far between your reviews are? And when you start being told you can give no lower rating than such and such even if the book is truly horrid, are you going to respect yourself for rating it such? Yes some of the blog tour companies have minimum rating requirements I’m pretty sure everyone knows this. The question here is less what you’ve asked about whether the larger blogger respect the smaller, the question is whether or not that really matters? Do you respect how they run their blog? Do you want to be like them? If so all the power to you, keep at it you’ll eventually attain that level of popularity. If you don’t remind yourself of why you blog. Why did you decide to devote your time to this? Was it to gain free books or to share those opinion you have on the ones you’ve read? Run your blog in a way that makes you happy and allows you to respect yourself and feel a sense of pride when you look at it. Your following won’t rise quickly but when followers do come it will because they like your content and your blog, not because you had a contests. Since I came back to blogging I haven’t sought followers I haven’t followed that social everything routine and I’m a lot happier and less stressed doing it that way. I’ve gained a few more followers since I came back, but not many. I’m okay with that. When I look at my blog now I see a work in progress, but I can see what that blog will be when I get the work finished that I have planned and I know it will be something I’ll be proud of when I’m finished. Big publishers may never find me, but if they do then I’ll know it’s because of the integrity and personality of my blog, not because I changed who I am, how I behave to fit the how to gain followers and therefore attention cycle. Don’t ask whether or not it’s a popularity game, everything in life is a popularity game even presidential elections are a popularity game. Ask yourself if you’ve created a blog you’re proud of and written honest well thought out reviews. Ask yourself why you blog? If respect matters to you I doubt it’s to gain free books, I’m willing to bet you blog because you have an opinion and you want to share it.

    By they way I’ve never met you and I had no idea from reading your blog that English wasn’t your first language. While I’ll readily admit I haven’t read all of your posts, I haven’t read all of anyone’s posts because to be honest I’d rather read books than blogs. So yeah I take time to read a few posts from time to time on blogs I like but I couldn’t be considered a dedicated follower of any. Those posts of yours I have read are well thought out and offer real opinions. I think you’ve created a visually appealing blog with interesting content and for that I respect you more as a blogger than I do a blog with contests every other day and 75 books to show off each week. What’s the point in gaining boxes of free books if you’ll never be able to read them all? Obviously from the number of opinions offered above I’m not the only one that feels that way. You’ve got respect just not the respect of people that see other bloggers as part of a number instead of people. Publishers will find you eventually because you have quality content and active comments. I think this will be easier after you’ve finished school because school keeps you busy enough that you’ve outright said you don’t get to read, review and post as often as you’d like. Yes the book industry is about sales and numbers, any business is, but people don’t go into book related businesses if they don’t have an interest in books, the fact that they’re readers leans toward the idea that they’re intelligent and because of that give them time they’ll find you and they’ll show you respect because of the content you offer. No I’m not a big blog and I don’t have publishers mailing me tons of books, but the idea of that seems more logical to me than thinking that every professional is going to flood popular blogs with books they’ll never actually read. Anyway that’s just my thoughts.
    Jenn of Frequent Reader, Infrequent Blogger recently posted..Showcase Sunday #2 5/13/12My Profile

