reviewing –

Blogging for yourself: a response.


19 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Discussion

Amanda posted a very thought-provoking post about blogging for you. At the conclusion of her post, she asked the following question:

What do you think it means to blog for yourself?

We all know how difficult blogging can be. We also know how easy it can be – sometimes seemingly more for others than for yourself.

The important thing to remember is that blogging isn’t a competition. I think sometimes we’re unaware we’re even competing, especially when first beginning blogging. When starting blogging, there’s always someone with more ARCs than you, a better layout than you, more credibility than you, more followers than you, more successful ideas than you. But guess what? That’s always going to be the case, especially if you’re comparing yourself to others and/or trying to measure up to them.

Blogging for you means measuring up to yourself. At its basis, book blogging revolves around book reviews. And book reviews are your own thoughts. Would you sacrifice your thoughts on a book to measure up to someone else’s? I sure hope not. So if you wouldn’t sacrifice your reviews, why would you sacrifice the rest of your blog?

When I started blogging, I sacrificed personal aspects of my blog. After a few failed meme attempts, I decided to scrap my ideas and stick to all the other popular memes out there. This resulted in many blogging slumps and no significant increase in followers. It took a full year for me to realize that this caused me to not blog for myself. I was blogging for others, for readers. It wasn’t until earlier this year that I scrapped participating in memes, started Whip it Up Mondays, got the courage to speak up by including more discussion posts, and co-run the Book Sessions. And since implementing this new blogging drive for myself, I’ve felt more successful than ever. I’ve met some really great people that have been there for me every step of the way. And they’re the best kind of readers.

When you blog for you, you’re happiest – you’re happy about you, about your blog, about how you blog, no matter your layout, how many ARCs or followers you have, or how many ideas/posts have “failed.” You haven’t failed if you’re being you.

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Charging for reviews?


10 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Discussion, News

Imagine my surprise when I came across this post – “Should bloggers charge authors for reviews?”

My exact comment was “This …. is an actual THING? That’s REALLY happening? If I EVER thought to charge for reviews, I’d have to walk around with a bag on my head. I’d be so ashamed.” And I’m still sticking by it. I would be ashamed, as a book blogger. I understand the situation would differ if I were working for a magazine or newspaper or other publication, but I don’t blog for money. I blog because I love reading, writing and supporting all the awesome authors out there.

I feel terrible that authors would even consider paying bloggers to write book reviews. We’re awesome marketing tools, but we’re certainly not all reputable sources, writers or even readers. And the fact that “nice reviews” are being promised for the payments makes this sitatuon all the more disheartening. How can any blogger promise a “nice” review? What is “nice” to them? Positive? Or tactful and respectful? When I think “nice,” I think positive. As a blogger, do you like everything you read? Would you say you provide a “nice” review for those books you dislike? I wouldn’t. I would say I provide an honest review.

But I don’t take issue only with the “nice review” notion. I’m also shocked by the pricing. How can you charge $95 for a review? How do you determine such a price? That certainly covers more than the cost of the book to review.

I realize this is a very sticky situation, one that has far too many variables that can sway opinions. But I think at the heart of the matter, bloggers shouldn’t be charging for reviews. If you’re going to charge for reviews, then you’re not merely a blogger. You’re a paid advertiser.

What do you think?

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How to overcome a reading slump.


10 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Discussion

1. Don’t hate yourself for being in a reading slump.

2. Seek comfort, sympathy and similar reactions from others on Twitter.

3. Don’t browse NetGalley or Goodreads.

4. Don’t look at your growing TBR list.

5. Don’t try a book out of your comfort zone.

6. If you tried a book out of your comfort zone and disliked it… refer to #5.

7. Don’t worry about not having any reviews to post.

8. Don’t post meaningless filler content just because you don’t have reviews to post.

9. Get off the computer and try a non-reading activity to give yourself a break.

10. Take a break. Your body and mind will thank you.

11. Ask friends with VERY similar reading tastes for book recommendations.

12. Choose a book that’s relatively short – around 200 pages is ideal.

13. If it doesn’t immediately grab your attention by the first sentence and/or paragraph, save it for later.

14. Repeat #s 11 and/or 12 until your attention is seized.

15. Remember reading isn’t a race. Don’t feel pressured into finishing the new book really quickly. Savor it.

16. Don’t force yourself to enjoy the new book.

17. When you finally finish the new book, start another.

18. Don’t immediately write a review for the first book.

19. Finish the second book and decide whether you want to review them.

20. Remember that you always have the choice to both review and just read for fun. Now celebrate on Twitter!


Then get back to reading.

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TGIF! (14)


8 COMMENTS • This post is filed under: Uncategorized •

TGIF is brought to us by Ginger at GReads!

It’s a way for bloggers to celebrate the end of the week with a nice re-cap of their weekly posts and to answer a random question.

The Reviews We Don’t Write: Have you ever read a book and not wanted to review it? Are some books too personal that we want to keep our thoughts our own?
Naturally I think, Of course not. I review every book I read. But that’s not true. I don’t. Firstly, it’s impossible. Secondly, sometimes I actually don’t want to. Sometimes it’s because the books most definitely are too personal, that if I went to review them, my review wouldn’t make much sense or accuractely describe the book to unbiased readers. Sometimes it’s because the books leave no impression upon me – good or bad, if I have nothing to say about it – at all – then I feel that I shouldn’t bother reviewing it. Sometimes it’s because I just want to read for the fun of it. Don’t get me wrong – it’s always fun (both the reading and reviewing.). But there’s also this satisfaction with finishing a book and immediately moving on to the next, without a care in the world about what, exactly, I thought of it; it allows me to just feel whatever emotion the book evokes.
In short, yes, there are times that I read books and don’t want to review them. And yes, I do believe that some books are too personal and I’d prefer to keep my thoughts to myself.

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