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Blogoversary

    Blogoversary Guest Post: Ashley of The Bookish Brunette

    There are only a few days left… I promise. But there are still a few rockin’ bloggers who have some amazing tips to share. And I can’t not post their wisdom here on the blog. If I were to hoard it all to myself, that would be… well… selfish. And I try not be too selfish. Especially with awesome advice that can only make this community better.

    Well, today I am very honored to be able to have another one of my favorite bloggers on the blog. She really doesn’t need an introduction, though I’ll give her one anyway. I mean, who doesn’t already know Ashley, The Bookish Brunette a.k.a. The Zombie Queen?

    While she may have only started “rocking your face off since 2011” it feels like she’s always been a part of this community. She has a larger-than-life kind of personality… totally opposite to my hide-in-the-shadows one. And I am so seriously amazed by everything she does.

    From having one of the most gorgeous blogs in the blogosphere. To promoting some of the most exciting Indie and Self-pubbbed authors. To writing immensely entertaining and informative posts. To running Zombie Craze two years in a row. To being just as… if not more than (though I don’t think that’s possible)… in love with Claudia of PhatPuppy Art’s amazingly amazing artwork.

    Oh… and if that’s not enough, you should check out her hilarious vlogs and late night Twitter convos.

    But before I go and take up all the post space with my ramblings, I’ll just leave you with a little background before I turn this post over to Ashley….

    I am almost positive I got to know Ashley through our mutual love of PhatPuppy Art. There may have been the occasional Tweet or two before that, but until it became set in stone that we were huge fans, I might not have known Ashley quite as well.

    Though I did know of her blog. How could I not? That blog is the stuff of awesome. And while I can’t rock that look – she even makes zombies look pretty – where clearly I go for dark and destructed, I love staring at her gorgeous design and her incredibly well-formatted posts. (Sooo pretteh.) But it’s not like I really need another reason to stick around. Her posts rock!

    And Ashley is super nice, super friendly and someone who is clearly way more established and knowledgeable at this blogging thing  than I am. And so, without any more blabbitty-blab, let me turn this blog over to her…

    BB’s Tips for Bloggers

    1. Twitter is your ENEMY!!!!! Take it from a recovering tweet-whore… It is the biggest time suck and SUPER ADDICTIVE! Here’s an example:

    “Ooooh, I’ll just get on and see what everyone’s doing. I’ll get off immediately after and start my day!!”

    ….
    ….
    ….

    “Babe, what are we having for dinner?”

    OMG! When did hubby get home?! The house is still filthy and NOTHING was done during my *checks clock* NINE HOUR twitter-thon!!!!!

    Of course, that’s just one example…

    2. Don’t be afraid or nervous to ask someone (other bloggers, authors, publishers etc) for advice (bloggers), interviews (authors), books you want to review (publishers)… Whatever the case may be. The worst they can say is no right?

    3. TALK to people! Book blogging is all about connections and making friends! I’ve become great friends with bloggers and authors alike through my book blogging journey! I’ve met some of the most amazing people EVER, and I’m happy to say that some of my very BEST friends are virtual!

    4. Be aware that not everyone will LIKE or agree with your opinion, but thankfully most everyone will RESPECT it. 🙂

    5. And in turn you would do well to respect others. Go back to the Golden Rule : Treat others how you wish to be treated. No joke. This is probably the MOST important rule of book blogging!!!

    Here are a few more to go along with #5:

    a. It’s inappropriate and RUDE to insult a blogger or another commenter in the comments section/on twitter (anywhere really) because you don’t agree with them. Be RESPECTFUL, not hateful. Differing opinions is one thing, but being an asshole is quite another!

    b. There are “cliques” of sorts in the blogging community, I know right? Just like high school except reading is COOL! (dude, there’s an initiation into ‘The Most Epic Bloggers EVER’ one… Just sayin. *wink*) … Bloggers look out for each other and are really tight knit, mess with one- you get them all!

    c. It is rude to copy & paste a blogger’s header into an email, then demand them to tell you how to design such things. Uuum… Learn? Or get Parajunkee to design you awesomeness!

    d. Plagiarism is BAD!!! Very very bad!!! Just say NO!

    Oh those tips are AWESOME! And that post was so much fun. I totally agree Twitter is something to watch out for! When I started out it became a total time suck… actually I think I still get caught up on the DM side of it way too often. It is a total frenemy!

    And I will always, always, always be afraid to ask… but I’ll do it anyway. Because you’re totally right. They can just say no… or ignore you. It’s not like they’re zombies that will invade your home and eat your brains!

    Respect is so important. Of course you don’t have to agree. Differences are what make life interesting. But being respectful of those differences and treating people with respect is a must.

    Um… as far as “cliques” I was NOT one of those bloggers that got the invite to be epic…. So I’m really, REALLY grateful Your Epicness agreed to be on my humble little blog.

    And oh… em… gee… that is SO freaking rude! i can’t believe anyone would demand that you tell them how to design your header! Yes, learn… or buy them from Parajunkee like I do. 🙂

    As far as choice “d” – YES. Couldn’t agree with you more.

    Ashley, thank you so much for taking the time to write this awesome post and to share your wisdom in a voice that is very much all your own. I LOVE it! Thank you!

    And now…

    For those of you who have not yet “met” Ashley – is there really someone who hasn’t? – you can find her here…

    So I asked Ashley what her favorite YA Zombie reads were this year and she had two…

    So, I am offering up for giveaway – to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location – to two winners a copy of ROT & RUIN by Jonathan Maberry OR ALICE IN ZOMBIELAND by Gena Showalter.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below, and all my usual giveaway rules apply. (See my giveaway policy if you have any questions.)

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    Blogoversary Guest Posts + Giveaway II

    I am running out of days that I can legitimately celebrate my blogoversary without it becoming just a bit too much. At some point I have to get back to those reviews. But that day is not today. Phew. Because I find myself still entangled in those very recent reads and would much rather dive into a new book than try to wrap my mind around a review.

    Anyway…

    Today I have four more amazing bloggers that I have known for as long as I have been blogging or have admired from afar and only recently gotten the chance to know better. Some have been blogging much longer than I have, some are just a bit newer to the blogosphere. But they’re all bloggers I respect, who have very much shaped this community, and whose blogs I try to visit as often as I can.

    Once again I’ve included a diverse group of bloggers, each with very different and unique blogs, who have a variety of tips and advice to share. So let me step aside and pass my blog along to them….

