The Secret Life Of A Book Blogger Tag

It’s been a while since I’ve written a personal  post and I’m overdue for a book tag, so I figured I’d do two in one with The Secret Life Of A Book Blogger Tag. I’m not sure who started the tag, but I got the idea from Sammie @ Bookshelves & Biros. Thanks, Sammie!

I chose this tag specifically because I wanted to further connect with my readers and followers. I don’t want you all to forget that there’s a person behind this blog and that I’m kind of cool but also lame and very relatable. 🙂 Book reviews, reading lists, and Q&As are all great; however, personal posts are just as important in a book blog. 

This post turned out longer than I expected, so feel free to skip around. Let me know if you agree with any of my answers or respond to the questions yourself in the comments!

Without further ado…


 ~ The Secret Life Of A Book Blogger ~

How long have you been a blogger?

Seven months and fifteen days to be exact! My very first post wasn’t even an introduction. I went straight to the reviews because I had legitimately no idea what I was supposed to be doing with a book blog. Before publishing this review on January 24th, 2016 I had never run a website of any kind and only wrote sporadic reviews on Goodreads. Now, I like to pretend that I know what I’m doing and sometimes people believe it. I think.

 

At what point do you think you will stop?

I’m not going to say never, though I certainly can’t imagine myself running a book blog when I’m fifty. But hey…life is weird, life is strange, so who knows? What I hope to accomplish with this blog is to establish myself in the bookish community so that one day, it will be just a tad easier for me to break into publishing or do cool things like become a Book Riot contributor! When I started, I truly never imagined I would acquire the following I have now. Granted, I’m not a huge blogger or anything, not even closebut the small successes I’ve earned have shattered even my highest expectations. 

 

What is the best part?

You are!

I’m inspired by other bloggers and members of the book community (especially on Book Twitter) every day. The best part of being a book blogger is that I learn so much from you all through discussions and conversations. But most importantly, I have never been more knowledgeable about the publishing industry, new book releases, hidden gems, and tons of other bookish things than I am now. In the 7 months since I started my blog, I have added more books to my TBR than all other years of my life combined. The amount of book titles I have learned and book covers I now recognize is staggering. I’ve never had the best memory, but when it comes to remembering book titles, covers, and authors, I amaze even myself! Also, getting free ARCs and review copies is pretty amazing. I’ll never get tired of bookmail.

 

What is the worst part?

*sighs* I must give the boring answer because it’s the honest one. And I’m going to get real honest now. You guys, I love being a book blogger, but it has essentially taken over my life. Don’t get me wrong – the reason you see me on Twitter constantly and blog hopping almost daily is because I love doing this. But it is literally exhausting sometimes. The time it takes me (I’m naturally slow at everything..basically) to run this blog even at 2 posts per week is far more than I ever expected. I can’t finish most 300-page novels in 3 hours like some people, so the reading aspect of blogging is already a huge time commitment for me. The planning, designing, and writing of blog posts also takes me hours for each one. When you add in blog hopping and replying to comments, I basically have a second full-time job. I do get paid for site visits now, thankfully, but with all the giveaways I do, the ad revenue barely makes up for the expenses. See, now I’m getting all negative and depressing. Even though there are negative aspects to blogging, the positives outweigh them all because I’m still around and won’t be going anywhere any time soon.

 

How long does it take you to find/create pictures to use?

Before I joined Bookstagram, nobody warned how time-consuming taking pictures of books would be. You’d think snapping a good shot of a book would be quick and painless, but it ‘s most definitely not. You need the right lighting, props, angle, and a certain je ne sais quoi that I certainly do not have. I feature my own pictures of book covers for all reviews, so that means spending 15-20 minutes snapping several shots until I get the right one, then heading over to Canva and making a header image. If I didn’t have Canva, I would probably wouldn’t be book blogging, to be quite honest. Okay, I’m exaggerating but only a little. 

 

Who’s your book crush?

Sorcerer to the CrownI don’t know what this means, so I’ll break it down to a few categories.
Fictional character crush: Zacharias from Sorcerer to the Crown. He’s very handsome, kind, empathetic, and starts off as one of the most powerful magicians in the story. Sometimes I’m attracted to power.

Book I’m in love with / cannot get over: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Author crush: This is kind of embarrassing to admit, but Adam Silvera 1000%. *swoons*

 

 

What author would you like to have on your blog?

