Yes folks, it’s time for another weird search term round up. And I’ve got some pretty funny/fascinating/bizarre ones to show you this time:
yes i am bad u know
famous people with gastroparesis
am single i need a call
look of library book
the day after i killed myself
how long to read 100 pages of nursing text book
And the winner is:
how to write a mail review
Okay, so this week’s question is: What is a mail review?
As I mentioned in my initial question-submitting post, I didn’t exactly get to answer many of your questions. In fact, I only ended up answering one, which you can find using this link. So I wanted to go back and properly answer all of the questions I didn’t get to last year.
Harliqueen asked me:
What made you want to start a review blog and what keeps you going on with it?
If I’m being completely honest here (as I try to be), I have no idea what made me want to start a review blog. I’m serious. One night I was lying awake in bed with an unusually bad bout of insomnia and it just popped into my head that I should start a book blog. Then, the next day when I got seriously thinking about things I thought it would be a great idea. I could connect with fellow readers, something that never happens in my small, geographically isolated village. And I could get free books eventually. Wouldn’t it be cool if people actually wanted to read about my thoughts on books?
Fast forward to now three years later where 1,220 people wanted to read what I write about books enough to click the follow button. My large-to-me readership is part of what keeps me going but it fundamentally comes down to a love of books. I love talking about books, writing about books and sharing my opinions about books with other readers. We have some great debates here on The Mad Reviewer and I really couldn’t be happier about the awesome commenting community I have. Not everyone comments and that’s cool with me as well; some of you just lurk, some of you like to tweet or retweet links to my posts, some of you are authors waiting for a review from me. It doesn’t really matter to me why people read my blog, I just love the fact that they do and I get to share my love of books with so many people.
Emily Guido asked me:
That was a great question but my question is kind of weird. I just want to know as a reviewer, like to actually just read to read. I write, yes… but I review books or beta read for other struggling authors. But sometimes, I just like to download a book and just fall into it and not think about reviewing or beta reading or anything else. I guess that keeps me sane and I escape! I’m a big fan of yours! Great blog! Lots of love, Emily
Yep, sometimes I just love to download a book and not even think of reviewing it as well. I review a lot of the books I read but there are certain types of books that I really don’t like reviewing on my blog, so I don’t. The number one thing that comes to mind is erotica and/or trashy romances. Sometimes I just want a guilty pleasure read and so I download some (usually) pretty awful free erotica novels and short stories off of Amazon or read some of the fifty cent romance books I picked up at the local bookstore before it closed. In the latter books, the heroine and the hero of each novel is pretty much interchangeable with not much character development and sometimes that’s just what you need! So yes, while I review 99% of what I read, that 1% can be some pretty awful writing and I absolutely love it once in a while.
Mark Lee asked me:
Ooh, how about this: what’s your all-time favorite book and why?
I think the book that is my all-time favourite in the sense that I’ve loved it for years would be any of the Harry Potter series. It had a huge impact on my childhood! (I distinctly remember being 11 and waiting for my owl from Hogwarts to come…) And now as an adult I went back and read the series and completely understand why my mother loved reading it and watching all of the movies with me. It’s great! It truly is magical and unique! The amazing thing about the Harry Potter series is not just how unique it really was when it came out but also how easy to relate to it was for people of all genders, races and age groups. Both myself and the boys in my class read the series in the third grade and loved it (of course not all of the books were even out then, so the series up until that point). And considering how little many of the boys in my class read, that was simply amazing.
Harry Potter just has a magic all of its own that has captivated almost everyone who reads the series. I happen to be one of them.
Now I feel much better about myself for finally having answered the questions you guys posed to me over a year ago. If you have any new ones or any follow up questions, head on over to my call for question submissions here and ask away!
