Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Armchair BEA 2013 Day 2: Blogger Development and Genre Fiction

graphic by Nina at Nina Reads
Hello, Internet, and welcome to Day 2 of Armchair BEA!

Blogger Development
I'll admit that my blog is tiny in the grand scheme of things. I usually get next to no comments (other than this one week a year), I don't have that many subscribers, and my view count isn't terribly high. But I think that those facts stand true for a lot of reasons.

For starters, I jumped into book blogging not knowing that a community already existed, I just wanted to write. I had no idea what ARCs were or blog tours or any of it. And in some ways, I think that was a good thing. I think I would have been intimidated and talked myself out of it. But I've been doing this for a while now and I've gotten the hang of things. My blog is smaller, sure, but that's what works for me. This is one of many hobbies I have, so I give it what I can. Lately I've gotten better about contacting publishers, getting on lists, that sort of thing, but I also have a full time job and my own writing aspirations.

My advice to new book bloggers and book tubers is this: don't expect overnight success. Unless your best friend is a NYT best selling author or runs a huge blog, it will take time and a lot of effort. But if you love it, it will be worth it. I'm so appreciative of each and every person who reads or views or comments, and it is important to let them know that. Stick with it and your time will eventually come.

Genre Fiction
"What's your favorite genre? What kinds of books to you most like to read/review?" Ugh these questions! They seem so simple, they ought to have one word answers, but is that ever really the case?

Generally, I like contemporary fiction, stories that could be happening at this very moment. However, I like it with fantasy or science fiction or paranormal twists, too. Magical realism when done well can be awesome. That being said, I try to be widely read too (but usually no gory thrillers or horror - I'm a BIG pansy). I love fantasy and always have as a proud member of the Harry Potter generation. In recent years I've come to like science fiction because I think the genre has evolved in ways that makes it more accessible. Paranormal I still tend to be a bit picky only because the vampire trend was SO BIG and it wasn't my thing, so I tread lightly there. Like my comments on classics yesterday, my reading picks come down to one thing: do I connect with this story on a deeper level?

Some favorites that come to mind which showcase my evolution in reading tastes over the last year and my efforts to expand what genres I read, in no particular order, are as follows:

  • Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King (magical realism)
  • Pivot Point by Kasie West (science fiction)
  • The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer (science fiction)
  • The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (fantastical elements)
If you have any suggestions or thoughts, I'd be happy to hear them. Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!


18 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh...Please Ignore Vera Dietz was/is amazing. So well done, powerful. Have read Cinder but not the second, love what she did with Cinderella, love it. Have not read the other two, yet.

    Great advice on the blogging. I started a while ago, go some follows, but I think part of it was doing the whole giveaway thing and doing a lot of blog hops (which I had a blast doing!) The only issue on that for me became is that I didn't really find my voice as a blogger, I don't think. Now, I just blog what I love, usually just once a week. Now I feel ready to really shape my blog and feel as though I am finding my voice. In other words, it is worth taking your time and just being you....without overusing the word "just", lol!

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    1. So much love for A.S. King! I was lucky enough to meet her and she once replied to an email I sent her - her words were so completely inspiring to me. Thanks for your kind words on my blogging advice - I hardly feel qualified to give it, but I'm always glad to see people grow as bloggers and readers.

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  2. Book blogging is not about followers or comments. As long as you are happy with your blog, those things will follow sooner or later :) I'm a proud Potter head and The Lunar Chronicles are awesome.

    Development + Fiction - Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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    1. Absolutely, I completely agree! It's so easy to get lost in the numbers side of blogging and make it feel like a contest, but at the end of the day, to me it's all about the books and the community of people who are just as enthusiastic about them as I am. Thanks for commenting!

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  3. I absolutely loved The Scorpio Races too. And you're advice is so spot on - it does take time to get a blog known out there. And I would add, that it has to be promoted - a lot and often. Otherwise, how are people ever going to see it, among the millions of other choices?!

    Tanya Patrice
    Girlxoxo.com

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    1. So true on promotion! That in itself can be a big undertaking, which again is why my blog is on the smaller side and I'm cool with that. Great point and thanks so much for commenting!

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  4. Blogging is not about comments, followers, or pageviews. It wasn't until I quit stressing about them that I began loving it so much. :) Great advice!

    - Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl

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    1. Here here! Thanks for reading and commenting =)

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  5. Hi Monica!
    OK I admire you so much (thus, I have followed you) You're story is almost exactly like mine! I started blogging about books without realising that the Book Blogging World existed. And your advice is PERFECT: DON'T expect overnight success. Some blogs do have overnight "success" which is basically hosting massive giveaways and amassing followers through that. The problem is, is that most of those followers aren't actually interested in the blog. My blogging philosophy is: only follow my blog if you are truly interested. There's no room for people who don't care, you know?

    OMG, I've so avoided horror but now I feel like I should give it a go, get out of my comfort zone :) Great response! I look forward to reading more of your blog in the future!

    Have a great Armchair BEA!
    -Kirthi
    PS: my post

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    1. Aw thank you so much! And I completely agree with what you say about how people can sometimes only follow blogs for the giveaways, not for the content. Personally, I don't enter contests on blogs if I'm not interested in what they're saying, but it's undeniable that giveaways are a huge way of drawing people in. As for horror, I've read a little that I liked but I'm still a wimp. If you're new to it, I'd try Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake - it's a horror story with a lot of really cool things going on. Thanks for commenting and subscribing - you rock!

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  6. Good tips on development! Love the Lunar Chronicles and The Scorpio Races! I've been meaning to read Pivot Point!

    my armchair BEA post

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    1. OMG Pivot Point! LOVE doesn't even do my feelings for that book justice. It's contemporary science fiction and just OMG YES READ IT! haha thanks for commenting!

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  7. You make some great points. I enjoyed reading your insights into blogger development.

    LLM - ABookGeek

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  8. Those were some really good points that were true to the point. I really get no comments/views either, but I do blogging for fun. I'm really starting to think about posting a spoilery post/video to rant about my feels. A review just doesn't let me throw all my feelings out there. I don't even know if you understand what I'm trying to say, haha.

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    1. I totally get what you mean! That's part of the reason I started my video reviews series (lamely titled Where's Your Bookmark? rather than simply 'book review' but alas) - it's a different way of reaching a different audience, and sometimes you can express more in a three minute video that could turn people off if they read it in a blog post format because they're intimidated by length. Send me a link somewhere if you decide to enter the world of booktubing - I'd love to check it out and thanks for commenting =)

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  9. I'm such a noob but over time I learned quite a lot Thanks for sharing your exp. I blog for fun or whenever something strikes me I type away haha! I put a flag counter to lessen my viewer anxiety lookin and learning different flags being registered etc. and opinions being noted was actually a really nice feeling.I always thought overnight fame is like cheating but hey it's up to people there's plenty of loop holes in the system but I still like do it the medium way for indeed it takes time.

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    1. Everybody's blogging experience is different, that's for sure. I see my stats here and on YouTube every time I log in, but I don't obsess over them. Like I said, my numbers are what they are because of how much time I can afford to put into this. I write and make videos more for me, but I love sharing it with others. I can only hope that if people like what they see here, they'll spread the love =) Thanks for commenting!

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