Monday, August 6, 2012

Book Blogger Confessions (August 6, 2012)

Book Blogger Confessions is a new Monday meme started by Tiger at Tiger's All-Consuming Books and Karen at For What It's Worth. With Tiger moving away and changing the focus of her blogging, Pam from Midnyte Reader will be joining with Karen to host this meme. The purpose of the meme is best stated by Karen here:
"Tiger and I thought it might be time to start a meme to discuss some of the frustrations that are unique to book bloggers. What happens when the hobby you love becomes more of a chore?
This meme will appear on the first and third Mondays of the month. One of the hosts will give us a question to respond to and a linky for sharing our responses and developing community.

This week's question is:  Making money off your blog: There was a recent controversy about bloggers charging authors for reviews (You can read about it here) which leads to this week's question:
Almost all of us blog as a hobby in our spare time, usually for free but is there anything wrong with making money off your blog?

Should bloggers charge for reviews?
What about advertising on a blog? 
When a blogger does allow book related advertising does it turn you off? Make you wonder about the honesty of their reviews?

Do you have a problem with purchase links (Amazon for example) that earn a blogger a small commission if a person purchases a book through that link?

I have never even considered the possibility of making money off my blog. I blog for fun. I don't want or need a second job. If people want to find a way to make money off their blog, good for them! I don't want the extra hassle that would involve. 

I do think charging authors for reviews is way over the line though. I have always thought that the ARCs I receive - either print or electronic - were my pay for reviewing a title. But I don't feel that accepting ARCs for review obligates me to provide positive reviews or any review at all if the book isn't something suitable for me. With so many bloggers out there, why would any author pay for a review in the first place? 

I am not bothered by ads on a blog but that is because most of the time I am reading blog posts in my Google Reader and don't actually go to the blog unless I want to make some kind of comment. I don't think I have ever been confused about whether something is a post or an ad. It doesn't bother me if bloggers choose to have ads but I am not going to do it on my blog because of my innate laziness - too much work!

The only problem I have with purchase links to Amazon or other vendors is that they don't show up in my Google Reader. Looking at a post that tells about sale books and then doesn't show them is more likely to make me skip the post than click through to see what I'm missing. 

I buy 99% of the books that I actually buy at Amazon. All my links go to Amazon because that is where I shop. I haven't bothered becoming an Amazon Associate. Again, laziness is the key reason. I can't imagine making enough from linking to make it worth the time it would take.

In summary, any way of making money from your blog - short of charging authors for reviews - is okay if you want want to. For me, blogging is for fun and not profit.


  1. I'm pretty lazy too...I know there's so much more I can be doing with my blog, know, time and all that. I do agree that ARCs are in themselves payment.

  2. I don't make any money on my blog, either, for all of the reasons you cite. While it's nice to have ARCs, I try not to think of them as payment, because then I feel like I HAVE to review a book even if it doesn't really fit the demographic of my blog or it's just not all that good. ARCs are the tools we need to review the book.

  3. The whole thing does sound like more trouble than it's worth.

    Just more pressure for something that's supposed to be a hobby.

  4. I also think it's weird to charge for a review. But then, I think if you're going to do this, if you need to make money this way (and some people are probably just trying to make a living, and some are just greedy) then you should have it very obvious that you are posting paid for reviews. It should be noted that you are a professional paid reviewer in a very easy to see place on the blog, because I also think that if you are charging an author money - then you might subconciously or conciously be tempted to always give a good review. Then again, how do we know that being given an ARC for review doesn't do the same thing? There's no guarentee.

    going by those guidelines, then, are the only possible honets reviews those that are given from books the reviewer pays for her/himself?

    No - there are millions of reviewers out there -some honest, some not, most of us just doing the best we can.

    For those of us who are doing this for free - it feels weird to know that other bloggers are charging. Then again - people have a right to make money when they can - just like we have the right to wonder if they're being honest about what they review. :)

    There - I haven't solved a single thing! ;)
    And the minute I might start making money off my blog, it's become work and there fore not fun anymore, so I'll just keep pluggin along the way I am. Once in a while being lucky enough to receive an ARC from a favorite writer, but usually buying my own books, those I like - and giving my opinion.


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