In praise of book bloggers

image of the twelve days of murder advanced reading copy alongside some christmas charms
Image courtesy of @bookwormescapes on Instagram

If you scroll back to the humble origins of this site, to when I was a freelance journalist writing a novel in my ‘spare time’ you can witness my early attempts to become a book blogger. At the time I was a freelance journalist and book editor receiving huge mail-sacks full of advanced copies of books to review for Good Housekeeping and other titles. I was reading masses of YA as I was writing The Girl Who… and like so many book lovers and journalists before me, I thought blogging would be a fun hobby to have alongside my day job.

It didn’t quite work out like that.

It turns out book blogging is flipping hard work. It takes devotion and dedication. You have to post regularly, promote your work, link up with other bloggers and support their work too, create content across different platforms including the massive time-suck that is TikTok/Reels/YouTube. You have to think about algorithms and SEO. You have to photograph lovely images of your book and re-size them across different formats. It’s hard work, especially when you’re juggling it with a day-job, looking after young, demanding children, trying to finish your own novel and promote it on social media. Added to that, reading was my refuge – the one part of the day that was about escape, with zero demands on me and blogging changed that. I found myself thinking of pithy review phrases as I read. I started wondering that I should only review certain types of book and if I should build a brand – and what that brand should be as I usually leave no genre unmolested. I fretted about accidentally repeating phrases in my reviews that I’d already used in my reviews for Good Housekeeping or the Express. I tied myself in knots about how much negativity I could include in reviews when, as an author, I knew how wounding it could be.

I came to realised that blogging is like writing a book – you don’t do it for the money or fame but the sheer love of books, words and stories. And I was already writing a book for that exact reason! So I stepped back from the reviewing and focused on the novel-writing and my book blogging days are over – for now at least.

image of a kindle with the twelve days of murder cover on it against a backdrop of a bookshelf full of thrillers
Image courtesy of @the_books_she_reads on Instagram

But it means I have a massive admiration for book bloggers, BookTokkers and Bookstagrammers, many of whom have children, full time jobs, their own novels simmering away and/or a whole host of other chaotic life stuff going on but STILL make time to review. Including reading my book!

It took me a while to figure out that the TWELVE DAYS OF MURDER blog tour was twelve days long and dozens of brilliant bloggers took part. So this is my way of saying an absolute massive, epic, continent sized…


And here they all are! Do you you have a favourite on this list? Or anyone else whose judgement and taste in books aligns perfectly with yours? Let me know in the comments!

Rachel Reads
Karen Reads and Recommends/Book Blogging Bureau
Intensive Gassing About Books
Linda’s Book Bag
Rachel Read It
Jan’s Book Buzz
Loopy Lou Laura
Hair Past a Freckle
My Reading Corner
Books By Bindu
Jera’s Jamboree
Little Miss Book Lover 87
Emma’s Biblio Treasures
and of course Tracy Fenton at Compulsive Readers who organised the whole thing! You’re stars, each and every one of you.

graphic showing the blog tour dates for the twelve days of murder - follow links in post for more details.