3 Year Blogiversary Q&A: Part 2! (2 Months Late but the Show Must Go On)

Welcome back to May attempts to organize her life while a pandemic goes on!!

Aka I’m finally doing Part 2 of the Q&A that was meant to be in celebration of my 3-year blogiversary all the way back in January. I debated not doing it because it’s Embarrassing how late I am… however, 1) I would feel weird leaving it hanging, and 2) being this much of a mess is my brand!!

(This post is very long so I will cut the intro short just for you. I’m a saint. Even if the more saintly thing to do is to shut up and stop talking so much so I don’t have to bore you in the first place.)

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if you could only scream about one book, what would it be?

Right now I just really really love The Poppy War, so I’ll say that!

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your biggest blogging and non-blogging goals?

Blogging:

  • Be satisfied with myself, my content, and how much I’m active/interacting.
  • Support other bloggers as much as possible!

Non-blogging;

  • Be happy! With myself, my life, and everything else.
  • Make a difference, no matter how big or small, for someone.

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favorite blog posts you’ve ever written?

realistic teens in ya  sjm stans

Two come to mind immediately! I was pleasantly surprised by how well-received my Hypocrisy about “Realistic” Teens in YA discussion was, and I was honestly proud of it. And I also just had a LOT of fun writing my Responding to the SJMess Stans that Attacked Me post!

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what is the most important lesson you’ve learned as a book blogger?

There are so many kind people who will support you unconditionally, and that makes terrible things so much more bearable.

Someone arrest me for the amount of sap in this, PLEASE.

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do you think that the book blogging community is dying?

I don’t believe it’s dying in the sense that there aren’t people blogging anymore, but I do think it’s dying in the sense that the audience is slowly trickling towards other platforms! (You all know I believe that bloggers sorely deserve more appreciation for their work.)

And I really do think that bookstagram, booktube, and book twitter are all becoming more popular than blogs. I wasn’t here when bookstagram and booktube were smaller, but I know that blogging basically paved the way for those two platforms, so it makes me really sad to see, for example, a publisher not even recognizing a blog as a platform but including bookstagram/booktube.

(I’m not shaming bookstagrammers/booktubers, people who enjoy content from them, or book bloggers who’ve taken on bookstagram/booktube! I just really hate how book blogs aren’t as recognized as other, more popular platforms.)

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would you rather be a famous (and paid) author or a famous (and paid) book reviewer?

My long-time dream has been to be an author, so based on that, I would say author. However, being a book reviewer would require less labor (and I’m technically being paid to read), so, being as lazy and anti-capitalist as I am, I’d have to say a famous and paid book reviewer!

Image  Image

the types of reviews I’d write <33

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how do you come up with WIP ideas?

I don’t. :o)

In all seriousness*, I don’t actively try to think of any premises and just let ideas come to me! (Which really isn’t working out for me so don’t do it.) If I want to come up with something on my own, I think of a few random words and use them to create a premise—it’s a great guided way to think of ideas but still use creativity!!

(I also like to take the things I personally like to read in books and put them in my own!)

*Which is honestly none.

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do you have any study tips?

I really suck at studying, so uh….. no. The only ones I really have are like, don’t study the night right before and take breaks. But I do want to start writing summaries of each concept I learn, because those are really helpful for me to review material and be able to remember it, if that’s something that interests you!

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why/how are you so wonderful and amazing???

It’s very hard for me to accept kindnesses like this because it makes my brain completely short circuit, but THANK YOU!!! I am a mess disguised as a human but THANK YOU!!!

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what inspired your love for mangoes?

I’m very Asian.

Hozier Announced A Gig That Could Cure Those Electric Picnic Blues ...

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if you could go back and change ONE thing about starting up your blog, what would it be and why?

Better graphics exclamation point times infinity!!

(If I HAVE to be serious, I wish I could change how OBSESSIVE I was, because it was really unhealthy.)

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if you could trade blogs with anyone for a day, who would it be?

