Busting the Newbie Blues 2012

I participated in Busting the Newbie Blues last year and had such a fun time that when I was asked to do it again this year I jumped at the chance! Small Review came up with such a great event to help new bloggers adjust to the crazy book-blogosphere. Check out all the the details here! There is also Busting the Big Blogger Blues that is just as awesome which is hosted over at Ruby Reads.

1. When did you start your blog?
      March 11, 2010.

2. Do you ever still feel like a newbie?
      Oh my goodness, YES, all the time! I have requested books from a publisher in the past and had only reviewed about half the ones they had sent me, I felt so terrible! I'm just a complete mood reader and absolutely cannot get into a book when I'm not in the mood to read it. I learned that I probably shouldn't be requesting books quite yet, at least until I hopefully grow out of the 'I'll only read a certain book if I'm in the mood to' phase.    

3. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far? Did you make any mistakes new bloggers can learn from?
     The biggest challenge I've faced so far would definitely be keeping up blogging even if other things in my life  become busy. I need to learn how to set a specific time aside to just blog or even read other blogs. I was gone for a couple months after beginning college and didn't blog at all, which I definitely regret. I kept thinking that since I didn't have time to do a post every single day, that I just shouldn't blog at all. I learned that I should just do what I can with the time I have and that it doesn't have to be an every single day type of thing, that I should just enjoy it!

4. What did you find most discouraging about being a new blogger? How did you deal with this?
      For me the most discouraging thing was not getting comments or really having anyone to interact with. I felt like I was just writing reviews and no one was even seeing it. I mean I do this for me and would still do it if I didn't have followers, but it's just nice to not be in it alone. After the followers starting growing, interacting and responding to posts is when I really started to have fun with blogging. I learned that I have to go out there and comment or use twitter to let others know that I'm here and that I have this blog. I am just so lucky to have met so many great people through blogging!

5. What do you find most encouraging?
      When I got back from my time away, everyone was just so welcoming and kept saying they missed me and my posts too. That was the absolute greatest feeling in the world! I kept in touch with a few people while I was away and that was really awesome too. Just having people appreciate you and what you're doing is always great, also the friendships I've made always encourages me to keep blogging because I always could meet more awesome people.

6. If you could go back in time and speak with your newbie self, what five bits of wisdom would you tell yourself?
      -I know you hear this all the time, but followers really do come in time. Just because there might not be a large amount of people following you doesn't mean that you should stop blogging. Know that you're doing this for you and because you love books, all of the awesome followers is just a majorly huge plus!
     -Don't try to figure out html in the middle of the night when you're half asleep. Even during the daytime when you're loaded with caffeine you'll barely understand it. Just don't throw you're laptop against a wall!
     -Writing reviews once a week doesn't work for you, your memory sucks and you know this Katie! Before you even start another book you need to have the review written or at least outlined because you'll forget when you start another book.
     -A great way to get comments is to go out and comment on other blogs! Just let people know you're here! Don't be afraid of thinking your comment is stupid or something like that, everyone is super nice... and if they're not then they're not worth your time!
     - I know it's hard not to, but Katie please don't spend your entire day on blogger, twitter, goodreads and tumblr. It's addicting and so much fun, but then you'll be gone for the next two days trying to catch up on all the schoolwork and chores you missed the day you were a zombie with the internet.

7. What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
       I love that they post reviews that are easy to follow, but that they also not just post reviews. They have other book related stuff they post and sometimes things that may not be book related too. It's nice to see a wide range of content about a certain subject on a blog. I try to post just not reviews or memes, but a wide variety of everything. I also enjoy when bloggers have pictures in their posts so it's not just all text. It looks less intimidating and a lot more fun to view a page that's not jammed with text. I try to add pictures, but I still get carried away with my writing, I definitely need to work on summarizing more!

8. What do you dislike about blogs you’ve seen? Do you try to avoid this?
      I'm definitely guilty of this sometimes, but when a blog just posts memes. I mean don't get me wrong I think they're totally fun too, but I like reading reviews and other types of posts too. I try to avoid this, but sometimes it's hard because like I said memes are so fun and easy to write out.

9. How did you bring your blog to the attention of so many people?
      In all seriousness, it was my incredible followers spreading the word and twitter! Having a button for people to put on their site that links back to your blog is very helpful to get the word out. Twitter is just amazing! I have met all of my blogging buddies through there and it's so easy to talk. You can also tweet posts that you put up on your blog. My main source of traffic on my blog comes from Twitter, so I definitely recommend getting one if you're looking for more followers (or just an opportunity to talk to some really awesome people!) Ooo also just commenting on blogs that I read, letting them know that you're out there. They'll usually come comment back and check out your blog in return!

10. When and how did you get your first ARC (or first few ARCs)?
       Okay story time! So the first ARC I ever requested was Wake Unto Me by Lisa Cach. I sent my request in almost a year before the book came out and to top it off to the wrong publisher! So my first experience with emailing wasn't so good, but the cool thing with that was I later received an ARC from Lisa when she was a guest author in Lauren and mine's Birthday Extravaganza. The very first ARC I received was from Lisa and Laura Roecker and it was their book, The Liar Society! It was just so cool to get a book that didn't even have an 'official' cover yet and to have someone trust in you to write a review. I can remember flipping out when I got the package! I still get all excited when I receive books in the mail, I think I always will!


  1. Great post! Great advice. I want to try Twitter. I just don't know if I have the time.

  2. Thanks Juju! You totally should! I was hesitant about getting it because I didn't even know what I'd tweet, but it's *so* addicting!

  3. The Liar Society was my first ARC too!! I agree with everything you said. Twitter is a wonderful way to get followers and meet new people!

  4. You are such a sweetheart :) Loved your answer to #3, and I'm the same way with reviews! I've got to write them right after I finish the book, or it just won't happen. Thanks for the Twitter tip!

  5. I still get excited when I get books in the mail too! I hope that never wears off :)

    Also, I totally hear you on the mood reading thing. I'm like that too, I don't like to force myself to read a book at a particular time. That's one reason I steer clear of book tours, for the most part — there's such a limited amount of time to read the book in before it needs to get passed on to the next reviewer. Too much pressure!

    If you'd like to check out my "Busting the Newbie Blues" post, it's here.

  6. Aww Hi Steff! Thank you! :D

    Hey Alice! No way really!? That's awesome and thank you! :)

  7. Hey Katie! Aww thank you! I'm glad I'm not the only one with a bad memory with reviews haha :)

    Hi Danya! I'm totally with you, I did a couple book tours before and I epically failed at meeting the date! Yes, too much pressure for sure!

  8. Katie!! I've missed you... especially your personality and vlogs! Twitter is definitely not my strong suit. I don't know why I have such a hard time with it... just don't really have anything to say, I guess. I'm jealous of those on twitter who have awesome networking skills and have met publishing contacts through it.

  9. This is all great advice! Thank y'all for it.
    By the way Katie, what happened to you? I signed on the next day after commenting back and you was gone. I wasn't being sarcastic. I really was excited to have two followers. Sorry if I offended you,
    -The Book Babe

  10. Hey The Book Babe! Oh my goodness you totally didn't offend me! Don't worry! I'm constantly losing the people I follow on my blog roll for some reason! (It happens on my twitter too) I'm on my way to go follow your blog again! Sorry about that! :)