Category: Let’s Discuss

Jul 17
Do You Follow Authors You Haven’t Read? Let’s Discuss.

Do You Follow Authors You Haven’t Read? Let’s Discuss.

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I’m wondering if this is a me thing or if others do this as well: There are some authors that I follow closely even though I’ve never read one of their books. I’m not talking about casually following on Twitter because you entered a giveaway somewhere (though maybe that’s where it starts?), but really following them—paying attention to new releases and being excited (or at the very least, intrigued) when they have a new book coming out, interacting with them on Twitter in some way, shape or form, etc. This idea for a discussion post came to me today when I went to a post for a giveaway of Paula Stokes’ latest book. She’s one of these authors for me: I follow her on Twitter (and actually pay attention to her tweets—I’ve even retweeted her a few times), I always pay attention when there’s a tour or a giveaway for one… Read more »


Jul 07
The YA “Perfection” Trope & Today’s Pressures on Teens: Let’s Discuss.

The YA “Perfection” Trope & Today’s Pressures on Teens: Let’s Discuss.

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So, I was driving to pick my kids up from swimming recently at the high school and I drove past some boys’ high school team or other working out—shirtless. And I noticed something. These boys had abs and like seriously muscular physiques. Now before you start to think I was being weirdly creepy or something, I just drove by (with a slight stop at a stop sign—it’s not like I stopped to goggle at them), but it was sort of hard to miss when a whole mob of shirtless boys was standing right next to my car. But it got me thinking: How many times have I sort of chuckled at the YA trope of the high school boy with the perfect body? I mean, these aren’t the boys I remember from when I was in high school. Now, I wasn’t really hanging out with any of the athletes when I was… Read more »


Jun 23
The Disorganized Blogger’s Guide to Book Conferences (AKA an Example You Should NOT Follow)

The Disorganized Blogger’s Guide to Book Conferences (AKA an Example You Should NOT Follow)

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So, I thought I’d whip up a quick post because I’m headed to ALA tomorrow and I’m not going to post this weekend at all. I should be back on Tuesday. Probably. Or I might still be recovering, we shall see. I haven’t posted much this week because I’ve been busily preparing for the conference. Or procrastinating—more procrastinating really (I read a whole book today and just figured out five minutes ago what time I need to leave tomorrow morning. Hint: It’s early.) My preparation has been spotty at best. Still I thought you all might want my expert advice on how to prepare for a big book conference like ALA. Well, here goes. The Disorganized Blogger’s Preparation for a Book Conference: Wait to order your tickets until right before the deadline. Actually, you might as well almost completely forget about this step, since your mom will remind you anyway. She’s good… Read more »


Jun 10
This or That Bookish Edition

This or That Bookish Edition

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Wendy over at Falconer’s Library came up with this bookish “This or That” post back when she did the Slice of Life month of blogging and commenting. She invited us to join in on the fun, so I’m doing just that! Feel free to create your own Bookish This or That post or tell me some of your answers in the comments! And make sure to visit Wendy’s post too! Buy new or buy used? I used to say that it didn’t matter to me, but I’ll confess that the longer I’ve been blogging, the more I prefer shiny new books. I buy from The Book Outlet sometimes and even that little line on the bottom of the book makes me a teensy bit twitchy. Eat while you read or read while you eat? I sometimes snack a bit when I read, but I don’t do a lot of it, and… Read more »


May 24
Why Rating Middle Grade (and Sometimes YA) Is So Darn Hard for Me! Let’s Discuss.

Why Rating Middle Grade (and Sometimes YA) Is So Darn Hard for Me! Let’s Discuss.

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I have a MG review that’s scheduled to go up tomorrow (for Star-Crossed by Barbara Dee) and I really loved the book. Not only is it adorable and well-written, it highlights a middle grade girl who discovers that she has a crush on another girl (after having a crush on a boy), which is a topic that middle graders need to see. And let me tell you, this book was so hard for me to rate! Here’s the issue that plagues me: I am (obviously) not a middle grader. So sometimes I’ll find “issues” with a book that probably wouldn’t be issues at all if I were an actual middle grade reader. For instance, in this particular book, there was a focus on the romance in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. There was discussion about whether or not Romeo was actually in love with Juliet, and the main character defended the instalove in… Read more »


