Monday, January 2, 2012

Busting the Newbie Blues

So I just happened to come across this when I was doing my daily blog reads and though that this was AWESOME! Its just a small little blurp that lets you get to know me and my blog a little bit more as well and link you up to see some other awesome up and coming bloggers! Starting out new is never easy! So read about me and head on over to Small Review and make your own post. Get to know up and coming bloggers (like me) because everyone starts somewhere!

When did you start your blog?
Nov. 15, 2011

Why did you start your blog?
I though it would be easy! Haha I know I know! What a sucker I am! I was reading other peoples blogs and really liked all the meme that were around and though that I could do that! And I wanted to tell others about books I'm excited about. I live with my boyfriend and our dog and neither likes the books that I do. The dog will at least listen but the boyfriend just rolls his eyes! So I love to talk about my favorite books with others!

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Not spending my whole day doing post and the technical aspects of it.  I know there is more to HTML than what Blogger will let you do in their set up. I want to find a better blog/website, software writer or anything but I cant!  And also sometimes just keeping up! I have only been ding this for a month and half and I have 102 followers (I LOVE YOU ALL)!!! Which is totally surprising. I was not expecting my blog to take off like that; so it’s just handling all the networking and replying to comments but still finding time outside of blogging.

What do you find most discouraging about being a new blogger?
Being new! I'm also a new nurse so this whole being new is bad this is starting to piss me off.  I would really like to start getting books for review but a lot of publishes want you to be established before they consider it and that’s annoying! I understand the purpose but I hate rejection! (On a side note, being a new nurse means you are treated like you have an incurable, highly contagious disease that needs to be eradicated! Lets say I'm sick of being new! If I were the newest technology there would be a line around the apple store just to see me! Why is being a new nurse and blogger so bad?!?!?!?! Ok I'm done ranting).

What do you find most encouraging?
I love it when I have read something and the author takes a note. I just recently started using twitter and networking that way and a lot of authors have RT my posts and check out my site. The wonderful Jennifer L.Armentrout  even showcased a lot of blogger on her blog and just knowing that she read what I wrote was like EEEEEEEPPP!!!!!!! I also got the best tweet from Jamie McGuire, author of Beautiful Disaster that said Travis is f****** flattered from my Book Boyfriend of 2011 post and I just about crapped my pants!
But I also love the comments! Every time my email goes off alerting me to a new comment I get so excited! I just love that I made someone’s day or that they are going to check out a book because of me. It’s very fulfilling.

What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
Just like my books, I like blogs that are real. Where it’s not just another automated post. Like TITLE, BOOK PHOTO, REVIEW done. I like it when the bloggers adds their nutty two cents in. and that’s why I always do it with mine.  I tend to curse a lot or just think out loud a lot so I like reading things like that. I also like a very clean looking blog. Some that get to cluttered or are hard to read can annoy me. But It’s more about content than what things look like.

What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this?
I don’t like post that just have a lot of writing! It’s daunting sometimes to look at a big block of words. I LOVE photos and I blow up my posts with photos! I think it makes it easier to read. I'm a visual person. 

Any advice for other new bloggers?
Too many words went by without something
pretty to look at :) Tthis is a potential
Travis Maddox for me!
When I started thinking about blogging I did the typical Google search of how to blog and I can across some good advise and one of them was just write. Don’t think just write.  Just continuous thoughts and you can edit later.  I think that if you are to concerned with making it look proper or what not you can lose your voice.  So when I post I just open up a word document and type.  And add what I need later if I forget or take out something I don’t like. But just write!
And my other thing would be to write what you like to read. I can’t stress this enough! You have to love what you are putting out there.  I like to read funny snarky and honest blogs, so I try to do the same. 
Sometimes I felt like I cant find a blog that has sometimes I need (like when I read, to visualize characters, I like the dream cast posts. But sometimes I can never find enough. So its one thing I like to do is put photos of my characters and what I think they are like). So I just do it!

Any questions you'd like to ask newbie or established bloggers?
Where can I find a good blog designer and someone who will help me get my blog to be more like a website kinda? Is there any good blog posting software or websites that let you do more than blogger? How did you fine-tune your blog? How long were you blogging before you felt like you could ask for book to review from publishers? And how would you contact a publisher if you want to be included for book reviews? I have more but cant think of some at the moment.

Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your blog? Feel free to link a few of your favorite posts or posts you wish had more comments.

