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July 7, 2016

My Favorite Parts of Blogging --- Guest Post by Dana Cuadrado of DanaSquare

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I started my book blog --- DanaSquare --- in 2011 and over the years there have been some great moments. From events I had the chance to attend to different experiences I was able to have, blogging has been a great part of my life. These are just a few of my favorite moments over the course of my blogging career:

There is so much of blogging that is very solitary. It takes a lot of time and effort to write posts, read books, maintain social media and design your blog. For me, one of the greatest parts of blogging is interacting with people who do the same thing you do. Other bloggers understand all of the effort you put in and appreciate it. I’ve made some life-long friends virtually and in real life through blogging. It is amazing to have people who love what you love, sometimes that can be hard to find in person but blogging is a great way to connect. Conventions like Book Expo America are like a big meet up with all of your friends.

Book blogging makes you super cognizant of all of the upcoming releases --- whether it is through memes like Top Ten Tuesday, Waiting on Wednesday or requesting review copies. It is important to stay up-to-date on trends and book releases. I love going to the bookstore with my friends who read YA --- but obviously not to the obsessive extent that I do --- and I know something about every book on the shelves. I have also read most of them or own most of them. It is great feeling bookishly superior to others.

I would be lying if I didn’t say that receiving copies of books for review isn’t great, but it isn’t why I continue to blog. ARCs, advanced reader's copies, are an amazing perk of what I do and I am very thankful for the publishers that deem me worthy of their money, but I would blog regardless of it.

Book events are definitely something I wouldn’t have been going to without blogging. I was invited to be on B-Fest Buzz Panel at Barnes & Noble Tribeca to talk about blogging with an amazing group of NYC area bloggers. I attended BEA --- Book Expo America --- in 2015. That was a crazy experience. It is a book high. I was completely exhausted after it, but I loved every minute.

Like any young person, I never really knew what I wanted to do “when I grew up.” I always had that typical answer of "lawyer," that made people think I was destined for greatness, but as I learned more about the profession it didn’t make me happy. I had always wanted to be a writer --- specifically a novelist --- but that is an aspiration that would take a lot of work and time to fulfill. As I became more invested in book blogging, I began to learn so much about the publishing industry. There are so many people work on a book from start to finish. Before blogging, my only knowledge of publishing professionals were editors. Now my career goal is to work in a publishing house in either the publicity or marketing departments; that’s all because of book blogging.