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 🙂
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!