10 Things No-one Tells You About Book Blogging

Saturday, 15 December 2012

When I first started blogging I knew nothing about it but here are some things that may help new bloggers out there!

You Won't Always Have Something Nice To Say About A Book
When I first opened my blog up for business I did what most people would probably do and reviewed my favourite books. When I started reviewing every book I read I found something unsettling, I don't always love the books I read! When you are reading and not reviewing you don't notice as much but when you review a hated book all those bad feelings towards it come bubbling to the surface and spill onto the screen in the form of a rant. My first one being of Phantom by L.J. Smith.

You Will Go From Obsessed To Infatuated - Yes There's A Difference 
Two years ago I read quite a lot but not nearly as much as I do since I started this blog. I went from around 100 books in three years to 100 in one. Before I used to read books, now I devour them. You find when you read a lot you get faster at it, at most this year I've read three books in one day - this time last year that would be unimaginable.

You Will Suddenly Find Your Purse A Lot Emptier
Similar to the last point, when you start a book blog you will read a lot more - three times more in my case - and when you read more you buy more. Last year I didn't own a single book, my supply came from my library. But after a while I had read all the good books (it's a small library) so I had to look elsewhere. I borrowed them from my friend for a while since her supply seemed infinite but after a while I decided to get some of my own. Now it has got to the point that I can't leave Amazon without buying a book. I log on to buy an iPod charger, I come off with an iPod charger and five books on their way to me.

You Will Turn Into A Green-eyed Monster 
You know how it is, you log onto blogger and a list of the blogs you follow come up and I can almost guarantee that one of the top posts will be someone's 'Stacking The Shelves' or something of the like. You will then become curious and click the link only to find that person has somehow got hold of every book you have ever wanted (or that's what your irrational jealous brain tells you). You then proceed to press back as quickly as possible or leave a comment that goes something like "Well Jell, ur sooo lucky!!!" (Okay maybe I'm currently watching The Only Way Is Essex - horrible show by the way) when you're really thinking Life is unfair, why does she/he get that? Am I that bad a person??? If you go through this then there's only one solution... when you get something awesome rub it in everyone's faces and start the cycle again.

You Will Have Reading Slumps
Ah, the dreaded slump. You have work slumps of course but who would expect you could not feel like doing something you ordinarily love? I didn't. But there are many ways to get out of a reading slump, some that worked for me are:
- Rereading a book you loved.
- Reading very short books - don't attempt 400+ pages.
- Take a couple of days off from reading then you'll be eager to get back to it.

Authors Are Your Friends... But You Can't Accept All Books
I've heard so many people say they started their blogs for the free books but believe it or not but I had no idea bloggers could get free books. So imagine my surprise when I was emailed by an author asking me to review my book. I jumped at the chance without even reading the blurb. Lucky for me I enjoyed it but now I'm more careful about the books that I accept because there's some unwritten rule about giving self-published books bad reviews and I don't want to be the one to break it.

You Will Be Proud Of Your First Reviews But You'll Hate Them In A Year
I loved my first reviews, I felt totally professional  after writing it but reading back I actually cringe. I wrote barely anything, gave no book info and it just sounded so... unprofessional. I'm surprised authors wanted me to review their books looking at those reviews. I would delete them but then I'd have nothing to compare my latest too, in a year I may hate those too.

Progression Of My Reviews:
Don't ask about the gap, I'm ashamed enough about this review as it is 
This one wasn't all that long ago but it still wasn't perfect.
This is my latest review and the one I like best but as I said before, we'll see in a year...
People Wont Just Flock To Your Blog The Moment You Publish It
We all claim to know that you have to advertise your blog before anyone finds it but how many of us sit there refreshing the page ten minutes after first posting expecting followers? I would say quite a lot. If you want followers you have to market your blog. I don't have all that many followers currently because I just don't have the time (or money) to advertise constantly but when I set my mind to getting a certain amount of followers I WILL get them. My most successful follower spree got me around 40 in one night just by following others blogs. It's that easy. Other ways to get followers are buying ads (expensive), hosting giveaways and just hassling people till they follow you - not that I endorse this one of course.

It Is A Lot Of Hard Work
Most people who start a book blog probably begin by thinking something along the lines of, how hard can it be? Avid readers probably think they can write a review no problem but they don't always realise just how much work a blog can be. Some thing book blogs can include doing are: advertising, formatting  writing reviews, giving book information, sorting out giveaways, replying readers and making your blog the best it can be.

