Blog Tour · Book Connectors · Random Ramblings · review

Random Ramblings – What do bloggers do?

I’m a book blogger, a relatively new one at that and I love it.

I’ve been welcomed into the world of all things bookish with open arms by my fellow bloggers, authors, publishers, PR people and readers. It’s a fantastic community and I have made some great friends along the way.

But what does a blogger actually do?

Well, one thing we don’t do is sit around reading and typing all day! Can you hear the collective sighs of “if only” . . . That’s every book blogger in the world – wishful thinking at it’s best!

Most of the bloggers I know either have full or part time jobs, they have children, husbands, cats, dogs, families, friends, social lives, illnesses, medical conditions, school runs, caring responsibilities, house work, and somewhere, in between doing and/or dealing with ALL this, we find the time to read a book and review it.

But that’s not as simple as it seems.

Let’s look at posting a review for a book we bought ourselves.

Once we have managed to read the book we have to get all the books’ details from the internet, then write the actual review. A typical post will include the links to buy the book, the authors picture and a bit about them and the book cover picture. Then comes the formatting of the post to our personal style, font, layout, colour scheme. Then it’s time to proofread, make sure everything is perfect and then post or schedule it. Phew! I’m shattered just thinking about all the things that go into a blog post!

But it doesn’t end there . . .  Oh No . . .

We then have to share that post, yes there are ways to automatically share to some social media platforms, but not to others, for example, Amazon, Net Galley and Good Reads, which are the most important sites to authors and publishers. We have to copy and paste the review into each of these sites.

Still not finished . . .

We want to get the book as much exposure as possible so we share the review in to each and every book related Facebook group we are in. I am part of ten bookish groups. TEN. That’s ten different “status’ ” with a link to the blog post, that I have to manually insert into each group. Whilst doing this you are trying to remember the posting rules for each group (some don’t allow review posts, some will only allow them if you have been “actively talking to other members during the previous two weeks”, some will only let you post blog links on particular pinned posts – the rules of each group are so different and if you break the rules, you will be immediately removed from the group!)

Then there’s the interaction afterwards, responding to comments and discussing the book with others who make contact.

It still doesn’t end there . . .

If we are contacted or make contact with an author/publisher to review a particular book that we want to read – typically before publication day – then we have lots more to contend with!

Dates – can we commit to the dates they need? What other stuff have we have going in our lives in the run up to that particular blog tour (if the review will be posted as part of one), how many other books are teetering on the ever growing TBR pile in the corner? Do you have time to send a content/Q & A request to post (no one will just write one for you!) What about other books you want to read that are out around that time?

How much notice has the author/publisher given you? You are in a position where you don’t physically have the time to read and review the book but you don’t want to miss out on a tour date and risk that author/publisher not contacting you again if you don’t take part? ARGH!!!!

Anyway, once all this is done, there is the emotional side too. What if someone hates your review? What if you’ve made a huge mistake in the post? What if, what if, what if! But you get over that and publish the post on your blog . . . Leaving yourself exposed to the whole world!

And no one retweets it. No one shares it. Not even the author/publisher who requested you read the book. You are then left feeling angry, sad, disappointed, neglected, and very frustrated that you have gone to all that “trouble”, all that planning, preparing, reading, time away from family, friends, pets and pubs to do this, out of the goodness of your heart (bloggers do NOT get paid – apart from the book in question) for the particular person not to even bother sharing it for you (totally not on by the way and I will refuse to work with any one who does this without an extremely good excuse as to why they didn’t).

I’m not saying everyone does this, but it’s happening more and more often from what I can see and it’s just bad manners, pure and simple . . . (ooooh . . . I liked Hear ‘Say . . .) So please, always share, and most importantly, always say thank you! Appreciate that someone has gone out of their way to promote your manuscript!

I also get the feeling sometimes that it is thought we are just sat around twiddling our thumbs until a publisher/author gets in touch . . . “can you pop me a post on in half an hour?” – the answer will probably be no! Just have a little bit a of respect and appreciation for our normal lives and give us some notice! I have tours booked in for February 2017 already and and I’m discussing one for July/August and I’m delighted with that! And thank god for academic diaries! It is never too early to book a blogger.

Still not finished because we also have to change our “Currently Reading” pictures, make sure we are up to date with other bloggers, the first half hour of my mornings is spent sharing my other blogger friends posts.

It’s a complete rollercoaster!

So, there you have it . . . how a post goes from being a book request to a published blog post – start to finish. I know I’ve probably missed loads out and I know people will use different sites to host their blogs so there may be different set up features but essentially, that is how a blog post is created.

But, the most important thing to remember is, we give away this time for free. For the love of the book/author. So please, respect that and don’t take us for granted πŸ™‚

I’d love to hear any tips or other ways in which you sort your reviews out so feel free to leave a comment – I’m looking forward to the conversation on this one!

