Posted in My Book, Notes

This was really hard to write but…

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I’m quitting.

Yes, you read that right. I am quitting my blog. Okay, maybe quitting is too harsh a word, perhaps stepping aside indefinitely?

This decision has been a hard one… scrap that it was kind of easy to make as it has been on my mind for months, but its hard to actually type it and say it out loud. I haven’t been happy, I haven’t wanted to write reviews and to be honest what started out as a hobby seems to take up so much time and effort that there isn’t enough hours in the day to go to work, juggle reading and reviewing in the night and editing my novel.

If there are enough hours, someone please throw them my way. I can’t keep up any more and as you can see, I hardly ever post any more and I hate that. I also started this blog as an escapism. I started it when I was unemployed and it was easy to maintain, I had nothing else to do. Then it became an escapism when I was so unhappy in my job that if I kept it up, it would lead me somewhere else. And now I am really happy in my new job.

I’ve only spoken about this properly to about two people – Anna Bloom and my best friend. Anna has been a massive support to me and I am so glad I know her. She sees that I have new things in my life – my novel – that is taking my time and I am going in a new direction. My best friend is also supportive and thinks that I;m this way because my blog used to be my safe sanctuary because of my job. And they are both right. I have other things to focus on now and I cant be panicking about what goes on my blog at what time and all that other stress that comes with technically having two full time jobs.

That;s not to say I wont post occasionally. I’m still keeping this blog open and I will fulfil everything I have signed up for in the next few months but after that posting will be scarce. I’ll still be on Twitter and Facebook – just under my author name – and I’ll still pimping authors and books but reviews wont be around as much. I’m not enjoying writing them – as you can see I only post them occasionally – and its not fair on the authors if I write a crappy review when I am a book blog and I should put my all into them.

It’s scary stepping away from blogging. It’s been my life for two years now and its brought me new friends and I’ve met some amazing authors thanks to it, but I have new goals in my life now that I want to see through and its exciting. And when the time comes, and i’m happy in myself and everything, i’ll come back to being a part of The Book Lovers.

But for now, I want to focus on my book and being Z. Elizabeth. It’s been a long time coming and my book has been in the back of my mind for the past few years and to actually see it through, with the first draft done, well, I am so happy with myself for finishing it. It’s been hard, its been draining but i’ve had the support of some great people kicking my ass to get it done, to finish Nic and Craig’s story and I am nearly there.

And I cannot wait to share it with you all. Even if a handful only read it, it doesnt matter, I will be so grateful to each and every one of you who want to love my characters like I do.

So yes, The Book Lovers is on a hiatus for the unforeseeable future. I want to thank you for following my blog and social media accounts, it means a lot to me and I just hope that you will continue to follow my new goal – my book, The Deal.

If you want to read THE blurb, you can find it on Goodreads, minus the cover, as I will be doing a cover reveal real soon 🙂

I’d love it if you would add it on GR.

And join in my COVER REVEAL on AUGUST 29th, you can sign-up HERE 🙂

I’ve also changed my Twitter handle and my Facebook. I know that is going to confuse a hell of a lot of people i talk to, but my picture will be a sign that I *used to be* The Book Lovers hahaa.

Posted in Notes

Just a few words of advice for new bloggers :)

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I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, how I set up my blog, all the things that blogging includes and so I decided to put together a list for all the new up and coming blogs to perhaps mull over. I know it took a while for me to get my head around everything, so I am hoping this may put your mind at ease. So, here are my tips for you 🙂

Getting started

It took me a while to actually set up a blog. I’ve loved reading since I was little and then I had a kindle for Christmas one year and Amazon was like a massive candy shop. I was finding books by authors I had never even heard of – self-published authors and a new genre called New Adult took me by storm. I spoke to some friends who encouraged me to set up a book blog and I did and I’ve never looked back.

Take the time to decide which hosting site you want to use. WordPress and Blogger are the most popular but its all down to personal preferences which of the many sites you want to set your blog on. Also picking a blog name and icon is highly important. This will be the name and photo in which everyone will know you, in which authors will know you, so think about it carefully and then embrace the fact you have a blog!! It’s fun and exciting and scary all rolled into one, but you are starting what you love so don’t let anyone put you down.

Blogging is NOT about free books

I never knew you could obtain ARCS or review copies when I began my blog, hell, I didnt even know what they were. I was happy buying books, reading them then reviewing. As I mention below, I had no idea what I was doing when I started, so free books were FAR from my mind. If you are beginning a blog just to get free books then think again. You should do it for the love of books, not so you DONT have to pay for them. Sure, there are websites such as NetGalley and Edelweiss in which you can request copies of eARCs (electronic advanced copies of books) but dont start up a blog to use them. Sure its nice to pop on and request a book every once in a while, but try to limit yourself and actually BUY books that YOU want to read instead of trying to snatch up freebies.

