Did you read the post on Chasing Ray yesterday about building credibility? Very interesting stuff that's worth taking a look at.
Which brings back the question of why do you blog. I'll be straight up honest here. I would like to be a book reviewer and I plan to apply for some reviewing jobs when I graduate in December so I look fully accredited. (This will coincide nicely with my 3rd anniversary in children's services. And the 4th anniversary of this blog.)
This blog reviews books, yes, but not in the same way it would for something more serious. You can tell there's usually a difference in what I write for The Edge of the Forest and what I write here. Why?
Well, I started this blog after being a part of the knitting blog community, which is one big conversation. I was looking at the adaptation of Persuasion to Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and then how that changed again with the movie. My big complaint being that the movie stripped out all of the book's parallels to the original Austen. I never actually blogged about this, but that was what inspired me. My first blog posts were on my irritation on bad transliteration.
Over the years, it's changed a bit. I decided I wanted to blog every book I read. I found the kidlit community, so now the discussion I was looking for is really happening. People actually read this thing now.
Yes, I harbor secret fantasies of having a bajillion people a day read this thing and somehow make it my sole job. But, I also harbor fantasies of someone spotting me in a coffee shop and asking me to star in a romantic comedy opposite Colin Firth. A girl can dream, right?
I like the fact that this medium means I can write an in-depth review of something. I also like that it gives me the chance to state my opinions on how much I want to smack certain characters (Like JP in Princess on the Brink.) I like that I can just gush about a book. I like that I can be as formal or as informal as my mood strikes me.
Readers know that there aren't a lot of negative reviews on here. Honestly, when it comes to books, I'm pretty easy to please. My positive reviews might not say much, but I like to think my negative reviews do. I don't know.
So, then it comes down to the ARCs. Do I like ARCs? Yes. I like it when people want to send me their book to review. Dude. I like books. The vast, vast, vast majority of the books on this site are books that someone recommended or looked interesting when I ran across them in the library or bookstore. I *always* say where a book came from if it wasn't something I picked up on my own volition.
I don't blog for the ARCs. I blog for me. I blog for the fun of it. I blog so at the end of the year, I remember what I read and what I thought about it. I blog for the community-- I love non-fiction Monday and Poetry Friday and things like the 48 Hour Challenge.
So, yes. That's why I blog. Do I have credibility? I hope so. I strive to be very transparent and up-front about things. I'm not one of the top blogs, I know. I'm cool with that. But hopefully I'm a fun blog to read.
I'll get back to reviewing things soon, I promise.