I'm reading blogs, following, commenting, getting ideas for my blog and learning a few dos and don'ts along the way. But I still feel like I'm doing all the newbie things that older bloggers roll their eyes at. Yes, I know I'll make mistakes. And yes, I know it's a learning process. But I still feel way, way behind.
Luckily I signed up for the event Busting the Newbie Blues, hosted by Small Review. It's a way for us new YA book bloggers to meet others like us, and get advice from old and new bloggers as well. And I guess that's exactly what I'm going through - the Newbie Blues.
So here are the things that I'm questioning with my blog, and I'd really like your opinions and advice.
- Do I really want to go full-throttle with this thing, and make a fancy Review Policy where I try to get publishers to send me their books, and list what I will and won't review, etc.? This seems like the thing to do if you're serious about book blogging. So far I've only been reviewing books that I've bought or borrowed (with the exception of the Glow ARC I received from a Goodreads giveaway). I also haven't had very in-depth book reviews, which I definitely plan on rectifying in the future, no matter if I do the whole Review Policy thing or not. I'm still going to stay away from anything that might be spoilerish, but my reviews will be much more than just saying if I liked the book or not. But I'd also love to become more of a part of this community, and I'd love to be able to someday go to conferences and meet other bloggers (and authors!). That would be awesome!
- Should I change my blog name? I really think this should be done. The Mantis Connection conveys nothing about books, and so I feel like the name should be changed. Of course, if I simply change the name of the blog the URL would stay the same. Unless I made a completely new blog, in which case I feel like I would lose those old posts, which I wouldn't be happy about (unless my husband or others know how to fix this!). Just the reviews, mind you. I wouldn't take all my soap-box rants over there. Nor would this post make its way to the new blog. It would be all reviews, reader challenges, and book related memes. Maybe a bit of writing. Or maybe I could keep this blog as a personal blog/writing blog and then the new one could be book reviews. That sounds like a pretty good idea. Also, I have NO idea what to name the blog. Something book related of course, but I don't know...
- I think, even if I just change the name and the URL stays the same, I would need a new layout. I can draw, but boy do I fail at art on the computer. At one time I thought I would like to be a graphic designer, but once I took a class in high school I realized that it was not for me. So I'd need someone to fancify the blog...
These are all things that can be done, of course. This is just a problem of mine - I jump into things before I think them out sometimes and then I get overwhelmed with everything. And I go over everything in my head, but writing/blogging about it helps to figure it out. Plus, I'd appreciate the advice from my friends and followers.
Some people might wonder if I have the time to commit to something like this, and believe me, this has crossed my mind. I am a stay-at-home mom of a 2-year-old, so I don't have a typical 9-5 job, but that doesn't mean I have tons of time to sit in front of a computer. Basically I have a few hours during the day to read, blog, shower, whatever, while he's taking a nap. And then I have my evenings when my husband comes home (and weekends, of course). But we love to watch TV and I enjoy spending time with my husband. Then I also have Reviews in 5 (a movie blog), which is also time-consuming. I also write fiction, and while I'm not writing so much right now, I'd like to write more this year. And then there's my social life.
But I think, because I read so much, that I have time to take a few hours after finishing a book to write a thoughtful review post, and also to occasionally participate in a few memes. And I feel like this year can be a sort of trial period, and if it's beginning to seem like too much, I can take a step back.
Anyway, what do you guys think? Should I go all out for this? Or just continue to do what I've been doing, but focus more on book reviews? Any ideas for new blog names (I'm looking at you, Kate. You came up with that awesome name for Courtney's blog - Abducted by Books - and yours is great, too - Midnight Book Girl.)? Any other advice or sage wisdom you'd like to dispense? Thanks in advance!