My 2018 Book Blogging Plan – The First of Many Posts

November 13, 2017     The Bluestocking Bookworm     Books, Little Free Library, Personal, Random Thoughts, Reading

Last week, someone I knew on Twitter was talking about how she was deleting her NetGalley and Edelweiss accounts. I tried reaching out to her to see if I could link to her post when I wrote this, but sadly she has deleted her Twitter. UPDATE – She didn’t actually delete her Twitter. Something glitched, or someone hacked it, and deactivated it. She is back now, which is good. ♥

She had her own reasons for doing it, and while they don’t apply to me, I kept thinking about the way it might feel to just… not have to worry about the books I have backlogged.

The Backstory

You see, I am notoriously bad for biting off more than I can chew, and then completely freaking out and stressing myself into a mess when I am trying to work through it all. When I was diagnosed earlier this year with ADD, it wasn’t a huge surprise. Medication has helped somewhat, but I still have some issues with focus and taking on too many projects.

I only just started receiving copies on Edeweiss, but my NetGalley backlog? It is really bad. I might divulge the number eventually, but for right now I will say that I could read nothing but the books I have backlogged, and have books to read for several years. Of course, they will expire before then, but that is beside the point. I am honestly very shocked that certain publishers still grant my requests. Thankful, of course. But shocked.

I saw a post on Twitter about how book blogger culture is reading a book and freaking out about it, and then waiting six months or more for your friends to read it. And that is so true. I love ARCs. They are great, and the fact that I have been getting ARCs is how I have been able to read a lot of these newer books. My library doesn’t always get the biggest stuff in, and I can’t afford to buy books new. Multiple attempts to monetize this blog have failed miserably… So, as a person with a limited income and a library that is sometimes lacking, I am forever grateful for the opportunity to read ARCs. But they also stress me out.

ARCs are a marketing tool, and they make the blogger part of the marketing plan. The best time to post a review for an ARC is up to 2 weeks before the publication date, so that the opening week sales are as high as possible. This is a great thing for everyone involved from the publishers to the authors to the sellers. I don’t always do well with timelines, though. And when I miss a release date for a review, I feel completely awful about it. Thanks, anxiety. I am pretty sure me missing my review deadline isn’t going to be cause for the author not being able to feed their cats this month, but thanks for bringing it up, anyways. Sometimes, my head is an awful place to be.

Another aspect of my decision (which I still haven’t completely outlined, I know) is that I am currently in talks with a local association that supports people with disabilities. I am trying to get back into a “regular” job. For the past 6+ years, I have been working for my parents. They are great. They are accommodating for my needs with my physical limitations, and while the work isn’t something I love, it pays most of the bills. But, my dad is over 65, and will be wanting to retire soon. The room for growth is limited. And the job, doing office work for an industrial machinery repair business, is not something I am passionate about.

My first choice would be to work in the book industry in some way, but living on the prairies of Canada, there isn’t much opportunity for that. The Masters program for library information is too much time, money, and school for me. So, I don’t know where I might end up right now. But I know that change is coming, and it might require some unpaid job experience time, and it might require more schooling… all things that will take me away from blogging. At least for a little bit. So what is my master plan?

My Book Blogging Plan for 2018 – Step 1

In 2018, I will be taking a step back from ARCs. I want to focus on the backlogged ARCs I have. I will NOT be deleting my accounts, but I will be working really hard to not request any new books. I want to work on cultivating more personal relationships with the publishers. I want to have publicists send me books because they are a good fit for me and my blog, instead of me requesting them because I heard from a friend of a friend that it might be OK. And being one of thousands who did so.

I also have plans to work more with and boost local authors, both Manitoban and Canadian. While some of them have been picked up by the big name publishers, a lot of them have not.

And, while you would have to pry my e-books from my cold, dead hands, I am hoping to make a move to more physical review copies. I can more easily see a stack of physical review copies, and can then say “Hey, this is too much” versus having them hidden away on my tablet. And, with the physical copies, I can then pass them along. Either to other bloggers who missed out, or put them into my Little Free Library (after release date, of course) to spread the love into a lower income neighborhood.

More Plans for 2018

I have more thoughts and ideas and plans for Bluestocking Bookworm in 2018. This is just the beginning of my reading resolutions. But this is the biggest change for me.

Have you started thinking about what you want to do in 2018 with regards to your reading? How about other resolutions?

Stay bookish, lovelies!

Talk bookish to me!

4 responses to “My 2018 Book Blogging Plan – The First of Many Posts

  1. I did something similar back in late 2015. I realized that I had way too many arcs, even though I was doing everything I could to get through them as quickly as I could. So I swore off asking for new arcs, with one exception of a certain author, and focused down my arc backlog. But more so, I took a step back from arcs because it was making me hate blogging. I felt too pressured to read those books in a timely manner. Yes, I get why they should be read in a certain time frame, but it meant I had to literally ignore my own books. So starting in 2016, I turned my focus to my owned books, only allowing a couple of arcs a year to be added to my read list. It was one of the best decisions that I made. Not only have I knocked out so many of my own books, but I feel in love with blogging again and that removed pressure to read things in a certain time frame is gone. I also feel like it gave me my blog back, in a way. Along with the pressure of reading arcs in time, I felt that if I wasn’t reading what everyone else was reading then no one would ever visit my blog, but that kept backfiring on me, because those books that everyone was loving and raving about ended up being books I highly disliked. Then I told myself that the number of views don’t matter if I’m not enjoying it. I will continue with this into 2018 because it’s what I feel is right for myself and my blog.

    • This is totally how I feel, like I am ignoring my own books! I have had books at the library expire on me because I got stuck on ARCs for so long. And it makes me sad. So yeah, definitely focusing on my own books, and maybe a few select ARCs.

      The other side to it for me is that I feel like sometimes the book blogosphere is so saturated with the same books. Sometimes it is really nice to read about something else that isn’t on everyone’s radar.

      • I have too many owned books that are unread to even thing about going to the library, not to mention some unfortunate circumstances have made going to the library a no go for me. Maybe one day though, once I read the hundreds, yes hundreds, oh unread books I have in my house.

        Oh my gosh, yes, I totally agree about the saturation as well. I don’t mind seeing the same book once or twice when visiting different blogs or youtube channels, but when every single one of them is talking (and likely gushing) about the same books it’s super annoying. It sends me running in the other direction so fast!

  2. I love e-arcs, but I have way too many of them right now. I may take a step back and only request sequels to series I like instead of new series books. I like your plan though! I also would like to start getting physical copies of arcs, but I don’t really know any publishers.