When I started this blog, way back in June last year, I didn’t know what to expect from the coming months. I’d never actually blogged about a specific subject and I felt somewhat shy about my chosen topic. Books, sure…but paranormal romance? Would I be subjected to the same amount of ridicule I’d faced from people ‘IRL’ (as the cool kids say)? Hell, would people even be remotely interested? These were all questions that ricocheted around my brain.
“Fuck it,” I finally said, clicking ‘Sign up’ on WordPress, “I’ll give it a go.”
And here I am, nearly eight months later. I’ve found that I absolutely adore book blogging. For one, I get to talk about books pretty much every day and two, I get to talk about them with the most awesome bunch of people I’ve ever come across!
But the important question is this: what have I learnt from book blogging? What pearls of wisdom can I pass down to the book bloggers taking their first tentative steps into the WP universe? *clears throat*
- Be yourself. Although I’m branching out into different genres, my specialist subject is paranormal romance. I read it. I write it. Dude, my friend and I even podcast about it! It’s a genre I’m knowledgeable in and one I can talk about for hours…but do you know how much courage it took for me to create a blog dedicated to it? Aaaaaaaaaaaages. I was worried it was too niche a subject to write about and that people, very much like people I know in real life, would scoff at the idea of it being deemed ‘literature’. But do you know what? The book blogging community doesn’t care what you read or who your favorite author is. If you enjoy reading it, then they’ll enjoy it simply for that fact. I have a date nights feature where I talk about what a date with a certain paranormal romance lead would entail and even though many people don’t read this genre, they still take the time to read and comment on the features, expressing their enjoyment. The book blogging community is so supportive, so you needn’t fear about being yourself.
- It isn’t all about reviews. Sometimes life can take over and before we know it, another week has passed and we haven’t even managed to finish one book, let alone the three we had planned to read and review…and that’s okay. Don’t sweat it. A book blog isn’t just about the reviews. During your busier times, it’s fine to post a funny book meme or a link to an awesome bookshelf you found on eBay.
- Book reviews aren’t necessarily about spoilers. When I first started reviewing books, I was awful for major spoilers. In fact, I’m just awful for spoilers in general. I remember years ago going to the cinema with a friend to see a movie I’d already seen. When a major character (who for about 3/4 of the movie you think is a good guy) made his first appearance, I leaned across and whispered “He turns out to be the bad guy.” Yeeeeeah. It’s an ongoing problem I’m working on. If you check out some of my earliest reviews, they’re literally just essays where I’m picking apart the plot and revealing major details. If you read them, there’s probably not much point in reading the actual book. Basically what I’m saying is that it’s possible to review and critique a book without giving away the shocking plot twist.
- Interact. The book blogging community is the friendliest online community I have ever encountered so I can’t emphasize this point enough. Like posts, comment on posts, engage in discussions. C’mon, don’t be shy! It’s a fantastic way of making new, like-minded friends, learning random tidbits of information and gleaning new books for your ever-growing TBR list.
- Have fun! Probably the most important point on this list. Books take us elsewhere when there’s nowhere we can go. They offer us respite from the struggles and strains of everyday life and so should your blog. A majority of us run our blogs in our spare time. It’s a side project…a hobby. And hobbies should be fun, right? Don’t sit there stressing because you can’t piece together the ‘right’ words for a review or rant. Simply save it to your drafts, make yourself a cup of tea and go back to it later.
What have you learnt as a book blogger? Let me know in the comments below!