Wednesday, 23 April 2014

SURVEY RESULTS: What do you think of the book blogging community?

A little while ago I conducted a survey in which I asked you, whether you're a blogger or someone else, what you think of the book blogging community. If you answered my questions then thank you! I received some really thought-provoking answers and it seems I'm not the only one who feels that the community has gone downhill. As promised in my previous post, here are the results.

There were 64 responses.

"I legit love the community but I completely agree, it is growing increasingly bitter as of late. The drama, the jealously, the complaints, the nitpicking ... I ignore the majority of it but I'm sure it doesn't reflect positively on the community as a whole." 
"I haven't seen much of the 'community' aspect, to be honest. I comment on a lot of blogs, and happily and willingly do so, but it's a little disheartening to see that no-one (including you) check out mine. I know it's not something I should expect, but I know that courtesy demands it sometimes. I think that unless you have a big reading base, you're a nobody. And that sucks."
The thing is, commenting on blogs doesn't mean the bloggers are going to automatically come to your blog, and this is something I discussed in a post a while ago. I understand it must be disheartening - trust me, I've been there! - but there are other ways you can attract people to your blog, and the fact that you're taking the time to comment on other blogs is a really nice thing to do! I don't know who you are because this survey was anonymous, but if that's you then let me know. Just because I don't comment often doesn't mean I'm not reading your blog! :)
"I love it mostly... but then there's all the plagiarism, jealously etc and it just bugs me. If I have a bad day I look to the community to maybe cheer me up a bit. A lot of the time, this happens and is awesome. But then other times, I see someone be mean, and I just have to turn away :("
"I love it and it's mostly always a really nice place. Though I have seen plagiarism and competitiveness which I don't really understand!"
"I love being part of the book blogging community. But I know I feel a bit cut off from everyone else and I feel this may be because I don't have as many followers as everyone else. There are bloggers that have been lovely, like you. But some have really made me feel left out several times."
"Most of the people I talk to are very nice. I like everyone and I have no problem. Of course, deep inside I get a bit jealous like damn I wish I had that ARC, but I won't tell them of course. I'm glad they received it and I will definitely check out their review on the blog. I look up to some big bloggers of course."
"As a whole, I think it's a wonderful place. However, there are a couple of handfuls of people who cast a negative light upon it. Like you said, blogger jealousy is a huge deal to some people, and it really messes with the happy atmosphere on Twitter. I've started to unfollow people who cause or shout about drama, because I just can't be bothered with it. Same goes for those who complain about people who comment on their blog, for whatever reason, and people who complain about other people receiving ARCs that they didn't. I find some people's attitudes to be very childish and they also come across as spoiled and entitled. But, like I said, I love the book blogging community as a whole, and I have met some of the best people. It's just a shame that the minority sometimes overshadow those who are awesome."
"Your right, it's bitter and it's good someone finally did a post on it. The community can be nice but it can also be quite mean..."
"Like any large community, there is a great deal of positive aspects with a smaller percentage of negatives. I think we should continue to have conversations about negativity but not overly focus on it."
You're right, and I hope no one thinks I was overly focusing on the negativity. It's become so bad, from what I've seen, that I felt something needed to be said. And I'm balancing the negativity with my blog notes project, so it's cool, right?... ;D
"I've become discouraged with the blogging community. I find it hard to interact with the other bloggers who've been blogging for so much longer. I don't really know... This community doesn't seem like one giant supportive family is all."
I know what you mean. Bloggers who have been blogging for a really long time seem intimidating, and it does feel like they're in a whole other league. Even I feel a bit intimidated by long-time bloggers sometimes and I've been blogging for ages! But maybe that's just me being socially awkward. xD
"I adore it. But I agree that too many people are trying to 'run' the community and act as though they are the most important one."
"I started my blog 9 months ago. Most book bloggers (basing on Twitter which I use most) are lovely and supportive with re-tweeting my reviews and interacting etc. There are a few (mostly more experienced bloggers) who are a little bitchy and whiny about people copying ideas, posting reviews too early etc.  There are only so many variations on a blog and no-one owns an idea!  I would never knowingly copy somebody but it annoys me that there is so much bad feeling and spiteful comments around."
For me, this was one of the most thought-provoking answers. If someone's copying your ideas, it's not good to be bitchy but if someone took something you'd been working on, you wouldn't be all happiness and rainbows. I too have seen people telling others when to post reviews. Post them whenever you want! It's your blog. Unless you have a deadline or blog tour or something where you have to post it on a certain day, I don't see why anyone would get irritated over someone posting a review too early or too late.
 "I love the book blogging community, I seriously don't know where I'd be without it."
"I see the connections and bonds people form over twitter and other blogs, I just wish I could be a part of that too. I have followers, but no one ever participates or responds to my posts/tweets."
"I like it in general, I just wish people would be less confrontational and not gossip about others in public places where they know the subject can find it and probably will. That just seems mean."
Oh, do I relate to this! Not long after I published the survey on my blog, I switched over to Twitter and there was a group of bloggers saying quite rude things about it. Ironic, but I let it go. *cue music from Frozen*
"It's fantastic! But I agree there is a lot of competitiveness and showing off especially about ARCs and book hauls. When did book 'hauling' become a thing, anyway? None of us grew up going to the library to bring back a 'haul'! It completely strips reading for fun of its value. It turns it into a competition that can really affect the self-esteem and confidence of other bloggers who /don't/ receive huge stacks of ARCs from publishers every week. It's the same with vlogging as well, where everyone is constantly plugging their videos trying to beat each other to subscriber milestones."
I hadn't really thought about book hauls being a negative part of the community but I guess they could be seen that way. Another interesting answer, thank you! I love seeing different perspectives. All of the people I've previously spoken to love book hauls, whether they're blog posts or videos. I've never seen book hauls as showing off, but more of 'Hey, I got this book, did you? You did? Let's buddy read!'

