Mistakes I Made as a Beginner Book Blogger

mistakes I made as a beginner book blogger

Adventures of a Bibliophile is almost five years old! Hopefully that means we are out of the awkward stage. Honestly, I feel like this blog has become more reflective of my personality and what I feel passionate about over the past few years. I’ve gotten into the groove of blogging (for the most part) and feel like I’m part of this amazing community. But it wasn’t always smooth sailing.

When I started Adventures of a Bibliophile, I wasn’t new to blogging (fun fact: I actually ran a pretty popular nail art blog for about four years). But book blogging is kind of a different beast than anything I’ve done before, and there is a learning curve. And while I will never regret starting this blog, there are some things I regret doing when I started out. And today, I’m coming clean! Hopefully it’ll inspire you to not make the same mistakes I did.

Inflating my Ratings

When I first started reviewing books, I was definitely guilty of exaggerating my ratings. Mostly, I felt bad giving books negative reviews, even when I didn’t like them. But – and I’m sure many of you can relate – it’s can be difficult to honestly review books that were sent to you. It feels like a big deal, and it’s hard to say “thanks for sending me the free book, but I didn’t like it and I’m going to tell all my followers”. I’ve gotten over that fear, and in the past year or two have been more honest in my reviews. If I hate a book, I’m going to tell you. Even if it means that publisher won’t work with me anymore (which has happened). There will always be more books, and I don’t always need to get a review copy. I like reviewing backlist books, or books I picked up just because. It’s more fun that way. And I feel better posting honest reviews than exaggerating them out of guilt. (Side note: it’s totally okay to give a book a bad review, but please don’t tag the author in it. I never tag the author, even if I love a book, because the reviews are for the readers.)

Saying Yes to EVERYTHING

Like I said, it can be really exciting when you get your first ARC. It’s still exciting for me. But the excitement can also make it hard to turn books down. When I first started my blog, I said yes to pretty much every book that was offered to me. Which was not a great idea, because I ended up feeling obligated to read and review books that weren’t my cup of tea. I did discover some great books, but I was also overwhelmed, both by the sheer number of books I “needed” to review, and the guilt of not liking a lot of them. There were some books I received to review early in my blog that I ended up really disliking. Mostly self-published books that could have really used an editor. And, most of the time, I never published a review because I felt bad giving them a bad one. I’ve learned that, even if I have to purchase every book I review, it’s worth it. I feel better about what I’m reading and I’m putting out better content on my blog. You don’t have to say yes to everything, even when it feels great to get the offer.

Buying ALL THE HYPED BOOKS

Yes, I still definitely buy way too many books. But I can definitely say that now I buy a lot of books that I really want to read (or am at least interested in reading). When I first started blogging, I bought way too many books just because I had seen them mentioned in a blog or on BookTube. I would buy books for the sole purpose of blogging about popular books, rather than blogging about the books that I actually wanted to purchase. Which is a bad idea. Because I have read very few of those books. And I can’t think of a single one off the top of my head that I actually loved. I am so much happier now that I read and talk about books that I genuinely wanted to read as a reader, not just to get more hits on my blog (which doesn’t work anyway, just so you know).


I’m sure I made a lot more mistakes when I started this blog, but these are the ones I still don’t feel great about. But we live and we learn, and the best I can do is stop making these mistakes. I’ve been so much happier since I did!

What’s a blogging mistake you regret? Or one you almost made, and are glad you didn’t? What’s one thing you wish you had done differently?

14 thoughts on “Mistakes I Made as a Beginner Book Blogger

  1. Congrats on almost 5 years!!! That is awesome 😀 I’ve been guilty of the 1st one, its really hard to write a negative review if the Author might see it, especially if they requested you read it. I still struggle with that one, but I’m getting better! 🙂 Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Honestly, my fix was to stop agreeing to read books I don’t think I’ll like. Because I really hate writing bad reviews (except the one time I read an offensive ARC, then I didn’t feel bad hating it. Now I have more time to read books I choose for myself, which is really nice.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad I’m not the only one! Once I started getting multiple emails on a daily basis asking for reviews, it was easier to just ignore them. I have a full-time job outside this blog, and I genuinely don’t have time to respond to everything. I hate saying no, but I make it clear I can’t always respond.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I enjoy your blog very much and haven’t noticed any “mistakes.” 🙂 But some bloggers DO exaggerate their appreciation of review copies, and it can be detrimental to their blogs. I have not noticed any such problem here, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I was definitely a little guilty of it when I first started. But I’ve gotten much better. I’m not going to give a good review of a book I didn’t like. If anything, I just won’t review it at all. It’s so much more fun to write reviews of books I feel strongly about (whether I loved it or hated it).

      Like

  3. I think most of us were guilty of those items you noted and then some. I started writing my blog to work on marketing the books i published for my grandfather. However, no clue what i was doing and wasted a lot of time and some effort trying to find a proper niche. Then i began getting requests for reviews and that part took off. now i get so many i can’t respond to them all but try to be VERY careful for the ones i will accept. I don’t like giving negative reviews and have had to cut down on blog tours because so many of those books are not really to my liking and i didn’t feel free to say so–it’s a “promotional” blog tour, after all.

    Liked by 1 person

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