What No One Told Me About The Book Community // things I should have known Part III

More than a year after Part I of this series, I’m back with some more observations and general *emotional realizations* about the book community.

When I hit that big “Publish” button on my very first blog post, I had no idea what I was getting into. I knew Goodreads was a thing, but I didn’t know about the vast amount of books I was overlooking. I only knew about 10 other blogs, some of the most popular ones, I wasn’t aware of how many other bloggers I would eventually meet and grow friendships with.

Back then, I still had so many things to learn, most of which I would have to grasp based on my own experiences!

Now, these are mostly just my observations and feelings based on my nearly two years of book blogging. Not everyone will experience these same feelings, but there are some of the things I wish I had known about before I got my hopes up about blogging. 

Some of the points in this post might seem be obvious if you’ve been in the Book Community for a while, but they are also things I certainly didn’t know or think about when I started. 

Other “Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging” posts: 

🌟 8 Things I Should Have Known When I Started Blogging
🌟 What I Should Have Known As A New Blogger // Part II
🌟 4 Things About Blogging That Seem Scary, But Really Aren’t That Bad


The Book Community Is Very Large! 

If you’re here, chances are I’m not the first book blogger you’ve stumbled upon. (But if you are new – welcome! It’s great to have you here! 😊)

When I started in this community, I seriously had no idea how many people were in this corner of the internet. I still remember the first bloggers to comment on my earliest posts (thank you, friends!), and I believe I’m familiar with most of the other bloggers who frequent my posts, but don’t be fooled – the book community is VAST. 

There are thousands, maybe even tens of thousands, of other book bloggers out there. There are even thousands of people who solely use Twitter, Instagram, or Youtube as their form of communicating with other book lovers! 

The Book Community is full of all kinds of people, who have varying levels of their love for books. These people have so many different opinions and preferences, and if you’re worried about finding other bloggers with similar interests and priorities, I think you’ll be able to find your people with a bit of searching! 

ladylike group hug GIF by BuzzFeed
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ARCs Don’t Have To Be Your Main Goal

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know I try to be 100% honest here. And I’m being honest when I say ARCs were basically the reason why I started this blog. 😂

When I started out, I thought ARCs were the main form of “reward” or compensation for blogging. In a time when I thought 350 blog follows was a large enough following to make money off of (haha, I was so naive), I also assumed that, if you couldn’t make money from book blogging, 600 followers was enough to get ARCs and eARCs regularly from all of your favorite publishers. 

*sarcastic laugh* This is mostly false! I am completely inexperienced when it comes to physical ARCs, but I’m way past the blogging stage of waiting for the day when ARCs are just handed to me. I’ve never received a physical ARC, and that is totally okay. The ARC life is not for me, and frankly, I’m over it. I would rather support the author by getting the book when it comes out. 

read beauty and the beast GIF by Disney

caption: me when i finally go back to the bookstore after quarantine
me when i finally go back to the bookstore after quarantine

I mean, if you really want to receive ARCs, go ahead and feel that way! You be you! Request away! But please don’t stress over it too much. Very few ARCs (and especially physical ARCs) are sent out to bloggers, compared to the thousands of bloggers on the internet who don’t get any, so there are so many other people who are having the same ARC woes as you. 

💫 If you’re wondering how to get ARCs (Advance Reader Copies), Ilsa from A Whisper of Ink has a great guide to requesting ARCs, and Austine from NovelKnight also has an excellent and detailed post about getting ARCs from publishers.

Please don’t feel discouraged if you’ve been blogging for any amount of time, and ARCs still feel hard to obtain for you. I’ve been blogging for nearly two years, and I’m still highly intimidated by the idea of emailing publishers, especially when I know I most likely won’t get one. (But I’m also a hypocrite! I certainly won’t get any ARCs if I don’t try!) Most of us bloggers feel the same way, no matter our follower counts or engagement numbers. ARCs should not stress you out, and they don’t have to be your main goal or highest priority. 

Which leads to my next point… 

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The Biggest Reward is the Community 

As I’ve already mentioned, there are seriously a lot of people in the community, and many of them are great people to be friends with. 

I’ve met so many supportive and friendly bloggers through WordPress alone, and I’ve also encountered some lovely people through Twitter and Instagram. Seriously, many of the people in this community are so funny, thoughtful, and creative, and I’m so glad to be here. 😊💕

I think the best part of this blogging experience has been the friendships I’ve made. At first, it took so long to find the courage to engage with others. Their blogs were so much more professional, and I was pretty intimidated! But after a while, I gained the courage to comment on other blog posts, and that greatly helped me to grow my blog and my friendships with other bloggers similar to me. 

