Let’s talk about one of my favorite things in the world today: book blogging! I never thought I would say those words over three years ago. In fact, I didn’t even know what book blogging meant back then. I knew about blogging. I knew about books. But I had no clue the two could go together. Until a friend was like “you read a lot, you should start a blog about all the books you read.” And in my state of unemployment, I thought, well shit that sounds fun. So I threw a blog together and hit publish the same day.
Yes, the same day. I probably should have pumped the brakes and did some more research, but I was excited. I had no idea a whole community of book bloggers existed. I didn’t know what BEA was. Hell, I didn’t even know what Goodreads was. True story. I didn’t know what an ARC was. I had no idea what an egalley was. I didn’t even own a Kindle. But I had my library card, my computer and I was ready to go.
Because really, that’s all you need. Books and a computer. Boom. You’re a book blogger. But I see you sitting there shaking your head at me. It’s too hard, you’re thinking. I don’t know anything about the technology. I hear you. And I am now here to convince you to finally take the leap and start your own book blog.
Plus if you make it to the end of this post (or skip to the bottom…) I have a super helpful guide to get you started setting up your very own book blog!
1. The books, duh
Obviously this is number one on the list. You get to read all the books!! So for those of you who don’t know, an ARC is an advanced readers copy. Basically you get to read books before they’re actually published. An egalley is the same thing, just in ebook format. Now, you don’t get these right when you start blogging. It takes time to establish yourself as a blogger first. But slowly they will start trickling in until you’re drowning under a pile of ARCs and suffering from review copy guilt like all the rest of us book bloggers.
But it’s not even just about the ARCs. It’s also just the knowledge that comes with book blogging. You’ll be the first to know about every book coming out in all your favorite genres because you’ll become so ingrained in the book blogging and publishing world. You’ll hear about everything. You’ll know when your favorite author signs a new deal the second the information is released. Yes, you can know all these things if you’re not a book blogger, but trust me, you’ll know them quicker if you blog.
2. The Friends
My real life friends look at me weird when I talk about my blogging friends. Internet friends?? I don’t know about that, Rebecca.
My book blogging friends are now people I call my best friends. I talk to Wendy, my book soul sister, more than I talk to my Mom. No seriously, that’s a real thing.
Here’s the thing. Book bloggers get you. People who aren’t readers don’t really get it. They don’t understand our passion for books. They don’t understand why we would rather sit at home on a Friday night with a book than go out drinking at the bar. They don’t understand why we would want to use our precious vacation time to go to a book conference. They don’t understand our excitement when we’re going to an author event. And they certainly don’t understand when we are depressed at work because of some horribly traumatizing event we experienced while reading the night before.
But guess what? Other book bloggers? They get it. And you will bond over it and then you will have friends all over the world and when you go to BEA in May you will reunite and it will be magical and perfect and you will never want to return to those boring real life friends.
3. Improved Writing Skills
Having a blog will make you a better writer. Maybe. I might have just made that up. But you write a lot when you’re a blogger and the more you do something, the better you get at it, right? Sure it’s not always formal writing. Sometimes it’s all caps because you’re just too excited and sometimes you make up words to get your point across, but I see that as expanding your vocabulary?
4. The Events
Becoming a blogger will open your eyes to so many fun bookish events. There’s ALA, Yallfest, RT, all the author signings and book tours and of course, the mecca, Book Expo (formally known as Book Expo America). All these events will introduce you to publishers, authors and other bloggers. You’ll get news on the latest books. You’ll get to ask your favorite authors all your burning questions. Mostly you’ll just be surrounded by your people and it will feel like one giant party of awesome.
5. Having a Cool Hobby
You know that dreaded question when someone asks you what you like to do for fun? Is it socially acceptable to respond with “Netflix and chill” yet? Perhaps we will get there. Reading is a good answer, but a better answer is reading and running your super awesome, fabulous book blog. People seem to latch onto this and want to know more. It’s a great conversation starter.
I mean, sure, some people look at you like you just landed on planet Earth from outer space, but psh… haters gonna hate. They’re just jealous they don’t have an cool hobby to talk about.
6. Having Something That’s 100% Yours
Your book blog is yours. It’s your baby and you can do whatever you want with it. You can write all the reviews your heart desires. You can do all the Top Ten Tuesday posts you want. You can post 5 times a week. You can post once a week. You can post once a month. You can hustle and hustle to grow your blog. Or you can sit back and let it do its thing.
But here’s the important take away. Your book blog is yours. All you. It’s something you can cultivate and be proud of. It’s somewhere where you can share your honest thoughts and opinions. Having something that’s irrevocably yours is something special. Yes, I might be getting a little mushy here, but this blog has become such a huge part of my life and I’m so thankful it’s mine.
I seriously don’t know what I would be doing with out my book blog. The friends, the outlet it gives me. Basically just listen to me and start a book blog. In fact, I’ve created a handy guide to get you started. You can download it by entering your info below.
Have you thought about starting a book blog? What’s holding you back? And if you already have a book blog, anything to add to this list?