Saturday, December 4, 2010

Busting the Newbie Blues!

Welcome to Busting the Newbie Blues!  The lovely book lady at Small Review put together this wonderful event to bring YA blogging newbies and veterans together and increase blogger interaction.  In runs now through December 31st.  If you would like to participate, please visit her blog, grab the button, pick the appropriate questionnaire and link up - that's it!  Hope to see you there!

When did you start your blog?
October 14, 2010

Why did you start your blog?
I had never thought of blogging until one day I was looking up information about Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series (not YA, but completely wonderful).  I came across an interview with her along with a contest hosted by Missie at The Unread Reader.  I never really had done much blog browsing until then, never knew there was a global community of readers connected like this!  I have a journalism and communications background, and I've always been a die hard reader.  So, thanks Missie for being my catalyst into the bloggersphere!

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Honestly, the biggest challenge simply is finding the time and a decent internet connection.  I'm staying with mom temporarily until I move in with my fiance in January.  She has no internet, so I am relying on PDAnet and hooking up my Android to my laptop.  My signal is awful!  Most nights, it takes me hours to do something that normally wouldn't take that long with decent internet access.  Cuts into my reading time in a major way.

What do you find most discouraging about being a new blogger?
Nothing super discouraging yet.  I do worry that followers gained through contests won't actively participate on my blog.  I know we all love comments, but as a new blogger, I can tell you that I am espescially thankful.  It is so good to hear that someone enjoyed reading a post that I put a lot of time and thought into.

What do you find most encouraging?
The completely wonderful and amazing support that's out there!  Parajunkee's BB101 series is an incredible wealth of information, and I think it's so generous of her to share her knowledge.  Also, when you see veteran bloggers comment on your site, it makes you feel like you've done something right. 

Another great thing is when an author notices something you posted on a book.  I was stunned, absolutely gobsmacked when Gayle Forman tweeted and facebooked an open letter I wrote on If I Stay.  The book meant so much to me, and I was thrilled that something I wrote caught her eye.

What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
I like reading the different review styles.  Mostly, I am jealous of their blog designs and layouts, haha!  I am oh-so-slowly learning how to manipulate HTML code and do things with my blog template, but it's been a slow process.  I really need to get a button or something.  Eventually, I want to revamp what I have, but I am okay with the overall look for now.  Content is king, and as long as I am gaining new followers and receiving feedback, I am happy.  I think two examples of great bloggers with solid content are Adele at Persnickety Snark and Jenny at Supernatural Snark (I love the word 'snark').  Adele writes wonderfully original posts, and Jenny pens reviews that are among my very favorites to read.

What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this?
I like in-depth reviews.  I want to know why a book touched your heart or left you wanting more.  I read reviews on books that are mixed or unfavorable, too, but I get really excited when I see a book that's provoked a big reaction, good or bad.  In my Thursday News Roundup, I don't generally include links to unfavorable reviews, but if there was a negative review that was well-said and offered a good critique, I probably would.  I specifically target reviews on 1) books I haven't heard of before and think you may not have, either; 2) books that give good detail and a thumbs up; and 3) books that are receiving a lot of buzz.  I wouldn't be a good news gatherer if I didn't include items on what everyone is talking about, right?

Any advice for other new bloggers?
As Bob Dylan said, keep on keepin' on.  I didn't get into blogging because I wanted to blog.  I got into it because I love books, and I love talking about them.  I hope my blog is successful (don't we all), so I do try and research the best ways to network and spread the word. 

Anything else you’d like to share about your experience?
I have a passion for this.  My fiance is amazed that I come home from work everyday and hop right back on a computer or read the entire night away.  I love it, and I love meeting the people I have through it.  I consider it a real outlet for me.

Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your blog?
 I love my blog's name!  Alliteration is fun, don't you think?

 Thanks again to Small Review for hosting this event, and thanks to you for stopping by!  Please leave a comment and introduce yourself if you are new to bibliophile brouhaha or an old follower just stopping by!