May 20
What You Need to Know Before You Open a NetGalley Account

What You Need to Know Before You Open a NetGalley Account

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NetGalley is an incredible way to start receiving review copies of books. In general, getting approved for a book via NetGalley is much more likely than getting a physical ARC of that same book. Which makes sense—publishers can afford to give out digital ARCs a lot more freely than physical ARCs. Sometimes bloggers are scared to jump into NetGalley, but if you follow a few simple guidelines, you’ll see that there’s absolutely nothing to worry about. Opening a NetGalley account is incredibly easy, but I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I’ve seen bloggers who talk about all the mistakes they made when they first joined (including me!). Most of us joined without really knowing what to expect and without understanding the “rules” (both written and unwritten) that apply to NetGalley. I haven’t written a post like this before because most of my readers aren’t just… Read more »


May 12
Meet a #BroodyBFF! My Foray Into Street Teams. Let’s Discuss.

Meet a #BroodyBFF! My Foray Into Street Teams. Let’s Discuss.

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(This little guy is totally going to grow up to be a Brooding YA Hero. Just look at him—he’s already got that piercing heartthrob stare going on!) In my four years of blogging, I’ve only joined a few street teams. I kind of have to feel obsessed with the author to feel like I want to be a part of that author’s promotion. I’m a part of Evelyn Skye’s Tsar’s Guard because I’ve been a huge fan of Evelyn ever since she wrote an amazingly powerful short story in an anthology I reviewed, back way before The Crown’s Game was even a thing. The only other street team I can think of that I’ve joined is Australian author C.J. Duggan because I adored her Summer Series and I wanted to have the opportunity to review all of her books (since she’s an Australian author, ARCs are a little harder to… Read more »


May 05
Do You Ever Add to Your Posts After You’ve Published Them? Let’s Discuss.

Do You Ever Add to Your Posts After You’ve Published Them? Let’s Discuss.

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I was recently reading Becky @ A Fool’s Ingenuity’s post about The Fear of Not Having a Post Queue, and it (once again) made me realize how random and disorganized my blogging really is. If I manage to have a post or two in my drafts, it’s a miracle. Most of the time, I write my posts on the fly and hit Publish thirty seconds after I’m finished with them. For the most part, I’m fine with my haphazard blogging style. I’ve never been big on planning, and I often find that my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants methods give me flexibility. The only reading and blogging I ever schedule is for blog tours, and I’ll admit that I’m often finishing those books last minute (though I’m actually very conscientious about getting everything up on time—I’m disorganized, not irresponsible!). Still, at times like this, when I have a lot going on (editing, homeschooling, etc), it would… Read more »


Apr 21
Graphs Make Me Happy! Let’s Discuss.

Graphs Make Me Happy! Let’s Discuss.

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I was recently reading the 1st Blogoversary post over at Sparkling Letters and I realized something: Graphs make me happy! They just do. Seriously, if I see a post that has graphs in it, I just have to read it—and I gobble them up. I see graphs in someone’s wrap-up post and I perk up and take notice. Even though I’m a completely disorganized person, somehow data in a graph calls to me. It almost doesn’t even matter what the graphs are showing. (Okay, it does matter. I’m not crazy enough to love graphs about boring stuff like the stock market. Butif the graph has anything to do with books, I’m sold.)  Somehow putting the information into a graph makes it fun and interesting. Also, adding color to the graphs automatically makes the information that much more exciting. Case in point: I thought I’d look through my Goodreads stats for… Read more »


Apr 08
Why Everything I’ve Ever Told You About Book Blogging Is Wrong (and Also Right). Let’s Discuss.

Why Everything I’ve Ever Told You About Book Blogging Is Wrong (and Also Right). Let’s Discuss.

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Have you ever gone back and looked at your old posts and realized just how much you’ve changed your book blogging habits, opinions and processes? I’ve been blogging now for four years, and I can definitely say that I’ve grown—both as a reader and as a blogger. It can make me cringe just a little bit when I look at some of my baby-blogger posts and think, “Why on earth did I think that?” This is especially noticeable to me when I look at posts that give “advice.” Sometimes I look back at those old posts and I feel almost hypocritical because, while the things I was suggesting were great for me at the time, I’m no longer following my old advice at all anymore. Either I couldn’t stick to it, or it just stopped working for me as my blog grew. Does that mean the advice was bad? Should I go… Read more »