I know it can be hard to reach out when you’re a new blogger, but I am honestly so glad I met some great bloggers on here! Either way, I love reading what other people post, and I think reading other blogs and replying to comments has been a fun experience all on its own. 

💫 If you want to learn more about interacting with others, I have a post which talks a lot about blog engagement and other things you shouldn’t be afraid to do on your blog! 😉

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Books May Seem to be Forgotten Shortly After Release
…but they shouldn’t be!

Okay, okay… we all know this isn’t entirely true. Of course these books still exist after their release, and they will still be sold in shops and online stores, and people can still write reviews. What I mean is that the hype tends to completely die down after the first few days of release, and people in the community are less likely to care about your review or excitement the longer you wait to talk about the book. 

There have been so many times when it took me a few days to receive a majorly hyped book after its release (like The Wicked King or The Queen of Nothing, for example) and less than three days to read it, but by the time I was ready to scream into the oblivion about my experiences with the book, everyone on Twitter and other blogs had already moved on to hyping up the next week’s upcoming releases. 😦 

fox films book GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
just read a book! i don’t care which one!

I want to normalize the idea of reading, reviewing, and talking about “backlist” books. I am constantly reading books from 4 years ago, or even 2 months ago, and it often feels like no one is interested because these aren’t new or upcoming releases anymore. But if you enjoy these books, you should embrace them! We’re all readers here, whether we read something hot off the press or something from our childhood, and I wish backlist books were more talked about. They deserve love too!  

Of course… it’s very possible I’m wrong about this, and of course there might be some other bloggers/readers who feel similarly for different reasons. I’m just talking about my own observations here. 😌

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You Shouldn’t Be Afraid of Taking a Break  

Sometimes, I just… I really want to take a break from the internet.

Tired Good Night GIF

Blogging might be fun, but it can seriously take up a lot of your time and energy. Though it should just be a hobby, it can be exhausting, and you might find yourself wondering how much your blog “matters”, in the grand scheme of things.

You might want to take a break, and I’m here to tell you that you deserve it! Your blog and your blogging friends will all be here to support you when you return. 💕 I know I have taken so many hiatuses and breaks… and honestly, I’m so grateful that everyone here still reads and comments on my posts! That still amazes me. 😅 You all are so awesome!

No matter what kind of effort you’re putting into your blog, we appreciate you! The occasional break or vacation from your blog should happen as often as you need. Please don’t be afraid to slow down every once in a while! It happens to everyone, and you might might even return to your blog stronger and more creative than ever before.

💫 If you want to know more about the amount of care and work bloggers have put into their blogs, Marie from Drizzle and Hurricane Books recently wrote a great post about the value of book bloggers and their work.❤️

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What are some things you wish you had known about the book community? Are there any realizations you made shortly after joining? How much did you know about the book community before joining?

Chat with me about it!


You can also be my friend on Goodreads!

Happy reading, everyone! Have a lovely day! Please stay safe and healthy!

Starry Sky Books-13

78 thoughts on “What No One Told Me About The Book Community // things I should have known Part III

  1. Fantastic post Xandra! Can totally relate to all of your sentiments. The realization I made shortly after joining is in how seamless and surprisingly simple it was to get into a routine when blogging is all fresh and new. I had initially assumed it would be too much work but this is a surprisingly inviting hobby with encouraging and positive people. The thing I wish I knew going in was to not push myself through books I wasn’t enjoying. It’s so important to know when to just drop a book and not risk a major slump.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much! I’m glad you were able to create a routine so easily. It can be overwhelming when you start a blog! I also wish I had not forced myself to read certain books. I’m now trying to read more of what I choose to read, rather than reading whatever is popular.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I totally agree about the ARCs! I don’t request a lot of ARCs because that’s not really why I blog and, really, I have found that I get more interaction on books that have already been published and other people have read. I like to review and discuss backlist titles for the same reason–people interact more with the post because they’ve had time to read the book. I know some bloggers prioritize new releases, but I’d rather just read what I want. It’s less pressure that way.

    I also think people who want ARCs should keep in mind that it’s easier to get approved for books by smaller publishers or books that aren’t going to be major releases. I know everyone wants the next Leigh Barudugo book or whatever, but chances of getting an ARC of that are small. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get any ARC whatsoever. I think people might be surprised if they try to request books that are more midlist or books not published by the Big Five.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Krysta! It had been a long time since I’ve really requested an ARC, but I’m definitely okay with that. And I always like to read on my own time, rather than rushing through a book during the release week, even if it might mean that the hype begins to die down.

