Harlie normally doesn't have a random thought piece about blogging but she thought that it was needed. This will not be a pity party blog nor a piece about how much she wants to quit, step away, recharge, etc. Instead, she will talk about what is working for Harlie’s Books and what doesn’t. This blog brings up some good points for authors, too. She didn't forget about you guys. :)
Things that work:
Harlequin. It is still her #1 post. Especially if she does a spotlight/review Harlequin Heartwarming authors. As I have stated before, Harlie’s doesn’t do the hot stuff anymore because her readers just didn’t like it. I know, right? I think that since doesn’t she read true erotic/taboo/BDSM, etc., her readers don’t expect it, therefore, they go elsewhere for it. Harlie’s not a prude but when she started looking at her stats, she adjusted and it worked.
Tweets from the post – She might not get the comments but her Twitter Feed is full of likes/retweets from a post. And get this…she doesn’t particularly care for Twitter. Never figured it out. *SMH*
Accepting that she will never be popular – She used to bemoan the fact that she wasn’t as popular as some of the other blogger friends that she had. She has been blogging longer and reviewing for other review sites even longer. As a result, she doesn’t get caught up in the blogger world drama that exists. Oh yes, it does exist and that’s one of the reasons why she doesn’t and never has gone to a Con. Too much drama there. She has found out from peeps going to them that friendships/blogs/author friendships have split because of it. Yes, peeps…some people can’t hold their liquor. True story.
No fangirling allowed – Harlie doesn’t play favorites. She never has and never will. Everyone is welcome. Now, she does have a list of authors that she will not allow on the blog. She was burned badly by them in the old Yahoo groups and found their unprofessionalism discerning. Harlie comes from the corporate world so she doesn’t understand why authors and even bloggers tear each other down. We should be supporting each other. Not tearing each other down. We all put our pants on the same way…one leg at a time.
Blog tours – Some of the tour companies that Harlie works with are great and she gets plenty of traffic. Unfortunately, some of the posts don’t get the hits. She will continue to work with all of her tour companies but she is paring down on who and what she promotes. Reading/reviewing/putting up the post takes time.
She still likes doing it – She justs like to blog. Also, she will make a huge effort to blog about her thoughts at least once every two weeks.
Things that don’t work:
Berating herself when a post is late – She used to do this all the time. Berating herself, not being late. It stressed her out.
Overbooking – This used to be a HUGE problem. She realized that she’ll never be popular, have a bunch of peeps helping her out and having the time to spend all day on the computer, she just stopped. It made her sad in a way but her anxiety level went from a gazillion to about a ten now.
Reviewing indie only books – This also encompasses the publishers that she favors. She figured out what books/authors/publishers work for her and with her so is being a bit pickier. She is also starting to review some of the bigger names in romance land. And she has found out that their assistants are gems to work with. Plus, the author actually participates, too. Either by tweeting, liking or even leaving a comment. Harlie’s had some very big squee moments because of that. She’s been quoted even.
Daily Newsletter – Not sure if this is working at all. Harlie uses Mail Chimp and its free. Personally, Harlie likes a newsletter from a blog. It makes it easier to scan the newsletter to see what she wants to read.
Things that she still doesn’t understand:
Pinterest – She’s sorry but she just doesn’t get it. She understands that it’s a pin board with pictures but never figured out to automatically get a picture from the blog to the site. Or even if there is a way to do that. Plus, she’s NOT a craft person at all. She can barely color between the lines so to spend hours on the site… Trust me on this.
Publishers that play favorites – So she reviews a lot of books. Some she does for a couple of publishers and has for years. So please tell me why she’s not an “auto” reviewer with them? And then there are peeps that don’t even have a blog or even reviewed them but maybe once or twice get on their favorite lists? *scratches head*
Bloggers that feel the need to steal from authors or tweet about their hatred of either the book or author – It makes the blogging community look like asshol**! Stop right now. It’s not productive and you look like a toddler that hasn’t had a nap.
So there you have it. Some things that most people already knew but there is a secret that she hasn’t shared with anyone. She’s NEVER done a blog anniversary. Harlie’s been blogging since 2008 and never celebrated it. She’s not big on asking authors for prizes, to be on the blog, to celebrate with her and some authors have told her that next year, she needs to do that. They have also told her that they are proud of her and will continue to support her.
One other thing…she needs to change the rating graphics. If anyone can help her out, please email her. Please leave your comments or concerns down below. Harlie would love to know what you think about the lists.