I love this question! I think every blog is unique, and there would be interesting things about trading with all of them. And there are so many amazing blogs to choose from, so I’m gonna have to be disappointing and simply say I have no idea!!

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do you have any tips for starting a blog?

  • It’s cliche, but INTERACT! Comment on blogs, reply to your comments, make conversation!!
  • Be genuine and be yourself. Your voice is your own, so be proud of it!
  • Use other blogs as inspiration, but not to the point of copying.
  • Create a nice design so your blog looks appealing and draws viewers in.
  • Set up some sort of routine or schedule! Plan ahead for posting dates! Post consistently!

(Feel free to hit me up for advice!! I love to help all my newbies!!!)

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what are your favorite webcomics?

On a Sunbeam  Lore Olympus  Castle Swimmer  Heartstopper: Volume One (Heartstopper, #1)  Heir's Game

I have a whole post dedicated to webcomic recommendations! But my top favorites would definitely be On a Sunbeam, Lore Olympus, Castle SwimmerHeartstopper, and Heir’s Game!!

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who are your favorite book characters?

This is so hard for me to answer, and I don’t know why!! But here’s my list, I guess: Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase, Kaz Brekker and Inej Ghafa, Evelyn Hugo, and Fang Runin (STEP ON ME).

Ignore how most of these are couples.

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how do you get ARCs? do you reach out to publishers, or do you go on other websites, or what?

To start off, you essentially have to request ARCs and put yourself out there. You can get digital ARCs (ebooks) on NetGalleyEdelweiss, and other websites. You can also get physical ARCs, most often by emailing the publicity contact of the book’s publishing house.

When emailing publicists, be nice and professional with them. Include an intro of yourself and your blog, your stats for all your platforms (followers, views, visitors), and explain why you want the ARC. INCLUDE YOUR MAILING ADDRESS!!!

(For a more detailed post about this and other things, read this post by Ilsa @ A Whisper of Ink!)

Once you’ve established yourself, both in the community and with publishers (as being a reliable reviewer), the publisher might reach out to you to ask if you’d like to review one of their books!

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get any ARCs or responses at first. Publicists are busy, and publishing is an industry no matter what: They look for high stats because they want you to promote the book to a wide audience! Keep blogging—and if you’re not blogging, find your own platform to grow on—and working at it. <33

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what are your top 3 favorite books right now?

The Poppy War (The Poppy War, #1)  The Song of Achilles  Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, #1)

I’m gonna assume that “right now” means current favorites rather than all-time, so I’ll say The Poppy War (!!!!! FANG RUNIN STEP ON ME !!!!!).

Is it possible to just say The Poppy War? I really want to leave it at that because it’s superior. But I feel bad so I’ll cheat and say The Song of Achilles and Aristotle and Dante, which are favorites of mine that I reread recently.

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how do you make your graphics, where do you get them, and what website(s) do you use?

I’ve talked about this in a post before, so I’ll just link it right here so you can read it! In general though, I feel like it’s hard to explain how to make graphics: It’s something I had to learn on my own. You honestly just play around with things a LOT!

(Kat @ Novels and Waffles is an AMAZING designer and has loads of tips on her blog so check her out!!)

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what is the book you remember most from your childhood?

The holy trinity: Junie B Jones, Cam Jansen, and the Rainbow Magic Fairy series!

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what book were you sure you would hate but ended up loving, or vice versa?

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1)I thought I was going to HATE We Hunt the Flame, because I was so bored that I almost ended up DNFing it, but it made a complete 180 and I ended up enjoying it enough to the point to 4-star it. So thank god I kept reading because it was GOOD!!

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how often do you reread?

It’s like the person asking this just knows how much I reread… Last year almost a fifth of my books were rereads; I have plans to reread at least 10 books this year and have already reread 3. So REALLY often!!!

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how has blogging changed you as a reader and a person?

As a reader: I’ve come to know my own personal book tastes really well, and I’ve found favorite books that I’m not sure I would’ve found had I not been a book blogger. There are also bloggers whose book opinions I trust a lot and look to for recs!