      That’s true! Larger publishers are definitely harder to obtain an ARC from. In the past, I have gotten a few eARCs from some great authors, even though they weren’t big mainstream authors, like the ones everyone always wants to read.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Omg yes to all of these points! ARCs are awesome but there’s so much stress attached to them that I like to pump the breaks. The community is the BEST part of blogging! Everyone is so sweet! Backlist books definitely need love too and I’m trying to get myself to read more backlists in between newer releases. And I’m so guilty of taking spontaneous breaks from blogging whenever I feel like it but you gotta put your mental health first 🙂 Wow this comment was so long just for me to say that I agree lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you agree about ARCs! I love the book community, because most people are very supportive and kind! Almost every book I read is backlist, but I’ve learned to be okay with that, because I’m just going at my own pace. And that’s so true – breaks from blogging can be stressful, but what really matters most is how we take care of ourselves and our mental health. 💕

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Xandra! I have found a great, fun, book-loving community blogging as well and I agree that’s the best perk. I really just started it as my own fun project, but I’ve enjoyed connecting with other book bloggers and authors.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I am glad you liked the post! I also love the book blogging community because it is fun and supportive, and some of the bloggers can make amazing friends! I’m glad you’ve found a good place in the community.

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  5. I agree with all of this!! I had no idea just how big the book blogging community was when I first started, and in my five years of blogging, it’s grown so much! I especially didn’t know that there were so many sub-categories (e.g. genre-specific bloggers, bloggers in different languages, etc.). It’s also interesting that across platforms, the community is so different- I’m on Instagram and Twitter, too, but the books that get hyped are often different! It’s definitely cool to see how much of an influence bookish social media has on all readers 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jessica! In my two years of blogging, I’ve definitely seen myself and other bloggers grow so much, and I can’t imagine what it must have been like 5 years ago! And I agree, blogging is very different from the strange world of book twitter, but it is great that certain books can get hyped in different ways on different platforms!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with ARCs! When I lived in a non-English speaking language, e-ARCs were a lifeline for getting English books. Now that I’m back in Singapore and have access to the library, I don’t feel the need to keep up with the latest releases (I’ll check it out if the blurb catches my eye but I’m not stalking publishers weekly or whatever) or to get ARCs.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Amazing post! Tbh wanting to get ARCs was a large reason I started blogging too, but I also very rarely get any ARCs, and blogging is way too much work to do just for ARCs. The community is so big and welcoming and amazing though ❤ I came for the ARCs and stayed for the community I guess haha ❤ Also it's annoying that books are forgotten so shortly after release! I get all my books from the library so I basically never read books when they come out and have to wait like a month or so for the library to get it and by the time I read it I'm ready to shout my love of it but nobody is listening for that anymore rip

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Kay! I agree! ARCs are fun to get, but I already spend a lot of my time blogging, and it would just be so much more difficult if I tried to read more ARCs. I do the same thing with library books! Libraries are so cool and I really appreciate having access to one, so I enjoy using their books rather than buying books I might not love. ❤

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  8. Wonderful post Xandra!! Hopefully, any new bloggers out there will see this because it’s really good advice, and it’s also a great reminder for those of us who have been here a little while, or who are currently struggling. And yes about books losing hype after a little bit. I think that they retain most of their hype for like only a month after and then they are completely ignored in a way. Of course, people still mention them in tags and such, but it’s not as widespread. And you’re right, me reading books from 2018 is a little weird because it’s so “old”. Which is wrong, because it isn’t old at all, and I shouldn’t feel bad that I’m ignoring newer releases to read it.
    Great post!! Loved reading it ❤✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Rukky! ❤ I think I mostly wrote this post as a reminder to myself, haha! I do feel like I’m struggling with blogging anxiety and feeling down about not posting as often as I used to, so even for someone like me, I think it’s nice to see reminders like this every now and then. 🙂 And yeah, I don’t like it when some books are ignored a few weeks after release! We should all just read whatever we want, and whenever we want. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Thanks for the great advice! I’ve only been blogging a month, so I know I have a whole lot to learn, but I love your posts and all the advice you offer. It helps a lot! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Ahaha I remember when I was so jealous of people who got ARCs all the time and didn’t understand how they got so many 😅 How times have changed… I still have never received a physical ARC from a publisher (though I did get one from an author once, which was cool!), and honestly that’s fine – my bookshelves are crowded enough as is.
    It makes me so sad when the hype train moves on so quickly from something I still want to scream about! I think normalizing hype for backlist books is great, since those books can still be incredible even if they aren’t the newest, shiniest thing that everyone’s talking about.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too, I used to be so jealous of people who got ARCs, but now I’m just stressed by my current TBR already! And that’s cool that you got an ARC from an author! Sadly, the hype train is something that’s been going on for a while, and I guess there’s really nothing we can do about it, other than trying to promote books way after their release. They’re still good books, and they deserve to be read long after their original publication!

