Discussion: Struggles Of A Book Blogger

Being a book blogger is weird, because it’s a hobby, at least for most it isn’t a job, and it’s fun.

But it’s also stressful like a real job – and requires a hell of a lot of effort, especially if your on your own.

Here, I’m discussing the 7 major things that can cause book bloggers stress.


Procrastination

Time management is a big thing. For most book bloggers, blogging isn’t a job it’s a hobby, which means carving out time to do it – and fun as it is, that’s not always possible. And even when it is, it can be hard to push your self to read or write when your brain is fried from real life.

Which leads to procrastination. Which is how you get the “accidental five month hiatuses” that my blog is no known for.

I deal with this by scheduling posts. Like last summer for while I was at camp, and like I have now for AP season – so I don’t have to worry about consolidating my melted brain so form a sensical string of words.

What do you do?


Stress Over Posting

Even when we do post, it brings a different kind of anxiety. Are people going to like it or hate it? Is it too over done? Is this original content stupid? Did I unleash too much of my weirdness at once? Did j say something dumb a future admissions officer will see and reject me for? (This last fear is one instilled in me by a very college oriented high school – like I needed more reasons to stress out).

These are legitimate concerns, and ones not easy to quell. This is the main reason generally behind my several month hiatuses to be honest.


Ever Growing TBR

This one is unique to book bloggers.

The ever Growing TBR.

TBR stands for To Be Read – a list of books a book blogger intends to read, and be a physical stack of book towering in ones room, can be a list online or wishlist of books to buy, can be a stack of arcs, or a massive ebook library – but the result is the same.

Sooner or later the TBR of s book blogger outgrows the reading speed – and threatens to crush them. Often this impending crushing can increase the prevalence of a reading slump and we get indecisive over what to read next and then just don’t. A vicious cycle.

Generally deadlines can get you reading again, but deadlines for reviews can bring their own kind of stress.

I myself have too many books in my TBR – a review TBR of about 50 and a physical TBR of too many to deal with.


Pressure For Content / The Look

The look of the blog matters.

Trying our best to improve the look of the blog, from graphics to the layout to the design to the domain is a big thing for us book bloggers. But when you don’t have the resources to get help and don’t have the skill to make good things yourself – it makes you feel a little behind the curve sometimes.

The pressure for the right look also applies to the content.

People like tags and memes. They are the life of book blogs. But too many and your blog is labeled unoriginal and boring.

Book reviews are a major thing. But so many discussions are being done on, really, other book bloggers don’t read book reviews – you might not even need them. But without them are you even really a book blog? But you can’t exactly churn out so many reviews since it takes time to actually read books- so what do you do?

The answer: Original content.

The elusive gold of book blogging.
It’s hard to come up with original posts consistently. And to be honest, most of us either take inspiration from or flat out copy each other (with credit unless your a terrible person). We do similar discussions and lists etc. But the continuing strive for better original content can keep you awake at night, thinking of ideas and second guessing yourself.

It’s hard to sustain.

So cut bloggers a break when there’s a lull in content okay? Okay.


Reviews / Discussions

Back to book reviews.
Every book blogger pretty much does reviews. In different styles with different frequency, but it is a staple of book blogging. (Though I read a great discussion at The Tattooed Book Geek that argues otherwise).

Reviews tend to take a long time though, so their less frequent – even if your reading pretty quickly.

Discussions are another thing – when everything seems to had been said but you still can to join in, what do you say? And how do you say t without sounding preachy or cheesy?


Role In The Industry

Sometimes other people read your stuff, and take your opinions seriously. Sometimes, I don’t feel qualified to be giving my opinion. I’m a kid! I’m 17! I have no authority! Except the fact that I’m a book blogger gives me a small amount of authority in a limited capacity – and it is occasionally terrifying.

I face this fear when I get review requests. People email me like I’m a professional. ADULTS email me asking me for my help/knowledge/influence and it’s weird. It feels like you can’t say no because, your just a kid and this is an adult. It’s a weird position, and not a universal struggle I’ll admit, just one I think about a lot.


Comparing Stats

Ah yes the stats. The thing everyone says not to worry about and yet everyone does.

But it’s hard not to.

When another blogger gets more comments or more likes then you.

When someone who’s been blogging for less time surpasses your follower count.

