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Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge

    Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge: Day 13 – Sharing a Blogger Horror Story

    Book Blogger NY Challenge

    Today is Day 13 of Parajunkee’s Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge. Just one more day and one more challenge to go after this one. Which makes me happy… and just a little bit sad. As challenging as this has been, it’s been a lot of fun.

    Though today’s challenge isn’t. Because it’s about recalling drama and other such nonsense that I’d rather not remember.

    Anyway…

    For those of you who might want to participate but haven’t yet heard about this challenge, just click on the link above for more details. But here is the schedule of posts…

    Day One – YOUR BLOGGER RESOLUTIONS
    Day Two – YOUR PROS & CONS OF BLOGGING LIST
    Day Three – THE BOOKS OF 2013 YOU ARE SAD YOU MISSED
    Day Four – THE BOOKS OF 2014 YOU WON’T MISS
    Day Five – WORST BOOK OF 2013
    Day Six – BEST BOOK OF 2013
    Day Seven – TOP TEN BOOK BLOGGER PET PEEVES
    Day Eight – YOUR FAVORITE BOOK BLOGGER MOMENT
    Day Nine – CONS OR EVENTS YOU HOPE TO ATTEND
    Day Ten – NEW THINGS YOU WILL BE DOING THIS YEAR
    Day Eleven – TBR SHELF: HOW MANY?
    Day Twelve – HOW DO YOU PLAN ON GETTING MORE FOLLOWERS THIS YEAR?
    Day Thirteen – SHARE A BLOGGER HORROR STORY
    Day Fourteen – BLOGGING WISH LIST OF 2014

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    My Blogger Horror Story

    Let me first start out by saying that I don’t like to introduce drama here on Fiktshun. In the past, whenever I had something to say that had the potential for drama I’d keep it separate and apart. I’d post it on The Annex if I felt it needed to be public. But I didn’t want this blog to contain any posts that were in any way negative. And I didn’t want any pageviews to be attributed to that kind of post.

    So while I plan on discussing one of my horror stories, in order to meet today’s challenge, I’m not going to go into all the specifics and revisit every last detail. It’s just too ugly and it doesn’t do me any good thinking about it.

    And while last January was pretty rocky for me as it involved not only drama but the discovery that one of my reviews was plagiarized and it made me consider giving up blogging for good, sadly neither of those incidents were ones I thought of when “horror story” was mentioned.

    My blogger horror story was from much earlier than that.

    It was the summer of 2011 and I hadn’t yet been blogging for a year. The excitement and newness hadn’t worn off, I was still thrilled with just about everything when it came to blogging. Drama was not something that was too common at that point. Plagiarism was not something that was widespread, at least not in my circle.

    So when it happened to me, I was shocked, hurt, devastated. I couldn’t believe it. I felt violated. Betrayed. Angry. Because not only was it theft of something I had labored over, it was theft by a blog I visited regularly, a blog I linked to in my sidebar. They were bloggers I chatted with on Twitter.

    I tried to resolve things quietly but was lied to. And when I dug a little deeper I found out that the theft went beyond a single review. There were others. And when I dug a little deeper than that I found out that most, if not all, of the reviews were plagiarized from many bloggers. It was this discovery that made me opt to go public.

    Even with all that had happened and all they had done I was not out for blood. They pulled all plagiarized reviews, which was all that I had wanted. Shortly thereafter they chose to close down their blog.

    But that wasn’t the end of things.

    They tried to restart using fake names and plagiarizing a few reviews. They followed me on Twitter and entered my giveaways. I was privately DM’ed by others giving me a heads up as to who they were in case I wasn’t aware. I was once again caught up in drama for something I thought was in the past.

    Shortly after their deception was discovered and made public, they shut down once again. But the nightmare still wasn’t over.

    They relaunched and began their bad behavior by once again plagiarizing numerous bloggers’ reviews, including one of my own. This time I quickly went public. It had to stop.

    They shut down again. But every so often I would receive a tweet from a random account calling me names. I was informed by other bloggers that I was being talked about in chat rooms.

    Coming forward about having my, and others’, reviews stolen, only after trying to work things out privately, led to months and months of headaches, fear of some kind of retaliation, having lies told about me. I may be paranoid, but I still wonder if its really over, if those bloggers have moved on.

    I thought it was the worst feeling in the world when I first discovered that the review I was reading on a blog I had enjoyed was actually my own. I was devastated when I found out that my review was submitted to the publisher – a publisher that I hadn’t established contact with at that time. I was heartsick when I found out that so many bloggers had their reviews stolen and likely submitted to publishers as someone else’s. I was shocked that someone established in the community could do something so awful to so many bloggers and feel so little remorse about doing so that they felt it was okay to do again and again after being called out.

    Their behavior broke my trust. It made me wary about sharing my thoughts. It made me even more wary about connecting with others. It made me question whether I wanted to continue to be a book blogger. It permanently changed they way I blogged.

