Tagged: discussion

Discussion: Blog Traffic Patterns

One odd thing I’ve noticed over the years is that Mondays are my absolute best traffic days but Fridays are my worst.  This isn’t that odd when you think about it: people love to procrastinate at work on Mondays whereas on Fridays they’re more focused on going out.  But what’s interesting to me is what happens when there’s a holiday in North America (primarily in the United States): traffic goes down.

With everyone at home, you’d think my traffic would go up.  Yet the week of American Thanksgiving always finds virtual tumbleweeds blowing across the expanse of my blog.  What gives?  Do people only visit during work hours to procrastinate or when it’s a holiday do more people spend time with their families instead of on the internet?  It’s an interesting question and I wonder if it’s the same for a lot of other blogs or even larger websites.

Well, what do you guys think?  If you’re a blogger, do you have this happen as well?

Discussion: Reducing the TBR Pile

Like most book bloggers out there, my TBR pile is getting insane.  It includes not only books I’ve agreed to review for authors who contacted me while submissions were open but also books I requested from authors, NetGalley requests and of course my own personal collection (which grows by the month).  I’m starting to think I have a problem with cutting down on books.

However, these past few weeks since I’ve been back blogging I’ve drastically reduced my TBR pile.  I haven’t bought any new books and I’ve been going through my NetGalley dashboard to make sure I read and review all of the books on my shelf before I request any new ones.  Then I’m going to tackle the books I promised to review for authors and publishers, then books I requested from authors personally and finally the books I bought for myself. I have no illusions: I’m never going to actually cut down my TBR pile to zero.  However, I hope to get it down to at least less than 100.  It’s getting a little ridiculous.

So what do your TBR piles look like?  What strategies do you have for cutting them down to a more appropriate size?

Discussion: Finding New Books

One of the things I’ve never struggled with since becoming a book blogger is finding new books and new authors to read.  I mean, I’ve had to close my submissions twice in order to catch up with the absolute deluge of requests that have flooded in.  In addition to that, I of course find new books from the recommendations of other reviewers, book tours companies, NetGalley and general Goodreads browsing.  But I’m curious: how do you personally come across new books?

Do you mostly find them when you’re browsing online or in a bookstore?  Are they mostly recommended to you by friends?  Or are you a fellow blogger and find lots of interesting books from the reviews of other book bloggers?

Let me know in the comments below!

Discussion: Pinterest and Blogging

I joined Pinterest just a few months ago in part because I noticed how many referrals I was getting from it.  (Not an insane amount, but a couple every day do add up over time.)  So I started creating various boards of varying levels of relevance to my blog and waited.  I was pleasantly surprised when my referrals from Pinterest went up, particularly from the cover images of books I reviewed that I later pinned.

So what I want to know now is this: If you’re a blogger and/or author, do you use Pinterest?  Has it driven any traffic to your blog?  Why or why not?

Discussion: Getting Out of a Reading Slump

Currently I’m on a roll with reading books but there have been times when the last thing I wanted to do was read.  I call these ‘reading slumps’ and it seems like every book blogger and/or avid reader has them on occasion.  So how do we get over them and get back blogging?

For me, writing about something else seems to help.  If I write about something book-related but don’t actually do reviews, sometimes it rekindles that urge to read again.  And a little ranting once in a while is good for you anyway.  Sometimes I don’t have a miracle cure for reading slumps; I just snap out of them without warning.  Other times it’s re-reading an old favourite that helps me.  I don’t really have a surefire way to get out of a reading slump and I think methods for getting out of reading slumps are very individualized.  What works for one blogger doesn’t necessarily work for another.

So what I want to know now is this: How do you get out of your reading slumps?  Does your method always work or work some of the time?

Discussion: Twitter Usage

As a blogger I resisted joining Twitter for a long time but over the years I’ve actually found it quite worthwhile (thanks so much to Mark from The Masquerade Crew for convincing me).  It’s let me connect with authors and fellow readers in much more meaningful ways than I initially thought it would.  I’ve used it as both a promotion tool for my posts as well as a way to quickly bug my favourite indie authors about when their next book is coming out.

But what I want to discuss is this: If you use Twitter, how do you use it?  Is it more of a promotion tool or a networking tool?  Both?  Neither?

Let me know in the comments below!

Discussion: #YANeedsMore…

If any of you were on Twitter a few days ago you were probably annoyed at me for tweeting so many things under the YANeedsMore hashtag.  I apologize for that but it got me so excited about the chance to share my thoughts on what my favourite genre needs more of.  I don’t expect it to change anything because hashtags rarely do but it was nice to get things out there.  Some of my suggestions for #YANeedsMore were:

  • Main characters who try, fail and then learn from their mistakes. Just like real teenagers do!
  • Main characters who struggle with mental illness as teens: clinical depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, OCD, etc.
  • Characters with parents who care when their teenager suddenly starts behaving completely differently!
  • Characters who live in poverty and struggle with it daily. Not everyone lives in the suburbs.
  • Teen characters with chronic illnesses. Yes, even teenagers can be sick! And sometimes it isn’t always obvious.
  • Female protagonists who are okay with not currently being in a relationship. Seriously, not everyone wants to date constantly.
  • Disabled characters as main characters, not as cheesy inspiration for the able-bodied protagonist.
  • Clumsy non-athletes who don’t become butt-kicking machines after only a few weeks of training. Not realistic!

Those are just the highlights of my time on that particular hashtag but there were so many other tweets highlighting the need for actual racial diversity, interracial relationships, LGBT representation and so much more.

Now, this is absolutely not to say that books with these characteristics don’t exist because they do.  And that’s awesome!  But it would be nice to see a few more with some of these traits, to see them in the mainstream.  I love that so many indie authors are working on bringing some of these books to life but I would really love to see big publishers with the guts to publish YA books like that.

So what I want to know now is this: What do you think YA as a genre needs more of?