Today I want to talk about some blogger, specifically book, expectations versus reality. I’ve been a book blogger over a year and a lot of things have changed. My reading habits, my reading pace, and my schedule has changed drastically. I still remember when I was starting out and the various things I thought. So I thought today it would be fun to go over what I thought, and what is the reality today.
Expectation: When I first thought I figured that book blog responsibilities could result in too much reading. I figured I would be overwhelmed with books and be drowning in a sea of them. Too many books. And then what would I do? (Except build castles and forts out of them).
Reality: It is not the reading that swamps me, it’s writing the reviews. They take so much thought and so much time and I really, sometimes, don’t look forward to writing them for some reason or another: the book wasn’t that good, the book was too good, I am sleepy, I want to read instead of write, etc.
Expectation: It will be so easy to be active on social media. I’ll just tweet a little, post a bit, and it’ll be no big deal right?
Reality: Nope, it’s so hard. First off, I am not a good tweeter. I make very weird tweets sometimes and I forget to tweet all the time. I sometimes even think my thoughts are too weird for Twitter. With Instagram it’s a little easier, because I like to post it. But taking photos, being creative all the time, and editing them takes a lot of time. Also I hate being attached to my phone, so I limit my interaction to 20 mins per day. Even I don’t manage that most days because of other work. Not to mention real life.
Expectation: I thought reviews was were it was it. I thought they got the most attention and that’s where we picked people up as subscribers. It made sense to me. Reviews are important and if I am looking for one specifically, then I would find new blogs to follow.
Reality: Nope. Reviews normally get less comments than discussion posts and are less popular. A lot of people find discussion posts, or there are link-ups where you can post them. That way a lot of people can see it, plus it’s easier for anyone to read. So, the majority of reviews that are written get little to no attention.
Expectation: A waterfall of free books that I can play in like a kiddie pool. I feel like I definitely had unrealistic expectations of how my ‘popularity’ would be.
Reality: The stress of a schedule of ARCs, advance read copies, is immense and all self-imposed deadlines. I am drowning in books, a book schedule that demands reading of books by deadlines. Deadlines I set myself. So even though I know I can stop the madness, the desire to always read new books is strong within me. It’s hard.
Expectation: Reviews will be easy, how is it different than just writing my thoughts, or discussing a book in class?
Reality: It is so difficult to write a review. After a while they feel the same and then it’s always an upping game to make it better and better. Then it’s so challenging to write a review for a variety of reasons. Sometimes I don’t know how to convey my happiness, others it’s hard to figure out how to mitigate my critique. I am also sometimes scared of the backlash for reviewing a book people loved negatively. The whole business is incredibly nuanced, and while I do enjoy the challenge, it is a challenge.
I’m not complaining about my job, hobby, I love it. It’s fantastic. It’s true. But there has certainly been a learning curve associated with the whole process.
What do you think/expect about the book blogging world?
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