Okay so you’re probably thinking, “what’s so hard about being a book blogger?” Well it’s not all rosy all the time…
In the past few months I have realised how much time and effort goes into blogging, and particularly blogging about books.
I’m incredibly lucky to receive ARC’s from publishers, and I’ll never not be grateful. However, sometimes I am SO overwhelmed by how many I receive and not knowing I was going to be receiving them. It’s a lovely surprise but I also feel a sense of guilt when I can’t read them immediately because I have others that are my priority too.
As much as I don’t want to, lately I have had to say to publishers that I simply don’t have time to read their book. At the end of the day it’s not their fault, as a blogger who wants to strive I have taken on more than I can chew (or in this case read) and I need to take a step back. So when I have received emails I have simply replied that I have a busy schedule at the moment and I wouldn’t be giving the book the attention it deserves. This is the right thing to do for me, and publishers respect my honesty as it helps them find someone else who does have the time.
So here are the 10 struggles for myself as a book blogger…
1. Receiving surprise books- this can both be exciting and awkward. There’s no greater feeling than receiving something in the post that you’re not expecting (especially books!), but when I already have a stack to read I feel awful. I know the publishers are very generous and I thank them for it, but I sometimes wish they would give me the heads up so I can fit in a review before it is published and give it the attention it deserves.
2. Reading an ARC you end up not enjoying- again it’s awkward when you’re reading a book you’ve been given, but it’s not for you. I like to finish books even if I’m not a fan because it still gives me a review to write at the end of the day. However, reading bad books does make me reluctant to dive into a new one afterwards.
3. Saying ‘yes’ too much- at the beginning of my blogging venture I said yes to pretty much anything because I wanted to get involved and make a name for my myself. However, the downfall of this is when I have said yes without thinking about the time and effort it takes to read/write a review within a specific time. It’s like me requesting on Netgalley non-stop and not reading them all in time- not a nice feeling! If you can’t read it in time say no and that you’re sorry you can’t fit it in, they may offer you a copy of the book anyway!
4. Storage space- very rapidly these past few years has seen my room become a library, stacks of books and not enough shelves. We book bloggers are greedy there’s no doubt about it, but either invest in new shelves or find another storage space!
5. When your blog tour post doesn’t go live at the time you scheduled it- a couple of times my WordPress has failed to post a blog tour/review on my blog and it’s embarrassing when a publisher asks where the post is. Make sure to check on your posts and that they do post, and if not inform the publisher that you will post it asap.
6. Reading to a schedule- sometimes I’m on the ball and well organised but this month for example I took me a little longer to read an ARC in time. I didn’t feel guilty as such as I’m not always in the mood to read, and therefore it puts me behind schedule. My tip here would be to tell the publisher that you’re a little late in reading the book but you will do your best to read/post the review when you can.
7. Writing bad reviews- when you read a book you’ve been given for review and you don’t like it can be awkward to write an honest review, but the publishers admire honesty and it looks good on you to stand my your opinions instead of lying.
8. Keeping up-to-date with new books- quite often I can be out of the loop about a lot of things, and sometimes I hear about books later than others. Life gets in the way and I’m not continuously looking online for new books. However, Twitter is a good friend and I am continuously updated by following publishers and other bloggers- thanks guys you’re life savers!
9. Attracting readers to read reviews- this is my most difficult struggle in blogging. I can’t force anyone to read my reviews and comment, I share them on my social media in hope it sparks interest to my readers. At the end of the day that’s all you can do with any content you share on your blog, I think it’s just upsetting when you absolutely LOVE a book and your review is fireworks but no one reads the review to feel encouraged to read it. Maybe I’m going about it all wrong?
10. Disappointing the publisher/company- like mentioned earlier saying no to reviews/blog tours/exclusive content can be disheartening for all those involved and I do my best to keep those on side and help in anyway that I can. I am a natural worrier and whenever I post an “okay” review, I worry perhaps they will start to not send me anything anymore. Again that is out of my control, but I feel it is important to have an honest relationship with publishers.
Book blogging is fun and has been the gateway for me to try out new things, and has enabled me to develop more of an understanding of how the publishing industry works.
Regardless of these struggles I love what I do, and the opportunities that have come my way these past two years. I’m looking forward to where it takes me in my future aspirations…
So these are my struggles as a book blogger. Do you struggle with some of these two?