Thoughts

Thoughts #8: The Perils Of Being A Book Blogger

thoughts_16


I want to read them ALL AT ONCE.

I absolutely love book blogging. But sometimes I worry about the blog, or question certain things. This post will basically be a list of concerns of mine, minor and major, and hopefully they will resonate with some of you!
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  • I’ll never get through my ‘to-read’ shelf, even if I gave up everything else in my life! – yup. I actually quite often panic about my ‘to-read’ shelf, because I know there are lots of amazing books on there and what if I never get to read them?! What if I miss out on something that might become my favourite read? And it just keeps growing, no matter how much I try to stop it, because I always see new reviews and recommendations from my friends. It’s currently sitting at 293, and never seems to drop below 288. Oh well, at least it hasn’t hit the 300 mark again…
    Does your ‘to-read’ shelf make your heart drop? How many books are waiting for you to read them?

  • Do I post too often? Or not enough? – This has been less of a worry of mine lately, because I have been back on track with posting at least three times a week, which I feel is a fair amount. I don’t mind blogs that post once a day or once a month, but I do wonder what others think. With Sci-Fi Month coming up in November, I’ll be posting once a day, and I hope this doesn’t drive any of my readers away.
    How often do you post? Do you feel it’s enough?

  • Is my content good enough? – I have some posts, discussions and reviews that I’m really happy with. Others not so much. One thing I’m aiming to do from now on is avoid promo posts, unless they’re for books/authors I’ve loved, and only join in book tours if I feel really invested in the book, or am also reviewing it. I don’t really like blogs that contain just promotional content, I’d much rather read the opinion of the blogger, or join/read a discussion post – so whilst I don’t post many of these post types nowadays, I’m cutting down even more. Apart from the tours I have schedule at the moment, I don’t think I’ll be participating in any more for a while. I also want to get more discussions in, and hopefully Sci-Fi Month will bring plenty!
    Do you often worry about the quality of your blog content?

  • Are page breaks annoying or useful? – A while ago, when I signed up for a book tour website, I received a ‘review’ of my site. Basically, the company reviewed each blog that signed up, to make sure they were using social media in the best way possible, making the blog experience easier for readers etc. I was advised to use page breaks to create less scrolling for readers. However, I’ve kind of questioned that lately (I think it looks a bit scruffy, plus Blogger has a really annoying habit of creating lots of empty space around the page break) and took to Twitter to ask my followers. So now I’ve decided that I’m not using page breaks, and the maximum number of posts I’ve have per page is five to make sure each page isn’t too long.
    But what do you think? Do you use page breaks, or do they annoy you?

  • Could I use social media more to my advantage? – Before I downloaded TweetDeck, the only Tweets I made were auto-posted from sites like Goodreads. TweetDeck is an amazing piece of software, and I always have it open now. I can immediately tell if someone has interacted with me in some way, plus it’s a much easier way to read my Twitter feed – and I’ve had some great conversations on there. I don’t use Facebook very much though, most of that is auto-posted – I think I’ve only manually posted a couple of updates.
    How often do you use social media, and which sites do you use?

  • I wish I could think up my own unique feature… – but it’s so difficult! I’ve done a couple of posts on reading soundtracks, but there are already features out there for that. So many bloggers have already come up with some amazing ideas and I just wish I could come up with something of my own!
    Do you have your own feature? If not, do you often join in with others?

  • My Netgalley ratio is horrific! – 8.9%. Yep. But in my defense, apparently I forgot to submit feedback for some books when I posted it up here, and also once a book is archived, the feedback doesn’t count even if you can submit it. For example, I recently reviewed Bowl of Heaven, which I downloaded last October (oops). It was still on Netgalley for feedback, so I submitted – and my ratio didn’t change. I will never hit 80%…
    What’s your Netgalley ratio like?