Hmm, let me think *coughAdamSilveracough* about this for a bit. I’ve already featured a few authors on my blog and it’s been a wonderful experience every time. For Latinx Heritage Month, I’m going to collaborate with tons more! So I’m actually very happy with the connections I’ve made with authors, especially on Book Twitter. I’ll remain realistic for this question because I don’t want to be disappointed. I’m happy to work with any *coughAdamSilveracough* author in the future! Ahem, excuse me. *clears throat*

 

What do you wear when you write your blog?

I’m wearing my regular work clothes as I type this response, which is very business casual. I don’t have a schedule for when I write. It may happen literally whenever I feel like it, so sometimes it’s in the early afternoon, right after work, or at 2 a.m. in the morning. I don’t want to talk about what kinds of clothes I wear. 

 

How long does it take you to prepare a post?

I addressed this question briefly already. I don’t want to get specific about how long it takes me to write a review because I’m embarrassed to admit it. Just know that it’s probably longer than most of you, okay? Any kind of post you can think of — book tag, review, discussion, listicle, a serious piece, etc. — it will likely take me longer than you to write it up and have it ready to be published. That’s the reality and I have come to accept it. 

Did you know I landed a role in Zootopia? It’s true:

 

How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture?

My little corner of the blogosphere is wonderful, but recently I have seen a more unpleasant side of this community. It was disheartening to witness so much conflict and discord among people who are usually friendly and peaceful. But these prominent discussions around diversity and the importance of calling out problematic representation are necessary if we want to see progress. Initially, it may have seemed like we took a few steps back, but the overwhelmingly positive response in support of diversity since the initial conflict has been encouraging. We will always have critics and opponents, that’s a fact of life. But a shift in reading culture is happening now and I’m glad to be a part of this community to witness it first-hand.

 

What do you think one should do to have a successful blog?

If you ever want to get noticed and gain a loyal following, however small or large, you have care about other people’s work too. Book bloggers who are in it only for themselves or who legitimately do not have time to read other blogs may not get the stats and engagement they desire. There are exceptions, of course. For most book bloggers, the reality is that people aren’t going to magically show up to your blog and become loyal readers just because you publish something. Once you build this base of loyal readers, you have yourself a successful blog. It doesn’t matter if your blog isn’t getting 1000 hits per week. What matters is that you build a community of your own so that you may experience the joys and perks of being a book blogger. 

 

That was fun! If you’ve done a personal post or book tag recently, link me in the comments and I will read it because I’d like to know you all a little better too. The next month or so will be very busy for me, so I may not have as much time to blog hop as I’d like. However, I will try because you all are awesome. Please don’t forget about me and do comment on my posts even if I’m not the one who wrote them. 🙂


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64 thoughts on “The Secret Life Of A Book Blogger Tag

  1. Don’t worry, it takes me so long to write posts that I admire bloggers who write a week’s posts in a day. I need a day or two per post! I totally get the time-consuming part. I never knew there was so much to do when blogging!

  2. How fun to know more about you Naz. Sure, blog hopping is tiring some days. Also the editing! Sigh. I always find mistakes in my reviews. I am 100% sure you will be a Book Riot contributor in the next intake. You blog and work speaks volumes about you. (call that more than 100%). So don’t worry about that! Even I do not have a specific time to write a post. But I would surely like to be more organised

    1. Glad you enjoyed reading it, Resh!
      Finding mistakes in reviews is one of the worst feelings. It happens far too often but people don’t see to mind. 🙁 I wish I were a master proofreader or had someone to do it form me.
      Thank you for your support. I’m a little bit confident that I will get accepted as well :} but I don’t want to jinx it.

  3. Hey Naz!

    This is a such a neat interview! I just kept nodding to pretty much everything you’ve said here about what it is to run a book blog, especially the time commitment part. I reckon that you’re investing this much time in it for the love of books and in service to the purpose of your blog. The number of people that are hearing about books by/about marginalized folks from here is a clear indication of how much you’re valued in the book community. You’re a very dedicated and disciplined blogger and as a baby blogger myself I’m definitely trying to incorporate some of your tips and tricks in order to blog more effectively. Your last bit definitely had me- this is about a community of books and bookish people, and engagement is so crucial.

    1. Yess, I love books too much to do anything else currently. Also, I have few interests outside of reading and books…(how did you end up responding to your mom?
      Thanks, Janani! The last bit is so true. Success is subjective, all I care about is having a great group of people to talk about and share bookish news, events, and have discussions with. I’ve already got that so I’m happy with my life as a blogger. 🙂

  4. Yes! Omg the time it takes to run a blog *melts into puddle of nope*. It’s so much fun though so I wouldn’t change it for the world. I can’t even tell you how long I’ve procrastinated writing some posts though – purely because I know it’s going to take me effort to write and research it *more melting*.