Yes, folks, it’s time for another weird search term round up and I’ve got some pretty bizarre ones this time around. Here are just some of the more recent weird search terms I’ve received:
people who criticiz the endings of books
i’m an artist i will not work for free
the mad warlock
goodbye farewell to a wonderful person
most self published authors bad writers
mr.willy wonka;s factory write an essay the story of my name is khan
age apropiate mad books
why do girls hate game of throwns
the mad zats flowers for algernon
what is the code word for walking dead november 23,2014
i’m greedy for you
read to me the word lynburns
mad brown girls porn photo
And best of all:
did roman gladiators puke
Um…yes? Like all human beings I think gladiators were capable of vomiting. So what do you guys think of these search terms? Have you gotten any weird ones lately?
Yesterday I looked back at my 2014 blogging goals post and was happy to discover that I actually achieved most of what I set out to do. In part due to luck, but also due to hard work and the fact that I set realistic, measurable goals. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about goals is that they have to be measurable so you can plan toward them or you’ll never actually get things done.
So here are the things I want to achieve in 2015:
1. Reach 2,000 followers.
I started the year with 1,156 followers so I don’t see this as an unreasonable goal. Once I get my posting back to a consistent pace I’ll of course attract more people (and get fewer unfollows) but I’d also like to dabble in social media a little more. Maybe start a Pinterest or Instragram account; I still refuse to use Facebook. Being more active on social media can’t hurt, that’s for sure.
2. Get back to posting every day.
I fell short on the ‘post every day’ motto that I lived by for nearly two years and I think it’s time to get back on that. It’s not a difficult thing; I’m still reading just as many books as I used to but I got lazy about reviewing them. There’s really no excuse for this and so my goal for 2015 is to post something every day and not just have huge blank spaces on my calendar where I keep track of posts. I’m not going to do reviews on the weekend just to make my goal but I will do more discussion posts, Lazy Sunday posts and keep on doing more articles. Hopefully that greater variety will motivate me a little more.
3. Hit the 750 reviews mark.
Right now I have written and published 595 reviews over the nearly 3 years of my blog being active. By the time January 13 (my blog anniversary) rolls around I should hit 600, which means that I’ve averaged 200 books read and reviewed for three years now. I’m hoping to keep that streak up but I also realize that I’m going to be way busier this year than I usually am in my personal life. So I think 150 books reviewed in one year is a reasonable goal.
4. Write more and a better variety of articles.
I’ve already started on this resolution with my Forgotten Figures series, but I’d also like to take things up a notch. I want to publish a variety of articles on topics like blogging advice, the challenges of being a book reviewer, industry news and such. Heck, maybe I’ll sneak in a Game of Thrones article or two in time for Season 5 so I can get a monster spike in my statistics just like last year. Who knows? All I know is that my goal is to write at least one well-researched article per month, preferably two.
5. Clear my review requests and open up submissions again.
I’m actually doing pretty well on this one so far, having reviewed four of the 14 books I said I would from my last round of submissions. I think this is in part because I’ve been pickier about what I’ll accept. I really only accept requests that I really think I will like so it hasn’t really been hard to motivate myself to make time to read the submissions. So my goal this year is to read and review those last ten books and open up limited submissions once again. I can’t say yes to everyone, so I will dependably say yes to a few people.
Well, these are my blogging goals for 2015 and I hope to look back in January 2016 and say “I achieved all 5 of my goals”. None of these are unreasonable so I think with the right amount of motivation and effort I can actually do all of them barring any unforeseen catastrophic events in my life.
But what I want to know now is this: What are some of your blogging goals for 2015 (yes, you are more than welcome to link to your posts!)? What do you think of my goals?
Yep, this is another Best and Worst of… installment that’s a little late but it’s better late than never. Especially considering all of the tech problems I’ve had recently (and am still having). My keyboard recently died on my desktop so now I have to use a laptop that is way too small for my long fingers. Oh well, things could be worse.
