Just like all fun and slightly artistic things, book blogging very rarely turns out how you think it will.
I’m sure most writers and artists suffer from this so don’t even fret, you small pineapple. You’re fine. I’m sure the bloke * who sat down to paint the Mona Lisa actually at first thought she was going to smile pleasantly and not have that snarky self-satisfied smile that basically says “I ate the last piece of cake lol @ you for not knowing yet”.
And this is okay! We are totally all used to expectations being different from the reality. Which is why today I want to list some expectations vs reality moments we book bloggers encounter. Or, like, I encounter. You probably have a completely functional time with your blog. You probably have not written 3 posts in a row trying to come up with one that didn’t smell like a dead cabbage. ** But perhaps some of you are as deluded as I and will therefore relate. Come stand with me in solidarity, friend. We will raise the flags and strike at the barricades and sing rousing songs of companionship together. ***
* I do know his name but I NEVER use the word “bloke” around here and it was a glorious opportunity to remind you that (a) I am Australian, and (b) I’m horrible.
** HEY IT’S ME. GUESS WHAT I’VE BEEN DOING FOR LIKE 5 HOURS STRAIGHT.
*** Or smile awkwardly at each other and say “same” and then leave quickly because why not.
“BEING AN ORGANISED BOOK BLOGGER WITH SCHEDULED POSTS OF AWESOME.”
Because I am a professional Book Dragon QUEEN and will be organised at dawn. My intentions are so good. So pretty. So precious and pure.
“IS WRITING A POST FRANTICALLY WITH 2 SECONDS TO SPARE.”
I actually do keep a schedule. I generally post Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday. And I schedule posts to publish at 7pm! But WHEN do I schedule?? Hmm, let me see…
How about 3 MINUTES BEFORE THE 7PM MARK BECAUSE PANIC IS GREAT FOR CREATIVITY.
Spoiler: no no it’s really not.
Why do I even schedule. I don’t know. I like to be consistent but apparently it would kill me to have a post up at 7:03pm so there’s that.
“HAS READ THE ARC IN ADVANCE BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT IT’S CALLED, YOU GUMNUT.”
ARCs are delightful creatures sent from publishers to loveable reviewers to generate pre-release buzz. #nice So obviously you read them in order and have reviews ready to go in a timely manner. And by “timely” I just mean before the end of the world. But it’s not that hard to read an ARC on time, right??!
“HAS ARCS FROM 1876 HIDING IN THE CLOSET.”
Apparently “ARC” stands for advanced readers copy and not Affable Rocket Cupcake which is what I was lead to believe initially. And unlike cupcakes who are quite affable at all times it’s true — ARCs actually need to be read either in advance or close to release date. This makes sense in retrospect and yet…WHY IS IT SO HARD TO READ THINGS IN THE RIGHT ORDER.
WHY AM I READING AN ARC THAT COMES OUT IN JUNE WHEN THE ONE IN FEBRUARY ISN’T READ YET.
WHAT IS MY LIFE.
LOWER ME INTO THE ALLIGATOR PIT.
CURSE MY MOOD READING TENDENCIES.
“WILL TAKE A PHOTO OF THIS BOOK FOR BOOKSTAGRAM BECAUSE IT’S SO PRETTY!”
There’s nothing like a nice aesthetic photo of a book to go with your blog post, or grace your #bookstagram feed with its glory. Just take the picture and post it. Just take it, Harold. Why is there panic in your eyes?? For goodness sakes WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG.
“THIS BOOK WAS A LOT PRETTIER BEFORE I TOUCHED IT, LET’S BE HONEST.”
Look things go wrong. I, for one, am living in a town that has 90% humidity regularly. The other day I glanced at my TBR only to see IN UTTER HORROR that half the covers were just curling over. Like I was the kind of monster who bends books??? But I’m not?? I try to keep them in pristine condition, I TRY. And yet the weather is mean to me and honestly we’re going to war.
OTHER TRAGEDIES THAT RUIN MY PHOTO TAKING OPPORTUNITIES:
- I broke the spine on accident.
- The cover isn’t laying flat anymore omg.
- Where did I put it.
- Did I already take photos of it???
- Why are the photos blurry tho.
- This post was supposed to be up by now.
- IT’S THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT AND WHY ARE THE PHOTOS BLURRY WHEN I NEED THEM.
“EVERYONE WILL WANT ME TO READ THEIR BOOK BECAUSE I AM A NUMBER ONE FAN AND WILL PROMOTE LIKE A BOSS.”
You have a good blog. You’re a good reviewer. You absolutely LOVE that author SO SO MUCH and you know you’re going to promote this book so beautifully. Just listen, publishers, and approve this request. Go on now, we love ya.
“HOW ABOUT YOU DON’T GET THAT ARC AT ALL EVER.”
No no. You’re not crying. There’s something in your eye.
And it’s not selfish to be sad about missing out on a book you really wanted, because a lot of us can’t afford all the books we are dyyyying to read. Because money. So it’s okay to be sad! (Just as long as you’re not a stink fish about it.)
But like sometimes the REASONS you don’t get the book makes. no. sense. For instance:
- no you live in the wrong country
- no they’re all gone even though you requested in advance
- no we just forgot about you
- no aliens attacked the office and accidentally clicked decline on your Netgalley request
- no we are only approving bloggers who can sing the polka
“I’VE BEEN BLOGGING FOR 3+ YEARS SO I KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I’M DOING.”
