My Musings

Blog Reflections 2017

blog reflections

2017 has been my first full year of blogging as a book blogger. I started blogging on March 5th, 2016 so it was quite near the start of that year but I wasn’t actually blogging for the whole of the year unlike this year where I’ve been a plague on the community spreading my often foul-mouthed and sarcastic sickness for what will be in a couple of weeks the entire 365 days of 2017.

Getting through a whole year of blogging is an achievement. Sure, we all have our own separate blogging anniversaries from when we started our own blogs that we celebrate but for us all January 1st is the start of the year and December 31st the end and for those of us that have been blogging for the whole of 2017 I raise a glass and congratulate you all on the achievement as blogging isn’t always easy. Likewise, for any bloggers who started this year I raise a glass to you too as you’ve made it to the end of the year.πŸ˜€

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2017 has been a weird year blogging for me, some ups, some downs, some wins, some fails, some laughs and some give a fucks. For most of 2016, I was trying to find my feet, I jumped into a blog with no real prior knowledge and would have either sank or swam and somehow I managed to flail around and just about managed to keep my head above the water. I only posted a couple of discussion posts on ARC’s and then a couple of fantasy related posts near the end of the year and my blog was mainly memes, reviews and poetry.

My blog still is memes, reviews, nonsense and poetry but this year in 2017 I found my blogging voice and put more of my own personality into my posts. Posts about author harassment, bloggers being real readers, starting a book blog, the pressures of blogging and some fun and light-hearted posts about charging for reviews and author etiquette when dealing with bloggers. I even wrote a post about swearing in reviews and started swearing (occasionally) in my own blog posts. Yeah, it’s only a little thing and insignificant but the previous year I wouldn’t have sworn in a post and had to censor myself not because I didn’t feel comfortable using the words, hell, I love me some foul-mouthed fucking filth but because I thought that it would be frowned upon by my fellow bloggers and I didn’t want to alienate them. Whereas this year I finally realised that my blog is my blog and I should be able to post what I want, when I want and to be able to write my posts in the way that I want and how fits my own personality too. Obviously, those of you who read this and follow my blog know that I have my own style of writing. It’s informal, sarcastic, foul-mouthed and often with bad jokes, puns and innuendo in it too and that’s me. It’s how I am in blog post form and it meant that The Tattooed Book Geek actually felt more like my own blog in 2017 than it had in 2016 as I felt comfortable being me and while some people won’t like it that’s fine, you can’t please everyone and I’d rather be me than pander to the masses just to be popular. I’m not popular it goes without saying that my blog wouldn’t be popular either and that’s cool, fuck anyone who doesn’t like it. The issue isn’t with me and how I write my posts, the issue isn’t even with them, just means my blog and style isn’t for them. But,Β hey, what I write amuses me so it’s all gravy baby! πŸ˜‰

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Good luck with your future endeavours, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. I realised that my blog is my own little part of the book blogging community. It’s ‘my blog, my rules my voice‘ and that’s a win.

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I even started a couple of my own memes this year. Nothing groundbreaking but I started 200 Words or Less which is a meme where I offered my thoughts in you guessed it, 200 Words or Less on books I read before I started blogging. However, due to procrastination, it has been months since I actually posted one of these posts! I do actually have a few drafted and I really should get around to drafting them up as blog posts and post them, maybe in the new year. I guess I’ll class that as a fail!

I then started Music Monday later in the year which again, the naming gods were shining down on me when I chose that inventive name, not!πŸ˜‚ Yep, you guessed it, it’s music shared on a Monday. Simple really and while it’s not popular (massive thanks to those who take part in it) I enjoy it as I’m a big music lover and really, that’s all that matters. I’ll class this meme as a win!πŸ‘Œ

I was also privileged near the start of the year, at the end of January to get Nicholas Eames on my blog for an interview. This was around the release date of his exceptional debut Kings of the Wyld – which I was also lucky enough to be one of the first to review. I loved it and subsequently praised it to the masses for its awesomeness. I shouted loud and proud to all that it was fantastic and lo and behold, most people agreed with me! The Tattooed Book Geek was one of the first to feature what is one of the best fantasy releases this year in Kings of the Wyld and I class that as a resounding win.πŸ˜€

It’s not all good though and you have to take the highs with the lows and the good with the bad and in March I considered quitting blogging. I’d passed my one year blogging anniversary and by the end of the month, I had become jaded and fed-up with blogging. Luckily, I got over my slump and though I’m not as ‘into‘ blogging as I once was I have stuck with and continued blogging ever since and still think that having a book blog is cool. I’m not sure if that’s a win or not as it means those of you that read my posts still have to put up with me!πŸ˜‰

In April I had some (delicate flowers please avert your eyes from the following filthy word) cunt troll one of my reviews on Amazon. It was my Red Sister by Mark Lawrence review, lots of positive feedback on it and then I got a troll comment on Amazon. Fucking filthy dirty troll. Now, did I do the mature thing, rise above it and ignore the troll?! Nope! I took the childish and immature route and wrote a blog post where I trolled the fucking troll!πŸ˜‚ So, epic fail for me on being a mature and responsible adult but an epic win for me on writing a fucking hilarious post that burnt that (delicate flowers, again, avert your eyes) fucking sad cunt.

