Six Months of Blogging – What I Have Learned

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Happy Six Months of Blogging!

It’s been six months since I started up this blog. It’s been an incredible journey so far! I sometimes feel pressured to get books read as quickly as possible, but I heartily enjoy reading all the wonderful books that are out there. These are just a few of a few things I have learned since starting up in June…

1. I get to read authors that I may not have come across before. I have found so many new authors to love, like Lauren Smith, Christi Caldwell, Angela Quarles and Abby Broadfield. If I relied on Amazon’s recommendations, I likely never would have found some of the amazing authors I have had the privilege to read.

2. Sometimes it feels like I am writing only for myself. I have been reading historical romance novels and contemporary for years and years. One night on my porch, I thought I should review the books as I have always read the reviews before I bought a book. And so began my journey into blogging and Netgalley and the publishing world. It’s only human to check the stats on your blog or the twitter feed and sometimes be disappointed. Sometimes a book I just LOVED doesn’t get attention and yet a silly post gets tons of hits. But not everything in life is supposed to make sense right?

3. Authors are really great people and very proud of their work. Whether they are just getting started or very established, they like to hear from fans. All the authors I have reached out to have been so kind and willing to work with me to promote their latest work. I try not to squeal at the breakfast table or a boring meeting when I see that one of my favourite authors has retweeted my review or I get an email from an author thanking me for taking the time to write a review. I feel bad when I give a three star review and I think long and hard before I do. I know how competitive the publishing world is and on one hand, I never want to hurt someone’s career, yet I can’t advocate for a book I don’t think is worth the money. Honesty is hard.

4. Rejection hurts…I get most of my reading material from Netgalley. It is a little blow when I get rejected for a book I really wanted to read before publication date. It happens often and by certain publishers and it’s disappointing when it does. I am totally open to authors sending me their books to review (open call!) and often they do which takes the sting out of the rejection. But it still sucks when I have my heart set on reading a book I’ve been waiting months to read, only to have to wait a couple more until it’s published.

5. Being on Twitter or Facebook really helps authors and bloggers. We are tied to the social media machine to promote and share what is new and exciting. I am good at tweeting, but fall behind with my Facebook account regularly…oops!

6. The difference between a four star and five star books is an ambiguous and very difficult to qualify. It’s like a mysterious element that has to do with feelings. When I read a book that may even follow a typical recipe for the plot, but yet I can’t put it down because I am so enchanted by the characters, the story and the writing. It’s not every day that I read a five star book. Most books tend to be four stars – which is amazing and totally respectable. A five star is a book that makes sense to your emotions; it pulls you in and leaves you sorry that the book is over at the end.

7. It’s my blog and I can do what I want…not all the books I read make it on the blog. Sometimes I get books that look interesting and then I read them and I wouldn’t recommend them. I decided early on that I was only going to post on four and five star books. I want people who actually take the time to read my reviews to know that I would recommend reading any of the books I highlight.

8. I don’t have a rating system on my blog. That’s because I pretty much scream it from the treetops when it’s a five star and everything else is a four star. See above regarding books I didn’t really care for.

9. The welcome I have received from other bloggers and reviewers has been so kind. Any questions I have had have been met with knowledgeable responses. The feedback I have received has been generous and appreciated.

10. I have had so much fun blogging about books! I have been reading them for so many years and I have loved sharing and conversing about the genre with other people around the world. It makes you realize that there is a reason the romance genre is so popular.

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12 thoughts on “Six Months of Blogging – What I Have Learned”

  1. I am so honored to be listed as one of your new authors!!! That makes me feel so humbled in the best way! *hugs. Does that mean I can talk you into reading my new contemporary series coming out next year? *winks
    – Lauren Smith

  2. Happy 6 months! I just discovered your blog through Carol! So happy to have found you!

    Agree with #6 — it’s hard to quantify the difference between a 4-star book and a 5-star book. And, like you, I don’t have a rating system on my blog (but I use the rating system on Goodreads and Amazon for ARC purposes).

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