It’s hard to to try and measure up success. It hard not to get jealous. And want to be better than others. It’s human nature.

But sometimes being so concerned with stats can suck some joy out of blogging – that that sucks. But it’s honest.


This has been some of the struggles I’ve experienced being a book blogger – its fun, I love it, but people need to understand that it isn’t easy or quick before they start their own blogs or start getting snippy with bloggers for not posting more often. We’re only human.

Do you experience any of these?

Did I miss something glaringly obvious?

Let me know!

The Diverse Book Tag

I was tagged by the ever amazing and lovely  Icebreaker694 and with everything going on, I think diverse reading is probably more important than ever.

A lot of people say diverse reading/writing is “trying too hard” or they liken it to affirmative action, or that the portrayals feel forced or stereotypical, that mental illnesses are glorified. That is true in a lot of cases, but it shows an effort. And if we don’t seek out the good ones, more will never be written.

Interesting Link: Diversity In YA – Statistics


The Rules

  • Credit the original creator, Read Diverse Books.
  • The Diverse Books Tag is a bit like a scavenger hunt. I will task you to find a book that fits a specific criteria and you will have to show us a book you have read or want to read.
  • If you can’t think of a book that fits the specific category, then I encourage you to go look for one. A quick Google search will provide you with many books that will fit the bill. (Also, Goodreads lists are your friends.) Find one you are genuinely interested in reading and move on to the next category.

Find a book starring a lesbian character.

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I own the e-book and want to get to this soon.

Find a book with a Muslim protagonist.

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Dying to read this.

Find a book set in Latin America.

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Read this for the first time in fourth grade. Its wonderful.

Find a book about a person with a disability.

Find a science-fiction or fantasy book with a POC protagonist.

Took some googling but these both sound interesting.

Find a book set in (or about) any country in Africa.

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Find a book set in South Asia (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, etc.).

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Find a book with a biracial protagonist.

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Find a book starring a transgender character or about transgender issues.

My Review of Dreadnought

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My Tags:

Megan @ Bookslayer Reads

Catia @ The Girl Who Read Too Much

Danielle @ Books, Vertigo and Tea

Ryann The Reader

Reg @ She Latitude

And if there’s anyone else out there who wants to take part, consider yourself tagged!

Discussion: Ways To Organize A Bookshelf

This is a pretty popular discussion – but I wanted to give my take on it, as I have a pretty unique system of organizing my bookshelf.

Here are five common organization methods to try out on your shelves – along with my own method (feel free to try it).


Color:

This one is very popular on bookstagram and booktube – though I personally have little interest as it seems like it would get annoying after a while -(per the order of the books having no rhyme or reason and series being separated).

But essentially, separate your books by spine color and lay them on the shelf to form a rainbow. It’s pleasing to look at even for the non-book hoarder.


Library System / Genre and Author:

This is a mix of organization systems – but you could do either individually. (As in, separate solely by author or solely by genre).

By genre is essentially, separating genres of books onto different shelves or sections so you can easily find a book for whatever mood you are in.

By author is generally by last name in alphabetical order.

If you do these in conjunction – alphabetizing authors within each genre section – then it becomes very easy to find a particular book rather than remembering where the hell you stuck it.


By Favorites:

Pretty simple. But your favorite reads at the center / eye level / front of the shelf and hide less favorites at the corners or back.

Your shelf will personally make you happier to look at. Since you’ll be staring mostly at you favorite books. This might also make it easier to write tag posts, as you’ll have your favorites in view.


By TBR:

You can do this two ways.

If you have multiple shelves, one can be read books and the other unread.

If you only have one shelf you can use half for read books and the other half unread books if you don’t want them mixing.

Or you can employ my chosen method – useful if you want to keep authors and genres together that are only particularly read: within a different organization method – put unread books vertically and read books horizontally as I prefer (but you could always do it the other way around).


Separate Hard- and Paper-Backs:

This ones simple – separate the hardcovers from the paperbacks.

Put the paperbacks in the back or the corners so they aren’t the focus, and the hardcovers more at eye level, center or main shelf – prettier and more eye catching and makes for a nicer overall bookshelf. Could also be done in conjunction with “By Favorites”.


My Method:

Obviously, some of these methods are not mutely exclusive. You can organize by both genre and author. By color and still separate hardcovers from paperbacks. Color coordinate TBR separated bookshelves etc.