  • And my biggest worry at the moment… will I be able to keep the blog up when I go back to university? – I’m going off to do my Masters, hopefully next year, and I really worry about what will happen to the blog. I will keep it up for sure, but it’s a question of time management really. During my Bachelors I rarely read fiction, because every time I did I felt like I should have been reading something to do with archaeology or ancient history! Also, I’m going to be studying abroad so I’ll only have a Kindle – will being outside of the UK hinder my Netgalley choices (if they let me have any more books, haha…)? No printed copies makes me sad.
    Have there been any times where you’ve found it really difficult to keep working on your blog?

I’d love to hear your responses in the comment section below! Perhaps I’m not the only one who worries about these things!


This post is linked up at Let’s Discuss, hosted by Oh Chrys! and The Fiction Conniption.

28 thoughts on “Thoughts #8: The Perils Of Being A Book Blogger”

  1. Oh, these are definitely some pressing concerns Rinn! :O I’ll try and help you out πŸ˜‰ I don’t have much of a to-read shelf, since I barely try to organize it. I worry sometimes that I won’t get to read a lot of books even if that’s the only thing I had to do for life, because time doesn’t warrant it. But I try to turn that mindset around: even if there will always be a good book I can never read due to time constraint, I know I’ve read a lot of good books as well– and that’s something I’m more than grateful for! πŸ™‚ I don’t think there’s a ‘too often’ or ‘not enough’ when it comes to posts. I mean, you should do it at your own pace because its your own blog. I personally think one a day is optimum, so as to give viewers something new to look forward to daily. Any other frequency works too, believe me πŸ™‚ I very rarely posts promos and stuff, because they’re very boring to me. I tend to go for reviews, and my favorites– discussions! Those generate the most traffic and comments, if I do say so myself. Discussions can make for very unique content as well, such as my Day of Debate feature. I don’t know what page breaks are– but suffice it to say that your posts don’t annoy me at all anyway πŸ˜€ I don’t use a lot of social media because it’s hard to keep up, but Twitter and Goodreads are essential for me. My NetGalley ratio is disturbingly low too, but I’ve given up on ARCs so I don’t have to worry about that right now actually XD But of course, I think it’s just an issue of requesting too much (at least that’s it for me). And then finally… I’m a student-blogger, and have been going to school since early June. It’s a challenge, but I can manage balancing school and blogging out. My last discussion post was something with tips on that actually. But I do hope you get to sort out your worries! You’ll get past them, I know πŸ˜‰

    1. Oh that’s very true, and a good point! I should definitely try and see it that way – I know I have read MANY good books.And yep, I tend to go straight past promos too – which is why I’ve decided that, apart from the ones I currently have scheduled, I won’t be doing any more for a while. I actually did them most frequently in the past when I was going through period of not blogging very often, and it was a way of keeping my blog ‘active’ which is kind of bad.Discussions are definitely my favourite too, hence why I’m trying to do more. Page breaks are where you only see part of the post content on the home page, so at the bottom of each post it says something like ‘read more’ or ‘click here to see the rest of the post’. Then the post doesn’t get too long, but I don’t like having to click through on blog posts, so I shouldn’t do it on my own blog. I don’t mind lots of scrolling, but five posts per page should mean it’s not too long anyway!Oh, that’s good to hear about studying and blogging! I’ll definitely go and check that post out now! =D

  2. I post between 3 and 8 times a week. It depends on whether I’m doing any or all of the memes I participate in that week (I don’t do them every week) and whether I have 2 or 3 reviews, plus any extra posts. I don’t really pay attention to how many times each person posts a week or even a day. I go through Bloglovin and open the posts that look interesting to me. I don’t go to each blog individually and think, “Oh no! I have 10 posts to catch up on because this person posted twice a day every day this week!”By page breaks do you mean when you have to click a link to get to the entire post? I HATE THAT. Give me a full post on each page and I’m much more likely to read them all than if I have to open five separate pages. The advice to avoid too much scrolling seems odd considering how many sites (in general, not blogs) are using infinite scroll now. I don’t like infinite scroll any more than I like have to click to read the post, but there’s a happy medium of five or ten posts per page. (I prefer 10.)I worry about social media (I barely use it), creating a feature or even coming up with discussion topics, and whether my content is good enough too. My NG ratio is 62.5%. I STRONGLY believe invitations shouldn’t count against me, especially since my latest invitation was limited to 500 people and was extended and reached 500 while I was at work and not online. I hate that not reading books I never expressed interest in reading in the first place is punishing me by dragging down my ratio. I think I will go ask them about this.

