Every so often, i reflect on my over four years as a book blogger (this is mostly with Sophie and ends with us praising ourselves endlessly), and i like to think about everything we’ve achieved together and some of the most mind-bending stuff that’s actually happened to us.
There are parts of being a blogger that i just never imagined when i set up this little blog almost five years ago. Back then, it really was a whole different ball-game. Everyone blogged differently and the entire community has changed in the last few years. I figured that maybe i’d talk about books on here for a few years, get fed up and leave it. That’s not the case.
What happened has been incredible, and myself and Sophie have been given some incredible opportunities which i will never, ever forget and not be ungrateful for. It’s been an absolute whirlwind and i wanted to share some of the moments, that for me have been incredibly special and the ones i’ve had to shake myself a little bit.
Getting My First ARC
The first time i ever got an ARC was pretty exciting. However, the one that really strikes me is the first time i ever got an unsolicited ARC by quite a big publisher. This was only in the last year or so, and it still felt absolutely incredible. It was a publisher i’d looked to quite often, with a backing of books that i loved. So to open my post when i got home from work and find a book that had been on my TBR and radar for some time, sat there, that felt ridiculous to me. I had no idea this publisher had my contact details, but to have that book in my hand and have someone at a publisher think of me and our little blog when figuring out how to advertise a book, was honestly one of the biggest honours i’ve ever had. Coming from a person who is incredibly passionate about literature and publishing, it felt like something really special.
Two years in a row now, we have been long-listed for a UK YA Bloggers Award. The first year, that was a complete pinch me moment, and when we were nominated for two awards the second year, it felt absolutely ridiculous. I was sat with Sophie at the time and just kept saying ‘there’s no chance we’re this good.’ We’ve been nominated twice now for the Champion of Diversity award, something that we’re both incredibly, incredibly proud of. And in 2019 we were long-listed for Best Established Blog. We both still feel incredibly new to this (i know we’re not) and we’re still learning, so to be long listed and counted as an established blog was pretty incredible.
Interviewing Adam Silvera and Becky Albertalli
When i was given the opportunity to interview Becky and Adam, it was a complete punch me in the face moment. These were two authors that i looked up to endlessly. People who i liked as people, authors who i liked as authors and honestly felt like i would never be in the same room as them, let alone sat opposite them in a chair with a mic between us. I have adored Becky and Adam’s writing for quite a while, so when the opportunity came up for me and Sophie to interview them, i knew i’d never get a chance like it again. They’re huge authors, and only getting bigger, and little us, an unknown blog sat in a little computer room in a library and asked them questions. My brain still can’t really comprehend that day and what happened. That by far is one of the most special moments of my life, not just blogging career.
Getting Recognised At Events
This isn’t half a vain as the header makes it seem… So we attended the Stripes Publishing event earlier on in the year in London, which is a whole scene of book bloggers that we don’t really communicate with, don’t know and don’t expect them to know us. But jammed in to that small room upstairs in a pub, we had quite a few people recognise us, say hi and make us feel welcome. It was so surreal to me. I whole-heartedly expected to sit in the corner at the back, listen to the excellent authors and publishers and make my way home, and i was content with that. However, people were recognising us from other events, from our work with the blog, even our book club which is based in Manchester. This blew my tiny mind. Once again, to know that people are reading what we’re doing is shocking to me. It was a very special moment.
Not only that, but the fact that we got invited to a publishers event at all was huge for me. I’d seen people go, and i never wanted to push my way in to those circles or be noticed in those ways, but it was excellent. It really felt great to be surrounded by so many people that loved the same thing and were all there to celebrate a publisher. I guess the whole event was a pretty big thing!
Some of these things might seem really small to a lot of people, but i put a lot of value on the good we’ve done, the people we’ve met and the opportunities we’ve had. It’s been incredible to be trusted with a lot of these things and to know that people are actually recognising what we do on this little corner of the internet. We try really had to be consistent, help where we can and spread the word for so many things. It feels so nice that we’re noticed sometimes.
Those are just a few of the bigger things that have been incredibly special and huge pinch me moments. There are plenty more special things i’ve experienced from being a blogger, like making the wonderful friends i have and having our own book club firmly set in the community.
I adore being a blogger, and i wouldn’t change anything for the world. The hard work, late nights writing and manically trying to finish books to get reviews up is so incredibly worth it to experience all of this with my best friend.