The Cost and Value of Book Blogging + Survey

January 2, 2013 2013, blogger perspectives, Wendy 116

book blogging

The Value of Book Blogging

I believe there is value in what book bloggers do.

From time to time, that’s something that’s easy to lose sight of, since both marketing buzz and drama can add to the noise that surrounds a book’s release. But if you’re ever feeling discouraged, it’s crucial to remind yourself that if we weren’t an increasingly important piece of the puzzle, we would not have the access that we do. Bottom line: Netgalley, Edelweiss, and ARCs are an option for us because there is a demand for citizen reviews.

Even as more mainstream media outlets are covering Young Adult literature, how much of that coverage is determined by the publisher’s marketing push? How many worthwhile books never get noticed by newspapers and magazines because there isn’t enough time and space and interest to review it all? And of those few books that are reviewed, how do you know you can trust that writer’s opinion, if you haven’t established enough of a familiarity with their taste or foibles?

For me, that last part is key for why GoodReads and blogger reviews are my #1 source for every single book I pick up, so it is occasionally frustrating to come across misconceptions about why bloggers do this at all. The most common accusation is we’re in it for free books. Hah! As if a $10 book could ever come close to compensating the amount of time it takes to read a book, write a review, and promote the post. That’s in addition to doing blog tours, interviews, cover reveals, etc.

The Cost of Book Blogging

Aside from the time it takes to produce content, there’s also the actual dollar amount it requires to run a book blog. I’ve been eyeing the amount I spent on shipping books, buying books, etc. over this past year, and I was curious what other bloggers were investing in their labors of love. I’d like to invite all book bloggers of all genres to participate in an informal survey, which covers general blogging questions as well as actual dollars and cents. Ideally, we’ll get a good sampling of blogger participation, so the results will remain anonymous unless you choose to reveal your name.

Take the survey here

The deadline is January 20th and I will share the results once I’ve compiled them. By the way, I sent out just two preliminary tweets before the holidays and judging from the dozens of responses already recorded before the official post even went up, this topic has struck a chord with a lot of bloggers.  I think the results should be a pretty eye-opening experience.

While many authors and publishers certainly do express appreciation for what bloggers do, my hope is that in seeing some concrete figures, we’ll also shed some light on the amount of time and effort and dollars we invest on a regular basis. In clarifying the cost of book blogging, I think we’ll be illuminating the value of book blogging as well.

Questions? Comments? Please leave them below! And thanks in advance if you choose to take the admittedly long survey. We don’t often ask this, but in the interest of greater good, we’d appreciate it if you’d share this project with your blogging/reviewing circle as well. Feel free to grab the above button if you like.

116 Responses to “The Cost and Value of Book Blogging + Survey”

  1. Go Flash Go

    As a blogger with an enormous amount of experience under my belt (errr – make that three days of experience), I’m truly fascinated to see these results. I cannot even imagine what’s entailed. I’ve spent a great deal of time just trying to get this up and running, I can’t even imagine what the rest of you do with ideas for non-book review posts, interviewing authors, hosting giveaways, and all the rest.

    If my blog doesn’t end up dying a quiet, ignominious death, it will be interesting to see what I’m in for.

    Stephanie (Go Flash Go)

  2. vitajayne

    “I’ve been eyeing the amount I spent on shipping books, buying books, etc. over this past year” – I hate when I’m buying used books online and the shipping comes out to be more than all the books put together :/ I’d rather buy them in store, but usually they’re cheaper online. And then I find myself adding more and more to my cart just to get the free shipping in the end.

  3. Orisi

    Wow, you rock Wendy. I can’t wait to see the results.
    I started because I love books and movies and sometimes could not find people who were that interested in hearing me rant and rave for hours lol.
    I have yet to receive or been asked to review a book. I’m very much in to my audiobooks. When i started my blog I didnt even realise that one could receive free books.
    Good on you for standing up for our community. You are awesome.

  4. Jessi (Geo)

    This was seriously awesome, Wendy! While I’m well aware of how much time I spend on my blog, I’ve never given much thought to how much money I spend…It was shocking! Thanks so much for hosting this, I can’t wait to see what the final results are.

  5. hilcheychandler

    Excellent article and food for thought. I enjoy the blogger reviews because you know they are not corporate puppets writing to get you to buy. They are real people.

