If You’re a Stressed Book Blogger, Why are You Doing It?

Goodbye stress! It's time to embrace your freedom once again. If you no longer love what you're doing, it's time to make changes in your life.

Do you know what makes me legitimately sad?

When I see bloggers doing things they clearly don’t want to be doing.

  • I see bloggers getting OVERWHELMED.
  • I see bloggers stressed out about all the reviews they “have” to write but haven’t written yet.
  • I see bloggers talking about how they’re so behind on their “ARC schedule” but don’t feel like reading those books and they’re upset because they don’t know what to do.
  • I see bloggers saying they really want to read that March 2016 ARC but haven’t finished all their December 2015 ARCs yet, so they can’t.

These bloggers sound like they’re working a stressful job, and yet they’re not being paid.

They’re upset, they’re stressed, they have these obligations, they’re falling behind, they’re clearly no longer enjoying the process.

For me, that’s the most significant point—the enjoyment is no longer there.

Fine, do stuff for free if it’s fun. But when it’s no longer fun and you’re doing it anyway, something is wrong.

But you know what doesn’t seem to cross these bloggers’ minds? To stop doing it.

To just stop is the obvious answer. But these people post on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs asking for other solutions or workarounds. My question is: why? Why not do the obvious? Just cut to the chase.

  • Are you dreading writing the 5 reviews you haven’t written yet?
    Then don’t write them.
  • Are you behind on your ARC schedule and don’t feel like reading?
    Then don’t read.
  • Do you want to read a March 2016 ARC?
    Then read it, god damnit!

Something is wrong here if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing. You need to make it right. Reclaim your freedom and enjoyment.

No bounty hunters are going to chase after you if you don’t write those reviews or don’t read those books.

This is your hobby. It’s supposed to be fun. If it’s no longer fun for you, then take a break. Make changes.

  • Stop accepting ARCs or review books if they stress you out. You don’t have to be reading those.
  • Stop reviewing every book you read. Try reading just for fun without having to review anything. (It’s pretty refreshing.)
  • Read books out of order. You don’t need to read everything in order of their publication dates. I just read My Lady Jane (to be published June 2016) because I damn well wanted to. Nobody could stop me.

Have you ever been stressed about book blogging? If so, how did you fix it?

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I'm a 27 year old California girl living in England (I fell in love with a Brit!). I like to inject a little #girlpower into the WordPress development community by teaching women how to be coding badasses. more »

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73 comments

  1. You wrote this just for me didn’t you? I can’t tell you how many times in the last couple of months I was at the point of throwing up my hands and giving up. I like the arcs and feel like if I slow down on posting anything those will go away. Also, most of my interactions with other bloggers is through comments. So, to keep those two aspects going, I feel pressured to keep putting up those posts. The stress is really draining though. Thanks for this post, it makes me reevaluate what I’m doing.

    Tanya @ Rantings of a Reading Addict recently posted: Tell Me Something Tuesday ~ Goals for 2016
  2. I just have to say thank you! I’m not stressed from blogging. I just don’t do it if I feel like I’m too busy. I’ve definitely stopped reviewing everything I read. The one thing I was still stuck on? Reading all those NetGalley and Edelweiss books in order. Why did I care about that? I have no idea. I can’t read all of them, so I might as well just read the ones I’m really interested in when I want to read them and not worry about waiting until May or something. What a waste of my energy! I just needed someone to remind me of that.

  3. You are so right! I never feel stressed- it’s something I love doing. Now what I have noticed is that I’ve added a ton of my own books to my TBR list and the list is ginormous. It doesn’t bother me though; I keep an order of the books given to me and the ARC’s so I never ever feel over-whelmed. It’s crazy to get caught up in something that’s supposed to be a joy. Great post. 🙂

  4. I had to cut way down last year. I was reading books I didn’t want to read and writing reviews I didn’t want to write and burning out… but the ARC sites especially make you feel like if you’re not always reviewing, you’ll never get an ARC again and I’m entirely too spoiled to never get ARCS!

    Slowing down on reading and reviews hasn’t seemed to hurt approvals, though.

