Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge – Day 14

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge
The Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge is hosted by Parajunkee.

{Day 14} BLOGGING WISH LIST OF 2014

Let me start by saying I’ve really enjoyed participating in this! I’ve had some great discussions with some great bloggers out there as a result.

Switching tracks, now I have to come up with a blogging wish list. Hmmm? I’m wondering whether to make this realistic or rather think of the hypothetical dream blog for me. I’ll go with a mixture of the two…

  • My Own Website ~ I was just talking about this with another blogger. It’s something I’ve wanted to do from the start, but considered a far off goal. After my blogging disaster (having my blog shut down), I decided to make it happen much sooner! I’ve still got a lot to work out first, but hopefully I’ll make it happen soon.
  • Awesome Design ~ This would be a wish to go along with the previous one. I’d have to have an awesome design (theme/layout), including an awesome banner, and awesome button to create my AWESOME site. Yeah, well, in my mind it would be awesome…
  • New & Continued Relationships ~ Lastly, I hope to continue and strengthen the relationships I’ve already formed. I also hope to start some new ones. I hope for quality interactions with zero drama!
  • There you have it. My list is short and sweet. What are your wishes for 2014?

    Happy Reading,

    Alison

Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge – Day 13

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge
The Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge is hosted by Parajunkee.

{Day 13} Share a Blogger Horror Story

My blogger horror story is having my blog shut down without warning this past year.

I’ve heard of this happening to many, but I never really thought it would happen to me. When reading others’ stories, I’ve always read not to repost someone else’s posts too often. That seemed to be a big reason in having your blog shut down. Well, I had NEVER reposted anyone else’s posts. So, I was at a loss when it happened to me! I felt like crying! I spend well over 40 hours a week working on this blog, and it is a HUGE part of my life. I immediately contacted wordpress, but then I had to keep contacting them. In the end, it took a few weeks for them to get things straightened out, and all I got was a little apology with no real explanation as to what the problem was. It has by far been the biggest problem I’ve encountered as a blogger!

Do you have a horror story?

Happy Reading,

Alison

Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge – Day 12

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge
The Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge is hosted by Parajunkee.

{Day 12} HOW DO YOU PLAN ON GETTING MORE FOLLOWERS THIS YEAR?

I guess I should start by admitting that I’m not all about the numbers. I know the numbers are a HUGE deal to some – let’s face it, you can’t get your hands on some of those ARCs without the numbers. However, for me, I don’t stress over the numbers. Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE my followers!! I do this because I love to talk books, and I can’t do that if nobody’s reading what I write. I just don’t plan a lot around what to do to get more followers.

I participate in a lot of giveaways. You can always find them under my “Giveaways” category on the side, so that usually adds a lot of followers. But, I’ve also found that I gain followers daily just through my regular posts, whether that be a review, promo, interviews, talking about bookish things, etc. I try to interact with other book bloggers regularly, and I know that helps, too, not to mention the memes. So, I guess I’ll just keep doing what I’ve been doing. My followers have grown daily since I’ve started, and I’m thankful for each and every one of you!!

Are you a blogger? What do you do to gain new followers?

Happy Reading,

Alison

Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge – Day 11

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge
The Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge is hosted by Parajunkee.

{Day 11} TBR SHELF: HOW MANY?

My current Goodreads TBR list consists of 314 books. I know! That’s kinda crazy!! I seriously need to take some time to go through it. I’ve thought about it a lot, but I just haven’t taken the time. There are some books that I really just don’t know why they are even on there and others that I’ve already read, which means I neglected to add the review to Goodreads. So, I’m making another resolution to start weeding through it. I’ve already made the change to stop adding books to it unless I REALLY want to read them.

I’m currently reading Hopeless – yes FINALLY!!! I’m LOVING it, so the next book I tackle on my TBR list will definitely be Losing Hope.

Losing Hope

How many books do you have on your TBR list?

Happy Reading,

Alison

Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge – Day 10

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge
The Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge is hosted by Parajunkee.

{Day 10} NEW THINGS YOU WILL BE DOING THIS YEAR

If you’ve been reading my blog regularly or following on FB/twitter, then some of this will just seem a bit repetitive. But, I’m going to list some of the things that I’ll be doing differently this year. Some of these things I’ve already started implementing, others will be in the works. I’m sure I’ll forget a few things, but here’s what’s fresh on my mind right now.