  6. agoldoffish

    I started filling out the survey, and quickly realized I’m not as much of a book blogger as I fancied myself! I reviewed 134 books last year, 60% of which were from galleys – but most of my site traffic comes from a single page I created (for own enjoyment) of the quotes from Criminal Minds. *facepalm* Ah well. If I spent more time on it, maybe it would do better. But then I’d be reading less… I’ll be interested in the results of the survey, nonetheless!
    ~ Tracey @ Stewartry

    • Wendy Darling

      Wow, 134 reviews is nothing to dismiss Tracey! I think we all want to do better and reach a bigger audience, but it’s definitely important to blog about the things that bring you joy, too.

  7. Giselle @ Book Nerd Canada

    Thank you all for taking the time to do this survey. I’ve always wanted to organize one, but the amount of data, and organization and the production was a tad overwhelming, so I always procrastinated lol. They’re all great questions and to be honest, I spent a lot of time thinking of my answers. Kudos to you Wendy Darrrrllling <3

    ——
    Giselle @ Book Nerd Canada

  8. attheendofthestory

    Does the fact that I’ve come real close to failing 9th grade since I started my blog count? It should because it decreases my chances of earning in future.

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh no, end of the story! It definitely counts, but I hope you find some way to balance your blogging and your school work soon. Your education is what’s most important to focus on during this period in your life.

      Thank you for sharing your experience, though. But I’m still worried about you. :(

    • attheendofthestory

      I am trying to manage it, actually. Or I would lose all
      my privileges if the rents sniff even so
      much as a C. Anyways, wonderful work you have done with the survey.

  9. Colleen

    Oh, and PS: As someone who’s taken a course on research methods, I have to add to what others have said already – I really appreciate the length of time it must have taken you to draft the questionnaire. It’s so thorough! It’s very well-thought-out, and because of that, I think the results will be that much more valuable as far as correcting misconceptions about the cost and effort put into running a blog.

    And no doubt, it will make anyone think twice about starting a blog if they thought they’d get one going only “for the free books.” XD

    • Wendy Darling

      Thank you so much! Math makes my eyes cross, so I don’t really know why I signed up to do this, hah.

      I’m not an expert by any means, so this is definitely an informal survey–but I’m going to do my best to interpret the data in a helpful way. Thanks again for taking the time to leave such thoughtful feedback.

  10. Colleen

    I’m so interested to see the results of this survey; I’m not taking it, because I am one of those who absolutely never really thought about it in this much depth before, but since I decided to finally purchase a domain name the other day, it’s been on my mind a little more.

    I’m glad you said you’ll likely be doing this again next year, as I’ll certainly be keeping closer track in 2013 and it will no doubt be enlightening! XD

    Though I’m also not taking the survey, because I tend to put my blog on the back burner when I start getting overwhelmed with school, so my posting is not exactly quite as consistent as many other bloggers’. This is the most time-consuming non-school activity I do, so after cutting out video game time, leisure reading and the blog are the main things to go to the wayside when classes get hectic.

    • Wendy Darling

      Ah, I hope you’ll take the survey next year, Colleen–I’m hoping to make it an annual activity. It’s definitely the “leisure” activity I spend the most time and money on as well. It’s been interesting to read what people give up in their devotion to their blogs.

  11. Micheline D

    Great idea! I can’t wait to see the results compiled! Thanks for taking the time to draw up such a thorough questionnaire.

    • Wendy Darling

      I kept thinking of more and more questions to add, hah–and next year’s will have even more. Thanks, I’m looking forward to sharing the results.

  12. Elizabeth

    What an awesome blog…found you from one of the google+ groups. Love your blog name. Your side panels are great too.

    NEW FOLLOWER.

    Elizabeth
    Silver’s Reviews
    My Blog

  13. Tammy Sparks

    I will be filling out the survey soon, what a great idea! It really makes you think about how you spend your time and money as a blogger. I’d never really thought about it before. Looking forward to seeing the results!

    • Wendy Darling

      It’s important stuff to think about for sure–I’m glad you are planning on taking the survey, Tammy. Thanks for stopping by!

