On May 21st 2013, Confessions of an Adult Teen Reader went live with its very first review. On the one year anniversary I thought I'd take a look back at the year, share a few of the millions of amazing things that have happened, and a few of the things I've learned trying out this reviewing thing.
Amazing Thing #1 - Some authors actually read your review!
The first time I had an author interact with me I literally started to cry and jumped up and down. I can't say I've gotten used to hearing from authors, but I have come to more of a realization that they are real people who legitimately get excited when someone loves their book.
Lesson #1 - Some authors actually read your review! (even when you really didn't like their book)
Twitter is an interesting beast. I had an author 'follow' me within about a minute of tweeting out a link to my review of their book. I did not tweet the link to them, and I did not try to make them aware of the review in anyway, but they found it anyway. About five minutes later the author not surprisingly unfollowed me. I did not like their book, and while I tried to respectfully explain why I didn't like the book, I still felt bad they'd read a negative review.
Amazing Thing #2 - Having my review of The First Lie by Diane Chamberlain highlighted on her Facebook page
The first author I ever had repost or link my review back to one of their social media pages was Diane Chamberlain. I was checking my google analytics info before bed, and found an amazingly huge skyrocket in visits. I naturally thought I'd been spammed as the traffic skyrocket happened in a very small amount of time. Thankfully I was wrong. On top of linking to my review, Diane also said some very kind words about it, which made the whole thing that much better. Even though I've now had author's retweet/ repost my reviews on quite a few occasions, the excitement of knowing they've appreciated how you've expressed your appreciation for their book is always an amazing feeling.
Lesson #2 - If you request it, you should review it
Early on I went on a requesting frenzy (can't say I'm sometimes not still guilty of this, but I digress). When you first get access to all of these super interesting sounding books its hard to rein in the grabby hands and think about the fact that each request you're granting is about five hours of work. Fun work, yes. But work nonetheless.
Amazing Thing #3 - Other bloggers
A friend of mine from grad school (shout out to Avery @ Avery's Designs!) was the first one to introduce me to NetGalley and Edelweiss. She gave me the encouragement and inspiration I needed to get started in this whole blogging business, and through her I've met some other really amazing bloggers. Blogging and reviewing is fun, but finding other people who love books as much as you and want to talk about books all the time is the biggest perk of the job!
Lesson #3 - A quality versus quantity modus operandi
Sometimes life happens. I've had a fair amount of change go on over the last year in my personal life, which understandably has directly impacted how much reviewing time I've had. I was getting very stressed about being behind on reviews, and for my own sanity I ultimately had to come to the conclusion that sometimes it's better to take some of the pressure off and not expect the moon. Quality has always been more important to me than quantity, and that has meant weeks of only posting one review, or none at all. Even though that sucks, I'd rather review less, post solid reviews, and not burn myself out, rather than any of the alternatives.
Amazing Thing #4 - Publishers Weekly
A few months ago I started working as a freelance reviewer for Publishers Weekly. Though adding to the reviewing plate has definitely impacted the amount of time I have to devote to the blog, I still can't contain my excitement about my new 'job' (I don't consider it a job). It's an opportunity I probably would never have had without being 'An Adult Teen Reader', and I'm so grateful for the blog because of it.
Lesson #4 - What's in a Name?
Having such a long blog name doesn't do anyone any good. Also, choosing to use the word 'adult' in your twitter makes for some interesting suggestions when someone looks you up on twitter.
There are so many more things I could say, but why read a novel about my blog when you could read an actual novel! (I don't blame you for choosing the novel, I would!) Thank you to everyone who reads the reviews whether here on the blog, or on Goodreads or Amazon. I love knowing that I'm doing my part in helping people find a great read!
As always, happy reading everyone!