  41. says

    Hi Vicky:)
    I’m really going out of my comfy way of doing things, especially as I’ve just found your blog, but I really liked you wonderful post and the great comment discussion, that I read every comment of.
    I’ve been blogging for 4 years, ’12 being my fifth and last month I celebrated 100 followers, that resulted in many happy dances. And I first have to say that I’m not actually a book blogger. I’ve been sticking to my area of blooging strictly for the first two years, then I started following book blogs, simply because I absolutely love to read and check reviews, memes and all sort of book related stuff. But I’ve been keeping it stealth, no commenting, I’ve even used the “follow secretly”blogger option. Why? Ok, this may sound really stupid, but it was as I was expecting someone to hush me away for not being a book blogger and sticking my nose where it doesn’t belong! Some of those big book blogs can be really scary!
    This year I became obsessed with reading challenges, I just couldn’t help it, so I signed for a great bunch of them. But some of them requested reviews as part of the rules. Oh dear.
    So now I’m fighting my way writing reviews and putting my random book thoughts in words. I was again worried about how would book bloggers react on reviews on a craft blog, and how my long time readers will, seing books getting in the way, lol! But my followers seemed to cope well, so I decided to keep my blog wonderfully random with all the things I love in one place.
    Also I can feel the pain of being ïnternational” . Well as I said, I’m not a book blogger, so I don’t really feel the lack of arcs, and I can usually understand when giveaways are only US open. But it’s always oh so sad when you read about that awesome book that you so want to read right here and right now. But it’s not available in your country. And that fear that it might never get published here. Sometimes even BookDepo doesn’t help (yup sadly it can’t help me being a uni student, often poor, lol!)
    Apart from this, I really enjoy being international and living where I do – in Bulgaria. Especially after I realised that the chance for me reading those books in English is far greater, than some wonderful local books getting translated and available for English readers (or them reading them in original) I even enjoy keeping my blog bilingual.
    P.S. So Hungary? I’ve been there only once, and it was so BEAUTIFUL!! I hope to go there again, for it was truly amazing.
    Again, great post and awesome blogg too. Please don’t mind me for I plan to go on and start following you from the shadows :)
    Nina (Topcho) recently posted..Fairy Tale Friday – a tale review and DRAGONS! Lets talk about dragonsMy Profile

  42. says

    Raise your hands, international bloggers. Hear yeah, hear yeah. 😀
    And that’s coming from a Filipino who has lived most of her life in the Philippines. I can’t even speak our national language as well as I should since I’m used to talking in our dialect (I live in Cebu and we speak Bisaya; while they speak Tagalog in the capital, Manila).
    Coming from that kind of background, for me, language is a form of poetry that can be expressed in a million ways. And I would have to say that us “international” bloggers can offer more in terms of uniqueness, ingenuity and flavor. Not that I’m ostracizing those who come from the US, UK or any other [majorly] English-speaking countries. All I’m pointing out is that we all have something to celebrate and be grateful for. And in that line, I’d like to say that I would never have suspected that English is not your first language as you seem to be so adept at it. :)

    As for the big blogs looking down on us small blogs, yeah, I guess that happens sometimes. Numbers do tend to overwhelm the blogging scene what with people announcing just how many followers they have or how many books await them in the mail. Even after more than a year of book blogging, I can’t still say that I can offer publishers or authors the kind of content or figures that they want. But I always tell myself not to try to hard to please. After all, my purpose for blogging has always been to share my thoughts on books and other things that interest me. So in the face of “competition”, I just smile and tell myself to produce quality stuff so whoever stumbles upon my blog will have something productive to take.

    I think it all boils down to what motivates one to blog. If one’s aim is to collect, read and review as much books as he can, then so be it. But if it is to take his time and savor the book and infuse passion and insight in his reviews (again, I’m not saying that those who frequently do reviews don’t have passion in theirs), then by all means, go.

    I used to worry how my blog is not growing as some other blogs are, but looking back at how I churn out reviews as honestly as I could possibly do, I’m rather happy with my progress. Some authors or publishers may not see things the way I do as blogger opinions can influence book sales, but I’m taking a stand against fabricating truths that are not really true. If I like a book, you will surely know it. More so, if I find some stuff about it that needs improvement.

    Thank you, Vicki, for posting about this. It’s great to know everyone’s opinion about this. :)

  43. says

    Thanks for posting this, since it rings very true with me as well. I’ve only been back to blogging for a handful of months, but I always feel like I’m just talking to the wind when I write posts. I usually get only a few views a day and no comments unless it’s a community event post linked from somewhere else. And I honestly have no idea what I’m doing wrong. And it makes it hard to keep writing when it doesn’t seem to be reaching anyone at all….

