I've been contemplating doing a post about how I personally book blog, but hadn't really found the impetus to do it until I saw Sophie's brilliant post about Running a Blog over at her site 'So Many Books, So Little Time', so the fact that I actually finished this post and put it up is all on her - thank you for inadvertently giving me the push to do it Sophie!
Running a book blog is a lot of hard work. I'm really lucky that whilst I'm in France I don't have to go out to work, I do it all from home, so I can devote a lot more time to reading and reviewing than I could before - which definitely helps ease the stress!
1. As soon as a book comes in, either as a proof copy or an e-galley, I look at the release date and then at my diary. I don't post reviews earlier than two weeks before the release date, so that can mean a lot of shuffling around of previous ideas of when I'd post reviews. My diary is a messy and cluttered thing...
I have to have a physical diary to work with, otherwise my brain explodes. No really, brain matter all over the screen, so messy. For some reason my head just cannot work its way around having a calendar/diary on my phone or computer, as handy as that would be, so I have a little purple book giving me a month per page, with just enough space to write what post will be going up each day/scribble it out several times and make a mess.
That way I can immediately see where I have space, or where I need to make space and shift other reviews around to fit in the latest book. Unless I have an insanely busy week or month I tend to only blog on weekdays, because I mainly post reviews and trying to read enough books to fill seven days a week would cause me to binge eat an entire freezer of Ben & Jerry's and lie on my fainting couch.
2. Once I've worked out where there is space I create a scheduled post on Blogger with the title of the book and schedule it for the appointed day. That way I have a back up system of when things should be being posted and it helps me to stay on track.
It starts off as a scheduled post with a title and no labels. That way I can see it's still to be done. As soon as the review is in there and it's all ready to go I add the labels. Voila!
At a glance I can see where the gaps are and what I need to be reading and reviewing next.
When I finish the book I try to sit down no later than 48 hours after I've read the book, otherwise my goldfish brain has already moved onto the next book and I have trouble putting all my thoughts together. I used to make notes whilst I read, but now because I sit down straight after to review it I find I don't need to as much. Some reviews will sit open on my laptop for several days whilst I formulate what I want to say (weirdly it's sometimes the books I've enjoyed the most that I find the reviews hardest to write because it's hard to say anything other than READ IT READ IT NOW SO GOOD MUST READ) and others will be done in twenty minutes. It really does depend on the book and my experience with it.
As soon as it's ready to go it then gets left until a day or two before it's due to go live when I'll then go back to it, double check it for any glaring errors and do the odd tweak. Once I've written the review though I don't change anything outright, because I like keeping it as my thoughts when I'd read the book, not a week later when I've thought about it some more. Sometimes I'll add extra notes if the time away from the book has clarified or changed anything, but on the whole the review is how I felt in the couple of days after finishing.
Both of these ways of keeping track mean that I know what order I have to read the books I have in. It's a lot more structured than my old haphazard approach, but it means that I never miss release date deadlines or find myself scrambling to catch up with something I should have done a while ago. Less stress makes me a happy bean!
So that's my method of working, have I given you any ideas for helping to keep track of your blogging? Or do you have your own blogging schedule and methods? Let me know in the comments below!