In May I wrote a post about depression. It was a very personal and open post and one that I wouldn’t have dared post the year before. Partly because I’m not a very open person but also partly down to not knowing what type of response I’d receive from posting it. This year though, I had the courage to open up and post and also had the mindset of fuck it, you’ll read it or you won’t and if you choose to unfollow my blog due to it being a personal post and not book related then it’s your choice (somewhat surprisingly it was massively well received and had many comments from other bloggers who wrote about their own issues too). In other words, I didn’t care what people thought, see, as I wrote earlier I found my blogging voice and the ‘my blog, my voice, my rules‘ mantra. Same could also be said for a recent post of mine, 8 Years Ago Today which I posted on the eighth anniversary of my father’s death and ended up being a diatribe about cancer being a bastard. Personal posts aren’t always easy to write and so I call that a win for me. Though admittedly with the names of some of my posts I think that naming posts is most definitely an epic fail for me, I mean, c’mon, even this post has the boring and bland title of ‘Blog Reflections 2017‘ seriously, my post naming sucks!πŸ˜‚

In June I wrote a blog post on the pressures of book blogging. I think it’s my best post and it’s definitely my most popular post by a country mile amassing over 250 likes and it continued to receive comments months later. A definite win there for me as I wrote a popular post and as I generally always think that what I write is shit it was amazing to see a post be so well received by my fellow bloggers.

I still struggle with my reviews and I honestly think that for as long as I remain blogging that it’s something I’ll always have an issue with. I’m not confident in my reviewing and I think my writing sucks. I’m a firm believer in my blog, my rules and as such I know that we all have our own reviewing style that is unique to us. My style is informal and is written in far a more conversational style than that of an essay but I see so many wonderful, eloquent and elaborate reviews from a vast majority of bloggers and yeah, I shouldn’t compare especially as I’ve just written that we are all different but I know mine don’t stack up. Another fail for Drew there!Β One part of reviewing where I do feel that I have improved is in my review length. I used to stress that my reviews had to be a certain length and that I was expected to write a certain amount of words for it to be seen as an actual review. Now, I just write whatever I want, 400 words, 800, 1,000 or even 1,500 words it doesn’t matter and I don’t have to conform to some supposed notion that a review should be a certain length. If I say all I want in 400 words then that’s cool and likewise, if it takes me 1,500 words then that’s also cool. So I’m classing that as a win for me in reviewing but I still think my reviews suck!!Β 

Confident in my blogging voice? Yep! Confident in my review writing? Nope! How can I be confident in one and not the other you may ask? Fuck knows! I’m weird!πŸ˜‚

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There’s often nonsense that goes on in the book blogging community on Twitter and in FB groups too and when book bloggers are bashed and bad-mouthed I like to think that I’m vocal in support of our community. I’m not going to paint a perfect picture of blogging, never will and if people disagree then that’s cool, alas, you are wrong, there are cliques in blogging and some bloggers who think that are better than others even if you don’t want to admit it. But if you disagree then I ask you this, how can there not be cliques or (again my delicate flowers please avert your eyes) cunts in blogging when bloggers are people and there are cliques in everyday life and lots and lots of (again my delicate flowers) cunts. So, no, blogging isn’t all happy roses and everyone holding hands whilst skipping in the sun together! But, I represent for our community, front-line bay-bay! We do this for our love of books and reading and we don’t deserve any shit over it. I’m giving myself a win for community spirit and supporting book bloggers, hell yeah!

I fully understand that people don’t want to focus on the negative but to say it doesn’t exist is wrong and it should be acknowledged to give a full picture of the book blogging community. Nothing in life is fully positive, likewise, it’s not fully negative either but you need balance and there has to be both.

I do feel that at times, it’s unfair when people voice negative opinions and then get pulled up on it, hated on and vilified. Yeah, sure, there’s whinging just for the sake of it. However, when people genuinely have an issue and opinion then even if it’s negative then it’s still valid as it’s how that person feels but they get moaned at for being negative and having a negative view. To me, that’s wrong and unfair and perhaps, the fact that people choose to hate on those who voice their negativity shows that there is actually negativity in the community as they sure aren’t being positive and supportive of that blogger and their views. Oh look, people bitching about people being negative is oh, wait for it……..negative! Shocker! So, the people who dislike negativity and say there isn’t any are in fact being negative themselves.πŸ˜‚

Drew dropping pipe bombs like C. M. Punk!πŸ˜‚

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Ignore it, rise above it, don’t care, haven’t encountered it, all perfectly reasonable choices and views to make but you can’t deny that it isn’t there, it has to be as it is in every aspect of life, the good, the bad, the ups, the downs, the wins, the fails, the positive and the negative, it’s called balance and seeing the full picture.

I’m giving myself a win for saying it how it is! Freedom of speech bay bay!

I’ve also got to give myself a win for banter and having a laugh on Twitter, it’s an awesome place for fun nonsense.πŸ˜‚

I did a series of posts on fun book covers and titles that have been quite popular. The posts definitely aren’t highbrow and intellectual but they are funny, good for a laugh and never failed to make me smile while I was drafting them up. Sadly, I doubt there’ll be many more/any posts in the fun and inappropriate book covers series as there’s only a finite amount of book names and covers that suit the post and I’ve used most of them.

The fun and inappropriate book cover posts led me to discover some rather strange genres out there, dino porn and monster erotica! Yeah, they are proper genres of books with a vast amount of books available. Thanks, fun and inappropriate book covers for making me privy to the fact that people write about dinosaurs having sex with women! I don’t even want to know how the authors do the research to make the books scientifically accurate. I guess that we already know dinosaurs have small brains and obviously, they must have small dino dongs too otherwise how would they fit?!? Taken by the T-Rex, T-Rex’s are huge, humans aren’t, it doesn’t make any sense! Old Mr Rex would break her in half! Sorry, let’s not discriminate, Drew is an equal opportunity offender and likes to piss everyone off!πŸ˜‚ If Mr Rex got amorous with a dude then he’d split him in half too. Male, female, front or back, anything could happen in the genre and wherever Mr Rex ends up stick it, it is bound to leave a mark!πŸ˜‚

Fun and Inappropriate book covers was a cool idea and concept though (or at least I think it was) and were something a little different so I’d class that as a rather immature and classless win.

