I was delighted and honoured beyond belief to be nominated for this award not once, but twice this week. So grateful thanks go to Kate at The Quiet Knitter and Joanne at The Portobello Book Blog. I’ve not received an ‘award’ before beyond my NetGalley badges, and as this is awarded by fellow bloggers, it makes me feel as though I’ve finally arrived to be mentioned among some of my own favourite bloggers.
Here are the award rules:
1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
2. Write a post to show your award.
3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
*5. Select 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
*6. Comment on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.
How “Jill’s Book Cafe” started
My blog began as a way of bringing all my reviews together in one place. I used to award stars on Goodreads but had never written a review until I was introduced to, and thankfully accepted by NetGalley in Feb 2014. Suddenly it was in at the deep end, learning to write reviews and post them to Goodreads and Amazon and anywhere else it was appropriate. I cringe when I see my early reviews (and some later ones on a bad day). Once I started writing reviews I realised there was a world out there full of other reviewers and bloggers that had their own websites/blogs and began to follow some of them. In Nov 2014 I decided in a moment of madness to start my own blog and this is the result. I already had the name because I have a Facebook page that I use to post free and bargain books and it made sense to keep the same name.
I still feel I have a lot to learn and view myself primarily as a reviewer. I’ve dipped my toe in the water of Q&A’s and author features which I need to pursue as time permits.
Advice to New Bloggers
It’s your blog so be yourself and don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. Everyone has different time constraints and abilities, so do what you can, when you can. By all means look at other blogs for inspiration or as something to aspire to, but don’t fall into the trap of constantly comparing yours to theirs. People following your blog want to know what you think, what you recommend and what you read.
Don’t put undue pressure on yourself, learn to say no – it’s easy to get carried away with NetGalley for example, but just remember all those book that are dropping on to your Kindle actually need to be read and require a review. Similarly when you get asked to review a book it’s very flattering, (and hard to say no) but if it’s not your style/genre or you don’t have time, don’t be afraid to politely say so.
Put your review policy on your blog – while many times, it will be ignored by people who think it doesn’t apply to them, or just don’t bother checking, it gives you the opportunity to state what you read, what formats you prefer and also whether your currently accepting reviews. It also makes it much easier to say no going forward.
Don’t be scared to interact with other bloggers – when I started I was scared stiff that I was trying to ‘muscle in’ on an arena that full of established bloggers. The reality was, that I was accepted as a fellow blogger and made to feel welcome. I count myself lucky to be able to connect and interact with those bloggers that I used to follow and respect (and still do). There’s probably no problem or question that you’ve got that someone else hasn’t had so don’t be afraid to ask.
My Blogger Nominees
OK the hard bit. I’m now supposed to nominate 15 blogs and their bloggers. As I follow way more than 15 my alphabetical selection is made up of those bloggers that I regularly interact directly via my blog. What I love when I look through this list, is how it exemplifies what I enjoy about blogging. My nominees offer a variety of genres, are of differing ages (I’m old enough to be a granny to some), are not all located in the UK which gives me a different perspective and are not all long established blogs. Several on my list started blogging after me, but are already way ahead in regularly of diving in and making an impression, which proves there is room for everyone.
I’m aware of all the pressures we put on ourselves (despite exhortations not to – see above advice) so I’m not adding to that by asking my nominated blogs to take part – unless they want to. This is my way of saying thanks for accepting me, for helping me and giving me something to aspire to.
- Being Anne – Anne
- Chat About Books – Kerry
- Cleopatra loves Books – Cleo
- Chocolatenwaffles – Donna
- Fictionophile -Lynne
- It’s Book Talk – Renee
- Keeper of Pages– Janel
- Kraftireader – Adele
- Lit. Wit. Wine & Dine – Ann Marie
- Portobello Book Blog – Joanne
- Rather Too Fond of Books – Hayley
- Short Book and Scribes – Nicola
- The Book Review Cafe – Lorraine
- The Misstery – Annie
- The Quiet Knitter – Kate