News & Updates at Oh, the Books!
But wait! It’s not Sunday yet!
Yes, friends — we are bringing you our weekly recap a day early, and there’s an important reason! Our host will be doing some server maintenance this weekend, moving our site to a shiny new server. We don’t anticipate much — if any — down time, but we have been advised not to add any new content to the blog until Monday evening, just in case. This includes comments, so please try to get your comments in before 10pm CST on Saturday, or hold off until Tuesday! This will help ensure that no comments are lost during the transition.
We will resume our regular blogging schedule on Tuesday!
In Case You Missed It
Here’s all the stuff that we posted this week:
- Kelley reviewed Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld.
- Asti has difficulty with audiobooks, but loves podcasts.
- Kelley shared her reading stats for 2014 (with charts)!
- Asti reviewed a handful of novellas.
- Abria suggested five ways to avoid book amnesia.
Our Lives This Week
In Asti’s Life…
Hiya! This week has been an… interesting week. It’s been full of highs and lows, but I think that’s to be expected in my current situation. I’ve talked about most of it on my personal blog, so if you really want to know what’s going on in my life head over there and check out the posts I published this week:
- I talked about the sudden spring of sadness.
- I shared volume one of my feature The Bright Side.
- I acknowledged that misery loves company.
Wow, those post titles sound quite sad, don’t they? What can I say, my mind is all over the place! But overall, just so you don’t worry, I’d say this week has been a good one. I’ve had some great conversations with my mom, hung out with a few great friends, received a lot of support from you guys, and spent plenty of time with Dave. Life can’t be that bad when you’re surrounded by such amazing people! ;)
In Kelley’s Life…
This was my first week back at work after two weeks of vacation and it was pretty good. I mean, well, after I was able to quell the panic attacks and such. And it helps that on Wednesday night my sister and I got to see Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman at our favorite local bookshop! The event was SUPER awesome and I connected with several local bookish people — which inspired me to make a new Houston Area YA Author Events calendar so we can all coordinate better!
The weather has been super cold (for Houston) this week, which I love! Oh, and the kittens outside have been warming up to me, too! I’ve now got Squeakers and the Squeaklings! ^_^ (And I totally confirmed that my neighbor is hiding snacks for them under his BBQ pit — awww!)
Aside from that, I’ve been trying to um… remain calm? I guess it’s time to announce that my husband’s new job means he will be leaving the country for 6 months, and when he returns, we will be moving… somewhere. There are a lot of unknowns right now, so until he leaves (in mid-February), I’m just trying to enjoy the time I have with him and not stress too much. This means I haven’t been reading much so far this year, but eh… books can wait. *deep breaths*
Elsewhere in the blogosphere
Tweet of the Week
— Valerie and Staff (@BlueWillowBooks) January 8, 2015
On Blogging and Book Reviewing
- Lucy discusses blog organization.
- Rachel talks about planning ahead.
- Rachel suggests recycling old posts.
- Abria gifts a free printable: book blogger diary.
- Ashley says video guides aren’t always the best.
- Ashley discusses the use of Streak for organization.
- Ashley has tips for rocking your blog in the New Year.
- Rachel recommends highlighting your popular posts.
- Kat highlights five of her favorite blogging printables.
- Rachel shares tips on creating an amazing About Me page.
- Rachel says you should track and reward your top commenters.
A Blogger’s Life
- Ellen shares her daily blog routine.
- Shelly ponders creativity and personal posts.
- Liza talks about personal posts on book blogs.
- Laura asks: what do you look for in a book blog?
- Celidhann looks at the economics of book blogging.
- Inge & Karolina decide they’re not posting any more memes.
- Amanda explains why she doesn’t participate in many blog tours.
- Shannelle is frustrated by the “Read More” button.
- Sandra shares her thoughts on the “Read More” button.
- Faye discusses the dilemma of choosing a blog theme/design.
Reviews and Ratings
- Julie rants about author spam.
- Emily shares her thoughts on negative reviews.
- Jess asks: are we reviewers just bad at maths?
