I…kind of want to start a new blog??

Or…revamp this one?? Depending on when I decide to publish this post, I may have already talked about how I feel like my blog doesn’t have a distinctive voice or honestly what feels like anything distinctive about it, really. I feel like I’m still blogging as though it’s 2012 and everyone’s trying to do what everybody else is doing. I’ve been struggling with trying to find my voice, my niche, and my brand.

However, on Tumblr at least, I seem to have found kind of a niche thing that I’m interested in and people seem to like my content for in…witchcraft?? I’ve mentioned a little bit that I’ve gotten really into witchblr (witch community on Tumblr) lately, and I also started a booklr (book tumblr) that is witchy-themed. Even though I don’t necessarily “believe” in a lot of witchy things (I don’t think magic is real, for instance, don’t believe in faeries or spirits, etc.), I am still super fascinated by it and like the idea of it.

I started exploring witchblr because I discovered it was one of the most popular Tumblr communities in…I think 2017?? Basically right after Tr*mp got elected. A lot of women especially used witchcraft as a way to take back power and control and empower themselves against a world that was making less and less sense and I…really relate and believe in that aspect of it.

I’d love to have a blog that looks at YA from a witchy lens, and do stuff like tarot readings (which I’m learning how to do) for books, write spells from book quotes, create spell jars for characters, and other stuff that is both witchy and bookish. Plus, I’ve already been thinking about an aesthetic for photos.

My main worries are two: 1) that the idea is too niche, and nobody would be interested in reading about witchcraft and YA and 2) I’ll lose interest in witchcraft within a few years or a month.

I used to change my blog names and designs all the time, so I don’t know why I’m so concerned about committing to this long term, but I kind of am. I’m debating just creating a free wordpress blog to try it out, or posting a few witchy features on here first and seeing how people respond to them. I know ultimately how I run my blog is my decision, but it would be nice to know that I wouldn’t lose every follower or reader I’ve gained in the past few months.

I feel like the internet, and especially my blog, has become a place for me to project the person I wish I could be, and fitting in witchy things would definitely fit into that. I still feel kind of embarrassed about my interest in witchy things though, even though I am very interested in it if only because I find it super fascinating. I’d like a place to explore my studies in the subject, and blogging has always been a great outlet for me to express myself.

If anyone has any thoughts on the shift in topic focus, or whether I should try things out on this blog versus creating a whole new blog or change this one completely, I’d love to hear them, though I’d appreciate some kindness and understanding about my general embarrassed feelings.

what I would do if I didn’t blog about books

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the changing landscape of book blogging. Even though I will personally always love blogging, and will probably do it for a very long time, I can still see that book bloggers as influencers on the internet are becoming somewhat less relevant. We don’t see as many blogs with 10K and up followers anymore, and other types of media, like bookstagram and booktube, are the ones getting those kind of numbers now. I’d like to think book blogging still has a place in the book influencing world, because it’s hard to think that something I love to do so much and put so much time into might become outdated at some point.

Sometimes, I can’t help but think about what I would do if I didn’t blog about books and did some other type of book influencing. Obviously since I’m a librarian I don’t have to worry too much about keeping book influencing as part of my life, since it’s literally my career, but I like to have my own corner of the internet as well. So, sometimes I just think about what I might do if I wasn’t a book blogger.

 

lifestyle blogger

I have started enjoying reading lifestyle blogs like The Everygirl, Bustle, and PopSugar a lot more since graduating college. I feel like those are often very relevant to my life and seem to often be catered to people in my age group (mid-20s). I thought about adding lifestyle stuff to one of my old blogs, but I thought it might be too niche to have a bookish lifestyle blog.

 

instagram

I’ve often discussed my struggles with bookstagram on this blog, but I do love the idea of someday if I ever save enough money to take a class in instagramming. I think I’m kind of finding an aesthetic on Insta now, which helps, but I don’t know if I want to limit myself to just books because there are so many bookstagrams out there that are better than me. I also played with the idea of starting a bullet journal instagram, since I would always have a lot of content for it because I journal almost every day, but I am not a great artist and would probably have a very all over the place bujo aesthetic there, too.

