Over the past few weeks I’ve been asked about “blogging” and why I would do this. These questions come mainly from people who either a. don’t read much/at all or b. love reading but would never dream of leaving a review.
So how do I explain myself to the non believers?
The Love of Reading
I am passionate about reading, I am passionate about everybody reading – I firmly believe that the world of books open up so many opportunities to us all – they instill a sense of adventure and a desire to explore our world; they provide escapism from the (sometimes) harsh reality of our everyday worlds; they educate us – we learn expression, the beauty and depth of language and facts about any subject under the sun.
I am a passionate advocate for reading to be open to all and not to be dependent on who you are, where you live and how much money you have; I firmly believe all local authorities should employ “Reading Champions” whose role is to take the written word out into our communities – including those who are often excluded – those living in care, prisons, users of health and social care services and families living in areas of deprivation. Reading Champions should not all be “academics” but should be chosen from the communities they live in – there is a real need to make reading “real” for everyone in our communities and to open up the world of books and their benefit to all.
Our libraries and community hubs play a major part in this but it is so soul-destroying to see cuts to those very services that can act as a forum for bringing readers together. So for me, blogging and supporting initiatives such as World Book Day and Book Week Scotland, are my very small contribution to keeping it real. My reviews are not literary works of art, they are not long-winded and of academic quality but I do hope that they come from my heart and tell the readers how the books make me feel.
Support for authors
I get so annoyed when I hear folk moaning about the price they pay for books – like seriously – do people actually think that all our authors out there are swanning around on world tours drinking champagne and getting million pound advances for the work they produce! Hell no they don’t! Most of them are holding down a day job, dealing with family trials and tribulations and the same grief that we all are on a daily basis – have yet to meet an author who has an army of manservants behind them in their massive villas! Most authors earn WAY less than the living wage, some struggle to break even – so that is one reason that I am always happy to support – I mean these guys spend months and years producing books that provide me with hours of pleasure and entertainment – so why should I begrudge the price of a book (and knowing what little return they get on the sales is even more reason for me to shout loud about them!) Plus not all authors have huge Publishing Houses with massive marketing budgets behind them so word of mouth is hugely important. Big publishers don’t always mean huge support either though and there are some damn good writers out there not getting the support they deserve! A huge shout out has to go to some of the smaller publishers who give their all to the authors on their books – believe me their passion shines through for the work that they do – and they are also massively supportive to bloggers!
Reasons you shouldn’t blog:
- To inflate your ego – it’s not all about you – it’s about the love of books, reading and support for authors.
- To get free books! Yes you do get ARCs and sometimes publishers will send you copies of books but if this is your main motivation then it’s wrong! I always either buy a published copy of ARCs I review and enjoy or more of the author’s work.
- To make money – no – no – no #needsaynomore!
See, my book obsession is not all about stalking authors!
Blogging about books has become part of my everyday life; I am constantly thinking about my reviews and the books that I read and who I think would enjoy them; I spend time at the start of the day, my lunch break and at the end of the day sharing other blogs on social media; the sense of “community” from other bloggers is awesome – you can feel the love ooze out the posts! I’ve made some great new friends who are an important part of my life, they are part of my tribe! The buzz you get when you see your posts shared and when somebody says “hey, great review – I’m going to go buy that book now” is unbelievable. The support from authors who are always happy to help you out with a guest review and who take the time out their busy schedules to thank you for your support gives me a wee warm glow inside! Blogging has become as natural as breathing to me now and I can’t imagine a day without it!