by Lori Gondelman
I never had any intention of becoming a book blogger. I had no idea where to start, what it should cover, how it should look, or more importantly, if anyone would even care. At the time I started my blog I belonged to a book swapping site called http://www.paperbackswap.com/. Basically you post books that you no longer want, and when another member requests your book, you mail it off to them. Once they receive your book you earn a credit, with which you can then order a book that you want. Nice and simple, right? I soon had a new group of friends, fellow booklovers. It got to a point that my friends started calling me “the book pimp” because my book recommendations would cause their wish lists to grow out of control, and their piles of books would transform from small hills to massive mountains. Several of them started bugging me about doing a book blog. I put it off because I honestly felt like I had nothing worthwhile to say. And again, would anyone really care? I finally “caved,” and Lori’s Reading Corner was born, just about three years ago. It’s taken off in ways that I never dreamed possible.
My blog started off as a way for me to share my love of reading and my thoughts on books with others. I love seeing comments that say, “I bought this book on your recommendation, and I loved it. I’ll be back to see what else you’ve got for me.” It warms my heart to know that I’ve given someone else the same joy I got from reading a book, a book they might not otherwise have read if they hadn’t seen my review.
What has really surprised me though, are the amazing contacts I have made. I know there are thousands of bloggers out there, and that I’m just one tiny little fish in a big pond. Having said that, I’ve been fortunate enough to make some amazing contacts at Harper Collins, Random House, St. Martin’s, Penguin/Berkley, and several other publishing houses. Publishers, publicists, and authors who have “stumbled” on my blog and would like to send me advanced reader copies to review. Really? Little ‘ole me? Why? Most importantly, I’ve developed some terrific friendships with some fantastic authors. Authors that have been extremely supportive of my blog. They have offered encouragement and advice. Jessica Park has been an amazing, encouraging friend to me. Whenever I find reviews that I think make mine look like they were written by a two-year-old, she reminds me that everyone has their own writing style, and that as long as I stay true to myself, my reviews are just as good, if not better, than the others out there. Jessica has also helped me get started with some editing/proofing work. Not only did she ask me for my feedback and proofing help on her latest book, she’s also mentioned me to other author friends of hers, possibly opening even more doors for me. That she thinks that much of me and wants MY feedback means more to mean than I could ever put into words.
When I first started blogging, my goal wasn’t to meet authors, make amazing contacts, or get advanced reader copies of amazing books (although those have been unanticipated bonuses). It was simply to let others know what I thought about the books I was reading. To hopefully spread the word about some amazing books and some incredible authors. And I hope (and think) that’s exactly what I’ve done.