Ask for help

When I began my blog, I had no clue what the hell I was doing. Nor did I have anyone offering to help me. I think that’s why when newbies come along, I love to offer them advice, help them out anyway I can because, honestly, its scary starting a new blog, joining a new community and then not knowing what to do. Seriously, if you need help come and ask me. If you want to know what book tours are, cover reveals, book blitz, giveaways….anything you want to know, I will be more than happy to answer, and if I don’t, I will find out for you. Nothing is too big when you are a little fish in a big pond and you have no idea what you are doing. You soon get used to it and you will be a pro in no time.

Social Media + Interactions

Social media is a must for your blog and there are so many platforms that you can use to promote your blog. The ones I have are Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Tumblr and Pinterest. But its up to you which ones you want to use. It connects you with authors, other bloggers, readers, publishers etc. It’s a massive way to get your blog and name out into the blogging world. Interact with everyone on social media. I have found some of my best friends over Twitter; bloggers, readers and authors, and its been a massive boost in getting my name out there and having people look at my blog.

Take a few days off every now and then

I’ve had The Book Lovers for nearly two years now. Two long and short years. It’s my baby but even a baby can get you down, make you stressed and basically, not want to do it any more. When it gets to that point you know you have to step back for a few days, a few weeks or even a few months to just have time to yourself. I’ve had many times where I’ve had enough, where the pressure of keeping my blog has become too much so I take a few weeks off, read because I want to read and then when the time is right, I’ll return back to blogging. Remember your blog IS JUST A HOBBY. Don’t turn it into something you will end up hating. It will eat away at you.

Having a full time job + Blogging

Running a blog and having a full time job is a hard business. I am envious of people who just spend their days reading and blogging and tweeting and it does get you down, but chin up. It used to get me down but now I think that everyone is different. Some people can read all day, some people have to work and read when they can. It doesn’t make your blog any different. My advice if you are like me? Have posts scheduled for the upcoming week. I tend to schedule my posts on the weekend or if I can, have posts scheduled for the month. It takes the pressure off me worrying about not having anything to post.

Don’t accept ALL the review requests

At the start when I began receiving emails from authors I was like ‘OMG they want ME to review their book!’ and then I realised they probably sent this same email to so many bloggers in the hope that a few will reply. I have a review policy on my blog, outlining which genres I read, how to get in touch and to not be offended if I don’t reply as it probably is the sort of book that I won’t enjoy.

Choose carefully which books you want to review and never give the author a set time line of when you will read and review the book. I never do because I don’t know when I will get to it. More recently I have stopped accepting books because I just dont have the time to read ‘review copies’ due to my busy workload, but dont take my advice for it, at the end of the day, its down to you and what works best for you in terms of accepting ARCS (Advanced copies of books) and review copies.

Review honestly

There is nothing worse than saying you liked a book when in fact you didnt – all just to please the author or other fellow book bloggers. There have been plenty of books I have read that every single person on the planet seems to love and I didnt enjoy it, and all it is is personal preference. I’m honest in my reviews, I dont slam the author and even if its a book I didnt enjoy, I will still offer up the parts I did like, and explain why I didnt enjoy certain parts before still recommending it you all the readers. Why? Because something that I dont like, you might like. Just remember, be honest but not to the extent in which it may cause hurt or upset someone. That’s not who or what book bloggers are about.

It’s okay to be jealous, but then you get over it.

We have all been there, I know I have. You look through your Twitter time line and think ‘HOW did they get that book?’ or ‘HOW did they get that many followers when they havent been around that long?!’ and its OKAY. We all have tendencies to get jealous over fellow book bloggers but then you get over it. Don’t compare yourself to other blogs. Sure, there are bigger ones, there are smaller ones but at the end of the day, we are all doing what we love – reading, reviewing and promoting authors. That’s all that should matter at the end of the day, not how many ARCS or signed books or stats or followers you have.

Go to meet-up and book events.

Most of the book events are held in America, but it seems that the UK are beginning to gain exposure on hosting large book events for authors. Find meet-ups, book clubs, author signings and go along to them. Blogging is so much more than sitting behind a computer screen. Engage with the people you speak to on Facebook, Twitter etc. It’s so much fun to actually SPEAK to them in person and go for a drink or two.