    1. *melts into a puddle thinking about all the blog hopping & responding I have to do after every post*
      I know exactly how you feel. I used to procrastinate so much and it was stressful when I had to write up a post the day before it was published. Now I play my posts in advance so I never have to worry about that. But yeah, sometimes the thought of doing research and planning up a new post can be so “ugh!” I don’t know how else to describe it other than the an unpleasant utterance. But eventually I get over it, write the post, and get get excited when people read and comment on it. It’s like an addiction.

  5. It’s so wonderful to read this post, Naz, it’s A great distracting from that viciousness on twitter! And also it’s always nice to hear more from you😃
    Don’t worry about being slow, I am too! I guess there are people who are amazingly quick but for many writing posts takes ages. And even with listicles I sometimes research for hours! I decided early on that I didn’t want any pressure and so it doesn’t take me as long as it used when I felt I had to somehow write with as much thought etc as in uni. Such a relief I tell you! Now, ironically, I spent so much time talking on Twitter, I need to set times for blog hopping🙈🙈🙈
    Hope you stay around for a longd time!

    1. Twitter has been utterly exhausting. I can’t believe how awful it’s been over the last few days, and over something support for diversity, which is one of the most innocuous things ever.

      Thanks for the reassurance. I always assume I’m slower than everyone, though I’m sure it’s true. But it must be time-consuming for all bloggers!
      Hah, it’s been wonderful seeing you around Twitter so frequently. You seem to enjoy it 🙂 I spent most of my time on there, though I should spend it blog hopping, tbh. It’s just that Twitter makes it so easy to engage. Just like this tweet or retweet that one! It’s easy to feel active on Twitter. Whereas reading blogs is very time intensive. I really wish I could visit everyone’s blogs, but sometimes I can only manage to visit the people who visit me.

  6. This is a fun tag! It boggles my mind that you’ve only been doing this since January, cause you seem like you’ve been doing it forever. You’re doing great! I’m super excited to read all of your posts for Latinx Heritage Month!

    1. Yeah, I had lots of fun doing it too. 🙂 I should do more haha. But it will have to wait until after Latinx Heritage Month. Thanks for all your support Ceillie. I’m both excited and nervous for September 15th to come around.

  7. Thank you for sharing, Naz! I’m impressed at the effort you’ve put into this – it’s definitely paying off. And I, too, am envious of people who can zip off multiple posts in an hour. I’ve never been able to do that myself.

  8. Ugh, the… I don’t want to say drama because that sounds like I’m trivialising it but I can’t think of a better word. Anyway, you know what I mean. The sh** that went down. *sighs*

    On the plus side, you haven’t seen the vile videos that come out from the comics-based Youtubers sometimes (apparently there’s a gay conspiracy in comics… or something. I don’t know, they’re not all that coherent. Just a lot of whining about ‘SJWs’ and not having comics as a solely MALE (most important part, according to them,) white cishet able-bodied medium.) There’s a depressingly large number of them. I’ve had comics dudes directly claim that my opinion is invalid because I’m a girl. Really. *more sighs*

    Anyhow, your blog is awesome – keep going Naz! It’s amazing that you’ve been up and running for such a short period of time. My 2-year anniversary is coming up, and I still don’t have a clue what I’m doing 😉

    1. That sounds awful! But of course those douchelords exist. It must often feel unsafe and hostile for women in the comics community. I know how vocal those assholes can be, but have thankfully avoided their rants and videos in general unless they start making a lot of noise, which they often attempt. Why are they so dense and bigoted? No matter how inclusive media becomes, there will ALWAYS be stories for and about them. Do they want everything?

      1. I know – generally I stick to the comics/bookish crossover part of the community. There’re more girls there, lol. But if I find someone talking about comics online I’m like, ‘can I follow you? Or will I find out that you’re a douche?’ Sadly, a lot turn out to be douches, even if they seem OK at first.

  9. Great post Naz, thanks for putting so much time into it! I found myself agreeing to pretty much everything you wrote – the time it takes to write and blog hop and post and comment… I can always tell when I have been busy, my inbox has over 1000 notifications, and I get very behind on reading and reviewing! But I think everyone appreciates that we all do what we can, and I hop you don’t stop anytime soon – I look forward to your posts, whenever they appear! You have fabulous discussion points and reviews, I am never disappointed.