    Anyway, I’m evidently in a blog slump right now, but I think it’s very true that the book blogging community is becoming a bit too much like a high school popularity contest these days…. Or maybe it’s always been that way and I just realized? Dunno.

    Anya @ About The Story recently posted..Four Stars: Blooded by Amanda CarlsonMy Profile

  44. says

    Well said! I’ve been blogging for about 2 years. I still feel new and inexperienced sometimes. We all have a lot we can learn from each other — big and small! I’m not perfect. I’ve learned from mistakes. Found what works/doesn’t work for me. I’m happy where I am now because it’s so much more relationally focused for me than ARC focused. I get ARCS but I would give those all back in the heartbeat if I had to choose between the amazin relationships I’ve built and the discussions I’ve had on blog posts. ALSO, I feel like the one thing lots of bloggers forget(I totally am guilty sometimes too when I see things I don’t like)is that we were ALL new at some point. We all started out small and had to journey to where we are. People need to respect that journey more!

    Great discussion post!
    Jamie recently posted..Second Helpings by Megan McCaffertyMy Profile

  45. says

    I have been blogging for about 9 months, and I am still pretty much an unknown. I don’t really have a desire to be “popular” I like having a few blog friends that I interact with regularly, I try to hit their blogs daily and then just do some random lurking on other blogs. I’ve found myself ignoring the bigger blogs all together, because they clearly have no interest in visiting my blog back.

    I started out all enthusiastic with twitter, responding to the “big blogs” and then I just got ignored. So I gave up. I try hard to respond to every comment (even if it’s just revisiting their blog) or every tweet that I get. It doesn’t take long, and to me? It’s just common courtesy.

    -Jac @ For Love and Books

  46. says

    I think this is an unfortunate but true situation. I started blogging before I even realized there was such a thing as a book blogging community. I thought I might even be the first person to want to blog about books (Silly me!) The only thing I really cared about was getting discussions going and finding people willing to talk about books with me – usually my friends just roll their eyes when I go on long hypothesis streaks about what’s going to happen to who, but I love it!

    Then I found out about the popularity contest side of it. I was shocked. To me, people who read books a lot are the people who mostly *lose* popularity contests in high school, sometimes with an overabundance of humiliation. Why on EARTH would we want it to be that way in our own little blog-world? It took me a long time, a lot of frustration, and several breaks to work through that.

    Now, I’ve finally gotten to the point where I don’t care about that (much – there are still days…). I had to think a lot about why I started the blog (for me, to talk about books) and what I wanted it to be. And I finally realized that being popular doesn’t particularly matter to me. I don’t need it to get ARC’s, because I have a perfectly good library. And I don’t need it for the validation, because the few friends I’ve made from blogging are really nice people and have become some of the best friends I’ve ever had. And that’s what counts to me.
    Anne recently posted..Clock Rewinders on a Book Binge 3My Profile

  47. says

    I think you’re pretty popular actually 😉

    I chat a lot on Twitter and I have most of my publishing/author contracts through that. Because I talk to them about other things they are more likely to send a book my way. UK publishers are incredibly grateful for what bloggers do, even if it doesn’t seem that way at first. And I understand both sides of being an international blogger…Books are expensive to send out, even within the same country. And then there’s territories to think about, not every publisher has the rights to send you their book. On the other hand it must suck seeing us get so many books…I don’t get 30 a week but I get more than I can read and it’s been ages since I was turned down for something I asked for.

