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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

Eleven Magic Words

When I am honest with myself, I have to admit that I am starting to find reading and reviewing books for my blog to be a little bit overwhelming. For some reason, I have less and less time to spend reading – and I have no idea where the time is going!

My TBR pile is getting larger and larger. I’m acquiring books faster than I can read them, and it has become quite overwhelming. In addition, I am finding as I look through my TBR pile that I have no idea why I even have some of these books.

Plus, my inbox has gotten out of control with the sheer number of emails that are strictly promotional about books. It’s gotten frustrating because more and more of these emails start with “Dear Blogger” or are about books that I would never even consider reading. Wading through these emails takes up the better part of my free time.

A few weeks ago, I tried something. I changed my Review Policy on my blog. Instead of paragraphs on what type of books I will accept for review on my blog, and what an author/publisher/publicist could expect from me in return for a book for review, my review policy now only contains the following 11 words: “I am no longer accepting books to review on my blog.”

And you know what? Those 11 words are the most freeing thing that I have ever typed for my blog.

Eleven Magic Words

But why?

Previously, I had been spending too much time even just debating whether to accept a book for review, because I had no idea if I would have the time to read it. (I still have some copies that I’ve received from publishers years ago that I haven’t read yet.) Since the decision about not accepting more review copies, I don’t have to debate with myself whether I should take on a book – before even reading the full email from publishers/authors/publicists/etc through, I respond with a short message about how I’m not accepting books for my blog right now.

And it’s the best feeling in the world.

I won’t feel guilty all the time that I’m not reading books that I was provided. I won’t feel guilty if I don’t enjoy a book an author or publisher sent me. I won’t feel guilty for reading what I want to read, when I want to read it.

That’s not to say that I won’t start accepting books in the future, but it won’t be for quite a long time. I need to catch up on what I have right now.

What I Can Still Offer Authors On My Blog

The major issue I was having was that I was allowing myself to feel too much pressure over a hobby of mine. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t understand that blogging can be beneficial to authors and to the promotion of books. I would still like to be able to offer authors a way to promote themselves and their books on my blog. I’m still passionate about sharing books, especially when the author isn’t as well known, and I want to be able to help authors get exposure for their books. Especially smaller authors who aren’t involved in huge blog tours.

So, if you’re an author or are working on promoting an author’s book, please still feel free to get in touch with me about either a guest post or an interview – I would love to work with you in these respects.

Shameless Self Promo

And hey, authors! I’m also a web designer and front-end developer. You definitely need an awesome web presence to help promote your books. If you’re looking for help with developing your web presence and your website, give me a shout. End of my shameless self promotion.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 7:09 am July 9, 2014.
Category: Bookish Talk

  • Cat

    Those eleven words (which I totally read as “elven words” btw) are freeing, but I am fairly certain they won’t be read and you’ll still get pitches. ;) I don’t think many of these people read the blogs they have an email list for. It’s gotten very out of control and overwhelming. I am sort of happy I quietly retreated from much of the book blogging world in the last year. Though I still have my favourite people both blogging, authoring and publishing that I will stay in contact with. ;)

  • Courtney Wilson

    Oh, I am CERTAIN they won’t be read. But it means that I have set a standard for myself that I can stick with easily without feeling bad for turning stuff down.

    And I had to go back and check everything to make sure I didn’t misspell it as “elven.” :)

  • Jenn vanOosten

    Good for you! Whether anyone reads the words or not is besides the point – decision made, you know your stance without having to hemm & haw about it now. Cheers!!