News & Updates at Oh, the Books!
Since last week was our Grand Opening, we didn’t do our normal weekly recap, complete with the massive list of links that is our usual style. That means this week’s recap is going to extra full, because it’s got two whole weeks’ worth of linkage! We hope you enjoy!
In Case You Missed It
Last week was our Grand Opening, where we each shared our personal reasons for deciding to move away from our individual blogs and into this new group blog, along with some fun features in our individual styles. We hope you all enjoyed this special week, and don’t forget to enter all the giveaways!
Grand Opening Week:
- Grand Opening Announcement (+ giveaway)
- Kelley’s Personal Story (+ giveaway)
- Leanne’s Personal Story (+ giveaway)
- Asti’s Personal Story (+ giveaway)
- Kelley’s Bookish Bloggery Quiz*
- Leanne’s Photo Field Trip
- Asti’s Bookish Wars: YA Heroines
- Asti also shared what’s been going on in her life, in a farewell post over at A Bookish Heart.
- Asti was also featured in Judith’s Picture This series!
*This now contains a leaderboard so go record your score!** **Yes, this means you will have to take the quiz again. :(
Behind the Scenes:
- Remember that cute little Special Features widget in our sidebar? Now the Oh, the Books Bookish Guides button links to an explanation, plus our planned posts for it!
Our Lives This Week
[stextbox id=”asti” defcaption=”true” collapsing=”true”]What’s happened these past two weeks aside from AHHHH OH, THE BOOKS HAS OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED?! Well… I took a lot of pictures of my feet.
I know, it’s hard to keep up with the excitement that is my life. I try, I really do. It’s just so rough.
A part from my exciting foot photo action, I spent the last two weeks finishing up my time with the Bloomsbury Children’s Marketing team (which was a lot of fun) and getting back in the swing of university work (which was not as much fun). Oh, the joys of a publishing girl’s life![/stextbox]
[stextbox id=”leanne” defcaption=”true” collapsing=”true”]So, what have I been up to this week? And this ENTIRE YEAR?! Well, this past Tuesday was Mardi Gras so I’ve spent a fair amount of time leading up to it finding alternate traffic routes, avoiding drunks, giving tourists directions they immediately ignore, and staying indoors whenever possible. And painting. Classes have been on break for a week, so what do I do with my free time? Not catch up on homework, that’s for sure, haha. A lot of my painting-at-home has revolved around customizing my art journal cover, and listening to this fabulous Kaki King album called Glow on repeat. FOR DAYS. (Thanks to Kelley for introducing me to that gorgeous music, by the way!) You can check out my current favorite from the album in the Videos of the Week section below. I still get chills and major feels every time I hear it. Maybe I’ll share some pictures when I’m done moving in to that journal. It’s technically a book, after all. ;)[/stextbox]
[stextbox id=”kelley” defcaption=”true” collapsing=”true”]Is it okay if I go back to the whole “my week in tweets and pictures” thing? Honestly, my life has been such a blur lately that I’m having trouble remembering what day it is! So, uh… Let’s see. I got some new paintings by Elizabeth Simins (!!!) and I got some new ampersands to cover my wall with!
I don’t even… uh… what else? I got to see Jessica Brody on Thursday, and she was as hilarious and entertaining as always. I’m so boring, sorry guys. Just move on to the links — I know that’s what you’re here for anyway! [/stextbox]
Elsewhere in the blogosphere
I hope you’re prepared for our massive, amazing linkage. Between Kelley linking for the past two weeks and adding in Leanne’s and Asti’s normal major linkage, we have a lot of posts to share with you!
On Blogging and Book Reviewing
Commenting on Blogs
- Ashley provides some insight on SEO when commenting.
- Hannah has implemented a new commenting system.
- Claire says yes, she reads your posts — she just sucks at commenting.
- Pamela talks about the commenting system on Blogger.
- Kelly explains why CAPTCHA is evil and must die.
- Chiara explains why she comments on old posts.
- Stephanie shares her experience with commenting back.
- Cait wants to know which commenting platform you like best.
- Jess asks for advice on submitting reviews to publishers.
- Jamie officially hangs up her hat as a book reviewer.
- Carrie answers an inquiry about finding time to read and review.
- Ashley says she has trouble reviewing popular books.
- Charleen talks about specific criticism and vague praise.
- Alise wants to know why you review books.
- Charlotte has decided she’s not going to review every book she reads.
- Danielle wonders if it’s ethical to review a book you beta-read.
- Emz explains why writing a review is a pain.
- Natalie contemplates: to read reviews or not to read?
- Ellie admits she hates writing book reviews.
- Trish wants to know what you do when you don’t feel like reviewing books.
- Jeann says no to spoilers.
- Joe asks if you should sue your ebook reviewers (the answer is NO, Joe.).
- Christine is giving up, after 10 years of reveiwing books on Amazon.
- Mel discusses changing older ratings on her blog.
- Charlotte explores the difference between inspiration and copying.
- Ashley talks about designing your blog in WordPress vs Blogger.
