Ups and Downs of Being a Blogger and Reviewer

May 31, 2014 Jennifer's Thoughts 18

Blogging is hard. It’s not as everyone thinks. At least, in the case of a reviewer it isn’t, though I don’t consider myself a professional but merely a learner as I go.

This is a week, or even less days, before the 1 year anniversary of Boricuan Bookworms blog that Marianne and I started for fun, and also to get to read free books. It was a good trade.

I like to tell my friends of what we do as bloggers. How we receive advanced copies both physical and electronic from indie authors to some much more known. I consider this my night job, though it also takes a lot of my day time too. I love doing this, and both Marianne and I often wonder if we could take this as our adult jobs. It’d be a dream come true, to go to BEA each year, to visit different conferences and meet great authors, publishers, and the tons of books we’d have. We also dream of styling the blog more professionally. But mostly, we just like to keep doing what we enjoy.

Yet this is no easy task.

Maybe it’s just me, both of us, or everyone around, but doing this is hard sometimes. It’s not just read, review, post, and prance around the grass to repeat the cycle. Here I will list some of the ups and downs of having a blog and reviewing…

 

We have to format the blog (Thank You Marianne for this… <3). I don’t know how to work well with HTML, CSS, and anything else of coding. I only know the basics, like how to bold, italic, and add a link. The rest I copy and paste it from notes I have scattered in my desktop. And Marianne tells me what to add here or there, but I always end up copying what she does. One of the reasons why I don’t always look forward to doing the book memes of Fashion by The Blog and Waiting on Wednesdays. 

 

When you create a Netgalley and Edelweiss account you are doomed. You might start by only reading the ones available to everyone, and requesting one here and there. You get a few rejects from your request, but you see light when you get approved by some. This slowly begins to create a high effect on you as if eating a whole chocolate store. It gets addicting, until you see the ratio you’ve worked hard to raise begin to descend. And each time it rises, it gets down again. And the books you have to read keep pilling with the ones you own…

 

Some of the books you used to love before don’t make much sense to you now. You read in a different way from before where you scrutinize a lot of the details you might have ignored before. Slut-shaming, whinny characters, insta-love, that stuff seemed like it didn’t exist much before, but now it’s plaguing a lot of your approved titles.

 

This can result in some readers and authors hating you for your very honest and unbiased review and opinion…

 

Yet not all hope is lost! There are perks too!

You meet awesome readers, bloggers, and authors who instantly become your friends. You all share the same addiction not all people can empathize with you in the real world.

 

There’s free books… Need I say more?

There’s also the satisfaction you feel when you help promote a book you loved, and the gratitude authors give to you is gratifying and nice <3

Being a blogger and reviewer is awesome. You might have a lot of work sometimes and life might get in the way. Some people might comment weird stuff to you that have no relation to what you’re talking about. You are not payed to do this with money, but in the gratitude and satisfaction of helping both readers and authors, plus share your opinion with a community of bookworms that understand and like to discuss this. I’m grateful every day when I stop to think of all the things that have brought me here, to meeting Marianne and having that weird as heck idea of creating a blog. We had no idea how it would be. We had our doubts of anyone reading it. We didn’t know if we’d last more than 6 months, even more after summer ended and we had to deal with school and college. Yet here we are, a year later. It’s been a hard and worthy road we’d both take again and again, and deeply hope it continues on.

How is blogging for you? Have you gone through the things mentioned above?

Do you know more ups and down I forgot to mention? Let me know on the comments sections below! 😀

J signature

 

PS. This is my way of procrastinating on doing a review… shhh… xD

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I'm Jennifer, addicted reader, lover of books, and aspiring author. I babble too much when I write and like to procrastinate work with other work 🙂
  • I fully agree…blogging, reviewing is hard. I got a little trigger happy at the beginning and signed up for every review I could. Then I felt like I was always reading what I “had” to and never what I “wanted” to. I still love doing it, but I have decided it slow it down. I have kids, and a house to take care of so It kind of took over my life for a while. Plus I have not added ONE post to my personal blog since I started. I am having a hard time finding a “balance”. BUT, like you said…”It’s free books”! hehe!

    • I got this impulsive things where I want to request stuff all the time, but recently I’ve slow on that too. It’s all about managing a balance. I’m taking the summer to get ahead and read what I can of the ARCs I have, and then take it easy once school starts. Thanks for commenting, and sorry for the late reply! We had so much stuff going on with the blogaversary… xD

  • I do love blogiversaries 😀 I don’t have a Netgalley, but I understand what it’s like to have so many books to read. It’s like buying a bunch of books and then going to the library and borrowing another stack. It can definitely get overwhelming! But I love the awesome parts of blogging ^.^ I love interacting with fellow book bloggers, too. Fun stuff 😀

    • I recently got to borrow stuff from the library and I have this limit of only two books at a time, one ebook and one audiobook, before I lose control. It’s addicting <3 But blogging, as stressing as it might be, I love it. I kinda love stress, and the whole interaction stuff, even though I may disappear some times xD Thanks for commenting!

  • I totally agree that you read books differently once you know you are going to review them. You have to I suppose, but I would never have realised how much note-taking is involved now!