Because the more you do something = the more practise you get = the more confident you get, AM I RIGHT OR AM I RIGHTER?!?
“I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT I’M DOING.”
Look, I’ll have been blogging for 6 years this May. I have no idea (a) why some posts fail and some do well, (b) how to actually write a book review…like I don’t even know, (c) what the best posting time is, (d) if all my stats from Russia are enthusiastic Russian bookworms or cultured Russian spambots, (e) how my blog even WORKS I just got nothing, mate, I get my relative to sort it out when it breaks, (f) how to spell, nope, I am the Typo Queen, (g) how to do a blog tour without freaking out if I’m formatting it right, (h) also formatting…why, and (i) hoooooow do you have an oPINION and have it MAKE SENSE?????????
“I’LL READ THAT BOOK IMMEDIATELY FOR I’VE LONGED FOR IT SO LONG!!”
A glorious thing about book blogging is obviously all the recommendations. THERE ARE SO MANY GOOD BOOKS OUT THERE, HOLY CAKE POPS, JUST GIVE ME A SECOND TO READ THEM ALL!! Or maybe two seconds!! Maybe even three!!
“HOW ABOUT I PROCRASTINATE READING IT FOREVER.”
For no reason. I just…I’ll probably adore it but also who knows so maybe next year. This makes sense. I’m sure.
“I WILL TAKE BREAKS AND HIATUSES WHEN I NEED THEM AND NOT FEEL BAD!”
Because this is wise! Healthy! And NO ONE can just produce art all the time without breaks and times to recharge. Hiatuses are a necessary snack in the sandwich of life.
“BUT EVERYONE WILL FORGET ABOUT ME AND MY BLOG WILL DIE.”
Is this a little dramatic? Heck yes. Do I still think it? WELL HECK YES TO THAT TOO. And also, excuse me, but how will the little blog go if it’s all alone?? Will it be sad??? Will it cry in the darkness for me??? WHAT KIND OF MONSTER AM I TO LEAVE IT???? *
* To clarify I do believe in hiatuses and rests…but is the irrational crisis still there? Absolutely, Mildred, absolutely.
“THIS IS JUST GOING TO BE A SMALL HOBBY AND I’LL PROBABLY GET TIRED OF IT IN A WHILE.”
Because, I mean, you don’t get paid…there are dark sides of blogging and reviewing…most hobbies only last for a handful of months or years. I DON’T KNOW, MATE. You’ll probably be over this soon.
“BLOGGING IS MY LIFE AND I LOVE IT AND I WILL BE DOING THIS WHEN I’M 85.”
Because it’s also gloriously addictive!! And you get better at it and you make FRIENDS and it’s fun. Sure not everyone stays. But I honestly can’t see myself stopping blogging anytime soon unless I finally give in to the pressures of my peer Sauron and decide to smite a galaxy with my bloodshot eye and that might use up my down time and then maybe I’ll have to let blogging take a backseat.
But that’s not this day.
But receiving books NEVER GETS OLD!!! And having someone say “HEY I BOUGHT THIS BOOK BECAUSE OF YOUR BLOG POST” never stops being the most amazing thing!!! And publishing a post and seeing it go viral is something I’ve not encountered but I assume IT WOULD BE AMAZING AND I’M WAITING FOR IT!!! YAY!!!
“MY BLOG WILL BE VERY NICHE. SO NICHE.”
Because that’s good for traffic, probably, and also I’ll have this nice theme and always know what to say.
“ALSO CAN WE TALK ABOUT CAKE AND ALLIGATORS.”
Sometimes I pretend I have a book blog but we all know it’s just a thinly veiled disguise for all my other interests, including food and reptiles because I’m a Slytherin and they are my cousins.
“I WILL SIT DOWN TO WRITE A POST NOW!
Like the good blogger you are, you put aside some time to get started on that post for tomorrow. Or, like, that post that’s due to be put up in 4 minutes. Either way!!! You’re going to do it now!!
“WHY IS THE SCREEN STILL BLANK.”
Why am I on twitter right now. I thought I was blogging.
I usually end up having a lovely time like this:
Brain: We need to write that blog post.
Me: *READS BOOK INSTEAD*
Brain Okay so read that ARC you should’ve finished back in Noah’s era.
Me: *WRITES BLOG POST*
“I WILL NOT ADD EVERY GOOD BOOK RECOMMENDATION PEOPLE GIVE ME TO MY TBR PILE BECAUSE I’M WISE AND SENSIBLE AND SMART.”
One must be careful they don’t drown in books, after all. And surely you won’t have time to read every book. And I mean, you won’t just add that one for the cover and because your blogging friend was raving, right??? You don’t even like that genre!
“NOPE. I NEED THEM ALL.”
Excuse me while I LIVE ON GOODREADS AND ADD ALL THE BOOKS and if you think death will stop me — #nope. I will either become an immortal or a vaguely literate ghosts. All these books will be read. By me. At dawn. GOODNIGHT. And don’t even get me started on “you don’t generally like that genre” because whaaaaaat if I do this time????? I just need to try.
I’m fine. This is fine. 9,871 books on the TBR is fine.
give me an example of YOUR expectations vs reality experiences for book blogging!! and do you relate to any of mine???! and does anyone else have guilty books they should’ve read by now?!