    1. Thank you! I’ll be around for a long time, don’t you doubt it.
      I know that other bloggers are understanding when we don’t have time to blog hop and engage, but I always feel a little guilty when I fall behind. I need to get rid of that mentality, though.
      My blog will actually be very active from September 15th to October 15th, but I will be featuring many guests posts and interview, etc, for Latinx Heritage Month. The planning for all of that has been exhausting, though!

  10. I loved reading about your personal views, Naz. And I appreciate all the effort you put into your blog. But what I most appreciate is your interaction with your readers and other bloggers. You are genuine and I really love that.

    I need to do one of these book tags. Thanks for giving me the idea!

  11. Naz, I adored your responses to this tag! I feel like I got to see a whole new side of you. I found myself laughing out loud a few different times. I love your book reviews and diversity posts/lists, that is the reason I follow your blog, but this was nice too.

    It takes me FOREVER to do anything blog related. Honestly I don’t know how people read 1,000 books a month and seem to post reviews, tag, weekly memes, and discussion posts every day. I feel very overwhelmed with it all too.

    1. Aww, thanks Amanda! That was the whole purpose of this tag. I’m not always sure if my reviews and reading lists show off my personality or a more personal side of me, so I hope this post helps people humanize me a little bit more. :]
      I follow several bloggers who blog 5+ times a day and it blows my mind. How do they do it? I could not physically do it myself, but more power to them!

  12. I can’t tell you how envious I am of people who can read a 300-page book in 3 days and then write so eloquently about it that I just need to add it to my TBR pile! If you hadn’t gotten that role in Zootopia, it would have been mine. 🙂

  13. BOOKSTAGRAM! OH MY LIFE! I feel your pain xD it takes me absolutely ages to even find what props I want… and then I get all sad because my props might look rubbish… i can never seem to get them as nice as other bookstagrammers… *dammit*. So yeah… definitely feel your pain with that one!

    xoxo
    Kirsty

    1. I’m out of props right now and am also on an endless quest to acquire more. D:
      I don’t know how other bookstagrammers take such gorgeous shots. They seem to have the perfect lighting and set up. They also probably use a good camera. I only have my phone. :'(

  14. I did this tag so long ago that I don’t even remember when I did it. Maybe last year? Not sure. Anyway, I also take an insanely long time to write posts. Blogging is like having a second job, and I don’t even get involved with most of the social media stuff. I do blog hopping/post writing for at least an hour every morning and then for several more hours in the afternoon/night. Everything takes a long time, but it’s worth it. 🙂

    1. I’m sure this tag has been around a log time, hah. I admire how often you blog and how dedicated you are to engaging in the community despite being so busy. I mean, I can’t imagine you’d have that much free time as a grad student, but you still manage to crank out posts consistently! You’re amazing and I love your blog. Thank you for always visiting mine, AJ. <3 I'm glad to know you. :]

  15. Wonderful post Naz! To be honest I have no idea what I am doing either with my blog. I am not sure if I should change the review format or keep it the same. At times I regret that I didn’t change my book blog name to something cooler like Svetlana’s Literary Explorations. (Wonder if I can still change it?) From what I can see you are a wonderful blogger and very warm as well. I have confidence that you will go far.

  16. Nice post. I think at times we can feel a little unsure of our blog when it comes to scheduling, the way we structure book review, or the direction that where we want to go in. I think you’re not alone there. I definitely agree about the second job aspect of it. My schedule is always fluctuating and some days I don’t have time to write posts or blog hop as much as I want to, and I feel so terrible about it. I’m just trying to do my best. Keep up the good work! You are not only doing wonderful things on your blog, but also for the bookish community. 🙂

    1. Yeah, most bloggers are quite humble and as unsure as everyone else! It’s great to read relatable posts like this because it makes it feel like we’re all in this together, figuring it out. :
      I feel guilty when I skip a day or two of blog hopping, though I know I shouldn’t. I still have this feeling that if I go away for a bit, people will forget about me. sigh. x)

  17. Sometimes it takes me months to finish one blog post. I have an idea and it take ages for it to develop. Other times it takes 30 minutes. Boom! its done.

    1. I don’t think I’ve ever written a blog post in 30 minutes.
      Perhaps I should make that a goal for myself? I could do it for a Q&A or something, since all I would have to do is copy the author’s responses, format a little, and create a header image. It sounds doable if I really put my mind into it. haha

  18. It’s always shitty when there’s conflict in the blogosphere, but I’ve always found the good to outweigh the bad. What’s nice is that it’s a totally elective sort of community — if someone’s horrible, you can stop visiting their blog and unfollow them on Twitter and it’s not going to be a big drama or a problem. The ability to curate what bits of the blogosphere I live in is a huge part of what’s kept me blogging all these years.

