On the Subject of the Unforeseen Consequences of Book Blogging

Seeing as it has been over two years since I began The Past Due Review, I thought it would be interesting to reflect on some of the unforeseen consequences of running a book blog. I realize that I have expanded my content to include movie reviews and Music Monday posts, but this site began with the wish to share what I have been reading and my thoughts on those stories. Though some of these revelations probably seem rather mundane or obvious to others, I was taken by surprise in both positive and negative ways. Let’s start with the bad; it can only get better from there, right?

The Bad:

Bad.jpg
Ah, the old double face-palm.

*It occurs to me that the negatives I point out are very subjective, so please keep that in mind.*

The Blogger Guilt Award:

Blogger awards are a wonderful way to network and share blogs that you support in this vast and beautiful blogging community. It is this realization that causes me a lot of guilt after being tagged in blogger awards and not participating. I am truly grateful whenever I am nominated, but part of the reason I don’t participate is the strict schedule I keep for my posts (which I will talk about later). While I appreciate each nomination, I don’t have the time to fit in more content to the amount I am already creating. As such, I do worry that my fellow bloggers think me ungrateful or that I believe I am above such blogging memes; this is far from the truth, and extends into the reason I don’t review new books.

New Book Fatigue:

My blog is built around the premise of reviewing movies and books that aren’t new, which helps it stand out from the vast majority of blogs posting about new and upcoming releases. This was done consciously, not to say there is anything wrong with reviewing new books, but I personally begin to feel fatigued seeing the same books reviewed at the same time. I realize that many of these are Advance Reader Copies sent out by publishers in order to market their latest releases, and these are a great way to get book recommendations (which, again, I will talk about later), but it does cause me to skip reading more posts than I would normally.

Anti-lock Braking System (ABS):

While I realize this is probably not a problem for most book bloggers, as it seems the vast majority are female, I have seen more shirtless men and their abs thanks to romance book covers on here than I would ever need to. Seriously, the romance book reviews have more six packs than a liquor store (badum tss). I was not prepared for the amount of shirtless men to show up on my reader feed, though I have learned to be grateful for my privacy screen when blogging in public. Luckily, book blogging isn’t all bad; though, there is an amount of work behind it that most people take for granted.

The Reality:

Reality
My work-space is no where near as aesthetically pleasing.

It is easy to lose track of the amount of work that goes behind each post on a blog, especially when that content is varied in its format and style. For my book reviews, I begin by taking a picture of the book for the featured image, then take at least a week to read the book and take notes before knocking out a review in around half an hour. My book reviews are scheduled around a month out and I plan ahead 6 to 8 books at a time. For movie reviews, I gather the IMDB info, look up photos for the corresponding blog post and save the links, watch the movie on one of my days off work, and then take around half an hour to write the review.

Music Monday posts require picking songs that fit the different moods or seasons, then I assign those to appropriate Mondays in the coming year, type up the lyrics to give me a more intimate understanding of them, find a YouTube link for song, and take photos of vinyl records when appropriate. I also collect a photo and all of the social media accounts for each artist. For the concept album posts, I write up a band summary, and then go song by song through the album to describe the general story or sound of the songs. All of this is done in my spare time, and I find that templates are your friend when it comes to writing content in order to save time and create a uniform look across the platform. Though there is a lot of work put into the blog, that isn’t to say that there isn’t any payoff.

The Good:

Good
Books are always good, right?

Do You Validate?:

As you read above, I put a lot of time and effort into my posts, like most other bloggers, so it is nice to have a bit of validation for all of the hard work I have done. I do not get paid to write my blog, like many others, so putting this much of myself into something feels rewarding when other people are able to get something out of it. As you can see above, there is a lot of time and energy that goes into this blog, and there are probably aspects that I forgot to add despite my aim to be thorough. Getting likes and views on my blog, as well as seeing the proof in my stats, is incredibly rewarding, but the best byproduct is the amount of discussion that comes about in the wake of sharing content.

Let’s Talk Books:

In addition to having discussions and sharing our favorite (and not so favorite) reads, the blogging community is wonderfully supportive and has created a means to reach fellow readers around the globe. I have had wonderfully engaging discussions with my fellow bloggers regarding some of my favorite tomes; this goes far beyond agreeing with one another and loving the same books. I love finding out other people’s opinions of things I love, especially when it is converse to how I perceive the work. It shows the variety in human experience and allows me to take a step outside of myself and see something from a different perspective, which often comes as a byproduct of living in completely different cultures.

A Global Connection:

I have been able to connect with people from all over the world, and this has been one of the most rewarding experiences for me. I am able to gain new perspectives on books, music, issues, and films that I may never have come into contact with otherwise. The blogging community is a wonderful place to meet like-minded individuals with similar interests, which is something seldom seen in a world of social media accounts that seek simply to improve their own stats.

I find it difficult to believe that I have been here for over two years, with supporters and readers who take the time to look at what I spent so much of myself in creating. I will continue to blog for the foreseeable future (despite all those abs), and cannot think of a better way to express myself creatively while being part of a welcoming and supportive community. Yes, these consequences were unforeseen, but the bad are typically overcome by the good and I can’t wait to see what new experiences surface in my blogging career. Has there been anything you were surprised by after starting a blog, book related or otherwise?