 

youtube music channel

I’ve also been thinking about other hobbies I might want to take up. I feel like reading and blogging and writing aren’t exactly hobbies for me because I want to make a career out of them and use them to enhance the career I have, so I have been craving finding something I can do for fun that’s low pressure but gratifying. I like the idea of having a youtube channel where I write songs based off of YA books I read and do covers occasionally. I love to sing, but I’m very self-conscious about it and am not sure how good I actually am. I also don’t have a way to accompany myself, so have been wanting to look into inexpensive keyboards or synths to play around with. I used to love writing songs, and I feel like it could be fun to play around with.

Litsy App: First Impressions

As I discussed in this post, I have been struggling mightily with getting started on bookstagram. I’ve also been having problems keeping track of my unread books, but don’t really like the Goodreads app. So, I was very excited to discover the Litsy app by LibraryThing a couple of weeks ago. Litsy is basically Goodreads and bookstagram put together, with the ability to follow people, like, and comment on photos. You are also given a “litfluence” score, which is influenced by the number of books you add, the number of likes you give, comments, and people following you. As of the writing of this post, I’ve only been using the app for a couple of days, but I’m so excited about it that I want to write an initial reactions post already!

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also, my username is the same as this blog, @awordandawhisper.

So, here are some of my first impressions of Litsy:

  • Lower photo quality than bookstagram. I can’t decide if I like or dislike this about the app at this point. The photo aspect of Litsy seems much more casual and low-key than Instagram, where there are props galore and if you take a photo of a book on your couch it won’t get any likes probably. Litsy users seem to require fewer photography skills and it’s more like a photo diary of bookish moments. I realize I could do photos like these on Instagram, but I still feel like Insta is more “professional” and reliant on aesthetic and photography skills than Litsy so we’ll see.
  • It’s like a photo diary about books. As I just mentioned, Litsy is kind of like a digital diary about books with photos. You can review books, but you can also add a quote you like with or without images attached, or just a blurb about anything relating to a book.

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  • It’s hard to find people to follow. As of right now, they’re having a technical problem where you can’t search for other users. I also don’t know who’s on Litsy so I don’t know who to follow, and you can’t search by genre, and I mostly want to find more YA people, since that’s what I read. So, if you’re on Litsy, tell me and/or give me a follow so I can follow you back!!
  • It’s like the best aspects of Instagram and Twitter. Sometimes I wish I could divide my Insta into categories, like fashion and beauty, bujo, books, etc., so Litsy kind of lets me do that with at least my most favorite thing on Instagram, which is pictures of books! It’s also a bit like book twitter but without the garbage fire that Twitter usually is, at least thus far.
  • The ratings are much easier to decide on than Goodreads. I really don’t like star ratings very much, to be honest, especially since Goodreads doesn’t do half stars. On Litsy, the categories are essentially you liked the book, it was so-so, it was bad, or you didn’t finish it (at least that’s my interpretation of the hot air balloon icon rating). It makes adding ratings to books I add to the app very easy because there are fewer, more straightforward options rather than ambiguous stars, which mean something different for everyone.

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how book blogging has changed (aka i am old)

Though A Word and a Whisper itself is a new blog, I have blogged previously at other locations for slightly upwards of six years (wow I’m so old). I first started blogging during my last year of high school, and throughout that time, I’ve noticed a lot of changes in the book blogging world. I’ve debated writing this post for a while now, but wasn’t sure if I should or not because I didn’t want it to seem like I was insulting past bloggers or not respecting where I came from as a book blogger. But I think it’s okay to acknowledge changes, and acknowledge things about a community you have been a part of that you haven’t always liked. So hopefully people won’t take my comments about past bloggers too personally, and will maybe even relate to some of the things in this post.

