When we decided University Book Store needed a blog, I wrote to some of the established online literary writers to see if they could offer guidance. The first response I got was from Ron Hogan, the creator of Beatrice.com, a correspondent for GalleyCat.com, and the author of The Stewardess Is Flying the Plane! Here's what he had to say:
Well, the fact that you'll be running this blog out of a bookstore pretty much negates my first bit of advice, which would've been to start looking for storage space once the review copies start arriving in the mail. Seriously, we've got six bookcases that are filled to capacity, knee-high stacks of books in front of them, AND I went out and got a closet at one of those converted warehouses when my wife started insisting on being able to see the living room floor again. But there's still so many books coming in for me to choose from--at least you'll just be able to wander the aisles and pick out whatever you need, then put it back into inventory when you're done!
A related bit of advice, and one I probably should've taken for myself: Instead of telling people about books you've read that you loved, try telling people about the books you WANT to read! That way you'll be able to mention a lot more books without actually having to work your way through them all, and the publishers will be happy their book got a positive-sounding write-up--everybody wins!
Also, since you're working, do you get a vision plan included in your health insurance? (Heck, do you get health insurance?) Because if you're not wearing glasses now, after a few months as a steady book reviewer, you're going to need them. I held out as long as I could, but this summer I finally got my first pair. They actually turned out okay—I may have to include them in my next author photo!
Ron Hogan in the glasses he wears because of blogging about books.