Thursday 25 January 2018

[article] AtlasRisingBooks Turns One!

A Year in the Life of a Book Blogger

AtlasRisingBooks Turns One!

Or, I successfully manage to run this circus for a year

When I take up a new hobby I do try very hard to stick to it. But I don't always manage it; previous failed hobbies include crocheting, digital artwork, kung fu, yoga, and learning to code. These lasted a couple of months at best, taken up at a moment of passion and then soon given up, but writing book reviews has, somehow, managed to last an entire year! I'm super proud of myself and I'm going to reflect a little bit on my year of book blogging, including some blogging tips!

The Successes

Number one of my list of blogging successes is that I've consistently posted a review or an article pretty much every three days. The exception to this is the last few weeks, when I've had some very serious exams and my blogging queue (normally my lord and saviour in times of stress) ran out... Apologies for the lack of content! Please be assured that I will be getting back on track over the next week, and I've read some books I really want to rave about (hint hint, I'm talking about Golden Son and Morning Star). 

I've managed to build up a small, but significant (and loved) readership. Popularity is not always, or even often, the key to success, but damn does it feel good! I'm just shy of 500 friends and followers on Goodreads, have another 20 direct followers on this blog, and consistently get pageviews every day, which is pretty nice :) Massive shoutout to people that comment on my reviews - I love you guys and your comments are always read and appreciated (even if I can be terrible at replying). 

I took some of my own advice! Three months into my blogging adventure I wrote a post detailing some of my blogging tips and, like most people, I'm alright at giving advice but not the best at following it. I recommended that bloggers:

  • Use the queue on their blog, lining up posts in advance so you don't have to remember to post 
  • Jot down some initial thoughts upon finishing a book - I often write these down on Goodreads when I mark a book as finished
  • Write reviews between three days and a week after reading, to allow thoughts to mull around but not to forget anything major - I do my best with this one, but alas I often have quite a hectic life  

The Not-Successes

In the very same article, I recommended that people take photos of their books if they also run a bookstagram. My bookstagram, I am ashamed to admit, is a trainwreck - there are either two posts a day for a week, or nothing for a month - and I really ought to rectify that. I'm just not any good with a camera! On that note, I ought to go make a post...

My eternally long, towering TBR (to be read) pile. This is already bad enough with books that I buy and own - I source most of my books from second-hand bookstores, so it's not really a matter of spending too much money, but rather of buying books with the intention of reading them and then just not - but add Netgalley into the mix and ahhhhh. Netgalley, a site which provides book reviewers with advance copies of soon-to-be-published books provides you with a nice percentage of the books you have read and reviewed out of all the books you have received from them. The goal is a nice, round 80%. Currently, as I have been for about three months, I'm sitting at about 70% and it won't go any higher! I read a book, tick it off the list, and then I go and request five more. It's a vicious cycle. 

The Conclusion

Over the year, I can conclude that being a book blogger is a lot of fun! Talking to people who love books about books is fantastic, getting books before they're published, for free, is amazing, knowing that sometimes people read my reviews and like them makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. 

I also believe I promised some blogging tips, so here's what I think has been most important in my journey:

  • Reading books I feel passionate about - whether I hated it or loved it, it's much easier to review a book I cared about, rather than one that was just "meh"
  • Don't get too caught up in the statistics - yeah, it can be a bit sad to write a raving review that you were really proud of and to see it get two views, but firstly, popularity isn't a great measure of your reviewing skills or passion, and secondly, reviews can get loads of hits at really weird times - I've had reviews up for months that suddenly get a spike in views for no apparent reason
  • Treasure people that comment on your blog and try and do the same for others, it's nice
  • And, to end on a cliche, enjoy yourself!

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