  5. Your timing with this post is great because it mirrors what I have been feeling and thinking for the last few weeks! I have consciously cut back on the number of reviews I am committing too, and I am looking forward to reading some of the books I WANT to read that have been sitting on my Kindle for far too long. I won’t walk away from a tour/ review that I have committed to so I do have some back log to clear, but I am not afraid to DNF a book that I am not digging much earlier in the process rather than struggling to get through it.

  6. Great post! I’ve thought about this a lot over the last few months. I’m now blogging when I feel like, reading what I like and not promising anything to anyone! And I feel free and I know this will work better for my life since so much is changing this year!

    Thanks for reassuring me that I made the right choice!

  7. I did start getting stressed with blogging so I stopped taking review requests. I’ve taken review requests in over a year and I regret nothing. It’s so much better being able to read whatever I want. I request very, very few ARCs and keep that number extremely low when I do.

    I don’t review every book I read, but that doesn’t mean I can’t write about them and I think that’s something that some people forget. Just because you don’t review something doesn’t mean you can’t write entire blog posts about it.

    1. I like this point. Some of my favorite books I read last year were not ones I ever got around to reviewing, but I was still able to talk about them in other posts, like “recommendations for readers who like X.”

  8. You hit the nail on the head. Most of the time, I’m pretty good about not getting stressed out. I do get a little bit if I get too far ahead reading and I have a lot of reviews that haven’t been written. My stress is worrying that it is going to be harder to write the reviews the longer I wait. I went through this right after Christmas. I had seven reviews that needed written. I wrote five of them. I didn’t beat myself up for not getting them all done. I still haven’t written the other two, which I should do before I forget the details. I’ll probably try again this weekend. This is my hobby and it should be fun. I get enough stress at my real job. 🙂

    Melanie Simmons @mlsimmons recently posted: Hot New Audiobooks-January 2016
  9. Ashley,

    This post was exactly what I needed. I have been stressed out over my blog lately because I need to catch up on my reviews but found myself not wanting to write some of them because they were books I had to read for my YA Literature class in college and they weren’t books I would have normally read. Reading this post helped me understand that I don’t have to review them. It’s okay for me to skip over them.

    Your post (along with discussions I’ve seen happing on twitter lately) helped me to see that ARCs aren’t as important as everyone makes them out to be. I don’t NEED that ARC that I’ve been really itching to get my hands on. I can wait until the book is released. I was freaking out because my ratio on NetGalley isn’t as high as I want it because I don’t read the ARCs I get quick enough. Now I get that it’s okay. My blog isn’t worth ruining my health over.

    Thank you.

  10. I became so overwhelmed with blogging I lost all joy in it and began to actually dread it to the point that, four months after I finally threw in the towel and wait cold turkey, I still feel hand-trembling anxiety just opening my WP dashboard. I wrote a book blog and a family review blog; the second was much, much worse, but i couldn’t enjoy book blogging with the other looking over me. I’m sad, though, because i worked hard on the review blog to build it to some 30K unique visitors a month only to fall apart through poor planning and lose it all. I may rebuild and restart down the road, once I can first get the website set up properly, but i can even stomach looking at either blog right now. #sad

  11. I saw the title and I was like “oh, look, a post written for me!”, because I absolutely can answer your questions! I am so overwhelmed that I don’t sleep more than 3 hours a night. I have so many comments to reply to and blogs I WANT to visit (want is being the key here, I’ll get to that) that I don’t even know where to start. I have entirely too many books to read, and am definitely putting books I WANT to read on the back burner (which, yes, needs to change).

    Now, the why: I freaking love it. I am exhausted, overwhelmed, and want to sob half the time. But I am alone with my kids for every single hour they are awake during the day- and they are on different schedules- which means I have about 8 hours total for blogging and sleep (they’re too young to give me a moment of peace!). And it is the only thing that I do that I truly love and feel some kind of fulfillment doing. And I absolutely could calm down, and step back (and probably SHOULD at least try to let some things go, you’re totally right).

