Megan S. of Life’s Unfiltered Ramblings submitted this question for my first reader request week:
Hey Carrie, my question to you is how you are able to not only read and review as many books as you do, but how you obtain all your books and ebooks. Do you have a partnership with someone? Do you get free copies from the authors? Also, how do you find the time? Do you have another job that may get in the way?
I have a full-time job and find it hard to accomplish all that I want with my blog, and seeing yours so successful has had me reevaluate my time and break down everything to reach my goals. Thanks for the inspiration and support you’ve provided me in the past.
There are a lot of pretty good questions in here so I’ll do my best to address them all in two parts.
Part #1: Finding books.
Well, the answer is dependent on when you’re talking about in the history of my blog. Prior to starting a book reviewing blog I actually had quite a fair collection of books, which made up something around 200 of my first reviews. But what happened when those were exhausted? Well obviously I continued buying books but I also tapped other sources for books: authors and publishers.
Authors and publishers are a great source of free books and all you have to do in return is provide an honest review. When I had my review requests open I got several free books this way, but after I closed my requests I joined NetGalley. NetGalley is an online book catalog that’s perfect for bloggers like me to have a somewhat sustainable book habit because all you do for a free book is give it an honest review (if you’re approved). I also request specific titles from authors and publishers (mainly authors) through email. To someone not in the book blogging community you’d be surprised at how willing people are to give things away for free at the promise of an honest review.
Basically most of my books now come from either NetGalley or publishers/authors that I request books from personally.
Part #2: Finding Time.
(Just so we’re clear: I don’t work full time in the winter because our little tourist town decreases in population by at least 50%. Working in a lumber yard/hardware store/building company does have its downsides. But since we’re talking about blogging while holding a full time job I’ll talk about how I manage things for the other half of the year.)
The question I encounter frequently on the blogosphere is how do bloggers find time to blog? Well, the answer is simple: The 168 Principle.
The 168 Principle was taught to me by a very wise man and it basically goes like this: there are 168 hours in a week. Ideally you spend about 56 of those sleeping, leaving you with 112 hours. In the peak season I work about 48 hours a week (6 days a week, 8 hours a day). That’s a fair bit but that still leaves me with 64 hours to do whatever I want. You can get a lot done in 64 hours a week, believe me.
Not all of those spare 64 hours are devoted to reading or blogging but the main idea behind this principle is that if you want to find time for something, you can. If you want to blog, blog. If you want to read, read. It’s all a matter of scheduling. Almost everyone can find a spare hour every day to set aside for themselves if they really try. For example, if you’re a writer there are plenty of writers that find they have no time to themselves during normal hours so they write late at night or get up extra early to write. The same thing goes for bloggers. If I know my week is going to be tight scheduling-wise, then I just stay up a little later and read.
If this post raises a new question or you have another topic you’d like to see me cover for the 2014 Reader Request Week, head on over to this post and comment!
My question for you guys is: How do you manage your time? Are some times of the year busier for you than others? If you’re a book blogger, where do you get the majority of your books from?