Emails and Social Media
- Jackie asks: do you subscribe to blogs via email?
- Charlotte needs help mastering the art of tweeting.
- Brittany lists twelve ideas for blog newsletter content.
- Brittany shares five tips for growing your blog’s email list.
- Brittany explains how to create an RSS-to-email campaign.
- Rachel has tips for keeping your social media accounts streamlined.
- Brittany explains how to set up an email marketing account.
- Ashley shares five reasons she might unfollow you on Twitter.
- Brittany discusses lead magnets in relation to email marketing.
On Writing & Publishing
Writing Advice & Tips
- Chuck Wendig offers five stupid writing tricks.
- Jodi Meadows on what happens in the middle.
- Dana shares 13 great Facebook pages for writers.
- Rachel Seigel discusses defining an age category.
- Kat Zhang talks about switching from pantser to plotter.
- Chuck Wendig shows off his mystery box — er, writing shed.
- Amie Kaufman has advice on making new year’s resolutions stick.
- Kellie Sheridan suggests making writing more than just another new year’s resolution.
Authors on Kickstarter
- Stacey Jay explains why she cancelled her Kickstarter.
- Danny reflects on Stacey Jay and her Kickstarter project.
- Laura Lam & Chuck Wendig ask: what’s asking too much?
- Ceilidhann weighs in on the politics of a crowdfunded author.
Things Bookworms Think About
A Reader’s Life
- Ana talks about simultaneous reading.
- Inge identifies herself as a mood reader.
- Claire feels like series are going downhill.
- Mitchii discusses some of her fannish pet peeves.
- Ruby ponders what a book reflects about the world.
- Lauren confesses she has some book-related quirks.
- Chami highlights must-have book apps for book lovers.
- Val asks: do you have trouble talking to people about books?
- Ashley reflects on reading the books she was supposed to read in college.
Reading Goals, Read-a-thons, & New Year Reads
- Sana suffers from goal phobia.
- Rita confesses: she finds readathons hard.
- Melissa shares her thoughts on New Year’s reading.
- Carmel asks: what was your first read/listen of 2015?
Buying, Borrowing, & getting Rid of Books
- Kel discusses book buying for a cause.
- Alexa and Hannah take the Picky Pledge.
- Estelle talks about books to have and discard.
- Alexa shares her guidelines for culling your TBR.
- Hannah provides guidelines for culling your shelves.
- Rachel talks about buying books as cheap as possible.
- Josephine shares her thoughts on the cleanliness of library books.
- Emz investigates ghostwriters and pseudonyms.
- Lola talks about books you hate by authors you like.
- Terri admits she is never really aware of debut authors.
- Tara explains why researching debut novels is one of the most important things she does all year.
Different types of stories
- Kimberly discusses ancient historical YA.
- Kelly recommends a bunch of YA memoirs.
- Stacey lists 24 classics you should give a go.
- Topaz talks about the importance of fanfiction.
- Here’s a great list of feminist YA romance novels.
- Stormy talks about her pet peeves in high fantasy.
- Andres challenges stereotypes of Spanish literature.
- Here are 6 stories about marginalized groups in science fiction.
- Kristen says she has trouble getting into alternate universe books.
- Julie, Rose, and Lynn share their thoughts on contemporary romances.
Inside the Books
- Taherah discusses love triangles.
- Larissa talks about internalized misogyny in YA books.
- Alice highlights the books that have taught her about love.
- Genevieve asks: are animal deaths in books REALLY necessary?
- Chyna points out the typical twists and turns she reads in books.
- Shannon wants to know which bookish sin bothers you the most.
- Valeria admits she has a stubborn brain when it comes to imagining characters.
- Find out which YA make-out scene you are.
- Epic Reads has a reading kit inspired by Shatter Me.
- Hafsah designed a free downloadable Fairest wallpaper.
- Kayla shares what colors she connects with The Young Elites.
- Veronica and Kayla announce their month-long event: Contemporary Conversations.
See you on Tuesday!