  • Limiting Reviews I Accept ~ This doesn’t mean that I’ll have less reviews for you. It just means that I want to make sure I have time to read the books I WANT to read, but haven’t been ASKED to. This means I’ll be able to read more of the books everyone’s discussing because I won’t be so bogged down.
  • Writing More of My Own Content ~ This year I endeavor to write more on my blog. There are lots of bookish things I’d love to talk about, but don’t make the time to. I don’t want the only time you hear my opinion/thoughts to be from a review, meme, or challenge such as this one.
  • Consistent Meme Participation ~ I DO NOT want to go overboard with memes. However, I do want to get more consistent in my participation with the memes that I choose to get involved with.
  • Giveaways ~ Now, I’m sure you can click on “Giveaway” under categories and find plenty of giveaways to enter. The thing is, I want to start having more of my own giveaways ~ giveaways that are unique to my blog. A way to say thank you to my followers!

So, that’s a short list of some of the changes I look to make this year. I’ve already started putting some of them into place, but others I’m still working on. It will all require better organization on my behalf! I’m looking forward to them, though!!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge – Day 9

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge
The Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge is hosted by Parajunkee.

{Day 9} CONS OR EVENTS YOU HOPE TO ATTEND

Well, this is one of my little goals for myself this year! Just starting out last year, I had one event I hoped to attend, but my uncle passed away. So, this year, I’m hoping to hit my first event, or two or three. The Dallas area is really the closest area for me to hit a big event, so I’m hoping some good things will come through there this year.

The YAK Fest will be taking place in Keller, TX on Jan. 25th. I’m considering heading over for that, but it’ll depend on several factors – mostly revolving around my children. When they get bigger I’ll be able to head off to some of the larger events that require further traveling.

What events do you plan on hitting this year?

Happy Reading,

Alison

Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge – Day 8

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge
The Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge is hosted by Parajunkee.

{Day 8} YOUR FAVORITE BOOK BLOGGER MOMENT

This is another hard one for me! I’m not sure I have just ONE moment that has stood out among the rest. So, I’ll share some moments that have been special for me.

  • Taking part in my first blog tour (having someone willing to work with me when I was just getting started)
  • Building my first blogger/author relationship
  • People supporting me when my blog was shut down without warning (HATE HACKERS)
  • Getting some amazing books – especially when the Amazeballs Author took the time to write me a sweet personalized note inside the cover!
  • Gaining so many great readers & reading their comments! I LOVE to talk books!!

So, there you have it! Those have been some of my favorite things about blogging this past year!! I’m so thankful for each of you readers!!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge – Day 7

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge
The Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge is hosted by Parajunkee.

{Day 7} TOP TEN BOOK BLOGGER PET PEEVES

This one will take a bit of thought! In general I LOVE what I do! It is an absolute passion, and I feel blessed everyday getting to do what I do! However, there are times when a thing or two bothers me, so I’m sure if I take a second to think, I can come up with 10 things I don’t like. Some of these aren’t about blogs in general – just concerning my own personal experience in blogging. So, here’s trying – in no particular order of how bothersome.

1. DRAMA ~ First, I’m so pleased that I haven’t gotten caught up in anything myself, but I see that could easily happen. Some people just enjoy calling others out on things, leaving others no choice but to be sucked up into something. That’s not my thing, and I hope if someone ever tried to insult me that I’ll have the strength to ignore it. I’ve felt bad for the countless others that responded while upset at being attacked and then regretted later stooping to the level of the instigator. I don’t know why some people feel the need to tear others down – whether it’s bloggers, authors, or readers. Personally, I prefer to encourage and build up others – that’s just me.

2. BIGGER IS BETTER ~ I’ve been sad to see a lot of bloggers feel the need to stop blogging because they can’t keep up with some other blogger(s). I can understand an author wanting to use only blogs that have thousands of followers versus hundreds (or even less), but that does not mean that such and such blog is better than the blog with fewer followers. It doesn’t mean that the large blog puts more heart into it than the small blog. Also, I don’t believe one blog is better than another because more money went into it. Some feel that way, though. This is not the mentality shared by all large blogs, and it’s not an attack on large blogs at all! Some of the larger blogs can be run by some of the most humble people. I also want to take a second here to thank all those authors and bloggers that were willing to work with me when I was just getting started and those still working with me when my blog is still young and small in comparison. We all had to start somewhere, and we all have our own individual goals.