    I think part of my problem is that I feel like I am not yet at the point where I am able to take a break. I feel like if I went away for a few weeks, I’d lose SO much ground, whereas someone with a VERY distinct brand might not lose as much? I don’t know, maybe I am just overthinking it all. My BIGGEST problem is that I can’t just do it as a hobby. It’s a compulsion almost- I can’t NOT put my all into it. I figure if I am going to do it, I will be happier if I know I have given it my all?

    So I have no suggestions for fixing it, because I am clearly a mess. I DO agree with you on not reviewing some books. I don’t know how some people do it- and they do!- review every single book they read. I almost never review books I buy (I’ll say a little something maybe, but not any kind of “real” review) and do a lot of mini-reviews. I love reading a book and knowing that you don’t have to worry if you forget a character’s name, or who was related to who or whatever. It’s refreshing for sure.

    Basically, my new plan is bookmarking and re-reading this post, and trying to cut myself some slack (as I sit here having an internal debate about whether to post tomorrow hah). Fabulous post- you really nailed it!

    1. I’m the same way! I’m stressed, yes, but cutting things out wouldn’t help at all. That just brings the unwanted feelings of not getting to do things you love. Deciding on a book to remove from my Kindle would be just as stressful, so I’d rather have the stress and some more caffeine than give up something I enjoy.

      Brittany recently posted: Review: Big Rock by Lauren Blakely
  12. I kind of have the opposite problem with blog-related stress. I’m not doing anything I don’t want to do, but there’s way to much that I *do* want to do. Like, badly. Too many posts I want to write. Too many books I don’t want to wait a single second longer to read. Too much of everything!

    And the stress of picking favorites and saying goodbye to something fun is worse than the stress of staying up late to finish a book, because at least that way I still get to read a book. 🙂 Instead, I try to find new ways to make time for everything I like doing. I was already an insomniac addicted to caffeine, so it’s usually doable haha.

  13. I’ve dealt with this for the past two years, I'[m grateful that school takes out that overwhelming need to write a review. Now I’ve been fairly absent in my blog for the past couple months, I post a blog here and there but not routine or regularly. I plan to keep on doing that, I’ll still read books and I’ll get around to writing the reviews later however I think I found a niche that came to me when I was reading All In by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I had decided to start writing the review when I was halfway through the book and that helps tremulously in the writing process and I knock out the “Review” section and just made my “Meow Meow Meow” section the whole thing. Less work for me. So when I finished up that review it was actually fun writing it!

    Kat of SassyCat (@KatN21) recently posted: Where I'll be
  14. thank you for this post! sometimes we are overwhelmed with other things in our life and forget taht this should stay a pleasure so thank you for teh reminder

  15. I think it should be the same for all hobbies, honestly – but with this particular one, since we have so many readers and so many responsibilities that come with blogging, it does start to feel a little like a job if we’re not careful about it. Must be aware of that – and keep reminding ourselves that this is supposed to be fun! I’m trying to remember to cut myself some slack, and it’s been one of the most freeing things in my blogging journey. <3

    Topaz @ Six Impossible Things recently posted: Adventures in Zombieland: The Words You Should Be Saying
  16. I kind of got there after I started my blog, but really I just needed to relax and just throw myself into it. Oddly for me I like having to work. Even if it’s fun, for some reason I like having that constant pressure on me and I like having those challenges. It’s just weirdly in my nature. So now I just kind of do it the best I can. I like reviewing novels, so I review all of the ones I read. IDK. For me it was more of finding my flow.

  17. Well said. If you read all these complaints you’d end up thinking book bloggers are a pretty darn miserable lot, we always seem to be complaining about something. Or is the complaining sometimes part of the fun. Part pf my solution has been to stop doing things that cause undue stress like challenges to read specific books by a deadline.

  18. I LOVE THIS POST!
    Oh yes, at the end of 2014 I was feeling bit stressed out with all blogging and promoting stuff. My solution was easy. I left all the street teams I was part of, stopped taking parts in blog tours and started to review only on my terms. It was freeing and brought new level of creativity to my blogging. And the feeling is still there even year later 🙂

    Lucia @Reading Is My Breathing recently posted: BOOK NERDS, TREAT YOURSELVES TO SOCIETY6 DESIGNS!
  19. Generally these days I’m doing just this and it works because I don’t care if I’m perfect ha. The one problem I sometimes run into is the guilt. It’s easy to not do something but it’s not easy to not feel guilty about that depending on who you are. Maybe it just takes practice? I’ve certainly got a lot of practice ha!

    Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings recently posted: Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {ARCs and $5 Giftcards Weekly!}
  20. In my case, I just decided to stop. I love reading, but I hate writing reviews and being overwhelmed by all the books I had to read. Reading is supposed to be fun, not a burden. So, I decided to just put an end to my book blog. That was drastic, but I think it was the right choice. Now I write a fun pet blog and I have much more fun writing it. I’m thinking of getting back to book blogging in the future, but it a completely different approach that doesn’t focus on reviews.

    Rosa @ Cat Lady Confidential recently posted: How to Make an Easy Cat Birthday Cake
  21. I posted something similar today (but you worded yours much better lol)

    So much of the pressure is self inflicted and it makes me sad that what starts out as a hobby becomes so stressful that it’s as if we’re failing at life if we can’t keep up.

    I’ve stopped worrying about it all and I’ve finally gotten back to a place where it’s fun again.

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

  22. Thank you for another fabulous article!
    I basically stopped signing up for ARCs. I now only accept a handful that are direct from author and from NG that do not have specific deadlines. I am free from the strenuous agenda of scheduled reading.
    Blogging is NOT my job. I have a FT one already. Reading is my passion … blogging is a hobby … and keeping it light and fun is what makes it worthwhile.
    I agree with what you’ve written here … sometimes we just need to take a step back to assess and ask ourselves those hard questions. Why am I doing this? Great job!

  23. Yep, this was me last year-I was at the point where writing reviews was a chore, and the whole blogging thing wasn’t fun anymore. So I actually stopped blogging cold turkey. I definitely miss it, and I have to fight the urge to set up a new blog sometimes (like perhaps, yesterday lol), but I enjoy reading again, I have loads more time, and I’m not stressing out about silly things anymore. Blogging is supposed to be a fun hobby, once it’s not then it may be time to restructure, take a break, or just walk away!

  24. So far I’ve avoided blog stress but not requesting ARCs or accepting review requests. I just read whatever I want to read at the time and review it if I want to, and I find that to be the best way.
    One way I have found myself stressing about blogging though is when I haven’t posted in a while and feel like i should have done, and then I feel obligated to quickly put together a post for the sake of it. Oddly I’ve been less stressed since starting a blog schedule – I post regularly enough that I don’t feel guilty and I have a set idea of what I’m posting a month ahead of time 🙂

    Laura recently posted: Photos on Friday #2: Britain
  25. So, so true, Ashley.

    There are so many bloggers I see on Twitter complaining about having “x many books to write a review for” and I want to tell them to either just write them or shut up about it. What makes me laugh is those same bloggers are still accepting ARCs. It’s like how can you do that? How can you in good faith accept books to review when you’re clearly not reviewing any more? Do the decent thing, and just tell the publishers you’re not reviewing any more, and take a break.

    I did that. And it was the best decision ever, because I got back in to reading because I loved reading, and remembered that all over again, and it got to the point where I was reading a book and desperate to talk about it, so Bookish Escapes was born. I told all the publishers I was not blogging any more, and now I can actually get on with the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds other books I’ve got to read and it’s BLISS. I’m finishing book series, I’m reading books from 2009, it’s just so much more fun than the crazy rush of reading/reviewing ARCs.

    1. YES YES YES! I love everything you said Leah!

      Those Twitter complaints are part of what inspired this post. People will be like:

      “Sigh. Now my to-be-reviewed list is up to 10… 🙁 🙁 🙁 How will I do this?”

      or even just:

      “Ugh I have 10 books I have to review…”

      It sounds so much like a CHORE to those people. They don’t seem happy or excited… so stop doing it!

      And yes it’s very interesting when people are in that position and yet continue to request ARCs O_O

      1. I’m always a bit suspicious of the “I’m oh so stressed but I can’t stop myself” complaint. It reads a bit like a humble brag to me. “Look at how busy I am!”

