First of all, I want to thank Octavia for thinking of me and asking me to be part of her blogoversary celebration. Secondly, HAPPY BLOGOVERSARY! Here’s to your first year and many more!
I’ve been given the task to talk about the evolution of my blog, Literary, etc. In order to do so, I feel a mini history of how it was born is necessary (don’t worry there’s no quiz afterwards).
This time last year, I was part of a multi-member blog that I helped create, but I wasn’t happy. There were seven of us and I was doing the majority of the work in terms of reviews (a little insight: in the 4 months I was a member I had 20 reviews posted and the rest had less than 4), blog maintenance, and then came the straw that broke the camel’s back. Long story short, we often hosted book discussions with followers and I’d have one or two members attend, but mostly it was just me and a follower or two. With a heavy heart, I decided to leave, but when the passwords to accounts were changed before I could rearrange projects I was working on, I knew where I stood in their eyes. Then my reviews along with author interviews were deleted the evening I announced my impending departure. I closed myself off and spent most of December trying to focus on myself. It’s funny, no one tells you when you leave a blog that it’s like a break up. Friends I made as a member soon stopped talking to me and soon I became blacklisted.
I was lucky that I established Lit, etc as a backup blog of sorts. See when I was asked to join this venture, I was in the midst of setting of my own blog because a dear friend suggested it back in May/June 2012. I was weary because it meant stepping into a world I knew nothing about. I mean blog about books? In many ways, it was easier to tag along with a group than to step into the world of blogging alone. You don’t know how much I regret that decision.
When the time came to establish Literary, etc I researched names and all that jazz. I was sad I couldn’t use part of the name I gave the ex-blog since their name comes by my suggestion, but I pressed on. I knew I didn’t want to focus on just romance or mysteries and wanted a blog that could step out of the confines and talk about anything, but the primary focus would be books. Prior to setting up Lit, etc I wouldn’t have looked at the YA genre. It just wasn’t my thing, but here’s the thing, YA bloggers have been the most welcoming. Blogs that focus on romance are the most cutthroat (from what I’ve seen and experienced. With the ex-blog, there were constant flame wars with another blog and loads of backstabbing) and I noticed there’s a lot of recycled information. You follow one big blog and they post about a new book by one author and before you know it there were 20 blogs vying for that author’s attention and fans. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen in YA, but I have yet to really see it. I decided to dip my toes into YA and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. If you take a look at my blog, you’ll see a wide range of genre reviews though the primary focus is historical, romance, and mysteries.
Bloggers are in a difficult position because we’re told to post x number of days, keep memes to a minimum, offer content other than reviews, and disregard everything that’s been said. When Lit, etc began, my aim was 7 day postings with 3 reviews a week. By March, I restructured my blogging week and knew that Friday’s would be Film Friday where I highlight a book adapted into film. Then in September I introduced One Liners for a Saturday posting, where I take the first line a book (I include prologues) and ask if it were a pick up line would you flirt, be interested, or walk away. Gone is the Sunday posting of paintings and a few have asked when it will return and right now I can’t say it will because it pushes me back to a 7 day posting schedule. Like most blogs, I have a discussion feature and have that set up for a bi-monthly posting on Wednesdays and even then it seems like I post those once in a blue moon. I sometimes participate in Top Ten Tuesday or Feature & Follow Friday, but not very often. My limited participation is part due to the restructuring Lit, etc went through. Launching features for any blog is hard because it can either be a hit or miss. It takes dedication on the blogger’s part to go the extra mile and post on those days. The days you don’t see one it’s because I couldn’t summon the energy to make a post.
One of the questions bloggers ask themselves is how much is too much with regards to posting. As I stated, I use to do a 7 day posting. Lately, I’m on a 4 day posting and don’t feel guilty if I don’t post, but I try to keep it to one posting a day because I don’t want to overwhelm subscribers. Recently, a blogger brought up this question and in their mindset 2 or 3 postings encourage followers to check a post. I understand this reasoning, but I still can’t bring myself to do it because for me, it requires effort. Effort to come up with additional content and I just can’t bring myself to do it. I just can’t. I’d rather have a single post or none at all than fluff content. Speaking of fluff, I try to keep cover reveals, promo blitzes, etc to a minimum. If you think about it, these really aren’t exclusive if you have 100 blogs participating and a lot of subscribers may see up to 30 posts with the same content. But when I do participate, I do it for books that look interesting and ones where I’m inclined to pick up.
Ultimately, Literary, etc has evolved and no doubt will continue to do so. I’ve closed review requests to where I only accept them if I’ve worked with a publisher or author (this in part has to do with the plagiarism cases the blogging world has seen this summer and some authors getting a bit ah, shall we say “testy” because I didn’t respond right away to a request. I like to research authors who request to see if they’d be a good fit). I’ve toyed with the idea of a name change since at the time there weren’t many Literary (insert word), but I’m too lazy to update things (the fact remains a few quoted reviews are still under the ex-blog’s name & I haven’t asked authors to change it because it feels awkward asking.). I’ve thought of changing my review style, but alas, I feel like a fraud when I attempt it. I haven’t thought of what’s in store for Lit, etc come 2014, but I only can hope the evolution of the blog is for the good and I can establish more friendships with fellow like minded bloggers.
I read somewhere that the average lifespan of a book blog is something like 2 years. To the bloggers who have been doing this for a few years, I salute you!
Thank you Jessica!!! I know all that mess must have sucked but I’m an avid
obsessed fan of Literary, Etc! You keep doing awesome things over there ma’am!