  • Book bloggers today have way less drama. I’ve personally noticed less drama happening among the bloggers I currently follow than the ones I used to follow. It seems like instead of drama happening on blogs, it’s happening on Twitter, which is generally a website of garbage fire, so it’s easier to avoid if I want to.
  • Bloggers take themselves less seriously. I think a big reason for the lessening of blogger-specific drama is that bloggers in general seem more light-hearted than in the past. Maybe it’s just the people I follow, but everyone seems to be much friendlier and nicer than in the past. I felt like there used to be a lot more cliqueishness with past book bloggers, with all the super popular bloggers only promoting their equally super popular friends, and a lot of the focus being on the big “celebrity bloggers” who only really talked to and promoted each other.
  • Blogs have somewhat smaller followings. To be fair, I don’t know a lot of blogging stats or what they typically are, but it seems like most of the blogs I follow now have around 1K followers versus thousands upon thousands like they perhaps used to? I think this is also a result of other types of book influencing becoming possibly more popular than blogging, like bookstagram or booktube. Those book influencers seem to be getting a lot more attention than bloggers and seem to be the new trend in book promotion.
  • There is a greater variety of post types and styles. When I started blogging, I think without realizing it I was trying super hard to be like every other blogger because I thought that would make me successful. It seems like now, people are more concerned about writing posts that truly inspire them versus only reviews and meme features. There are still some meme posts, but even those seem more low-key and offer more variety than old ones did.
  • There’s less of a focus on bragging about your book hauls. Back when I first began my very first wordpress blog, I felt a huge amount of pressure to have all of the ARCs, which I could never get because I was a teensy tiny blog, because of meme features like Stacking the Shelves and In My Mailbox. In retrospect, it mostly seems like those types of postings were just a way for people to brag about the great books they got, and if you didn’t have those great books, you were seen as not as good of a blogger. I think having the “right” books and book hauls is still important on some platforms like Instagram, but in blogging it feels like that aspect has quieted down a bit.
  • People are more welcoming. This might just be a me thing, but I feel so much more welcome in the book community now than I ever did even when I blogged consistently for years. Even when I first started posting on this blog, I still somehow got recognized by a fellow blogger in a book award post, and people seemed to start commenting on my posts and liking them much more frequently. Now, I’ll admit I was also very scared of commenting on people’s blogs when I first started, but I think that’s because there was this feeling of certain bloggers being “celebrity” bloggers and they just seemed so unapproachable. People are so nice now, and I have noticed that it’s not just the same blogs getting promoted everywhere like it used to be.
  • Book blogging is maybe less relevant than it used to be?? This one I’m not 100% sure about, but based solely on numbers of followers that bloggers have versus booktubers or bookstagrammers, other forms of book promotion look like they’re getting more attention now than blogs. I think it’s great on one hand that books are being promoted in so many cool ways, but on the other, I am partial to blogging because I love writing and reading posts.

 

So, this post turned out to be a lot more rambling than I originally intended, and I think I said the words seemed and seems about 100 times each. Has anyone else noticed these trends in blogging? Am I totally nuts? Share your thoughts!

my bookstagram thoughts (aka strugglz)

I’ve talked a little on the blog about my bookstagram attempts. I started a bookstagram a while ago here  because I wanted to experiment with a new hobby, and I thought photography might be something fun. I love all the bookstagrams I follow and thought that doing one would be feasible, since I am passionate about books and therefore would enjoy photographing them.

However, starting a bookstagram has not been as easy or rewarding or enjoyable as I thought it would be. Here are some of the reasons I’ve been struggling with it:

  • Lack of a good camera. I only have a phone camera to work with, which apparently people can do, but I can’t take a variety of types of photos with it like I would want to. I also have limited editing capabilities because of this. I’d really like a DSLR camera, but those are expensive and I’m worried about spending a ton of money on something that I’m just starting out doing. I have a couple lower-end digital cameras on my wishlist, but the one I most want is upwards of $400 because it comes with a bunch of other stuff like cool lenses and different memory cards and a tripod, which I really want so I can take better photos of myself or of other things at better angles. But again, it’s a lot of money and I’m worried about spending so much on something I might not end up liking. But without it, I also don’t have much of a chance of experimenting because all I have is my phone. It is dillematic.
  • Not enough physical copies. Most of the ARCs I read are eARCs, and I had to leave half of my physical collection of books at home when I moved, which was very sad. I honestly don’t even have enough shelf space in my apartment to store all the books anyway. But not having a lot of physical copies means not a ton of variety in my bookstagram pictures. Most bookstagrammers seem to have hundreds of books, and I definitely do not have hundreds of books. I could probably afford to buy more books if I wanted to, but again, not having space is a problem.
  • No good backgrounds. I guess I could just use white posterboard for backgrounds of books, but the minimalist bookstagram accounts don’t seem to do as well as the colorful ones, though minimalist is more my aesthetic for bookstagram anyway. Photography backgrounds don’t have to be super expensive, but I still have to spend money on them, and it’s money I don’t have a ton of right now.
  • No accessories. Bookstagrammers all seem to have adorable accessories that go with their photos. A lot of it is normal household stuff, but some is more creative like pretty oragami things or fake flowers. Again, I don’t have the money or the space for that kind of stuff.