        If you are truly bothered, fix it. Don’t just whine about it. I just channeled my mother there.
        I don’t ask for arcs. I don’t do blog tours after getting too many books I didn’t like in a row. I DNF anything that doesn’t thrill me. Blogging is still fun after 16 years.

  26. I specifically don’t request many ARCs for exactly this reason. Even when I have one that I REALLY want to read, the idea of reading to a deadline stresses me out. And I think it’s what you point out about blogging being a hobby. As an English major and someone who’s interned with literary agencies, I’m totally ok with reading to a schedule when it’s my job. But when it’s NOT, and I have other deadlines in life that matter more than a review for a personal blog, it suddenly becomes stressful to squish that “required but actually not required by March 3” ARC review in.

    Briana @ Pages Unbound recently posted: The Goblin’s Puzzle by Andrew S. Chilton
  27. This post resonates so much with me. I never felt obligated to do anything while I was still blogging (I purposefully didn’t request ARCs, for one thing), but at some point in the past five months or so I just lost the drive to review or post at all, so I stopped, pretty much cold turkey. Reading without review is, as you said, refreshing. Sure, I write a quick paragraph for Goodreads, but that’s just for me.

    Like you say here, Ashley, the average blogger isn’t getting paid, so all the stuff about reading schedules and being “behind” on reviews is just…eh. I mean, if schedules work for you, go for it. But as someone who’s been out of the blogosphere (more or less) for a few months now, I think there’s something to be said about reading on your own without the industry being a factor.

  28. Very much me the last month, which is why I decided that I was going to look at what I wanted to read esp from my arcs list and pick what I wanted to read this month. I have stopped requesting books and I am not currently open for new reviews as of a couple of days ago.
    I am sure this post resonated with a lot of book bloggers. x

  29. I’ve stopped taking review requests. I plan on doing more series reviews in 2016. It’s hard to write new things about a series when it follows the same MC throughout. So I’m going to binge read and write a few lines about each book and be done it with.

    My goal for 2016 is to read more and write less. I’m writing so much for school right now that I don’t want to write for the blog. I’m stepping back a bit and letting my reviewers take more spots on the schedule.

  30. Pingback: Istyria Book Blog
  31. Great post! The only time I’ve really felt stressed was when I first started getting ARCs, and asked for too many because I was excited about getting the chance to get them. When I looked up and had a bunch “needing” to be reviewed at the same time, and not reading my own TBR books I started wondering why I did that to myself. Never again! I only ask for books I’m interested in reading to begin with, but now I only ask for a couple per month. That way I’m spending more time reading my own books. If I don’t review those, then who cares? I write when I feel like it, and if I’m not in the mood, like yesterday, then I kick back and do something else.

  32. I freaking love this post. It’s SO EASY to get caught up in all the stress but you are 100% right, this is supposed to be fun and it’s a hobby and we shouldn’t put so much pressure on ourselves that it gets to a point where we longer love it. LOVE this post!

  33. I went on a long hiatus for personal reasons in 2015, and I almost didn’t want to go back to blogging when I thought about how “behind” I was. Then, one day, I just told myself, “Stop requesting ARCs temporarily, rate the recent reads without reviewing them, and write about something for fun.” I’ve officially started transitioning away from book blogging towards whatever-the-heck-I-want-it’s-my-life blogging, and it feels great. I’m happier. I’m coming up with ideas more often. And most importantly, I can actually see myself continuing to blog for years.

  34. Thank you for reminding me if that. I have taken on more than I should because: #1 I don’t know how to say no very well and #2 life gets I. The way sometime and then I start feeling guilty. You are correct in everything you said. I am going to put it into practice and quit apologizing for getting behind AND learn to say no when I really cannot take on another book at the time. Thank you!!!

  35. I totally agree with you. I’ve got a bunch of 2015 eARCs I haven’t read and reviewed, and I’m not worrying about them (although sometimes I do, because I’d like to reach 100 on that Netgalley review ratio simply for the sake of reaching the impossible). And the moment I did stop stressing, it was like I owned my blog, not the publishers, and everything was great.