I went to the London Author Event last year and met some of my besties and favourite authors and in two weeks i’ll be heading to the Edinburgh Author Event and spending the weekend with awesome authors and friends (and bunking with Emma Hart). So see, its all fun and games behind a computer, but its more fun to meet up and actually hang out!

Finally HAVE FUN!

That is why you started the blog right? To share your love of books. Well, have fun, be yourself and get involved. Meet authors, meet bloggers and have fun. We’re a nice community (albeit a bit bitchy at moments 😦 ) but don’t let the haters get to you. Ignore them and do what you love to do – READ.

Posted in Notes

TAG you’re it. Get to know me.

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Thanks to Sharon From Chapter One, Page One for the tag 🙂 This is a great way to get to the all you bloggers so YAY for being involved. I’m slightly boring so my answers will probably reflect that haha.

So without further ado, here are my answers

Tell us 5 random facts about you…
1. I need to take charge with important things or I get all panicky. For example, my friends and I are booking a holiday next month and I NEED to be in charge of it, need to make sure everything runs smoothly, need to be lead passenger so I have control over the holiday and all the documents that comes with it. I HATE anyone else having important things in their possession. Jus thinking about this is causing me to come out in a panic.
2. I have PCOS. I have done since I was about 15 years old. I have been ignorant to it for years and year, never really reading up on it nor the health implications because YAY I dont have a regular period (TMI?) but now I am older, its in the front of my mind, especially the child part of PCOS – which means if I am lucky I can have children, but it will be really hard to conceive. I try not to think about it – it’s easier to say I don’t want kids than admit I do and not be able to.
3. I am a necklace and earring hoarder. If I go into any store, I head straight for the jewellery and see what’s on sale. I am guaranteed to come out with something.
4. I have resting bitch face, which means I look like a moody bitch pretty much anywhere. It’s good for keeping weird people away but when I see hot guys around, I try to smile as much as I can to get rid of my bitch face.
5. I am obsessed with Zebras.

When is your birthday?
In January, 17 days after Chrismtas 😀

What is your favourite colour?
Green all the way! All kinds of greens too.

What is your favourite memory?
Oh god…well there are two that are my favs. One is spending a month in Kenya with a charity when I was 17 and another was my Graduation from univeristy. Both are special to me.

Describe a day in your life..
LOL this is where I am boring. It’s normally get up, get ready, catch a bus into town, catch another bus to work. Walk the five minutes to work, write content, do some social media, do some link building/find keywords, have a gossip, walk to bus stop, get bus back to town, get bus back home, (or have a driving lesson from work) cook food, read a little, watch some TV, go to bed. And repeat.

What are your 5 favourite songs?
Bloody hell, now I have to think.
This one is easy – Amazed by Lonestar. SO MUCH LOVE for this song. I want it to be my wedding song. Yupp, I have thought that through haha.
Misery Business – Paramore. I am in love with this band and Hayley Williams.
Not Alone – McFly. One of my fav songs by them.
Kickstarts – Example. This always makes me so happy when it’s on.
Firework – Katy Perry. Defintely my jam haha.

If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Uhhh probably pizza – extra cheese, pepperoni, garlic butter and tuna. Yeaaah, I am completely weird.

What is something you really dislike?
Liars. I’ve encounterd to many to count and in the end I just give up on them.

Summer or Winter?
Winter. I love wrapping up and drinking hot chocolate and snuggling under the duvets with a book.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?
I actually want to move to Canada. Why? I have no idea, but it’s the closest to Wales and although I love Wales, its time for a change.

Name five of your favourite films.
A Walk To Remember
Iron Man
X-Men
Pretty Woman
The Holiday

If you won the lottery, what would you buy?
A house and a car…I’d save the majority of it though.

Favourite day of the week?
Fridays.

What 3 things would you take to a desert island?
My kindle fire full of books + songs, a solar powered universal charger and a hot guy to roll around the sand with.

Sweet or Savoury?
Ummm….I’m gonna go sweet. Mainly because I look at the desserts first at a restaurant then the main menu.

Early Bird or Night Owl?
Recently I’ve been an early bird. I cant sleep past half 8/9

Name 5 of your favourite books
The Edge of Never – J.A Redmerski
Hard Time – Cara McKenna
Losing Hope – Colleen Hoover
Remember Me – Sophie Kinsella
The Hunger Games Trilogy – Suzanne Collins

 Favourite drink?
Non-alcoholic: Water
Alcoholic: Vodka and a mixer

Favourite animal?
Zebra!!

Who do you tag next?
@Hollyshotreads
@Ziliinthesky
@dirtygirlbooks
@MalloryDodge