blogging, community, reading

So, You Want To Be A Book Blogger

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Note: Do not ask me for tips on origami. I borrowed all these photos from the internet, and I do not make any animals out of paper.

So, being a book blogger is now a thing. If you’re a reader/fangirl/fanboy, blogging about it means a big community (where geeks can all band together to take over the world), where you can find like-minded souls to share the hype and the flops and the overall love for books. It is good.

However, like with all good things, humans tend to forget that “in moderation” is really the best motto for life, and now book blogging is developing its own issues. For example, the “echo chamber” — meaning we all seem to be getting excited about and promoting the same authors and series. And the very sad notion that if someone disagrees with your review, they need to be strung up by their thumbs. Truly, this is not the sort of environment we should be cultivating.

So, here’s my advice for those of us just starting out in this interesting internet culture.

Along with creating the design/layout for your blog, plan which social media sites to join and how to link them to your own site. Of course, you hope that this will be fun. But, realistically, it’s just as much fun to see your stats go up, and know people are experiencing your content. So, after you place posts on your blog, you need to let folks know it’s there. One of the best things I did for boosting The Invisible Moth’s visibility was to join Twitter. Lots of book bloggers really like using Instagram or Facebook as well.

A personal note on social media: You don’t have to do all of it. Find the sites that you feel are easy to use, have a community you’d like to be a part of, and connects others to what you want to share the most.

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Choose which sort of books you want to review most, but let yourself break the mold every now and then. If you mostly read fantasy, it’s totally fine to build your foundation on fantasy fiction. But if there are certain classics or fluffy romantic contemporaries that just really stir your soul, feel free to share those with your readers, too. After all, it is your blog.

Having a posting schedule helps, but it’s not necessaryIn my experience, declaring that you will, without fail, be posting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday is not realistic. Things happen. You’ll get sick, go on vacation, misplace the charger to your laptop, need to make an emergency trip to the vet…and your post won’t get uploaded that day. And nothing’s wrong with that.

Don’t feel compelled to only read the hot new releases you see “all” the other bloggers featuring. Last year, I realized that there’s a big problem within our community — I’ve read other posts that refer to it as “the echo chamber syndrome.” Indeed, it seems that there aren’t just 4 or 5 people discussing the new Cassandra Clare/Rick Riordan/Nicola Yoon/Marissa Meyer publication, these are the only discussions going on anywhere, and “everybody” loves them without any dissent. Hey, guys, I’m sorry, but there are plenty of other books out there to read, and if you just don’t care for a novel/series that the majority of your community seems to adore, that’s really okay as well.

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Doing tags or challenges is optional. Honestly, I’ve given up doing these, as well as weekly themes, because I simply don’t have the time, and I’d rather be someone who posts discussions/topics I came up with on my own. There’s no right or wrong; a lot of newcomers feel it’s expected of them after another tags or links them. You can if you want; but most bloggers won’t hold it against you if you opt out.

Don’t feel bad if you hit a reading slump, or aren’t sure what to review this week, or even just want to hide from the world for a while. The great thing about maintaining an online presence is that you control how much of it is in your life. Sometimes bloggers need to take a break (the local vernacular is “on hiatus”), either because physical life is requiring your online stuff to take a backseat, or you’re just not feeling the posting/tweeting/instagraming vibe. And all of that is just fine.

Most of all, keep it fun. Unless you’re one of the rare breed who’s being paid to blog, you’re here for fun, so it needs to stay that way.

Having a platform to share my thoughts on things that are close to my heart has been very rewarding. But a major part of what’s made it worthwhile is all the super-supportive feedback and conversation I’ve received from the visitors to my site. That’s what makes this ongoing project really special.

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7 thoughts on “So, You Want To Be A Book Blogger”

  1. I love this post so, so much. I agree that blogging should,before anything else, remain fun. Also, yes there are books that are talked about LOTS and I can’t help being curious about these and might have read tons of books because they have been on the front row a lot, but there are sooooooooo many other books in the world to give our attention to as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So very true! There are lots of books that I’ve enjoyed, but never seen a single review about! And it just proves my idea that people are nervous about branching out and trying new things — when there’s no reason for it. We really should just read what we want to, whether it’s a bestseller or not!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Eeep, some lovely advice here! Although I don’t mind the “Echo chamber” syndrome because I like discussing books! And it’s kind of fun when the blogosphere is like having one big reading club, kind of, right?!?🎉It only gets annoying for me if it’s a book that’s ticking me off…like seeing Sarah J Maas books everywhere. 😝😂 BUT ANYWAY. I definitely agree that we should blog how we want and take breaks and do the unexpected on occasion! I’m terrible at being unexpected with my posts…but I need to a bit more because I’m so predictable.😂

    Also #1 life goals is to be a paper origami dragon now. (I need to learn how to fold those!)

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    1. For me, the “echo chamber” gets very tiresome when it seems to only focus on books that either I’m not interested in, or that I know I don’t like the author’s style. And I’d really like to see other, less-spotlighted authors featured as well (as an indie author, I totally get the relevance of this).

      Sometimes bloggers just feel worn down when they think they can’t come up with any new ideas, and that’s why I think trying something new is important for us, too!

      My best of luck to your dragon origami ambitions, grasshopper.

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  3. Oh gosh everyone needs to read this post!!! Firstly- I’m one of those people that gets huffy about echo chambers- so *yes* to different opinions and reading a variety of books!! And I really really need to take your advice and not worry so much when I just can’t/don’t feel like posting!! Because yes, sometimes I just need a break and I even manage to get worked up about telling people that I won’t be there all the time- which is silly!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I was just being honest, with what I see as being major issues with this community – and it’s creating burnout for bloggers, or turning people away from the idea of joining in. And that’s just sad, and not necessary.

      Yeah, I think if we try to post all the time, we’ll wear ourselves out. Often I try to post regularly, but there are times when I just need a few days off. And indeed, nobody jumps down my throat – “where were you for 72 hours?!” 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes absolutely agree- that is so true. And yes sometimes we all just need a break. hehehe I definitely get like that- and I know that I have a tendency to be all British and apologise for my absence… and then I realise no one minds me taking a day off and I stop feeling so guilty 😉

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