  36. I used to be so stressed about blogging. That was until I started co-blogging. After I partnered up with a close friend blogging became much more enjoyable. I’m learning I don’t have to review everything I read – which makes the load far more bearable. I loved this post, everything here is 100% true! Make sure blogging stays a hobby and it will not be so stressful.

    Kynndra-jo @ Diva Booknerd recently posted: Captive Prince by C.S. Pacat
  37. Wonderful post! this negative feeling hit me big time last year. I felt like I was under a pile that I could never escape. While I do want to keep my agreement of reviewing a book I requested, some I have just decided to put on a perpetual “hold” shelf. Also the pressure to read newer titles. I had to re-accept that it didn’t matter if the book was published in 2016, 2015, 2010, 1995, or even 1700. So now I am re-working a happy medium for my life. You are absolutely right. It should not feel like a job. Thanks for the affirmation. I needed it!

    Jamie @ Vailia's Page Turner recently posted: Task it Tuesday 1
  38. I had a book blog about a year or two ago and part of what stressed me was the idea that to be successful, you had to tweet constantly, post constantly, and be on social media 24/7. I tried to keep up with other bloggers, but it left me feeling burned out.

    What eventually drove me away was that at the time the community was facing a lot of serious issues with authors/bloggers/independent authors just being quite frankly-ugly and mean. I didn’t like it. I didn’t want to be a part of it, so I slowly, but surely stopped. Not everyone was like that, but it became enough of an issue that even I noticed. I wanted book blogging to be fun.

    Book blogging can be fun still, but to me it’s a shame that certain bloggers/authors for a time added negativity. The book blogging community can be very fun. I’ve started a new blog since then, a tiny blog, with a completely different focus, but it’s something I’m cognizant of as I never want to breed negativity in my posts or the community that seeks out my posts.

  39. This is the best post I’ve read in a while. I was completely stressed about reviewing books (I hate writing reviews, thinking about reviewing completely takes the fun out of reading the book, for me) so instead of worrying about it, I just stopped reviewing books unless I really have something to say.

  40. I love reading but hated writing reviews, I thought I would love having a book review blog but I hated it after 3 months. I just abruptly pulled the plug and frankly, why not? I wasn’t getting paid and I was dealing with too many demanding authors and one extremely rude and aggressive Book Tour owner.

  41. This is such a fantastic post Ashley! I love what you said about ARCs and the blogging pressure that comes with everything. I’ve dealt with mine by getting co-bloggers so I can feel on top of the blog but also free up my time for leisure reading. It’s definitely freeing!

  42. I 100% agree. I’ve gotten to the point in my book blogging where ultimately I just do what I want. I blog when I want to, I read what I want to, and I only agree to tours and what not if I 100% know I want to be part of it. While I love blogging, the last thing I want is for it to feel like a chore or a job when it isn’t. If I was getting paid to blog, it’d be a completely different story, but I’m not. it’s just a hobby. Love this, Ashley. Just love it.

  43. Blogging isn’t a job, and quite frankly, some of the tour companies and authors act like you’re an employee. I personally don’t feel like a free book is enough to demand all the time it takes to read it, review it on my blog, plus and put my review on “x” amount of sites, then promote it several times a day on social media so the day crowd and night crowd can see it.
    Let’s not forget that bloggers need to let people know about sales, because that’s how we can make a tiny amount of money. I haven’t gotten one check from any affiliate source. I’m sure it is because I’m not out posting sales all the time. They follow someone else that does it.
    For me, I want to read the galley because it sounds good and I don’t mind writing a review. I hate all the bullshit that comes with it. I hate being hunted down if I miss posting my review on one site. That is what makes it suck. I think we all feel underappreciated. We do all this work and basically get nothing out of it. Your blog has to have giveaways to keep and draw readers, and I don’t understand why some blogs get giveaway items and others don’t. So now I’m on the tour, but “x” blog has a giveaway and I don’t, so who do you think everyone hears about? Who’s blog gets promoted more than others on the tour? The tour companies and the authors are benefiting way more than we are. Can you tell how frustrated I am with the imbalance?
    Anymore I don’t do tours unless the book is something I know I am going to buy and read already. I request from Netgalley and Edelweiss and that’s it.
    One more point I would like to make it that I think it is shit that if we don’t like a book, or want to give it under 3 stars, we have to wait to post the review. Why? I want my readers to know I didn’t like a book and why I don’t like it. My readers have the same taste I do, and I hate that I’m contractually obligated to not tell them I don’t like the book until the tour is over because it will hurt the authors sales. I don’t want my readers to spend money or time on something they may not like. This clause always frustrates me.
    So after all that stuff I just wrote, I just don’t blog that much anymore and I just explained why. Yeah, it’s cool to get a free book, but look at all the bullshit that comes with it. Is it really worth it is the question we have to ask ourselves.