Sadly on the statistics front, July just couldn’t compete with the previous four record-breaking months. Now that Game of Thrones is done for another several months and school is out (so I don’t get hits on my Hunger Games articles as much) I expected my views to go down and I wasn’t surprised when I only received 6,344 page views with 4,568 unique views. Still, that’s much better than last July, which clocked in at 3,958 total page views. My site is continuing to grow in popularity so I can hardly complain about how tough I have it.
Well, what were the best articles this month?
As with the previous four months, my Game of Thrones article gave me over half of the views I received and the other articles preceding it were far behind by comparison (3000+ hits compared to 100). My discussions did better than they usually do, mainly because I haven’t really posted discussions for a while since my tech problems started. Speaking of which, I still have to reply to all of those awesome comments!
So what were the worst articles in July?
All of these are reviews this month, which is unusual, but at the same time it’s not all that concerning. They’re all books that have been out for a while so of course they’re not going to get the same amount of hits as newer books that are being talked about all over the internet. I don’t see any repeat offenders so I usually don’t get too worried about which reviews appear on the worst list.
Well, that’s how my July went: lower stats and tons of tech problems but still not too bad. Work is busy, which is good, but at the same time I look back on the slow days of winter with longing because while I’m ringing up customers constantly I’m not getting any cleaning or estimating done. Still, I can’t complain. How was your July?
Last week was pretty sparse reviews-wise in part because of that awesome guest post by Don Maker. However, that left me plenty of time to read so this week is going to be review heavy.
- A review of Fire and Sword by Louise Turner. I chose to review this for the blog tour and although it took me forever to finish it I enjoyed it thoroughly. Scottish history is really not my strong point but I can confidently say that I learned something by reading this book!
- A review of In Defense of the Queen by Michelle Diener. I actually finished this book ages ago but I was so tightly scheduled in April that I couldn’t fit it in until now. This is the third book in the Susanna Horenbout and John Parker series and after the cliffhanger of the second book I was very, very eager to start reading this one.
- A review of Mine to Spell by Janeal Falor. I loved the first book in this series, You Are Mine so when I heard Janeal Falor was sending out ARCs for the second book I snapped one up right away. Cynthia is very different from Serena, the first book’s protagonist and at this point I really can’t say who I like more! They’re both good.
- A review of Shattered Secrets by Krystal Wade. Way back when I started blogging I reviews Krystal Wade’s debut trilogy and loved it. So how could I resist starting on her latest series? My only worry was if it would live up to Wilde’s Fire.
- A review of The Curse by Jennifer Brassel. This one was a guilty pleasure read that I requested on NetGalley. I mean how could I resist ancient Egypt, romance and a little bit of mystery?
- Discussion: Violence in Literature. How much is too much?
As a book reviewer, I obviously give out a lot of criticism so of course I’m equipped to take a lot of criticism. I keep an open mind and weigh pretty much everyone’s opinion carefully to see whether it has merit or not. I listen to the feedback my readers give me through polls and comments as well as read articles about how to improve my blog. Improving my blog is a constant work in progress, if I’m honest so I do like criticism. However, there are right and wrong ways to go about criticizing a book reviewer and/or their reviews.
There are a lot of problems with criticizing something this way, but the main logical fallacy is this: [x] group of people liked [y] therefore you should. This is utterly ridiculous and I would have expected better from the teacher (yes, a teacher said this!) who criticized my review of The Outsiders. That’s like saying lots of middle schoolers a couple of years ago loved Justin Bieber therefore I should like Justin Bieber. Anyone with a brain can dispute that logic, believe me.
Quite frankly, I don’t give a crap if an entire class of middle schoolers liked The Outsiders. This is arrogant of me but I think I have slightly more reading experience than they do, considering I have averaged 200 books per year for well over a decade. Is my opinion more valid than theirs? No, but it’s certainly more informed. In the end, what’s wrong with criticizing a review like this is the idea that one group likes something and therefore everyone should like it. It’s ridiculous. Continue reading