- Rachel talks about the progression and inspiration for her blog design.
- Ashley explains how to use different Google Fonts for headings.
- Charlotte shows off her new blog design!
- Ashley shares her blogging and web developing tools of the trade.
Other Blogging-Related Discussions
- The folks at Cuddlebuggery have a survey you should fill out!
- Alice has opened her blog for guest post submissions.
- Ashley rages about being added to mailing lists without her permission.
- Holly assures bloggers there’s no right or wrong way to blog.
- Cait shares 5 ways of self-promo you should absolutely avoid.
- Ashley admits she doesn’t have any publisher or author contacts.
- Angie wants to know if your blog is a secret.
- Lucy talks about why she blogs.
- Christina makes some blogger confessions.
- Nikki shares her thoughts on posting book hauls.
- Ula complains about being out of region on NetGalley.
- Rachel has a book blogger checklist for an awesome blog.
- Ashley wants blog recommendations for adult fiction, audiobooks, and romance.
- Jamie has lots of questions about blogging.
- Rachel is sometimes fail when it comes to release dates.
- Kate shares 5 easy steps on how to be a happy blogger.
- Sophie wonders why we tend to hide our blogs.
On Writing & Publishing
- Claire Legrand discusses the importance of the unlikeable heroine.
- Kayla’s thinking about gendered names in stories.
- Drew explains how to use the deduction game to improve your writing.
- Chuck Wendig offers some advice about question-driven plotting.
- Erin Bowman has some tips for where to turn when it’s time to research.
- Emily Gould laments how much her novel cost her.
- Kayla talks about pacing yourself.
- Janet Reid offers advice for if one’s agent stops responding.
- Abria shares her favorite books for writers.
- Stephanie ponders subvocalization: do you talk while you write?
- Jodi Meadows discusses the pressures of publishing.
- Jessica Brody offers 5 tips for outsmarting writer’s block.
- Amanda explains the different types of editing there is.
- The YA Buccaneers discuss different methods for keeping your writing goals.
- Abria shares her favorite tools for writing.
- JJ discusses the art of writing tension.
- Drew asks writers: have you ever been confusing to avoid being controversial?
- Head of Zeus publishing house shares the story behind their super awesome name and logo.
Things Bookworms Think About
- Lillian discusses faces on covers.
- Rachel has some thoughts about the book description.
- Anya wonders if other people get in audiobook slumps.
- Amy reunites with audiobooks.
- Krista interviews the audiobook narrator for The Lunar Chronicles.
- Arial wants to know if you read the copyright page.
- Sandra thinks that size does matter.
- Emz investigates the real popularity of books.
- Krys wonders if there’s truly a book for everyone.
- Lili talks about the space issue when bringing your books to college.
- Mitchii is annoyed that people call print books “real books”.
- Josephine lists the trouble with ebooks.
- Ceilidhann talks about when book covers miss the point.
- Ana has some thoughts about finishing a series she didn’t like.
- Cindy explains why she hates series.
- Ana admits she is scared of starting series.
- Amy explains what the New Adult genre could learn from Mr. Magorium.
- Kimberly muses about fantasy without magic.
- Steph has a great feature on the genesis of graphic novels.
- Rinn has some thoughts on neglected non-fiction.
- Pamela wants to know how you define a classic.
- Stormy says she is a one-sitting reader.
- Renae says reading puts her imagination into overdrive.
- Kayla confesses some weird reading habits.
- Kelly explains why talking about girl reading matters.
- Alyssa has some advice on what to do if your partner doesn’t read.
- Jamie admits she’s no longer a book monogamist.
- Lauren says she’s going to read what she wants.
- Jen and April talk about buddy reads.
- Hannah wants to know if you’re an emotional or analytical reader.
- Nicole discusses converting nonreaders into readers.
- Lily has decided it’s Book Slump Season.
- Christy shares her thoughts on reading schedules.
- Melissa is challenging herself to read new things.
- Renae says when it comes to reading recommendations, she fails.
- Kelly discusses adults reading YA.
- Jo talks about how having an e-reader changed her reading habits.
- Courtney Summers has strong feelings about couples who never got together in stories.
- Charlotte wants to know why we keep seeing instalove everywhere.
- Nafiza explores the Happily Ever After myth.
- April wonders if you could love someone not quite human.
- GillyB needs love in the books that she reads.
- Arianne and Liza share their thoughts on love triangles.
- Pam talks about ways authors keep couples apart.
Other Bookish Thoughts
- Ashley wants to know how you organize your Goodreads shelves.
- Brittany shares her thoughts after her book therapy session with Estelle.
- Lindsey discusses bookworms – glamorized in fiction, crazed in reality.
- Miranda isn’t a fan of comparing books to other books.
- Genevieve is happy with her book buying habits.
- Allie talks about YA’s weirdest names.
- Larissa discusses multiple POVs in stories.
- Renae is complete fail when it comes to reading recommendations.
- Echo talks about grammar and readability.
- Charlotte has tips on how to survive being unable to buy books.
- Julia defends her love of fanfiction.