*raises hand* Subscriber counts of other channels made my confidence plummet a few months ago, but I'm over it. I don't think numbers should define a person. Just have fun with whatever you're doing. :)
"I am fairly new to book blogging, only in the last month I have started reading the Mile Long Bookshelf, I found out about you on Cathy Cassidy's Dreamcatcher blog. I enjoy reading the comments on your blog and Dreamcatcher since everyone seems friendly and supportive. I really enjoy the book blogging community as it has helped books become part of my life again and the hobby I love again as I was finding it hard to fit reading in around my endless schoolwork! I'm so glad I discovered the Mile Long Bookshelf!!"
*hugs* *gives you imaginary cookies* Thank you! You have no idea how happy it makes me that the book blogging community has helped books to become part of your life again, and it's so good that you've found such a friendly and supportive group of people. I love Cathy's blog too!
"I think it used to be friendlier, but with the influx of people writing reviews on Goodreads that tear apart the author instead of critiquing the book, it's become a place authors may be scared to venture into. I've seen things like reviewers ripping off other people's reviews and publishing them as their own, then those people who stole content remain popular and I just don't understand that. If you don't have time to review 5 books a week, just don't. It's simple."
Yes! If you can't read all of your review books, don't worry about it. You NEVER need to resort to plagiarism. Chill out and maybe cut back on the amount of books you request (which is hard, I know!) And you should never rip an author's reputation to shreds. You didn't like their book. Move on and read a different one.
"I love it. It is my happy place. Sure there is some animosity, but this is a large community and it is bound to happen when this many people have an interest. It doesn't bother me at all. If something annoys me, I walk away from it and do something else. My best friends are bloggers and people say nasty crap about us all the time. I've learned to ignore it."
"I think that it's not a new thing for the book blogging community to be very bitter. I've had a book blog for almost 10 years now; the community has always been cliquey and there has always been some kind of drama or other in the community. It seems to come and go in huge waves - at times everyone will love each other, at other times they will be super competitive and be ganging up on other bloggers. Maybe I just feel this because I have always been on the outside of the community, but I've always seen some drama in the community, and don't find it more visible now than it was previously."
Woah, ten years! An amazing achievement. Now you mention it, it does seem to come and go in waves.
"cliq-ish and I find it weird that the book blogging community seems to write their blog posts at other bloggers you would think you would be aiming for the blog reader not blog writer."
I have noticed that book blogs tend to speak to other book blogs - mine included - and there doesn't seem to be much content aimed at non-bloggers. Then again, if you look at my survey results, only 4 non-bloggers responded. Maybe other blog audiences are mostly other bloggers too. I am going to try to post more for non-bloggers, anyway.
"I really hate it right now. I feel like all/most book bloggers are out for themselves and are so stuck up their own a** that they turn into monstrous demons. It seems like the people that don't get involved with the community at all are the better, more genuine bloggers.
There are a lot of cliques within the book blogging community: the older bloggers, the teen bloggers, the UK bloggers, the YA bloggers. A lot of the time it seems like these cliques stick to themselves, and there's nothing wrong with that. I just wish this supposed 'community' acted like an actual community, not like what seems like a divided group.
From my perspective, there are often times when I notice book bloggers who are up on their high horses and think they're better than everyone else; too good to reply to your tweet; too busy to answer your question; too professional to even notice you. It's intimidating. Should the book blogger community be an intimidating place? No. We talk about books, for God's sakes.
Why are the smaller bloggers with less followers looked down upon by some of the bigger, more established bloggers?
Then there's the plagiarisers, the ones who are are doing it for the free books, the non-genuine blogger. But that's a whole other story...
I just really hate the book blogging community right now. The fake enthusiasm on Twitter. The fake personalities. The fake community."
This was the other response which really got my attention. The 'cliques' have been mentioned a few times in this post now and I have to agree. This is book blogging. We're a massive community with a shared love of one thing: reading. Obviously there are various little friendship groups within the community which is fine and completely natural, but there really is no need for cliques.

