I write this post with the intention of making light of the struggles/mistakes I talk about, yet also keep it real with you all. Some of these are more lighthearted and trivial than others, but coming to recognize and accept these mistakes was a hard thing to do regardless. So if it helps anyone out there feel less alone or heard, I’m happy in advanced. Shall we?
#1: Starting out with probably the ugliest font there is
Back in the day
aka 3 years ago, I used a font called Coquette for my post body font for every. single. post. Listen, if Coquette is your vibe and you really like it, by all means use it! But personally, using this font for post BODY text?
I c a n n o t believe I thought it was a good idea to try to get my foot in the door as a ~professional book reviewer~ by using a font like that for my actual post content! The font I use now is called Futura/Futura Light and it is MUCH better on the eyes. I am so sorry to any readers who had to endure my coquette phase.
#2: DNF’ing a book an author requested for you to review.
This is a MAJOR no-no I had to learn from a well-reasoned PSA on Twitter. In my opinion, while it IS okay to deny an author’s book review request if you genuinely aren’t interested in the book, it is NOT okay to accept the request and the book (for free!!) and DNF it because you didn’t like it. I did this three years ago and I would definitely NEVER do it again. It’s rude and a waste of an author’s precious time. Do not do this!
#3: Writing overly critical book reviews because I thought it made me more “professional” or smart.
Quick disclaimer: this is not me bashing critical reviewers! Warranted criticism can be SO beneficial for both authors and readers alike!
Early on in my book blogging experience, I was under the impression that being critical of books showed that I had profound critical thinking skills, which would in turn make me more desirable to work with in the eyes of publishers. And while I’m not saying that critical reviews aren’t the product of critical thinking, being mean in a review ≠ being a critical thinker.
I learned this through general reflection of my attitude when writing reviews. I started asking myself things like: was it really necessary to point out a specific scene and blast it? What value was that adding to my overall review, if any?
Maybe you thought being overly/unnecessarily critical would make you look smart or look like you had a refined literary taste. Perhaps you don’t want to be known as the reviewer that gives everything you read 5 stars. Whatever your thought-process may be, I urge you to ask yourself whether your criticism is justified before hitting publish on a negative book review.
#4: Valuing quantity over quality when it comes to blog posts.
This is something that I am STILL learning! Blogging is somewhat like a competitive sport because everyone wants to do it and everyone wants your attention. Don’t get me wrong, you do have to hustle to get anywhere and see progress NO DOUBT, but there comes a time that I think we can all relate to when you start writing posts that you really don’t care about just for the sake of posting on schedule.
The thing is, it totally shows if your audience is attentive. Your voice changes. The mood of your writing just feels…off. The lack of passion is visible no matter how hard you try to hide it. The best (and IMO, only) way out of that situation is to dial back your posts and give your brain a break, which is something we all need to do sooner or later.
Finally,#5: Starting my blog on Wix.
I used to be the BIGGEST Wix stan there ever was. Even in my blog bio I used to say I recommend it because of its user design flexibility and all the pretty and free clipart! Yay!
Since migrating Cierra’s Cynosure to WordPress from Wix and learning its features, I can honestly say that I do not recommend starting your book blog on Wix. Over the last 2 years that I was hosting my blog there, it accumulated so many problems that simply went unaddressed.
On top of that, the sad reality is that it’s simply not easy to gain a following there. I now understand that WordPress is so standard in the blogging community for the following reasons:
- It is cheap to start out (lowest plan is $5/mo)
- Cheap to buy a domain ($18/year)
- Overall just easier to interact with other bloggers because:
- It has its own built-in following, liking, sharing, and commenting system, none of which Wix has.
If you’re starting a book blog, my best advice is to at least begin here on WordPress, and go from there if you have to.
So, there are 5 of my book blogger regrets! As the old saying goes, do as I say and not as I do. I could probably think of a few more if I really tried, so if it would be of your interest to hear more of my book blogging fails, let me know below!
Also, if you have any book blogging regrets and you feel comfortable enough to share them, please do so in the comments too! Trust me, it feels nice to laugh at ourselves every once and awhile. Until next time!