This part of the journey isn’t over yet folks! Those damn covers led me to monster erotica and the curse of the free kindle book and to parody the old saying ‘curiosity killed the cat‘ well, ‘curiosity got the better of Drew‘ and I ended up downloading, reading and reviewing a wondrous free title by the name of Creamed by Cave Creatures! Yes, it’s as good as the title suggests! Anyone else read and reviewed a monster erotica book on their blog? Yes? No? We’re all friends here, no one will judge you, fess up! I’m not sure this is either a win or a fail, to be honest, and it is probably more of a WTF! Ah, screw it, no, that’s not a line from the book, I’m classing this as a win, I took one for the team to tell you what the genre was like. Again, not a line from the book, the MC didn’t take one for the team, she took one from the team! The team of rampant cave creatures where any hole was a goal and they scored over and over again!🀒

Hhhmm…….I really think if I’m judging myself on maturity on my blog then this post shows that that is often non-existent and I’m like an immature and crude man-child!πŸ˜‚ That’s an epic and catastrophic fail for adulting!

I’ve had a couple of issues with authors in the past few months but it can’t be helped and it’s unfair to pigeonhole authors in general for the behaviour of the minority and hey, I got a couple of sweet blog posts about the relationship between authors and bloggers and what’s expected of them both from a couple of great authors after my issues and both those posts were really well received on my blog so that’s a positive out of a negative. After all, they are people and not all people are decent and upstanding pillars of the community so it goes without saying that there is bound to be a few authors (and bloggers) out there who aren’t decent too.

The majority far outweigh the minority though and the multitude are fantastic and a pleasure to work with but of course, focusing on the negative is often natural. Especially as we do this for free and don’t expect to get grief over it. While bad experiences do tarnish, annoy and make you consider working with authors it’s better to look to the positive and all the decent authors that are grateful and appreciative of our help and support. My own experiences with authors are far more positive than negative. I’ve been on a couple of sweet blog tours this year (A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden and Blackwing by Ed Mcdonald – one of the best books out this year) and had many great indie authors on my blog over 2017. I’d like to think that they’d class my blog as a decent place to appear and me as a decent blogger to work with so I definitely give myself a win for working with authors and a win for standing up for myself and my blog against jackasses!

Books is another emphatic win this year for me. There have been some absolutely fantastic books released and it’s been an absolute pleasure to read them all. On top of being a mood reader, I’m also quite picky about what I read and it has predominantly worked out really well this year too. A couple of misfires but on the whole, I have thoroughly enjoyed most of what I’ve read. It also still surprises me that I’m on a couple of publisher mailing lists and that I somehow manage to receive ARC’s so I’m classing that as a win too.πŸ‘Œ

Unfortunately, I’m still a slow reader so managing to get through lots of books is sadly, a fail for me.😞

Blog hopping for me is a fail this year. I tried to constantly visit blogs and like posts, before I had my case of blogger burnout earlier in the year and while I was never a huge commenter I always made sure to like posts and visit blogs. Sadly, since I became jaded with blogging I decided to cut down my blog hopping. I’m a slow reader and reading blogs meant that I wasn’t getting hardly any reading done and I lost the love of both reading and blogging. The solution was to cut back on blog hopping and blogging in general and it worked, I’m still blogging months later. Though, I admit that my stats have suffered as a result of not visiting blogs constantly and I get fewer likes and comments than I did at this time last year. It’s a case of you get what you give and you get out what you put in so that’s fair enough and massive praise to those who blog each and every day, all the time, it works for you, you are dedicated and deserve your stats and popularity. I have to say, I do see some bloggers who never like, comment, share or interact at all and yet they are insanely popular and respected too.

We can’t all blog 24/7 and just because me or other bloggers don’t do that or miss a few posts here and there you could still visit our blogs, if you only liked our posts because we liked yours in the first place then, well, blogging isn’t about that and you should be reading posts because you want to not simply to repay a blogger who visited your blog giving a like for a like. It doesn’t make us bad bloggers for not blogging constantly, yeah, maybe we aren’t as dedicated as you but we aren’t ‘bad‘ for that. No, we are just having to manage our time and find the right balance that keeps us blogging as let’s be honest, blogging isn’t always easy. So, yeah, a fail for me with blog hopping, stats and interaction this year but a win for finding a balance that suits and is better for me.

Side note: I don’t like the term ‘bad blogger‘ and don’t like to see it bandied around. Yes, those who charge for reviews are bad bloggers but they are book hookers and anyway, they might want to ask themselves and then tell us why they deserve to charge when they have fewer followers and stats than others, hmmm?!πŸ€” They might also want to tell us why they get free books from publishers and then try and charge indie authors for reviews especially when they go about it in underhand ways too?!πŸ€” I call shady unclean dealings! I definitely get a win for my vehement disapproval of book hookers who charge for reviews.πŸ˜‚

Yes, I am sure that they have their reasons and own life circumstances for charging and that to them they are valid. However, I am sure that there are countless other bloggers out there who could all cite the exact same reasons and life circumstances and yet choose not to charge!Β 

