Friday, May 27, 2011

Armchair BEA: Day 5

It's the last day of Armchair BEA. It's been a blast, even though I didn't get around to meeting as many people as I would have liked. So then, onto the final topic, shall we?

Today's topic: Blogging about blogging!

There's so much to say about blogging, I'm not sure where to start. I haven't been book blogging for very long, but I have been personal blogging for about the last 8 years (wow, has it been that long?) and it's been an experience. I will say, book blogging is quite different than personal blogging.  It has a structure, a built in topic, where personal blogging really doesn't, which makes this a totally unique experience. So, rather than rambling on and on, I'm going to address a few of the questions for today's topic at Armchair BEA.

How do you utilize social networking in relation to your blog? What may be the pros and cons of doing so?

Because I'm still feeling my way around, and it's been a somewhat slow process for me because this blog sat dormant for a long time over at WordPress before I moved it here and started to really engage with it, I don't use a lot of social networking so far. I don't have a facebook page for my blog, but may do so at some point in the future. I do have a twitter account for this blog (@aturnofpage) where I share my posts, books I'm reading, etc. Oh, and I'm on GoodReads and would love to connect with other book bloggers there. I would love to hear any suggestions for social networking others have!

Share some of your favorite blogging technical tips.

This is a hard one for me. I feel like, technically speaking, that reviews should be kept to a manageable read. Here's the problem, I don't feel like I keep mine manageable. They're very long, but it's something I'm working on and have tried to account for with sub-headers. They're still really, really long and it's something I need to work on. Concise isn't my best talent by far. One of my professors told me I write really long, beautiful sentences, but I really should try to be more concise. It's never a skill I've mastered. On the HTML, technical side, I can't share anything because, well, I'm not terribly adept. I do okay, but most of it goes well over my head. Oh, I should add that I installed the LinkWithin widget to this blog on the suggestion of another blogger's post for todays Armchair BEA, so I've already learned something new!

Create a "rule list" of things you should and shouldn't be doing on a book blog.

Hmm... okay, one rule: Write what you're passionate about. We all blog because we love books. We're passionate about lit, or we wouldn't have gone to the trouble to start a blog to talk about it. So, carry that passion forward in every entry. I really try to make my reviews, for example, as meaningful as I can... which is why they're so long. I love blogging, I love reading, this blog is the natural evolution of those passions.

What are your tips for balance life and blogging?

I am 100% the wrong person to ask about this. I'm a graduate student, I work teaching classes, and I have a husband, which means there are a lot of people/things vying for my attention and I'm not terribly good at keeping all the ball in the air. I blog when I have time, to let down from the stress, in between classes, assignments, spending time with my husband, grading papers... the list goes on. I do it when I have time and something to say. Right now, I'm on summer break, and while I should be studying for the comps and working on my master's thesis, I still have more time right now than usual. When school starts back in August, we'll see.

What genre do you blog about and why?

I try not to restrict it to any one particular genre because I love all books. There're some genre's I don't read (memoir, western, Christian romance, technical, etc), so I don't talk about them. For the most part, what you'll find here is YA, romance, paranormal, historical, fantasy, dystopia, mythological, and horror. I love romance novels, for many reasons, so I'll probably start a feature for "Steamy page turners" which I'll label with some sort of banner or button so they're distinguishable as 18+.

How do you keep your blog fresh and interesting to your readers & yourself?

This is another thing I'm still working on. I do a lot of memes and hops, which are fun but I think I need more than that. I do reviews, and have been doing "reflection" posts where I talk about different things (so far I've done the evolution of YA and The Hunger Games casting), which I might make a weekly feature. Otherwise, I may try a contest here and there, but I don't know, they seem like a lot to coordinate. I welcome suggestions from others about how I might achieve this!

There are quite a few book blogging events out there. Which are your favorites and why? How do they affect your blog directly?

I do a lot of weekly meme's and hops, including:
  • On My Wishlist (Saturday)
  • In My Mailbox
  • Teaser Tuesday
  • WWW Wednesdays
  • Follow Friday
I think, however, that I'm going to have to narrow it down to only a few of them, maybe three, I just can't decide which three. Probably On My Wishlist, Teaser Tuesday, and Follow Friday. That opens the week for reflection posts and reviews. I just don't get enough books to do In My Mailbox regularly. 

So there you have it. I had a really good time doing Armchair BEA. Thanks to everyone who has stopped by and said hello!


  1. Great post! Oh I'm so with you on reviews - when writing I usually have to cut back a LOT because they're even longer than they are when I post them. Which is still long. But then again, I actually like reading longish reviews because you get more of an opinon about the book and the reviewer obviously put a lot of time and effort into writing it.

    I added the LinkWithin thanks to ArmchairBEA too! :) Could not agree more with your rule of blogging, "Write what you're passionate about."

    Stalking you now through GFC and twitter... beware!

  2. Great answers to these questions! I think that being passionate is the best way to keep your blog fresh.