How did I become a Blogger? Actually, for me, it just happened. I am an avid reader and love reading books. It just started with me reading and reviewing, and I can share some things that did and didn’t work for me. First of all, if you are looking to be a Blogger to make money, there are things you can do and ways to go. I am writing about being a blogger that is not looking to make any money!
This is an EXPENSIVE HOBBY for me. Besides the cost of the packaging envelope, tape, labels, ink, coffee gift cards, books, and media mailing, there are many costs. Why would I do this? I am not a business person and never have been. I have been a teacher my whole life and taught literacy in many ways. I also grew up in a house where my father read many books. I love the friendships that I have made with like-minded people (readers and other bloggers, and authors) and I do enjoy the reading community. I also feel like a vampire, who has “turned” many people into readers. I am so glad to spread the love and joy of literacy.
I do get books from Publishers, Publicists, and Authors, and I do read and review them. Many of them are ARCs, and I wind up buying the books when they are published. Authors don’t make much money, especially when they start out. I do use my blog for writing reviews, which go into other media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Linked In, etc. I try to help authors by publishing my reviews on ALL media that is possible for me. A Google search will often bring up the author’s name. It is more work, but worth the effort. *****THE BEST GIFT YOU CAN GIVE AN AUTHOR IS A REVIEW!! I also use my blog for interviews with authors and other information.
Also, for certain reading events, you need to show you a blogger, so I suggest you get a Blog site. I use WordPress. It is free, but I do pay because I use a tremendous amount of memory and usage. I have no stock in WordPress, and there are other formats. For Book Expo, I had to show my blog information. For Netgalley, I also had to show my Blog information. You can write a “draft” and practice. Also, there are many WordPress Readers with blogs, and you can meet groups and friends, and get information.
To set up a Facebook Page, or Facebook Group is a much easier task, and again I thank Suzy Approved Book Reviews for showing me the way. An Instagram Page is sort of important as well. How you want to do it is up to you. Think of the platform you want to use. Just remember there is a “Facebook Prison”, and rule are constantly changing. On Facebook (and Instagram) you have the ability to BOOST a post to reach more people. You do pay for it and determine the time and amount, but be careful of pressing that button. It does add up. Does it help? Again, that depends.
I often wish my scale is like Instagram. One morning I was 30 followers down (Can you imagine if that were pounds?) Eventually it goes up, and the reasons that I am told make no sense to me.
IMPORTANT COURTESY: As a blogger, remember you can’t just take any picture and make it yours. Some are copyrighted, and some bloggers get really pissed if you take their things and pass it off as yours. I don’t mind sharing. But you will notice, if I share something, I try to share where I got it from.
THINK, before you set up a Facebook Page. I have a Page, I originally posted on both my private page and Lindas Book Obsession. Now, my private page isn’t really private, and not everyone goes to Lindas Book Obsession, and I have to re-direct people to do that.
One site to help bloggers, and there are others is:
I do have an article on My Blog and my Page on this. I joined this and newer authors did reach out to me. It is a way to meet authors, read and write reviews, and possibly get a book for a giveaway. Also, you might have the opportunity to interview him/her.
Another site that REALLY helps Bloggers is NetGalley:
This is a photo from 2 years ago. I am working on my 500 Review Badge. It is also a good place to write a review. NetGalley will post it to Goodreads, Amazon, and if you direct it to Facebook and Twitter.
ONE GREAT THING ABOUT NETGALLEY is the PUBLISHERS EVENTUALLY CONNECT WITH YOU, and offer you the chance to review a book, and possibly give a giveaway. That does take time. Also getting the books you want does take time as well. You do need to have “a tincture of time and essence of patience”. Also, NetGalley does offer the Publishes email addresses and addresses.
For a beginning blogger, some blog tours are an ideal opportunity to get known, and sometimes you will get a book. That is not always, and often you have to start at the beginning. Some Book Tours will only take experienced bloggers with media exposure. That is something that you have to decide if you want to do. You stay at home for a blog tour but have to have a place for your review.
I have mentioned GOODREADS, and that is an excellent place for Book Information.
GETTING OUT AND MEETING AUTHORS is an excellent way to meet authors and other readers. That is not the place to ask an author for a book, that is where the author is selling and signing, but you can casually and quickly mention you have a blog and give your “business card” if you have one to the author. If there is a big event with many authors, you might be surprised that an author wants more information about you as well.
I am sort of shy about asking Authors for giveaways. In the beginning, I did ask, and the authors that I did ask were lovely and gracious. At my first Blog-Anniversary I tried to do a Pay it Back, Play it forward Giveaway, by purchasing those author’s books and giving a special giveaway as my thank you to the authors and my followers. I have also “perked” the giveaway with a coffee gift card. My second year, I am dealing more with Publicists and Publishers of those same authors and others. Are Giveaways necessary? Unfortunately, yes, to keep your numbers up. One of the things that I am not the happiest about is the giveaways. First of all, I do ask people to like and follow me. There are so many times that I can universally mention it. When I tried to message a few people, they ignored me, and I don’t need the stress. Another stressor for that is my Work “Office “Program doesn’t play well when my Apple Computer did an Up-date, and then we had a Power-outage. I lost almost all the addresses that I had. I have to often ask for an address, and it just is more added stress on me. I have to purchase a reliable program that can hold many addresses. There are over 6300 followers and so there were many addresses.
Oh, boy, the Coffee Giftcards!!! Some people think that I have a tree in my backyard that produces Starbucks Coffee gift cards. I don’t own stock in Starbucks !! An acquaintance of a friend wanted to know if I could get her some coffee gift cards and she doesn’t even drink coffee. Some authors feel that takes away from the book. Do I offer them all the time? Sometimes, and at other times if I purchase the book, I won’t offer them. I only use e-cards now. Too many cards were getting lost in the mail, and when you send something media mail, I was always afraid the Postal workers would open the package, which they can, so I do it by email.
On my Facebook Page, I also want a kind, respectful and safe place. Most of my followers are the best!! I really have to thank my “friends” on my Page for being so wonderful!! For those that have liked and followed me, Double thank you. Also, if someone wins, I have the best cheerleaders. It warms my heart!!
What is popular now, is that on Facebook Pages and Groups, Authors can be interviewed live. There are also more Podcasts, Vlogs, and anything that can help authors is great.
I also feel there are some great Groups and Bloggers out there, and that only means there are more people to help authors and promote Literacy. I am so thrilled I have helped some people get started.
Feel free to reach out to me with any questions, and Good Luck!!!!
Love, Linda XOXO
There are also great publications that are useful for Bookish news. Some of them are Bustle, Kirkus, BookBrowse, Book Page, Publishers Weekly, The New York Times, BookReporter, Parade, Pop-Sugar, NY Review of Books, BookBub, Goodreads, BookRiot, BookSparks, and so many more!!
I have listed celebrity clubs on Linda’s Book Obsession. Barnes and Noble and other bookstores have monthly meetings. Reese’s Sunshine Club, Oprah, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jenna Bush, and some TY stations discuss books early in the morning and on the late shows as well.
There are some Amazing Book Groups/Clubs on Facebook as well!! There are loads of newcomers as well.
Happy Reading, Love Linda Xo