 

So what a lot of my bookstagram struggling comes down to is lack of money and space. I’m realizing that basically any type of Instagram requires someone to be well off financially, and since I’m just starting out being financially independent, that does not describe me. A couple other bloggers have written about privilege and Instagram, and I’m definitely starting to feel like class privilege is major when it comes to being able to have a pretty Instagram.

Still, I’d really like to experiment with photography and have my very own aesthetically pleasing Instagram. I’m also starting to realize I don’t want to focus on just one subject, and maybe have more of a lifestyle-type Instagram, even though mine would be like a literary lifestyle Instagram, which seems not to be a thing yet. I have ideas for book posts, bullet journal posts, body positive posts, and makeup posts, but all of those things don’t usually go together in one Instagram. But I might be thinking too much about what a “typical” popular Instagram is and gaining followers right away instead of doing one that I just happen to enjoy.

I don’t know where I’m going to go with Instagram yet, but I’m leaning towards getting a good camera that I can do more experimenting with after a few more paychecks. I just want to find a new creative outlet to do that will maybe help distract me from being anxious sometimes and give me more to think about. We’ll just have to see if it works out, I guess.

 

Tell me about your experiences with Instagram! What advice do you have for me?

thinkin bout the blog…

No, no, I’m not quitting already or taking a hiatus (woohoo, consistently blogging since mid-March!!). I just want to share some of the things I’m thinking about doing with this blog going forward. I have a lot of ideas and want to write them down somewhere, and where better to do it than on the blog so I can share and also hopefully get some feedback?

Here’s what I’m thinking:

  • Only giving full reviews to diverse books. Diversity in YA is something that’s super important to me, and I’ve been thinking that I’d really like this blog to reflect that. I don’t do a whole lot of reviews on this blog in general, but I think I might want to make it a policy to only give full-length reviews to diverse books. I’ll definitely still do recommendation or want-to-read posts about other books, but I don’t think I need to give the same amount of attention to those books because they already get that attention from most bookish community influencers.
  • Doing weekly wrap-up posts. This is one I’m still on the fence about because it’s a weekly commitment, but I do love doing my monthly wrap-up posts. Still, there are some things I don’t do on monthly wrap-ups that I could do on weekly ones to change things up. I’d like to shine light on my own posts, either just what I’ve written in general or what was most or least popular for the week to drive more traffic to those posts. I’d also like to share cool things from around the blogosphere that I’ve been reading. There are always so many cool posts from other bloggers, but I tend to forget who wrote what by the end of a full month, so a weekly thing might be best. Plus, I’ve noticed that I get more views on Sunday posts than Friday or Saturday posts anyway.
  • Writing more about librarianship. When I started this blog, I really did intend to write a whole lot more about my first full-time library job. Unfortunately, that hasn’t actually ended up happening much on here. I think I feel nervous about writing about something I feel so vulnerable and lacking confidence in, and it’s not as fun to write about the fact that I fail sometimes. I find it weirdly easier to write about bad mental health or personal issues than I do about my professional life and potential things I’m not doing as well as I think I should be on in that arena.
  • An occasional self-help feature. Last year, my therapist at the time recommended Brene Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection to me, and I actually ended up really enjoying it. I’d never read self-help books before, but that book got me curious about other self-help books out there. I’ve been meaning to read another one of her books for a while, Daring Greatly, and, in order to encourage myself on my self-help book exploration journey, I’ve been thinking I might want to start a feature called selfhelpme about either specific books I read or cool things I read in the books that I want to discuss further. This is primarily a YA blog of course, but I don’t see any harm in doing an occasional feature of another type of book I like reading.