    • I rarely take notes. I post statuses on Goodreads and occasionally write something down. Though I should start that to improve my reviews. But I’m more aware of details now than before and character development, so reviewing really does change how you read. But it’s also good because you’re more aware of the good stuff when they happen <3 Thanks for commenting!

  • AWWW! This makes me feel all teary eyed. You went and posted this behind my back, you sneaky sneaky person :P. I feel like canceling the Blogaversary and just leave this post. This post definitely sums up everything I feel. I wouldn’t change a thing, and I love blogging even with the complications. You have a wonderful way with words jennifer, and I wouldn’t have any other coblogger other than you. 🙂

    • I was bored. It was I dunno, 1am? I was also procrastinating so… it was all random xD And my words… meh, thank you I guess…? xD Being co-bloggers has definitely being an awesome experience and I wouldn’t want to have any other co-blogger other than you 🙂

  • I agree with reading differently, instead of getting lost in the story, I am noticing all kinds of details and it does take away from the reading at times. I blog for two different sites and honestly thought that wouldn’t be a problem. Now I stay a bit overwhelmed with the amount of ARC’s I have to read for one site, and trying to have two reviews a week for the other site. I do love it though and getting free books is a good trade-off!

  • What an awesome heartfelt post Jennifer. You describe all of the ups and downs of being a blogger and reviewer perfectly. We don’t do this for money and it is a lot of hard work but we do get a lot of gratitude for it, and meet awesome like minded people which makes it worth it <3

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  • Awesome post. I just blog for fun. I’m not a reviewer but I do reviews for some books I read. I don’t want to make my blog into something I have to do. Its something I want to do because if it isn’t I will get bored of it and stop blogging. I want to blog at my own pace, which is slow or whenever I want to.

  • This is a great post!!

    I know what you mean about offending people with your review. It’s hard when you know an author will definitely be reading your review and you don’t particularly like the book.

    Totally worth it for free books though.

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  • Great post :) I’m a newer blogger yet and I came into this whole thing a bit differently than most other book bloggers. I don’t participate in ARCs or any other free book/review exchanges, and I never will. All of the books I read/review come from my local library, and that’s my blog’s niche.

    This also gives me a different blogging experience-I can read/review what I want, with no deadlines or piles of ‘must’ read books :)I also have the freedom to review older books, and not have that pressure to always review the newest thing. I like that I’m a bit different-I think it makes me stand out a bit?

    But then the question is, why am I really doing this-if I’m not getting free books, lol.

    Over the past few months, I’ve spent hours (and hours, and then more hours) setting up my blog, then deciding to move my blog to a self hosted site, and then having to reset up my whole blog, plus with that switch I’ve had to pay money for a blog that doesn’t produce any sort of income or tangible good in return. And that’s not counting the time put in actually writing reviews and posts. Oiy!

    For me, I’m blogging because it’s a fun hobby, but I’m also looking ahead and seeing some possible benefits:

    -I’m currently working on my first book. I decided to switch to a self hosted blog, because down the road I’d like to use my blog in part as an advertising platform for my book (which will be self-published and it’s just going to be me doing word of mouth to get it out there)

    -I also have grand plans of monetizing my blog at some point. Either with Blogher (if I can get into their network), or ideally selling ad space/affiliate links. But, in order to get to that point my numbers have to be a LOT higher. That’s down the road at least a couple years probably. But, it’s something that I’m planning on happening at some point. This motivates me to spend the time and effort working on my blog.

    And then:
    -I love being a part of the book blogging community! I don’t know anyone IRL who likes to read, and it’s so nice to have a way to discuss books with other people who ‘get it’. It’s also a great outlet for me, to have something that’s ‘mine’. I’m a mom and a wife, and most of my life revolves around my family. Which is fine-it’s just nice to have something that’s my own thing and allows me to express myself outside of those roles :)

    So, I blog because it’s fun and because it also has income possibilities in the future. Free books are not a part of the equation, which is fine with me :)

    Just found your blog through a link on another blog, and I’m now following you through bloglovin!

    • The free books are an added bonus, but we didn’t do it at first for that. We just wanted to post our reviews and discuss books with other people.

      I agree with you about the self hosting part. I really invested a lot of money (more than I was expecting to) and I thought “for what?” But it’s not for everyone else, it’s more for me, because I want to see it look pretty and professional.

      I want to intern in a publishing office one day, so this is perfect to begin creating a portfolio.

      First and foremost this blog is a form of expression and interaction. We love meeting new bloggers and chatting with about books and such.

      Good luck on your book! And thanks for stopping by!

      (P.S. don’t worry about the long comment, we love interaction! :))

  • Oh my gosh, I didn’t realize how epically long my other post was-feel free to delete it, I wrote like a whole book there, lol.

  • Blogging is definitely a lot of work. I love how you put it: that it’s a night job. Because it really is. I could easily spend 40 hours a week on my blog between reading, reviewing, archiving, cross-posting, organizing books, coming up with ideas, writing posts, blog maintenance/redesign. I mean seriously, the list could go on and on couldn’t it? But I absolutely love it and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. All the work is totally worth it because I’ve met some great people, gotten to read some pretty amazing books, and gotten to talk to authors/publishers who I never thought I would be able to talk to! Blogging is a part of who I am, no matter how much work it takes.