Friday, November 20, 2015

The Blogger Positivity Campaign: Things That the Book Community Should Be Reminded Of

Alright, ladies and gentlemen! It's time for my first official post for The Blogger Positivity Campaign. 

You may recall that I introduced myself and the campaign on Wednesday, but if not, it's a new event brought to you by Jillian from Jillian's Books. It's all about bringing back some of the love that is missing from the book community.

Things the Book Community Should Be Reminded Of

It's no secret that things have felt a little off in the book community lately. Although I think it's sad, I also think that it shows that we are a dynamic community. Yes, there are a lot more book bloggers now than when I started. Yes, there are people who are also quitting and leaving the community. There are new events and features being offered to us. We, the book bloggers, need to find a way to come together during these changing times. Instead of fighting and being sad about things, let's embrace our differences.

Below, you'll find a list of some of the things I think all book bloggers should remember.

You Don't Have to Post Every Single Day

When I first started my book blog, I felt years behind! Silly, right? To make up for lost time, I tried to post something every single day. I wanted to make sure that I averaged one post a day. Let me tell you, it was exhausting. I quickly ran out of reviews and ideas, and I felt really, really overwhelmed.

Now, I post when I have time. I've cut back on a lot blog tours, and instead, I've been focusing on posting things that really matter to me. I read and review on my schedule. If I have ARCs, I read them, and I post those reviews. I also post reviews for books that I buy. I've introduced a few new features of my own, and I've joined a few tours and events, but mostly, I stick to posting what I believe in. I've been so much happier, and I don't care about the number of posts I have by the end of the month.

ARCs Don't Define Your Blog

If you're a book blogger, then you're probably familiar with ARCs or advance reader copies/editions. ARCs are marketing tools that publishers send out to professional and amateur reviewers. These books, whether a physical or digital edition are meant to get the word out about upcoming books through reviews, blog tours, and sometimes guest posts. 

I'm no stranger to ARCs. I get a few, and I appreciate the publishers and publicists who have sent them to me.  What I realize is that they aren't everything. ARCs don't define your status in the blogging community. If you get them, cool. If not, even cooler. It doesn't really matter to me, and it shouldn't really matter to you, either.

There's no need to fight over them. There's no need to complain on social media because you didn't get an ARC of a book. There's no need to set up Instagrams or Twitters to sell the ARCs that you've read. There's no need to sell an ARC on Ebay for $120. It's really ridiculous, and it makes people look childish.

So remember... if you do get ARCs. Do what you're supposed to do with them. Read them. Tell people about the book, but don't make your whole blogging career or hobby about ARCs. They are a great tool, but they don't define you as a blogger or as a person. 

Make Some Friends

When I first started blogging, I didn't really know anyone from the community. Sure, there were a few bloggers that I had already added on Goodreads, but I didn't really have any personal connections with any other book bloggers.

Now, I have a few really good blogging friends that I can count on. I know that I can go to these lovely ladies if I have a bad day. I also know that they understand what it's like to be in my position because we all have book blogging and reviewing in common. 

Making friends with other book bloggers is a great thing, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I don't feel as alone as I used to, and I know there are always people who have my back.

Be Kind

This next idea works in the book community, but it also works just as well in real life. And it's a really simple thing to do!

Just be kind to people. Be nice to other book bloggers. Be nice to your blog's readers. Be nice to everyone who comments on your posts. Be nice to the readers on Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook. It won't hurt you to thank them or compliment them. It's a simple thing to do, and it goes a very long way.

It's also really important to be kind to the people who help you blog. Make sure to thank the publishers and the publicists with whom you work. If someone sends you an ARC or a finished copy of book, thank them. You can do this by sending them an email or by posting pictures on Twitter or Instagram and tagging that person. If you win a giveaway, thank the person or company who hosted it. Thank the authors for writing that book that you couldn't get enough of. It's not hard to say thank you to someone, and the appreciation that people get from a simple "thank you" is enough to brighten anyone's day.

Kindness and being good to people go a long way in life, and it's always nice to let people know that they are appreciated.

Welcome the Newbies

Everyone was a neophyte at book blogging when they first started. Because of this, everyone should know how it feels when you've just started a book blog. It's fun. It's scary. A new blogger is full of so many different thoughts and emotions when they start, and reaching out to them is a great way to make them feel like they are a part of the community.

Be kind to those newbies because you were new once. I remember how it felt when a bigger blogger first commented on my blog. It took like six months, but after I saw that, I was in awe. It was like I was floating on cloud nine.

So be good to the newbies. Remember that you were a rookie blogger once, too. Make them feel welcome in the community. Answer their questions. Talk to them. Just be there for them if they need someone. It's a good thing to do.

Utilize Social Networks

If you're a book blogger, you obviously have a blog, but that shouldn't be all you have. It's so much easier to reach different audiences by joining different social networking sites. There are so many different sites that you can join - Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest. It's literally insane, but the more you're on, the wider an audience you can have.

Personally, I use Twitter a lot. It's just a super easy way to connect with others. I can DM and Tweet at people. I can RT things that I like, and I can also share other bloggers reviews through a simple RT.

But it's not the only social network that I use. My blog also has its own Facebook page, where I post links to my posts and where I share bookish news with my fans. I'm also a big fan of sharing my content on Pinterest. It's a cool way to show a different kind of audience book covers.

Blog For Yourself

Your blog is your own. Your posts are your own. It doesn't matter if you're the only one behind your blog or if you're just one blogger on a blog or website with a few different authors; blog for yourself. 

Read and review the books that make you happy. Never feel like you need to do something just to make someone else happy or because you think it will make you more noticeable in the community.  Your honesty and integrity is what's important, and it shows when you blog for yourself.

People will be able to tell if your heart isn't into what you're posting, so stick to posting what feels right for you. Your posts might be something totally off the wall, or they could be completely normal. This one simple thing is why we have so many different and unique bloggers in the community. Be yourself. You'll be way happier if you stick to what makes you happy.

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