 

When I started writing this post I thought I had way more things to write about, but apparently I did not. So those are all the things! I don’t want to make any major changes because I like how I blog now, but those are just some things I’m thinking about doing in the future to add to it 🙂 Please feel free to tell me your thoughts!!

how I’m blogging differently now

I’ve mentioned here before that this is not my first go-around with blogging, even though this is a new blog. Before blogging at A Word and a Whisper, I blogged for about 6 years, experimenting on different platforms, but mostly on a WordPress blog you probably haven’t heard of, because I started out as and remained a teeny-tiny blogger for my entire blogging career. I learned a lot through my old, now no-longer-existent blogs about what I like and don’t like and what works and what doesn’t work in blogging for me. I’ve already noticed some things I’ve been doing differently this time around the blogging bend, and wanted to reflect and share some of them today:

  • Blogging about what I want. This probably seems like a given and a little silly, but I am much better at writing posts about things I enjoy posting about now. I don’t feel as obligated to consistently do weekly meme posts, which I do enjoy, but sometimes I don’t want to do the topic or something and now I don’t feel like I have to do them which is nice. I am also simply much more in tune with what I want to post and don’t try to follow what other bloggers are writing about as much.
  • Not writing reviews. I do love talking about books and recommending books, obviously, but I don’t think of A Word and a Whisper as primarily a review blog, as I used to with my former blogs. I write a lot more bookish discussion posts and casual book recommendation posts that I enjoy more. I do have a couple review-esque posts coming up, but they’re not traditional essay-long reviews that I used to feel like I have to write. I still write about books of course, since this is a book blog primarily, just in different ways that I enjoy more.
  • Engaging with the community more. Something that I always felt was totally missing from my previous blogging experience was actually feeling like a part of the bookish community. I always felt that nobody would notice if I stopped blogging because I got so few comments, likes, and didn’t really talk to people online because I was so shy and didn’t think my opinions really mattered or that people would want to talk to me. Since starting this blog, I’ve made an active effort to comment on other blogs, respond to my own comments, and comment back. I think that has already made a difference in how I feel about blogging in terms of validation and also I think I’m already making a tiny footprint impact on the community.
  • Following the right bloggers. There is obviously no “right” way to blog or really “right” bloggers to follow, but I feel that I am now following and interacting with bloggers who are more similar to me in personality and in how they view blogging than when I started. I think when I first started, there were few book blogs and a more “big” or “celebrity” bloggers, who I did like, but also made me feel too intimidated by to talk to since they were so popular. I think blogging in general is a lot less serious and drama-fueled than in the past, people are friendlier and want to engage more, and I’ve found bloggers who care about issues I care about in the book world, which makes me feel like I’m on their level even though I’m new versus feeling like I’ll never reach their level of fame.
  • Not trying to be like everybody else. This, I think, goes along with writing what I want to write about. In the beginning, I was just so enamored with the concept of book blogging that I wanted to emulate the style and topics of posts that other book bloggers wrote. However, I eventually grew frustrated by this because I felt like I was doing all the “right” things, but not getting anywhere in terms of “success” or in the community. In retrospect, a lot of the blogs that used to exist did sound kind of the same; people even wrote about the same books a lot of the time. It seems to me that bloggers now are much more interested in being individuals and not doing the same-old, same-old in terms of blogging.

Mostly, I think what’s different about my blogging experience this time around is that I’m doing my best to do what I always wanted to do when I used to blog. I’m trying to be braver and less shy online and actually talk to people, which is helping me enjoy the day-to-day of blogging a lot more. I’m putting less pressure on myself to do what everyone else is doing and on blogging a certain way. In general, I’m simply trying to make blogging more fun and use it as an outlet as opposed to making it something I feel obligated to do.

my experiences with books & social media

Social media is a huge part of our world, and a huge part of book promotion and talking about books today. There are now so many apps, websites, and other means to talk about books through social media, and sometimes, it can be hard to find one that fits you, what promotes your ideas the best, or what you are good at. I’ve done some experimenting on a variety of social media platforms since I began talking about books publicly over five years ago, and today, I want to talk about my experiences with the ones I’ve tried.

the twitters

I am so, so bad at Twitter. I honestly just don’t understand how to write engaging Tweets or Tweet to other people or anything about Twitter. I don’t really get the point of it? And I like writing long things. Plus, even though I have 600+ followers, whenever I tweet something original, I never get responses, so I simply don’t see the point of it. Some people are really good at Twitter, like Cait from Paper Fury and author Justina Ireland, but I don’t think I personally have enough skill or online charisma to do Twitter right.

