It’s the final day of Armchair BEA – my first year participating, and I’ve had so much fun doing this and learned so much! Thank you to everyone who has stopped by, commented, supported through Twitter, and contributed to an amazing week. It’s been so much fun meeting new people, rediscovering old relationships, and building bonds with other like-minded people.
The suggested post for today is “Ask the Experts,” and while I don’t consider myself to be an expert by any means, I do have a few tips I’ve put together throughout my few years of book blogging.
- Always be true to yourself. Don’t take pitches for books you won’t read, or know you won’t like. That isn’t fair to any party involved. That said, if you take a pitch, then be fair. If the book didn’t appeal to you from the outset, then don’t blast it in your review just because it wasn’t your thing.
- If you do take a pitch or review a book you had high hopes for, and you didn’t like it, then be fair and open-minded in your review. Why didn’t you like it? Be as detailed as possible, and if possible, try to find something you did like about it. Everyone involved will appreciate it.
- Be kind to your fellow book bloggers – whether someone reads one book a month or one book a day. This isn’t a race, or a competition. We all love books, love talking about books, and the result should be that we love talking about them together. In addition, spread the love – if you see a review of something you reviewed, comment on it, link back to it, direct traffic from your site to another’s. It’ll be appreciated and you’ll start to build connections faster then you thought was possible.
- Don’t stress out. If life starts to get all crazy and muddled and you can’t find time to read or blog, chill out. This isn’t your job – you can’t be “fired” from blogging. Put up a quick notice on the blog. Readers will care that you are swamped and updating them about it and will stick around.
- Do review books – don’t get caught up in the trap that is memes. If your blog is 90% memes and 10% substance then chances are you will frustrate people who are there because they want book recommendations, not comments on how pretty the cover is.
- Do comment on other blogs. If you feel overwhelmed by the number of blogs out there, weed down your reader to those you always stop on when you are scanning through, or clicking through with twitter links. Filter out the ones that don’t interest you as a general policy and give quality feedback on the blogs that do.
- Understand that there is a human being behind every blog – with thoughts, opinions, hopes, and dreams. Everyone has a different goal, no matter how similar they might seem, and it’s important to respect those.
- And most importantly – read! Set aside time to turn off the computer, stay away from social media, eliminate distractions and lose yourself in a good book that you pick up because you want to. Doing this will save you from burnout. I’ve gone entire weeks where I’ve read nothing but books I felt like reading and put the schedule aside for another week. It refreshed me and made my reviews all the stronger for it.