    Avery of Avery’s Book Nook

    When Rachel told me the theme of her 2nd Blogiversary celebration, tips for new book bloggers, the first thing that came to find was “numbers”. Numbers are something that Rachel and I have discussed numerous times over the years as they are something that we have both given a lot of thought to (for instance on her post over on the Annex called Are You Established). As a new blogger (scratch that, new bloggers aren’t alone in this, as someone who has been blogging for over two years I still find myself experiencing this) it is SO EASY to get caught up in the numbers game (from the number of followers that you have, to the number of daily pageviews you have, to the number of ARCs you get in your mailbox every week, and so on) and all of those thoughts and emotions that come along with it (“OMG. I have been blogging religiously for the last two years, yet this blogger who has only been blogging for 6 months has 5-6 times the number of followers that I do! What is wrong with me?” < true story). My advice to you? Don’t worry about the numbers- there is SO MUCH more to blogging than numbers!

    If you ever find yourself experiencing the thoughts/ emotions I described stop for a second and think about why you started blogging. Did you start blogging because you wanted to see your follower count in the triple or quadruple digits? Probably not! You probably started blogging because you wanted to share your love of books with those around you- and guess what? You can still do that no matter the size of your audience! And think that numbers are the only way that you’ll get books to read and review? Not so- there’s NetGalley, Edelweiss, Goodreads Giveaways, Random Acts of Kindness, blog tour sites *Cough, cough, Rockstar Book Tours*, and the likes of!

    Don’t make blogging a burden- it’s supposed to be fun! Spend that time that you’re stressing about numbers doing something productive, like reading more books, getting to know people in the blogging community, or bettering your blog!

    Looking for more blogging tips? Check out my Top Ten Tips for New Book Bloggers post.

    FIND AVERY…

    TWITTER, FACEBOOK, AVERY’S BOOK NOOK, GOODREADS, YOUTUBE

    For a little background…

    I am fairly certain I first met Avery on Facebook. But I got to know Avery through the stalking I did of her blog. I was still a newbie blogger when we met and I thought she was amazing and I absolutely loved her blog.

    Her blog was review heavy, something I always had hoped my blog would be. She was incredibly well-read, diverse in her reading habits and she wasn’t afraid to  take a day off now and again. All traits I aspire to.

    I love how her sidebar highlights and showcases upcoming books that all just so happen to be on my “to buy” or pre-order lists. Some have been added just because of that sidebar.

    I am in awe of how she manages to read and review all the books she does with everything she has to juggle in her real life. If you haven’t checked out Avery’s awesome blog or “met” Avery on Twitter you are truly missing out on getting to know someone super amazing in the blogosphere.

    And as for her advice… I totally agree about taking a step back if you’ve found that you’re so caught up in the numbers game that you can’t remember why you’re blogging in the first place. It is so easy to get distracted by the numbers and forget why you do this thing. Unless you are trying to run your blog like a business and numbers are what’s most important to you, then giving yourself a little reminder of just why you’re here is key.

    Thank you so much, Avery, for being such an inspirational book blogger, for writing such fantastic reviews that I love to read, and for being such a vital part of this community! And thank you, thank you for sharing your wisdom here on the blog!


    Amy of The YA Sisterhood

    The advice I would give to bloggers is to just be yourself. Write about things that interest you, and don’t try to guess what other people want to read.

    Take things you are familiar with and expand them. That’s how we came up with our Crush Tournament. Our family is huge into sports. March Madness is an annual event, so we took something so familiar and just made it work for our blog. I think that’s the key, turning the everyday into something great! Plus, you’re less likely to get burned out if you are making it something you enjoy!

    Thanks so much for having us Rachel! Congrats on 2 years!!!! What a great accomplishment!

    FIND AMY…

    TWITTER, FACEBOOK, THE YA SISTERHOOD

    For a little background…

    I know exactly how I “met” Amy and her awesome blog The YA Sisterhood. It was during the first-ever YA Crush Tourney in 2011. I decided to hop on Twitter late one night when I needed a break from researching and trying to come up with author interview questions.

    My good friend Jaime was chatting with someone about a new tournament she had just signed up for. I clicked the link. Saw this fairly new blog’s awesome idea. Decided I needed to do something different. Took a chance. Signed up. And the rest is history.

    Amy and the team at The YA Sisterhood had an amazing idea. It was wildly successful. It was so much fun. Who doesn’t know of their wicked awesome blog? Who doesn’t anxiously await the next tournament?

    And while their tournament is the reason I met these lovely bloggers, it isn’t the reason why I continue to check out their blog and chat them up on Twitter every so often. They are just really, really nice. They did something that brought the community together in a way that other events hadn’t.

    And they connected me with an author that was heretofore an idol of mine…. Well, she still is… but now I am not quite so afraid to send her a Tweet…. Okay, well, maybe I still am.

    But without their event I might never have gotten to know and love Tod as much as I did. I never would have hosted the SSRC. And I never would have met some really amazing bloggers and readers because of that. So, I have them to thank for that.

    And as for Amy’s advice… She is so right. You have to be yourself. Trying to be someone else just won’t work in the long run. As much as you want to please your readers, ultimately you have to enjoy what you’re doing. They won’t enjoy reading your posts if you don’t enjoy writing them.

    Thank you so much Amy (and everyone at The YA Sisterhood) for doing all that you do, for putting together these events that bring the community of bloggers and authors together. For just being all-around awesome! And for sharing your advice here for my blogoversary.

    Lisa of A Life Bound by Books

    Lisa had some great tips for bloggers in her Blogging about blogging post, two of which I’ve included here…

    “Some of the best advice I can give anyone is, if you’re thinking about starting a blog, make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons. What are the right reasons you ask? Well, in my honest opinion, one main reason would be to make sure you’re doing it for you and your passion for books. Share what you love about books and authors in honest reviews and content that means something to you. If you’re honest and excited about what you choose to talk about on your blog, people who visit will see it all come through loud and clear. Because in the end that’s a huge part of what book blogging is all about.

    “Honesty, excitement and passion over reading.

    “Another thing is not to get discouraged. I think we’ve all been through that from time to time. While it’s a huge, EPIC community to belong to and you’ll meet amazing people, far and wide, it takes time and sometimes hard work to be a book blogger.

    “None of us are paid for what we do. Well, in a way we are. We’re paid in comments and friendships and the excitement when we find a new book or author… we’re paid in the chance we get to have with talking and sharing about a book with others. Because, lets get back to basics here… book blogging is all about just that, the books. Your love of books and it’s where it should stay the whole time you continue to be a book blogger.”

    To read the rest of her tips on her blog, CLICK HERE.

    She has also offered up some new advice… 

    I think if I was to change it, or add to it today, I’d suggest being part of Twitter, because the community there for so many of us is another layer to being a book blogger. If you’re looking for a great recommendation or someone to talk about a book you’re reading and just had a moment you have to freak out about, there’s always someone there who’ll be ready to listen and discuss.