  14. Vivien

    I’ve always wanted to start a blog. Everyone tells me that I need to. This is one of the reasons I’ve held back for now. But another is just putting myself out there. I’ve witnessed SO much drama over the last couple of years. It’s off putting. Maybe….soon….maybe if I’m not working full time.

    • Wendy Darling

      It’s a pretty big time-suck, hah. But if you decide to start blogging, I hope you have a good experience. By and large, I think the community is pretty welcoming, although I am getting a lot of comments from new bloggers who feel frustrated or left out.

  15. The Readingista

    There is a huge cost to promote and review books along with the time reading (which is usually not a sacrifice), writing reviews, promoting on social media, giveaways, post office runs, etc. I love every minute of it, since I have adjusted my blogging to read only what I love. When I hear someone say how lucky I am that I get free ARC’s, I remind them how hard I work for them.
    This survey is a great idea.

    • Wendy Darling

      It really is such hard work, Readingista–those of us who do it know that all too well. I’m hoping that seeing some facts and figures will also help those who don’t do it to appreciate book bloggers just a little more.

    • Wendy Darling

      Jennifer, that is such an awesome blog post. I’ll link to that in the results post when I put it up–thanks so much for linking it for me! The amount of time and money we put into this endeavor is pretty staggering.

  16. pdbkwm

    Back when I had my old blog “Popin’s Lair” I use to review 3-4 books a week. I loved doing it, but after awhile it did get overwhelming for me, especially since school was getting hectic as well. It stopped being enjoyable and felt more like a job.

    I did leave for about two years, but I’m slowly coming back. Not sure how much of a help I’ll be on the survey, since I didn’t do much this year. I will be looking forward to the results though!

    ~ pdbkwm

    • Wendy Darling

      Welcome back, pdbkwm! I think a lot of us go through phases where we are more enthused about blogging or have more time for it than others. Funnily enough, the longer I am away from it, the more reluctant I was to come back, so I have an idea of how hard it can be to motivate yourself. But book discussions are always a good thing, so I’m sure your readers are happy to see you return.

      Thanks for taking the survey!

    • Wendy Darling

      Hi Moonlight–

      If you’re okay with leaving new info here in the comments, that’s fine. Otherwise, yes–please go ahead and redo the survey! Just please be sure you leave a note somewhere in the comments to let me know not to count your info twice.

      Thanks!

  17. Melissa

    Wow Wendy, this was a great idea. I had a bit of a moment mid-survey.. I knew I spent a lot of money on giveaways, but your survey actually had me add it all up and I almost had a cardiac. haha No regrets, but definitely some confronting figures. I am really keen to see where I sit compared to other bloggers, if I am on par.

    Thanks for putting this together!

    Mel @ Book Nerd Reviews

    • Wendy Darling

      Hah, I keep hearing that from friends! It all adds up frighteningly fast. I have to think about how I want to present the figures so that they are most helpful.

    • Wendy Darling

      Well, thanks for reading and for commenting, Christina! The #1 thing I’m hearing that bloggers wish for is that their readers lurked a little less and interacted with them more, so…it’s nice to hear feedback now and again. :) Appreciate your feedback.

  18. windowseatreviews

    I’m really curious to see the results. I completely agree with you about the value of book blogging…I decide on what to read mostly based on book blogs and Goodreads reviews. It’s how I get introduced to books I’ve never heard of or ones that are maybe outside of my comfort zone.

    • Wendy Darling

      Yes! I know many readers feel the same way. I sometimes read mainstream YA reviews, but I still trust the bloggers/reviewers I’ve come to know much more.

      I especially like your point about trying books outside your comfort zone. I, too, have read so many books that have opened up my heart and mind because a friend’s review convinced me to take a chance on them.

  19. Penny

    I’m on a prolonged hiatus from book blogging for various reasons, and the costs of running a book blog is one of them. I’m glad you’re doing this survey because I’m very curious to know how much active book bloggers spend yearly. I know I paid for 99% of the books I read and gave away, and that alone was expensive enough. I can’t imagine how much the more active bloggers are spending. It should definitely be an eye opener for people doubting the usefulness of bloggers, and the industry in general.

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh my, I hope you get back to blogging soon, Penny. I understand the desire to take a hiatus, though–I took several long, prolonged breaks last year and the number of books I read/reviewed was significantly lower than in the previous year. Sometimes the time away is all that will help.

