If you’ve been book blogging for a while then you know how busy this type of blogging can keep you. Once authors get to know about you and your blog you will undoubtedly begin receiving review requests – a lot of requests. Chances are, you do not have unlimited free time to sit at the computer, blogging. You probably have a job, school and a family taking up a large portion of your day. So, how do you blog about books without having it take over your life?
Place Very Specific Instructions on Your Blog
Trust me, not everyone will read your specific instructions, let alone follow them, but at least it’s there in black and white. If you absolutely will not read a particular genre then state this clearly. If you only read certain genres, mention that too. This won’t eliminate requests from those authors who think they can get a genre past you, but it will greatly cut down on requests for unwanted genres.
Decide Ahead of Time How Many Books You Can Read and Review at any Given Time
You might be a fast reader, but you’re not a robot who reads non-stop. You probably have a general idea of how long it takes you to read a book. Not all book lengths are the same of course. Genre often dictates the length of a book. Try calculating a general idea of read time and stick to a reasonable amount of books per month. If you begin to get overwhelmed, you always have the option of adding a temporary notice on your blog stating that you aren’t accepting any books at the moment, but will let authors know when you are.
Ask For Those All-Important Backlinks
Authors are a diverse group of individuals, just like any other group of people. Most are super nice and appreciative.While your main objective for book blogging should be to help inform readers, you are also helping authors in their quest to find an audience for their books. Writing well-constructed, thoughtful book reviews takes time. If an author is requesting that you read and post a review of his or her book, it's perfectly acceptable to ask them to share your review. Your time is VALUABLE, so don’t sell yourself short. Politely requesting (via a sentence or two on your "About" page) that authors include links back to your original review is a great way to strengthen your reputation as a serious book reviewer.
Learn to Say No
You do not have to agree to read and review every single book that is offered to you. If a book isn’t your cup of tea, then say so. Remember, your time is valuable. Who wants to struggle over a book simply out of obligation? Reading is supposed to be an enjoyable pastime, not a painful, boring chore.
So, Book Bloggers, what do you think? What works for you? What are some of your experiences? Let me know in the comment section below!