Another Year of Book Blogging #Blogging #BookReviews #WritingCommunity

Another Year of Book Blogging

According to GoodReads, I have read (and reviewed) 117 books this year.

That’s a lot of time reading!

I have been reviewing books on Waggy Tales Blog for almost three years now. In this post, I want to share some tips, discuss what I learned this year, how I rate books and finally my favourite books from 2019.

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  • What Did I Learn This Year?

The main thing is that I am much more choosy about the titles I read. I know which genre’s I like and I have my favourite authors who never disappoint.

However, I have found some fantastic debut authors this year whose names I will happily shout out from the rooftops. So I like to keep my options open.

I know that my emails will be full of writers requesting book reviews in genres I don’t read. Most are generic letters sent out to many reviewers from people who haven’t even taken the time to find out my name. I have learned to say ‘no’ to these emails.

I have also reined myself in when it comes to the wonderful NetGalley. My Feedback Ratio hangs around the 77% mark and it will be a New Year’s resolution to get this to over 80% in 2020.

Authors need reviews to sell books but they also need sales too. I have been enlightened about the time required to write a book and I am in awe of authors. So I buy books and gift them to people who will love them.

Favourite book covers
Just a few of my favourite book covers

My Book Cover Confession

I try not to be swayed by a beautiful book cover, something that I was definitely guilty of in the past. However, an uninspiring cover really puts me off reading a book, no matter how good it is.

Blog Tour Requests

I really enjoy doing Blog Tours and have been introduced to some amazing authors by signing up for tours. I really enjoy spreading the word on social media about GREAT books and the writing and blogging community is a supportive bunch.

My advice to anyone starting out as a book blogger would be to host some blog tours. It’s a great way to meet like-minded people who are supportive and friendly.

Unfortunately, I will have to cut back on blog tours in 2020 because this year I have tied myself up in knots by signing up to too many! Hopefully, I will be able to resist the emails, but it’s going to be hard to walk away from great books.

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Paper vs Ebook

Oh, how I love to read a brand new paperback book, it is pure joy!

I take great care with ‘real’ books, not damaging the spine and certainly not bending pages over.

However, I  sadly don’t have the shelf space for hundreds of books so digital ebooks are an absolute godsend too. I now actually enjoy delayed appointments because it means that I can whip my phone out and read a few chapters. Also, no-one knows what I’m reading, thank goodness for that!

_ I have wanted for ages to write a Christmas-themed book_ (4)

Star Ratings

Oh, what a minefield!

I may be in the minority here but I don’t publish bad reviews.

I’ve put a lot of thought into this and came to the conclusion that a bad review helps no-one. My posts are there to offer support to authors and recommend books to blog readers.

When I was coming up with a list of my favourite reads I debated listing the few that I didn’t finish or considered to be three stars and below. I decided against it…..because someone else might love it!

Who am I to pass judgement and potentially damage an author’s reputation?

Also, after reading for many years, I know what I like and there honestly hasn’t been many books that I haven’t enjoyed.

Book Review Requests From Author’s and Publishers

I am open to book review requests on both After Eleven Books And Chat and Waggy Tales Blog.

Genre’s include Contemporary and Historical Romance, Sagas, Memoirs, Children’s Books and Psychological Thrillers

Contact me at

Here are just a few of my favourites from 2019.

Is there any you recognise?

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These books have all been reviewed on my other blog which is called Waggy Tales Blog

(Just enter the book title into search)

What Do I Look For In A Book?

  1.  I want to experience a whole range of emotions
  2.  There needs to be at least one character who I can connect with.
  3.  I want to learn something new.
  4.  I want to escape and forget about everything else except the story I’m reading.
  5.  The story should lift my spirits and leave me inspired.

Obviously, you could never expect to find all of the above in just one book, but sometimes you do.

Have you ever read a book that ticks every box?

I would love to know what they are.

Thank You For Reading.



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