Yes, I have noticed there are bloggers who don't reply to tweets. If someone takes the time out of their day to tweet me something, whether it's a question, a compliment, or even criticism, I will acknowledge it, and I'm sure most do the same. You could argue that it takes too long to reply to tweets, but it only takes a few seconds. As for the plagiarists being a whole other you mean this one? ;)

I'd just like to add that, as simple as it sounds, we need to remember there are actual people behind blogs. People with feelings. And when most of us only talk to each other online, things can get interpreted the wrong way.
"I think you're right. I believe we, as a community have gotten very jealous and competitive and needs to stop. Blogging is for fun, for the love of books. We need to embrace that, not throw it away."
"I love it! I stay out of any arguments that I see (which to be honest is very rare!) so it's great! I love that I can just talk about books all day long with other people who a) know what I'm talking about, unlike any of my IRL friends, and b) actually want to hear it and won't judge me for it :)"
"I don't really think it is a community. I joined book blogging thinking that it would be a community where we could all be able to talk to each other, instead I'm faced with huge cliques of people which really sucks."
"Yes. I was 'blog shamed' recently when I forgot to put a spoiler alert up  for a book in a review... The other blogger wrote a whole post aimed at me which I thought was pretty ridiculous."
"Some people have seemed a bit fake, but I haven't had a specific rough experience (as of yet)."
"There has been times of annoyance and obnoxiousness but other than that, no."
"Yes, both when I was a newbie and now."
"Most people have been lovely, but there are some who have made me feel like I don't belong in the community. There are some who I've tried to talk to and I feel I've been nice to them but they have acted coldly towards me."
"Yes - I've had a bit of a tiff with one blogger on and off for months and we've had spats in the past over various things. Other people I know seem to have a problem with the same blogger so maybe it's not just me."
"Yes, only one person. I was actually a good friend of theirs until they started accusing me of things, and they basically wanted me to get down on my knees and beg to stroke their ego. I didn't, and they haven't spoken to me since. But I think I'm better off for it, I don't need those kinds of people in my life."
"Not to me personally but I've seen friends get down with other bloggers telling them when to post reviews and demanding to know why they are on certain blog tours."
"There are definitely a couple or so of more 'successful'! bloggers who rarely interact with me on Twitter, no matter how friendly I try to be.  One in particular seems to be happier sucking up to authors and publishers than interacting with fellow bloggers.  I now just ignore them.  I find it's generally the newbie bloggers are that the most supportive.  It seems that the more experienced ones seem to regard us newbies as competition which is a shame. There is more than enough room in the book world for all of us!"
"Nobody has been directly off with me but my time line on twitter has lately been full of rants or woe is me talk - not wanting to generalise it does tend to be from the younger bloggers.  Very sad to read - often want to say 'grow up and get over it' but don't.  We're all blogging about the same thing, our love of books, so there is bound to be some cross over of ideas!  I've blogged off and on for several years but only started book blogging late last year, never come across this bickering before."
"Slightly, but not as much as what some people have experienced. I just need to point out that many of us blog to escape school, read to escape other people IN SCHOOL, so why turn the blogging community into a hateful classroom of sorts."
"Yes I have come across some bloggers who are just straight up rude and malicious, mostly on goodreads too. And when you visit their blogs they have less than a 100 members and zero comments on anything they post and they bitch about it. Well, if you're unprofessional and think its entertaining to put others down, then of course no one will want to associate themselves with your blog or even on social media. It's very hurtful to tell authors that they should go kill themselves and never write again. Reviews are subjective and criticism should be constructive. If you didn't like a book, say why, but keep that respect in your opinion. As a fellow blogger, I pride myself in writing reviews that don't tear down the author even when I didn't enjoy the book. You just never know how your words will affect someone."
