International Bookworms: Life of an International Book Blogger

Are you getting familiar with the International Bookworms meme yet? I hope you are because we’re back with a new prompt and it’s just so exciting! Today’s all about the life of international book bloggers. I already cannot wait to read everyone’s post because this is such a wide topic and you can go in so many directions with this one! But first, let’s get into my own post. Don’t forget to link up your own post, by the way!

Life of an International Book Blogger. (What is it like to be an international book blogger? What’s publishing like in your country? Is it easy to get English books? Are they expensive? Etc.)

If you’ve read my previous International Bookworms memes about translations, my favourite Dutch publishers and the Netherlands in YA, you’ve had a little look into my life as an International/Dutch book blogger. There’s so much more to it than that, though! Here are some things about me as a bookish person and/or blogger you might not know (yet).

It’s nearly impossible to get physical ARCs of UK/US releases. Everyone knows this, but that doesn’t make it less true! I’ve learned to deal with it, but it crosses my mind everytime I’m fighting the glare in my iPad screen when trying to take a picture of the cover of an ARC I’ve read… hehe! Even getting digital ARCs is difficult, but I do occasionally get them and that always makes me really happy!

We barely get any (author) events. YALFest NL is the biggest YA event in the country, but it’s also pretty much the only one. Some bookshops have book clubs or organise their own events, but they’re usually far away from me and at night, which makes it nearly impossible for me to attend them. If we do have an author event, it’s usually for an author I don’t know or one I’m not interested in. That’s totally fine, but always a bit disappointing! Another important thing to mention here is that (most of) my favourite authors aren’t published in Dutch so no publisher can get them to come over. It’s so upsetting!

Bookshops don’t usually sell the books I want. I was actually shocked when I found Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh in my favourite local bookshop. Literally. Shocked. Happy, but… well you get it now, ha! But most of the time, I can’t find what I’m looking for! I don’t think I’ve ever seen Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas in a bookshop. I even struggled to find Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire in my area! I did once order a book at my local bookshop and picked it up, but it took a few weeks and was super expensive. That’s why I usually stick to Amazon or Book Depository for books. It’s still quite easy to acquire English books for a reasonable price, luckily!

Preordering is usually useless. Getting my books on Amazon usually means I get them a few days after their release, which is really too bad for my blog when I’ve read an ARC and want a nice photo for my review, or for when I just want to start reading right away, of course! Unfortunately, the Dutch equivalent of Amazon is even worse. Since “indies” (or actually Libris bookshops, for the Dutch who know what I mean) are quite expensive, I’ve never preordered from them. Maybe I should try it out sometime to see how it goes?

I can choose between Dutch and English books. This is the good part of being an international book blogger! I usually prefer English books because they’re more affordable and I just love hardbacks, but if they Dutch edition comes out earlier (it sometimes happens!) or if it’s more beautiful, you can bet I’ll be getting it in Dutch. There are a few books on my shelf I own in both Dutch and English and it’s actually pretty cool.

Whenever we do get something, it’s extra special. YALFest feels like such a special thing because it’s so big and it’s the only event in the Netherlands. Whenever a publisher does a preorder campaign or organises an event or makes cool bookmarks for a book, it feels extra special to me. Like “Finally, they’re doing something!”

What’s it like being an international book blogger in your own country? Do you relate to any of my struggles? Or do you have different kinds of struggles that I haven’t mentioned here?