Friday 2 August 2019

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Five Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Started Book Blogging

Five Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Started Book Blogging

Five Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Started Book Blogging

It can be difficult to be a book blogger when you're first starting out. I've really loved all the posts there's been on how to request ARCs (like this one on JennieLy and this one on Books Nest) and the various terms in book blogging (like this one, again, on Books Nest and this older one on Feed Your Fiction Addiction). So helpful! I didn't want to just do the same thing as there are several of them out there, but I thought I would share five of the things I wish I had known before I started book blogging!

You don't have to accept every ARC you're offered

When I first started receiving ARCs from publishers, I said yes to pretty much everything. Partly because getting free books was so awesome, but also because I felt like if I didn't say yes, I might not get offered ARCs again. This isn't the case! Publishers would much prefer you to accept the books you think you'll love, and the others go to other bloggers who will love them. You can say no, it's fine.

You don't have to read every ARC you're sent

Publishers do a lot better now, but when I first started blogging, I got sent a lot of unsolicited ARCs. A large number of which I had no interest in. I felt pressure to read them, because that's what they were sent for, but I'd be reading books I wouldn't enjoy. You don't need to read unsolicited books if they're not for you. You didn't request or accept an offer for an ARC, so there's no need to feel pressured. As I said, things are a lot better now, with publishers having newsletters for bloggers and such, so it's not likely to happen much.

Along similar lines, you also don't have to keep reading an ARC you're not enjoying - even if you requested it. Just send off an email to the publicist letting them know it's not working for you, and they'll be fine.

Stats are important, but they're not the be-all and end-all

While stats are important in regards to whether or not publishers will send you ARCs or not, you don't have to stress about it. If newbie bloggers are active in the community, comment on other blogs, and take part in a couple memes to get build your audience in the first few months, that's fine. Your audience will come, and you'll likely have enough followers for publishers. But mate, I stressed too much about it. I always felt like I needed more followers, and needed to creating content that would bring more followers, which ended up with me having complete writer's block. I no longer worry about my stats. I'm not a huge blog with a massive following, but that's fine. My blog is me, now; the content I want. And my stats are good enough for publishers, so I don't worry any more.

Create the content you're interested in

For a really long time, I only wrote reviews because I really struggled with coming up with interesting content. I felt I had to write about things others would be interested in - which is true, but I also have to write things I'm interested in. And once I got over that block in my head and asked myself what I liked reading about, and what I wanted to write about, things came. Don't get me wrong, there are still times when I can't think of a thing to write about, and I end up googling "book blogger discussion topics" (like I did before writing this very post - thanks to Ava at Bookishness and Tea for her post 30 Blog Post Ideas for Book Bloggers). But thinking about what I enjoy reading really helps

The YA community is really friendly - go make friends!

So I have to admit I was pretty intimidated by all the other bloggers out there - big or small - that were super engaged in the community. I'd comment on blogs, but I wouldn't necessarily "chat" with people on Twitter. I just felt like they don't know me, why would they want to speak to me? But really, we're all looking for engagement! We tweet hoping to have conversations, or to get recommendations, and so on. Once I got over the fear of being ignored and actually spoke to people, it became so much easier when they would talk back. I've made a few friends now I feel I get on with fairly well, and it's just cool to actually talk to people about books!

You may also like:

Time Saving Hacks for Book Bloggers How I Approach Blogging to Reduce Stress and Pressure

Over to you graphic

If you're a new blogger, did you find any of this helpful? Older bloggers, what things do you wish you knew before you started book blogging that would be helpful for newbie bloggers? Anything you disagree with that I've said above? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. OH these are great!! 😍 I was so stressed as a newbie blogger unnecessarily so! It's okay to not read everything and not blog everyday and to not feel like everyone has got it together more than you. We usually are all flapping around together learning as we go 😂

  2. Such good advice. I am glad I made the friends I did in the community. There's a squad for everyone. I used to think I should or shouldn't do this or that in my blog, but then I just started doing what I enjoyed doing. This is my hobby and I want to do the things I enjoy, so I do.