    Book blogging and social media – it’s happening, you can’t have one without the other.

    FIND LISA…

    TWITTER, A LIFE BOUND BY BOOKS, GOODREADS

    For a little background…

    Lisa’s blog was one of the very first blogs I stumbled across when I first started out. I didn’t even know book blogs existed, but then I found a handful of blogs that immediately made me feel completely intimidated. And overwhelmed. And terrified. Lisa’s was one of those blogs.

    I didn’t visit her too often in those early days or I might have been discouraged about my own blog. Her blog was rich with content, full of wonderful guest posts and author interviews. And her blog was so gorgeously designed.

    And it still is all of those things. And more. Even though the design has been updated – which I love, love, love. And even though her blog has even more to be in awe of.

    While Lisa and I didn’t “meet” until an unfortunate situation brought us together, I’m so glad that something good could come out of something so horrible. Lisa is beyond generous, she’s one of the most hard-working bloggers I know. She is thoughtful and nice and dedicated. And she is not afraid to share pictures of her overstuffed bookshelves.

    And as for Lisa’s advice… Be sure to check out the rest of her post, because she has some seriously great advice to share. But I totally agree with her statement that “[h]onesty, excitement and passion over reading” are such an important part of what blogging about books is about.

    And I also think it’s important not to get discouraged. Because as long as you have that passion for books and you surround yourselves with those that are equally as passionate, you’re pretty much set.

    Thank you, Lisa, for allowing me to share your tips with my blog’s readers on this blogoversary. And thank so much you for offering up a new piece of advice! I totally agree that you have to join the conversation on Twitter or you will be missing out on so much of what this community has to offer!



    Jean of JeanBookNerd

    One of my favorite things about book blogging is that it has given me a portal to others who have the same interests as me. It has been over a year since I dove into this fascinating world and I can honestly say that I have made many friends along the way.

    When I first started, it was like a rush discussing a book that I love with others who share the same passion. As time progressed, I became involved in reviewing books from numerous publishers. Soon my usual stack of “to-be-read” books has tripled in size literally overnight. I truly enjoy reading and reviewing the books that arrive at my door. There is no pay that is involved, but it’s my passion and love of reading that it is most rewarding.

    If you have this kind of passion, by all means do it! But do not do it because of the free books. Do it because it’s fun and you will meet some of the most amazing people.

    FIND JEAN…

    TWITTER, FACEBOOK, JEANBOOKNERD, GOODREADS, YOUTUBE

    For a little background…

    I’ve known of Jean for quite some time. She has a very active group on Facebook that someone added me to awhile back. While I don’t remember who added me… I’m not sure I ever knew… it made me aware of this very enthusiastic blogger named Jean.

    But I didn’t actually “meet” Jean until the Authors Are Rockstars event this past summer. Jean and I exchanged a few emails, then a few Tweets and I’ve recently been a part of a couple of the awesome tours she hosted.

    Jean is so incredibly nice. She’s very active in the community and is crazy passionate about the books and authors she loves. I am so honored that she took the time to get to know shy me, invited me to be a part of her book tours and has agreed to be a part of my blogoversary this year.

    And as for Jean’s advice… I so completely agree with Jean’s piece of advice that you shouldn’t just blog for the “free” books. Do it because it IS fun. Do it to make friends. Because you will soon discover that the amount of work it takes to keep your blog updated, the content fresh and visitors coming back to read your posts and reviews costs much more in time and energy than the couple of bucks you’d save by getting these “free” books.

    Thank you so very much, Jean, for sharing your blogging experience and your tip to new bloggers. I couldn’t agree with you more! And I’m so very happy we got to “meet” this year!

    Once again, I couldn’t ask all four bloggers to share their favorite books for giveaway, so I thought I’d offer up a couple books written by the author whose book, TORN, was the very reason I started blogging about books in the first place.

    And so… My Blogoversary Celebration Day 6 Giveaway is for a copy of WAKE and a pre-order copy of LULLABY by Amanda Hocking – to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location – to ONE winner.

    And since I didn’t ask them for their picks, I am including a few extra entry opportunities to follow these awesome bloggers on Twitter.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below, and all my usual giveaway rules apply. (See my giveaway policy if you have any questions.)
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    Blogoversary Guest Post: Lucy of Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf

    Well, time marches on and my blog is now practically three…. Okay, maybe not that much time has passed. But as the weather took a turn for the freezing, it feels a little bit like winter. Which makes it seem like ages since my blogoversary.

    But I still have some seriously awesome bloggers’ advice to share. So the celebrations shall continue on!

    And today it’s Lucy of Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf‘s turn on the blog to share some her blogging experiences and to offer advice for those bloggers just starting out.

    For just a little background….

    I “met” Lucy on Facebook. We both began blogging around the same time two years ago. So our blogs sort of “grew up” together. I loved her blog’s design. It was dark and gorgeous and I loved stopping by to stare at it… and of course to read her posts.

    Lucy is a huge fan of the paranormal. And while I didn’t, at that time, venture into those non-YA reads, I loved to see what she got in her mailbox, to take a peek at her bookshelf photos and to check out her thoughts on some of those books that did appeal to me.

    And I loved reading the author interviews she posted on her blog.

    Lucy is one of the nicest bloggers I know. She is passionate about the books and authors she loves. And she’s way more courageous than I am. From very early on she approached authors for interviews and posted some seriously awesome ones on her blog. I could never have imagined approaching an author with a request like she did. I still can’t….

    Lucy was one of the very first bloggers I got the chance to know. And I’m so glad that she is still here, blogging strong, and very much a part of this community. Because she is one of those bloggers that makes this community awesome.

    But now let me stop blathering on and pass my blog over to Lucy.

    Hello fellow book lovers!

    I’m Lucy from Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf, and Rachel has kindly invited me to share blogging tips that I wish I would have received earlier on when I started blogging.

    ~~~

    Before I begin, I’d just like to say a quick thank you to Rachel for being such an awesome blogger friend. She’s always willing to answer any questions that I have (blog related or not) and she is just simply amazing. Rach, I adore you and you are definitely a blogger that I look up to and aspire to become. *HUGS!* Congratulations on your two year blogoversary!!!

    ~~~

    When I began blogging two years ago, I had so many questions about what I should do and what I should know about blogging, just like anyone would have when starting out. Over the last two years of blogging, I can say that I’ve definitely learned a lot, and although I have been blogging since 2010, the truth is, I’m still learning…

    ~~~

    I’d like to share some of my personal blogging experiences as well as some general tips that I hope will help all bloggers that are starting out.