As a person: The kindness of people in this community is overwhelming at times. For example, your responses for my feedback survey? My heart swelled, and I felt so very undeserving. Everyone’s kindness definitely makes me feel so humble and grateful.

(Less sappy things include time management, creativity/originality, and responsibility!!)


shall we chat

if you read the whole thing, do you want to kill me? i do too. let it be known that i valiantly tried to cut it down and this was the best i could do. but now YOU answer these q’s! important lessons as a blogger? biggest (non-)blogging goals? top 3 favorite books rn??

blog signoff

53 thoughts on “3 Year Blogiversary Q&A: Part 2! (2 Months Late but the Show Must Go On)

  1. Hi May,

    Thanks for sharing this.It’s beneficial for people like myself who are just starting out in this industry.

    I was wondering if you could go through some (it can be only one as well) posts and give me your views on it? At the moment I don’t really know where and how am going about with my blogging.

    Stay safe and sane.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know this is random but IT’S MANGO SEASON and AHHHHH guess it’s time to eat an unhealthy amount of mangoes a day and screw up my body temperature and cycles and add an annoyingly liberal (for everyone else, obviously; I can be just a lil’ extra) amount of mango to everything sweet or otherwise
    (Seriously, if I were to go by my most reliable source of information about western culture – aka summery contemporaries and TV – a concerning bracket of people have never even tried a mango??? Like I just realized mangoes are a predominantly “Asian thing” and…disconcertingly less popular than I thought they were (my ignorance surprises me at times, but in my defence I’m Indian and it’s basically everyone’s favourite fruit here so I’m pretty used to it being everywhere)? ANYWAY, it’s nice to see routine appreciation for the obvious pinnacle of culinary bliss on this blog!
    Also, this was a super fun post! Thanks for the tips on ARCs:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i love mangoes so much!! we don’t have too much food in the house rn because of social distancing and shortages at our stores but i’d eat a lot more mangoes if i didn’t want to save them haha. and yes, i’m always really shocked by how few people have tried mango, and also how many people hate it! i’m just surrounded by asians who love mangoes lmao

      i’m glad you liked the post!! no problem 💖

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  3. I was thinking about The Poppy War this morning and reading this post makes me want to read it even more dfghjkdfgh. Also I loved the Rainbow Magic series when I was little!! When I started going to public school and was introduced to a library for the first time I would just go to the library as often as I could and check out all the Rainbow Magic books they had 😭

    Liked by 1 person

    1. omg YES YES YES please read the poppy war i love it (and rin) so so much. ah same!! i remember when i was moving into my new house, i wanted the room of the girl who had a shelf of at least like 200 of the rainbow magic fairy books, just because she had all the books lmao

      Liked by 1 person

  4. i love this post!! the poppy war has deffo caught my attention and i need to read it asap! also i read the foxhole court the other day after hearing you talk about it and I can’t really describe the experience but it just reminded me of my childhood and i enjoyed it so much?!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much kerys!! and yes PLEASE read the poppy war, it’s amazing 😭 and aahhh i’m glad you had a good experience reading tfc!! every time i think about it, i have so many feelings about how bad/problematic about it but there’s something weirdly homey about it

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I love The Poppy War so much. I’m really due for a reread of the series. I seriously can’t wait till the Burning God comes out! Have you read The Dragon Republic.

    Mangos are seriously delicious. I don’t have them very often, but they are so good!

    I’m a little tired of the teen hypocrisy that still happens and it’s annoying. As a teen, I already have a lot of pressure and since adult reading YA always complaining about the teen’s actions drive me crazy. There is a lot of miscommunication, we do act petty, we’re rude. Honestly, I hate how much adult readers complain about that sort of stuff.

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    1. it’s absolutely amazing!! and yes, i read the dragon republic just earlier in march — i enjoyed it a lot but not as much as the poppy war personally!

      yeah same! i think there’s a point where some complaints make sense (ie a character is dramatic in a way that i’d be annoyed with for adults too) but in general i really wish people just took a second to look over what they say because sometimes it just comes off really condescending towards teens!

