Friday, August 5, 2016

Review: The Book Blogger Platform

I won a copy of The Book Blogger Platform by Barb Drozdowich in a Twitter giveaway. As a book blogger and avid reader of other book blogs, I was eager to absorb its advice. 


The Book Blogger Platform is, in Drozdowich's words, a "primer" for the everyday book blogger. A former science graduate student, the author collected data on book bloggers -- their motivations, strategies, platforms, and more -- and used it to create this how-to guide. Based on her information, she concludes that for most, book blogging is a hobby. Whether you maintain your blog as a hobby or monetize it for gain, she addresses steps, tips, and strategies for doing both. The Book Blogger Platform covers a diverse array of topics from tech to content to social media and more that are eminently useful for book bloggers of all stripes. 


When reviewers make a claim like "everyone will find something in this book," I tend to treat it with a bit of skepticism. In this case, I can confirm it's true. Since I've been blogging for a while now, I was able to skim some of the more basic material. However, I realized that even the basics would have been extremely helpful to me when this blog was still new. I found myself regretting I hadn't had a resource like it. 

Similarly, a few years ago I found myself wondering whether to switch to WordPress. I eventually decided against it -- but if I'd had this book then, I'd have known more about the process and may even have completed it. The Book Blogger Platform covers how to smoothly transfer your content to a new platform. Drozdowich admits she favors WordPress for her own blogging, but gives a fair rundown of its advantages and disadvantages. She also discusses Blogger in depth and gives a rundown of some smaller blog hosting sites. 


Other areas covered include effective use of social media, blog tours, memes, promotions, and review ethics. The book touches on all areas and skill levels of book blogging, whether you're a casual reviewer or an author trying to promote your material. For those with a lot of technical know-how, it's easy to skim the brief explanations of the tech side of running a blog. For those who need a more in-depth explanation, a special tech issues section is included in the back of the book. 

Even as someone who's been casually blogging about books (and other stuff) for a while, I will be earmarking certain sections of The Book Blogger Platform for how to improve this blog. Or how to receive more ARCs for review. Or how to better connect with other bloggers, readers, and even authors. And many more things that I could get into, but won't. My point is that this book is a great resource no matter what your prior level of comfort is with blogging. 

Drozdowich provides advice for newbies without sounding condescending, and presents more in-depth strategies without overwhelming. The book is written in an engaging first-person voice that is at once crisp and friendly. Nonfiction always takes me forever to finish because of the more formal style, but The Book Blogger Platform makes for a surprisingly quick nonfiction read. 

One thing I didn't like was Drozdowich's critique of Tumblr as a blogging platform. There are other disadvantages to the microblogging site, but The Book Blogger Platform focused on its willingness to allow adult content. In another light, this lack of censorship could be considered freeing. For instance, reviewers or writers who predominantly focus on erotica, erom, and similar "edgy" subjects might appreciate Tumblr's lack of censorship...whereas Blogger, which displays an 18+ warning for blogs with adult content, may scare off their potential readers. 

Still, that was one blip in an otherwise fair and balanced book. And when writing in first person, the author's personal biases are always going to come across. I'd take some bias over a drier style any day. Drozdowich is always open and up-front about her preferences and personal biases, providing balanced critique of her own preferred methods as well as other strategies.


5 STARS!!!! FYEAH!!!!!


  1. WOW! Thanks for your kind words! I am SO glad that you enjoyed my book! Thank you so much for blogging books - one of the best hobbies in the my opinion!


    1. No problem! I really liked it. Very useful. It reminded me to put up a new Review Policy page here, haha. All my reviews got taken down from examiner so I sort of deleted those pages in disgust, lol.

      Anyway, I'm glad I won the drawing. :)

  2. LOL - So glad. Congrats on winning again!


  3. Cool! I may have to check it out, sounds like a useful book (and you've been blogging up a storm lately, so it must work! haha). I feel that Tumblr has other advantages as well, like easily shareable content (although of course Tumblr requires a certain kind of blog writing). I know one book blogger, books-cupcakes on Tumblr, has said she uses Tumblr solely for book blogging and she has a lot of followers. It's a very different way to blog, though, but I could see how it could work. Anyway I may check this book out!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by, as always! My more frequent blogs probably have something to do with being minus a car and bored out of my mind (with far more time to read, lol) but the book did help spur me along. I was writing more for examiner before that, less for here (still mad they're gone...) I do like writing reviews here, and Blogger makes it easy to check your stats.

      I never quite got the hang of Tumblr, though. Even though my roommate was constantly telling me I should start one! It's more image-oriented, which I'm not. Though I've been trying to include more images lately, to break up all the text.


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