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Looking Back on My First Year of Book Blogging

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It was almost exactly a year ago that I thought about starting a blog… again. I’ve had several blogs over the years. None of them survived past three or four halfhearted posts because I could never decide what  my blog would be about. I’m not a social butterfly, and I live a fairly simple (and boring) life, so writing about myself wasn’t going to gain even a tiny following. So—as far as blogging was concerned—it was a repetitive cycle of starting a blog, making a few unremarkable posts, and deleting the whole thing only to try again (with the same results) later on down the road. So it was no shocker that I felt the urge to try again.

What made this time different is the decision I made, not long after starting this blog, to write reviews of every book I read. It was something I rarely did at the time… I usually just rated them on Goodreads and moved on to a new book. Once I decided to review every book I read, it seemed an easy way to have content for my blog, as well. This was also the last time “reviewing books” and “easy” found themselves together in my thoughts, because if the past year has taught me anything at all, it’s that reviewing books is hard! Worth the time and effort, of course, but still… it’s hard.

I’ve learned a lot in the past year. The wisdom shared by established bloggers in their “how-to” articles guided me, and alerted me to mistakes I was making. They taught me about FTC disclaimers (and why book bloggers had to use them), the dangers of using copyright protected images, and the value of a properly written “About” page. Book bloggers taught me the importance of having a review policy, and introduced me to the wonders of Netgalley. I learned how to use Twitter (mostly) and even set up a Facebook page and Instagram.

The best discovery by far, however, is the book blogging community itself. It’s filled with warm, welcoming people of all ages who have shown time and again how gracious and helpful they are to others. Their collective intelligence, their carefully considered and persuasive reviews, and their enthusiasm for promoting books and authors is a constant source of inspiration for me. I am honored to be among you.

Last, but certainly not least, is the amazing opportunity  of being able to connect with authors directly. Authors are my rock stars, and I will be forever in awe that I’m able to tell them how much I loved their book(s), and that they will respond to me. I have a lifetime of reading behind me, where my fondest wish was to be able to do that very thing… and now I can?! The nerdy little girl that still lives inside me squeals with utter joy every single time I have a chat with an author.

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It’s been a fantastic year, no doubt about it!

To my readers: Y’all ROCK! Thank you so much for being here and reading my blog. Without you, having this blog would not be a fraction as much fun as it has been. I love reading your comments, and nothing makes me happier than hearing my review has made you want to read a book I loved.

To my blogger friends: It’s the best feeling in the world to gush about a book I loved, or am waiting impatiently to read, and hear y’all chiming in with the same amount of enthusiasm. For someone who spent most of my life having no one to chat books with, there are no words to describe how amazing that feels. Thank you for helping me discover new books and authors thanks to your awesome reviews, and for accepting me as one of you.

To the authors: Thank you for the opportunity to read your books and share my thoughts about them. It has been an honor and a privilege to help promote your work. To chat with you on Twitter and/or email is a wonderful experience for me, and I’m truly grateful for every kind word and compliment. It means a lot to me. Truly.

And, of course…

To the people at Netgalley (and the publishers/indie authors who list their books there): Thank you for feeding my reading addiction! It’s been a VERY good year in books for me, and you helped make that possible!

I wonder what the next year will bring?

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