This week marks the 5th year of Book Blogger Appreciation Week, a yearly event to celebrate book bloggers that started my first year of book blogging back in 2008. After only four months of book blogging, my blog Presenting Lenore had already made enough impact to be nominated for Best YA blog that first year (an honor I won in 2010).
It's hard to believe how far I've come in five years, and I'll never tire of saying just how much book blogging was instrumental to my success as an author. In my acknowledgements for LEVEL 2 I say thank you to book bloggers for challenging me and enabling me. What do I mean by that? Let's break it down:
Book bloggers love creating and joining reading challenges, and though I've never been terribly successful at completing them, they have been my impetus for expanding my reading horizons (i.e. trying out an adult category romance book and reading more POC novels and more overlooked gems in general). And book bloggers challenged me to read MORE books. Before book blogging, I read maybe 50 books a year - which I considered a lot. After book blogging? More than 150 a year. All this reading fed into my idea kitchen and gave me an excellent basis to start writing.
Ask a book blogger if you should buy/read a certain book always leads to the inevitable answer of YES. So thanks to book bloggers for expanding my book buying habit about 30 fold. Book bloggers have also been incredibly supportive of my writing habit - forgiving me when I go days at a time without posting on my once incredibly active blog.
But it's not just that. Coming from a book blogger background I am intimately aware of how much commitment it is to review one single book. Let's say an average time needed to read a book is 4 hours. Then you have writing a review which may take around 1 hour. Then there is the time spent formatting it and finding links and extra content as well as linking the review on twitter, facebook and other social media - not to mention uploading it to amazon, Goodreads, LibraryThing, and NetGalley which can also take up to an hour. So the average book review you see on a blog? Takes that blogger 6 hours. And they do it for free. Because they love books. And that's why I'm always amazed and incredibly grateful when book bloggers review LEVEL 2. It's a remarkable gift that I will never stop appreciating.