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Two Year Blogoversary

    Blogoversary Guest Posts, Wrap Up + Giveaway III

    Well, it’s the final day of my blogoversary celebration. And it definitely feels like I’m closer to my third year of blogging than my second. Wow, November seems like a really, really long month.

    And while I am a little sad that it’s over, I’m glad to get back to posting as usual this week. Minus a review or two while NaNoWriMo continues to kick me.

    It was so amazing to have so many bloggers on the blog this past ten days to share their thoughts about blogging and to share their wisdom. Each of the bloggers has been at this for over a year, several for longer than two, and I am so thankful each and every one of them is a part of this community.

    It’s nice to know that there are others out there going through exactly what I am. That while I do this thing all by my lonesome attached to the internet by a keyboard or two, I’m not really alone. Because there are thousands of other amazing bloggers doing exactly the same thing. Pouring their thoughts out onto the digital page for the world to see.

    Each of us struggling to formulate sentences that make sense, that captivate, that draw readers to our page again and again. Each of us hoping that our voice stands out in the crowd, if not every day, then at least once. And each of us tackling the hard work, pushing past the drama and overcoming the doubt that comes along with the excitement, thrills and moments of unadulterated joy that are all very much a part of being a book blogger.

    I am still so shocked that I’ve managed to do this thing for two years, just about day in and day out. I am still surprised to see that I’ve published over 1,000 posts on this blog. I’m always puzzled by the fact that there are actually people that want to follow me on Twitter aside from spammers, marketers or auto-followers. And I can’t believe that while I don’t have the best ranking, consistent traffic or huge following, that there are these wonderful readers that do visit often, that leave a comment, that make me grin from ear to ear, and that make every moment worth it.

    While the landscape has changed over the past two years – the number of blogs has grown, the drama has increased tenfold, the tension has risen, several blogs I started out with are no more, several bloggers have shifted their focus to writing, and each year new debut authors replace the previous year’s group – there are still those bloggers going strong that I first met when I started out. Those blogs that existed long before mine did are still run by bloggers who are icons and pillars of this community. And the authors I knew of and loved before I became a book blogger are ones that I adore even more two years down the road – a few of them are ones I’ve actually had the courage to communicate with.

    Yes, that still makes me giddy.

    And those bloggers I looked up to for their wisdom and guidance when I barely knew what CSS, HTML, Widget and Sidebar even meant, are still there to offer their expertise – Pam of Bookalicious, who seems to know everything about everything, Rachel of Parajunkee’s View, whose weekly advice about blogging I stalk regularly, Lisa of A Life Bound by Books whose professionalism I admire greatly and who does a tremendous job of showcasing the books and authors she adores, and Alex of Electrifying Reviews, who manages to consistently blog, be just as passionate about as ever about books and who seems to juggle more than anyone I know.

    And before I wrap up my part of this post and pass my blog along to the two amazing bloggers I have sharing their wisdom today, I have just one final piece of advice to share.

    Make friends with Google.

    That’s right. Google. When I first started out I knew no one. I was incredibly shy – I still am – and I would never have thought to ask for guidance from anyone. So I made friends with Google. I typed in those questions I needed answers to. And Google provided answers. Most of the time.

    When I wanted to make a grab button for my post, Google gave me links to a few sites that showed me how. When I wanted to learn how to turn my image into a favicon, Google was there to give me a favicon generator.

    When I needed guidance on how to manually create a colored text box around my descriptions? Yep, you guessed it. Google. Everything I learned during my first year of blogging I learned from searching for answers on Google. And much of what I learn today comes from there too. Though I couldn’t have transitioned my blog from Blogger to WordPress without Parajunkee’s step-by-step instructions.

    There are amazing videos that give visual demonstrations if you need answers. If you want to understand the difference between <p style> and <br /> and &nbsp, just search for it. It’s all there. Laid out in an easy to understand way by people much more skilled than I will ever be. Which is why I stalk those forums and tech blogs and instructional videos on a weekly basis.

    And while it’s not always quick or easy to find an answer, the answer is out there.

    Definitely don’t be afraid to ask for help from others in the blogging community. We are a helpful bunch. But if you don’t want to wait… I hate waiting… sometimes you can find a quick fix on Google.

    Anyway…. with that said, let me now turn the blog over to my final two guests.

    Alaiel of Librarian Mouse

    On how to keep up and don’t forget yourself in the middle

    We bloggers all know that we LOVE ARCs or eARCs, right? It’s one of the perks of being book bloggers and usually, when we already have an audience whom to share with, we reach out to publishers/authors and ask for that book we can’t wait to read.

    We might even get access to NetGalley -that frenemy of mine…- and go crazy (crazy, I’m telling you) and start requesting so many eARCs that soon we will find ourselves surrounded and overwhelmed by so many books. And then you might start to panic a little bit. And then stress out. And finally hyperventilate.

    So, my advice (because I’ve been there) is that you take a deep breath, relax and decide to be a little more picky. Yes, that’s right. Before requesting an ARC ask yourself if you really want it and if so ask yourself if you will be able to read it before publication date. If the answer is no then you are doing a favor to no one and you will, most likely, take someone else’s chance of reading and writing a review about it.

    The most important thing is: be yourself. Read the books you like, the books that hold (or you think might hold) a meaning to you, that might have an adventure you could love. And don’t forget to read and review the books that are on your TBR pile ’cause, let’s be honest, we always have a pile… and it never ends!

    FIND ALAIEL…

    TWITTER, FACEBOOK, LIBRARIAN MOUSE, GOODREADS, PINTEREST

    NetGalley is a frenemy of mine too! But I totally agree that keeping the requests to a minimum alleviates much of the stress! It’s so easy to try for every book you might think you want. But unless you are a fast reader or have some extra time to power through every book you’ve requested, being picky is key.

    Thank you so much, Alaiel for sharing your advice! And yes, those TBR piles are endless!

    For a little background…

    I am pretty sure I first met Alaiel during Armchair BEA 2011. Her blog’s name was so distinctive that it stood out to me. I mean, how cool is the name Librarian Mouse!?!

    But I got to know Alaiel much better through email and during the SSRC. I was so thrilled that she decided to participate in the event and even more stoked that she read and loved the books by one of my favorite authors of all time… the always amazing Rachel Vincent.

    Alaiel is so super nice and I love that she reads and blogs about the books she wants to, not just the popular books that bring high traffic to her blog. If you haven’t met her or her lovely blog yet, be sure to click on the links above. She is definitely someone worth getting to know in the blogosphere.

    Julie of My 5 Monkeys

    Julie has offered to share a post she had on her blog about the positive aspects of blogging. I’ve excerpted a portion of that post, but if you’d like to read it in its entirety, CLICK HERE.

    Well I think that with blogging comes great responsibility. I have had some wonderful invitations that I never would have had the opportunity without blogging. I have made some wonderful friends in real life that I would never have made. I think that I am more social and willing to help someone in need….

    I am more willing to share my books with total strangers within the blogging world. I have also made some amazing friends that its nice to talk to about a good book or bad book.

    I think that there are times that I want to stop blogging and just enjoy reading books. But I also think that their support and sharing of books, helps me get through all those times.

    FIND JULIE…

    TWITTER, FACEBOOK, MY 5 MONKEYS

    There are so many amazing opportunities that open up to book bloggers. I wish I had the chance to attend all the wonderful signings, author events and conferences!

    But I can’t agree with you more about the friendships. Like you I’ve become much more social than I ever was before. And having friends in the community makes it easier to keep going when you do want to stop blogging and just read those books on the pile.

    Thank you so much, Julie, for sharing your blogging experience and wisdom. You have an amazing blog and the fact that you can keep up your blogging and take care of your five “monkeys” is such an inspiration.

    For a little background…

    I think I first met Julie on Twitter. She was chatting with Jaime of Two Chicks On Books, I believe. But I’d actually known of Julie long before we first spoke. Because I’d seen her blog’s design on the Parajunkee Design website during the almost six months I stalked that blog before getting the courage up to add my name to the waiting list. And I clicked the link to visit her site more than a few times.

    Her blog was so pretty and whimsical. But I was awed by the fact that it seemed as if she’d been blogging forever. Which she has been and still is. And I’m so glad that she has decided to remain a part of this bookish community. Because she is one of the nicest bloggers I know of online. And even though I don’t know Julie well, I do know that she’s incredibly helpful, is so kind and supportive and someone whose absence from this community would leave a pretty huge hole.

    So be sure to check out her awesome blog or say hi on Twitter!

    As this is the final day of my Blogoversary Celebration, I thought I’d share an ARC I received through a trade of…

    My Blogoversary Celebration Day 10 Giveaway is for an ARC of SHARDS & ASHES by Melissa Marr, et al that I received through a trade to ONE winner. The ARC looks to be in great condition and will be sent via U.S. mail.

    And as I hadn’t chosen to give away a book of either blogger’s choice, I’m including a couple of extra entry opportunities to follow them 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: Amy of My Overstuffed Bookshelf

    It’s almost over. Of course now I’m getting a little sentimental about it being almost over. I mean, who knows if I’ll be one of those lucky bloggers that makes it to a third blogoversary? A lot can happen in one year….

    Well, today’s post was going to be the final one as I was going to combine the remaining bloggers’ posts. But then I wouldn’t be able to wrap things up in the way I wanted to without the post getting way too long…. I do so love to ramble.

    So I decided to extend things just one more day so that I could ramble and feature the remaining bloggers without the post seeming endless. And so today I’m turning the blog over to the super awesome Amy of the very stunningly gorgeous blog My Overstuffed Bookshelf to share a couple of tips.

    But as always, before I do that, for just a little background….

    I can’t remember when I first “met” amy online. I’d seen her blog long before we first said “hi!” But I know we talked a bit during the 2011 YA Crush Tourney when I was filling up my timeline on Twitter with my numerous “Vote for Tod” tweets. I’m actually surprised she didn’t give me an “unfollow.”

    Of course I’m even more surprised that she agreed to be a part of my blogoversary.

    But I was amazed by her blog, My Overstuffed Bookshelf. It was so pretty. And purple. And rich with content. She’d been around so much longer than I had and I was in awe. I still am. Because I don’t know how she could do this for as long as she has.

    So, I’ll leave that to her to answer….

    When Fiktshun, aka Rachel, invited me to join in the celebration for her blog’s anniversary, I was thrilled. I admit, I was slow getting back to her, but I think she forgives me since she is posting this. 🙂

    Do not second guess yourself!

    One piece of advice that even after 3 1/2 years blogging, I still struggle with.

    You are doing your blog for your own reasons. My blog was established because I was tired of my family rolling their eyes at me when I went on and on about a new book I had read. I found out about blogs, and decided to at least tell my computer screen about the books. What would it hurt right? Then I found other bloggers. Blogs who had thousands of readers. I wanted to reach those readers as well, but I would have been happy with just one person reading my thoughts.

    Now that my blog has been around for a few years, I sometimes second guess myself about many things. Are my reviews good enough? What am I doing wrong and what am I doing right? Then I take a deep breath and realize my blog is just that. Mine. I have to remember that I started it for myself and to share my emotions about a book. While there are still times I second guess myself, there are times like this that let me know that friendships mean even more. Thank you for reading my blog. Thank you for keeping me sane while I flip out over a book. Simply put – thank you.

    Do not let a genre define who you are on your blog!

    Limiting yourself to just one genre of books is like limiting yourself to only one type of food.

    On my blog, I review all across the board. My reading taste is ever changing. I could read a young adult book about vampires one minute, then turn around and read a sexy erotic book the next. I like to read reviews from others who aren’t afraid to widen their reading ranges. That is why when I started my blog, I made sure not to imply in the title or catch phrase targeting one specific genre. There is a whole world of books out there. Why stay in only one place?

    Thank you to Rachel for inviting me to join in the fun.

    To help celebrate, I am giving away a $10 Amazon gift card to one lucky person.

    It is almost impossible not to second guess yourself. It’s something I do frequently…. Well, maybe a little more often than that. Try, all the time! Should I publish this post? Should I change my review style? Should I word something differently? Should I just keep my mouth shut? Should I shut down a few of my blogs? Should I not?

    I would have hoped by year two that I’d feel like I knew what I was doing. I’m so relieved to know that even beyond the three year mark there can still be doubts.

    And you picked such a great title for you blog. While it does confine you to talking books and bookish things, it is a book blog after all. But you definitely didn’t restrict the types of reads you can discuss. So if your reading tastes do vary or change you don’t have to rebrand your blog!

    While I’m stuck talking fiction on my blog, I don’t see myself reviewing books in non-fiction so fortunately it’s not a problem. At least not yet….

    But thank you so much Amy for sharing your advice and expertise! You have been around longer than almost any blogger I know. And the fact that you not only have stuck around, but you’ve been at it successfully for as long as you have is amazing!

    Anyway….

    If for some odd reason you haven’t yet “met” Amy, you can find her here!


    So I asked Amy what her favorite read was these past couple of months and she mentioned EASY by Tammara Webber. But as I am already giving that away this blogoversary, she chose another one of my favorite author’s books.

    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 BITTER BLOOD by Rachel Caine.

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

    AND… If you’d like to enter Amy’s giveaway for the $10 Amazon Gift Card, say so in the comments and I’ll run your names through Random to choose a winner when the bookish giveaway closes.

    The winner for the AMAZON GC is Christina K. Christina, I’ll contact you to confirm the email address you’d like to provide to Amy to send the Amazon giftcard. Thanks so much for leaving a comment for Amy and stopping by my blogoversary event!

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    Blogoversary Guest Post: Maricar of Blackplume

    Well my blogoversary event is finally winding down. With just a couple of days left, I will be saying goodbye to the amazing banner and buttons I had created for me by Parajunkee Design. But not quite yet….

    I still have a few amazing bloggers stopping by to share their words of wisdom. One of whom I have on the blog today. And that’s Maricar of Blackplume, who has so generously and articulately put together TEN tips for new bloggers starting out. Tips which are just as helpful to be reminded about by those of us who have been at this for awhile.

    Such as her tip about organization. I used to be organized… until I’d been at this blogging thing for awhile. Now I live in chaos on a daily basis.

    Anyway… before I turn the blog over I will just share a little background….

    Maricar is one of the first bloggers I met in the blogosphere. And it was either on my blog or on Facebook, but I’m thinking Facebook. Yes, you get to meet a totally different group of readers and bloggers on Facebook, so I highly recommend starting a Facebook blog page if you don’t already have one. Sorry about that detour….

    She is one of the first international bloggers I met online. And I loved her blog which consisted not only of reviews, but of poetry and writing. She blogged about books, but that wasn’t her only passion, and so she blogged about other things she loved. And she still does.

    But Maricar is also so incredibly helpful and generous. I had a bit of a tough time with a package not being delivered to a giveaway winner and she so generously offered her help. It’s something I never forgot. Fortunately that situation did resolve itself and I was proven not to be dishonest and the winner ended up with three copies of the book and I didn’t have to take Maricar’s help. But her assistance and support were so very much appreciated and were gestures that meant so much to me.

    I love connecting with her on Facebook and Twitter as it seems the easiest places to socialize. But every-so-often I get the chance to head over to her blog and read one her wonderful reviews, which are interesting and thoughtful and very much in her voice. And she has some amazing poems she shares with her blog’s readers that always make me think. So be sure to stop on by!

    Anyway… once again I’ve rambled, and it’s not my post to ramble on. So, without another word….


    Book Blogging Tips for Newbies

    Let me get straight by telling you that I am no expert in book blogging. I am just a regular book blogger like anyone else out there who love to write their personal opinions about books and other related topics. The tips I’m going to share in here are based on my personal experiences in my two years of blogging. Some of these I learned the hard way and some I am still trying to learn. Though most of these are common knowledge to my fellow book bloggers, I think they are still fairly useful for newbie book bloggers out there.

    In no particular order, here are a few tips I can share which I called the 10 B’s of book blogging:

    1. Blog for the right reason

    There are lots of reasons why we blog, but if you don’t have one right reason, you are doomed. For book bloggers like us, the most common and rightful reason is we blog for the love of books. But what exactly “love of books” means? For me, it means sharing – sharing our ideas and thoughts, sharing our knowledge, sharing our dedication, time and effort. If you are just blogging for freebies like free books or ARCs, you are in a wrong path. Even if you enjoy receiving free books, it doesn’t always mean you also enjoy reading them and writing reviews for them. And forcing yourself to write a review and promote something you don’t like is a recipe of disaster. There is no fulfillment in that, you will just end up tired and suffocated.

    2. Be yourself and be unique

    There are so many book blogs out there and the only way you can stand out is to be different from them. And how will you do that? Simple, just be yourself because you are unique. Add some personal touch in your blog by sharing not just your thoughts but also your experiences. Show your creativity, feel free to express yourself and be you. By being you, you don’t just stay away from plagiarism issue, you also give chance to your followers to know you more. And by trusting your readers to know you, you can gain real followers or supporters. Followers who appreciate you and what you do.

    3. Be involved

    Interact with others, comments with other blogs, offer to guest post, and participate to some online discussions. In short get involved! Don’t just stay on your own blog and live in your own world. Book blogging is not a static world where bloggers are stuck behind the pages of their websites. There are more fun things aside from writing reviews and being part of the community is just one of them. You will get a lot of help from friendly bloggers. They can give you tips in writing and blogging, they can introduced you to their contacts, even give you encouragement and supports you in your passion. You can find friends, mentors and supporters in this active world of book blogging.

    Also, people will start following you if you are more visible as a person who they can actually talk/chat to than just an anonymous blogger. So strike up a conversation. Utilize social media sites such as facebook, twitter, tumblr, formspring and goodreads to connect with other bloggers and authors. Hang out with other book lover friends, attend book events, meet authors and even join active book clubs or organizations.

    4. Be respectful

    As a blogger we have a responsibility to be honest in our reviews, but we also need to be thoughtful in writing our reviews. We should respect the authors and their works. Bashing a book or the author is not right even we don’t like the author’s work. There’s a right way to say it (or not say it). If you really don’t like the book, I suggest skip reviewing it. And if you are required to submit a review, try to ask the publisher or author first if you can skip the review and explain to them in a professional way your reasons. If they still insist then write your opinion with so much care. You can be honest without attacking the author personally. Also, keep in mind that if you write a negative opinion about the book you read, make sure that you backed it up with examples from the book. Explain what you think happened and why you feel it didn’t work for you. Don’t just say you don’t like it, you should explain why you didn’t like it, so readers understand more where are you coming from. Remember, what didn’t work for you doesn’t always mean it won’t work for other readers too. So be fair.

    5. Be friendly

    When I say friendly, I didn’t mean that you should befriend anyone you meet online through your blog or other social networking sites. You just need be nice and don’t be a total snob. You don’t need to follow everyone or stalk them, that is impossible thing to do and a total waste of time. I suggest look for friends and not just followers. It doesn’t really matter how many followers you got if you don’t have at least one book blogging friend. Yes, it is nice to have many followers, but don’t get caught up too much with the statistics. As long as you have a circle of friends who believe in what you do, I think you will be fine. Because friends are the one who will accept you and appreciate your work. They will encourage and supports you in what you do and even give honest criticism that will help you improve. Most of the times they are the support that you need when you feel tired in blogging. They are the one who will remind you that you rock when you feel that you are not.

    6. Be selective

    Choose what you read and what you accept for reviews. Do not accept everything that comes your way. Be realistic and accept the fact that you can’t read everything and you can’t review all the books available out there. Read stories that interest you not because they are available for free or because everyone is raving about it. Do not accept books that you don’t like so you won’t be forced writing negative reviews. Reading and blogging is a serious endeavor and forcing yourself to do something that you don’t enjoy is a waste of time.

    Also be selective in joining events or features like memes. Participate only to those that really interest you and not because you feel like you’ll get more followers in joining. In using memes for your blog, please do not overdone it. I’ve seen a couple of blogs who uses memes in their everyday post. As if they got every memes available out there and it is not really enticing for me. As much as they are helpful in keeping your blog active they also can cause distractions. Posting meme after meme after meme is just too much and quite annoying.

    7. Be professional

    For most of us, book blogging is not a profession but a hobby, still it is not an excuse for not being a professional. We don’t need to get paid in order to take seriously what we are doing. We should be a responsible blogger. As a blogger, we have an obligation to our readers/followers when we decided to post something in our blog. We also have an obligation to authors and publishers when we decided to accept the books or ARCs they send us for reviews. We should honor commitment with those authors and publishers. We should be honest in writing reviews, and be careful in information we are giving to our readers. We should check carefully our spelling and grammar especially the author’s name, the title of the book we are reviewing and links where we are directing to our readers.

    8. Be organized

    Get your priorities in order by keeping a calendar or reminders. List your review dates and deadlines the moment you accept a book for review. If you can, schedule your post ahead of time. Have a list of events you are joining and submit the requirements on time. If you are joining a book tour make sure you can read the book and submit your review on time or anything that is required to you. Put things in perspective. Prioritized deadlines and your commitments. And always remember to not accept commitments if you know you can’t deliver it in the first place.

    9. Be active

    An active blog not just attracts followers/readers but also site traffics. So post everyday if you can. Though it is really hard to do this, it’s still count that you at least try. Write down every ideas you have, anytime and anywhere because you don’t know how those ideas can turn into something interesting one day. I am not saying that you should published everything that comes up in your mind, all I am saying is put those into writing and try to expand your ideas into something you can use for your blog. Do not post something just for the sake of having something to post. Do not procrastinate. I know this is easier said than done but there is no harm in trying. I myself is a victim of procrastination, but I am trying hard to be active and keep my blog alive and running.

    10. Be entertained and have fun (forcing the “B” in here :D)

    Book blogging or blogging in general should be fun. If you are not enjoying it, better not do it. As I said, there’s no point in doings things you don’t like. Do not stress yourself out with the responsibilities of reading, updating and reviewing if you don’t feel that it is not for you anymore. Remember, your feelings also shows in your writing and if you are not enjoying blogging, your readers will know it and they won’t enjoy your blog too.

    Oh Maricar, I totally agree with ALL your advice. And I absolutely agree that you shouldn’t push yourself to promote something you don’t love or believe in. I love promoting books. But I couldn’t imagine pushing a book I don’t love. It feels very dishonest.

    And your last tip – “have fun” is so important. Why do it if you’re not enjoying yourself? Unless you’re getting some kind of financial reward it doesn’t make any sense to work hard doing this if it doesn’t make you happy.

    I just wish I could follow your tip #8. I strive for organization but I often fail miserably. Fortunately I don’t have a specific schedule for my posts so that it gives me some flexibility. But trying to keep a calendar is something I do not succeed in. That’s the tip I need the most work on!

    Thank you so much for sharing all your wisdom. I couldn’t agree with you more about all if it. I know that your advice will be so very incredibly helpful, not only to those just starting out, but to those bloggers who have been at it for awhile and just need that friendly reminder.

    I could keep on rambling, but I probably shouldn’t, as it’s your guest post, not mine.

    So….

    For those of you who have not yet “met” Blackplume, here are a few places you can find her here…

    As I was completely remiss in asking Blackplume what her favorite book was, I stalked her blog and found a wonderful review she did last week for SPEECHLESS by Hannah Harrington.

    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 SPEECHLESS by Hannah Harrington.

    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: 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.)

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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