  1. Great post. I love your blog especially Thursday News Round Up and of course your reviews.

    That is very cool that Gayle Forman posted and tweeted about your open letter. I get so excited when I hear from an author :)

  2. Thanks for the shout-out for the BB101 posts. I appreciate it. I'm glad it has helped.

  3. Hi, found your link on the Busting the Newbies link. You've given some great answers. It's been good to hop around reading everyones views. Love your blogging name BTW :)

  4. @Nic - thanks so much! Right back at you - you are another person who write very detailed reviews - love it! I actually think it was your blog that first introduced me to Raw Blue - you have my gratitude ;)

    @PJ man, that shout-out is deserved - you can pen your book on the subject and put it Amazon, I swear.

    @Slowest Bookworm - glad you enjoyed the post! I'll be swinging around you place soon!

  5. Ah, I'm so glad you're participating! Honestly, when I first found your blog I was sure you'd been doing it for years. I was shocked when I realized you'd only just started. I'm even more impressed now that you've said you've struggled with access to a good internet connection. Wow!

    Congrats on having an author contact you! That just recently happened to me and it was so awesome! I felt like, "Me? You actually notice little old me??" I think I'm still stuck in the past when authors were these mythical people you could only contact through a letter to their publisher.

    I love all the blogs you mentioned. Aren't they all great?

    Oh, and your blog name? Yes, it's totally cool. Cool as in the "Gee, I wish I thought of something that neat!" kind of way. There's also just something fun about saying brouhaha. Love it!

  6. I am SO glad to have found your blog through Small Review's feature! Book blogging is truly amazing, isn't it? I spend my days working on internet marketing, but nothing compares to the time I enjoy interacting with my fellow bloggers. It's a great community that we have!

    Don't let the whole follower thing discourage you. Followers gained through contests can be iffy, but you'd be amazed how many will stick with your site through thick and thin. I have far less followers than some of my favourite blogs, but I have an actively involved bunch, and I'm eternally grateful.

    Anyhoo, I'll quit rambling - just remember we're all here to help the newbies get going, if only to be cheerleaders! Keep up the good work :D

  7. I do love alliteration! And the word "brouhaha" =)

    That is so amazing about Gayle Foreman! I think that experience just encapsulates the book blogging world right there. It connects fans with their heroes, and what's more amazing than that?

  8. Hello! Nice to have found you! All your answers for the questionnaire are so extensive and well thought out! Now I feel lame for not writing longer answers to it on my blog. How cool is it that you were noticed by Gayle Forman?! Super cool!

  9. @SR - awww, you just seriously made my night! Thanks so much! Yes! That's exactly how it feels when an author contacts you!

    @Melissa - thanks so much, and you completely correct - the blogger interaction on here is amazing. The openess and the willingness to help is really awesome, and I think a rarity! Book Love bring people together, huh?

    @Casey - haha, my sixth grade pen pal introduced me to the word, and I have loved it ever since. You are spot on with comment on the book blogging world - there was a great post about this: The Ivory Tower meets Social Networking. Check it out!

    @Aylee thanks for stopping by. I'm sure your answers are great - I am coming over to check them out :)

  10. I have to say I love the name of your blog. :) It's very catchy. It is nice when you have authors now days able to connect with the readers through twiiter or Fb or any of those social sites. It gives you a little something more to know that they do care what we as readers think. Did that make sense? Anyways, love the blog.

  11. I'm jealous of other people's layouts too! A lot of the really great looking ones though haven't been designed by the blogger themselves so I like to keep that in mind. I can only do so much to my template with limited coding skills.

    P.S. It's awesome that you got Gayle Forman to acknowledge you. I loved If I Stay and am eagerly awaiting Where She Went!

  12. Nice answers!!! My reviews occasionally get tweeted, so I totally understand your 'If I Stay' story! It is nice to notice that you're not only on readers radar's, but publishers and authors, too!


  13. Hi fellow Newbie!

    I understand what you mean about not having the time to blog sometimes. That happens to me, especially as blogging is only one part of my life. I also appreciate in-depth reviews, as I want to hear about everything that the reader enjoyed or disliked about the book. Not just a simple yes or no.