In February, the blog turned 3. For three fantastic years I’ve read, and reviewed, some fabulous books, met some fantastic authors and hosted some amazing events. I wouldn’t change a second of it but, when I started, I was very naive about the book blogging. There are things I wish I knew before I started, things that I’ve had to learn to accept and deal with. Would it have stopped me? No, but it would have been nice to have been prepared.
Here are the things I wish I knew before I started Scorching Book Reviews.
1. It’s hard work
Seriously, you will be doing shit for the blog all of the damn time. If I’m not reviewing, I’m answering emails. If I’m not reading, I’m searching out new books. With reviews, memes, tours, editing, blog design, email correspondence and many more tasks that escape me, this is not a part-time hobby.
2. You will get some shit for negative reviews from authors
Some authors’ consider their work their baby. If you insult their work, you get shit. Could be that they call you out on twitter, on email or on the comment section of the review. If this is all that happens, count yourself fortunate. There are horror stories out there about harassment, death-threats and pitch-fork waving fans, rallied by rabid authors. Get a thick skin and keep your personal details off your blog. You may also appear on the Stop the GR bullies website which is possibly the most ironic website name I’ve ever heard.
3. You will get some shit for negative reviews from authors’ fans
Your opinion is not everyone’s opinion. Your idea of a too-stupid-to-live heroine may remind another reader of themselves when they were younger. Your dreamy hero is someone else’s rapey nightmare. Your favourite ballsy heroine may be someone else’s version of a bitch who needs a slap. You won’t please everyone and some fans are very protective (JR Ward fans can be scary). Someone, somewhere, will not like your opinion ….
4. You will never be able to write a spoiler free review for everyone.
Everyone has a different idea of what a spoiler is. I write spoilery reviews as I think anything that is in the first third of the book is fair game. On the other hand, I’ve been given shit for saying there was a HEA in a romance. Grow a thick skin and never promise spoiler free reviews.
5. You will become stat-obsessed
I am on stat-counter constantly. Never thought I’d care and then I got turned down for a NetGalley request as I had too few page views…
6. The thing you love will become, at some point, a chore.
Sometimes, I just don’t feel like reading. You can guarantee that on that day, I will be due to review a book I’ve still not read…
7. If you don’t know HTML, you need to learn
If you don’t know the basics, you are in trouble. No matter what platform you use, things go wrong in the coding. I spent the first 6 months of blogging trying to familiarise myself with font, colour and line break coding … nightmare!
8. You will speak to some people on Twitter more than you speak to your real life friends
Honestly, there are people on social media that know me better than my real-life friends! The majority of my free time is spent on the internet anyway but my twitter friends understand my obsessive book tendencies and my irrational feelings about fictional characters….
9. You need to be organised
You really, really do…
10. You need to really want to do it
I have had people help me on this blog for periods of time and, whilst I was grateful at the time, I knew it would never last. Blogging is hard-work and reading and reviewing to a deadline is not everyone’s cup of tea. You have to want to do it or you’ll be utterly miserable.