    1. Good point, when I look at blogs I always look at the content, not the date. Plus if someone is posting a lot, and you are on a commenting spree, best thing to do if you’re stuck for time is to pick out the posts that appeal to you most I guess.And yes, I do. It was starting to bug me and I thought it looked kind of messy, so I’ve removed it from all recent posts and will no longer be using it on any of my posts. And you’re like me – opening different posts in different tabs, I didn’t even think of that! A lot of people have said they don’t like page breaks, which has been good to hear.I’ve only had one NG invitation, and that was for a book tour. How do they work otherwise? That seems pretty unfair if you don’t have any interest in the book!

    2. The invitations I’ve received have just come to me in my email. I didn’t do anything to receive them and I don’t know how it was decided that I should be included. I hadn’t heard of any of them before. I think the first two were both middle grade and while I’m open to reading MG, I’ve never requested or reviewed one through NG. The third, the one that was only for 500 members, was a YA and I probably would have downloaded it if it had been available by the time I got home. I don’t mind receiving the invitations but I do mind that they count against me — and I did the math: they definitely do. NG ignored my Facebook post on their wall about this.

  3. You know, I don’t really want to stress about my To-read shelf anymore. As long as I enjoy the books I read, I don’t want to feel “what if I miss out on that one or that one?” It’s not about the amount of books, but about the quality of the books I read and so far, I’ve found already many favorites. My TBR pile is actually above 300 books and yes, that is a pretty amount and I buy new books often, but it makes me happy :pMy Netgalley ratio is actually pretty good. I believe it’s 87% and that’s because I’m reading some books now.I don’t think I use social media enough, but I honestly don’t have the time to be busy with my blog Γ‘nd things like Twitter. Commenting on blogs already takes enough time.I do have my own feature and I believe it’s special enough, but I don’t come up with many special topics for things like discussion posts. I don’t care about that, actually. I already get many comments, I have a nice amount of followers, what more can I ask for? There is obviously something I’m doing right πŸ˜€ You don’t have to put so much stress on yourself. Just enjoy what you do!Mel@thedailyprophecy.

    1. You’re completely right. I know I’d worry if my to read shelf was small too, because then I’d be thinking about running OUT of books. So basically I’ll never be happy, haha! And as more books are being published, there are more books out there that I want to read, so it’s never-ending and there’s nothing I can do about it – so no point getting stressed out ;)I like Twitter, but only because of Tweetdeck – it alerts me of interactions and really clearly sets things out. The website itself is a total mess and really hard to find anything.Yes! As long as the interaction is there, you’re definitely doing something right =D

  4. Please don’t worry too much, Rinn. Do what feels right for yourself. Once you start putting all these rules and pressures on yourself, book blogging will cease to be something that is something enjoyable — the book blogger’s worst enemy!

    1. Haha, it’s not tearing-my-hair-out sort of worry, just I want to read ALL THE BOOKS and I never will. Haha! I’m enjoying blogging now more than ever actually, which is great =) Thanks, Aloi!

  5. I’m also struggling with unique feature. Everytime I think of something ‘new’ that I might add to my blog, others seems to already have it on theirs, so it’s not unique anymore, right? 😐

  6. I know I will never finish my to-read shelf, there are just too many books I want to read that keep appearing out of no where. You don’t need to worry to much about these things though, especially not how often you post, because I think that really depends on how much time people have to read as well.By page breaks, do you mean cutting down the amount of posts per page, or putting a ‘more’ section in your posts to make for less scrolling? I do both, but that is just my personal preference on what I like on my blog, it doesn’t bother me on other blogs unless posts are image heavy.

