Tuesday, July 8, 2014

(5) Top Ten Blogging Confessions

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's theme: Top Ten Blogging Confessions

I'm going all out with this one, so this is a big deal for me. I just wanted to be honest with y'all. :)

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1. I wish I wouldn't have created a book blog before knowing everything I could about the community. I didn't know what ARCs were; I barely knew anything about the publishing process. I didn't understand what blog tours were or how to do interviews with authors. When I first heard of NetGalley, I was like: Oh! Free books that aren't even published yet! I went CRAZY. Now I have a poor ratio and I'm still making up for that this summer. 

All I knew was that I wanted to talk about books. This was a safe place for me to fangirl and obsess and geek out over them with people who UNDERSTAND and think I'm completely sane and that it's normal. 

2. In the beginning, I thought giveaways were how you became popular and got more followers. I know; it's quite embarrassing to admit. But that thought only lasted for a fleeting second. Sure, a lot of blogs do all the giveaway hops (I don't know how they afford that) and they're popular. To what extent? Just for the giveaways? Yeah, it's so nice having tons of followers. But I've learned that it doesn't matter unless people actually like your blog enough to comment regularly and talk to you sporadically on Twitter or Goodreads. And I'd rather people follow me because they like my blog. :) Side note: I'm not saying those blogs do the giveaways just to gain followers. I'm just saying I thought I had to do them, because everyone else did. Same with weekly memes. But I don't think that now; I love doing giveaways when I can, and I love participating in TTT and WOW, because I want to.

3. I didn't start commenting on people's blogs regularly until this summer hit, a year and a half since I created Part of that World. I wish I would have done that sooner! It's really the only way to put your name out there, to make friends in the bookish community, and to create your own signature as a book blogger. I'm slightly jealous of all the bloggers who have become friends through this community, and I hope that I can do the same. It'll take me a long time, because I'm a shy person. Ridiculous, right? Why am I still so shy even though this is anonymous and no one knows me in real life? But I am, and it hurt my first year of blogging. Now, I'm trying to open up more and make friends.

4. Sometimes, I just don't want to review books. Sometimes, I find myself dreading finishing a book if I know that I have to review it. It's especially prominent if I hated the book. This happened to me early in June and I found myself in a rut after finishing like 5 books and not having reviewed any of them. It's why, when I read a lot of books just for fun, I only write a paragraph or a few sentences on Goodreads. I just don't have the energy to do a long one, because I do that enough with books I wish I hadn't requested for review. And I feel obligated to write a longer, more detailed review when I received a copy solely for that purpose. It's a problem that has been happening more and more often. And it makes me wonder: would I enjoy books more if I didn't have to review them? The answer is probably yes.

5. Sometimes I get uber jealous when people create a meme or feature that is just so damn original! I'm left wondering: I wish I would have thought of that! Like this awesome Top Ten Tuesday meme and Kaitlin from Reading is My Treasure's Class of 2014 feature. So creative! I have a few ideas of my own, and I hope to expand that creativeness by including other bloggers and authors. There is one that I'm really excited about but can't start until late this year. :)

6. I still don't know how people receive physical ARCs. Ha, I'm not even joking. Like I said, I went into this not knowing anything about the publishing world. I didn't even know what ARC stood for and that they send them to bloggers to review and promote the books before publication. I don't mind not getting physical ARCs, because I love reading on my kindle. But I've always wondered how it happens.

7. I don't like my blog design. It's simple and plain. I just did one of the easy templates once I decided on a name. I kind of think people would take my blog more seriously if it looked professionally done. So, I'm hoping to rope one of my tech-savvy cousins into creating a new design for me this summer. It REALLY needs a makeover.

8. I don't share Part of that World with anyone, except you guys! I don't know why, but this is all very personal to me, even if I only talk about books and stay away from sharing details about myself. My mom and I had a chance to just chat at the author signing I went to, and she knows a lot more about what I do on here. But I still shy away from sharing this as one of my hobbies. I'm not ashamed! I just know that most people won't understand it or think I should spend my time doing something else. 

9. I almost quit a few times. I felt overwhelmed and thought reviewing was taking the fun out of reading. I still sometimes do think that, but it's not so bad. I take breaks when I need to and add books that I'm excited about into my reading schedule if I can swing it. I've read some articles about blogging, reviewing, and policies in the last few weeks. And they've made me really think about changing my own policy and how I review books. Maybe if I find my niche when it comes to blogging, I won't have as much stress when it comes to feeling like I'm not reading fast enough.

10. This one is not a confession, but more a THANK YOU. Yes, thank you! Thank you for reading my posts, for commenting and fangirling over books with me. Thank you for chatting with me on Goodreads and Twitter. I'm such a shy person, and it's hard for me to approach people. But throughout the almost two years I've been blogging, I've made some good friends. I even have author friends! THANK YOU for making this year so much fun and for brightening my day when you leave a comment or tweet at me. I didn't realize how much I'd love talking to people about books! But I do so much, and blogging has given me a sense of acceptance and community. I LOVE IT. <3

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So, what are YOU confessing to us all? As always, leave me a link to your TTT so I can stop by! :)

20 comments:

  1. Agree with #1 in the biggest way. We didn't do all our homework and jumped head first, now looking back I wish we did take the time to figure it all out. There is a lot we don't know. And my Netgalley ratio is so poor. :( And #6 I still wonder, I tried doing some research but couldn't focus for five minutes because I got distracted by book covers!

    Amber @ The Book Bratz

    My Top Ten Tuesday

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    1. So glad I'm not the only one with #1! I just wish I would have done my research before I created my blog. And #6! Ha, that one will probably always remain a mystery to me.

