Building a Better Book Blogging Community

September 6, 2013 Literature 18

book-suggestions-from-our-timeI’ve been thinking a lot about the book blogging community lately. There are so many book bloggers out there but how do you find them all. A lot of book bloggers are great at commenting and this is a great way to build community but it can be a battle to find new bloggers and help people get started. So I’ve been trying to think about better ways to unite the bloggers and build a community.

The best thought I have had so far is to try and create a book bloggers online journal. I thought I would share my idea and see if people have some better ideas to share and maybe we can work out a way to build a community. My idea for a book bloggers online journal is like a group book blog that focuses on book blogging and books in general. I know these can be hit and miss and that is the problem and I worry that a few people will end up doing all the work and it ends up going nowhere.

But anyway here is what I think; we could get bloggers to write some non-review posts and contribute onto the one site. Think futurebook.net for the book bloggers. The idea is that each post is about book blogging or books and also serves as a way to introduce the readers to new bloggers. If we get each person to try and recruit another blogger (like a pyramid scheme) we could get a workable journal that will showcase the community.

I know this isn’t a perfect idea, but I think it could work if there are people willing to commit. People should be free to post their posts to their own blogs as well and I think they can contribute as much or as little as they like. It might be a place to talk all things bookish (trying to stay away from reviews), from buzz books, blogging, reading, recent bookish news, blog hops, book tubes, translated fiction and so many other topics. I know there are places like Guardian books, AV club books, Huffington Post books and Bookriot but they don’t really feel inviting towards contributors and I would love to see a place were people can come together, discover new book bloggers and even make friends.

There you have it, my idea; feel free to pick it apart, offer ideas to improve it or even offer better ideas. A collaborative blog with bookish people around the world seems like my best idea. I know The Classics Club does a decent job in building a community and I love their work. They do seem too focused (which works well) but what about all the other genres and topics. Think about ‘How to improve the book blogger community?’ and let me know your thoughts. I’m sure we can find a way to make things easier to discover new blogs and meet like-minded bookish people.

  • http://www.rivercityreading.com/ Shannon @ River City Reading

    I totally agree, I sometimes feel like I’m hitting a wall finding other bloggers even though I know there are TONS out there. Have you looked at Book Bloggers International? http://bookbloggersintl.blogspot.com/ It hasn’t been around too long, but I think if it can get some more participants (and like you said, kind of get that pyramid scheme idea going), it’s fairly similar to what you’re suggesting. I’d also really like to see a comprehensive list of bloggers somewhere, ideally broken down by genre.

    • http://literary-exploration.com/ Michael @ Literary Exploration

      I’ve checked Book Bloggers International, I like what they do but they are restricting people (also I hate blogspot). I think if you can have a blog with interesting posts from book bloggers around the world then it could work (I haven’t found too many problems with this idea yet). What it needs it a handful of people to commit and post regularly, promote and recruit.

      I think you could probably integrate a list of bloggers based on genres as you build. I know people might be reluctant to post on a different site, maybe they can submit posts on their own blog already that they think should be highlights on a unified location.

  • lectus

    This is definitely a god idea. I turn to book related news and discussions to take a rest fro reading reviews ans reviews.

    How are you planning to pick bloggers to contribute?

    • http://literary-exploration.com/ Michael @ Literary Exploration

      I think if we can find a few people that are willing to commit to writing posts, promotion and recruiting then we can probably;

      1) start a dialogue of what we want to achieve
      2) brainstorm the best approach
      3) divide the work
      4) start small and build

      • Lectus

        Agreed. Will you open a group on goodreads to discuss this?

        • http://literary-exploration.com/ Michael @ Literary Exploration

          That’s a good idea, you should do that ;P or I can later

  • Christopher Sullivan

    Hi Michael. This is a good idea and certainly with the right contributors, i.e. those who have the time and are willing to commit to it fully, could certainly be very interesting. Would it involve the building of a new site? If yes, who would build the site? On another note, being a blogger on blogspot, why do you ‘hate’ blogspot?