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But, no, there are no ‘bad bloggers‘ and it’s unfair to call people that solely based on what you personally perceive to be the right and correct way of blogging. Just because it’s right for you it doesn’t mean that it is right for others, we all have to do what is right for us individually. If you think about it, perhaps those bloggers who call other bloggers ‘bad bloggers‘ simply for doing things differently and for not being so dedicated to blogging are in fact the bad bloggers themselves because they are bad-mouthing their fellow bloggers when with the other hand they preach community, community, community! Ooohhh, I’m on fire with this and probably offended the high horse brigade, get off your saddle and un-bunch your panties as we’re all the same!πŸ˜‚

I wonder if it’s a fail or a win for offending people who read my blog?! I guess that depends on whether or not I actually want to offend people?! Hhmmm….if people aren’t offended, is that a fail or a win? Likewise, if people are offended, is that a fail or a win? I don’t know! It’s confusion! What say you all? Do you think I legitimately set out to offend people?πŸ€” Answers on a postcard to Does Drew give a fuck!πŸ˜‚

There are different bloggers who do things in different ways, that is all, no bad bloggers. I’m not a bad blogger just because I’m different and I don’t blog as much as others, it’s called balance. If you want then please, call me out as a bad blogger and tell me why you think I am! Yeah, I’m inviting the chance of myriad bad comments with that!πŸ˜‚ I’ll probably get a fail for being polite and a win for being mouthy on my blog and I’m cool with that.πŸ˜‚

Hhhmm this post is rather long and it’s not quite finished. That’s definitely a fail for me for writing short, concise and to the point posts. I’ve also gone off on tangents about book hookers and bad bloggers too, another fail for focus there! Forgive me, I’m old, my mind wanders!πŸ˜‚

Trust me! I’m getting near the end! Just like the T-Rex in Dino Porn, I’m building to the climax! – in other words, the post is nearly finished!

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Well, there’s certainly been some ups and downs this year whilst blogging but overall, it’s not been too shabby and at times it has been a fun journey. So, yeah, on reflection I’ll give myself a win for blogging in 2017 and here’s to 2018!

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I know that come to the end of the year that many people set out their blogging goals for the following year. For me, I don’t really have any as no-one knows what the future holds.

I’d love to be quoted in a traditionally published book, either on the cover or in the interior, it would be truly wonderful and something amazing! However, I can’t really see it happening and I’m realistic so I’m not expecting it to occur anyway. It would be nice, sure, but it is something that is out of my control and in the fate of the book gods.

I guess that my only goals are to continue being me on my blog, to stick with a balance that suits me and means I enjoy blogging and finally, to keep blogging in 2018.

To those who follow my blog, like, comment, read and share my posts. I say this, from the bottom of my heart, with sincere gratitude and no sarcasm intended, thank you, I appreciate your support in joining me on this blogging journey.

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So, what do you all think?? I’ve given myself a win for blogging this year but do you agree?? What about yourselves?? Has blogging this year been a win or a fail for you??


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79 thoughts on “Blog Reflections 2017

  1. I think you certainly have a win for your first year of blogging. Writing and blogging is full of highs and low points, you’ve had to deal with some tough stuff, and you’ve learned from the experiences. I do the same, my blog, my rules, my way. Keep up the great work, and here’s to another great year of blogging! And above all, have fun πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My blog, my rules, my way, hell yeah. It’s definitely the best way to be just takes some time to realise that it’s your blog at times and to adopt that type of mantra. We can’t please everyone so we might as well please ourselves and blog how we want.πŸ˜€

      Yeah, same, here’s to 2018.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Definitely a win for me too. The slumps were the hardest thing to get through. I went through reading and blogging ones thus years but I’m feeling a lot more confident compared to last year or even the middle of this year. I always appreciate it when you hop over to my blog and share posts as well πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Feeling confident is a good thing with blogging. I don’t think I’ll ever feel confident over my reviews but blogging in general, yeah, it’s my blog, I’ll do what I want with it.

      Blogging slumps suck as do reading, hard to get out of them and when you lose the enjoyment in something that you enjoy its not good but here’s to 2018.πŸ“šπŸ˜€πŸ“š

      Like

  3. This post is all kinds of fantastic! I was laughing throughout. And your tangents?? Gold! I’m glad you had such a great blogging year. I’ve only been following for the last couple months but your voice is what keeps me coming back. I’m also the type that blogs whatever I want, when I want to and how I want to and it seems to connect to people better than trying to censor ourselves. Cheers to a winning 2018! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I’ll definitely take the post being called fantastic!πŸ˜€

      Ha, I try to make people laugh, I struggle with being serious in posts, well, even when I’m being serious I tend to revert to fun and sarcasm.πŸ˜‚

      Yeah, I agree, I think blogging when you want, how you want really shows the real you and the person behind the blog and well…..f#ck censoring ourselves!πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Congratulations and Happy Holidays Drew! It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and reading your posts! I know I have been MIA for a while but it’s getting harder to meld life together when everything keeps changing haha. I really appreciate your advice, comments and your posts. You have helped shape my own blog and voice by being one of the first people that I have connected with so thank you very much. Cheers to another great year in 2018 for you and the blog!

    -Luna πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, appreciate it and likewise.πŸ˜€

      That’s great to know that I helped shape your blog, really cool.πŸ˜€

      No worries, I totally get that about being MIA, I am to most of the time, I’m not even sure where it changed, I used to have plenty of time to blog but now I’m constantly behind on trying to read blogs. I must try harder to catch your WWE posts though, always enjoy reading them.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, Drew. I’d say that’s one fantastic year of blogging! I’m so glad to have found you and while I may not make it to every post, I try! With that said, I do have to admit that blog hopping has slowed my reading so much. That and extra non-book posts. I do need to find a good balance. One things for sure, I’ll never stop Music Monday! I freaking love it. 🀘😁 So, thanks for creating it.

