Book Influencer of the Year- how it feels

Not your typical Bookstagrammer

As you may or may not know I recently won Blogosphere’s Book Influencer of the Year and yes, I have been surprisingly quiet about it, even though I it is the absolute highlight of my career to date.

I guess that when I won, lots of things went through my head, things like, ‘But I don’t just talk about books! The book industry would never vote for me! There are far better people who could win this!’ And while all of these are certainly true, does that make me any less worthy? No!

For me, the reason I wanted to win this award over any other was that the vote is decided by the public and by industry experts – not publishing experts, but experts in the influence industry and for me that is a pat on the back worth having. The public and other people who understand this industry saying I am doing a good job means more to me than anything.

I take every advertisement I do seriously, trying my very best to make it perform well and be right for my followers, while also delivering for the brand. I take my influence seriously and use it as much as I can to educate people about things they might not be aware of and recommend things that I think they would enjoy and will make them feel better about themselves and others.

I’ve never been a typical bookstagrammer, preferring a creative, engaging post over a flatlay with the book as the hero. And that is why the book industry would never vote for me as their Influencer of the Year. I charge too much for them (because I value my work and it takes ages), I generally don’t take pictures with the book cover large, I’m selective about the books I take and I’m not a reading machine. Oh, and I often forget to do reviews. And if the book industry is stuck in the whole amount of eyeballs rather than quality of the content way of thinking, then I’m not the best choice.

However, should book influencers be judged on this?

Should it be whether you take every book offered and take a photo that the publisher is happy with? Oh and while you are at it, do it in return for a free copy of the book? In my mind NO – an influencer should be judged on how good you are at choosing the right product or book for your audience, how you are able to create an engaging, meaningful post around that book or product, how you can raise awareness of that product or drive sales depending on the type of influencer you are.

And for me the only people that can really judge our influence are our followers – do they trust our recommendations enough to look into something we recommended? That’s what really matters and that is why the Blogosphere awards meant so much to me, because it was you, it was normal people who put me in the running. And the fact that you trust me, look into my recommendation and often purchase things I suggest, blows me away.

And that is perhaps why I’m not shouting from the rooftops about the award that I’m so proud of, because it just isn’t me. I’m not loud, I’m not a shout-from-the-rooftops person, I’m a get your head down and get on with it person, even if I did give myself a day to bask in my glory.

So I want you to know that while I might not be screaming from the rooftops, this award really does mean a lot to me and I’m so grateful for all your support.