      I am hearing from so many bloggers who are saying just what you did, which I suspected but am blown away by still. We’re lucky to have a lot of ARCs we’re able to give away, but we still do pay for probably 90% of the shipping costs. We also buy books for giveaways on occasion and share books through tours or with friends as well, which all adds up.

      And yes. I don’t equate how much bloggers spend on the value of their blogs, but it may give pause to some of those cynics if they have a better understanding of how committed bloggers are. (I need to emphasize that in my results post, just so we’re all clear.)

  20. Julianna Helms

    Wow, this is an awesome idea. I really agree with what you say. I’m especially irked myself when self-pubbed authors email me for a request, when it says clearly in bold, large letters in my policies that I am currently not accepting requests. If you can’t spend 5 seconds reading one sentence of my policies, why should I spend hours, maybe even days, reading yours?

    So, thank you for doing this. This looks like it’ll be a lot of work, and I’m awed once again by your awesomeness. :) Happy 2013! It’s off to a better start than last year already, ha. *shakes head* *sighs*

    • Wendy Darling

      I get literally dozens of requests every month from authors who haven’t read our review policies, so it’s definitely sometimes very frustrating for us, too.

      I appreciate you taking the time to answer all those questions–I’m kind of frightened by the amount of time it’s going to take to tally up all the results, hah. Happy new year to you! And I agree, we’ve already had a whole WEEK without scandal. Imagine that.

  21. Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings

    Hi Wendy! Sorry I haven’t been over for awhile. The holidays were crazy and I was off the blogosphere. I filled out the survey yesterday. I think this is a brilliant post and I cannot wait to see the results. I am grateful that I haven’t run into a troll and my blogging experience has been positive. It is a ton of work though. Thanks for putting this all together. Hoping you have a much better blogging experience in 2013!

    • Wendy Darling

      Hey Heidi! The holidays have been hard on everybody, and I’m guilty of not making as many rounds as usual, too. But new year, new start, right? Thanks for filling out the survey and for the good wishes!

  22. Sarah

    This survey is a great idea. I don’t receive ARCs or galleys, because I don’t want to be obligated to review them if I don’t feel like reading them – then if would be a job, and the pay definitely wouldn’t quite add up. It does however mean that any giveaways or things like that I do on my blog are 100% funded by me, but I don’t begrudge that because I’m doing it for my readers.

    • Wendy Darling

      There’s so much that we do for our readers–and sometimes it’s appreciated, but often it’s not. In any case, there’s a great deal of freedom in blogging the way you do, Sarah, without deadlines and obligations in mind. Sometimes I envy that.

  23. Kristen My Bookish Fairy Tale

    This is a great survey! I am glad that someone took the time to think about it in more detail and yes I was floored at the amount of money/time that I have spent in order to keep my blog running. It is extremely true yes ARC’s are great but for those who have been running their blogs for a long time knows that ARC’s are not the only reason why we keep these blogs running. And for those “free” books that we receive it is a very time consuming hobby to have. I enjoy every minute of it but sometimes it is extremely stressful

    • Wendy Darling

      “Free” doesn’t mean “free,” really! The stress and pressure can be pretty crazy, and I am seeing a lot of bloggers expressing that through the survey.

      I think it’s important to think about what we’re investing, as well as what we get out of it. Fortunately, most of us are crazy enough to keep going, hah. Thanks for leaving such a lovely comment here!

  24. Belle

    Great idea! You are so right, the cost in terms of money and time far outweighs any freebies. I do it for fun, but more and more lately the fun is lost in the drama. I’m hoping this year is better.

    • Wendy Darling

      I don’t doubt that most of the publishers understand that, Belle–the ones I’ve worked with have been nothing but responsive and professional, regardless of the rating on the review. But I see this sort of attitude from unpublished writers and self-published authors or even newbie bloggers or non-blogger readers sometimes, so…I thought it was time to put out some facts and figures to refute that.

      I agree, reviewing hasn’t been as fun as it used to be, mostly because people can’t seem to respect each other’s space. But I am hopeful this year will be better as well.