    ~~~

    In the first few weeks after having created Moonlight Gleam’s Bookshelf, I received the following piece of advice: “have a vision for your blog, know what you want to accomplish with your blog, and translate that to your readers”.

    The underlying message in this piece of advice is that having a blog and what you decide to do with it is a personal choice which shouldn’t be based on what others are doing or what others want. You are creating a blog for yourself and that you should have fun and enjoy doing. I’ve learned that once blogging starts revolving around what others want or expect to see, all the fun will be taken away, and blogging will end up becoming a chore.

    So, my first personal piece of advice is, do what makes you happy, then worry about the rest. If you love all book genres, don’t stick to one, share your thoughts on all types of books. Why limit yourself to one genre, when you like more than one? If you don’t want to just stick to book reviews, incorporate other things to make it fun.

    ~~~

    The next experience that I want to discuss goes hand in hand with what I mentioned above. Deciding what you want to do with your blog may not be so clear cut at first, ideas will come and go, and it may take time to realize what you truly want.

    Over the last two years, I’ve developed different ideas and blogging habits that didn’t really reflect what I initially envisioned my blog to be. Recently, I’ve been playing around with the idea of either incorporating posts about another non-book related passion that I have, or creating another blog that focuses on it. After a lot of thought and consideration, I decided it would be best for me to create a different blog to keep my two different passions separate.

    So my second personal piece of advice to you all will be that once you decide on what theme, idea, or vision you have for your blog, remember that it isn’t set in stone, and you can always change it or create something new as time passes.

    ~~~

    I’d like to end this post by mentioning that it’s really important to have fun, keep an open mind and don’t limit yourself, because some of the best ideas could be ones that you dismiss earlier on.

    Lastly, if you have any questions that you can’t find answers to, don’t be afraid to ask as there is always someone willing to help.

    You are so right, Lucy. You have to love what you’re doing and all the rest of it will fall into place. And I absolutely agree with your second piece of advice. Nothing is set in stone. If you want to make changes down the line make them. Even though it’s hard to shift gears.

    You can’t be happy if you feel “stuck” by a certain format, a certain style or a certain way of doing things. If you don’t have time to do them anymore, move on. If you don’t love creating those posts or reading those books, you need to find posts and books you do love. Which brings it right back to your first tip – do what makes you happy.

    Thank you so much for sharing your blogging experience and your advice. You and your blog totally rock! And it’s been so absolutely wonderful getting the chance to know you these past two years!

    And… for those of you who have not yet “met” Lucy, you can find her here…

    I know that Lucy is a huge fan of author Kelley Armstrong. She has this amazing reading challenge for the author’s adult series going on all year. But as this is a YA blog I am keeping the giveaways YA.

    And so, to ONE winner, I’m offering up a copy of the first two books in Kelley Armstrong’s Darkness Rising series – THE GATHERING and THE CALLING.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below, and all my usual giveaway rules apply. (See my giveaway policy if you have any questions.)
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    Blogoversary Guest Post: Alba of BookPics

    I’m starting to feel very greedy for celebrating my blogoversary long past the actual date of the event. But I have so many great tips from so many amazing bloggers to share that I don’t feel too guilty about being so greedy.

    And today… as if any introduction is really needed… I have Alba of BookPics here on the blog.

    Alba is someone who always puts a smile on my face. Her passion for books is unparalleled. She is kind, enthusiastic, generous of spirit and is my absolute favorite commentator in the blogosphere. Not only on my blog, but on every blog I visit where I see her absolutely delightful comments.

    And I was so humbled and honored by the week-long event she put together on her blog last month – one that left me blushing – that got not only some of my best blogger friends involved but authors I respect and admire. Yeah, that’s how amazing Alba is.

    Anyway….

    For just a little background….

    I am almost positive I first met Alba on Facebook. She was way more social on Facebook than I was – and she still is. But I got to know her even better from interacting with her on my blog. And then chatting with her on Twitter. And stalking her vlogs.

    She and I both share a love of some seriously amazing authors, including Samantha Young, Rachel Vincent, Leah Clifford, Tammara Webber and Scott Tracey. We both go a little fan-girl when it comes to them. But I will concede the victory to Alba for being way more enthusiastic than I am about her love of these authors. Though it’s only because I’m old….

    I seriously admire Alba for doing all that she does for this community – sharing her love and excitement for the books and authors she adores, keeping her blog and Facebook fans apprised of all the best new book covers, for not being afraid to leave her awesome comments on the blogs she likes to visit.

    And for being a positive and honest and sincere blogger who very much has her own voice. One that I will let her share with you now….

    T_______T

    I think that by now every single person that has come even close to my blog knows that I cannot write something without getting teared up, crying, or laughing too hard for my dogs to appreciate…

    Anyway that’s not the point but I was just trying to explain the beginning of the post hehehe.

    First of all…. X_X -drops completely and absolutely dead –

    I am on Fiktshun’s… so let’s just take a minute or an hour depending on the scale of shock you’d consider yourself in… – I’m near a 25 hour-long shock mode right now –

    THANK YOU!! For inviting me Rachel… this is like… nirvana or something… It’s no surprise that I’m freaking out because Rachel’s blog is my fave as you can see by what happened HERE.

    I’m supposedly here to share some tip or advice on blogging but T_T I don’t think I’m experienced enough to do that, but hey! It’s FIKTSHUN’S blog so anything is pretty much possible over here, here it goes.

    I have countless of experiences I’d love to share with you but I think it’d be more exciting if you’d get to experience them by yourselves… react to them the way you would in any other real-life case scenarios and simply go along with those moments… But, the one thing I most definitely think you should always ALWAYS have in mind is…

    DON’T FORGET and BE GRATEFUL!

    Don’t forget? Nope, I’m not insinuating that you’re having some memory problems or your brain short-circuited or something between those lines… It’s just that, always trying to be the first one to break out those bookish news, trying to be the one person who gets a certain ARC earlier than any other book blogger/ librarian/ anyone out there, being the one with the most followers, being the one with the most pageviews… And so many other things that we book bloggers and bloggers in general have to deal with and think about on a daily basis, are prone to make us forget.

    Forget what? That we’re actually doing this to share our book loving, author loving, and community loving personas. But most importantly that we’re doing this to have fun! Don’t go out there or start a new blog just for the books or for the fame, STEALING IS NOT COOL, be yourself! If you want to do a feature try to do a little research on it, there’s nothing wrong with posting similar things as long as you don’t just copy their content and NEVER NEVER forget to credit them… I’m rambling. So…

    My first tip? Don’t Forget to Always Always smile and be happy with everything that happens on your blog!