    And while I had a feature of mine copied and claimed an original in 2012, was informed of a review that included plagiarized material from my review among others in 2013, they were nothing compared to all that went down in the second half of 2011.

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    So that’s my horror story in a nutshell. Stripped of all the emotion that has once again come bubbling up making me grit my teeth and question why the heck I’m still here. I still remember reading that review, like it was yesterday, thinking, “Hey, they thought the same thing that I did about the book.” Then realizing, “Wait, WTF, they didn’t think the same thing, that’s my review!”

    I remember being told I shouldn’t be so upset and that I should feel flattered. Seriously? I remember struggling with the decision to go public, then feeling guilty for doing so, even though it was the right thing to do. Mostly, though, I remember thinking how nice these bloggers were, that some day I wanted a blog as successful as theirs, and feeling like a complete and total fool for it.

    How about you?

    I am really hoping that you’ll have been able to skip today’s post because you have no blogging horror story to share. Or that you’ll be able to leave a comment saying that you’ve been incredibly fortunate to have avoided all drama, are completely unaware of any plagiarism or other idea theft, and have no instances where Google or other web host has deleted your blog and you lost all your content.

    But if you had something heinous happen to you or your blog and you want to share, please do. If you have but just don’t want to revisit it again or don’t want to make it public, just know I sympathize and empathize. And I hope that whatever happened is in the past and hasn’t affected you or your blog in the long run.

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    Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge: Day 12 – How I Plan On Getting More Followers This Year

    Book Blogger NY Challenge

    Today is Day 12 of Parajunkee’s Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge. The challenge is to talk about how I plan on getting more followers this year. And the plain and simple answer is that I don’t.

    I don’t have a plan. And I don’t want to have a plan to do so. For a long time now blogging has not been about getting new followers, widening my audience, increasing my reach.

    So why am I participating in the challenge today?

    A. Because I’m obsessive and can’t stand to miss out on a single day of these posts.

    B. Because while I don’t plan on doing things to increase my following here on the blog, on Facebook or on Twitter, I can certainly think of a few things that might work. So I figured I could share those thoughts.

    Anyway…

    For those of you who might want to participate but haven’t yet heard about this challenge, just click on the link above for more details. But here is the schedule of posts…

    Day One – YOUR BLOGGER RESOLUTIONS
    Day Two – YOUR PROS & CONS OF BLOGGING LIST
    Day Three – THE BOOKS OF 2013 YOU ARE SAD YOU MISSED
    Day Four – THE BOOKS OF 2014 YOU WON’T MISS
    Day Five – WORST BOOK OF 2013
    Day Six – BEST BOOK OF 2013
    Day Seven – TOP TEN BOOK BLOGGER PET PEEVES
    Day Eight – YOUR FAVORITE BOOK BLOGGER MOMENT
    Day Nine – CONS OR EVENTS YOU HOPE TO ATTEND
    Day Ten – NEW THINGS YOU WILL BE DOING THIS YEAR
    Day Eleven – TBR SHELF: HOW MANY?
    Day Twelve – HOW DO YOU PLAN ON GETTING MORE FOLLOWERS THIS YEAR?
    Day Thirteen – SHARE A BLOGGER HORROR STORY
    Day Fourteen – BLOGGING WISH LIST OF 2014

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    Increasing Followers

    While I have no set goals to do things here on the blog to expand my blog’s readership, I have a sort of list of things that I imagine might work if someone was looking to increase readership.

    1. Be more social.

    Interacting with others in the community, making blogger friends and putting yourself out there on sites like Twitter can help to increase visitors to your blog, likes on your Facebook page, followers on Twitter. People who get to know you on social media will want to check out who you are and what you have to say.

    2. Visit more blogs.

    While establishing and maintaining your own blog can take a lot of time, visiting other blogs, leaving insightful comments may increase the number of visitors to your own blog and followers on other social media platforms. You might get a visit or follow from any one of the blogs you comment on regularly. Or, if your comment is interesting or insightful, you might get a visit from another commentator or blog stalker who then opts to follow.

    3. Participate in an event or meme.

    Participating in a challenge, such as this one, a blogging event such as Bloggiesta, Armchair BEA or the YA Crush Tourney, being a part of a blog tour to help promote an author’s book, or joining a weekly meme can help to get you noticed and thus increase your following. The more you get out there, the more likely your presence will become known in the community and the more likely your readership will increase.

    Memes such as Parajunkee’s Feature & Follow Friday is a sure way to gain more followers on the platform of your choice.

    4. Host a giveaway with a follow requirement.

    While this is not something I opt to do, hosting a giveaway that requests or demands a follow on the blog, on Twitter, Bloglovin’ or other site will help to boost those follow numbers.

    Note, however, that by asking for a follow option in a giveaway may result in an unfollow post-giveaway.

    5. Be yourself. Be original.

    The best way to make your blog stand out from the crowd is to be yourself. By being yourself you’re giving something new to the community – YOU. While blasts and other copy/paste posts can help to increase traffic or get you noticed, one of the best ways to develop a following is by being yourself and attracting readers who like what you have to say.