      Like

  6. My most important lesson I’ve learned as a blogger is that it is okay to take breaks!!! My biggest non blogging goal is just to keep going through this trying time and to be a better person. I can’t choose just 3 books but I think everyone should read Only Mostly Devastated!!! Love you and thanks for all you do!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yes, i totally agree with that!! taking breaks is so important ❤ i hope you're doing well with all this going on, and sending love if not 💗 and aahh i've heard good things about only mostly devastated!! glad you enjoyed it :o)

      Like

  7. Haha being paid to be a lazy reviewer would be amazing. and ohmigosh I haven’t thought about the Rainbow Magic Fairy books, Junie B Jones, and Cam Jansen in so long but they were literally my childhood holy trinity is so right. I reread a ton too… almost half of my reads this year have been rereads whoops. loved reading this post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. imagine being paid to read and then simply just talk about my thoughts on them… the dream! and i’ve been really wanting to revisit some of the holy trinity books for some reason — i think i read a cam jansen book a bit back and it was so nostalgic! so glad you enjoyed reading this post, kay 🥰💗

      Liked by 1 person

  8. okay but aw I absolutely loved reading this and I should really get into webcomics. Oh and also, I don’t think I ever mentioned this but last year some family friend gifted us dried mangoes from america and I kinda just fell in love and they got me through exam month (November). Unfortunately I’ve run out now and mangoes aren’t that common here but I do understand the mango love now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aahh it makes me so happy to hear you liked reading this, cas!! and aahh i’m even HAPPIER to hear about you trying dried mangoes! they really are so good and i can’t stop eating them when i have a good bag of them lmao. (very sad to hear mangoes are not common where you are though </3)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Here I was, minding my own business and reading this excellent post, WHEN I SAW THAT YOU MENTIONED LITTLE OLD ME. Seriously, thanks so much for the shout out. I’m crying happy tears right now 💛💛💛

    Anyways, wow, 3 years! That’s amazing and congrats on reaching such a milestone! 💛

    Liked by 1 person

  10. ahhh, happy (late but it doesn’t matter lol) blogiversary, May!! i definitely need to read The Poppy War, it sounds amazing haha. 😀 and MANGOES ARE SIMPLY PERFECT. 😋 i loved the Junie B. Jones and Rainbow Magic Fairy series when i was little as well! *nostalgia*

    this post was so fun, i loved reading your answers! you’re SUCH an amazing blogger, i love reading your posts and you deserve every single sweet comment!!! hope you’re doing well ❤ ❤ xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thank you so much, ash!! and YES i’m trying to get everyone i can to read the poppy war, it’s just the absolute best (though definitely tw for lots of things!!) 😭😭 and yes, those series were the superior childhood series i take no other answers

      omg ash… don’t make me cry 🥺💗 thank you SO much for your sweet words, and i’m really glad you enjoyed this post!! 💓

      Liked by 1 person

  11. OMG I love mangoes too!! I eat them everyday because my mom insists that I eat fruit every lunch and dinner, and they’re the ~best~. Even though they have to be the right amount of sweet and firm for me to enjoy them… And we share the same opinions on the book blogging community “dying”! it makes me sad that platforms like booktube and bookstagram have kind of overtaken the blogosphere. there is so much to love about reading book blogs OMG! Why have people forgotten about them:(( Also, thanks for answering my question about study tips :”) I’m a desperate human, and I’ll literally take tips from anyone, so thank you for sharing yours ❤ I agree with you that only studying the night before never works lmao. Last school year, I sometimes taught myself the entire lesson the night before the test to disastrous results :")

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i definitely would have had to disown you if you didn’t love mangoes 😎😎 asians unite!!!

      and yes, same! like i love booktube and bookstagram; i think the content is great and the people who are the platforms are doing amazing, but… it’s very obvious people care less about blogs and i hate it. and omg i feel like my answer to your question was so useless!! i really wish i could give better advice about studying but in all honesty i truly suck at it 😭😭 but yeah… procrastination is my biggest issue and i need to STOP!