    1. Thanks for all your insights KB!

      If you consider the value of the book as compensation, that’s what… somewhere between $1 and $15? (Depending on if it’s a $0.99 self-pubbed book or a $15 hardcover.) Let’s say $10 for your average book (assuming you often get e-ARCs).

      Okay, now typically it’s probably going to take someone maybe around 3 hours just to read the book. That means you’re paying someone about $3.33 per hour. That is obviously far, far below minimum wage.

      Then you need to factor in writing the review, promoting the content, etc.

      Hardly fair compensation.

      As for your point about tours and reviews under 3 stars, I can actually understand that line of thinking. I think you need to see it from the author’s perspective. They paid to have an official promotional tour put together. It’s basically like a big advertising campaign full of testimonials. They don’t want negative content so closely tied to their official promo campaign that they paid for. It’s the same reason that they’re not going to slap a “the book was only okay” quote on the cover of their story. Or the same reason a product company isn’t going to run an advertising campaign on TV and have half the testimonials be, “Meh, the product didn’t do what I wanted.” Nope, they’re going to pick the positive testimonials.

      It makes sense when you think of it in terms of a promotional campaign to get more sales, which is exactly what it is.

      I stopped participating in tours because I hate it when I sign up, give the book less than 3 stars, then need to post a promotional piece on my blog instead. Again, I get why I need to do that and I’m not mad at the tour company for it… but it makes me feel like I’m blatantly lying to my readers, “Hey, check out this fabulous book! Consider buying it! …But I’m not going to tell you that I personally hated it.” It feels yucky.

      And that’s not the tour company’s fault, because the author paid them for x number of stops and they need to get those stops. I just personally don’t like risking that, which is why I choose not to participate at all.

  44. I really love this. I crashed last year in terms of blogging, because I became overwhelmed with exactly what you mentioned in this post; book reviews, tags, weekly features. It got ridiculous. And it stopped being fun. =( I didn’t blog for months, but I started again this month. I have to remember not to get bogged down, and despite what my favourite bloggers or peers are doing, it’s not a race!! ._.

    Ashana Lian . recently posted: Blogging Communities
  45. I just recently decided to retire a feature on my blog (my Book of the Month) that’s been a staple since I started! I realized it had become a massive chore & wasn’t fun anymore. I had taken a break from the feature to manage my site migration & redesign, and found I was way more relaxed without trying to plan it. And also, I realized I’d started sort of “phoning it in” with regards to the content I was putting together for that feature.

    I was sad to retire something that had been with my blog since the beginning, but I’m really happy overall to not have it hanging over my head as a burden.

    Now I just need to work on giving myself some more freedom to only write the reviews/blog posts I WANT to write and not always feeling obligated to do certain things just because that’s how I’ve done it in the past.

  46. It’s definitely tricky. Many dream of “getting there”, and there are so many articles online with “advice we should try”. I think for many there’s a very real fear that “If I relax, and don’t work so hard, I’ll never ‘get back up”, mixed in with a desperate desire to prove oneself a true writer.

    1. I had this kind of stress when I got about 10 ARC´s in one week. I must admit, that I had requested every single one of them and somehow lost track on how many I already had asked and I too wasn´t thinking that I would get every one of them. So I felt somehow unable to acomplish everything I had burdend myself.
      But what helped me eventually, to be able to slow down, was reminding myself, that there was a time, when I was new to blogging and I was able to get to where I am now. So if I would make a hiatus or just slow down a Little, I would be able to get to this polint again – if I wanted it.

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