    Have no new followers ever since those first couple of friends clicked that GFC button? Don’t worry! Smile because those are still there and they’re supporting you!

    Didn’t get to be included in a certain blog tour? Smile because you’ll keep trying and make it next time!

    Weren’t able to enter a giveaway because it was US Only or was international but sponsored by The Book Depository and it doesn’t ship to your country even though it supposedly ships worldwide? Smile because life’s good and maybe next time you will be able to enter! -idk-

    Couldn’t get that so much coveted ARC that EVERYONE seems to be getting in the mail boxes? SMILE! Because you’re going to enjoy it and appreciate it that much more when you do, indeed, get the book. Be it an ARC or the final copy!

    And with that… comes the second and most easy tip I’ve ever given…

    Be grateful! I cannot believe how much I’ve come to appreciate everything, I mean it, every single thing that happens to me… I’m grateful for.

    Every tweet back, every facebook comment, every blog follower, every comment on my blog…every email… Every single thing brings a smile to my face and a spark of happiness in my heart and mind… And it’s no wonder I’m on cloud nine whenever I get one…

    Don’t take for granted the books you get… Be it ARCs or finished copies… Being international, it’s always always hard to see how a lot of people just take those things for granted… They have books at libraries where they can go and borrow… bookstores that have every single tittle possible a book lover can want… and publishers that are willing to send boxes and boxes of books to all those book bloggers…

    Love love love those books, treasure them, and be forever forever grateful….

    Take minutes or seconds to thank that person who stopped by your blog and left a meaningful comment, respect everyone…

    I’m rambling -_____________-

    AHH I knew this wouldn’t be a good idea… I’m practically a rookie book blogger!

    Take it from me… I’m telling/sharing this because, it has all crossed my mind, it has happened to me…

    Sometimes it might be hard to smile… when people steal your things, when you get rejected, when you feel like you’re not good enough, when even those closest to you don’t believe in you….

    But there’s always always, someone out there… who will appreciate the effort you’re doing to spread the word about all those amazing reads. Just ask the authors…

    Remember this and I think your blogging life will be definitely much more happy and enjoyable…

    Just picture it… if it weren’t for these 2 things… I wouldn’t even be Fiktshun’s #1stalker or I wouldn’t have been able to tweet with authors or I simply would have just shut down my laptop and never ever share my love for books and reading ever ever again and I wouldn’t have come to meet such a wonderful community!

    I shudder to think I wouldn’t have a single person to vent about how much I’m dying to read Everbound by Brodi Ashton or just how I die every single day that I have to wait for A Touch Menacing by Leah Clifford… or how I cry just thinking about reading Unravel Me by Tahereh Mafi… or how If I Stay by Gayle Forman and Dark Song by Gail Giles played a huge part in saving my life… Or how… I want to strangle Sophie from Rachel Vincent’s Soul Screamers series simply for being Sophie… >.<

    Who would I scream to when I meet a new book crush? Whose blog would I spam with comments?

    Ummm nope… that definitely wouldn’t be any good… I really don’t even want to imagine a world like that.

    So yeap… There you have it, Don’t ever ever forget to smile and be always always grateful…

    Smile ^_______^

    Be grateful ^_^

    And always be yourself!

    Never forget 😀

    Alba I love, love, love your tips. You are so right that we should never forget to smile and always be grateful.

    It’s just so easy to forget to smile and be grateful when things get overwhelming. When other bloggers get “more” than we do. When we get rejected or stolen from or treated poorly or criticized.

    But you are so right that there are just so many things worth smiling about in this community. Like a wonderful comment left by a favorite blog reader. Meeting a new character we’ll always remember in a newly discovered book. Being thanked by the author for taking the time to read their book. Making a new friend in the community on Twitter. And every so often being approved for a title we so desperately wanted to read on NetGalley.

    I do, however, disagree with just one tiny thing in your post. You are so NOT a rookie! Whether you like it or not, you are an established blogger. And I’m so happy to have met you and that being a part of this community has allowed the two of us to “meet” even though we aren’t on the same continent.

    Now I can officially say, “Woo hoo! I have Alba of BookPics on my blog!” Thank you so much for being a part of my blogoversary, Alba!

    If you haven’t yet “met” Alba, what are you waiting for? You can find her…

    I decided to surprise Alba with the book I was giving away during her visit to the blog. I’d initially intended to offer up for giveaway a couple copies of a book she is still a bit scared to read… LOCKDOWN… but I decided instead to go with a book by an author that I know she’s such a huge fan of. As am I.

    So, I am giving away to TWO winners – to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location – a copy of EASY by Tammara Webber.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below, and all my usual giveaway rules apply. (See my giveaway policy if you have any questions.)

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    Blogoversary Guest Posts + Giveaway

    I am so excited to welcome to the blog five bloggers that I have known, admired and respected for quite some time. One I met on Twitter, a couple around the blogs and one on Facebook. I feel like I’ve known them all forever, and I’m so thrilled that they accepted my invitation to share some of their wisdom with me and my blog’s readers this blogoversary.

    They are all bloggers whose opinions I value, who have fantastic blogs that I try to visit as often as I can, and who have been the source of more than one bookish purchase I’ve made.

    They are all so very different from one another which is the perfect example of just how diverse the book blogging community is, how appreciated all their unique voices and styles are, and how the internet allows readers from one country to so very easily interact with those from another.

    And so, without further ado let me turn this blog over to….

    Kara of Great Imaginations

    If you are looking to get blog followers, obviously getting on Twitter and Facebook are a must. I just use Twitter myself, but I know Facebook users are very successful too. However, the best way to get blog COMMENTERS is to comment on other blogs. It takes awhile and it takes a lot of time, but if you want those treasured comments that we all love getting, pick some blogs you like and start commenting! And I don’t mean saying “Nice blog post, come visit mine.” Leave a meaningful comment. Read the post. I know our time is important to all of us and we don’t have a lot of it, but if you want people to actually respond and READ your posts, you have to do the same to them. Show them the respect you want in return. Respect is not given, it is earned.

    ***

    The other point I would make is that blogging is stressful as hell sometimes. It’s okay if you can’t post every day. It’s okay if you don’t want to read every day. There are a lot of blogs out there to look up to and envy, but you don’t HAVE to be like everybody else. That took me a long time to learn. Some weeks I post every day. Some weeks I only post twice. I battle with depression/anxiety so it’s hard to find motivation sometimes. But that’s totally okay! I am me and I know that the most important thing of all is to blaze my own path and be myself. It’s so easy to put pressure on yourself because you want to have it all and you want it RIGHT NOW. But the reality is that most likely it’s not going to be that way. Most of us will never reach big blog status. And that’s totally okay! If you want readers to appreciate what you write and post, you have to be you. Because your voice and passion will come through only when you stop putting pressure on yourself and just do what you are capable and comfortable with doing.

