Is it self-promotion when you don’t make a penny? #Sundayblogshare #bookbloggers

Recently I removed myself from a FB book lovers group. It is a big group and I had contributed now and then commenting on posts if I had read a book and quite a few of my fellow bibliophiles were on there. Overall it was a friendly book group and I had been a member for over a year at least. 

Every once in a while when I think I have written something of interest on this blog I post the link on a book group. I don’t post a link to my blog on book groups every time I blog a book, nor do I regularly post links in certain groups even when it’s welcome, simply because as much as I enjoy increasing my readership I don’t want to feel mercenary whilst doing it. 

However, posting my top ten books of the year is a special post and I have never had any financial interest in the books I read/review or rank on my top ten. So I was a bit taken aback when a moderator, whom I had ironically never seen post before, reprimanded me for posting a link to my top ten books of the year. 

The gist of his reprimand was I needed to post and get involved more in the group before I could post about my blog. Honestly, I felt, and still do feel, stung by this rebuke. What abritary hoop did I need to jump through for this book group fascist to justify posting about the top ten books I have loved last year? 

Why would it be self-interest or promotion when I don’t make a penny from this blog? Why is sharing a link to my top ten books of 2016 any different to posting that list directly on a book group? Allegedly, as someone on Twitter pointed out, it’s because I’m increasing my status and glory. If this is the case I have no knowledge of my status and couldn’t recognise glory even if I tripped over it.

I never have had any financial interest in the books I review. I’m simply a reader who keeps a catalogue of books I’ve read on a blog rather than typing it out numerous times on book groups. 

When my blog stats increase my bank balance remains the same. This is not a job for financial gain, this blog is a record of books I read and various life experiences I like to keep track of, it does not afford me any income. Even using the tracked Amazon links to date has brought me no income. I put the links there mainly so my fellow bibliophiles can access the book online easily to add it to their wishlist/reading list. 

It’s hard to be slapped down incorrectly as an opportunist when you do something out of passion for no financial gain. Perhaps I should let this slight go, but I feel very strongly still about being scolded online period, but being scolded by a stranger for posting my top ten favourite reads of the year, because of some perceived financial gain, really sticks in my craw. 

Maybe I’m wrong and the fame I get from being the writer of this blog has gone to my head, either way folks, what do you think? Is it self-promotion when there’s no financial gain involved? 

49 thoughts on “Is it self-promotion when you don’t make a penny? #Sundayblogshare #bookbloggers

  1. Facebook groups like these make me shudder, they’ve never appealed to me, so I can’t comment on their rules, but if things don’t feel right for you, then move on. There are plenty more ways to tell people about the books you enjoy reading.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I do love The TV Book Club and have never had issues with picking up a book recommendation or ten and posting a link occasionally there. I have to say this incident is one in two incidents that resulted in me leaving as a member of a Facebook group. They are mostly good.


  2. I find that the majority of my blog traffic comes through twitter so I don’t worry that much about FB groups. I like interacting and sharing on them but I’m more wary of what I post in groups for the exact reasons you mention. Life’s too short to give these people a second thought, leave them to rule their little domain and find a more appreciative group – can highly recommend ‘Big Up Your Blog’ founded by SuzieSpeaks81. She has specific themes on certain days so you’re in no doubt about what to share.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m quite honestly dismayed at the fury that has been whipped up on FB this year and even though I posted blog links very infrequently to most of the groups I belonged to, I’m now staying away from all but one. It doesn’t help that disagreements from one are leaking to other groups and despite which (obvious) stand I take it has all got a little bit much – and believe me, I am no sensitive flower! I feel for you and hopefully everything will return to the previous friendliness of the past soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It is very easy to misunderstand, using the keyboard, as we all do now. Everything we post has to be super-short. A lot of comments we read are almost unintelligible due to predictive text or finger trouble. If you had been sitting across the table from this person you’d have had a conversation about it which would have ensured that you understood each other’s point of view. All one can really do is move on. I lost a FB friend this week because he was apparently outraged that I had responded to his posting of Mary Tyler Moore’s death by saying that her passing was the end of an era, and that she must have been ancient. He posted ‘she was only 80’ and promptly unfriended me. I am puzzled. Not to say slightly hurt. But that is the way of the world now. He does not explain how I offended him: he hits the ‘unfriend’ button. And so it goes.

    You are a part of a huge blog-sphere which writes about fiction. And, like most bloggers, you do it for love. If you also like people to say ‘that Ajoobacats knows her onions – her top 10 books of 2016 was really insightful. I’m going to keep an eye on what she writes.’ Then hooray for you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think in the past decade we have all had to develop online communication skills, not that I’m saying we are any good at it. I’m pretty laid back about being unfriended, it has occurred too often without notice to bother me, although i am always delighted when I get a friend request. I never get to hear the conversation about knowing my onions, which is where I think I part ways with many on this discussion: if I do have glory and status due to this blog then I am personally unaware of it.


  5. I don’t think there’s anything wrong in putting up a link. I would love it if someone put up their top favourite reads–it would only add more books to my TBR. I mostly post links to my posts on Goodreads and Litsy and get traffic that way. It’s good that you left that group. No book blogger needs that kind of negativity.😊

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am coming to the point where I have seriously had enough of Facebook. It’s full of spite and hatred and adults who ought to damn well know how to act their age. Sorry you had such a sucky experience.x

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I did not see your post in the Facebook group (as I have limited my Facebook time for the past few months) but have followed your blog for quite a while, and think that we may have been in the same group. I actually did the same thing, and posted the link the my “Best of 2016” blog post, and it was taken down as well. I believe that it may have been the same group. If not, it’s quite a coincidence!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think opinions are like a**holes and everyone’s got one so you shouldn’t take it to heart that some self-appointed one called you out. I’m sorry. It’s a tough world out there and it seems to be getting tougher. I’m sorry since I see that you do this purely out of your love for reading and those of us who have benefitted from your book reviews are very grateful. So screw the naysayers and do what you want. I think I’d repost your top ten, just for kicks! oxo

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s unfortunate…I would understand if it was a review but a list of books is always a good discussion point.