    You’ve inspired me to use my voice more. Being new in 2017, this year I have sort of held a lot in that I wanted to express because I’ve learned that people want positivity. I’m not always positive though and have ranted a bit. I finally feel the same and hope to be more brave with posting what I want in 2018 as well.

    Thanks for being you, Drew! Here’s to another great year in 2018! πŸŽ‰πŸŽ„πŸŽ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally get that about blog hopping slowing reading time, I used to struggle finding time to read with blog hopping and then when I got jaded with blogging I decided I prefer reading and should blog around reading and not read around blogging. Maybe if I could read 200 books each year I could balance it better but when I manage about 1 per week I have to give reading the priority as I have to occasional post reviews.πŸ˜‚

      No worries, I think most of us miss posts here and there, I know I do and I’m constantly behind.πŸ˜‚

      That’s very true about positivity and being positive and I do get it but I do think there’s to much focus on it in blogging as it makes people question being negative due to that amount of positivity and I think you need a balance between the two as people should feel comfortable to post what they want. The weird thing is that negative posts generally do really well yet people don’t like seeing negativity.πŸ˜‚

      Cool, I hope you do post what you want, you should feel comfortable as it’s your blog.πŸ˜€ Not sure I’m good as inspiration though!πŸ˜‚

      Thank you and definitely, here’s to 2018.πŸ˜€πŸ“š

      Liked by 1 person

  6. What a year! I would definitely call this year a success for you! I can’t wait to see what kind of blog posts you’ll come up with in the new year… as I’m sure they’ll be even better… could they be any more inappropriate… knowing you I think you could accept that challenge! πŸ˜›
    Here’s to 2018! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha!πŸ˜‚ Well, I have a parody blog post on bloggers who charge for reviews to be drafted and you say anymore inappropriate! Well, check back later in the week, fun book covers Christmas erotica and a Fluffy Bunny Christmas poem to come!πŸ˜‚ I don’t think it gets anymore inappropriate than those!πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      Yep, here’s to 2018!πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Thanks for taking part in the blog tour, and thanks for the sweet review! I hope you’ll be available in 2018/2019, for the next two books πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It sounds like you had a great year in general, barring a few incidents. But I agree with you that no community is perfect. We can focus on the positive, but I don’t think that means we have to pretend the negatives don’t exist or don’t sometimes get us down. Honestly, though I do think the majority of bloggers are fantastic, sometimes I see things that make me sympathize with authors/publishers who think that bloggers can be overly entitled or difficult to deal with, and that makes me sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I had a quote on a press release of a book. I’m on a few Amazon UK pages for books and I was on a couple of quosters too. Just think it’d be awesome to be in a book that’s available in lots of places.

      That’s very true and I totally agree that most bloggers are fantastic. I’ve come across a few that aren’t (definitely a very small minority) and just like to weigh the balance. I had a couple of bad experiences with authors which I mentioned in the post and I did try to state that despite that most authors generally are great to work with. It just seemed unfair if I didn’t mention bloggers too when mentioning authors as as you say some are entitled.

      Definitely a valid point about them being entitled and feeling for authors and publishers. One of the things that grates on me on Twitter is the entitled meerkat effect. A publisher, publicist or author posts a picture of either the newly arrived proof copies or finished copies of their book. Not, an ‘I’m sending these out to bloggers’ or ‘if you want a copy to review give me a shout’ tweet but just a picture showing the book with something like ‘looks what’s arrived, can’t wait for the release’ written and then it’s often the same bloggers over and over again, I want, I want, I want, I want!πŸ˜‚ Sure, I’ve done it on very rare occasions and lots of bloggers have but you can near enough tick off a checklist of the entitled ones who do it all the time.πŸ˜‚

      Focusing on the positive is definitely the best way, I agree with that. I like to voice my own negative experiences and views and I get that some don’t and of course, don’t want to focus on the negative either. Ignoring it is fine, saying that it doesn’t happen is wrong. It’s bound to happen when you add people to the equation and I just think that it at least needs to be acknowledged to show a broad picture of the community and blogging.

      Like

  9. Fantastic post with some very good points! I’d definitely say this year was a win for you πŸ‘ didn’t you have a quote on publicity material for a book (a press release perhaps?), not the same as on a book but still a brilliant achievement.

    I’m terrible with blog hopping, I forget to comment a lot of the time too😞

    Keep up the great reviews Drew, you’ve intrigued me with a good few books this year that are so far outside my comfort zone but I’ve actually enjoyed them (need to write reviews of them soon, story of my reading life really! Haha)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cool, I will look out for the reviews!πŸ˜€πŸ“š

      Yeah, I had a quote on a press release of a book. I’m on a few Amazon UK pages for books too and I was on a couple of quosters. Just think it’d be awesome to be in a book that’s available in lots of places.πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Undoubtedly, being in a book would be brilliant πŸ™‚ Just wanted to remind you that your name has been seen out there chum and you’ve become the go to blog I recommend for friends who would appreciate your style of reviewing and the books you choose (my brother and one of my chums are fans of yours)

        Liked by 1 person

  10. hehe cheers for a year full of your foul-mouthed-awesomeness! πŸ˜€ So agree about *your blog your rules*. And I love your blogging style by the way- it’s EPIC!! Also loved your inappropriate book covers posts. Don’t worry about bloghopping- I think we all have to take breaks!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Great post! You’ve consistently been one of the most interesting and amusing bloggers I interact with. I’ve been slacking on my blog outreach this year in order to actually do more reading/posting. Now that my life is settled again I think I’ll be able to do the blog hopping thing more often! Also, being quoted on a book is definitely on my blogging bucket list!!!! How cool would that be!!!?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you.πŸ˜€ I do try to be amusing or at least I amuse myself in posts.πŸ˜‚