    It might not be the quickest way to increase those numbers, but the people who opt to follow you because they’re interested in what you’ve got going on are those who will come back again and again, keeping your site traffic steady.

    6. Blog consistently.

    While you don’t have to blog daily, or even every other day, posting something regularly on your blog is important to not only keep your readers, but to pique the interest of new readers. If your blog goes dark for periods of time, at random, your existing readers will begin to drop off, and potential new readers won’t bother to follow knowing that they won’t know whether or not there will be new content to devour.

    With the multitude of book blogs out there vying for attention, being fairly consistent with your posting schedule is important.

    7. Mix things up.

    If you’re looking to attract more readers than the ones you currently have, find something new to post about every once in awhile. Whether you decide to create a new feature to attract new readers, post about something atypical but not too different from what you normally blog about, or review a book from a completely different genre than you normally read, variety can help to attract new followers.

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    While there are any number of ways to increase followers, some easier than others, some more time consuming than others, some with no guarantees, sticking around, doing what you do, making friends, and being a part of the community is the best way to develop a readership.

    From my observations over the past 3+ years I’ve found that…

    Speaking in your own voice, keeping your reviews honest, being social and posting (almost) daily, creating your own features/memes, participating in popular memes, and hosting the occasional giveaway is a combination that works well for many bloggers.

    While adding in a touch of snark, or more than a touch, works well for some bloggers, if it’s not who you are – if it’s fake snark – then it will backfire. Do not fake the snark to attract followers. It will not go over well.

    And while posting about drama for the sake of creating drama might also work well in the short term when it comes to gaining followers, being known as the inciter of drama may eventually have the opposite effect. If sighs, eye rolls and murmurs of “he/she is at it again” aren’t what you’re looking for from your former followers, you might want to try a different approach.

    I am not an expert, though. Not by far. My readership took a bit of a downturn when I became more antisocial this past year. At least in terms of site visits. I’m not sure if its affected things elsewhere as I don’t really track those things.

    But I do know that when I decided to build my readership and attempt to gain followers back in 2010 through early 2011, I aimed for being consistent, being myself, being honest and sharing my love of books with anyone and everyone who’d listen. There was no meteoric rise. I am mid-tier blog – at least I think I am. Maybe by today’s standards I’m small. And that’s okay too.

    But I have a few readers, and I love when they leave comments. And I love interacting with others on Twitter and Facebook during those few moments when I come out of my shell.

    But that’s just me…

    What about you?

    Do you have any tips or tricks to gain more followers that you’d like to share? Has your approach to blogging been successful in terms of gaining followers?

    Do you have a plan for 2014 on how to gain more followers or are you just kind of hoping that if you keep doing what you’re doing they will come?

    Or, are you like me in that you have no plan, you’re blogging for you and while you love having and gaining followers, you’re not thinking up ways to get more?

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    Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge: Day 11 – TBR Shelf: How Many?

    Book Blogger NY Challenge

    Today is Day 11 of Parajunkee’s Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge. And today’s topic is one that makes me feel completely and totally mortified.

    Yep. My TBR Pile.

    And it really is a pile as I don’t have bookshelves. I have two book towers which contain most of my physical TBR books. The majority of the rest are in a Barnes & Noble tote sitting next to them. The remainder are on my nightstand or on my coffee table.

    It’s really not that many. Somewhere in the vicinity of 100. My eReader on the other hand…

    Anyway…

    For those of you who might want to participate but haven’t yet heard about this challenge, just click on the link above for more details. But here is the schedule of posts…

    Day One – YOUR BLOGGER RESOLUTIONS
    Day Two – YOUR PROS & CONS OF BLOGGING LIST
    Day Three – THE BOOKS OF 2013 YOU ARE SAD YOU MISSED
    Day Four – THE BOOKS OF 2014 YOU WON’T MISS
    Day Five – WORST BOOK OF 2013
    Day Six – BEST BOOK OF 2013
    Day Seven – TOP TEN BOOK BLOGGER PET PEEVES
    Day Eight – YOUR FAVORITE BOOK BLOGGER MOMENT
    Day Nine – CONS OR EVENTS YOU HOPE TO ATTEND
    Day Ten – NEW THINGS YOU WILL BE DOING THIS YEAR
    Day Eleven – TBR SHELF: HOW MANY?
    Day Twelve – HOW DO YOU PLAN ON GETTING MORE FOLLOWERS THIS YEAR?
    Day Thirteen – SHARE A BLOGGER HORROR STORY
    Day Fourteen – BLOGGING WISH LIST OF 2014

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    My TBR Pile

    If I were to go by the number of “want to read” books on Goodreads – and no, I haven’t added all the books I want to read to my Goodreads shelves – the count is 1,439.

    This number is more than I could read in a lifetime if you factor in the number of new adds to the pile each year versus the number of books read per year.

    If I were to go by just the physical ARCs and other finished copies of books I bought or received for review, the total is just about 100.

