Tammy’s Top Ten Bookish Goals for 2014

Top Ten Tuesday New copy

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish! I love the beginning of the year when everyone seems to be energized. I think for book bloggers in particular, we need these times to evaluate our blogs and come up with new strategies to keep the fire going. ย I always feel burned out by December, so I’m happy to have come up with some bookish and blogging goals to start out the new year. Here are my top ten:

1

Refocus my blog and make each post count. What I mean by this is that I’m taking control and I’m not going to post anything that doesn’t speak to me. I’ve actually accomplished this already, to some extent. I have completely stopped reviewing indie books. And this isn’t to say there aren’t great indies out there. But each indie book I read takes the place of a book on my TBR pile that I’ll never get to.

I’ve also stopped doing blog tours, unless it’s a book that’s already on my radar or a book from an author I love. Here are some scary stats from last year: I participated in 28 blog tours in 2013, and out of all of those, I would have normally chosen to read only SIX of those books. That means I read twenty-two books last year that I didn’t enjoy very much and that I never would have picked up if it weren’t for the blog tour.ย 

I am also completely cutting out “filler” posts like Book Blitzes or Blasts, unless it happens to be a book that I want to read. The bottom line is that I want to promote books that I love. I didn’t become a book blogger to offer up free advertising to people I don’t know who have written books I’ll never want to read.

2

Read at least one “ME” book a month. When I think of all the 2013 books I wanted to read but couldn’t, because I had too many review books or blog tours to participate in, it makes me cry! Seriously, things are going to change around here! I solemnly swear that I will read one non-review book each month, even if that means bumping a review book.

3

Stop worrying about blog stats, the number of comments I get on posts, and how many ARCs I receive.ย There is so much competition among book bloggers, and I’m getting tired of it. I want to get to a place where I appreciate the comments I do get, and be grateful for those publishers, publicists and authors that I’ve developed relationships with and who send me amazing books.

4

Re-do my blog design. It’s the new year, and so it’s time to redesign the blog! I’m going to go with a simpler design this time, and I can’t wait to get started. I’m not sure when this will happen, but hopefully by the end of the month.

5

Update and organize my “Reviews” page. Oh boy. This is a total FAIL for me. I have not added my reviews to my review page for AT LEAST A YEAR!! People, that is not good. And I know it, but it’s just one of those things I hate doing, so I put it off and then forget I even have a review page!! Ha ha. Really, this task will take hours and hours to do, but I need to get it done. And once it’s up-to-date, I need to KEEP it up to date!

6

Become an affiliate with Amazon and The Book Depository. I’ve actually applied already to become an Amazon affiliate, but I haven’t heard back from them. Does anyone who’s already done this know how long it takes to be approved (or not!)? I know it won’t make me rich, but it might give me a few bucks to help offset giveaways.

7

Put my reviews up on Goodreads and Amazon in a more timely manner. I’ve been lazy about this in the past, and I know how much authors appreciate reviews on these sites, so I’m going to try harder to keep up. It takes time to do this, which is why I put it off. For Amazon, it’s a simple matter of copying and pasting, but for Goodreads, which lets you use HTML formatting, I like to make the review look nice and italicize book titles, etc. So it takes more time. Barnes & Noble? Forget about it! I rarely post my reviews on B&N anymore. And the reason is simple. It’s just too much work. They only allow you 500 words, so I have to basically rewrite my reviews in order to get them up on the site. Does anyone else feel this way about B&N, or is it just me?

8

Find more book blogs I love, comment more, and reevaluate the blogs I’m following. Commenting on other blogs is HARD WORK. It takes time. I don’t always have time to do it, but when I do comment, I always leave a thoughtful and sincere comment. I subscribe to a lot of blogs, and when I read something that makes me want to comment, I immediately do so, because otherwise I’ll forget and never get around to it. If I’ve left comments on your blog, it’s not just because you’re commenting on my blog. It’s because I love you and we seem to have a lot of bookish things in common!

Likewise, I do subscribe to some blogs that I just don’t seem to have much in common with, so this is the year I weed out those blogs.

9

Write more discussion posts. 2013 was the Year of the Discussion Post! Did you notice how all of sudden everyone was writing discussion posts? And they do bring more traffic and more comments, so all around I think they’re a good thing. But coming up with something original is hard, since it seems like everyone kind of rehashes the same discussions over and over. But with so many opinions in the blogging world, it’s nice to see different approaches to the same topics. I didn’t do many discussion posts last year, but I want to try to write at least one each month in 2014.

10

Host less giveaways, unless the publisher is paying. I got myself into a tangle this past year by doing too many giveaway hops. They’re fun and they do increase traffic, but they also cost money. This year I’m cutting back. Plus I hate the thought that a lot of people out there are only following me because of my giveaways. That’s enough to make me quit blogging.

So, those are my goals! I’d love to hear what yours are, link me up to your goal post, or let me know in the comments if we have any goals in common:)

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Posted January 7, 2014 by Tammy in Top Ten Tuesday / 28 Comments

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28 responses to “Tammy’s Top Ten Bookish Goals for 2014

  1. Great list! This year I aim to read the books on my list as well as others that have been sent to me or recommended as well. I have even published on my blog the books I intend to read in the hope that this my focus me to achieve it this year. Some of those on the list have been sat on my bookshelves for far too long! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • That’s a great idea, to list the books you want to read. I know my TBR pile will never go away, but I hope you are able to read everything you want to!

  2. Heather Currie

    These sound realistic, although not being a blogger I’m not fully in on all that needs to be done (although I know there’s tons to do). I’m thinking of making my goal for this year to start up a book review blog, but I’m a little hesitant.

