Book Reviews

Let The Challenge Begin

Only a few months after I declared I would make 2020 a challenge-free year, what have I gone and done but sign up for a challenge. 

In my defence, I’m not embarking on a reading challenge. I know from past experience I am abysmal at those and rarely manage to complete them. My new project is more focused on how we share our love of books. It’s a blogging challenge called Blogging From A to Z.

Book Blog

Blogging A-Z is a month long initiative where the idea is to post a new topic every day during (we get Sundays as rest days) using the letters of the alphabet. It’s going to be quite tough to keep up that schedule but I’m going to give it a go.

Of course I can never do things by half. I’m making this task even harder by blogging on a single theme: tips and tricks on book blogging. So starting April 1 you’ll see a series of posts in which I discuss the challenges of book blogging and suggest ways to get around them. I’ll also pass on some best practice recommendations from the blogging gurus. 

What You Can Expect

Some of the posts will be answers to problems you’ve told me are your biggest headaches. I asked this question via Twitter recently. Here’s a sample of what you told me:

Blog headaches

Some of you talked about pressures of time, others about how to build connections. Some bloggers wrestle with motivation. Others with writing reviews. We may not get to address every one of these but I’ll try my best.

One word of caution. I don’t claim to be an expert or a master. In fact I’m still learning. I try to apply what the experts recommend (though often their advice is more geared to commercially focused sites). But mostly I learn by trial and error and by drawing on the experience of other seasoned bloggers. So don’t be surprised if you find that instead of giving answers and solutions, I’m asking for help myself with some of the challenges I experience.

I’ve been running the Booker Talk blog now for eight years. To mark my recent anniversary I wrote about 3 lessons I’ve learned in that time.

The one lesson that stands head and shoulders above the rest is that there is a tremendous spirit of camaraderie within the world of book blogging. Social media can often be a very judgemental and hypercritical. space. Book bloggers however are invariably courteous and generous, more than willing to pass on the benefit of their experience. A few of these kind souls will be contributing to my posts for this challenge, giving us a “behind the scenes” perspective on how they run their blogs.

If you’re just starting out as a book blogger, I hope my posts will help make the process a little less daunting. If you’re a seasoned hand, I hope you will still find some new ideas and tips. Let the challenge begin……

Join The Discussion

Are you wrestling with a book blogging problem? Have you found a technique that works for you? Do let me know. You don’t need to sign up to the challenge to take part. You can simply leave a comment on each blog or follow the discussion on Twitter using #A2Zbookblogging


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

13 thoughts on “Let The Challenge Begin

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  • I’m really looking forward to reading your posts – your three lessons already proved invaluable. I still have a lot to learn about book blogging and will greatly appreciate hearing your thoughts.

    • That’s delightful to hear. Don’t forget that you can ask for help at any time…We all started somewhere

  • This sounds wonderful! I love talking about blogging and learning from others! I remember fondly the day that Jennifer (tar heel reader) Noticed that my twitter feature wasn’t set up properly and she came to the rescue and helped me troubleshoot connecting my blog with twitter! blog people and reading people are the best people!

    I’ll follow the twitter tag so I don’t miss anything. I almost put out an SOS to bloggers yesterday! I decided to stretch myself and use animated gifs in my TTT post ….I spend hours bumbling around trying to figure out how to get them into my WP document…I would get one in and it wouldn’t stay….or I’d get one in and the next one wouldn’t work using the same method! I kept thinking about which blogger I could email to get some advice! So if you want to teach me about gifs in one of your posts I’m all ears! 😂 I’d be happy to help you out in any way. I’ll for sure be commenting!

    • Gifs are an unknown territory for me so you would actually be teaching me. When I’ve got stuck on something in the past I’ve often used the WordPress forum to get help. The people who participate are super helpful

  • Great idea! I look forward to what you have to say. I think it is a given that we are all learning as we write, that is half the fun.

    • Blogging is constantly evolving too so just when you think you’ve nailed something, a new functionality comes along. Keeps us on our toes for sure.

  • Wonderful idea. Looking forward to what you put up. I so agree with you about book bloggers being kind.

    • I’m beginning to worry what I’ve let myself in for …

    • Thanks Susan. Hope I haven’t set expectations too high 🙂


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