Well, not all.
First of all, I’m a teacher so I spend most of my day planning, marking and teaching, with superhuman skills of not going to the bathroom for hours, never sitting down and eating lunch in 6 seconds flat. I’m not a full-time blogger and, although all that time to read and review would be amazing, I also adore my job!
In terms of free books, I generally buy most of the books you see here, borrow them from the library or get a e-ARC (Advance Review Copy) from Netgalley – if any publishers are kind enough to send me a book it completely makes my day, week and month, but I don’t expect it.
Finally, I always try to be honest in my reviews, but not unkind. There’s already enough unkindness in the world without me adding to it, especially when an author has spent years of their life writing that book. I completely believe that our experience of a book can be flavoured by where and when we read it, so it is possible for you to hate it one time and love it another. For that reason, my reviews are just my personal experience of a book at one point in time and I hope they help other readers find books the might not otherwise have picked up.
I started this blog back at the end of 2015 as a university assignment…then just left it for quite a while. I had lots of ideas for things I could do on it, but didn’t really start blogging regularly until this time last year (August 2017) – now I blog quite a lot! Mainly about books, with some language learning, teaching resources, travel and lifestyle chucked in there! Honestly, I have tonnes of stuff I would love to post on here but I am only now getting organised enough to schedule posts etc.
2. At what point do you think you’ll stop blogging?
Ooh, I don’t know. Right ow I am enjoying the process and feel like I am becoming better at it as I am becoming more organised and learning more e.g. taking photos, linking posts etc. I guess I might stop blogging if it ever started becoming something I had to force myself to do rather than something that I enjoy, even when I’m feeling the pressure of a deadline!
3. What is the best thing about blogging?
The community of lovely people I have met through blogging and the books that I get to fangirl over. It is so nice to find your niche and realise that there are other people out there who love books as much as you do!
4. What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?
I sometimes feel pressured to review books before the publication date – especially when I first started book blogging and discovered Netgalley – I was like a kid in a sweet shop and requested far too many books. I remind myself that any review helps the book and the author, even if it’s not before publication so take the pressure off a bit!
5. How long does it take you to make/find pictures to use?
SOOOO long! I have definitely improved my skills in this area, using a mixture of pictures from places like pixabay, as well as image editing software and my own photos. Now I have a bank of images I can use which speeds up certain posts, but it does still take a while…
6. Who is your book crush?
Um…in real-life I am loyal but with books I am fickle. My favourite characters are usually the ones in the book I am currently reading!
7. What author would you like to have as a guest on your blog?
Cornelia Funke! I love her Mirrorworld series so much and would be privileged to have a chance to ask her all of the questions that have come up when I ahve been readinga dn rereading those books.
I would also love to interview Catherine Fisher, Louise Cooper and Tamora Pierce.
All of these authors wrote books which I read again and again and again, books that have shaped me as a person and had a lasting impact.
8. What do you wear when you write your blog posts?
Just whatever I’m wearing at the time! Though I do love to get settled down on the sofa with a cosy blanket and a cup of tea.
9. How long does it take you to prepare?
It depends. It generally takes a lot longer than I would have anticipated to write a post, particularly when you factor in research, images, links etc. I find it hardest to write reviews for books that I adore because all I want to do is incoherently scream ‘Read it now!’ to everyone…
10. How do you feel about the book blogging community?
I love it! At the beginning I was quite intimidated as everyone seems so amazing, but every single person I have chatted to online or met in person has been lovely. I am still a bit shy at book events, often finding it hard to get up the courage to say hello to someone I recognise from online, but I am trying to get better at this!
11. What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?
I am still working on this so I don’t really feel like I am qualified to answer…
Um, I guess I would say that you need to think about your audience when you’re writing. It’s your blog so write whatever you want, but think about what it might do for someone else – is your purpose to inform, amuse, etc?
I also think it’s really important to be genuine and supportive, interacting with others. I find it really discouraging when someone follows, then immediately unfollows so I don’t do that. I follow people I want to hear form and try my best to read, like and comment as often as possible.
Some people get great statistics straightaway, but you still have an audience, be it 2 or 2 million, so keep working hard, putting out good content and enjoy the process, not just the results!
Phew, that’s us – what did you think? Did you like this little look behind the scenes?
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