      Liked by 1 person

  12. may you changed your brand, now i associate you with the poppy war, congrats you won this round. awww so much soft may sap in this post 🥺🥺🥺🥺 YOU ARE THE MOST SOFT

    THE WAY I SCREAMED WHEN YOU SAID ‘CAM JANESN’ I LOVED THOSE BOOKS!!!!!!!! i wont encourage you to keep rereading but also keep rereading thats what brings the most happiness

    Like

  13. I love reading your Q&A’s, May! They’re always a delight and make me laugh–I personally think you’re a great interviewee. I, too, love mangoes because of how Asian I am 😅 When I first moved to NYC, I amazed all my friends with my mango cutting techniques and I was like, Uh this is just how all Filipinos cut into their mangoes?? Happy three years blogging!

    Like

  14. I’m so glad that you decided to post the second half of this!! And, if it makes you feel any better, I get around to blog-hopping probably less than you do blogging, so I never feel like I’m missing anything from you xx (that’s really bad from me though…)

    Like

  15. First off: I read the whole thing and do NOT want to kill you! ❤

    I think my most important lesson as a blogger has been an exercise in trying to let go of my inner perfectionist that has crippled my life. It's frustrating to take something that is supposed to be a fun hobby and suck the fun out of it because of your own unrealistic and stupid standards that no one else cares about. I have a long way to go, but I know it will help me immensely when I get there and bleed into my worklife!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. and that is why you have my entire heart ❤

      yes, that's definitely an important lesson too! i've always been a huge perfectionist haha. sometimes it bleeds through my blogging but mostly i've learned to have fun with it! it really is meant to be something that you love, and perfectionism ruins it so much 😭

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Ah this post is amazing, I love the questions you’ve gotten and your non-blogging and blogging goals, like, I 200% relate to this. I just want to be happy with what I put out there, really, but…. it’s such a struggle some days! And ahh your paragraph about the blogging community dying, I can feel this in my bones, like, really. It always makes me a bit sad that book blogs aren’t considered as good a platform as booktube or bookstagram sometimes, idk :/
    Loved this post!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i always am so sad to see that you struggle with being happy with the content you put out, because it truly is amazing all the time, but i feel you and hope you can get to a place of satisfaction one day ❤ and ah i know, it's so frustrating sometimes being a book blogger because you feel like you're shouting in the void 😭

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I am so late to comment on this but HAPPY 3 YEARS!!!! And also I liked your thoughts on why blogging is dying…it feels true to me too 🥺 I even focus more on instagram because it feels like people interact there more? Whereas blog comments are fading away and people don’t seem to want to read to the end of a 2K post. Mostly I don’t mind, bUT I miss the nuance and clarity that could come in a really good and meaty book blogger discussion!? I feel like with social media, it’s all fast and heated and sometimes there isn’t enough thought (not always though!!!) So I miss the blogging days but at least it’s less exhausting to post on IG or twitter 😂😂I got lazy lmao.

    (Always love your posts and answers and I need to comment more!!)

    Like

  18. I love this post so so much! And thank you for linking to posts on designing and stuff. I’m still a newbie (I think) and although I don’t have any plan to design my blog as of yet, it might be useful to me or someone else someday in the future. And also, thank you for recommending the webtoons and graphic novels! Some titles definitely have caught my attention and with all the time I have right now it’s just perfect 👌

    Hope you keep on blogging, May! I love your contents ❤❤❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. aah i’m so glad you enjoyed it, and of course!! design is honestly one of those skills you have to grow over time, so don’t be discouraged at first 💕 and i’m so happy to hear that you’re interested in the webtoons/graphic novels! i love getting people to read them 💗

      aaahh THANK YOU SO MUCH that means a lot to me 😭💖

      Liked by 1 person

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