    This number is manageable. And if I were to decide to just plow through the stack of physical books I have, never pick up an eBook and not add any new books to the pile, I could tackle this in one year.

    If I were to instead list as my TBR books the eBooks received for review that currently remain unread, that number would be around 60.

    It might be actually a little bit less. While I haven’t reviewed a much higher number of my eARCs, I have read them – or finished versions of books I received as galleys.

    If my TBR pile were based on the number of purchased eBooks I have on my Kindle that number would be approximately 1,100. Some of this number may include eNovellas, but not too many. While I have upwards of 1,700 books on my Kindle around 600 of those books are books I’ve already read.

    I often wonder, based on the number of books I purchase each month, if I will ever get the opportunity to read all the books I own. Or whether I’ll want to read them all when I actually have the time to do so.

    So…

    While there is some overlap as between my Goodreads shelf, my physical books and my unread eBooks and ARCs, the reality is that there are far more books that I want to read than those I either own or have wish listed. The real number is probably somewhere closer to 2,500, not including books planned for publication beyond spring 2014.

    *GULP*

    The ideal number of books for me to read in 2014 would be 200. The actual number, which would include re-reads, is probably going to be closer to 120.

    And so I think for the sake of coming up with a number that is not all sorts of scary for this post I’m going to say that my TBR pile/shelf in 2014 is that totally manageable number 120, even if the reality is so much worse.

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    But what about you?

    Do you create a TBR Shelf or Pile based upon the books you want to read “someday” or is your shelf more grounded in reality based upon the books you plan on reading someday soon?

    Do you think of your TBR pile/shelf as those books you own and plan on reading? Or do you include books you wish to read, books that might not have yet been released, when coming up with a TBR total?

    Is your TBR pile something you consider manageable or is it something that, when you think about it, really think about it, scares the heck out of you?

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    Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge: Day 10 – New Things I’ll Be Doing This Year

    Book Blogger NY Challenge

    Today is Day 10 of Parajunkee’s Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge. And Oh. My. Goodness. I have no clue how to tackle this challenge. New things? After 3+ years I’m starting to wonder if I’ve reached the end of my creativity/ideas/willingness to expand. Hmm… this is definitely going to take some thinking.

    While I’ll be doing some different stuff in 2014, I’m not sure how new it will be. And I’m not sure how much of the “different” stuff pertains to blogging. *sigh*

    Anyway…

    For those of you who might want to participate but haven’t yet heard about this challenge, just click on the link above for more details. But here is the schedule of posts…

    Day One – YOUR BLOGGER RESOLUTIONS
    Day Two – YOUR PROS & CONS OF BLOGGING LIST
    Day Three – THE BOOKS OF 2013 YOU ARE SAD YOU MISSED
    Day Four – THE BOOKS OF 2014 YOU WON’T MISS
    Day Five – WORST BOOK OF 2013
    Day Six – BEST BOOK OF 2013
    Day Seven – TOP TEN BOOK BLOGGER PET PEEVES
    Day Eight – YOUR FAVORITE BOOK BLOGGER MOMENT
    Day Nine – CONS OR EVENTS YOU HOPE TO ATTEND
    Day Ten – NEW THINGS YOU WILL BE DOING THIS YEAR
    Day Eleven – TBR SHELF: HOW MANY?
    Day Twelve – HOW DO YOU PLAN ON GETTING MORE FOLLOWERS THIS YEAR?
    Day Thirteen – SHARE A BLOGGER HORROR STORY
    Day Fourteen – BLOGGING WISH LIST OF 2014

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    New Things for 2014

    I’m having such a tough time with today’s challenge. The concept of “new” escapes me at the moment. I suppose you could say participating in Parajunkee’s challenge is a new thing, but participating in challenges in general is not.

    I don’t think I’m in a creative slump, per se. But I’m not entirely sure what “new” things I want to try out on the blog. I’ve been meme-free here on the blog since its inception and I don’t wish to start doing memes here in 2014 as I am not a consistent participant when I do try them out on The Annex.

    I’ve started a “new” challenge in 2014, but as I’ve hosted challenges before, it’s once again not a new concept. I thought of joining in a new challenge hosted by someone else, but I’m not particularly great at keeping up with those so I want to stick with just the ones I’m doing and the YA Contemps Challenge.

    I’ve thrown around the idea of getting a new blog design. But that’s DEFINITELY not something new for me. I’ve been changing my various blogs’ designs fairly regularly over the past few years. So a new design is only new in its design, not in the way of the novelty of the idea.

    Oooh, but as I drifted off for a moment, getting sidetracked by Twitter and the sound of the dryer… yes I’m easily distracted these days… I HAVE come up with something new for 2014.

    A New Feature

    But it’s something I think I’ll be doing on The Annex each week. Not here on Fiktshun. And I’m going to call it…

    “My Favorite Quote from…”

    I will pick a favorite quote from my current read and then proceed to ramble all about why it’s my favorite quote. It might just help me wrangle my thoughts and actually write a review. I typically stick my favorite quote into the bottom of a review, but I don’t go into much in the way of explaining why it’s a favorite. If I do this weekly, semi-weekly feature I can tell all.

