Book Blogging Discussion: Staying on Brand

Here’s an interesting conundrum I’m facing this year. I typically try my best to talk a bit about what I read. I’ll write book reviews here on the blog. Maybe I don’t have as much to say so I’ll write a few sentences on Goodreads when I rate the book.

I do it for me so I remember how I felt about a book. I also like doing it for my bookish friends & readers since I know I always enjoy knowing what other people think about a book I’m reading/want to read.

As you know, 2020 has basically been a dumpster fire. As a result, that has impacted my reading. I really struggled to focus on reading particularly in March and April. I’ve slowly found my reading groove again. BUT what I’m reading/in the mood to read has started to deviate from this niche I’ve built for myself in the online book world.

It not explicitly stated but I’ve always felt my niche or circle of bookish knowledge is heavily focused on Young Adult (and occasionally Middle Grade) books with a special focus on Fantasy and Science Fiction. It’s what I’ve enjoyed reading for years. Yes, of course, I read other books but probably 90% of what I usually read fits neatly in that circle. It’s what’s featured on my bookstagram and book blog account. It’s likely why many of my followers followed me.

Looking at what I’ve read this year:

  • 84 books as of this moment
    • 25 of those are Adult books that deviate from my prefered genres (mostly mystery or horror)
    • 10 are Young Adult mysteries that were ‘guilty pleasure’ reads that don’t have much substance & I know are a bit ridiculous. Therefore, I don’t have much to say about them.
    • 14 are graphic novels which I don’t really review.
    • That’s about 58% of my reads that are really out there or not “on brand”.

My question for you readers is what do you do with those books that are really “off brand”?

  • Read & post whatever you want since it’s your social media?
  • Let your social media evolve as you evolve as reader?
  • Read whatever you want and only post “on brand” books?
  • ‘Force’ yourself to read & post “on brand” books?
  • Something in the middle?

I’m not sure where to land in this. When I choose to follow (or not follow) an account, it’s dependent on two things. One, quality of account or effort put in (picture or writing or aesthetic). Two, the focus of the books. I know no one will have 100% of the same taste as me BUT if a good majority of the books aren’t of interest to me, I won’t follow. I don’t know if other people feel this way.

Therefore, I really haven’t been posting about everything I read. [Plus there’s the very superficial reason that the mega popular YA reads are what get the views & likes. Posting non-popular books is always a crapshoot especially on bookstagram.]

Please weigh in with your comments! I’d love to hear what other book blogger and bookstagrammers think.

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15 thoughts on “Book Blogging Discussion: Staying on Brand

  1. It helps that you read and review books that I’m interested in, but you have such a solid and independent voice on your blog that I’ll be happy reading any post from you. You reviewing non-YA-fantasy books may even help me branch out more, too! I say do whatever you want, because blogging has to be a passion project for you as the writer. You should enjoy making your posts, no matter what they’re about, and your audience will probably adapt with you. Otherwise, what’s the point of it all?

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  2. Im kind of a middle ground. I like to let me stuff evolve as I evolve as a reader. I don’t want to force myself to read something and rate it low, while some of my readers would like it and deter them. But i do like reviewing off beat books, because it gets a book people might not otherwise pick up and they enjoy. Basically I like trying new things and expanding so I want to share that lol

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  3. I review most of what I read, unless it’s nonfiction that’s not geared towards a popular audience. I think of my blog as “eclectic,” which maybe can confuse some readers (I’ve seen people describe my blog variously as a “classics” blog and a “young adult” blog among other things), but it works. I think a lot of people, even if they have preferred genres, will branch out sometimes and will be willing to read about books that may be off brand for you, or them. Honestly, I think the only reason it would be a problem is if you want to be nominated for book blogger awards because “eclectic” is never a category.

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  4. I also review whatever I want, though I agree with Krysta that it seems as if sometimes people can’t really pinpoint what our blog “is about.” I have no idea whether that bothers people; I think we have a good amount of followers, but would MORE people follow us if we were more niche? I have no idea.

    I will say I would probably stop following a blog if it started primarily reviewing a genre of book I have no interest in, but if it mostly reviews YA and throws in some adult fiction here and there or mostly does fantasy but sometimes reviews romance and mysteries, I have no issue with that, especially since I’m also interested in a fairly wide variety of books.

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  5. I say post what you want in your social medias but just be upfront that there might be deviations from the norm. As long as they are quality posts, I don’t think those who follow you would mind. You also may find a whole group of others who don’t fit into your not am niche, expanding your online community! 😊

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  6. I do think it can be a difficult balance. I agree with the fact that you don’t follow accounts or blogs that don’t have similar tastes than you. Whenever I follow someone is because I either love their content and discussion posts, or they have a similar taste in books to mine. However, I also believe you should write about whatever you want and talk about the books you enjoyed. It wouldn’t only allow you to enjoy blogging even more, it might help others discover books that they didn’t even know existed!

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  7. You’ve got some really interesting points! I just try and review what I’m reading at the moment because otherwise Im worried I’d get stuck in a circle of just reading books that are popular at the moment, or that bookgram convinced me too. Although it’s often quite hard to avoid bookgram!!

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