"I've witnessed some bitchiness and jealousy especially when some have gotten books before others or gotten some type of privilege and also known some bloggers make posts about other bloggers trying to provoke people into slating each other. People need to remember that we are not children and don't need to act like children in a playground."
"I find that this year commenting as a whole seems to be a big deal to a lot of bloggers. It seems like a large number of bloggers has made this new rule of "I'm not going to stress out about commenting". Which is completely fine, and I agree that you shouldn't stress out about commenting however a large part of the community is interaction and if that ceases in the form of comments to one and others blogs, where is the community? I am proud of the fact that I comment on at least 25 posts a week in addition to returning and replying comments on my blog, and I enjoy when others do the same however there are bloggers (and for the large part... they are normally bloggers are get a TON of comments, over 20 on each post) that will never, ever return a comment or even reply. It's sad really."
"Thanks for adding positivity into the book blogging world!"
"This is a great place on the internet. But this is a place where we are all here because we like books. I know I'm here because this is a place where I'm not bullied or teased for liking books. But this isn't a place where people should have to feel uncomfortable due to competitiveness or simply because they get more comments and more followers."
"I love the blog notes project you're doing - such a good thing!"
"I completely agree with your whole post xxx"
"I think a lot of us still are the happy and supportive community you remember, we just need to remember that public places like Twitter are public and not the best place to rant about issues with other bloggers since it just continues bad feelings."
"The blog notes project is an AMAZING way to get the book blogging community closer!"
"Thanks for creating the survey - it's about time someone was brave enough to raise these issues."
"Goodreads is a whole other issue! Bloggers on there can get craaaazy."
"I joined book blogging thinking that it would be a community where we could all be able to talk to each other, instead I'm faced with huge cliques of people which really sucks."
Apologies for the looooong post, but there were a lot of thoughtful responses and I wanted to include as many as possible. If you don't see your answer here, it will be because it was very similar to what someone else had said already. Anyway, I hope you found that interesting - I certainly did! If you took part in the survey, thank you for taking the time to include your thoughts. I think making the survey anonymous really helped people to say what they really thought and I found it fascinating to see everyone's different opinions.

EDITED TO ADD: I will be doing a similar survey soon but it will be about what people love about our community. This post ended up being way more depressing than I thought it would, so I feel like sprinkling some happy back onto the blog.

As those in Candor would say: "Thank you for your honesty." Oh yes, I managed to get a book reference in here. *victory dance*

What do you think? Is there anything you would like to add? Have your say in the comments below!


  1. I love this post, Amber. It is really true that there are some really nice people in the book community and then there are some who are just plain rude. I've only been apart of the community for a little, but have seen so many people fighting over such stupid things. I just wish everyone could be nice to everyone :)

    1. Thank you! That is exactly what I think. We don't need to be mean. Even if there are bloggers who don't like each other, they should still be nice and respectful to each other. :)

  2. The blogging community is a place I used to love being in so much and in ways I still do but it's changed. Which is really sad. I've been a witness to all of these things and even experienced some. I think this needs to change and I think it can change. We are better than this and I think more projects like the Blog Notes Project should be done. Good on you for having the courage to talk about this issue, I think it's really important.

