Bookstagram Just A Thought Rambling Recap

11 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Book Blogging

Bookstagram, book bloggers, book photography and booktubers are everywhere! Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, podcasts, book profiles on Library Things, and Book Bub. If there’s an outlet, there’s a community of bookish people showing their book hauls.
As an avid reader since I was four years old, I never knew about this time of community. I posted my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I didn’t search out anything more and I was almost content with that. After a trip to south Florida to visit some family, I fell in love with my aunt’s reading room. I was looking forward to vegging out in her half chair with her book stash. unfortunately, my six-year-old had other plans. Still, after talking to my aunt and one of my favorite authors I wondered, “Are there jobs for book reviewers?” and where can I find one. That’s when my author acquaintance told me to go for it, make my job, my dream, a reality. Why the hell not? I read already how much more could be involved?
A lot and let me tell you, it’s not just read a book and post the review.
Bookish Note #1
Creative Photography
Image Credit: Brooke Lark
Photography is key. Gone are the days when a review would suffice. Today, it’s a combination of visual beauty and words. Who says don’t judge a book by it cover? We’re not judging them on covers and photography.
Bookish Note #2
Image Credit: Erik Lucatero
Followers are fickle. Numbers matter, but don’t follow everyone just to follow them. Since the start of my Instagram account, I’ve had eighty-eight people follow and unfollow me. Why? I won’t follow someone back right away. It’s a numbers game to many and I want genuine people interested in my content to follow me just as I follow good content I’m interested in and who I admire. #dontplaythefollow4followgame
Bookish Note #3
PR groups receive payment, you don’t. Many bookish posters receive payment through their affiliate links or products they create and sell. In my search, only one PR group pays (and it’s in Gift Cards). I haven’t found one book PR company that actually pays the people who sign up for cover reveals, book blitzes, reviews, etc. Apparently, this is “taboo”. Sorry, my time isn’t free. AT the end of this, only three people are getting paid, but it’s not me. Don’t be afraid to charge for your services. #bookbloggersdontwork4free
Bookish Note #4
Consistent posting is necessary. I have two Instagram accounts, three twitter accounts. In Twitter, most people don’t notice how much or how often you post. They have so many followers and are following so many people, chances are, your followers won’t know unless they are doing some serious following. On Instagram, it’s different. You can lose followers from not posting in a few days. Your analytics can give you the best idea of when posting works for you. From there, you can work on creating content to post on specific days and times. I’ve found using a posting system can’t help, but if your busy with life, it doesn’t help. Post when it works for YOU!
Bookish Note #5
Don’t sign up for every available book. This is a key point to remember. Yes, it’s exciting being able to read many free books. The problem? You’ll drown in books and before you know it, you have more books than time. Choose wisely. This is a HUGE mistake many people make. You don’t want to blemish your business by being greedy. If you find yourself in this situation, take a step back. Don’t accept anymore requests or sign up until you get your current stack together. Reach out to let your PR partner know that you’ve taken on more than you can handle and you will work to get them the reviews they need. I’m sure they see this often with new reviewers. Honesty is always best.
Bookish Note #6
Don’t be afraid to offer your own services for a fee. Yes, I said it. (See Book Note #3)Don’t be afraid to change a fee for your own services. I work with book promotion companies and I also charge fees to authors that directly contact me. During my first month, I did not charge fees and I was receiving requests to read books. I figured out how much to changed based on a few scenarios and came up with what I think is a fair amount. My fee includes a number of options that an author or publisher can choose. My unicorn fee (named by my daughter) includes more items for an extra fee. This has stopped the number of requests that I receive for free reviews. At the end of the day, it’s about quality for me. I offer a service same as PR groups. My reach may not include 20 plus bloggers, but I make sure to get the word out.
Bookish Note #7
Reach out to others for help. The book community is HUGE. There might be some that won’t respond to you or even want to help you. That’s okay! You have some that are eager to help as they have been in your shoes. I also find that reading some of their past posts, learning how they got started, how they choose their name, and even how they style their photos might be very helpful. For some this is a hobby, for others it’s their career. For me, this is my new career. I don’t mind asking for help and neither should you. Be warned, some bloggers are more than willing to help, others will ignore you altogether.
Bookish Note #8
Build your inventory. You’ve seen the beautiful photos on Instagram, yes? They didn’t get that why by accident. These ladies and gentlemen use props, apps, and whatever they have at their disposal. Some of them buy props specifically for a book they’ll photograph. Don’t be afraid to buy inventory. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars. Inventory might be found in the places you least think.
Bookish Note #9
Apps are your friend. There a many apps dedicated to helping bloggers. Find the ones that work best for you. Check your analytics, take and edit photos, schedule posts, connect with affiliates and marketers. Android, Apple, and Chrome each have their own set of apps that are crazy helpful. I work on a Chromebook and I can’t get Android apps. I have to use my Samsung tablet. Check out the apps that are available, make a list of which ones you want to use and use them. Avoid downloading every app possible to use. Stick with a few apps to help you.
Bookish Note #10
Blog your way. Blogging is a personal insight to YOU. Let someone else influence you, but don’t copy their style. Create your own. You are a unique person and your feed should show that. It will take time to get you noticed. Maybe you only have five followers or no followers. Don’t give up. Keep doing it. You also need to put yourself out there (see Bookish Note #7). Keep track of your ideas, thoughts, reviews, affiliates, etc. I use Evernote. This is my go to for my company. Whatever I do for my blog, it goes into Evernote first. I don’t write post anywhere else first. I keep track of my ARCs in Evernote.
Bookish Note #11
(See the beginning of this post) Don’t limit yourself to a few social sites. I’m on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Blog Talk Radio, and a few other sites specially for book reviewers. I find that when I write my blog posts, it’s easy to have them automatically post to Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter. Pinterest and Instagram are the only two that I physically need to spend time one. YouTube requires you have a certain number of followers to get your own channel name. I’m camera shy and I ramble. I prefer podcasting to videos.
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About Author

Creator of Bookstanista, a book and book style website, Nicole is a 30-something mom and wife to a Viking. A fan of Phantom of the Opera and Beauty and the Beast, she lives and breathes books. Her home library now consists of over 300 e-books and 500 paperback and hardback books. When she's not reading or reviewing books, you can find her interacting with authors or dreaming of a world with books and unicorns and toting around her Angora rabbit: Denim-Cyan.

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