    1. True, true – I for one am finding it hard to browse lots of other blogs at the moment.I mean adding the ‘more’ section. I’ve limited my posts per page to five, and have removed page breaks so there shouldn’t be too much scrolling. I just don’t like the way Blogger does it =/

  7. I SO agree about the to-read shelf! I just keep adding books again and again and again. And now I have 400 books on my to-read shelf. It’s kind of terrifying; I mean, like you said, what if one of these books will turn out to be a favorite? It’s an irritating feeling.I don’t think that loyal readers will be irked by the fact that you’ll be posting once a day. I usually post whenever I feel like it and if I have an interesting post. I don’t want to fill my blog with pointless memes and book tours. I respect people who promote books like that, but it’s just not for me. If you like your blog’s content, then you have nothing to worry about! A lot of times I feel like I’m not doing enough, but I’m not that creative anyway, haha. I just assumed a long time ago that if people liked my blog, they would come back and that would mean I’m doing a good job.I usually use page breaks if my review contain spoilers (+ a warning) or if the post is too long. But it usually doesn’t bother me if people have/don’t have page breaks. I’ve actually never used Tweetdeck… I like Twitter for conversations. It’s really fun most of the time. I’m not a fan of Facebook – never have been, never will be. And I only use Goodreads to keep track of the books I’ve read/want to read.Ha! That’s what I’ve been trying to do for the last few weeks. I have two features in mind, but I want to think a little more, in case a better idea pops up. I’m usually really interested in other people’s unique features (like Jamie’s features from The Perpetual Page-Turner; she’s really creative!).My NetGalley ratio is worth crying…….. I don’t even want to talk about it, haha.I have the same worry as you; considering that now, when I’m basically doing nothing, I post randomly, what will happen when I start studying? It’s kind of discouraging but I’ll try to think of something that would help me keep up with both blogging and studying… maybe you can take an hour or two everyday for blogging? If you have that much free time, that is. *sigh* School/uni/college always take all the time we have.

    1. Yep, my to read shelf is basically a mix of all the books that I own and have yet to read, books I don’t own but know that I want to read, and books that I’ve spotted on the site and thought looked good, so added to the list so I don’t forget about them.That’s how I’m feeling now. I have participated in some tours that I know were just basically ‘filler’ (mostly in the early days of the blog), and now I know I don’t want to do anything like that, because I definitely don’t read it on other people’s blogs – so why should they read it on mine?Oh Tweetdeck is PERFECT for Twitter conversations =) You can actually have them in real time then, haha, and you get an alert every time someone interacts with you.I managed to get my ratio up a bit today – I found out how to leave feedback for archived titles that are no longer on your reading list. If you need to now how, I can tell you! I bumped my ratio up by a whole 4%, haha ;)Thing is, I had a lot of free time during my bachelors. I don’t know how… but I spent a LOT of time playing games, and I wasn’t even skipping lectures or coursework – I just had free time. But with a Masters, it’s way more intense which is why I’m worrying. However, reading and blogging will be my big free time habits so I hope it’ll be okay. Are you off to study soon?

  8. First off, girrrrrl my ratio on NetGalley is 14.8% it’s so bad I cannot even… and wow you have lots of books to read! Maybe we can both go on a book buying ban since my TBR pile is out of control too! My goal for 2014 is to reach at least 70% for my books read on NetGalley. For my blog, I like posting 3-4 times a day. I can never post once a day cause that’s a lot of work D:

    1. I know it’s so bad, maybe I should do that – I would save money too =D But when I see charity shop bargains I just can’t help myself! D=

  9. PS. I forgot to say that..hmm that’s weird (about the feedback not being counted if you read/review it a long time ago). The ratio should change no matter what the situation is, even if you had that book in the archive for a long time. Maybe contact NetGalley about it?

    1. It’s worked for all other reviews now I’ve tried it, but there’s one in particular that just doesn’t get counted =/ I don’t know why.

  10. These are all really good points and fears. My netgalley ratio is awful too. I thought that submitting feedback, even if just a note saying thanks but I will not be able to review this title at this time, still counts in your ratio?