    1. You're right, it can change, it is important, and we're all better than this! I was really nervous about publishing this post because it's SO negative and I hate negativity. But I'm glad you liked it. :)

  3. This was the best post and I think you should do it every so often. Not necessarily on the same topic but just so people can vent and especially let their pent up anger that has obviously built up, release. I liked this post because it's interesting to look at everyone's opinions and to see that you're not always the only one who's thought of this. I have to say you're quite brave to take on this topic and I'm glad someone finally did. I thought I was a little crazy...

    1. Thank you Francoise! That's a good idea, I'll have a think. There is another survey in the works about what people love in our community so that should be a lot more positive.

  4. Great post Amber, I was looking forward to seeing this when it was done.

  5. Some comments actually really surprise me.. In a negative way, that is. I'm not going to talk about the comments, because everyone is entitled to their own opinion and they said this anonymous, but let me just say I highly disagree with some of the things I've read :)

    1. While I agreed with some of them, a lot of the answers surprised me too! It seems like there was a lot of suppressed anger.

      I will be doing another survey soon but about what people love in our community. Should make for a more positive post :)

  6. Very interesting blog post and the results really surprised me. Things like commenting, jealousy of ARCs and blog tours and how people feel about other people's book hauls and subscriber numbers really made me cringe. So much focus on what other people are/are not doing. Which we have no control over.

    I'm going to continue to focus on what *I* have control over: my own content and making my blog the best it can be irregardless of other bloggers' successes etc and I'm going to continue to stay out of the drama.

    1. I think that's a really good idea and I'll be doing the same. I've never really been the centre of drama, although there's obviously been times when people have plagiarised me and I've had to politely ask them to stop. But yes, some of these answers really surprised me too!

      As you said, there's no point in dwelling over what other people have and don't have. People just need to put that energy into their blogs instead. Easier said than done, but still. :)

  7. This is a really interesting post. I've been blogging for a few years now, and haven't ever sought out the 'community' particularly. It's genuinely shocking to hear how bitter it can be out there - to think that such a high percentage of people have experienced jealousy, etc. is a real surprise and a pity.

    I also find the idea of using metrics like follower numbers as a means of judging/belittling other blogs/bloggers completely anathema. It's a sad insight into how petty people can be.

    While I'd definitely have responded that I don't feel part of the community, that is more or less a choice on my part - whenever I've chatted with other bloggers they've been more than friendly. To think that anything other than this is happening is a shame.

    Nice post - I look forward to the positive poll too - and I'll gladly stop by and put in some responses myself now I've found your blog :)

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment, Matthew! I think I've only ever come across three bloggers who aren't exactly friendly, but in nearly five years of book blogging that's not too bad. It's good that the bloggers you have spoken to are nice! ^-^

    2. That's very good going - I'm also now paranoid that I'm one of these grumpy bloggers. I console myself with the fact that I speak to so few people, it's impossible for me to have offended many ;)

  8. Some of the comments there didn't surprise me at all. A few did, like the plagiarism issue, but I empathise with a lot of the comments mentioned. I counted at least two of my own comments where there.

    This was a really interesting post and thank you for creating such an effective survey Amber! xx

    1. What surprised you about the plagiarism one? Just curious :)

      Thank you for participating! xx

    2. I think just the fact that it happens so much. I'd like to think that in this community people would know better than to do that. xx

  9. I must say I am astounded by some of the replies you got with your questions. I've always seen blogging as an amazing way to put your thoughts out in the community and meet new people with the same preferences, never once have I thought the blogging community to be as described in your post. I mainly interact with other bloggers through twitter and I haven't experienced anything as such.

    Great post a real eye opener I must say. Glad to have found your blog :)

    1. I do think the majority of the community is still how you described it! There's just a minority who want to ruin it, unfortunately. I'm glad you liked the post! :)

  10. I have to say that whilst I did participate in this survey, even though none of my comments are on here, it's really good to see what everyone else has to say. Particularly since I have literally just started book blogging myself, however I have been reading book blogs for a while now!