Also, Twitter is honestly such a garbage fire most of the time in terms of drama that I can’t deal with. I don’t think I’d do that well with trolls because of my anxiety, and I’m not not-shy enough to really challenge people directly on Twitter when I disagree with them or want to call out something problematic, even though doing that is important to me.

In general, Twitter feels too direct for me and since I’m already kind of shy online, it’s not for me.

 

bookstagram

I love looking at other bookstagramer’s posts and Insta has become one of my favorite social media things to browse. I recently started experimenting with my own bookstagram account (@awordandawhisper), because I’ve been wanting to try out a new creative hobby. However, I’ve been realizing that I need some more tools to make my account look more professional and achieve an “aesthetic.” I don’t quite understand the whole business of choosing and finding an “aesthetic,” because my creativity is so mood-based, but I’d certainly like to try.

It’s also tough because I had to leave so many of my physical books at home when I moved because I just couldn’t take all of them with me, so now I have fewer physical books to work with. I already feel like I’ve been using too many of the same titles and worry about running out of books to use. However, I have been getting more current ARCs since becoming a librarian, so that is a plus in terms of bookstagram content.

Another thing I struggle with on Instagram is captioning the photos. I want to be cute and clever like other bookstagramers I follow, but I feel so constrained by the tiny amount of words that show up, and I know I personally don’t read captions on Instagram, so I have a hard time truly caring enough to work on that aspect of booksta.

 

blogs

Obviously, this is my true bookish promotion passion. I just prefer having a lot of space to write and being able to write in a variety of formats. I don’t like being stuck with only one thing. I think I’ve grown a lot as a blogger over the past 5-6 years, and I like where I’m going using blogging as a platform. Sometimes I wonder about the relevance of blogging when compared to the other platforms on this list, but I like it and enjoy it, so I’m trying not to let that get to me too much. The other social media platforms are ones I’ve mostly used to promote blogging versus using them as my only book-talking medium. I’d like to get better at the other ones, but it’s hard to get really good at them when I’m doing so many at one time. In the long run, I think it’s best for me to stick with 1-2 that I love doing and that I’m good at.

 

booktube

I think booktubers are really the people who have the type of followings that book bloggers used to have now. Personally though, I don’t like watching videos because I like reading blog posts at my own pace, and if they talk about a book I’m not interested in hearing about, I can skip over it in a blog post versus a video. Plus, I feel like there are SO MANY booktubers who just annoy the heck out of me. If I don’t like your voice or if you’re overly enthusiastic and excited, it turns me off and I’m not going to want to listen to you all the time.

I tried booktube a couple times, but I have ZERO video recording or editing skills, and I hate how I look on camera. I also LOVE writing, and am just not as interested in video recording, so there’s really no point to me attempting booktube again.

 

Which other social media platforms have you tried using to talk about books? What do you think about book blogging’s place in book social media? Do you have any Instagram resources or tips that could help me?

why I no longer do blog tours

When I first started blogging, I was so desperate to be accepted for blog tours. To be honest, I mainly wanted the chance to read ARCs and the blog publicity because I was a tiny baby blog, as I am again now (alas). However, I have realized over time that blog tours and review requests are really not for me, and today I’m going to talk a little bit about why I don’t do them anymore and don’t plan to do any on this blog.