  25. Heather

    As a writer who is now interested in self-publishing and getting my work out there the “grass roots” way, I am grateful to all the book reviewers out there. Specifically those of you who are doing this for the love and growth of the craft of writing. Thank you for all your long hours of reading, careful/thoughtful reviews, and for having blogs like this one!

    Boooo to the book blog naysayers!

    Happy New Year!
    Heather
    mermaidslovesushi,blogspot.com

    • Wendy Darling

      Thanks for that, Heather. I think we’re going to be posting a separate survey for authors/publishers soon, so that might be something you’d be interested in participating in.

    • Wendy Darling

      I like those long, thoughtful comments! Thanks for taking the time to fill that out, Patti, it’s very much appreciated.

  26. Lyn Kaye

    I’m new into the book blog, but I have been on Goodreads for 2 years now. I can say that a lto of love and labor go into reviewing. That is why I cannot fathom the hate and anger directed at book blogs. It is not a cult or a club. It is people reading books, and giving their insight. People do this every day. We talk about movies, restaurants, hobbies, TV shows, anything that brings us entertainment.

    • Wendy Darling

      Since this started out as a cost vs. value survey, I couldn’t figure out how to include reviewers who don’t have blogs, Lyn. (I’m glad you’re part of one now, yay!) I will mention in the results post, however, that the survey does not include the millions of users on GoodReads and other sites who put in countless hours of effort. Maybe I can do a separate, shorter survey for them next year. It’d be interesting to see the figures.

      And yes, I agree. This is all social media, taking place on our corners of the internet. Reviewers/bloggers should have the freedom to discuss whatever they want however they want, whether anyone else agrees. Their audience (or lack of it) will follow.

  27. Livvy

    This sounds like a very good idea and I have to agree with you, there is a lot more to book blogging than first appears.

    However, I don’t think the rewards come in monetary value or in the ‘free’ books. It’s in the friends and connections you make.

  28. Lexxie Lin

    I am awed at how much time and money I spent on blogging last year! thank you for making me think aobut it Wendy.

    I look forward to seeing the full results.

    • Wendy Darling

      Something to chew on, isn’t it? The data so far is pretty fascinating. Thanks for taking the time to fill that out, Lexxie!

  29. starryeyedjen

    I’m scared of the results, but I’m also excited to see where I fit in the scheme of things. I can’t wait to show all of those naysayers that we’re not all just out grabbing for free books. We provide a legitimate service and often do so at our own cost. Thanks for putting this together, Wendy!

    • Wendy Darling

      Hah hah, they are kind of scary!

      It IS a service. It IS volunteer work. It IS a hobby. And it DOES cost us in time and money and all kinds of other resources. But one thing it is not is a job, which is what some people with a stake in the industry often seem to think. I’m hoping this helps in dispelling some of those attitudes that persist. Common sense doesn’t work, perhaps some numbers will.

  30. Christina (Christinareadsya)

    “In clarifying the cost of book blogging, I think we’ll be illuminating the value of book blogging as well.”

    Yes, what a great idea! I can’t wait to see the results :). Thanks for doing this and allowing me to participate.

    • Wendy Darling

      Thank you for participating! I’m not a numbers expert, so this is definitely an informal questionnaire–but I still think the results will be helpful. Appreciate your feedback.

  31. Enbrethiliel

    +JMJ+

    Hi, Wendy! I’m back from answering the survey. I admit that I was a little stumped by some of the questions! For instance, I write about books a lot, but only a small handful of those posts would be considered reviews. (By “reviews,” I mean anything that could be copied and pasted into Amazon or Goodreads.) And I think the question about how long it takes to write a review was made with a certain kind of book blogger in mind: the kind who composes and formats a post in a single sitting. (Or am I totally off base here?) I write some drafts in longhand before I ever get to the computer, and the post still goes through many changes.

    Indeed, I think the whole questionnaire was written with a certain kind of book blogger in mind: one who fits the mold. And that brings me to one frustration I’ve had for years with the book blogging community–namely, how streamlined and unoriginal so much of it is. I can barely tell the difference between the majority of blogs I visit. It’s the same memes, blasts and promos over and over again, and/or the same genres. Even blog design and layout often follows certain patterns or is obviously from the same designer. I think many book bloggers have the sense that there’s a correct way to do things and they try to stick as closely to the perceived formula as possible. And this makes it more challenging to find a unique voice behind the reviews.