    I do have to agree that although I have literally just started out, I do worry that nobody is going to like my blog/style/reviews, but it is early days. I think the biggest worry of mine, and probably every other newbie, is that nobody is going to read your blog/comment on your posts with feedback. And hearing that some people have experienced 'bigger' bloggers not even responding to them really makes you feel nervous, as when you're starting out, feedback on your reviews and posts is really what you need in order to get known, and just to improve your writing of reviews really!

    I have to say, although I only started out this weekend, even I myself have got jealous of people with their ARC's and free copies, but I don't think that should be the reason why you blog. I think that getting jealous is a normal thing, but to attack someone else because of it, is just ridiculous.

    I have to say though, this isn't just a book blogging community thing. I actually had a tumblr from 2010-2012 (I barely use it anymore), and I saw a LOT of moaning and just general nastiness from different people towards others! Overall, I'm glad that this survey was done, even if some did moan about it. It's been good to see what people think, and it's been good especially for me and other newbie's to see what the community is like. Admittedly, it does put you off a little as it does make you worry a little, but honestly, I don't think that should affect your desire to do reviews!

    Oh, and apologies for the long comment! :)

    Vicky @ APaperTown

    1. Welcome to the blogosphere, Vicky! I promise you we're a lovely bunch of people, there's just a few who want to ruin it for others. There honestly isn't much drama, but it looks like there's more because so many people contributed to this post.

      I've never used Tumblr but I can understand how it would happen there too.

      Good luck with your new blog! I'll check it out now. :)

    2. Thank you for replying to this comment and for also checking out my blog! I really appreciate it! Don't worry, I believe you! I do agree that there is a lot of negativity discussed in this post about the blogosphere, which is probably why when reading it as a newbie, it does make you feel a little apprehensive!

      Definitely - like the book blogging community, when I was on Tumblr, there was always good, but that good did have an ugly side to it at the same time which I think is the same for all blogging communities!

      Thanks once again! :)

  11. I've been absent from the book blogging community (not sure if/ when I'll return, I've decided to focus on Youtube), but this is a really thoughtful and interesting post. I am shocked by some of the responses but I can understand that it's difficult for a new blogger. In comparison to Youtube, it's very hard to get the same exposure through a blog that through Youtube.
    In respect to that, I've given up on caring about numbers. I'm not going to lie, I was obsessive for a while, and then I had to go on hiatus so often that there was no point about me worrying. The one thing I've always missed on hiatus is the community aspect, because I think 99% of people are lovely. I now just focus on making videos I want to make about content I care about, and just talk to people no matter my number, cos hey, I like to chat.

  12. Wow, thank you so much for the thoughtful post and survey! I've been blogging for almost 2 years and have experienced it all, blogger competitiveness, jealousy, plagiarism but I just say the good parts of the community, making friends etc. Is the best part about it. You only get what you put into the community, if you are someone who doesn't interact then they probably won't interact with you.

    Another point is that many people think that only other bloggers read their blog but that's not true, if you look at your visitor stats the majority of those people aren't commenting so are simply there to visit.

    Lovely post Amber and thank you for posting!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

  13. Great to see the survey results and I definitely think it's made me more aware of the bickering/cliques/competition that I've been fortunate enough to have mostly missed, although I have seen some of it. I'm on a blogging break at the moment (due to exams - blurgh) but even though I'm not posting I'm still trying to read and comment on other blogs because I do genuinely enjoy it and I want to maintain that link with the blogging community.

    It was particularly interesting to see the mention of cliques because although it's not really something I've noticed before, now that I think about it is actually quite a prominent part of the blogging community. I think some adult bloggers can sometimes be a bit condescending towards teen bloggers and I do know that when I comment on other blogs or (before I quit Twitter) replied to other bloggers' tweets, I'm a lot more likely to get a reply from other teen bloggers than adult ones. The majority of those I count as 'blogging friends' are other teens, and I think that's because when I communicate with other bloggers, teens tend to be a lot more responsive and friendly towards me. Obviously this isn't *all* adult bloggers and there are some lovely ones out there who reply to my comments and comment on my posts, but I have noticed it with a few.

