For those of you who are unfamiliar with Advance Reader Copies (ARCs), they are unpublished copies of books that are given out by publishers and authors to create pre-release buzz for a book. It’s a great marketing tactic and is also an added benefit for bloggers. BUT and this is a big but…. What do you do when you have more than your share of ARCs to review in a given month and not enough time to read them?
I’m sure some people think my long absence from blogging had to do with the release of my first novel. I can assure you that is not what caused my blogging burnout. I was already worn down prior to my decision to publish. The mountain of books I had to read and review combined with the release was beyond stressful, and I ultimately chose to focus on one thing over the other. While writing, marketing, and working on my novels took up a lot of my time, that is not the primary reason for my absence. By the time Thanksgiving hit, I had so many ARCs, both physical and ebook, to review that I was overwhelmed. It literally gave me anxiety because I was trying to figure out how I would find the time to read every single book by the pub date.
I am that blogger, the one who wants to do everything in their power to help out another author. I became a blogger for two reasons: to meet other bookish people who like to talk about books and to help promote authors I love. I accomplished both of these things through blogging and met some amazing people along the way who I am proud to call my friends. At the time I started my blog, I had no plans to publish my books. They were manuscripts just sitting on my computer that I was too afraid to shop out because I didn’t feel like putting the time into looking for an agent.
I became a book blogger not only because I love books but because I love promoting authors. I really do. And indie authors have always been my favorite to promote, and that was long before I became an indie author.
Books are supposed to make you happy NOT give you anxiety. I was going through my blog planner, NetGalley, Penguin First to Read, my bookshelf, my email, and my Kindle, and I literally could not breathe after thinking about how many books I had agreed to review. I kept thinking about how the authors and publishers were relying on bloggers to promote and review these books, and I gave myself migraines every day until I made the decision to take a step back and focus on something else.
Now, I know you’re thinking I shouldn’t have requested all those books. Some of them I did not even request. They were mailed to me by the publisher or showed up in my NetGalley queue as an auto-approval. I didn’t even know books could just show up in my queue until it happened, and then I was like wait, I don’t have time to read this book. Add to the list the indie books I had agreed to read and the pile of books was honestly too much for me to stomach.
Luckily, I received books that were 4-6 months ahead of the pub date so I can catch up on them now. I have a lot of reviews coming up in the next month. I’m also catching up on all the books all of you told me to read. I thought I’d share this bit of information so you don’t end up burning yourself out. I love blogging and talking to everyone, which is why I stayed connected on Facebook and Twitter while I was on hiatus. I may not always have the time to visit everyone’s blog, and I do try my best to visit the blogs who comment, but I do value your friendships and support. I just thought you should know that.
For those of you who have followed me over the past year, you know I give it to you straight. This is me keeping it real. I’m working on reviews and posts for the blog, and I am now getting back into the swing of things. I promise the blog you once followed is coming back to life. Again, thank you for your continued support of my blog and my writing. You have no idea how much I appreciate your tweets, messages, and posts. Thank you!
HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH BLOGGER BURNOUT? What do you do or have you done to avoid a hiatus?
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