Have a super weekend all!


52 thoughts on “Random Ramblings – What do bloggers do?

  1. Excellent post! I’m very new to blogging and while I’m enjoying it a lot because I’ve got to connect with other really nice bloggers and I love to talk about books and promote authors, It really is a lot of work! You made some great points and for me one of the highlights of reviewing is when an author acknowledges my review in some way. Many do but some don’t and it’s disappointing for sure

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      It is certainly a highlight when an author responds – I remember Louise Jensen getting in touch with me after I’d reviewed The Sister and told me that it had made her cry (happy tears!) and she has since printed and framed my review and has it in her office – super feeling! It really is disappointing not to be acknowledged, especially if they have requested the review! And not to have it shared too, that’s a massive no no for me! Nicky Clifford has just released her first novel and has shared the heck outta my, and all the other blog tour bloggers’, posts! I don’t think I’ve ever had such a busy week on Twitter as I have with that review!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love book blogging, I don’t work with facebook groups all those rules sounds really time consuming. I hang out on Twitter, but any social media site only works if people share and you can reach the reading / book buying public – my passion is to get more readers reaching a wider range of authors, particularly in the indie scene.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. It is such hard work with the groups, trying to remember which group allows what and where!

      You make a great point, social media only works if everyone gets involved in the exposure they want, it can’t all be left to the bloggers, one thing I forgot to mention is that bloggers are so willing and embracing with other bloggers, I spend the first half hour of my mornings reading and sharing their posts, it’s the only way it will work!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I can relate to it all & I’m exhausted just reading what we do lol .. totally agree on the ‘thank you’ part & I have refused to do anything else for some authors who not only didn’t RT but complained that they had to search for the post!! I post everywhere & tag it’s not difficult to find. Nicky is a star .. we had a lot of interaction before the tour & she was so determined to do it RIGHT .. my stop on that one today πŸ™‚ Excellent post lovely xx

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you Ali!

      Nicky has been brilliant! One of the most organised and determined people I’ve had the pleasure of working with! Constantly in contact, did what she promised to do, when she promised to do it and was just so grateful about everything!

      That’s just ridiculous! I wouldn’t work with someone like that either! There’s just no need!

      I’m certain I’ve missed loads off but looking at that again, it’s so clear that our time and energy isn’t always appreciated! But I’m glad it mostly is x

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great blog post Emma. You have exactly captured what I pass through step by step as a blogger. It can get really crazy and stressful at times especially when you have a family with kids, a full time job and a boss who requires you to work extra hours. Well said, well done!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. This is such a great post! Well done Emma. You have put in words exactly what i go through as a book blogger with a family with kids, a full time job and an employer who requires me to work extra hours three times a week! I get so frustrated when there are so many wonderful books out there but have not enough time to read them all! We do it for the love of books but yet it’s a big sacrifice from our part that sadly not everyone appreciates. X

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Fabulous post Emma! I have to agree with the bad manners thing. I have started to tag authors mainly so they can see just how far the review has spread. But the other week I tagged an author and the post was shared absolutely everywhere but they didn’t acknowledge a single one. I think they didn’t like the review even though it was a 4* review as I have had one person mark my review as unhelpful on Amazon as well. But I bought the book myself and I know that at least 5 others bought it through my review!!! I don’t do this for the thanks but an acknowledgement that I’ve taken the time to review would have been nice! 😊😊

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks Jo! It’s terrible when that happens!
      I know that people may be inundated with replies and tweets and messages but that’s the name of them game! Reply to one reply to all in my opinion! And books are sent in exchange for an honest opinion! Our credibility as reviewers would be shot to pieces if we only ever gave everyone 5 stars!
      Glad you liked it and thanks for sharing xx

      Liked by 1 person

  7. A great post Emma, and one which sounds familiar. When I’m on a blog tour I get up extra early in the morning before I leave for work (I leave the house before 7.30)(quite often going without breakfast) to post on my blog and Twitter and share around all the different Facebook groups. And then neither the publisher or author acknowledges or retweets! We’re either mad or dedicated! x

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Great post, Emma. I don’t often expect a thank you for sharing my review…but it amazing to get one. I try and share as many posts as I can and LOVE the blogging community. You guys all rock!! I feel so lucky to know each and every one of you and learn something from you all. This post is a fabulous way to show what we do for the #LoveOfBooks. 😘

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I don’t expect one if it’s a book I’ve purchased and decided to review but as part of tour or at the request of an author I definitely do (be warned πŸ˜‰πŸ˜šπŸ˜‚) but absolutely, we all do it for the lover of books and authors! Without them our blogs wouldn’t exist! And those who do acknowledge us ate just brilliant! Karen at Orenda is by far the most gracious and grateful publisher I’ve blogged for. She’s just lovely!