My chosen organization is this:
By genre, by favorites, and by TBR.

Here’s what I mean.

I have one free standing shelf and two wall mounted shelves.

Books I love and books I need to read soon go in the free standing shelf (easier to reach – separated by genre and from each other within this).

Books of genres I read least or have the least to-be-read books within the genre go on the top / harder to reach wall mounted shelf. And so one.

Read books are horizontal and unread books are vertical. So unread books are easier to get. And read books overall take up less space, so as I read I get minimally more shelf space.


 Let me know what you think.

How do you organize your shelf?

Has this inspired you to try something new?

Which is your favorite?

I Messed Up Book Tag

I was tagged by Icebreaker694, who is a lovely and talented writer, so go check her out!

(Yes I am many months late with this…let’s just ignore that).

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A CHARACTER APPEARANCE THAT YOU MISREAD OR IMAGINED DIFFERENTLY?

I ALWAYS think Jace from TMI has blue eyes.(His eyes are gold)

And I always forget Cammie from Gallager Girls is meant to be light brown / bleached – I always think its brown for some reason.

I’m sure there are more, but I’m blanking.


A CHARACTER  NAME YOU’VE BEEN PRONOUNCING WRONG?

Everything written by Sarah J Maas.

I’m bad at names at the best of times – I’ve mostly begun mumbling the names and recognizing them without being able to say them.


AN OVERUSED TROPE THAT IS YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?

Enemies to lovers – its the sort of slow-burn / a little angsty mostly fluffy romance I like in my contemporaries.

See also – friends to lovers.

I also love villain redemption arcs – but I never see those EVER – I need more of them.


A CLICHE CHARACTER TYPE THAT YOU LIKED BETTER SEEING ON-SCREEN THAN READING ABOUT?

Honestly, most side/best friend characters are hilarious on screen but fall flat and 2-dimensional in books.


A WORD/PHRASE THAT YOU LEARNED BECAUSE OF ITS USE IN A BOOK?

Masochist –

This is the first word that came to my brain for this question, because little 4th grade me learn it from Twilight and had to continuously explain why I knew such a high level word at age 9.


HAVE YOU EVER NOT READ/NOT COMPLETED A READING REQUIREMENT FOR SCHOOL?

I gave up on The Count of Monte Cristo – I have powered though many an assignment but I couldn’t. It was too long, I was too bored. I read sparksnotes.


HAVE YOU EVER (OR HAVE WANTED TO) SKIPPED A CHAPTER FROM THE POINT OF VIEW YOU WEREN’T INTEREST IN?

I’ve looked ahead to when the characters I liked more would appear – for example, looking for Annabeth or Percy POV for Heroes of Olympus – but I’ve never flat out skipped.


HAVE YOU EVER CANCELLED SOCIAL PLANS TO READ A BOOK?

Yes…

Sometimes…

More often then not I bring my book with me and ignore my social plan companions though.

(I swear I do have social skills)


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I TAG

McKenzie @ Bookish Things and Tea

Megan @ Bookslayer Reads

Catia @ The Girl Who Read Too Much

Danielle @ Books, Vertigo and Tea

Ryann The Reader

Reg @ She Latitude

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Top Ten Tuesday: Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t

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

Anyone can participate and its a lot of fun, so I highly encourage it!

Let me know if you’re a part too!


June 20:  Top Ten Series I’ve Been Meaning To Start But Haven’t — anyone else have a mile long list of series to start like I do??


 

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Top Ten Tuesday: SFF Books That I’ve Recently Added To My TBR List

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

Anyone can participate and its a lot of fun, so I highly encourage it!

Let me know if you’re a part too!


June 6:  10 Books From X Genre That I’ve Recently Added To My TBR List — I want to know what books have piqued your interest lately from whatever genre you choose!


Roughly 80% of what I read is SFF, but here are some I’ve recently added to my TBR!


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Bookstagram Blitz: Natalie and the Nerd

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Natalie and the Nerd
by Amy Sparling

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Age category: Young Adult

Release Date: 30 May, 2017


Blurb:

Natalie’s school work is the last priority on her long list of things to worry about. Since her parent’s divorce, her mom’s boutique—their only source of income—is about to go under, and Natalie spent all summer and most of her senior year trying to save the little shop. Now that she’s in danger of failing high school, the assistant principal (who happens to be her evil step mother) is making Natalie join daily tutoring sessions with Jonah Garza, the school’s valedictorian.

