Why I Changed the Way I Blog About Books

Discussion

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.

Why I Changed 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.

Daily Boutique Deals

 

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?

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Amy // Sunlit Pages
    October 20, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    I love this, Dana. And I totally agree with you. I haven’t said yes to a single digital review request because I don’t like to read e-books and so just getting an advanced copy is not enough of a perk for all the pain that goes with it. I took some serious time to reflect on the state of my blog recently too. One of the questions I asked myself was, “If no one else was reading this blog, would I still write it for myself?” And if the answer was yes, then the follow-up question was, “Are there any posts I’m currently writing that I wouldn’t be writing if no one else was reading them?”

    I love your new look, by the way! It’s fantastic!

    • Reply
      Dena at Batch of Books
      October 20, 2015 at 3:22 pm

      Thanks! I’m loving the new look too. I had to ask myself the same questions and it took a serious heart-to-heart with myself to come up with the answer. It’s hard to make changes, but I’m glad I did. I’m enjoying blogging and reading so much more now!

  • Reply
    Adriana @ BooksOnHerMind
    November 16, 2015 at 2:00 am

    I like your new look, Dena! I’ve felt the same way for a long time. I’ve focused more on reading library books and my own books because this is a hobby. It takes time when I really get into it and it’s something that I should always enjoy.

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