      Looking forward to our first tour together though! Very excited!!! X

      Liked by 3 people

      1. LOL! Are you sending that warning to me? πŸ˜‚ I shared the arse of blog tour posts I organised via Crimebookjunkie much to the detriment of my hands…though, I did not have to – felt that it was important to acknowledge the fabulous reviews and bloggers that took part! I struggle at times but do my best…I swear! *shakes nervously from fear*
        Same will apply to bookouture blog tours I arrange…will tweet, share on bookouture and my personal page, but need to try and keep it as separate from my blog page / twitter as it is freelance and I don’t want people (wrongly) to think I get paid for any Bookouture review that I do….because I don’t 😊
        This really is a fab post though! Seems to be making the rounds and it is great to see everyones comments too!


      2. I was jestingly! You my dear are the queen of shares!
        But you highlight a point brilliantly, you share at the detriment of your hands due to illness, not many will know that but you do it anyway. As do many others. Ppl think that a share or a tweet or a comment is something simply and easily done but it isn’t.

        You will be superb at organising the tours, perfect with the Digital Crime Masters that Bookouture are becoming! World domination will be yours! You have been a dream in terms of organisation and I know it’s not easy so thank you! Exciting time ahead! 😚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Awwwww! 😘😘😘 thank you xx
        … still scare me though! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚


  9. I like this post Emma. Like you, I always spend my first hour of the day sharing and retweeting. I started a new job this week so I’ve had to change my schedule, and will be doing my blogging stuff in the afternoons instead. I’m afraid that if that’s not acceptable to publishers and authors, they can go elsewhere! I get, on average 300 – 400 blog views per day, if that’s not good enough for them, it’s no skin off my nose. The RTing and thanks from publishers and authors doesn’t bother me in the slightest, in fact I don’t know who hasn’t RT, shared or thanked me. I try to thank those who do, but often miss people – sorry! Why do Facebook groups have SO MANY RULES?? Book Connectors doesn’t have those rules and the group runs fine. I think it’s a power trip for the Admin πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I think you might be right about the power trips! It’s just so hard trying to remember which group allows what but like you say, Book Connectors works perfectly without any silly laws!

      I try and do my posts at different times. I think social media can over faced with all the shares and retweet sometimes so like to mix it up on occasion x

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Found myself nodding along as I was reading this.

    I struggle to keep up with sharing everyone’s posts but do try and do at least once a day. I’ve had to be strict and say no alot recently as just not in a position to review, especially for an agreed date, as have had a major slump recently so have a massive backlog. Fortunately all the publishers/authors have been OK as they know I’ll review eventually!


  11. Great post Emma. Spot on. I’ve got a very full time job and it’s a huge investment of spare time to do all the reading and reviewing. I find I can easily lose an hour or more just getting one review right without the tweeting, cutting, lasting etc.

    I’m not overly concerned about thanks for the reviews as really the blog was mainly for me to begin with. Still can’t understand why so many read it tbf. That said, it’s a great feeling to know you’ve made an author happy and you’re right, Karen at Orenda is by far one of the best in terms of thanks for taking time to review. So passionate about her writers and readers and it shows. Bookouture (Kim) and their Writers are a great bunch too but then I’ve had great reactions from many others, Sam Carrington, Alex Caan, Mark Hill, Chris Curran & Angela Marsons to name just a few very special authors. But I’d still write the reviews without it. I like clogging the internet. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Great post Emma!! I missed it first time round too. I’m pleased that it isn’t just me that gets frustrated when an author and/or publisher just ignores your posts about the book that you have reviewed for them, it isn’t like it takes a long time to press like or retweet. I’ve posted a review on my blog today and I have to say that sharing it on Facebook groups felt quite disheartening and far more of a chore than it normally does after yesterday’s shenanigans which is annoying, hopefully it will be short lived as I love blogging, even though it does take an awful lot of my time!


    1. Don’t let the minority ruin it for the majority! Share your reviews everywhere! One thing I’ve always wondered is how many none bloggers actually read my blog posts and from the response of readers alone yesterday I now know that it’s lots! They rely on us to bring them the good, the bad and the ugly from the world of fiction and I for one will not be stopping sharing my posts xx keep up the good work lovely! You rock! X


    1. Thank you Inge!

      I didn’t have a clue what it would entail when I started and I was actually shocked when I broke it all down to write this post!

      But we do it and we do it for the love of books and authors and no one will stop us!! X

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Great article with so much truth to it! I had no idea when I started that it would be like that! As I say to friends, it’s become an unpaid part time job (other than the book) but so much fun!


  14. Well said, probably the best post I’ve read about the ‘life’ of a blogger! It’s all about the passion and I can see why so many bloggers end up becoming authors! I’m an author and when I find time to read I find it the hardest thing in the world to write a review. So I take my hat off to reviewers because it’s a very specific skill. And I’m always amazed by the one-liners that really get to the essence of a story. Great post!


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