  3. I agree with so many of these. I’ve only been blogging for around 6 months but I’ve learned a few things you mentioned here: I already decided not to participate in book blast/tours if it’s not for a book I was already planning to read. I stopped worrying about stats, or at least I’ve been trying to. Comment more on blogs: I follow a lot of blogs and when I leave a comment I want it to be meaningful, but that means I have lots of posts unread on my Bloglovin. I also decided not to have so many giveaways, especially not giveaway hops, because those followers usually never visit again. And of course write more discussion posts ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve been seeing this last one a lot. It’s just really hard to write something original. Good luck!

  4. While I’m so bad at updating my blog that I seriously should call it something else (TheSiteThatDoesNotChange.AtAll.Really.HardlyEver.com) and thus am less than qualified to comment on well-maintained places like BB&B here, your own thoughts on the subject seem to be eminently sensible – esp. reading books that really engage your interest. There are ginormous boat-loads of great books out there, but ya gotta thin down the list or you’ll use up your eyeballs on stuff that just isn’t gonna nourish your neurons. Life is WAY too short. Anyway, great post. And here’s to a fab 2014 for you & your well-tuned blog.

    • You have a blog? I need to find you:) Anyway, you should be more concerned about writing and not worrying about your blog! Ha ha:) Have a wonderful year, Christian! Can’t wait for the new book:)

      • yes, well, you pin-pointed the reason for non-blogging my part. but, I just turned in the polish draft for Under Nameless Stars, so Zenn’s next adventure is en route to the copy editor. whew. now, back to not updating my blog…

  5. I so relate to this post Tammy, I’m nodding my head at everything you have to say. Really- just YES to all of this! We’ve got to keep this thing fun ๐Ÿ™‚

    I like the idea of one “me” book per month. Let us know in your reviews what that is!

    Have an amazing year of reading and blogging!

  6. Wonderful goals Tammy. Blogging, reviewing and reading should be fun. I limit the giveaways I do, and only a few are at total cost to me. I also stopped putting the word giveaway in my titles, I want those who follow regularly to benefit ๐Ÿ™‚ While I still take on indie books, I set a limit to the arc’s I accept and schedule my own reads into my calender. Good luck!

  7. Pabkins

    Those are excellent freaking goals! Personally I am NOT a fan of Blog Tours. I only accept or request to be on the ones for books I already plan to read or if I already have a copy of the book. That way its not taking the spot of something I definitely want to read. Also – I don’t review indie books really – the first two years I would accept a handful of them but I’ve pretty much stopped because I don’t really enjoy them. J.L. Bryan is the exception to that his books were amazing. I agree with you on the giveaways – I still want to do one a month but right now I might even scale that back to 1 hope every other month. It just gets expensive! Everyone definitely loves discussion posts – personally I don’t really care if I want to post on something that other people have already posted about. The turnover in the book blogging world is huge! Many of them don’t live past one year before they teeter out. So once you make it past 3 years I think those people are more likely to stick around. I like to just read what I want and I hope I can do like you and read at least one of my own ME books a month! I already plan to request way less this year because I want to start enjoying some of my other hobbies again like art since last year I got so wrapped up in the blog I didn’t do anything else but that.

    • Yes, me too. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in your blog and you kinda forget about everything else. You should totally keep doing your art, Tabitha! You’re really good:)

      • Pabkins

        Thanks Tammy you are so sweet! I’ve been having a blast with it lately – heck I was up super late last night going to town in my sketch book. I’ve been sketching more than painting recently. I want to try watercolors next but I want to try to finish my mini wooden plaque project before I get wrapped up in watercolors.

  8. First off, happy new year, Tammy! I think these are some really fabulous goals! It’s easy to lose perspective when we compare ourselves to others and/or letting the pressure get to us. At the end of the day, blogging should be fun and never feel like a chore. This is about sharing our passion for books and love of discussion! Let’s never lose sight of that!

    Good luck on your goals and cheers to another amazing year!

  9. Yes – visiting other blogs and commenting is hard work! I always appreciate people who take the time to comment and I make sure to visit their blogs in kind. It’s frustrating when you try to engage with another blogger by commenting frequently and they never seem to comment on your blog.

    Good luck with your goals for 2014. You have so many great ideas!

    • I get frustrated too with comments. Sometimes I think bloggers will only visit me if I visit them first, but I know that’s not the case. People get busy and it’s hard to remember to go back and comment on blogs when your day gets really busy. Thanks for stopping by, Lindsey!

  10. Great list! I need to work on crossposting my reviews on Goodreads and Amazon as well. I mean to, but always seem to forget. And good luck with becoming an Amazon Affiliate! I’ve been thinking about applying, but am still undecided.

    • I hope the affiliate thing works out. It’s been over a week and I haven’t heard back from them, so hmmm….. Thanks for visiting Alexia!

  11. comehometobooks

    I’m with you on the blog tours. I’ve decided SO MANY times that I’m not going to do any more of them, only to be sucked into another one. I am, however, very up front about my policy of deciding not to review a book AT ANY POINT in the process and for ANY reason. That way, if I hate the book, I don’t feel guilty about putting it down. It works, at least until I get the courage to give up blog tours for good.

    Good luck on all your goals. Happy New Year!

    Susan
    http://www.blogginboutbooks.com

  12. Well I for one always enjoy your comments.

    I look at some items on your list and am so glad I never took part in them. I have done one blog tour, no giveaways, and never got around to making an actual review catelog. Looks like I made the right choice.