    Of course, this is just one person’s impression of the book blogging community. It may be that I’m the only one who feels this way. Either way, I’ll be very interested in the results of the survey, so thanks for doing this!

    • Wendy Darling

      Well, I think every survey is written with a certain profile in mind. Being that this blog is a YA review blog, obviously that’s the community it’s geared towards. Many of the questions pertained to general blogging, however, so I thought it’d be nice to make it more inclusive. But certainly next year’s iteration can be open to a smaller sample or make it clear that this is primarily for bloggers who REVIEW books. You are, however, off base in some of the assumptions you made about the questions.

      And every blogger thinks they have something unique to offer. I don’t disagree that many YA blogs in particular have certain memes and formulas they like to follow, and I enjoy a little more variety myself. But I wouldn’t fault anyone for trying to find their footing in producing content, and there’s definitely an audience for that type of blogging–just as I’m sure there is an audience for yours.

      Thanks for taking the survey.

    • Enbrethiliel

      +JMJ+

      I did not mean to come across as ranty or put down your survey, and for that I apologise. It may also be the case that my being so off-base (and not even being primarily a review blogger) invalidates my survey form. In that case, please feel free to disregard it. (You’ll know which one it is.)

      But I am still a little stumped by the question “How long does it take you to compose a review?” My first answer was “A little over 48 hours.” (Then I decided to count the time I actually spend writing and not just the time I also “sit on it,” which brought me down to “5 hours.”) Is this really something that people keep track of?

    • Wendy Darling

      Thanks for coming back to clarify.

      As for your question, I don’t expect people to put that they sat at a computer for 48 hours, so yes–it was meant to be the actual time you spend writing and formatting it. Is is NOT something most people really sit there and think about, but I do think it’s a valid and interesting question. It takes so much more time and effort than most people (who have never attempted to blog) realize.

    • Enbrethiliel

      +JMJ+

      Well, if even bloggers don’t really stop to think how long we take to write and format a post, then it makes a lot of sense that non-bloggers would have no idea!

      And thank you for being understanding. Sometimes I blithely say whatever I’m thinking without really remembering that there is a time and place for everything, and that the present context might not be appropriate for my comments.

    • Wendy Darling

      No worries. We all have our own priorities and ways of doing things–I’ve taken many a survey and gotten frustrated because I then realized there were things I very much wanted to say! But this is the first version of this survey, so I’ve definitely gotten a lot of food for thought for what additional questions to add or how to rework for next year.

    • Midnyte Reader

      This post was great to read as well as the comments. I always sit on posts…it’s rare that one just falls from my fingers.

  32. Candace

    Well, I’m in SHOCK at how much I spend on books each year. For just myself. I never sat back and did the math before… WAY more than I spent before I started blogging.
    Thanks so much for doing this survey. Not only will it probably shock non book bloggers, but it definitely shocked me about how much time, money and effort I put in each and every day.

    • Wendy Darling

      III know. I have been slightly alarmed in looking at my own figures, and many, many other bloggers have said the same thing to me about their own expenditures. It takes up a lot of time and resources for sure.

    • Wendy Darling

      Well, hopefully the results will be eye-opening. I’ve just been really tired and frustrated recently with seeing a certain level of entitlement and passive-aggressive behavior towards my fellow bloggers. Even when it’s not outright attacks, I find some of the thinking very disappointing. We’re not just promotional tools, you know? And I don’t appreciate it when my friends are treated that way.

    • Sarah (saz101)

      Nor I. It’s… I think the first year of blogging is a big eye opener even for people who went into it expecting it to be ‘easy’ and ‘free books’ and…yes. I TOTALLY know. I also think the results will be a valuable tool for publishers and authors, also. It’s a wonderful idea, Wendy ♥

  33. Judith

    What an amazing and interesting topic! I’m very glad that I started reading book blogs and blogging myself, because if it weren’t for blogs,I probably wouldn’t have read most of the books that are now favorites of mine. Before I started, I had no idea that it was possible to get books for free with this thing we all do, but even if I would have known it would never have changed what I like most about book blogging, which is talking as much as I want about as many books as I want with as many people that are interested as possible. Even though it’s a lot of work,I’m definitely not doing it to get free books, but because I love it. Very interested in the results of your survey!!