    To play answer your self-promotion question: I’m going to point out that self-promotion isn’t always about financial gain but the social gain. Like you said, even if your stats increase, your bank account stays the same. But the key is your stats increased because of the (hypothetical) post. I think in a blogosphere that is somewhat driven by aquiring ARCs, those stats can be equated as something of value–even if it isn’t money. If you look on Netgalley, you’ll see a lot of the big name publishers won’t even consider you for a request if you have less than 1000 followers. So stats (as much as we say they don’t) matter and to get those stats up, you often have to self-promote to some extent.

    And I’m not saying that you do this or anything. I’m just trying to point out that self-promotion as a whole has other benefits besides monetary for bloggers, especially book bloggers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True and I do post my links on social media when I post a review, but in this particular group I hadn’t promoted links to my reviews. I chose to put a link of my top ten books of 2016 up because I saw other book bloggers/ readers doing so. But yes traffic, blog stats etc all add to affirming how successful we see ourselves as bloggers, even when we don’t make huge efforts to buy or drive traffic to our blogs.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. My experience of Facebook groups for both writers and readers is that they’re ghastly, cliquey, bitchy, a hotbed of oneupmanship, and filled with idiots. I’ve only ever found one decent readers group, but, sadly, lack of interest seems to have killed it off. You’re best off steering clear of them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • If I was theoretically trying to boost traffic to my blog, Facebook would be the last place I would post links as looking back I only get a few views, I’m talking two or three, from these groups. I have to agree that they can be unpleasant and sometimes strange; I was a member of one group where the group founder felt rather strongly that I should buy all the books I’m sent as ARCs in order to support the author. He was quite insistent and the hours I spend reading, reviewing, doing social media etc were just meaningless to him in comparison to making sure the author made a sale. Needless to say I disagree with his lack of logic and left the group without looking back.


    • I have noticed that I had unwittingly joined selling groups, when I have nothing to sell and in all honesty probably would not buy from either. I have been on Facebook longer than any other social media phenomenon and am well aware of the controversies that whip up people from time to time, but must admit, as an adult I am told off so rarely that when it does happen it leaves much to be desired.


  11. Pingback: Monthly Inventory: February 2017

  12. That seems a little petty. I mean if you had just posted a picture with your list I bet it would have been different…. Unless they are thinking ‘they’re directing someone to their site where they might have affiliate link’. Seems a little overbearing. I think as readers and writers it good to share what we have written. Yes if it is for financial gain then something like that should be left off but seriously…..


    • I have yet to have any financial gain from anything I’ve written on my blog. I believe sharing my top ten books of 2017 has significantly less self interest than berating Facebook group members. As it was I could have happily lived without the two views my blog post got from the post and happily just shared on the other dozen Facebook book groups where I’m not treated like a child.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I think maybe what happened is you got blamed for an entirely different issue. On a bookish Facebook group I see no reason to get upset with someone posting a top ten books list. Surely that’s the whole point of the group? What does annoy me, however, is when a total stranger comments on my blog with nothing more than an invitation to read theirs. I’m like… why would I do that? You’re obviously not interested in what I do at all, but just want me to visit for your stats. And I’m not interested in that. I’m much more interested in having a conversation with people who have similar interests to me. I mean… that’s why I started the thing in the first place.

    I think in this situation though, it was wrong of that guy to have a go at you. I’m sorry that happened. People suuuuck sometimes.


    • I see what you mean and I get at least a dozen posts on my blog a month asking me to head over to other blogs. I really don’t mind. I minded being called out for not participating in a group where I did participate in a patronising way. I still maintain I got less from writing and posting my top ten books than the facist moderator in question.


  14. I’m in, I think, two Facebook groups, and I tend to just follow the conversations I’m interested in rather than post myself. Personally, I think the easiest thing, from the moderator’s point of view, is to have a “no links at all allowed” rule if they’re going to be touchy about it. But from a reader’s perspective, I think most people can tell when other users are “self-promoting” or actually contributing a link they think is useful. Like, if someone asks a question and I once wrote a post that answers it, I think sharing the link makes sense, particularly if the answer is a long one. This makes a lot of sense for tutorials and “how do you do x?” questions. (Alternatively, I kind of do hate being in forums and groups and such when you ask a someone a question like “Did you like this movie?” and instead of giving a simple answer on the forum, they send you to their blog to read a review instead.) But, seriously, if the group is just a casual thing about sharing a love for books, I think sharing a link here and there is perfectly fine. A list of favorite books is something people in the group might actually be interested in reading!

    And, yeah, I assume they think you’re getting “glory” or “general publicity” and that makes it self-interested, but do they have any idea how low the traffic is for book blogs in general? Even a “big” book blog might get isn’t getting anywhere near the views a big food or fashion blog is. They get hits in the millions.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree you do need to judge the tone of a thread before you post links etc, and I’d have to say 9/10 I just comment I very rarely share a link to my blog, but even if I did it would be to pass on a book recommendation. I tend to just post the recommendation rather than a link on Facebook groups as it seems to recently have been frowned upon to link to your blog in groups. I do enjoy discussion though, I like to chime in when someone asks have you read this or what did you think of this book etc.


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