    Sorry for the long and rambling comment - I hope it's not entirely incomprehensible!

  14. It's sad to see someone thinks "UK bloggers" are a clique. I wonder if it's just that we often bump into each other at events in person so we're maybe a bit more familiar with each other. Also it could be a time zone thing. I don't chat with West Coast US people much because I'm asleep when they're most active.

    Twitter can be a tough one, sometimes I miss @mentions, especially if I'm having a busy day or there's lots going on over Twitter. I'm not very good at small talk in real life, so sometimes coming up with a response to a passing comment is hard. I'd much rather I comment when I have something to say than just for the sake of it. I'd hate to think that people thought I was stuck up, I do try to chat with people in general but of course I'm going to speak to my actual friends more. I'm less likely to upset them by accident by being silly.

    I see a lot of stuff where I get paranoid and think "do they mean me?". I think people having their rants in public should stop and think how they're alienating people thye don't mean to.

  15. Wow! This was absolutely amazing to read. Thank you so much for taking the time to put it together. Extremely enlightening. I'd like to say for anyone reading this that wishes they had more bloggy friends to share support, jokes, and chats - @cecebooks Tweet me! I am always looking for new friends. I completely agree that sometimes this community feels cliquey and intimidating and I promise I am always super happy to hear from new people.

  16. Great post, thank you for writing about this. It's important that things like this are spoken about in the book blogger community.

  17. I have to admit, I've lost interest in posting reviews to my blog because of lack of interaction and comments. It feels like there is no reason to continue if no one is reading, you know? I think I might just starting to use Goodreads more often with short reviews that are easier to write. Thanks for working so hard on this, it looks like I'm not the only one who feels like this.

  18. I haven't been in the blogging community for long enough to have any of these things happen to me, but wow! This is a great post! I agree with what seems to be the main message, we all love books, it's simple. No one is better or worse. Plus, anyone who takes the time to speak to me, I make the time to reply, I love new friends and new differing opinions on books. Thanks for this post Amber :D

  19. I love this and I have to say that that I'm not really surprised at any of the negative comments. I have been blogging for a little over a year and have had very little interaction with fellow bloggers. My blog has few followers and visits and though I understand because I have a very busy life and can't always post on a regular basis, it is still disheartening to put so much work into something that people don't read. Right now I'm on a break because it's the final weeks of my semester and I haven't had a visit in days. I even had a One Year Anniversary giveaway that involved a free book and a $25 gift card and only 10 people entered. Please don't mistake this as whining, I just feel like it's hard to get a foot in the door when it comes to blogging.

    On the other hand, the few people I have gotten the chance to know have been very nice. My twitter feed is relatively drama free, I don't see the fighting or bickering. I don't participate in book haul posts because I can't. I don't ever buy more than one book at a time (and I can't go to the library because my county closed half the libraries down and the other half are only open when I'm at work.) . I do see how it can seem a bit show offy.

    I have seen the cliques, but cliques are an unfortunate part of life. I don't feel an overall sense of community. It feels more like everyone is on their own and you might make a few friends.

  20. So many valid points and it's nice to know others have the sae experiences and views as me. I'm fairly new to the blogging world but try my hardest to RT and interact with others, and while I have some loyal followers there are some that just don't return the courtesy.

  21. Wow...that was seriously interesting! I'm agreeing with a lot of those comments, although (honestly) it makes me super sad to know a lot of bloggers feel really disclosed in the community. :(( I'm kind of agreeing with ALL views here. It's crazy how we're all having such different experiences. But anyway! Thanks for putting all this together. SO interesting.

  22. I really enjoyed reading all of the comments, so thanks for that. Still being new-ish to the blogging world, I have heard about incidents happening (mostly on twitter) but have yet to really see them first hand. I think beyond plagiarism (because that is always wrong), some of these issues should just be let go instead of being rehashed. Of course when you get a big group of people "together" there are going to be disagreements, but really for the love of books we should just let stuff go. The internet is a big place, and there is room for everyone.

