Hi, everyone! I know goals are a popular topic of discussion so I wanted to share some of mine with you. I started reviewing books in December 2017 and it was such a huge learning experience for me. I loved getting to work with publishers, participating in blog tours, and overall getting to know so many wonderful people in the book community. I am so inspired by every single one of you and I believe you all have helped shape my goals for 2019.
So here’s my list. I don’t know if I’ll accomplish them all but I’m going to try!
ONE: Request Fewer ARCs
This is the biggest one I wanted to get out of the way first and explain why. You’re probably thinking, “But Amy, you just said you love reviewing and working with publishers.” This is still true. However, in the early stages of my reviewing days I went a little too “click-happy” on NetGalley and requested so many titles that I eventually got too overwhelmed. I make ARCs a priority and review everything I request. But then other backlist titles on my TBR took a hit, and I don’t want to neglect it this year. I also want to buddy read more with my friends. I know I am very privileged to live in the US where ARCs are easier to come by, and I am truly thankful and fortunate for these opportunities. I’ll still review ARCs and participate in blog tours, but I just won’t be requesting as many this year!
TWO: Start a BookTube Channel
I’m extra nervous about this one. Mainly because I remembered how it felt when I first started a Bookstagram account; building my content and aesthetic, networking, actively posting every day, interacting and engaging with everyone. It’s fun but sometimes it can feel like work. And I have so much damn respect for people who create content, especially on YouTube. I know it’s no easy task to come up with creative content week after week and editing, all while promoting your work, engaging with your followers, and trying to make new friends, too. So this is my long-winded way of saying that I really want to dive into the BookTube world! I’ve failed (twice) so far at starting my own channel. Over the past two years I’ve filmed some videos but never uploaded them. They were seriously so cringe. But now I think I’m ready and feel more confident about it. I just need to refresh my editing skills and work on not saying “umm” 5,000 times! LOL.
THREE: Read Big Books
I have a few hefty sized fantasy novels on my shelf that I want to read this year, and I’m going to make it a goal to get to them! I consider anything over 500 pages a “big” book.
FOUR: Read More Adult Books
I still love YA with my whole heart, but I want to make it a priority to read more adult titles, specifically in the thriller and contemporary romance genres, and own-voices books. I obviously still love fantasy but I noticed that thrillers and romances help get me out of reading slumps so I am all for that! I think it’s important to acknowledge that our reading preferences and tastes can change over time, and that’s totally okay!
FIVE: Read More Backlist Titles
I know I briefly mentioned this above, but I want to read more books on my TBR, and they all happen to be backlist titles. I’ll still review them, too, because I am hoping to buddy read them and generate discussions. It’s another reason why Melanie and I created the Dragons and Tea Book Club. We wanted to bring attention to backlist titles, but more importantly, titles from own-voices and/or marginalized authors. (More on that next.)
SIX: Host a Book Club & Readathons
January 1, 2019 kicked off our very first book club buddy read: The Wicker King by K. Ancrum! I am so excited to go on this book club journey with Melanie, and we hope you’ll be able to join us, too. My goal this year is to continue hosting the Dragons and Tea Book Club while helping to boost own-voices authors. (Psst! Our book club is a featured book club on Goodreads!)
Also I want to continue co-hosting two readathons we did last year: FridayFrightAThon and TistheSeasonAThon. I’m not sure of the exact dates yet, and there may be some changes after hearing your feedback, but I’ll definitely post announcements about it here.
On a similar note, I also want to participate in other readathons hosted by my lovely friends and fellow bloggers/booktubers!
SEVEN: Continue Bookstagram
In my heart I’ll always prioritize Bookstagram first. I love sharing photos and book recommendations there. It is also where I’ve met some of my dearest friends. So my activity on Bookstagram will not change. It is my favorite platform.
EIGHT: Continue Reviewing on My Blog and Goodreads
Even if I start a BookTube channel, I still plan to share my reviews here and on Goodreads! I’m sure it will take me eons to even have a following on BookTube (and let’s face it, not very many people will probably care about my opinion hahaha) so I’m going to still stick to blogging!
That’s it for my 2019 goals so far! I’m sure things will change as the year goes on, but I am excited to see what will unfold for me. You may have noticed I haven’t mentioned a Goodreads Reading Challenge goal yet… and that’s because I haven’t decided what goal I want to set yet. It’ll probably be 75? But we’ll see!
I’m also really excited to continue building friendships with all of you, and I am so thankful for what this community has given me!