    And while I’m about 100% certain this idea sounds completely lame – I’m not even going to test it out on my sounding board, a.k.a. Jaime – it sounds like a ton of fun and a great way for me to discuss my current read. As I just quickly searched Google I don’t think anyone has this as a feature, so I say it’s a go.

    But I think that might be it in the way of “new” ideas at the moment. I often come up with these half-baked ideas that fail (Fiktshun After Dark) or that require me to put in too much time (Book Buzz, The Trailers, The Extras, The Teasers, The Crush List), or that require me to be too social (Why YA?, Quarter Talk, Boys on the Pile).

    Ideas spring up in the moment and I run with them like crazy. Anything that I sit with for too long will automatically get scrapped. But if I try to execute more than one new idea at a time, they are all guaranteed to fail. Epically. So I’m going to just stick with one new idea and hope it works out. For a little while at least.

    If I find a new way to be social or a new event to participate in, then I’m going to try and go for it this year. I’ve been feeling so out of touch this past year due to a rather difficult start to 2013. And while I’ve been happy writing up my posts here on the blog, I kind of feel like I need to do more.

    We shall see.

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    By stalking a few of today’s posts for this challenge, I’m hoping I’ll stumble upon a great new online event or challenge to participate in. I’m curious to see how everyone else will be making a change on their blogs.

    And I’m curious to see if everyone is just as stumped as I am about “new” ideas and things for 2014.

    While “they” say that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, same-old same-old can get boring. So I’m all about change. I’m all about finding new ways to get excited about books, to be entertaining, to be interesting.

    I’m not entirely sure that I succeed. But I love to try.

    But what about you?

    Without giving away any secrets about upcoming changes to your blog that you might not want copied, are there any new and exciting things happening on your blog in 2014?

    Are you a little bit stumped when it comes to finding new ideas for the blog like I am? And do you feel like even if it’s new to you, it’s not really new, so you don’t feel right calling it “new” for the purposes of this challenge?

    Or is 2014 the year of great and exciting changes for you as a blogger? Will you have a new design, a new format, a new co-blogger, a new genre to read?

    What’s new for you in 2014? Leave a comment. I’d love to know!

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    Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge: Day 9 – Cons or Events I Hope to Attend

    Book Blogger NY Challenge

    Today is Day 9 of Parajunkee’s Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge. And I’m so excited that today’s challenge is super easy. Finally. Because tomorrow’s challenge is one I have no clue about, Day 11 is totally embarrassing, Day 12 does not apply, Day 13 I’m dreading with a passion, and Day 14 has me totally stumped.

    Anyway…

    For those of you who might want to participate but haven’t yet heard about this challenge, just click on the link above for more details. But here is the schedule of posts…

    Day One – YOUR BLOGGER RESOLUTIONS
    Day Two – YOUR PROS & CONS OF BLOGGING LIST
    Day Three – THE BOOKS OF 2013 YOU ARE SAD YOU MISSED
    Day Four – THE BOOKS OF 2014 YOU WON’T MISS
    Day Five – WORST BOOK OF 2013
    Day Six – BEST BOOK OF 2013
    Day Seven – TOP TEN BOOK BLOGGER PET PEEVES
    Day Eight – YOUR FAVORITE BOOK BLOGGER MOMENT
    Day Nine – CONS OR EVENTS YOU HOPE TO ATTEND
    Day Ten – NEW THINGS YOU WILL BE DOING THIS YEAR
    Day Eleven – TBR SHELF: HOW MANY?
    Day Twelve – HOW DO YOU PLAN ON GETTING MORE FOLLOWERS THIS YEAR?
    Day Thirteen – SHARE A BLOGGER HORROR STORY
    Day Fourteen – BLOGGING WISH LIST OF 2014

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    2014 Cons/Events Wishlist

    I’m not big on traveling. I like where I live, I like my home, I like my pillow and blankets. I don’t sleep well – or rather at all – in hotels. And I have a terrible fear of bed bugs.

    That being said, there are a couple of events I hope to attend in my lifetime, and one event I plan on attending this year… though I really should buy that plane ticket. I have a feeling the price is rising daily.

    RT2014

    This May I’ll be heading to New Orleans to attend the RT Booklovers Convention. And not just for a day or two. I’m going for the whole thing.

    I’ve already paid for the conference and have my hotel reservation booked. I just need to get that plane ticket using miles from Amex.

    Since I had a short story independently published and had self-published a couple this past year I get to attend as a writer/author. And apparently, as such, I am listed on their page of authors – at least I think that’s me – which I only now just discovered when screencapping the homepage for the site. Yikes! (Only 6 names up from the very amazing Kresley Cole. How freaking cool is that?!?)

    Is-that-me

    Attending one of the days of RT2011 when it was in Los Angeles was the highlight of that year. I loved listening to the writers on the panels talk about their craft. It made me want to write again. It was inspiring. It was informative. And I hope the same will be true again. Even if I’ll likely be a sleep-deprived zombie.