  11. My To-Read list is OUT OF CONTROL – over 800 books! Sometimes I look at it and think, there is no way I can read all of these! So, I do a monthly meme called Random Reads where I randomly pick a book out of my To-Read list and read it that month. That way I feel like all of those lonely little books have a chance! :-)I post just about daily and I recently have been posting more promos – I’ve been a bit concerned about that, but I don’t honestly mind seeing promos on other people’s blogs and I like introducing people to new books. I do try to only promote books that look good to me and I don’t usually do cover reveals because those just seem pointless to me. But I have been thinking lately that maybe I should try not to post so many promos – it’s hard, though – giveaways definitely bring people to my site, no question about it. So, I’m not 100% sure what I want to do about that. But I do feel like people can visit my blog for the posts they’re interested in and skip those that don’t suit them, so why not have something for everyone!I definitely want to start posting more interesting discussions, etc. I think that these types of posts are so good, but I agree with you that it’s hard to think of new and interesting things to post about. It seems like everything has been done! But I love people like Jamie at The Perpetual Page Turner who posts so many fun things on her blog all the time!!

    1. Guess my initial comment was too long! Here’s the rest of what I was going to say! :-)I’m glad you mentioned that about Netgalley – I don’t do well with Netgalley either, mostly because when I first signed up, I just requested a bunch of books and couldn’t possibly review them all (along with my other reviews). I didn’t even realize that there was such a thing as a rating! I think mine is like 28%, but I didn’t realize that books that are archived wouldn’t help my score. Sigh. Guess I’ll just have to try to do better in the future!Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    2. Eeek! 800! I don’t think I could cope! And that meme sounds like a great way of choosing, because I don’t see how you’d pick one – and as you said, you don’t just go for the ones that look more interesting straight away.Giveaways definitely bring followers, but not necessarily followers that stay. I find my best followers are the ones who have started reading my blog because they’re genuinely interested, or bloggers that I also follow back as we often have conversations over Twitter. But that’s true, definitely post what YOU want on your blog. And if that includes promos, then post away! =DI know – I’m so envious of Jamie’s ideas, AND she has two blogs! I guess with discussion posts it doesn’t matter if it’s been done before, because it’ll be a different opinion each time, and different people will visit each one.They only recently made the ratio visible, which is why I’m freaking out, haha. We’ll get there eventually… I think once my big events for this year are over I’m going to try and read a load of my NG books =)

  12. Interesting post! I quite like the variety of content here on your blog, so hopefully that can be something you worry about less in the future!At last count I had 150 books on my TBR pile (this is only my YA books, not adult or children’s/MG) and that gives me heart palpitations occasionally but I try not to let it stress me out too much. I do daydream of the day that I will have 30 books or less on my TBR shelves though… My Netgalley ratio is pretty poor too. I was refused a book just today that I was dying for and I can only assume it is because of my low % All I can do is my best. Social networking does tend to take over my life. Especially twitter.Pagebreaks ARE annoying. I don’t know of ANY blog reader who finds them useful/likes them. Please do away with pagebreaks now and forever. I’d rather have the longest loading time in the world than have to click on extra links to get to the content on any website.Also, your studies are always going to be way more important than your blog. Fact. Let it take away your time. I really agonised over taking a blogging break this summer/these past few months because of how hard my uni course was becoming. But even so, I still had plenty of support, page views, and comments to return to when I had more time.

    1. Thanks Clover! =) I’m feeling happier about it to be honest, I’m looking forward to writing more discussion posts =DI dream of that too… but I think on that day I’ll feel like I’m running out of books, haha! I’ll never be happy.I got approved for a book last night that I requested months ago – really odd. Back in August I think. Apparently the publishers have always been able to see our ratios and it never hindered me – so it may have just been the publisher this time for you, maybe they gave out their quota?Yep, more votes are coming in against pagebreaks. I’m glad I did away with them – even though today’s post is super long. It looks much better that way.I know – I’ll just miss being able to have this time for the blog. But I’m so excited to go off and study too!!

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