How I Became a Book Blogger
Hello, dear readers. Today, I decided to tell you a story that is important to me. @mrs.p.christie asked me, today, how I came to create my blog and she made me realize that I have never shared this story before with anyone besides, like, my brother or my personal diary.
I want to tell you what happened in detail.
I created my Goodreads account in 2012. Before Goodreads, I was on Booknode, which is an online community for francophone book lovers. But as much as I liked Booknode, it just wasn’t a big enough community for me and the selection of books to shelve and notes to give was very limited in my opinion, especially in the early 2010s.
So I switched to Goodreads and started rating all the books I had read in my entire life.
For about a year, I was completely invisible, by choice, and my account was very private. I had no friends. I remember logging in not just to rate my read books, but also because I was amazed by Kat Kennedy’s reviews. Her reviews were the reason why I started to gain respect for reviewers and to consider reading book reviews a MUST before picking up a book. I think book reviews can help you get even MORE excited about a book or help you manage your expectations.
So, in 2013, I became more and more intrigued by Goodreads and its community of reviewers. I also became intrigued by everybody else who was writing reviews and were not top reviewers but still wanted to share their opinion on books, whether they got likes and comments or not.
I started, gradually, to accept friend requests and send some of my own. I slowly… made friends. I became… active. I kind of… opened up more. Seeing my new Goodreads friends tell the world whether they enjoyed a book or not made me want do the same.
In the second half of 2013, I wrote my first review. It was fairly short, honest enough even though I was holding back a lot. It wasn’t bad. I didn’t, however, think it was worth being liked by one of the best reviewers on Goodreads at the time: Khanh. She was another reviewer I was obsessed with. You know how normal people gush over artists that changed their lives? I gush over book reviewers. Khanh’s unapologetic honesty and really detailed reviews inspired me.
So, yes, she liked my review and when she did that, what popped into my mind was, ‘‘WHAT? But… my review is not worthy of her like.’’ Having her encourage me with that one like on my first ever review made me want to do better. To write the kind of review that deserves to be noticed and read by other Goodreads members.
I began to work harder and harder on my reviews, so much that I would spend an entire hour on each and every one of them. I would highlight interesting quotes to share. I would even sometimes start a review as I was reading the book to be able to write down more authentic reactions.
In the spring of 2014, I was basically a full time Goodreads reviewer. God, I wish I was paid at least a dollar for every review I wrote that year. I was so into writing about books that I became interested in blogging.
Now, I was 16 years old, experienced in everything Goodreads but completely new to the blogosphere. To put it quite frankly, I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t think I could have my own blog. I had NO IDEA how to create a blog.
Instead of jumping right into running my own book blog, I became a co-blogger on Seeing Night Reviews. It wasn’t a ‘‘job,’’ but I did take it QUITE seriously, making sure my reviews were on point and posted at the right time, so I treated it like my first job experience.
But it wasn’t… mine. It wasn’t something I could call my own. I wanted to say, ‘‘I have a blog’’ so much and be infinitely proud of it. I also wanted something more challenging. The main blogger (who was very friendly and understanding by the way) provided me with the HTML for every post so I didn’t need to figure that out. But I discovered I wanted to figure that out!
It was a soft introduction to blogging, but I wanted my own platform. So after about two months of co-blogging, I ‘‘quit.’’
I created my own blog in July 2014, and although I’ve taken a couple of breaks that may have lasted a couple of weeks each here and there, I never stopped caring about Hit or Miss Books.
Since then, I’ve written over 1600 reviews, done a dozen author interviews (two with C.S. Pacat, author of one of my all time favourite series), been part of lots of blog tours, received countless advance and finished physical and e-copies, built relationships with publicists (I even interviewed one!) and made friends 🙂
It was quite the journey. It still is! I don’t plan on stopping this anytime soon. I may not post as many reviews as I used to, and I may not get as much feedback on them either, but I’m sticking to it. Whether I have midterms, finals, job shifts, dates, emergencies – which can all be time consuming – I always come back to Hit or Miss Books.
Because it gradually became part of who I am.
Thank you so, so much for reading this.
Do you have your own bookish story to share? Please do, I’d love to hear it!
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