    • Wendy Darling

      Exactly! If it weren’t for blogging and GoodReads, I never would have discovered some of my all-time favorites.

      I think most bloggers start out blogging about books they already own or have checked out from the library, etc.–it’s the love of books that drives most people, not greed. And even those who do it because they want free stuff, well–they had to have started somewhere, too. But for most people, the amount of effort that’s put into blogging really doesn’t equate with the amount of perks.

    • Wendy Darling

      I think this will be an annual thing, AH. A few people suggested some questions I’d like to include for future (including how many books people have read overall, what people do for a living, etc.); I think comparing from year to year would be interesting, too.

    • Wendy Darling

      Thanks! And I think most people who have discovered GoodReads do the same. The system has its faults and I’m a little wary about what their future plans are, but it’s still an invaluable resource for me, too.

  34. Experiment BL626

    Fudge. I accidentally hit the enter button in the midst of doing the survey. Please remove my figures. My numbers were 2, 88%, 12%, 54 in respective order of the question asked.

  35. Jasprit

    Oh wow Wendy this is such an awesome survey, I’m working through the answers as we speak and I would never have sat back to stop and think about how much money and effort it took to run a blog. Not that I would ever stop. But I just realised just how many non-review books I read now, it’s a wonder why my stack at home is always so massive!

    • Wendy Darling

      I’ve been hearing this reaction a lot via email and Twitter, Jasprit, that many bloggers haven’t done the math before–it’s kind of scary! I think it’s good to mentally track at least, so that we all weigh the costs and rewards for what we put into this.

  36. Amy

    What an awesome post. Thank you for putting this together. I am interested to see the results.

    • Wendy Darling

      Thanks Amy! It’s something I’ve been thinking about doing for a long time. I think the results will be pretty interesting to see.

  37. Shelver 506

    I’m so very excited to see the results. I have a feeling we’ll all be pretty blown away, as well as pretty humbled.

    Per our Twitter conversation, could you update my weekly posting time needed to 5 hours a week/ 20 hours a month. Though, to be honest, I think even that might be underestimating it some. Thanks!

    • Wendy Darling

      I can tell you that from what I’ve seen so far, the totals for both effort and dollars is pretty staggering. I thought I had an idea of what goes into this, but I really didn’t. “Humbling” is the right word. Or “terrifying,” hah.

  38. Kara_Malinczak

    Thank you so much for doing this, Wendy. I think it will be really helpful for those members of the community who believe we do it for the free books. When I started, I didn’t even know I could GET books for review. I just wanted to share my passion for reading. Still do. And a lot of times, the pressure and stress of having all those ARCs to review is not worth it. They are definitely not free.

    • littleread1

      Exactly right Kara. When I first found out I could get books for free, books I happily bought even after getting a free version, you should have seen my face. I was amazed! It was the best news ever. While it is definitely a perk, it is not why I do it.

    • Wendy Darling

      a lot of times, the pressure and stress of having all those ARCs to review is not worth it. They are definitely not free.

      I have felt this way myself many times in this past year, Kara. The amount of time and money we put into this hobby far exceeds the perks it affords, especially if authors and other bloggers also heap abuse on our heads. It’s been interesting to hear from other bloggers as to how many of them have almost quit recently–and of course, there were those who did. It’s pretty sad.

    • LisaFicTalk

      What Kara said is pretty much spot on. Especially the last part which you highlighted, Wendy. In a sense, while the ARC themselves did not cost us any cold-hard cash, the expectations that go along with that “Free ARC” can be overwhelming, which is another sort of “cost” or “payment” if you will.

      You’re not just getting a book in the mail that you can allow to sit on your desk or shelf to collect dust. You know – almost without being told – that your payment will be due in an allotted amount of time.

      Like I said in the survey, this was such a great idea on your part, Wendy. And while going through the questions I realised that you really had to put quite some time and effort into setting this up. Great job!

    • Wendy Darling

      Thanks Littleread and Lisa–I appreciate the feedback! And yes, it took forever to put this questionnaire together. I plan on doing this again next year, though, with additional questions per some suggestions that have been made. I also think it’ll be interesting to gauge how we’re doing from year to year.

      I must be crazy, though. I HATE MATH.