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  2. I've been doing this for seven years and I'm still learning stuff all the time. You learn as you go I say! Love your list! I feel them all!

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    1. I'm constantly learning new things. Maybe I should write a post about it all. ;) Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. Great confessions. I too, went into book blogging not knowing a thing! I've never requested physical ARCs... I don't have the guts to!

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    1. I don't even know how to request physical ARCs. Right now I'm fine just using NG and Edelweiss. I love my kindle. :)

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    2. Other people have this problem too? I thought it was just me! I love my kindle, but I really want print ARCs.

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    3. I think it'd be really cool to be trusted with a physical ARC, but that'll be a long ways away.

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  4. I occasionally get physical ARCs but I'm still not sure how. I think it was that I won a couple of giveaways with that publisher and let them know when I posted the reviews so now I'm on the reviewer list.
    Cora @ Tea Party Princess

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  5. I WILL BE YOUR BLOGGY FRIEND!

    And yeah, where do people get these physical ARCs? Like wut. How. I think you have to send in a letter, or something, but I find that a big challenge, and I don't like getting rejected. I think I'll stick to e-ARCs for now.

    And giveaways. I haven't hosted one yet, but I also haven't won one yet either (I'm trying). Like I think they're cool, but there's no way I have enough money for that.

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    1. Yes, I love having more bloggy friends! :)

      I love doing giveaways and try to do them when I can. I love giving away a book to someone wouldn't be able to get it otherwise. It's one of the best feelings. And I love e-ARCs. A lot of the time I prefer reading on my kindle.

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  6. This list is amazing, because I pretty much agree with every last one. I too had NO idea what I was getting into. I just thought you read a book, then talked about it,and that was it. SO wrong! As for giveaways, I like to do one a month, usually the New Release one, just cause I love to give someone a book they love, and I feel like it is nice to give back to the followers. But I agree, some people do like, 10 a month! I'd be so, so broke! Sometimes if I have a book to give away that fits a hop, I'll jump in, but I usually stick to just the one. And RIGHT?! How to you get these beautiful books? Like, I know I have no business wanting one yet, but some day maybe I will be worthy, and I'd love to know how that happens!

    Oh, and as for the blog design: I was right there with you. I literally agonized over it, and finally ended up spending $20 for a semi-customized one. No joke, I slept better at night ;)

    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. I try to do giveaways when I can for the same reason you do, but I'm a college student who is out of a job for the summer, so it's not plausible for me at the moment. Unless it's a book I already have in my position, then I'll do one, but that means I have to exclude international followers (which I HATE doing!). Also, the physical ARC thing: I'd love to be trusted with one, but I know that won't happen for a long time. And I'm okay with that; I don't feel entitled to get one. Or the eARCs I receive from NG and Edelweiss. But it's exciting to be able to read books early. :)

      And I am *this close* to giving in and paying for a customized design. But I just don't have the money right now, and one of my cousins might be able to do it for me.

      Thanks for stopping by! :)

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  7. I didn't know anything about ARCs when I started my blog either. As a matter of fact, I think I'd only seen like two book blogs ever before I started my own. Definitely didn't do any research up front. I completely agree about preferring to have people like your blog and comment vs just having a lot of followers who don't actually even follow your blog at all. We can be friends. :) I've noticed that you comment on almost all of my posts recently. That's exactly how you become friends with people on here I believe. Find someone you have similar interests in and interact. Just keep brainstorming and your ideas will come. I'm looking forward to seeing what you come up with later this year. I believe most people get physical ARCs when they contact the publisher not through a site like NetGalley or Edelweiss. I, however, haven't been able to find the contact information I need in order to do this personally. It's funny because I just got my ten year pin at work today and they made a big announcement about blogging being one of my hobbies. I wasn't embarrassed, but I wouldn't have asked them to mention that had they asked me. I definitely suggest getting to a place where you don't let blogging add any additional stress. I fight this myself, but it's so much easier on me when I can just allow myself to relax and blog for fun. Relax is my number 1 goal for 2014. Great post and thanks for stopping by my TTT earlier!

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

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    1. That's why I'm kind of mad I waited so long before I started commenting on people's blogs regularly. I agree with you--that's how you make friends. And I think I'd been following your blog for awhile, but I never paid attention much to your posts. I haven't paid much attention to a lot of the blogs I'm following, and I'm striving to change that. Because I really love reading their posts, yours included. Thank you so much for your kind words.

      "We can be friends." Agreed! :)

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  8. +JMJ+

    I know that there are some books I'd enjoy reading more if I didn't have to review them . . . but there are also some books that make me want to blog about them as soon as I finish reading! You could say that one advantage of having a book blog that no publisher would ever approve for an ARC is that I can "refuse" to write reviews when I don't feel like them. ;-)

    One of my friends has a variety of reviews on a variety of platforms. He has a blog for written reviews, a podcast for audio reviews, and a Twitter for the times when all he wants to say about a book, movie or TV episode is: "Liked it." I think he's in a happy place. LOL!

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    1. And that is why I'm changing my review policy. I want a stress-free environment and the chance to not review or DNF a book if I don't like it without negative connotations.

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  9. Ah, I agree with #3 so much. My blog just hit the one year mark, and now I'm starting to want to make friends with other bloggers. I've been a huge fan of your blog for a while and I would love it if you would take the time to check it out!
    http://thebookcookies.blogspot.com

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Comments always make me smile. :) Seriously. Even if you comment on the post weeks or months later, it makes my day! So don't hesitate to leave your thoughts even if it's been a long time since the post was published. I'll try to reply to you, especially if you ask a question, but sometimes life happens. But I do read and appreciate every single one of them because I know how hard it can be to find the time or energy to comment. So a heartfelt THANK YOU for brightening my day when you do. <3