Today I tried something I’ve never done before in my two plus years blogging here. Write a letter to a publisher to inquire about a review copy. This is something that I’ve put off for a long time because I have always felt like I am not worthy enough. My reviews are conversations to my readers. They aren’t cynical or analytical and most of the time they aren’t even critical. When I sit down to write reviews I write them as if I am having a conversation with a good friend about the book I just read.
It took me a long time to be okay with that. If you’ve been a visitor to this blog from the beginning you have seen the struggle. You have seen the various ways that I’ve attempted to write reviews. I try to write like a New York Times book reviewer. Failed. I tried to be fun and include gifs. Kind of failed. The gifs were fun, but put them in a review and it just wasn’t me. So it’s taken me a while to get back to the conversation style reviews I post. Are there better reviews out there? Sure. But there comes a point where I have to say to myself, I really don’t care. It’s a hard struggle. As someone who keeps to myself posting anything online is a risk.
This post may remind you of a post I did a while ago about my struggle with ratings and my overall struggle with always wanting to get everything right. So this idea isn’t something new.
I go to some blogs and they list their stats. I have never ever said anything about my stats online or on this blog because I thought it would be a turn off…because they were so low. At this point in time I feel like it’s affecting me negatively. Not the blog, but me.
I have no followers on the blog. Partly because I don’t know how to set up followers on WordPress.
I have 17 subscribers to my mailchimp for blog tours.
I have 111 followers onFacebook
I have 367 followers on my personal Twitter
I have 235 followers on my blog Twitter
I have 9,475 total views on my site. That’s total. Meaning in the 2.5 years I’ve been blogging it has less than 10k views.
I have 16 comments. Once again that’s total. 2 and a half years and 16 comments.
There are days when I check the stats on my site and I have zero views. Sometimes it’s really disheartening. Then other times I don’t even care. I like talking about books. I love to read and I like having a conversation, even if it’s one sided, about the books that I’ve read. I will be the first to admit that I don’t post all the time. I’ve said several times most of that is due to school, work, and numerous other obligations that I have.
Recently I have realized that part of the reason is that is has been taking me a long time to read book recently. I look back over the ones I’ve read and I realize that I part of the reason is that the books I’ve been getting through Netgalley, while much appreciated, haven’t been books that have interested me once I get reading. I haven’t read any books recently that really excited me. I have had anything that made me long to read it in those moment’s when I couldn’t.
So tonight, when with the help of my friend Marla, I sat down to compose my first ever request to a publisher for a review book and I looked at my stats I felt like a failure. Now I am thinking, Where do I go from here? From here I try to be more selective with the books that I request on Netgalley. Instead of trying for any possible I need to make sure that they are actually ones that will keep me interested. I need to gain more confidence in my rating. The last book I read I gave three stars to even when it deserved two and so I went back and changed it because it bothered me. I try not to care that I don’t get comments or that I don’t get thousands of views on my site a month. I look forward to continuing the conversation, whether it be with silent readers or with myself, about books that I read.
As I continue forward on this adventure I remember all the things I love about blogging. The incredible friends that I’ve made. Sharing my joy and innocent excitement about books. Organizing blog tours. (They are so much fun to plan!) I remember that life isn’t always about who is in the lead, whether it be with views, comments, or number of books read. Instead it’s about asking myself whether or not this is something that I enjoy. The answer is yes. I love doing this. Even when I am in a corner alone and no one is watching me. This is what I enjoy and so I will keep doing it, regardless of how alone I feel sometimes, because I love books and I share my love even if only a few people catch it.