      I totally get that, it’s one of the reasons my own blog hopping has dwindled so I can read more.πŸ˜€

      It would be awesome! Absolutely amazing to be on a book that’s available in various shops, maybe one day!πŸ˜€πŸ“š

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Of course you get a win & thumbs up from me! Imagine it like that – You just won the title as the youngest (blogging)champ ever, your mates are holding you up on their shoulders and you are facing Triple H who is slowly giving you the thumbs……up! Didn’t go like that? Ah, I can’t really remember πŸ˜€

    Anyways.. I love coming here and reading your posts, rants, meme’s, reviews, filthy covers & book titles! I don’t always comment though – only when I have something to say, like today πŸ˜€ And I am always looking out for the Wrestling references haha

    Keep on doing what you do, mate! And have a lovely Christmas time! Hope Santa brings you lots of Dinosaur porn πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Wow, what an amazing post! Why not name it 2017 A year of sarcasm, hilarity and finding your own voice? That about sums it up for me. I personally love your posts. They never fail to make me laugh. πŸ˜‚
    It’s great that you found your own voice and are not scared of using sarcasm or making fun of books. I still struggle with that to be perfectly honest. Whenever I write a review I always have this voice in my head that tells me to be incredibly respectful. So I didn’t use any sarcasm on my blog until I had the idea to write a series of Bookish Satire which now has all of my sarcasm in just a couple of sentences. πŸ˜‚
    I just started blogging and your advice really helps. So thank you for that! I really enjoy reading your posts, so keep it up! I need your sarcastic, hilarious voice in my blogging life. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, I appreciate your comment and that would have been an awesome title for the post!πŸ˜€ As I mentioned in the post, I suck at naming my actual posts, point proven how bland Blog Reflections 2017 is for a name!πŸ˜‚

      I totally get that about the voice in the head and being respectful. I generally leave my sarcasm for my own posts but I do throw some into reviews, same for swearing (though I don’t swear in reviews if the book doesn’t contain swearing but if the book does then it’s all good and away I go, if people complain about it then they need to complain about the language in the book too.πŸ˜‚). Not worrying about sarcasm in reviews, etc made it easier for me to review. I’ll never be eloquent but I tried to write what I thought was expected whereas now I write whatever, Some will include sarcasm, some won’t but it’s all good compared to worrying over how I should word something.

      While the reviews may only on occasion contain sarcasm all other posts will as I’m incapable of being serious! Even when I write a serious post I’ll add in some humour and nonsense.πŸ˜‚

      Cool, good luck with your blog.πŸ˜€πŸ“š I’m not sure my advice is or should be helpful, I’m definitely not one of the cool and popular bloggers for advice. I’m the sarcastic blogger who sits in the corner making fun of others!πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Popularity really doesn’t matter, it’s not like I’ll earn money with my blog. I like your blog because it is pretty unqiue considering all the hundreds of book blogs you can find on the net. πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yeah, you’re probably right. Especially counting all the blogs in different languages I can’t even read. :,D

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Being authentic is the best way to blog, and to make yours stand out from the crowd…. there are too many vanillas about! Would you like some tips to make your posts more easily readable? Keep it a bit shorter, and use shorter paragraphs. It’s a subconscious thing; eyes are more likely to keep reading if they think they haven’t got a huge block of text to get through. What I do is write the first draft, then look at it in preview, see if any of the paragraphs are too long, and look at ways of writing it more succinctly.

    Another way to keep people reading, and not to click off and onto the next thing is to use bullet points. Blog readers have a short attention span, and love lists!

    I’ve read a couple of your reviews and they’re better than you think. What matters is to be sincere, and not use reviewing cliches. You tick both boxes. You’ve obviously gained a following… it’s all good!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I know about writing shorter posts. Struggle at writing reviews but when I write a post I sure can babble on and on and on.πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

      Yeah, shorter paragraphs too, I generally use short ones in reviews but when writing a post the ramble monster takes over.πŸ˜‚

      I’m not even going to comment on vanilla blogs and bloggers, only that I totally agree with you.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  15. The only two things I care about are free books and my site numbers. I really don’t get involved in the rest of it. I bloghop on the rare occasion I have time, but it’s never a priority.

    I think as long as you are fulfilling your goals, screw everything else. Everyone is different.

    AND I STILL HATE YOU for the monster sexy time discussion on Twitter, you jerk.

    Liked by 2 people

  16. This is a great post. I am actually on a blogging break because I burned myself out trying to keep up with my blog, my other booklikes blog, my twitter, my goodreads friends and visiting my blogger friends. I was always feeling guilty for not finding time to read everyone’s posts and comment but on the days I did that I had no time left to read or compose a post so I’ve just dropped it all for now. I will come back eventually but I have to learn some way to balance it all and still find joy in reading/reviewing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s definitely hard to find a balance as you say, on top of reading you have blog hopping and then you still need to write and prepare your own blog posts. I was putting blogging first, I think that’s why I got fed-up with it earlier in the year and I’m happier with the blog now I put reading first and blogging second just blogging and posting when I want.