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35 thoughts on “On the Subject of the Unforeseen Consequences of Book Blogging

  1. Wonderful post. I, for one, appreciate the work that goes into your content. It’s well-considered and well-presented. It shows. Like you, I’ve been impressed by how supportive the blogosphere is. So many welcoming people. If real life were even half as kind as the online community here, we might actually achieve something akin to world peace. Ok, maybe not, but it’s fun to think about.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Seriously digged this post, here. I think it was really spot on, yet also provides on opportunity to show how varied everyone’s approach is. Like you, I usually crank out my reviews in one sitting (actually writing them, not counting the prep work or the actual reading), but I know others who write, prep, edit and then post over a longer span, which I’m not sure I could do. But I always think it’s so neat to hear about someone’s process and the thoughts behind them, so thank you for sharing yours!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, absolutely! When I read a really in-depth post/review (but especially monthly wrap up post), I am always blown away by the amount of work put into them and I don’t think a lot of people realize that, unless they are bloggers themselves. So thanks for all the work you do! I always enjoy the content you create.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. The Curse of the Abs… Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? 😉 Blogging does take a lot of time, but the good seriously outweighs the bad, or we wouldn’t be here (or else, it’s so addictive we’re here anyway ;)). You’re right that the support of the blogging community is something quite unexpected, very positive, and treasured.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That’s very interesting to hear about your choice of landing on reviewing older books instead of new ones. I’d never thought of that reasoning! In recent years I seem to be reading more and more new books, and I think part of it was that I guessed reviews of those titles might have a better chance of being read by others, because the familiarity of a title might cause someone to click. But perhaps it could be quite the opposite, as you suggest with the fatigue!

    In any case, maybe I will now feel more confident posting reviews of books from previous decades. Good to know there are people out there who might appreciate them!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Zarah Parker

    I appreciate that you don’t review new stuff! It’s far more interesting (to me) to be introduced to something that may have been great, but is a little forgotten.

    Also appreciate the time you take for your posts. I plan mine out, too, and sometimes I get overwhelmed by the simples posts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you! I really had no idea if there was going to be any sort of audience for reviews of old/older books, but it just sort of worked out that way haha. And I appreciate the time you take for yours! It is really easy to look at the finished post of another blog without thinking about the time that goes even into the simplest blog post.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Damn those abs-lol! As a romance blogger (mostly), I do wish the authors could change those covers up a bit, because some of those romances are awesome and the covers can run readers off! 👀 Anyway, I do enjoy following your blog, and especially enjoy your wit, candor, and uniqueness. Great post! =D

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I like that I can hear your sense of humour through your posts! 😀
    That aside, I want to thank you for creating a blog that reviews books and movies that aren’t new. Before I started my own blog, I was uncomfortable with the pressure I perceived that said I could only review the latest stuff. What about my favourite books that were written 10 years ago? What about that movie released in January that I didn’t watch until December? Finding your blog gave me the courage to go ahead and review whatever I feel like. A big thank you for that. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Great post and congratulations! I was extremely surprised by how kind people in this community are (didn’t run into the bad guys yet), how supportive and well-meaning someone on the other side of the globe can be towards a total stranger, and how quickly I can make friends here vs in real life. I was also surprised by how quickly people communicated with me and followed me – I was convinced I’d be a blog ghost for at least few months, and that gave me courage and incentive to write more, to write my real thoughts on things and an amazing self-esteem boost. I was also surprised by the abs. 😀 Awesome post and I love your blog!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Many thanks for sharing this aspect of your experience. It’s encouraging to see one’s feelings echoed in another’s words.
    I must say, one of the things I most like about blogging is the opportunity to share and discuss. Often, when I finish a book, I have no one to discuss it with, since I’m rarely reading books as they come out. But through blogging I can do a search of the title and pick up a conversation started months or years ago, or write my own invitation. And more often than not, anyone who opts to write a blog post about something has quite a bit to say, so there’s a wonderful plethora of different threads to follow.

    Like

  10. Great post. I doubt that a lot of book reviewers get paid though – it seems to be a rarity. That happens to bloggers from other topic groups I feel.
    Lol abs… I don’t read romance, so I can only agree with you. But then again, before I became a blogger, I used to judge books like that. Now I don’t, because it’s a taste, and it’s not right to say my taste in books is better than anyone else’s. So that’s a definite positive that came out of book blogging.
    For me, negatives are how much time it takes (writing a review in half an hour? Wow! For me it’s hours, mostly because I have to battle the formatting) and also the fact that I can’t seem to stop hauling books, free or not (review copies or buys). Review copies are great because I live in a place where buying your own books is expensive and tough (I’m international). But they also can create so much pressure if you handle it wrong (most bloggers handle it wrong… get too many copies etc)
    Anyway, great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love this post, especially the fatigue, guilt, and surprise at the shirtless men showing up on my reader. I really like that you made an effort to focus on backlist books, there definitely needs to be more reviews out there for older titles! I finally got my arcs under control so I can have half of my reviews each month be backlist titles and I am so excited!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: On the Subject of the Unforeseen Consequences of Book Blogging — The Past Due Review – Dystopian Shuffle

  13. I’m just getting back into reading posts after my surgery, so sorry I am late responding to this. This is a fantastic post. Your take on reviewing older stuff is great, and I love reading your opinions on some stuff I haven’t thought about in a while. This blogging thing sure is a lot of work, but so worth the time. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Haha! You are a funny one
    “I have seen more shirtless men and their abs thanks to romance book covers on here than I would ever need to. ”
    You can never have too many abs on a cover! Or dainty females fainting in unison!

    Liked by 1 person

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