  • I might not like the book. The point of a tour is book promotion, and not liking the book makes it hard to feel inspired to promote a book, even if you’re not doing a review post. I have honestly done tours where I’ve done a review post but disliked the book, then been too afraid to tell the tour hosts I didn’t like it, so painstakingly looked for even the tiniest things I enjoyed about it in order to have something to write about.
  • I’m a mood reader. If I’m not in the mood for a book, it’s honestly way less likely that I’m going to enjoy it. I might be in the mood for the book before I request it, but if I don’t have a copy already, I obviously won’t be reading it for a while, and my reading mood can change on a whim, so it’s not a great system to get me to read a book.
  • I don’t personally like reading tour posts. Obviously the person is going to say they liked the book, or else they wouldn’t be on the tour, so I feel that there is no point in reading a post whose purpose is just to sell a book. I want posts that are more nuanced and interesting, and I don’t get that with tour posts, so why would I elect to write them?
  • I might not have time to read the book. Since I am such a mood reader, I might not start the book until a short time before the tour, and then I’,ll feel pressure to finish it, which will make me dislike it.
  • Too much pressure. All in all, tours are just too. Much. Pressure. I have to be in the right mood for it to like it, I have to read it with enough time to fully enjoy it, it has to be good, I have to get in the right mood in time; it’s just too many factors that are up in the air that make being on a book tour stressful, thus lessening my enjoyment of the book, thus making being on the tour pointless.

To be honest, I don’t think I’m even going to put contact information on this blog, because I contact publishers myself when I am interested in reading something, and I don’t want a bunch of spam emails from email blasts that I never signed up for or books by authors who don’t bother to read my blog enough to know that it’s a YA only blog, not romance or erotica or Christian lit.

In short, book promotional tours are not for me. I like to promote books on my terms and my time, and I find them to be far too much pressure when blogging is something I do for fun on the side of the real job where I promote books basically for a living to the actual audience for them.

Have you struggled with participating in blog tours? What are your thoughts on promo posts and events?

my favorite types of posts to write

Since this is probably my fourth or fifth new blog and I’ve been blogging since 2012 (6 years!!), I have learned a lot about myself as a blogger. One of these things is which types of posts I enjoy writing the most. This time around, I am trying to remain a happy blogger and not overwhelm myself or get to the point where I burn out and don’t enjoy the process of blogging anymore. So, part of what I have been doing lately is reflecting on ways I can keep myself a “happy blogger,” and part of that is obviously writing posts that I like writing. Today, I am going to be sharing some of the types of posts I like to write the most.

  • List posts. Basically, anything with bullet points or numbers is totally my jam. When I was still writing reviews on my older blogs, I actually contemplated only writing posts, including reviews, in lists because I just love lists that much. I find it much easier to organize my thoughts in list form because I have some kind of structure, and since my blog posts tend to be somewhat short and kind of rambling, lists are great.
  • Personal posts. This is probably kind of weird since in general I’m a shy and quiet person, but I really like writing posts where I get to share something personal about myself. I feel like writing a post about an issue or topic I care about from my personal perspective makes my points more valid and also gives me an outlet to express thoughts and feelings I don’t get to in other places in my life. Sometimes, even when I have an idea of what I am going to write in a personal post, the idea changes and evolves when I’m writing it, so I end up reflecting more deeply about myself and that can be really helpful.
  • Short posts. I’ve always felt like my posts tend to be on the short side of things in the book blogging world. Other people write five paragraph reviews and call it a “mini” review, and I’m over here writing a two paragraph review and don’t bother putting a “mini” label on it. I’ve always felt kind of self-conscious about the length of my posts, but I also try to write posts I’d want to read, and I tend to like short posts. So there.
  • Posts about writing. I haven’t been able to do one of these on this blog yet because I haven’t really written since NaNoWriMo of last year. However, when I was writing about my creative process and how the WIP was going on the other blog, I found it really encouraged me to keep going and helped me work some things out.
  • Posts about issues relating to diversity. Diversity issues of all kinds are really important to me, but I’m especially drawn to talking and caring about mental illness, queer issues, sexism, and racism. Sometimes, I really wish I was a bigger voice in the YA community online, because I want to encourage other white people to talk about race and other white women especially to not just care about sexism. I also think bloggers should be in on these conversations more, because we do have some influence in the book community, and it shouldn’t just be up to authors to do all the work in addition to the time they have to spend creating their work for us. Bloggers are in a special position to step up and help take on these issues, and I think we need to do that more as a whole.

What do you like writing about? How do you decide how long posts are going to be or what format they’re going to be in?