Once upon a time there was an aspiring writer who hadn't a clue what books where out there akin to what she had in mind. So she went to the book store and started looking for books featuring vampires and other paranatural beings because she had to be sure no one had already written her book. But then that lead to more and more books. Then those books lead to more books until she realized the genre she had expected to be a bit obscure was the new in thing. Terrified of even bothering with the fabulous series she so desperately wanted to bring from her imagination to print she stopped aspiring to write the fiction she had admired and began to enjoy writing about what was already in print instead. Slowly at first because the idea of giving an honest opinion about a book was daunting (gawd forbid anyone had ever done the same to her own scribblings!). Eventually she realized that what most average Janes and Joes were looking for in a review was a fair but honest opinion about the books they intended to spend their hard earned cash on.
Three years passed and the would-be writer grew as a reviewer, learning through trial and error, through observing what other reviewers did that she didn't think was helpful, fair or honest. Until one day a fellow reviewer she had come to trust the opinions of shared a link to the blog she wrote.
A whole new world had opened for the would-be writer, now amateur reviewer. She knew nothing of starting up such a thing on her own or how best to present herself for such a site but she knew she needed to try this for herself. Not letting herself research the idea too much lest she scare herself away from it (as she had her wishes to become a published author) she opened a humble little blog and called it RhiReading. And the rest is history.
Alright... so I felt like going all storyteller for this post for some reason. Must be the stressful week I've been having combined with the Turtle Cookies I'm treating myself to. But anyway, I noticed today that I had made my 100th post here on the blog and for some reason it made me feel quite accomplished.
From time to time I get comments and questions from friends and acquaintances as to what exactly it is I do here. Someone recently asked if I get all these books I review for free. To that I had to stifle a chuckle and mutter an 'I wish' before explaining a little bit about what I've learned about the world of publishing, galleys & ARCs, comp copies, publicists and authors, blogging and... yeah, needless to say it was in that moment I realized that in the past eight months I have had a whole new world opened to me.
I still don't really know what I am doing. I'm still terrified of contacting publicists about books I wish to review to request ARC copies (it's that whole rejection thing). I still have moments when I feel defensive when friends and family realize I don't get paid to do this even though I treat it like a job. But I'm learning as I go and get a certain sense of pride from each step I take toward being just a little more professional, when readers 'follow' the blog or when a publicist contacts me about the work they are representing. I may not be going after my childhood dream of writing something worthy of publication... yet... but knowing that I am supporting the industry and the people who enjoy what the industry puts out has been and hopefully will continue to be a pleasure.
So here's to 100 more posts and hopefully a little backbone so I can get my nerve up to start telling people I want their damn books for review! LOL Thanks to all who have supported me as I put together this blog, in particular my husband and son who put up with the "shut up I'm writing a review!" gripes, as well as the awesome ladies who gather and discuss books over at Amazon.com's paranormal romance community. -- Rhi