      Like

  17. Drew! Mate! Here’s to 2018!
    We can totally, each and every one of us, agree that we have a win! πŸ™‚
    I don’t really measure my blog in quite strict criteria… work being an arse, I haven’t even had the chance to sit down and think how my blogging’s going… I just bang out a review a week now and I am happy with that because that’s all I can do…
    Your blog has been a success, I am sure all of us would agree and again- all the best for 2018 and may all your blogging dreams and goals come true!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t really look too deeply into my blog either. Says the guy who just wrote 3,500 words for a reflection post!πŸ˜‚ I have a tendency to ramble, babble and go off on tangents so I just added the fail/win bits as extra while I was typing and as it made me smile as I could add some more sarcasm!πŸ˜‚ And more sarcasm is always good.πŸ˜‰

      Definitely not one of those who analyse every post they post and their stats daily and then compare each hour of each day of each week of each month with flow charts and diagrams!πŸ˜‚ Nothing wrong with it but hell no for me! I’d rather just read and knock out blog posts when I want.

      Lol not sure about blogging dreams, that’s stretching it too far but it’s always nice when things happen. It’s not what blogging is about and it doesn’t make it but some things are just nice additional extras.πŸ˜€

      Thanks Liz, same to you and here’s to lots of great posts and books in 2018.πŸ˜€πŸ“šπŸ˜€πŸ“š

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Great post, you’ve definitely found your voice this year and it’s great when we feel more confident in our blogs. It’s been a win for me this year. Happymeerkatreviews was fun but I felt so restricted which was my own fault as I felt a weird ‘need’ to help authors by reviewing their books but all that leads to is making me feel awful and the authors don’t care one bit.. :/ But this year with My Peacock Books I’ve definitely felt like it’s been my blog and because of that I’ve had no burn out on this blog as of yet, and I hoe I won’t in future either. Keep up being yourself, confident in reviewing or not at the end of the day it’s just a personal opinion on a book and that’s all that should matter when writing reviews πŸ™‚ Happy 2018 and have a great xmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, that’s very true about authors. They are happy if you review their book (positively) but otherwise lots don’t care. Especially not about blogging taking time and being stressful, etc.

      I’m glad things improved on your new blog and that you haven’t had blog burnout this year. It’s good when things work out well and changing your blog did.πŸ˜€πŸ“š

      Thank you, happy 2018 and a great Christmas to you too.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t know how many people noticed this comment. It’s almost all the way at the top: Book Bloggers are Awesome! For a tribute, please see: http://www.kboards.com/index.php/topic,258914.0.html It only got one like, so maybe it was missed or nobody was impressed.

        In any case, I’m replying to the comment about authors. I don’t understand the logic, but it is true that on kboards there appear to be some authors who want to ban book reviews by book bloggers from being posted on Amazon. ?????????? Two of them retaliated against me when I defended book bloggers and I suspect, almost certain, posted one star reviews about my novel. Two, not saying these are the ones who retaliated, were blocked from further commenting on that thread by the moderator on duty at Amazon.

        Drew prob has, but I doubt if others have seen my FB posts whenever a book blogger takes the time to post something about my novel. I share a little about the blogger, what’s on their website sometimes supplemented by asking them if it would be okay to say what state or country that they live in, and have reposted these mini tributes sometimes for an entire week. Right now, I’m working on a log of hundreds of book bloggers who have contributed in some way to my project since its inception. When finished, it will be published on my Goodreads author page.

        Since half of my author proceeds are donated to the prevention of child abuse, I regard the vast majority of book bloggers that I’ve met to have a very strong interest in child welfare. As with any group of people, authors and book bloggers alike, I’ve run into a couple of ding-a-lings, even a couple who have spread out-and-out lies about me, but that is very rare for both groups. I’m hopeful, on behalf of literature in general, that the future is bright in unification of indie authors and book bloggers. Right now, there are only five conglomerate publishers of books in the English speaking world that “trick” people by publishing under different imprints. The same super editors control everything. A traditional publishing house may spend up to $20K to promote a single title. I don’t know of a single traditional small press that still publishes novel length works. They’ve all gone under. Without book bloggers, only very wealthy indie authors who can afford advertising like they used to publish by vanity presses — indie authors wouldn’t have a chance of being noticed regardless of the quality of their works,

        Sorry about this long rant. Maybe I’ve read too many of Drew’s posts. lol

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree that “book hookers” is a good term to apply to book bloggers who charge to review books. I’ve noticed a few here and there. Of course, I have never and would never pay for a book review (In part, because I’m retired and broke. lol). The argument made on Kboards was that it was incentivized if a book blogger was an affiliate of Amazon or another sales site (IMO, ridiculous!), or if the book blogger even charged for editing, advertising, etc. My disagreement with this position is what got a couple of Kboard members all riled up on the author board. Fortunately, the Kboards’ moderator on duty used to be a book blogger who cross-posted her unpaid reviews on Amazon. She yanked a knot in some folks tails.

        I do want to point out, however, that Kirkus and some other professional book review organizations do charge for reviews. I can’t remember how much Kurkus charges, but it’s hundreds of dollars. It is common practice for Big Five Publishing Houses to pay for book reviews. Almost all the book awards organizations that I’ve noticed also charge a fee to “assess” a book. So, if an Indie author has a lot of money, or if the book was a Big Five publication, the odds of getting book awards are greatly improved.

        Not only have I never paid for a book review, I have also never paid for any type of book promotions. Many of the people on Kboards invest heavily in paid promotions. Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with paid promotions, and I found it somewhat hypocritical that a few of the Kboard members who objected to book bloggers cross posting their reviews to Amazon were the same people who were buying advertising. If you think you would like to get into that type of business, there are a lot of potential customers for you on Kboards. I’m working on a document that acknowledges pro bono contributions to my project by volunteer book bloggers. Following is a Facebook post:

        12-22-17 RARITY FROM THE HOLLOW PROJECT CONTRIBUTORS, History and Status of the Rarity from the Hollow Project (document status report). So far, I’m up to February 2, 2016, on creating a document that credits book bloggers for their contributions to this project. The novel raises funds for the prevention of child abuse thru sales of a tragic, comedic, and satiric SciFi adventure. When completed, the log will be published on http://www.lacydawnadventures.com and on https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5818055.Robert_Eggleton. A lot more book blogs will be added as I have time to work on this document.