    FIND KARA…
    Great Imaginations, Twitter, Goodreads, Formspring, YouTube

    For a little background…

    I am almost positive I first “met” Kara on Twitter. I’d followed a link to one of her reviews and loved her voice. She was honest, intelligent and had a very distinctive voice. I enjoyed the reviews I’d read because they gave me enough insight into a story to make an educated decision about the book without feeling I was reading a rundown of the book itself.

    While I don’t always read the same types of books she does and we don’t always agree on the likability factor, I always respect her opinions.

    Kara is a hoot to follow on Twitter, too. She’s not afraid to say what she feels or thinks. And she is quite the editrix.

    And I couldn’t agree more with both her “tips.” Leaving thoughtful comments is so important and reciprocating is also a must if you want to develop loyal followers and commentators.  And being yourself and blogging in a way that works for you is the key to being a happy blogger.

    Kara, thank you so much for sharing and being a part of my two year blogoversary. It’s really such great advice!

    Alex of Electrifying Reviews

    Blogging is a lot of work… if you do it right. If you decide to create a blog which you hope will gain a readership, you have to take it seriously. Don’t post about your life or things unrelated to the theme of your blog, because you won’t be able to develop a specific audience which will want to continue to visit. Create as many quality posts as you can; and if you can’t get a worthwhile post ready in time, skip a day instead of posting something worthless.

    FIND ALEX…

    Electrifying Reviews, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Formspring

    For a little background…

    Alex was one of the very first bloggers I “met” on Twitter. He was offering up a book for trade and I jumped at the chance to trade with him. I wanted that book. I believe it was an advance copy of one of Carrie Ryan’s books from her Forest of Hands and Teeth series.

    But Alex’s blog was one of the first blogs I discovered prior to joining Twitter. My friend Nic stumbled across his blog and pointed it out to me. She was amazed that there was someone who was a young teen who was already an established blogger and a writer and who was quite articulate.

    His blog was one of about four or five blogs I checked out frequently in those early days. And it’s one I still check out at least a few times a week. I honestly have no idea how he does all that he does.

    And I couldn’t agree more with his tip, too. To gain a solid readership you have to keep it focused, keep your message clear. And it is better to skip a day rather than post something that doesn’t meet your blog’s standards.

    Thank you so much Alex for sharing your advice. For someone with a successful blog who’s been blogging as long as you have it’s so very helpful!

    Kaitlyn of Kaitlyn in Bookland

    First, I would like to say congrats to Rachel on her 2-year anniversary! She is such an amazing blogger and person. 🙂

    My piece of advice to new bloggers (and even existing bloggers) is to not be afraid to take breaks. I am the queen of going on hiatuses. Some of these last longer than I would like, but sometimes it’s just necessary. If you’re not into it 100%, it will definitely come across in your reviews. I would rather publish something I’m completely happy with on a sporadic schedule than write something that I’m not proud of.

    Overall, I would suggest that you make sure you’re blogging for you. If it becomes overwhelming, a short break could be all you need to get back into it. I know that each time I come back from a break it’s because I realize I miss writing about books… and I think every time I come back, my blogs get better and better. I come back rejuvenated and ready to talk books like never before. Maybe it will be the same for you!

    P.S. Make sure to make friends in the book blogging world – seriously amazing people!

    FIND KAITLYN…

    Kaitlyn in Bookland, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads

    For a little background…

    I either met Kaitlyn on Twitter or Facebook. It’s been so long since we first met that I can’t be sure. But I remember her sharing this amazing story of a book signing she attended with Kami Garcia and the author recognized her from her blog, I believe it was…. Clearly my memory is not as good as Ms. Garcia’s. But it was one of those “to die for” moments.

    I absolutely love checking out Kaitlyn’s vlogs. She is so super enthusiastic and a total riot when talking about books. Though I have been a little remiss in checking on them lately… something I must remedy ASAP.

    And as someone I adore and someone who started blogging long before I did, I just had to see what piece of wisdom she’d share. And I absolutely love her “tip.” It is so important to take a break. Her enthusiasm for blogging has not waned because she has taken time away when she needed to. While it is hard to step away because of statistics and loss of followers, if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, then what do those numbers matter and what kind of content are you providing for your readers?

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Kaitlyn for reminding me that stepping away is a good thing!

    Daisy of Between the Pages

    My advice to new bloggers (how weird does this sound as I still feel like such a newbie myself, even after two years) would be to remember why you started blogging. It’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy to get more followers/review copies/be the next big name, but if you’re not enjoying yourself it’s not worth it. I’ve made some amazing friends with whom I can share my love of books and that’s what counts for me.

    FIND DAISY…

    Between the Pages, Twitter, The Broke and the Bookish

    For a little background…

    I first met Daisy on my blog Fiktshun’s Ramblings, a.k.a. The Annex. I started participating in The Broke and the Bookish’s meme “Top Ten Tuesday” and discovered her blog because of my participation. And I’m so glad.

    Because our paths might not have crossed as we don’t always read the same books. But I love getting a peek at the books she does read and have purchased a few – though they’re still on my TBR pile – from some of her posts.

    I love that we both feel like newbies! Two years really isn’t that long is it? And I love the advice she’s given. It’s so important to remember why you started out. Because it is so easy to get caught up in the frenzy of everything in this community. And it’s easy to lose your sense of direction and your reason for being here.

    Thank you so much Daisy for sharing your wisdom and being a part of my blog’s two year celebration!

    Mist of Bookaholics

    Make lots of friends

    I’ve had a great time blogging, getting to read lots of books and talk about them is fun, but it wouldn’t be half as much fun without all the fabulous blogging friends I’ve made in my blogging journey. There’s a huge communtity out there and I’m proud to be part of it, not only do I have someone to ramble my excited thoughts and opinions to but they talk back with their ramblings and we’re all on the same page (pun intended!) because we share our love for books. And some have become more than book friends, we talk about things in our every day lives and even meet up.

    So, my advice to any new blogger is to get out there, network, meet other book obssessed nerds who are as crazy for the written word as you are!

    FIND MIST…

    Bookaholics, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Formspring, YouTube

    For a little background…

    I met Mist on Facebook. She’s one of the first bloggers I met when I started my Facebook page. A few of those blogs are no longer in existence or have scaled back. But Mist’s blog, Bookaholics, is going strong.