It Really Is Worth It
This point doesn't really fit the title since I'm sure most of you have been told it before but I had to put it out there. There is nothing I like more than people commenting and saying they like my post or authors saying they like my reviews so want their own reviewing. My favourites are when people say my review made them buy (or not buy) a book.

It's been a while since I wrote this post now but everything I wrote still stands, I'm glad to say. My blog progression has been added to further though so I thought I'd update my most refined look yet:

Do you think my comments here are still relevant? Do you have more to add? Please let me know!

15 People dared to comment.:

Kimberly @ Turning the Pages said...

I totally agree with everything you said in this post. My purse and hubby's wallet got a lot tighter when I started blogging so I use the library for a lot of my books, it's better on the finances plus libraries have always been my home away from home. I'm totally afraid to look at my old reviews from when I first started blogging because of how bad I know they are compared to the ones I write now but it is interesting to look back and see how my thoughts,opions and way of doing things have changed. Great post :)
-Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

Elisa said...

Such a great post! Well done, I totally agree :) I can't believe how much I read now...and how hard it can sometimes be to write a review while other times it just flows.
I do the same thing to get over the reading slump! Rereads and short novellas all the way!

Unknown said...

I definitely agree with everything you said. Great post and thanks for sharing. I've loved your blog for awhile now.

Anonymous said...

I've just been writing my own 'A Year in the Life of a Blog' and you're right _ i agree with everything you've said. It is nice though looking back at what you've done and being able to see a real progression - writing in general seems to be like this.

Glad to have met you in your first year :)

Mel x

Eustacia Tan said...

I agree! Especially about the review part. When I look back at my first year of reviews - no book images, no attempt at synopsis (I'm still trying), even more random comments - yikes!

It took me a long time for the follower thing (since I don't bother doing follow-for-follow, and only follow stuff I really like), so I'm just accepting that my follower count will remain really low because I don't actively promote my blog.

There's so many more experiences I could add on, but that would be rambling.

Great post(:


Mel@Thedailyprophecy said...

Oh, I definitely agree with a lot of things! I read more books than I did last year, I've bought more books and it's more work than you would expect - but it's so much fun you hardly notice how much time you spend on blogging :D


Jennifer @ A Librarians Library said...

What a unique way to phrase a post like this! And you speak the truth! My first year of blogging sounds like it was very similar to yours, and I completely agree with every. single. point. =)

Bookswagger said...

OMG, thank you for making me feel sane. I tell you sometimes I feel like I have somewhat of a clue and the others days I am like I do not know what the H.. I am doing. I do love blogging about books but sometimes it can be a pain, dealing with bad reviews or author review requests for books so not in a genre you read! Loved this post.

Jade Varden said...

Great post! I laughed and groaned and nodded the whole way through. Very true observations.

Summer said...

Being new to the blogging community, I am so glad I read this! Awesome post :)

Curling Up With a Good Book said...

Please join me! I have a blog as well as a facebook!!! FOLLOW ME AND I FOLLOW YOU!!!
My follow name is Beth Edwards (CurlingUpWithAGoodBook)!!

Caliowin said...

Great post!! It's all so true. I've been blogging for almost a year, and I know I don't post enough, and I often think my reviews are awful, but I enjoy writing my blog and so I continue.

Your blog is excellent. I really like it. I wish I'd found it ages ago now.

Jeanette Pekala said...

It is an awesome post! I totally agree that you don't know what you're getting into when you start a blog and it is a lot of hard work.

Michael Cargill said...

Nice list, but... three books in one day?!? How many eyes do you have?

To be honest, that unwritten rule about not giving self-published authors a bad review is a bit of a naughty one. Fair enough some people don't like writing reviews of books they didn't like, but you shouldn't hold back purely on the basis of it being self-published.

Oh, and don't worry about being embarrassed about your old reviews. Pretty much everyone will look back at things they wrote a while ago and cringe.

I do it all the time...!

Ryan Snyder said...

It is a lot of hard work, but it is so incredibly worth it. I have been blogging with my best friend since may of 2012 and while it is INCREDIBLY stressful and sometimes my eyes get red and hideous from being on the computer at all hours of the night and then trying to wake up for school in the morning, I love it. I have made so many good friends, both blogger and author. I have met so many wonderful and helpful people and found so many great published and indie books. It really is a whole different world. My posts were terrible to begin with- heck I am my own worst critic. They are still horrible. You didn't mention how backed up you get on reviews. O.O I have accepted to review a book when I was in the mood for it, and then find myself in a slum and not wanted to read it. I feel terrible, but my psyche sometimes decides that the book in question is just not in that cards at that moment. I co-blog with my BFF and we still have to close the blog to requests every now and then to struggle to catch up.

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