Tuesday, 25 July 2017

[article] Oh, The Things I Do For Book Blogging

A beautiful looking book I just haven't gotten around to reading yet

Oh, The Things I Do For Book Blogging

Or, How Six Months of Book Blogging Has Made My Life More Interesting

Today marks the sixth-month anniversary of Atlas Rising Books. I've written over a hundred book reviews,  read and reviewed 57 books for Netgalley, and generally had a super-fun time. In celebration I thought I would share a few of the little odd, weird, and wonderful things that I, and other book bloggers, do as part of the blogging experience. 

The Writing

Almost all of my posts are pre-written and queued. Most of the time, this works out perfectly fine and is very convenient. But with some posts, like my monthly round-ups, I have to work on the draft over a few weeks, adding in review links and books as I go, and sometimes, sometimes, I end up queueing the post before it is actually finished. And sometimes I think I'll remember to add in that extra link or text before it's actually published and I don't. This probably wouldn't be such a problem, except for one of my little writing quirks.

You see, sometimes I write little notes to myself about the writing as I go along. Normally these are in italics or capitals to differentiate them from the rest of the publishable text - for example, put picture here. It's happened more than once that I've forgotten to remove these little notes to self and accidentally published an article that has PUT THE FREAKING LINK HERE U PRUNE written in. Oops. 

The Reading

One of the nice things about book blogging and getting Advanced Review Copies is that sometimes I get books that wouldn't normally read. This is because, for some reason, I feel more inclined to pick up a book I wouldn't normally read when it's free. The problem with this is that, with a book I've bought I feel no obligation to read it, but with an ARC I feel that there is some sort of moral obligation to read the book, even if it is terrible. And if that isn't bad enough, I then have to write a review of it and feel extra-bad when I put said review on Amazon.

What's worse is when some books on Netgalley are only offered as a download. These downloads have to be read on a computer or tablet (already bad, never met anyone who prefers to read books on a laptop) and they have expiration dates. So what happens is you get approved, download the book, and forget about it - I've had this happen with two separate books. Allow me to set the scene:

  • I'm on my laptop, messing around. It's late at night.
  • Then, out of the corner of my eye, I see it - that book with one day left on it's expiration date. Shia surprise!
  • I drop everything to start reading, because once it expires I have no other way of reading it & my Netgalley review % already isn't great
  • It's a terrible book
  • I suffer
  • I stay up all night reading this terrible book (no names), my eyes are tired, but I have to do it

Not fun. Don't do it kids.

Featuring a photo by yours truly

The Instagram-ing

It's not like an official rule that a book blogger must also run a book Instagram. But I have found a lot of them do and as I was already familiar with Instagram I set one up (shameless self promo: atlasrisingbooks). I take my photographs on my phone in dodgy indoor lighting and overuse all the filters: in essence, my photos are ugly, but I find it fun. It's very amusing when someone walks in on me taking my pictures. Again, imagine the scene:

  • Twenty year old woman in pajamas at midday holding phone
  • Neck craned and limbs in some bizarre position to avoid getting weird shadows in photo
  • Cursing
  • Origami stars EVERYWHERE
  • Piles of rejected books (cover too shiny, colours too odd, just ugly)
  • Wails of why does this look so good here but so terrible on camera??
  • Fake cheap flowers all over the floor
  • "Oh that will just have to do"

Anyone who has walked in on such a scene tends to back out very slowly. But seriously, I have the utmost respect for those that manage and curate such beautiful book Instagram accounts - it's so difficult and these people have such patience and talent!

What's the strangest or funniest thing you've done for your blog?

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