    At least this time I’ll have a room nearby to deposit the many books I may acquire and won’t miss out on all the events on Teen Day. And maybe this year I’ll be so bold as to admit that I am the blogger behind Fiktshun and won’t skulk around, trying to blend in.

    I’m not sure how many nighttime events I’ll attend at the con, as I’m just not that social and my wardrobe doesn’t stretch much past t-shirt and jeans. But we shall see.

    But I am super excited about going, possibly meeting a few bloggers I’ve only “spoken” to on Twitter and saying, “Hi!” to one or two authors I fan over.

    But as far as other cons and events?

    While I do hope to attend BEA some year, it’s too close in time to RT for me to reasonably expect to attend and recover from both this year. So it’s just going to be RT for me in 2014. Though maybe I’ll be able to go to the L.A. Festival of Books in April or head north to attend one of the signings that Jaime of Two Chicks on Books or Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads attends.

    We shall see…

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    I really should try to attend more bookish events. I really should try to be more social. But I haven’t quite conquered my fear of meeting authors I adore. And I’m sure I’d act just as ridiculous in front of blogger superstars like Parajunkee.

    But what about you?

    Are you going to head to NOLA to attend the RT Convention? Will you be heading to NYC for BEA or waiting until it moves to Chicago in 2015?

    Are there any smaller events that you hope to attend over the course of the year, like ALA?

    Or will you be sitting in the Armchair come May and June, checking the timeline for the Instagrams?

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    Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge: Day 8 – My Favorite Book Blogger Moment

    Book Blogger NY Challenge

    Today is Day 8 of Parajunkee’s Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge. And we’re tasked with naming our favorite book blogger moment. Well, that’s so not easy for me as I’ve been fortunate enough to have quite a few favorite moments. Some of which were of the epic, “No freaking way!” variety.

    Anyway…

    For those of you who might want to participate but haven’t yet heard about this challenge, just click on the link above for more details. But here is the schedule of posts…

    Day One – YOUR BLOGGER RESOLUTIONS
    Day Two – YOUR PROS & CONS OF BLOGGING LIST
    Day Three – THE BOOKS OF 2013 YOU ARE SAD YOU MISSED
    Day Four – THE BOOKS OF 2014 YOU WON’T MISS
    Day Five – WORST BOOK OF 2013
    Day Six – BEST BOOK OF 2013
    Day Seven – TOP TEN BOOK BLOGGER PET PEEVES
    Day Eight – YOUR FAVORITE BOOK BLOGGER MOMENT
    Day Nine – CONS OR EVENTS YOU HOPE TO ATTEND
    Day Ten – NEW THINGS YOU WILL BE DOING THIS YEAR
    Day Eleven – TBR SHELF: HOW MANY?
    Day Twelve – HOW DO YOU PLAN ON GETTING MORE FOLLOWERS THIS YEAR?
    Day Thirteen – SHARE A BLOGGER HORROR STORY
    Day Fourteen – BLOGGING WISH LIST OF 2014

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    Favorite Book Blogger Moment

    As with practically every other post I’ve ever written that demands I choose just one (or just ten) I don’t think I can simply choose one moment as a favorite.

    I have had a lot of favorite moments as a book blogger. All of which I’m thankful for.

    There was that moment when…

    … I got the chance to beta read Amanda Hocking’s TORN and because of that became a book blogger.

    … I got my very first review request and was thanked for my honest feedback by the author.

    … I was approved for my very first book on NetGalley.

    … I got my first follower on Twitter, the blog, Facebook.

    … I received my first real comment on the blog.

    … A favorite author tweeted my review when I’d only been blogging for a short while.

    … A Book Watch post of mine ended up getting spotlighted in Barnes & Noble’s newsletter and my post traffic went from 30 visits to over 800 one day.

    … I was followed by an author I’d admired for ages.

    … I was told my review was blurbed in a book.

    … I received my very first ARC for review in the mail.

    … I made my very first friend in the blogging community. (Hi Jaime!)

    … I made it off the waiting list at Parajunkee Design and a new addiction was born.

    … I was invited to be on a blog tour.

    … GFC was bumped from WP and I got my sanity back.

    … I met an author at a signing and a) they knew who I was and b) they read and liked my review.

    … I reached my first year blogoversary.

    … I felt like I was accepted as part of this community.

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    While I’ve had a few blogoversaries by now, I have a few more visitors to my site than I did way back when, I “talk” with a few more authors and bloggers, have received a few more review books and have been invited to participate on a few more tours, they are all favorite moments of mine.

    Each and every positive moment I’ve had as a blogger is a moment I appreciate and am thankful for. So there’s just no way I can single one out, even if some, more than others, cause my jaw to drop or make me grin from ear to ear for a long, long while.

    But what about you?

    Do you have a single defining moment that stands out as a favorite? Or do you have so many favorites you couldn’t possibly choose just one?