Taking math lessons from the rich nerdy boy is the last thing Natalie wants to do, but Jonah needs these community service hours to get into Harvard, so he’s not going to give up on her. In addition to working at the boutique and studying with Jonah, Natalie’s lifelong crush just started paying attention to her. She’s being pulled in so many directions, she doesn’t think to question why the son of the biggest business mogul in town is suddenly trying to win her affections.

When her crush betrays her and the store goes into foreclosure, Natalie has to choose between fighting harder to keep her mom’s dream alive, or fighting to pass high school and start a future of her own.

You can find Natalie and the Nerd on Goodreads

You can buy Natalie and the Nerd on Amazon


About the Author:

Amy Sparling

Amy Sparling is the author of The Summer Unplugged Series, Deadbeat & other awesome books for younger teens. She lives in Texas and has an addiction to sparkly nail polish, taking photos of her cute dog, and swooning over book boyfriends.

You can find and contact Amy here:
– Website
– Facebook
– Twitter
– Instagram
– Goodreads


There is a tour wide giveaway for the bookstagram blitz for Natalie and the Nerd. One winner will win a $20 Amazon Giveaway + a signed paperback.

To enter this giveaway you need to make a picture of the book Natalie and the Nerd by Amy Sparling and post it on social media with the hashtag #NATNGiveaway.


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Top Five Wednesday: Summer Reads

Top Five Wednesday is a book meme that Lainey started, and is now hosted by Sam at Thoughts on Tomes.
If you want to join in checkout the Goodreads page!


May 17th: Summer Reads
–The weather is heating up (for half of the world), so what books remind you of summer and are your quintessential summer reads?


I’m going with 5 summer-y arcs on my TBR – because I need to get to these this summer…

Also, if I straight up g with summer-y contemporaries, my list will be identical to every other “Unexpected Everything”, Kasie West, and “Since You’ve Been Gone” filled list that are the first summer-y books that come to mind, arguably for many people.


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1 – Hook’s Tale – Being the Account of an Unjustly Villainized Pirate Written by Himself

by John Leonard Pielmeier

I LOVE retellings. Peter Pan retellings being among my favorites. I also love redeeming villain stories (its a thing, go with it). This combines those two things – apparently its inspired by Wicked…which I have never seen/read/heard in full. But it seems cool none-the-less and I’m excited to read this.


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2 – Song of the Current

by Sarah Tolcser

This is another book featuring ships and the seas. I’ve been on a pirate kick lately, I don’t know. I don’t think this book is directly about pirates, but its about river gods and kickass, ship sailing females (which is close enough to pirates) and seems intriguing so I’m excited.


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3 – The Possible

by Tara Altebrando

Superpowers are just a summer-y thing to me. Probably because all the superhero movies come out in the summer (I’m dying for GotG2 and Spider-man!). I don’t know much about this, it it seems really interesting. I was mostly just hooked by the concept of X-men-like powers.


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4 – Sovereign – Nemesis – Book Two

by April Daniels

I Loved the first book (NetGalley Review – Nemesis #1: Dreadnought) which come out earlier this year. I wasn’t expecting this one to come out so soon, but it comes out this summer and I got approved for an arc on netgalley. I read and loved the first one over winter break (but I was in central america so it was summer!) and I really want to read this, so here it is.


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5 – The Comic Book Story of Video Games – The Incredible History of the Electronic Gaming Revolution

by Jonathan Hennessey, Jack Mcgowan

Summer is the only time I actually have the time to play video games, and comics in general just seem a summer-y thing. So, there it goes on the summer reads list.


Some Honorable Mentions:

I have two mandatory summer reading books this year – as I’m taking AP English Literature next year school. I have to read Pride & Prejudice and Thousand Splendid Suns.

Waiting on Wednesday #5 – Tash Hearts Tolstoy

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Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming book releases you’re dying for!


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After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust into the limelight: She’s gone viral.

Her show is a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina—written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the forty thousand new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr GIFs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever.

And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with Thom Causer, a fellow award nominee, suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual.

Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?

Hardcover, 367 pages
Expected publication: June 6th 2017 by Simon & Schuster

Super dying for this one!

I got approved for an e-arc and I’m loving it so far!

