Recipes for Success: Prioritizing

This week Kate of Ex Libris is here to share her Recipe for Success about how to organize and prioritize. How do you prioritize your blog? Let us know in the comments below, or on Twitter using #NGextras

Next week Kate will be sharing some tips on how to Find Your Voice. Catch up on Kate’s previous Recipes for Success posts!
Starting a book blog
Review Policy

Recipes for Success aims to give new bloggers and reviewers helpful information, tools, and best practices to help facilitate your growth and effectiveness as reviewers. Check back often for tips and tricks from the insiders!

Ex Libris


Oh, this is a good one for me. There is no one who has to learn this lesson over and over again more than I do. How many times have you seen read-a-thons directed towards our ever growing TBR piles? How many tweets lamenting at how behind we are in reading? Having too much to read is a good problem, but it’s still a problem, especially if you have obligations to publishers. …

As I wrote about in my post about focus, you can look at your blog as a business. In this business, the publishers are your suppliers. They have the ability to give you books so that you can read them, review them, and produce content which is what your customers (readers) want. Once you really start to get going with your blog, it’s going to be hard to keep track of all of the books and reviews. You might start adding blog tours and giveaways, as well!  How to fit it in?

In 2012 I read 215 books. I have a full time job and a family. Many people ask me “how do you do it?” Well, I don’t sleep much and my house is messy, but that’s beyond the scope of this article. I think the more important question is: how do you keep track of it?


Calendars: Some have hand written calendars, others use the computer. Personally, I use Google calendars. There is no way I could possibly remember what I’m posting without it. The other advantage to an online calendar is that you can check it anywhere, including your phone.

Spreadsheets: Spreadsheets are excellent because you can keep track of release dates. I have several spreadsheets in Google docs separated by genre, including one that keeps track of what I’m spending on giveaways and what reviews I need to write next. I know that might sound extreme, but it’s what works for me.

Learn to say no:
No one understands the lure of the book more than I do. I still have this problem because there is nothing more seductive than the siren song of a galley. I ask myself a few questions if I’m not sure I should request a book.

1) Will this book fit into my blog? Is it the type I usually review or am I just curious?

2) Will I have time to read and review this book? Seems obvious but it’s a legitimate question. This is where having that calendar comes in handy.

Those questions have pulled my finger away from the request button many times. While publishers do want you to read and review their books, it’s not good for anyone if you are so overwhelmed that you can’t fulfill your obligation to review. Think quality not quantity.

Set aside time to write reviews:
Now that you’ve read the books, you have to write the reviews. Many times, this is more time consuming. Once again, I freely admit that this is something I struggle with. I find that if I set goals for myself, like I will write two reviews tonight, it ends up being doable. However, if you are in school or just have a busy life, you might need to pull back on the book requests. Reviewing is something that I tend to forget needs to be factored in when figuring out if I have time to read a book.


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