        From inception to 2-2-16, people associated with independent book blogs have contributed:

        82 Book Reviews;
        1 Award;
        3 Blurbs of my book by a famous author;
        76 Book Spotlights;
        38 Author Interviews;
        10 Published Guest Posts that I Submitted;
        2 Short Stories that I Submitted;
        2 Character Interviews;
        1 Radio Interview;
        And, 27 Reblogs of a Post on a Different Book Blog.
        TOTAL Internet Posts by Book Bloggers: 242

        The log does not include posts on Amazon or other book sales sites, Goodreads, shares on Facebook, or Retweets on Twitter.

        If you love books, are an independent book blogger or know one, or if you are an author who has benefited from help by a member of this group of wonderful people, please share this post and contribute to this project if you can.
        https://www.facebook.com/robert.eggleton2
        https://www.facebook.com/Lacy-Dawn-Adventures-573354432693864/

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Kirkus while bland as f#ck is more of a proper and professional website than just normal bloggers and a book blog with a few hundred followers. I’m sure I saw they had 60,000+ twitter followers and most bloggers have between a couple of hundred and a few thousand at most.

        Saying that however, there are fantasy blogs out there with a reach just as big and they don’t charge for reviews.

        With Kirkus, as you say, they charge everyone. They are a website that charges. It’s different to a book blogger who supposedly does this because they love reading and want to write about books who then tries to charge. These book hookers get free books from publishers and then try and charge indie authors for a review of their work! If they asked the publisher for money then I’m sure they’d tell them to f#ck off. It also begs the question that they aren’t paying for books, they get them from the publisher for free so why do they need to charge indie authors for a review? It’s not to buy more books!

        Charging for other types of posts is a grey area as while lots would say it’s wrong it’s just a promotional piece, a guest post, a excerpt, a spotlight that brings attention to the book and author and you get paid regardless. You don’t care if the book is good or bad, does well or not, you post the post, get paid and it’s done.

        But! Add in a review, it’s your opinion on the book and that makes it personal, it’s not subjective and it’s clouded especially when authors want a positive review. The blogger wouldn’t write a negative review and be honest and not get paid, they’d lie, be positive and pocket the money.

        Beta and proof reading is tricky as it’s a service. I’ve seen bloggers offer these services for free which is cool and fine. Then I’ve seen bloggers charge for these services and that’s not cool. If they have the qualifications and are a professional then OK, sure, it’s fine as there are many websites that offer those services and the blogger will be offering them as extra on top of the book blog.

        But if they are charging and they aren’t qualified then no, it’s wrong and they are just out for money as others use the blog to get the experience before going professional.

        Liked by 1 person

  19. I wish that all book reviews of my novel were glowing! lmao A few book reviewers just didn’t connect, especially with the political parody, and it was a little too much for a few others, especially YA book reviewers or easily offended book reviewers who decided to step outside of their comfort zones for a try, It’s all good! I’ve never known of a book reviewer who posted a review of a book that they had charged to edit; or who posted a review of a book that held a paid advertising spot on their book blog, but I’m sure that it happens. IMO, all book bloggers who contribute based on their love of books, like you, Drew, deserve to be publicly acknowledged, My book has never been on Kirkus, but it has appeared on Midwest Book Review and The Missouri Review, similar large organizations. As I said before, these were free book reviews. Personally, I believe that the review of my book got lost among hundreds of others. Sure, it sounds good, but nothing is like the personal trust that people have for much smaller independent book blogs like the ones who have commented on this thread.

    Like

  20. I think you’ve totally and utterly nailed this year to the fucking cross! πŸ˜‰ Your blog is always original, amusing and full of fantastic reviews. Music Monday is just freaking Fantastic!

    As for your wish to have a quote published in a book….I have a very very good feeling you won’t be waiting long! πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Honestly, I think your confidence and identity as a blogger has grown greatly in 2017. The whole “your blog, your rules” thing has really stuck with you all the way and has shaped your blog in the right direction. I’ve always vouched in bloggers to do what they want, when they want and how they want, and that’s exactly what you did. Those posts were you expose trolls and put them back in their place were brilliant and your content is always a pleasure to go through. Hopefully 2018 will be just as successful and awesome for you, sir. Here’s to awesome books, awesome peepz and an awesome year. Happy New Year, in advance, sir! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks man, really appreciate the right direction bit of the comment.πŸ˜€ It’s good to know.πŸ˜€

      Lol for mentioning the troll posts! I’m doing a favourite posts post and the troll one is on it as while it’s lowbrow I found it
      so funny to write. πŸ˜‚

      Totally agree! Awesome books, awesome peepz and an awesome year in general would be great for us all.πŸ‘Œ

      Happy new year in advance to you too.πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Wow I thought you had been doing this for much much longer. Your posts are great, I hope to be as creative as you one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. I’m glad that you consider your blogging year a win Drew. I do too.
    My blogging year had a few hiccoughs, but was on the whole, a win as well.
    (the biggest hiccough was when I was plagiarized on another blog. The support of the blogging community meant a lot at that time, and thankfully the offenders blog was removed from WordPress)
    As for people who ‘charge’ for reviews…. I could never do that. If I did I would feel as though I had to give 5 stars to everything I read – no one can like everything.)

    Liked by 1 person

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