    • http://literary-exploration.com/ Michael @ Literary Exploration

      If there is enough people willing to contribute then it would work. I think we can start small and work our way up.

      building the site is not too difficult, I’m willing to do that to begin with and/or when someone better comes along they can take over if they wish. Reason I hate blogspot is it is too restrictive and don’t give you as much flexibility. Who knows this could really take off and I think if we are prepared with a decent platform we future proof ourselves.

      • http://thevoyageout-bookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/ Christopher Sullivan

        If it isn’t too early to do so, I am willing to throw my literary hat into the ring as a contributor.

        • http://literary-exploration.com/ Michael @ Literary Exploration

          Not sure what will come of it, but will email you if we can get enough people interested

  • tanya boughtflower

    I think this sounds like a good and very ambitious idea. I only joined the book blogging world less than a year ago and it took some time for me to find my place (and that is a work in progress). Whatever you do, I think you should have a good solid presence by the Armchair BEA. That is where I met most of my community and it would be a great place for your project to gain wider recognition.
    This is something I’m going to keep thinking about. Good luck!

    • http://literary-exploration.com/ Michael @ Literary Exploration

      I didn’t realise it’s only been a year, I think I’ve been following you from near the start. Thanks Tanya, if it does take off I hope it would be helpful to new bloggers as well

  • http://sallyfromoz.wordpress.com/ sally906

    This sounds like a great idea. When you first mentioned it prior to this post I thought it was a good idea but couldn’t envision it. Now I can – hadn’t come across Classics blog but that is a good benchmark for a starting point to build on. I think Marge Reads has a blog that lists Aussie bloggers – not a community – just a place to advertise your existence. Might be a good place to hunt up bloggers to join in and advertise your concept once its up and running. I am certainly happy to put my hand up to help out. I come across lots of bookie trivia that I don’t put on my blog because I try to keep it purely reviews. But often I want to break out of my mould :)

    • http://literary-exploration.com/ Michael @ Literary Exploration

      You should blog them; if not on your blog somewhere else :)

  • indiscriminatecritic

    Michael: I think you’d probably find a lot of support for this. It sounds like an amazing concept. One of the things I personally find difficult in this regard is finding like-minded bloggers. Perhaps that’s because there are really too many blogs out there, and any effort to create a community site seems to encounter an excessively high signal to noise ratio (IMHO). It’s hard to pick out an interesting blog when you’re drinking from a fire hydrant. I really like your idea of showcasing the community with individual posts, though. It has the potential to be focused, personal and engaging.

    I also like your idea of creating book chats. It’s hard to get a discussion going in the comments thread of blog posts, but I’m sure most of us would scream like teenage One Direction fans at the chance of being able to have meaningful bookish interactions with other bloggers. I would imagine that was part of the reason why we started blogging in the first place. If you’re serious about starting this up, you can count on me to lend a hand.

    • http://literary-exploration.com/ Michael @ Literary Exploration

      If there are enough people offering to contribute then it could work, I’m just worried that it would fall on the shoulders of just a few people. I think individual posts are the way to go for this; that way you can read a sample of people’s blogs and determine if they are a blog worth following. Sure there will be some that won’t be but at least you get a glimpse into the book blogging universe without going to heaps of sites.

      As for Book Chats, I’m not sure how to pull that off.

  • Trish Kaye Lleone

    I have been wondering about the same thing. It is pretty difficult to find book bloggers through the mire of blogs nowadays and it is confusing because many bloggers are not exclusive book bloggers as well. Most of them blog about everything under the sun and it is a challenge to identify which blogger is exclusive to book blogging only. If all book bloggers are gathered in a single online community of sort, it would be a relief for Authors and Readers. It would offer them an easier way to connect and a single venue to discuss, discover and just generally socialize. Count me in! :)

    • http://literary-exploration.com/ Michael @ Literary Exploration

      I’ve just discovered BookBlogger.net which seem to be doing something interesting to build a book blogging community.