    P.S. My thorough research, ie me and Hannah sending emails, has made me realise Penguin UK never answer emails but always send stuff out if you stick a postal address on the mail…though can’t say if they send outside the UK but they suck at replying!
    Ellie recently posted..Incoming!My Profile

  48. says

    Just a few minutes ago I was thinking about the whole “lots of followers” thing.
    I’m also a fairly recent blogger, so I’m by no means popular or experienced.
    I have exactly 198 followers. And how many comments do I get per blog post ? One. Or 2-3 from bloggers on whose posts I actually comment and who bother to return the favor.
    Does that mean I have only one ‘real’ follower ? Yeps, I think the number says it all.
    I’m not going to lie, I do wish I had more followers, but and then I realized that I want followers who are faithful, who will come and comment from time to time.
    I have decided that I’m going to stop ‘chasing’ people to follow my blog.
    I started my blog because I had just finished with A-Levels and I had nothing to do for a year, but read. I wanted to share my love for books with other people too.

    Now, onto the whole big bloggers thing. I know some really down-to-earth book bloggers, who are really sweet and have been very helpful. I also do think some of the smaller bloggers have better content.
    However, I have heard of some bloggers looking down upon the new bloggers, though, thankfully, I haven’t experienced that.

    With that being said, you’re blog is definitely great Vicky :)
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted..Review : Dark Kiss by Michelle RowenMy Profile

  49. says

    Well said! First I’d like to just say that you’d NEVER know English wasn’t your first language. Your command of the language is excellent in my opinion, and I’ve been reading your blog almost since the beginning, plus Facebook and Twitter and a few exchanged emails.

    I do completely agree with you that blogging is becoming a popularity contest. I’ve been noticing it’s so full of cliques that I feel like I’m back in high school. The cool kids versus the unknowns versus the underdogs who work hard and get *some* recognition. Sometimes I feel a bit bummed when I see other people’s book hauls and they get tons of books and I hardly get any, but does that make them better than me for the fact that I get my books from the library? Absolutely not. Are others better bloggers than I am because they host tons of giveaways and get most of their followers that way? Again, absolutely not. I work hard, I try to blog with passion and integrity, and I cherish every single one of my followers and every comment I get. I also cherish people like you who I’ve come to know through blogging as more than just ‘a blogger’ – to me, that’s what it’s really about. I was never popular growing up, and I never liked people who acted better than others just because they were ‘popular’ and it’s kind of disappointing to see it in the blogging world, where I thought people were different. I rely on the book blogging community in a big way, because none of my friends like to read, and I’d go crazy if I couldn’t talk about books!

    Also…a lot of it is about perception. I thought you were a very popular blogger, so I was kind of surprised to see this post, although happy to see someone voicing what a lot of people were already apparently thinking. 😉
    SweetMarie83 recently posted..Book Review: Lucky Stiff by Deborah CoontsMy Profile

  50. MsJohannah says

    Very well said! I have been stalking – I mean following you on GFC for awhile now and I had NO idea English wasn’t your first language.

    I totally agree that it feels like a popularity contest.

    I follow a TON of blogs tho – not because I want them to add me in return or anything crazy like that. I’m also pretty picky about a ‘clean blog’. I’m a graphic/new media designer. I know my blog isn’t perfect, but it’s simple and pretty clean I think and if I’m going to follow them I want to be able to navigate pretty easy and not have to strain my eyes trying to their poor choice in colors (To be honest). You blog is awesome btw! lol.

    I think I got off topic. sorry. :/
    MsJohannah recently posted..Memorial DayMy Profile

  51. says

    Wow Vicky. Someone must had pissed you off quite a bit 😀 LOVE this post!! And I agree with you. Sometimes things like this piss me off so much. For example with comments. I commented lots of times on bigger blogs and they never once came back to my blog to leave a comment. Sounds stupid I know, but I dunno. Smaller or newer bloggers are so much more nicer. They always comment back and they don’t take any pageview/comment for granted. I know I don’t take them for granted and I’ve been blogging for more than a year. So yeah, I totally agree with you on this topic. And it’s a really good one 😉 😉 AWESOME discussion!! 😉 :)
    nea barabea (@neabarabea) recently posted..Top 10 Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2013My Profile


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