      Like

  11. i love this post so much, xandra!! i didn’t know about arcs going into blogging, but once i saw it was something i could do, i definitely got obsessed with the idea. safe to say that now, i hardly care about them unless it’s a book i’m very hyped for (and usually i’d only request if it represents me in some way haha). arcs are definitely not for everyone, and seeing everyone talk about them all the time can make you feel a little fomo, but the pressure that comes with it is a lot!

    and yes, the book community is amazing (and so so large, like you said — i’m still so shocked when i discover new corners of it!). it’s definitely why i’m still blogging, and why i try to improve myself and the content i put out there!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, May! ❤ I remember being so obsessed with trying to find ARCs to request, and now the idea just stresses me out, haha. And I try to request them if they represent me too, but I honestly can’t find very many? Maybe I’m not looking hard enough. It is a lot of pressure to review and enjoy an ARC!

      I’m glad you agree, the book community is really great. 😊 Your blog has some of the best content out there! ❤ I’m still trying to improve my content, and I still really need to work on a lot of things, but hopefully I’ll get there eventually!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Ahh I totally remember thinking I would just be swimming in ARCs, getting free books left, right and centre. I’ve never even requested a physical ARC, though a publisher did once send me a finished copy of a book as thanks for reviewing my NetGalley eARC, which was nice. Over almost 2 years of blogging, I’ve come to terms with the fact that reviewing is neither my strong point nor one of my favourite things to do, so now I just write mini reviews for my own reference and spend time on writing posts that I actually enjoy.

    As someone who mostly reads backlist books, I definitely get a bit down sometimes about how quickly the hype moves in this community. It can be so hard to find anyone who’s reading the same book as you and it feels like a lot of people are only interested in the newest release. But I’ve come to terms with it, and I’m always going to choose books because I want to read them, not because I feel like I need to. Like you said, the community is so big there’s bound to be people out there who are interested in what you’re reading! Great post as always! 😄❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, I used to think that, too! I thought I would get so many ARCs, but now, even if I did, I don’t think I could handle all of that. 😂 Ooh, that’s awesome that a publisher sent you finished copy! I also don’t really enjoy reviewing books, and that’s something I’m just willing to accept.

      Yeah, the hype really does move on pretty quickly around here. That’s another thing we can’t really control, and the best thing is to just do whatever feels best for you. Thank you, Abi! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I love this post so so much! Still struggling to find where I “fit” in the book community, or whether or not I’m going to continue with the “book blogging” label or branch into writing and targeting writers with my posts. However, the book blogging community has been so wonderful and amazing! It’s definitely huge, and it can be a struggle to stand out, but there’s also a sense of brother/sisterhood and wonderful friends to be made 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  14. i don’t know HOW i hadn’t found your blog yet but i’m here now!! these are all such incredible points – especially the community one and arcs. i don’t receive arcs (mostly because i don’t have the time or patience to build up a massive audience) but the community is so supportive and i love them all ❤ great post xandra, i can't wait to read more from you !!! xx rhi

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This is such an amazing post, Xandra!! I didn’t know any of these things before joining the community either, but they’re all so true.💛

    I haven’t gotten into ARCs either! I certainly had my moments of feeling like that was the only way to be a Real Book Blogger, but now I realize that a) it takes a lot more dedication than I was prepared to give to be approved and b) reading books on a schedule is not for me. I definitely agree with your point that ARCs don’t have to be the highest priority for all book bloggers! To each their own.

    The community is amazing and so big. Sometimes I get overwhelmed on how many blogs there are that I haven’t ever even seen or how they are entire sectors of the community that I’ll never even view…wow, thinking about that is kinda crazy. But, I’m very grateful for the community I have connected with!

    I completely agree that hiatuses essential. I feel like most bloggers (myself included) are nervous to take breaks and wary to leave their blogs and followings behind, but every time I’ve taken a hiatus, everyone has been nothing but so kind and understanding and supportive, and I’ve eventually realized that there’s no reason to be ashamed or worried about taking a hiatus. Again, a truly wonderful post! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Olivia!! 💕 I’m glad you agree! I used to love the idea of ARCs, but it does take a lot of dedication and time to read and review them. I also don’t enjoy reading on a schedule, so I just try to read whatever I feel like reading, and whenever it suits me.

      I’m constantly overwhelmed with the amount of blogs and posts out there, but a lot of book bloggers are so sweet, and the community is just so nice. I totally understand that whenever people take a hiatus, it really is for the best! I used to be scared taking a hiatus, but right now, I’m more ashamed of not being constant enough and not blog hopping enough. 😅 Thank you for this great comment, Olivia!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I also had no idea how big the book community is (and still don’t really) especially across all the different platforms that exist. Sometimes numbers can seem a little weird, especially looking at people with larger followings, but then I picture the numbers in terms of real people and it’s a little gobsmacking!

    Liked by 1 person

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