- Carlene says books are still a valid source of information.
- Epic Reads has a huge chart of YA retellings.
- They also have some AWESOME guides to the Under the Never Sky series!
- Here are 23 Sentence Diagrams That Show The Brilliance Of Famous Novels’ Opening Lines
- Parajunkee’s thinking about color schemes for blogs and books.
- Stacey created a list of 25 books that are perfect for book lovers.
- Have you heard of Spritz – a new method of speed reading? (Found via Sana – thanks!)
- Kristy has a collection of tattoos and nail art inspired by Daughter of Smoke and Bone!
- Waterstones made some pretty amazing literary scenes out of Legos. I don’t remember Batman being in Dracula when I read it, but… seems legit!
- This Game of Thrones pop-up book transforms completely into a 3D map of Westeros!
- io9 has an infographic that keeps track of all the Shakespeare deaths for you.
- You can now play Bite and Sting (a game which apparently features in The Winner’s Curse) online!
- Here’s some news about the film adaptation for A Monster Calls!
- Flavorwire has a small set of tiny dioramas made from books.
- Terry Border gives new personality to classic paperbacks by adding wire appendages. Aww!
- Tahereh Mafi commissioned an architectural model of her husband’s Miss Peregrine house. And did you know Tim Burton is directing a film adaptation?
- Wild Olive has some freaking adorable (and delicious-looking) printable bookmarks. You can keep your place with magnets! And cuteness! (And even more!)
- Penguin has a whole series of classics illustrated with gorgeous drop caps!
Science & Science Fiction Goodies
- This kid and his dog may be the most adorable Han Solo & Chewbacca impersonators, EVER. Also his cutie pie twin is the most adorable Darth Vader!
- This microscopic time lapse video shows how snowflakes form.
- Extra-Badass Dinosaur Named for Dinotopia’s James Gurney!
- Eve has created a mixtape to put a smile on your face.
- Sandra’s mixtape is her favorite music to listen to while being creative.
- Take a look inside Guillermo del Toro’s sketchbook.
- Here are 10 things you might not know about nude models (NSFW).
- And here’s a first look at the Luis Royo sketches for George R. R. Martin’s The Ice Dragon!
- Artist Craig Davidson has made a series of paintings showing the power of children’s imaginations, especially when playing their favorite literary characters.
- One very patient anime lover started up the Anime-Backgrounds tumblr, where he/she digitally removes anime characters from backgrounds so the underlying art can shine through.
- Need cheap art to cheer up your sad, bare walls? Get thrift store paintings and slap some monsters on ’em.
Physical & Mental Health
- Libba Bray opens up about the pain of depression.
- Julie Flygare has 10 things you should know about narcolepsy.
- Ron speaks about reaching his autistic son through Disney.
Kickstarter Projects You Should Totally Support
- Celestian Tales: Old North is exactly the kind of RPG Kelley’s been wishing for, for years now!
- The Bacterionomicon is an amazing combination of science, fantasy art, gaming, and bookish goodness!
- Fireside Magazine is funding their third year, with the goal of making their website free to everyone! So much short-fictiony goodness, of all genres!
- Nuz compares her life now to when she was age 16.
- Laura shares her past experience with the Oscars.
- Alice-Jane looks at cafe culture in America and the accuracy of portrayal in media.
- Jessica shares the truth when it comes to her and exotic cuisine.
- Stormy recommends everything from books to apps to lipsticks.
- Helen shares her difficulty breaking her lifetime habit of putting two spaces at the end of each sentence.
- Beth Revis and MG Buehrlen have a discussion about embracing your inner nerd.
- Shannelle has some thoughts about instagram and twitter.
Videos of the Week
- Leanne’s current favorite song for creating art at home: Kaki King’s Skimming the Fractured Surface to a Place of Endless Light.
- Asti doesn’t even own a TV in the UK, but somehow she couldn’t escape this #SingItKitty commercial for the mobile company Three.
- If you haven’t seen Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld yet, then WTF ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE.
- The latest video from Ransom & Tahereh made Kelley unexpectedly burst out laughing!
- Even if you don’t watch Parks & Rec, if you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you will enjoy this deleted scene.
- This stop-motion trailer for The Boxtrolls looks fantastic.
- This may be the coolest watch in existence now, and possibly for all time in the future.
- While Leanne was on hiatus, the south got snow, and ALMOST AN ARMAGEDDON! Not enough freaking out yet? Here’s a Sneaux Day parody song.
- New Orleans street performer Uncle Louie talks about his constant work toward perfection.
- This Lindsey Stirling parody is freaking hilarious.
Question of the Week
Our Grand Opening week has officially ended and now we’ll begin our regular blogging schedule. We’d like to know how our first week has been and what you want to see in the future.
Have you had any technical issues on our site (with commenting, etc.)?
If you subscribe by email, have you had any problems, or have our daily updates been too much? (When signing up for our email subscriptions you can choose to receive weekly emails instead of daily, in case you didn’t notice!)
What are you hoping to see on the blog?
So, how was your week?