    1. I have certainly exercised this right recently! I love the little community I am a part of and want to keep it as friendly and welcoming as possible. The height of the conflict seems to have passed, so now I’m less anxious and worried about the state of the community. How long until it happens again, though? Let’s hope it doesn’t..

  19. 7 MO?! You are SUCH a success. You’re one of my favorites to read and I totally can relate to the time commitment. Just stick with it if you love it and DONT feel bad if you take days off!

  20. My only concern? Blogging is a definite time burglar,
    I try to respond and read my friends’ posts, and that can take HOURS. That’s why lately all I’m posting is reviews. With school and work. I just can’t do more.

    1. I know exactly what you mean. I can barely keep up with the blogs of people in my small circle and the people who regularly comment on mine. I usually can’t find the time to visit bloggers who are newer to me unless I deliberately set time aside to visit new bloggers and ignore answering comments & visiting my friend’s blogs. Sigh.

  21. 1. I had a lot of fun reading this. As always, it’s fun getting to know more about you!
    2. I’m with you on how long it takes me to write posts. I’m scared to publish something that has mistakes, or that I might have said something wrong, so I do a lot of proof-reading. And I still make mistakes! And I don’t want to leave anything out, and I don’t want it to sound awful… on and on… But, like everyone else has said, I appreciate the amount of time you’ve put into this blog. 🙂
    3. Thanks for introducing me to a new author! I can see why you find Adam Silvera crush-worthy. I won’t be surprised to see him on your blog someday! 😉
    (That would be a hard question to answer – I’ll have to think about that one!)

    1. Thanks, Naomi. I always appreciate when other bloggers share their blogging experiences as well.
      I reread at least 3 times and inevitably there is one silly typo or two that I missed but catch a week or two later. Sigh. No one seems to mind, though.
      Hehe, yeah, Adam Silvera is wonderful and so are his books. Perhaps I’ll have him on the blog one day. But currently I don’t have the confidence to ask him. x)

  22. What a fantastic tag and great insight into you as the person behind the blog! I am with you… blogging is like my 2nd and 3rd job :p

    The bookstagram thing hit home (and the reason why I stopped taking my own pictures. It was taking hours for me when I did my first couple and I could not find the time. I had to prioritize blog hopping, my own writing, and reading & gaming.

    I really like this tag and may post my own response. I’ll be sure to link it! Thank you for sharing!

    1. I’d love to read your answers! Definitely consider doing more personal posts because people will be more likely to follow you if they’re able to relate to you.

      I only post 2 or 3 pictures on Bookstagram a week because it really does take too much time. The ones I do post aren’t as goo as other people’s pictures which makes me feel insecure, lol. I just don’t have the eye for it like others do.

  23. I really loved this post! I’ve just dived back in to the blogging world (attempt #2) after realizing I need to streamline my focus to something I was more passionate about – books, duh! Just wanted to let you know that I thought your responses here were inspirational and I am now even more motivated to become a part of the book blogging community. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. I really do hope you keep at it. It can be stressful, exhausting, and sometimes you wonder if it’s worth it. But if you dedicate yourself wholeheartedly, all your work will pay off and you’ll be rewarded immensely! Let me know if you need any help or advice. I’m happy to do it, though, I’m not a pro or anything :]

  24. I loved reading this 😊 I relate and agree to so much of what you said (my first post was a review too 😅). I’m incredibly slow when it comes to everything haha and definitely get what you mean about this being exhausting sometimes. It is definitely worth it though! I just finished Homegoing and I’m in love with it.

    1. I’m soooo glad you loved Homegoing too! 😀
      Also, I can’t imagine how time consuming it must be to answer all the comments you get. Your blog gets tons of engagement! It’s fun of course, but sometimes I’m glad some of my posts get fewer comments because that just means less time commenting back. lmao :p

  25. Great post! I love personal posts on book blogs because it helps me understand the blogger’s perspective and what makes them unique. Book blogging is a lot of fun, but I agree that it can take over your life. I used to feel the pressure to post a certain number of times per week. It was stressful. Now I post only when the mood strikes.

    1. I’m kind of stuck in this exciting but stressful month of activity because it’s Latinx Heritage Month! Hah, but I will consider taking a short break afterwards. We will see.
      Thanks for reading! I will try to write up 1 personal post a month to balance out the rest of the content. I think that’s a solid plan. :]

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