Every now and then I see a post from a book blogger having a meltdown. No matter how good your intentions are when you start blogging, there always comes a point when things have to change. It’s happened with almost every blog I follow, and now it’s my turn.
You may have noticed that my blog recently got a makeover. This has been a long time in coming, as have several other changes I’m implementing. These changes will not only help me, but you as well. The decision to change came from a serious sit-down conversation I had with myself (there may have been a late night and a few too many gummy bears involved). I had to consider what was best for me, my family, and the future of my blog. These eight realizations have been HUGELY insightful for me and are changing the way I blog about books.
Realization #1: This is a Hobby
This is not a job. Nobody pays me to blog about books. Many bloggers have ads or sell services to help cover the cost of running their blog, but I don’t know any book blogger that actually turns a profit.
Doing something for the love of it = hobby.
Realization #2: It’s Very Time Consuming
Before I started my blog, I had no idea how much time would be sunk into it every day. Hours and hours have been spent scheduling, posting, writing, networking, and answering the never ending pile of email and review requests. That doesn’t even include the amount of time spent reading books.
Realization #3: I Must Prioritize
I have to do what is best for my family, for me, and for the blog (in that order). This blog is what I make it, and I don’t want to make it a monster that eats up every minute of my day and takes me away from my family.
Realization #4: The Email Never Ends
It. Never. Ends.
Realization #5: ARCs Are Not That Cool
I used to love getting ARCs (advanced reader’s copies), but they come with hefty expectations. They need to be read, reviewed, and posted by a certain date. Reviews must also be added to retail sites and shared on social media. Most of the time, getting an advanced copy of a book isn’t worth the obligation that comes with it.
Realization #6: I Like Paper Books
Digital galleys, PDFs, and ebooks aren’t fun to read. If I’m going to spend 6-10 hours with a book, I want a physical book. I’ve stopped requesting most digital forms of books and will usually opt for getting them from the library instead. The added bonus of the library is that if I don’t like a book, I take it back unread and guilt-free.
Realization #7. It’s No Fun to Feel Taken Advantage Of
And that’s a feeling that appears very quickly as a book blogger. A few months after starting this blog, I found myself working full time — for zero pay. Everyone wants something from you, and the more you give, the more is demanded.
Realization #8. I Do This for Me
I don’t blog about books to help authors get publicity. I blog about books because I like reading and enjoy talking about books. I do it for me, plain and simple.
So there you have it. Once I made these realizations, I was able to step back objectively and adjust the way I do things.
If you’re a blogger, what do you think? What changes have you made to your blog since starting out?
If you’re an author, what are your thoughts on all this?