    If I remember correctly, she’d started her Bookaholics Book Club on Facebook and then decided to start a blog. So she’d already had experience and made social connections before venturing out into the blogosphere.

    I, on the other hand, was a complete newbie everywhere. But she was so super nice and friendly! And I loved checking out her In Mist’s Mailbox vlogs until I decided that hiding from all book haul posts was a must for awhile. But I loved watching her posts as she always got so many amazing books – many she purchased – though I envied her for having those beautiful UK editions.

    And I absolutely agree with everything she said about making friends. Blogging just isn’t the same when you don’t have someone to gush about your favorite books, characters and authors with. It’s not the same without having someone to commiserate with about crazy formatting issues, blogger scheduling mess-ups, and all the other highs and lows that come with being a book blogger.

    Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy blogging schedule to share your tip, Mist!

    As I couldn’t ask all five bloggers to share their favorite books for giveaway, I thought I’d offer up one of my very recent favorite reads….

    But since I couldn’t ask them for their picks, I am including a few extra entry opportunities to follow these awesome bloggers on Twitter.

    My Blogoversary Celebration Day 3 Giveaway is for a copy of STARLING by Lesley Livingston – to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location – to two winners.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below, and all my usual giveaway rules apply. (See my giveaway policy if you have any questions.)

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    Blogoversary Guest Post: Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads

    Okay, so technically today is no longer my blogoversary. My blog is now officially older than two. Which means that it is already on its way to turning three. Wow, not going to think about that blogoversary yet.

    Anyway… while this is no longer my blogoversary, it’s still a part of my blogoversary celebration. And to celebrate the fact that my blog is now two, I have yet another guest stopping by the blog to share her wisdom as an established blogger in the book blogging community.

    She’s someone who I admire enormously – she’s a working mom and still manages to find time to read and blog about books, she is incredibly generous, and is so supportive of the authors she loves. She is also someone who inspired a short story by author K.A. Tucker. Unfortunately for her, things did not end well for her character. You can check the story out on her blog HERE if you’d like to read about her early demise.

    Well, if you haven’t guessed by now, I’m talking about Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads.

    For just a little background….

    I have no idea where I first met Mindy. It had to have been on Twitter. Chances are we got to talking about awesome fic boys. And it was likely a Jaime introduction. But I feel like I’ve known Mindy forever. I actually don’t remember being a blogger before we met.

    Like me, she’s a bit of a Parajunkee Design Junkee. And like me, she has also seen the highs and lows of book blogging. But she’s more like Jaime on the whole “being social” front. She is not afraid to speak her mind. She is not at all afraid of heading to all the best book signings, events and conferences in her part of the country. And she has no problem taking a break when she needs one.

    She is another blogger that I adore and know I can trust. She is so supportive and helpful. And I can’t imagine this community without her.

    So, with all my ramblings out of the way, let me turn this over to the very awesome Mindy!

    I feel so incredibly special that Rachel chose me to write a post for her Two Year Blogoversary Celebration. I absolutely adore Rachel, and I’m a major fan of all of her blogs. Love you Rachel and congrats!

    Questions I ask myself as a book blogger and you should too!

    Why am I a book blogger?

    This is a question I have to ask myself quite frequently because even though there are a lot of awesome things about being a book blogger, there are also a few sucky things too.

    Am I doing it just for free books?

    For me, that’s a BIG no because I spend at least 5 times more now on books, going to book events, hosting giveaways and maintaining my blog than I did before I started blogging. Not to mention all the time I put into reading and writing reviews on the books themselves. But I do have to admit, getting to read books early or before they’re published is a huge plus for me.

    Do I do it for the community?

    YES! I love the book blogging community. I’ve met some totally awesome people through book blogging, people with whom I get to share one of my greatest of all passions! And I’ve grown to care for these people (bloggers and authors alike) so much that I consider them good friends. But the book blogging community isn’t all fluffy with pretty, pink frills. There’s sometimes major drama and it’s almost impossible to escape or hide from it, and, personally, I hate drama. The biggest downer for me is content thieves. I get super pissed off when I hear of someone (and not just a friend) who’s had their book pirated or their post(s) plagiarized. When this happens, the crazy comes out of me. And you truly don’t want to be on the receiving end, hearing me rant about thieves.

    Is it important to me to have followers and traffic daily?

    I can’t deny that I get all giddy and excited when I see a new follower, when I see that there are actually people stopping by my blog, and when people leave comments on my posts. And I can’t deny that is one of the main reasons I’ve continued blogging for as long as I have. But I’m not determined to find ways to just have “quick stop by and leave” visitors because I assume they’ll never return. I’d much prefer that my visitors stop by because they actually want to see my content and actually want to read the stuff I put so much effort into creating, in hopes that they like it enough to come back again.

    Do I have a problem with envy? Or even egotism?

    I’d like to say I’m not envious, but I do envy pretty much every blog I stalk. I envy them for their creativity, individuality, capability, enthusiasm and inspiration. I think those are all aspects that bloggers should aspire to be like! And I can’t say that I don’t get jealous when I see someone with a book that I’ve been dying to get my hands on. But even while I’m jealous, I’m still happy someone gets to read that book early…but they just may get stalked a little bit by me. And while I personally do not think I have an ego problem because of the reasons above (notwithstanding my problem with envy), I can be adamantly opinionated and not easily swayed about certain opinions because I (super ego I) truly believe those opinions are right, and everyone who disagrees is utterly wrong. Bahahaha! And to be completely honest…I’m not a fan of bloggers who seem to be suffering from narcissism and who appear to believe that everyone should be following in their footsteps or worshiping the ground they walk on. Nope…not a fan. So I’d prefer to avoid any egotistical thoughts myself.

    Final piece of advice.

    Be careful to NOT post or tweet something you may later regret. AND PLEASE!!! If you read a book early….do not reveal spoilers!

    Again, thank you soooooo much Rachel for including me in such an awesome occasion, and I’m thrilled that I get to celebrate along with you. Congratulations Rachel for surviving 2 whole years, and good luck for many years to come.

    I absolutely love that your advice came in the form of questions you post to yourself. I totally agree it’s so important to keep asking yourself these questions to be sure you’re blogging for the right reasons and not solely for the “free” books, the “popularity” or the egotism.

    I, too, am not a fan of the drama, the thieves or the narcissists. But fortunately there are so many more amazing readers, bloggers and authors in this community than bad apples.

    Thank you so, so much for sharing your thoughts and your wisdom and for being a part of my blogoversary event!

    Anyway….

    For those of you who have not yet “met” Mindy, you can find her here…

    So I asked Mindy what her favorite read was these past couple of months and it just so happened to be a book I’m very much dying to read. Which is…

    So, I am offering up for giveaway – to be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location – to two winners a copy of BLACK CITY by Elizabeth Richards.