    Is a favorite moment of yours one in which an author thanked you for your review? Stopped by and left a comment? Followed you on Twitter? Asked you to beta read their upcoming book?

    Or does your favorite moment have to do with the friends you’ve made, the events you’ve participated in, the nominations you received, the milestones you reached on the blog?

    Was your favorite moment something epic or was it just one of a hundred other wonderful moments that make book blogging rewarding?

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    Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge: Day 7 – My Top Ten Book Blogger Pet Peeves

    Book Blogger NY Challenge

    Today is Day 7 of Parajunkee’s Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge. And I am so glad to be done with the Worst and Best posts. As I have so many peeves, many of them are applicable to myself – yes I totally annoy myself – choosing just ten iss the biggest challenge today.

    But I’m going to try.

    Anyway…

    For those of you who might want to participate but haven’t yet heard about this challenge, just click on the link above for more details. But here is the schedule of posts…

    Day One – YOUR BLOGGER RESOLUTIONS
    Day Two – YOUR PROS & CONS OF BLOGGING LIST
    Day Three – THE BOOKS OF 2013 YOU ARE SAD YOU MISSED
    Day Four – THE BOOKS OF 2014 YOU WON’T MISS
    Day Five – WORST BOOK OF 2013
    Day Six – BEST BOOK OF 2013
    Day Seven – TOP TEN BOOK BLOGGER PET PEEVES
    Day Eight – YOUR FAVORITE BOOK BLOGGER MOMENT
    Day Nine – CONS OR EVENTS YOU HOPE TO ATTEND
    Day Ten – NEW THINGS YOU WILL BE DOING THIS YEAR
    Day Eleven – TBR SHELF: HOW MANY?
    Day Twelve – HOW DO YOU PLAN ON GETTING MORE FOLLOWERS THIS YEAR?
    Day Thirteen – SHARE A BLOGGER HORROR STORY
    Day Fourteen – BLOGGING WISH LIST OF 2014

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    “10” Book Blogger Pet Peeves

    I think I’m going to have to just list these in random order… or maybe order them after I’ve rambled about them because I’m not sure, off-hand, which peeves bother me more than others. And I’m totally sure I’ll forget a million and one peeves when creating this list. I know, I know, it’s supposed to be ten, but seriously? Just ten? I can’t just list ten. But I’ll try to keep to fewer than twenty peeves.

    And as I have so many, I thought I’d break them into categories. Starting with…

    Twitter Peeves

    Peeve #1

    The “Hey Stranger, tweet my post and help me promote my book/giveaway/blog” tweet from someone who you don’t know and who doesn’t even follow you.

    Peeve #2

    The one-second follow from someone who wants to appear in your interactions list, get noticed, get followed but has no intention of interacting with you beyond the one second they followed and unfollowed you. (Yes I’m talking to you minor one episode TVD actor whose name I can’t remember. Guess your strategy didn’t work.)

    Peeve #3

    The incessantly repetitive tweeter. I am all for promotion. But tweeting the same tweet multiple times within an hour, each hour, for several hours or @’ing every single blogger under the sun who might or might not be interested in said post/book/promotion irks me to no end. Spread out those tweets!

    Peeve #4

    The negative DM’er. A tweeter you might have once upon a time had a convo with who decides to reach back out via DM to tell you that your site loads slowly, your sidebar is too cluttered, you haven’t hosted enough giveaways, your posts have been lame as of late, or you just all around suck. Love ya too!

    Email Peeves

    Peeve #1 (Yes I’m restarting the count, it’s a different category. Hmm, maybe I should list this renumbering as a peeve. It’s totally cheating.)

    The “Dear Blogger” emails.  If you’ve found my email it isn’t a huge leap to discover my name – or at the very least be able to call me by my blog name.

    Peeve #2

    The “I know you’re interested in” emails for things I specifically state I’m not interested in.

    Peeve #3

    The emails sent to a publicly cc’ed group, that are not sent en masse by a publisher or author whose list you want to be on, by someone you don’t know requesting something of you involving hours of your time. Five seconds of their time to create a personalized email isn’t too much to ask. Is it? Yes it makes me feel like a number. And yes I don’t like the lack of confidentiality in having my email address sent out to a large group of people I don’t know.

    Peeve #4

    The “friendly suggestion” emails. Emails from people you don’t know offering you suggestions on how you might make your blog better or more like some other better, more popular, blog. And no, I’m not talking about email from people selling services. I’m all for having errors pointed out, but suggestions are preferred from people I know or people I ask for advice.

    Comment Peeves

    Okay, so I only have just one as I love comments and I rarely get troll-ish ones.

    Peeve #1 (Ugh. There I go with that renumbering again. Hope I remember to list this as a peeve later on.)

    The generic copy/paste “meme comment” from someone who a) didn’t actually read your post and b) only wants to promote their post link and have you visit their site. If I’m not mistaken memes are about meeting other bloggers, discovering new blogs, and reciprocating site visits with at least semi-thoughtful comments.

    Blog Peeves

    This is a broad category that encompasses just about everything about blogging that peeves me. As it has the potential to be super long I promise to keep the list to ten or fewer.

    Peeve #1 (Last restart for the numbering. Promise.)

    Captcha/recaptcha. I’m old. Reading has made my eyesight that much worse. I can’t read tiny numbers in blurry photos. I’m not gonna. Get rid of the captcha.

    Peeve #2

    The overly intrusive comment form. No I’m not going to give you my DOB, driver’s license number, bank account info just so I can leave a comment.

    Peeve #3

    Disastrous coding. Copy/pasting text into Blogger (and sometimes WordPress) does not always mean it’s going to take on the attributes of your blog’s fonts. Seeing those wacky fonts, oddly highlighted paragraphs, unusual spacing makes me cringe and wonder how much said blogger loves their blog.

    Peeve #4

    Sound widgets. I know we all love, love, love that ever-updating countdown widget for Cassandra Clare’s books. But the whistling wind sound EFX have kept me from visiting many a site. I can’t always remember to keep my comp on mute when stalking the blogs at 3 a.m.

    Peeve #5

    The “it’s all about the ads” blogs. A few ads in sidebars, maybe a couple banner ads at top and bottom of a blog are okay. But flash ads that declare their presence in headers, sidebars, posts, footers drive me loopy. It’s the very reason I don’t visit standard websites all that often. And it’s why I spend more time hiding from Goodreads than I used to.

    Peeve #6

    Hey, that blog’s got so many moves it must have watched Karsten Knight’s instructional dance video. Animated gifs in posts – fun. Animated gifs in posts, in sidebars, flash ads, multiple scrolling widgets, dozens of countdown widgets counting down, moving slideshows in posts, featured image/post slideshows at the top of posts. Not so fun. If I have to take a seasick pill to visit a blog I’ll probably refrain. Or if by spinning in circles a blog looks static, then it’s probably too much movement for me. I can’t spin and read.

    Peeve #7

    The “it’s all about me” blogger. If you’re talking, well it must be about them and how dare you. If you’re not talking about them then you should be. If you think you’re equal, you’re not. If you think you had an original idea, well they had it first. If you want it to be about you, well you can’t because it’s all about them. Remember they are the special flower and should be treated as such. You’re just the compost that enables them to thrive.

    Peeve #8

    The unread rater. I don’t mean those who rate books they DNF. Or those who give negative ratings for books by authors who’ve shown less than stellar behavior toward bloggers. I’m talking about those who rate books on Goodreads they haven’t read, or could possibly have read, as the book isn’t out yet and they didn’t beta read it. At first I am always curious – and slightly jealous – thinking someone got an early read and then am left in a state of confusion when I realize that no, they haven’t read it, they just felt it deserved a rating – whether positive or negative. Based on what? On what?

    Peeve #9

    Overly obsessive perfectionist bloggers and blog tour promoters who are ridiculously strict with details and timelines and will send email after email to follow up on unanswered questions. Oh this sounds like me! Wait, it is me. Only me.

    Ugh.

    Peeve #10 (And I think this is my biggest peeve.)

    People who make the blanket statement that book bloggers blog for the free books.

    Have these people tried blogging about books before? Have they counted up the hours it takes to blog and determined how much money they could have made working for minimum wage and how many books they could have purchased with their after tax dollars earned from that job?

    Have they seen how much it can cost to blog about books – between design, hosting, domain names, giveaways, postage, mailing supplies?

    Have they heard about the hidden cost of being a book blogger – that bloggers who blog about books tend to buy way more books than they would have if they didn’t blog at all?

    No. I don’t think they did.

    And to quote the not-so-immortal words of Shawn and Gus…

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    Yeah… that tenth peeve sent me a little over the edge. Still, I love that “Psych” montage. Anyway…

    Okay, so I didn’t list as one of my peeves those bloggers who can’t stick to “10” in a top ten post. It really does drive me cray-cray. But only when I do it, though.

    And while I could rattle off another ten, twenty, thirty, one hundred peeves I have, I think for your sake and mine (mostly mine) I’ll stop. Otherwise I might start to seem a bit difficult, persnickety, cantankerous, bitchy.

    Besides, I think the peeves I listed are a fair representation of things that bother me.

    But what about you?

    What are your book blogger pet peeves? Do you have any? Do you have many?

    What is your biggest peeve? What things can you just let slide off your back?

    If you’re not a book blogger, but a book blog reader, what are your peeves about the blogs and bloggers you come across?

    Are any of my peeves similar to or the same as your own? Or are they more focused on blogger posts – all blasts, blitzes, memes or other unoriginal content, giveaways galore with the mandatory follow, posts only meant to drive up traffic and stats?

    Or are your peeves more generic, like those who misuse piqued/peaked/peeked, those who spell a while incorrectly as awhile (me, me, me!), those who aren’t consistent with their serial commas?

    Or is it all good and the only thing that peeves you is the term “pet peeve”?

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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.

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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.