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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10 thoughts on “Blogger Expectations Versus Reality”
Haha 😀 it’s so true! I’m still struggling with discussion posts. I have a lot of ideas for them, but still haven’t gotten around or into the habit of actually writing them.
For me though, the biggest difference was that when you start blogging, you think YOU’RE going to be “the authority”. But it turns out you just become a more avid consumer, you become a blog reader as well, and it’s about sharing and community rather than just being an authority like a news/column publisher.
That is so true! I didn’t really think about that till now 😀
When I started blogging six years ago, bloggers pretty much only did reviews with the occasional meme thrown in. Now fewer people seem to do reviews. Instead my feed is flooded with tags. And I think a lot of bloggers feel the pressure to write discussion posts because they receive much more traffic than reviews, but many bloggers also admit they have difficulty coming up with topics. Still, I think reviewing books is part of being a book blogger. I can’t talk about books unless I’ve read them and if I have read them, I might as well show my credentials, so to speak, by reviewing the books. I think that most bloggers are a little skeptical of book bloggers who don’t review anything, even though we all realize reviews don’t drive traffic. It’s a strange dynamic all around, but it’s been fascinating to watch things change over the years. Soon I expect everything will be Instagram and BookTube.
That makes a lot of sense, that’s why I keep plugging away with the reviews too! Even though rarely do they receive even one comment!
I think it’s simply this — discussion posts invite discussion; reviews invite the reader to read the book. You don’t experience the replies, which are your readers’ finding and reading the book.
Astute. (and a very good point)
I think reviews are hard to write well. I’ve moved to writing a lot of bite-sized reviews nowadays because I just can’t manage full reviews for all the books of ever.
It’s definitely a struggle and especially for time! But bite sized reviews are refreshing to read 🙂
I didn’t really have any expectations? Being a pessimist contributes to that. Or maybe I just don’t like having expectations….
I see so many people with ARCs and I used to be so jealous but now after seeing books piling upon books, I’m not so jealous. After all, I just discovered how to request library books from the internet. And I have such a long library list…
Ditto! There’s so many and I find less and less books I am like, needing to have asap. It’s great, but still, it is such a challenge to manage sometimes :-/