    Enter in the Rafflecopter below, and all my usual giveaway rules apply. (See my giveaway policy if you have any questions.)
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    My Two Year Blogoversary

    As of today, November 9, 2012 at 3:26 p.m., I’ll have been blogging for two years here at Fiktshun. It’s hard to wrap my mind around, as it feels like I just celebrated my one year blogoversary.

    And I suppose that having been doing this thing just about daily for the past two years I can no longer consider myself a newbie. But to tell the truth, I don’t feel like an established blogger. I don’t feel like I’m one of those blogs I used to look at in awe for having been around for two or more years, even though I’ve published over 1,000 posts.

    I’m not a blog that gets heavy traffic to my site each day and I don’t have a ginormous follow count – most days less than 400 visitors stop by and I’m still just shy of 300,000 pageviews. So I don’t feel like someone that can wear the mantle of being “established.” And yet somehow by virtue of being around as long as I have, I am deemed established.

    I may have gained some insight during my past two years as a book blogger – stay away from drama, read what you enjoy, don’t feel pressure to post daily – but I don’t think I’ve gained a tremendous amount of wisdom – I can’t always avoid the drama and I always feel pressure to post. Some mistakes I’ve learned from – don’t respond to negative comments on Amazon. Some mistakes I seem to repeat over and over – scheduling your post for 12:01 is not just past midnight. Some advice I’ve taken – create a review policy, set up a Google alert. Some I’ve chosen to ignore… for better and for worse – take a break, avoid the burnout, don’t read review books back-to-back.

    And while I may not have become the blogger I’d hoped I’d be at this point in my blogging career – I still have the hardest time writing those reviews – I don’t feel like the two years I’ve spent has been a failure.

    Because what I have been doing is sticking it out, through the highs and lows, day in and day out, and to me that’s kind of a huge achievement. Because walking away is just so easy to do in the blogosphere.

    Two years, two months, two weeks or two days, it makes no difference. You can be here one day, blogging like crazy, and gone the next. It’s as easy as the click of a button to walk away. I know. Because I’ve seen it happen on more than one occasion and I’ve thought about it more frequently than that.

    To me two years seems like a huge span of time. In reality, it’s not all that much. But when I add up all the hours I spent thinking up posts, reading those books, writing those reviews, attempting to be social, it’s a heck of a lot of time spent.

    Last year I celebrated my blogoversary by outlining my goals for the next year. This year I’m going to wait until the end of the year before I think about what my goals might be. And last year I may have had a rather complicated system of giveaways. One that I can’t possibly hope to recreate this year. So, I’ll be simplifying that too.

    Last year it was all about me, me, me. But this year I decided to change things up. Because the one thing – the most important thing – I’ve learned about being a book blogger, is that if it were just me, I wouldn’t be here today.

    Without the community that I’m a part of, I’d never have made it. Without their friendship, their guidance, their wisdom and support I’d have closed this down a long time ago. As much as I love reading and sharing my thoughts with my blog’s readers and sharing that love with readers, bloggers and authors on Twitter, the reality is that without the incredible members of this community that I’ve had the pleasure to have gotten to know, I never could have done it.

    So, this year, I invited just a few of those bloggers that have been around almost as long as, as long as, or longer than I have to share their wisdom, guidance, advice and stories here on my blog for the next week.

    They are my support. They are my inspiration. They are the pillars of this community that make being a book blogger worth all those times when doubt has taken over and I just wasn’t sure it was.

    So stay tuned for some awesome tips and advice from a few bloggers in the community that I adore, respect, admire and aspire to be. Those will start popping up later today and throughout the week.

    But for now, to kick off my blogoversary celebration, here is my “tip” and a giveaway.

    Be yourself.

    You won’t enjoy blogging if you’re trying to be like someone else. It will take too much time, too much energy and you won’t have fun.

    Who’s to say that someone else’s style or voice is better than yours? It isn’t. It’s just different.

    Figure out your voice. Figure out your style. Figure out what makes you happy and go for it.

    Does it really matter if you have 10 followers or 10,000? Unless you’re only in it for what others will give to you, just having someone stop by and leave a comment, someone who enjoys what you have to say and how you say it, someone who you connect with as a friend, makes it more than worth it.

    Being inspired by, aspiring to, or learning from others is one thing, but unless you find out just what type of blogger you want to be, you won’t be able to keep up when the deadlines loom, when the pressure to perform gets to be too great, when the drama finds its way to you.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with being yourself, creating your own place on the interwebs, and finding readers and friends who want to hear what YOU have to say.

    Your voice matters and so do you!

    Anyway….

    After my long-winded intro and nearly as long “tip” here is just a small thank you to those of you who have stopped by over the past couple of years and made me feel like I’ve been talking to someone other than myself.

    Oh, before I forget… there will be a few bookish giveaway prizes included in some of the guest posts throughout the week, so be sure to keep an eye out as they won’t be labeled as giveaways.

    And as always there is no requirement to like or follow or jump through hoops, but if you’d like to spread the word, that would be awesome!

    What’s up for grabs:

    There are 3 prizes up for grabs…

    $75 in Books of Your Choice from Amazon or The Book Depository to ONE winner (1st place)

    $50 in Books of Your Choice from Amazon or The Book Depository to ONE winner (2nd place)

    $25 in Books of Your Choice from Amazon or The Book Depository to ONE winner (3rd place)

     

    The deets:

    1. One entry per household.

    2. There will be a total of THREE winners.

    3. You must be 13 or older.

    4. Giveaway is International.

    5. Contest ends on Friday, November 23rd at 9:01 p.m. Pacific.

    6. Winners will be chosen by Random.org through Rafflecopter and announced on Saturday the 24th in this post.

    7. Books will be ordered from Amazon or The Book Depository depending upon location.

    8. Winners will have 48 hours after notification to respond with their details and books of choice.

    To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter form:

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Graphics

All content - except for guest posts and guest reviews - has been written by me and can not be copied or used without permission. All graphics and images used on my site – aside from book covers used for purposes of discussion – have either been given to me by authors, publishers or bloggers for guest posts, blog tours, interviews or promotion, have been sourced, have been designed by me or have been purchased for my exclusive use. Aside from images with a “grab code” beneath, no images can be used or displayed without permission.

FTC

All reviews on this website are unbiased and reviewers are in no way compensated for their reviews by the author, publisher, or any other agencies. While some reviews may be based on receipt of ARC copies of an authors work, a fair and impartial review is always given by the reviewer. Most of the reviews, however, are based upon books purchased after publication date.