Ace representation and geek/nerd/bookworm MC – thats all I have to say!

Book Blitz: The Bitter Taste

The Bitter Taste: A Collection of Short Stories
by Various Authors
Genre; Contemporary Fiction
Release Date: May 20th 2017
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Summary:
Dive into the worlds of eight (8) sensational writers as they create engaging stories that will leave you spellbound the moment jump in.

The Bitter Taste is a collection of short stories written by eight writers from across the globe. Each story has been written to give different renditions of the title.

“Lena is on the brink of divorce from her estranged husband, Daniel, and she is doing everything in her power to make his life miserable. But decisions made the night after a confrontation will change not only Daniel’s life but hers as well.” – The Georgia Peach that Spoiled by Ny Qunaa

“After moving back to her hometown, Sasha figures out that honesty and love don’t come from the same bottle” – Bottles and Basslines by Sarah Cooke

“They say when death knocks at your door, your life flashes before your eyes. However, is it enough time for someone to redeem themselves before it’s too late?” – Redemption by Ruthie

“Only one decision can change history as we know it. Jenny doesn’t know what the future holds but she is certain of one thing, there can never be a future for her in the village with her grandmother.” – The One Way Trip by Kelvin O’Ralph

“A popular young woman questions the value of her own life after receiving a devastating diagnosis.” – Fireworks in Winter by Ameenah M. Hassan

“This story explores the mental trauma that lingers in a sexual assault victim for the rest of her life and how she puts an end to her agony.” – The Frozen Dish by Benazir Mungloo

“Tony still clutches onto an old guilt while others moved ahead erasing the memories left behind. Acceptance and forgiveness will not be seen without reliving.” – History Lesson by Silvia Latife

“Here is a story about a man who realizes that even though he has achieved a lot for himself, he has missed out on the most important moment in his life.” – The Little Things by Ignacio Bandoni

The Bitter Taste on Versetab | Amazon


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Excerpt

Story 1 – The Georgia Peach that Spoiled by Ny Qunaa

It was hot outside the courthouse. Sweltering hot. It was the kind of hot that could make a Georgia Peach spoil in the summertime. Lena sat outside on a wooden bench that faced the courthouse and stared at Lady Justice who stood on top of the clock tower on the historic Renaissance Revival stone building. Lady Justice looked worn with defeat in her eyes.

Twenty minutes passed. The beads of sweat that were on Lena’s forehead began to roll down her face. It was too hot to wear all black in the Georgia heat, but she was mourning, mourning the death of justice in the legal system.

She sat on the bench flabbergasted by what the District Attorney told her. The DA called Lena on Monday and said that she wanted to meet with her to discuss the case. Lena told the DA that she would be available to meet at the end of the week. So Friday the 13th at high noon was when they met. Imagine meeting someone on an unlucky day during the time of a decisive confrontation. She didn’t expect to hear good news so she wore black in anticipation of what was to come.

“Good afternoon, Mrs. Whitfield,” the DA said as Lena walked into her office.

“Good afternoon,” Lena replied.

The way the DA greeted her was grim, so Lena knew the meeting was not going to end well.

“Look, Mrs. Whitfield, I’m going to cut right to it. Mr. Whitfield’s lawyer presented evidence that hurts your credibility. Because of that, I am not going to prosecute him.”

“But I have a recording of the incident. It should surely be enough to prosecute him.”

“OK, let’s listen to it,” she said skeptically.

Lena played the tape. It replayed verbatim everything that happened that early morning in November.

After the tape had stopped, the DA looked at Lena aloofly. “Mrs. Whitfield, I cannot use the tape as evidence. Mr. Whitfield did not say anything to you in an aggressive manner nor did it prove that he hit you. It shows that you were aggressive towards him. Based on that and your lack of credibility, I am not going to prosecute him.”

“This legal system is rigged,” Lena said as she got up to leave. She picked up her purse and stormed out of the DA’s office.

“What is wrong with the legal system?” Lena thought. “The system is supposed to protect victims like me and instead, it slapped me in the face by dismissing the charges. The DA is just another person that my narcissistic, soon-to-be ex-husband manipulated. How could she not see how conniving he was?”

Lena began to think back to that early morning in November, a day that started off ordinary and ended up with her lying on the ground.


GIVEAWAY:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/9e540ef9363/

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Book Blitz Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours