BBAW Daily Topic: Blogging

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2011 BannerToday is all about blogging tips.

Here are some tried and true blogging tips:

  1. Use the schedule feature! I love this feature in WordPress (and I think most blogging platforms have it). How do you think I was able to find the time to post every day this week? I spent about two hours on Sunday writing all the BBAW posts. I already have book reviews scheduled for when I go on vacation in a few months.
  2. Make quality posts on a regular basis. If there’s no quality content, people will stop dropping in to say hello. Isn’t every blogger pleased when someone leaves a comment?
  3. Have a variety of posts. Vary the length. Add pictures. Use bullets or different font colors. Make your posts visually interesting.

Have you noticed any new trends or tools in blogging? What are some of your tried and true blogging tips?

BBAW Daily Topic: Readers

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2011 BannerToday’s daily topic is about reading. Has book blogging changed the way I read?


  • Overall, I read more. I don’t go months at a time without reading some book.
  • I’ve read more fantasy in the last four years. I used to read mostly literary works.
  • I keep track of the books I read. I love LibraryThing. Access databases were always the pits to work with and I never really knew what types of things I wanted to keep track of. LibraryThing lets me do that and includes stats on other things. For instance, I didn’t realize most of the books I read are by women.

Has your reading habits changed over the years?

BBAW Daily Topic: Community Part II

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2011 BannerToday’s BBAW Daily Topic is on Community. How do you find a community and keep in touch?

How do you find a community?

  1. I suggest using an internet search on your reading interests. Add a genre into your search term. For example, “book review fantasy” or “fantasy book reviewers” will get you started on finding people who review fantasy books.
  2. The Book Blogs group on Ning is another place to find people who like to read and review books. There are a few authors too.
  3. When you find blogs that may be of interest to you, take the time to read a week or two of posts to get a feel for the person’s writing style. Some, like Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’? are informal and chatty. Others, like A Guy’s Moleskine Notebook, are more formal and focused.

Keeping a part of the community you find can be more difficult. Here are a few tips.

  1. Until a year or so ago, I used bookmarks to keep track of the sites I wanted to keep up with. That is so old school! Having a RSS Feed now seems mandatory. I now use my Google Reader to keep track of my friend’s feeds. Now it’s not hit or miss if I go to the sites I want to keep up with.
  2. Leave comments. Often, if you stop by someone’s blog and leave a comment, they’ll drop by your blog too. They may not leave a comment, but they may like what they see and add you to their feed.
  3. Memes and Challenges. If you participate in memes on a regular basis, you’ll get to know the other people who participate. You will visit their blog (and vice versa). Same thing for challenges. It doesn’t matter if it’s a reading, writing or blogging challenge, you’ll start to recognize the names of the participants and you’ll find people you connect with.

What tips do you have on finding and keeping up with your communities online?

BBAW Daily Topic: Interviews

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2011 BannerToday is the Interview Swap Day where book bloggers interview each other.

Below are past interviews I’ve done from Book Blogger Appreciation Week.

2010 interview with Suey of It’s All About Books.

Suey’s 2010 interview with me.

2009 interview with Tess Hilmo.

Tess’s 2009 interview with me.

2008 interview with Jen Forbus of Jen’s Book Thoughts.

Jen’s 2008 interview with me.

BBAW Daily Topic: Community Part I

Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2011 Banner

In case you didn’t notice, today is the beginning of Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Giveaways, posts on book blogging topics and interviews abound. This year I’m not participating in any interviews but I am going to post on the daily topics. This year the topics were posted ahead of time to give everyone a chance to get started.

Today’s daily topic is community.

Community: A body of persons or nations having a common history or common social, economic, or political interests.

I wanted to highlight some of the people who are part of my reading and writing community on the internet. They are listed in no particular order.

Kathy of Bermudaonion. She often leaves comments on my site so I know someone is reading! 🙂 Her own blog has a variety of posts so it’s never boring when I drop in.

Rhonda Parrish. She’s got an editing hat (Niteblade) and a writing hat. She may not realize it, but she’s got a mentor hat too. Rhonda is an example of a do-er. She writes. When she didn’t see her writing interests represented, she made an e-zine to make it happen.

Lisa Damian of Damian Daily. She’s a writer and book reviewer. Her blog chronicles her interests and observations.

Do you have anyone you think of as part of your reading or writing community on the internet?

BBAW Day 4: Forgotten Treasures


BBAW 2010 Treasure Chest 

Today’s Topic:  Sure we’ve all read about Freedom and Mockingjay but we likely have a book we wish would get more attention by book bloggers, whether it’s a forgotten classic or under marketed contemporary fiction.  This is your chance to tell the community why they should consider reading this book! 

I had to think about this topic for a while.  And there are two books that I can never remember the names of… I read them many years ago around the same time and often get the plots confused with each other so combine them in my mind.  I’ve always thought of them as one book.  Here’s how I described the plot to my husband: “There’s a brother that dies and his ex-girlfriend sees the living brother and tells him that she may be pregnant with his dead brother’s child.  And it’s very gothic.  And has ghost in the title.”  Maybe that’s a book I should write. 🙂 

I still haven’t figured out which novel involved the brothers but the gothic book with ghost in the title is The Ghost Writerby John Harwood.

 Ghost Writer Book Cover

This is a gothic tale with several layers to it.  Gerard Freeman finds a hidden drawer of his mother’s where he sees a picture of a mysterious woman he knows nothing about.  His mother is not happy at all when she finds out he knows about the photograph.  They are close and she often tells him stories of her idyliic childhood on the family estate.  A few years later Gerard strikes up a pen pal relationship with a girl about the same age who is disabled.  Eventually he goes to his mother’s childhood house to learn “the truth” about his mother.

I remember this one being a little bit creepy and it is a book where the details matter to the plot(s).  Looking at some of the Amazon reviews quite a few people were disappointed in the ending.  I think I’m going to re-read this one to see if it holds up or not.

Interview with Suey of It’s All About Books


Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2010

It’s that time of year again… Book Blogger Appreciation Week!  Today is interview day and I’ve been paired up with Suey of It’s All About Books.  I hope you enjoy getting to know Suey like I did.

Amber: How did you decide to name your blog “It’s All About Books… and life’s other adventures too!”?

Suey: When I created and named my blog, I didn’t know it would become, shall we say, such a big part of my life! I was just thinking, hmmmm, I want to do a blog all about books, hey I know! I’ll call it “It’s All About Books”! So uncreative. But it’s now grown on me I suppose. I added the “…. and life’s other adventures too!” awhile after when I realized I felt the need to do personal posts about family, music, TV and whatever else was going on now and then.

Amber: What is your favorite part about book blogging?

Suey: I really enjoy being able to have a place to be openly and maybe even overly enthusiastic about my book fanaticism. People in my real life think I’m weird, but now I’ve found people in my blogging life who totally get it. They may still think I’m weird, but at least they get it! That’s the best part.

Amber: Is there one book (old or new) you recommend to others without hesitation?

Suey: Ah, hard question because it just depends on the person I’m recommending to. I guess The Book Thief always seems to come up when I’m suggesting something for people to read. The Hunger Games for reluctant teen readers. Ender’s Game for teenage boys. And the list goes on!

Amber: I noticed you live in Utah which has an active book blogging community – you even meet socially once a year.  What is the best part about having
an active book blogging community where you live?

Suey: It’s kind of the same as the best part of book blogging itself, only in person. Meeting people with the same excitement about books and reading… and blogging… is so fun! You have an instant connection and an instant bond. It’s a very cool thing to experience. Several of the Utah book bloggers I see enough now to consider “real life” friends and some of them even come to my book club now! I love it. I feel very lucky to be part of this fun book community that we’ve got going.

Amber: Do you set reading or reviewing goals each year?

Suey: I sort of have an unwritten goal to try to get to 100 books a year. That’s nice round number! The reading challenges I join, which I try to make only 3 or 4,  helps me create some goals. This year I have a personal quest to read Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series, but I’m only to book four at this point. One year, I wanted to read War and Peace, but I only got half way through. So, yeah, I guess I do make reading goals. But as for reviewing goals, I just plan to review everything I read. Simple, easy, short, chatty reviews.

Amber: With the increasing popularity of ereaders and social networks (such as Good Reads and the book blogger group on Ning) has technology changed the
way you read or review books?

Suey: The specific things you list haven’t really changed the way I read or review books. Goodreads maybe a little, if I see someone list a book that looks good, I’ll add it to the virtual pile. Blogging itself is what has changed my habits the most. The TBR pile is huge because of the rave reviews I read and because of the buzz that happens now and then over certain books. I’ve read a ton of stuff since blogging that I would have never known about otherwise. As far as e-readers go, I’m still wary about that whole thing. I’m sure some day I’ll try it out, but for now, I’m just a normal paper books kind of reader!

BBAW: Small Publisher Giveaway Winners

My site was offline for a day or two but I decided to not extend the giveaway.  Instead, I’ll have another giveaway when I return from vacation.


The winner of Norah Labiner’s book, German for Travelers, is SFP at Pages TurnedCongratulations, SFP!

The winner of Dave Egger’s book, Zeitoun, is Karen at Bookin’ With “Bingo“.  Congratulations, Karen!