3. SNOOTY AUTHORS ~ This is another one that I haven’t personally had to deal with – thank GOD! I have worked with many authors, and they have all been nothing but gracious. I am SO thankful for that! However, I have seen where other bloggers have shut down or just been in tears over the ugliness from some authors. For the most part, we get zero compensation working hard to promote authors and their books. Unless provoked by some ugliness on the bloggers behalf, I can’t understand anything short of appreciation. Again, this seems to be a rare occurrence, and I’m so greatful for all the awesomeness I’ve experienced through all the authors I’ve worked with.

4. NOT READING REVIEW POLICY ~ This is a simple one. I get lots of requests. I just ask that you read my policy before you send your request. Sometimes I think people just look for my email address and don’t take the time to read anything else. It really is a waste of time on your behalf and mine to send me requests for reviews on books that I clearly stated I’m not interested in. This doesn’t happen too often, but it does happen.

5. UNEDITED BOOKS ~ It really bugs me when I get a book that feels like it hasn’t been edited – at all. It makes it REALLY hard to say if the book will be any good or not once it is released in its final form. Now I’m not talking about a missed comma here or there, or even their instead of they’re every now and then. I’m talking about books that are so bad that I don’t know how to spell the characters names in my review because it changes constantly in the book. Or, I can’t get a clear picture in my mind of what the hero looks like because he started out with dark hair and half-way through the story he all of a sudden has bleach-blonde hair. Or even worse, the characters in the story start referring to something that they couldn’t even really be referring to because it hasn’t happened yet. It’s really hard to know how well I’m going to like a story if it still requires major editing.

6. HAVING TO TURN PEOPLE DOWN ~ I’m a people pleaser, so in general it bugs me to have to tell someone no. I’m getting better at saying it, but it still bothers me to have to. I can’t put out the quality of work I do, though, if the quantity is too great. It’s just little ole me putting all this together, reading all these books, and writing all these reviews. I can’t keep taking on more than I can actually accomplish.

7. UGLY REVIEWS ~ I don’t care for author/book bashing. If I see a review full of insults, then I just scroll on by. It’s not my thing. Someone’s heart was put into that story. That doesn’t mean I have to like it, but I think reviewers should be respectful and treat others the way they want to be treated.

8. BLOGS FULL OF ADS ~ I’ve visited some sites that are so full of ads that I can’t tell the difference between their own content and the ads. Plus, those sites tend to take so long to load that it’s not worth my time.

9. TOO HARD TO COMMENT ~ Some of the new programs some blogs are using for comments are so confusing, or I get error messages with them constantly.

10. HACKERS ~ These come in all shapes and sizes, but I HATE them all!

There you have it! Some of these were about blogs in general, while others were about my blog specifically, but that was the easiest way for me to come up with 10 things. As I mentioned before, I LOVE what I do, and rarely have a complaint about it!

Happy Reading,

Alison

Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge – Day 6

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge
The Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge is hosted by Parajunkee.

{Day 6} BEST BOOK OF 2013

This is a toughy! It’s practically impossible to pick just one! Here goes!

finding cinderella

This was my first Colleen Hoover book. How could I not give it a try when it was FREE? Well, I quickly learned what all the Hoover Hype was about!!! I know Hopeless was on the top of many best of 2013 lists, and if it’s as good as Finding Cinderella then I understand why. I just picked up Hopeless a couple days ago, and I can’t wait to get started!

What was your favorite of 2013?

Happy Reading,

Alison

Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge – Day 5

Book Blogger New Year's Challenge
The Book Blogger New Year’s Challenge is hosted by Parajunkee.

{Day 5} WORST BOOK OF 2013

If you know me, then you probably know the title “Worst Book” doesn’t sit exactly well with me. I’m NOT offended personally by it, nor by those having no problem using it – that’s not where I’m going with this! I just don’t like to come off as offensive myself. I like to review in a manner that won’t leave the author in tears (happy tears excluded of course). So, that’s where I’m going to go with this, or at least attempt to.

That Friday

My biggest problem with this book was that I couldn’t find the point. It was like someone telling a joke without a punch line. It felt like the beginning of a story, but that’s where it ended. Maybe you’re supposed to read the rest of the series to get it, but it didn’t leave me wanting to read anymore. It was also badly in need of an editor.

On the flip side, I think with some good beta reading and editing, the author could have developed a nice story. I like to read romances from male authors. I don’t think there’s enough out there. So, I’d encourage the author to keep at it!

Happy Reading,

Alison