  23. Wow some the resuts really irseting been like blogsprere every one been really nice to me you shold do more suvery.

  24. This was really interesting to read and helped me a bit since I felt like I was the only person who isn't a fan of the book-blogging community at the moment.
    I don't consider myself to be a book-blogger, but I do blog about books quite regularly. I feel like, if I did try to call myself a 'book-blogger' that I just wouldn't be welcomed to the community, at all, even though I've been here for 7 years. The book blogging community can be so clique-y and, at times, unwelcoming. It's sad that it's got this way; it used to be an amazing place.
    I've been getting really disheartened recently because, no matter what I post or how much I promote my blog, I get about 100 pageviews a day and no more than 4 comments per post. Considering that my blog is almost 7 years old and has 314 followers, I think it's pretty crap. I don't know what's happened recently but I sometimes feel like I've been excluded from all blogging communities, including the book-blogging community.
    Thanks for doing this post; I think it's important that people start talking about their issues with the book blogging community. :) xx

  25. Thanks for doing this post, Amber! I really liked reading other people's thoughts on the community and I definitely agree/understand of what others said. There is definitely jealousy, drama, and competitiveness in this community, but hey, there's no perfect community! But I hope all those stuff would go down. I kind of feel the same way about the cliques. I kind of understand the clique though because not everyone will get along with other people and not everyone have the same interest. You should do this like once a year to see if people's opinions have changed/remained the same (of course, only if you want to haha). Great post (:

  26. Woah, I had no idea people felt this way in the community!
    To be perfectly honest, I believe things such as jealousy over ARC doesn't ruin the community. No one is trying to make other's feel bad by showing what they received - they are just sharing their joy at receiving them. Also, complaining the community is negative because you commented on someone's blog and they didn't leave a comment back is kind-of petty. I'm still new, and I leave comments everywhere and it is really no big deal that they don't all give me a comment back. That is not the reason I left them a comment. I commented because I liked the post or had something to say. If they visit my blog but find nothing they enjoyed or had something to say about? That's fine.
    Rant over.
    I did see some really worrying concerns here, though, which is so sad. I had absolutely no idea people felt this way, or any of this stuff is going on!
    Thanks for doing this, Amber. It's good to start conversation about these issues so that we are all aware!

  27. I've never thought of Book Hauls as a negative thing at all. Everyone always seems excited about having new books to read (which is normal and good if you love books) and I generally am just excited for people to read books. Especially if I see in their haul a book I loved or a book I've been wanting to read- because if I follow a blogger I of course want to hear their thoughts on a book.

  28. I think some of the "cliques" people are referring to are really just pockets of bloggers with very similar tastes and interests. When I first started blogging I followed everyone bookish I came across, but as time went on I "weeded" the ones who never read and reviewed in my favorite genres, or were hyper-critical of them. I find the smaller group of people I hang with on Twitter also have many of the same fandom (books/tv/movie) interests I do. I don't consider that a "clique", in most ways.

  29. I also have a question. I read far more blog posts than I comment on. I am usually so pressed for time that, most times, I only comment on things I have a super strong opinion on. Would bloggers prefer readers leave an emoticon, or catchword, in the comments as opposed to nothing, after reading a blog post? Just so they know we were there? Maybe we can come up with a "blogger lingo" word that means "I was here and read your post", or something like BL (blog live).

  30. I have only recently started blogging and do feel a little out of my depth sometimes (especially with html haha) but I made the mistake of asking some advice from a more famous book blogger and basically got shot down. I made the mistake of reading loads of posts but never commenting but then realised its important to show the love to fellow book bloggers.

    1. Sorry that happened to you :/ If you ever need any blogging advice, I'm always happy to help. Can't guarantee I'll be right but I can try. :D

  31. Hey Amber, these responses are AMAZING and so insightful. I'm one of the less-active bloggers who are more along the edge of the community, and I've only caught glimpses of the behaviors that some of the responders mentioned. I take the entire post as a reminder to be positive as a blogger, in my own online home (that's how I see blogs) and in those of others, so that I don't inadvertently push people away (or spread my bad day across the internet, lol).

    Ellen @ Glamorous Book Lounge

  32. Amber this survey is amazing. It's completely honest and was genuinely interesting to watch. I agree with the fact that new bloggers aren't really welcomed into the community. Everyone else knows each other and everyone else is just there.
    Anyway this was a really interesting survey to read.!!!