Book Blogging for Broke Brats
I have said this before and have no problem admitting it again – I am broke. I owe the government close to $100,000 for my student loans, I am out of work (although I do volunteer about 25 hours a week for two different organizations), and I live with my parents while I apply for jobs constantly and write. My life is kind of sad. On top of that, I live in an area with a dearth of author signings or talks, and although I know a blogger who used to live in the same TINY town as me, the key word there is used to live.
So… Let’s summarize. My name is Megan, and I am a broke blogger.
I know many bloggers are in the same boat as me, or at least a similar situation. We are young professionals, college kids, high school students, stay at home moms, and general broke people. But we have a love of reading and supporting authors. It causes a bit of a conundrum – do I buy this new release, or do I buy food? Do I get this amazing limited edition box set or pay my rent?
I think the answer is obvious.
Buy the books Pay for living expenses.
But as bloggers, we have to somehow find books to review, and it’s not always that easy considering that books are pricey. And if you are like me, your county library system is woeful, understaffed, and definitely understocked. Oh, the woes of being from a rural area with a low population and low percentage of people who actually read. The country is great for rest, relaxation, and small town gossip, but for reading? The nearest bookstore is 20 miles away, and the nearest bookstore I can actually afford? Does the Goodwill count?
Along with the darling River, I have come up with some simple ideas on how to make it as a broke book blogger. Feel free to (actually, please) submit your own ideas for how to be a blogger on a budget!
1.) Download illegally. This is illegal obviously, and we at Book Brats do NOT condone this. Seeing as how this was River’s contribution, I will take it as a joke while side eyeing her.
*River’s Note: I was 100% joking. I didn’t realize it was going on any kind of list. Side eye returned to you Megan for even adding it :p.
2.) Trade with other bloggers. I often get books that I don’t want, don’t have room for, or loathed. So I go onto Twitter or ARC Swap on Goodreads and post it for trade. I’ve gotten some amazing stuff this way – other ARCs, finished copies, even signed stuff!
3.) Contests! My favorite contest win EVER was on Twitter from Del Rey where I got a signed copy of China Miéville’s EMBASSYTOWN. My obsession with that man knows no bounds (you can ask River). But one of the hallmarks of blogging is giveaways – on blogs, Goodreads, LibraryThing, Booktrib, publisher websites, twitter, Facebook, etc. If you try, you will win.
4.) The library. As I said, my library sucks, but 98% of libraries are better than mine. Just one county over, they have hundreds of copies of some of the most popular books, and you can check them out for 3 weeks. Want to read a new release? Library!
5.) Kindle Deals. Publishers often times will discount a book that has been out a few months on Kindle or Nook. If you can afford the initial investment, this is well worth it, especially because you can then also check out free books from the library or download Kindle freebies. This is how I’ve read bunches of free crappy erotica.
6.) Second hand shops. While not supporting the author directly through money, you support the author by promoting their book while getting a great deal. Used book stores, thrift shops, consignment stores – just look around.
7.) Invest in a few good books. If you know there is something you must have, save up for it and splurge. I do this every once in awhile and don’t regret it for a second.
But the ways are not limited to this. Of course, one way to get free books is to cement your name as a blogger and have publishers WANT you to read their books. Or you can try Netgalley and Edelweiss and try your luck. Another program? Amazon Vine, but trust me, I know from experience that Vine is a bitch to get into.
Blogging while broke is NOT impossible. In fact, it’s really easy if you use effective budgeting, careful planning, and some luck!
Share your own Broke Book Blogging ideas in the comments! I would love to know your tips for being broke!