My name is Tara (tater) and I love books! I hope that everyone likes what I write because I sure do! Please never be afraid to contact me, I LOVE IT! I'm needed and I love all the attention! I will read anything that is a good story, and tend to like YA the most.  Some of my best post includes:

My Book Boyfriends of 2011 (the MOST popular post EVER!) 
My Awesome giveaway going on now! (Like seriously! You guys rock with this giveaway!) 
Its all about 2012!  My fun end of the year post!
My two fave reviews I have done (ok I know I only have done like 4 and I need to do more, but I just love these!) Shiver and Nightshade

Don’t forget to enter my Giveaway


  1. Hey Tara,

    I'm Anne and I'm participating in Small's event as well (see my post here).
    I love what you wrote about the personal touch in reviews - that's exactly what I am always trying, too.

    Thank you for your interesting questionnaire. With regard to design and stuff, I have read about a lot of bloggers changing to a self-hosted blog by wordpress - it's seems to provide a lot more options.
    I personally might consider such change by the end of this year - to wait and see how everything develops!

    Happy New Year

    Anne (from Living in a Fairy World)

  2. I love your bit about "nutty two cents"! Good point! I need to work on adding that too.

    Who do you need to talk to about your look? I think most bloggers splurge and purchase a layout. My gal is:

    Good luck!
    You have tons of personality and it shines through. That's quality!

  3. Thanks so much for joining in! :D I'm sorry about that broken link before. Thank you for bringing it to my attention! Here it is again in case you were interested

    I love your "voice" so much! Very energetic and fun. :) I'll hopefully have some answers throughout the event for most of your questions. Though I'm not sure about better posting software or websites. I've heard Wordpress is good, but I really don't know.

  4. Hi Tara! I'm participating in Small's event, too, and had to follow because your post is so full of personality.

    I requested my first galley on Netgalley pretty early on, maybe a month or two into blogging, and was accepted really quickly. My first physical ARC request was about six months in. I've requested a few more since then, but I sometimes still don't feel established enough. I usually stick to netgalley and purchasing my own books (+ giveaways!).

    As for design, I use Wordpress which is fantastic and really flexible for all sorts of layouts. I'm not too familiar with Blogger, but I do dig the layouts on this site. There are also quite a few designers out there; I purchased mine, so definitely keep an eye out for designers if it sounds like something you'd be interested in.

  5. Hi Tara, I'm participating in the event. Thank you for your insight and for stopping by!

  6. Hi Tara!

    When I was looking for a design for my blog, I found a lot of free templates were available by doing a quick Google search for "blogger template". The only downside is, where it's a free template, you might stumble across other blogs with the same design as you! That's where it's important (like you said) to have those personal touches in your content, to keep you separate from everyone else.

    Then there's always the option of paying someone to design something for your blog as well, if you wanted to go that route!

    From what I've read about requesting ARCs, it's not so much how long you have been blogging, but how far your reach is. How many people are visiting your blog, reading your posts and commenting? That's what publishers want to know, and what they'll be looking for. If you have an e-reader, you'll probably want to check out NetGalley, where many e-ARCs are available.

    Good luck!

    I'm also participating in Small's event, and if you're interested in checking out my post, you can find it here!

    Radiant Shadows

  7. Oh gosh, I know what you mean! The idea of learning HTML/CSS is freaking me out... But at the same time, I really want to learn how to make my blog that much more unique! If you do end up finding someone who can help you or give you tips, can you send them my way too?

    I think NetGalley would be a great way to start getting ARCs from publishers - especially if you use a Kindle, Nook, iPad or any other eReader. I get most of my ARCs from there (I have yet to receive an actual physical arc) and it's really convenient.

    Welcome to book blogging!

  8. Hi there! New follower here. Great post and nice blog.

    I definitely agree that making sure that the voice of your posts is true to you is important. I can also understand what you are saying about being new. Blogging, although it's not a formal job, does tend to have the same issue found in many workplaces -- companies want people who've already seen and done it all. Makes me wonder how anyone ever gets there some days. But the key is to just keep moving forward and taking it a day at a time.

    I can't tell you a lot about getting physical copies of books directly from publishers. But I can tell you that if you want to keep walking the walk as a book blogger and you don't have an e-Reader yet, I'd highly recommend you correct that immediately. There is tons of great stuff out there and this can make life a lot easier. With this in mind, I would also recommend that you set up an account with NetGalley if you haven't yet. NetGalley is your best shot at getting your foot in the door at this stage. (I think I had 120 followers when I got approved for my first book.) Some publishers will say yes -- and some *will* say no. The key is to not become afraid to request.

    As for the design end of things, most blog sites run on CSS, not HTML, so if you are looking for programming or tutorials that's the "spine" if your blog. Basic HTML knowledge is handy, though, and if you aren't familiar with it I suggest that you google it. Being comfortable flipping the tab so you see the guts of a post and are able to tinker with them is a good thing.

    A great place to go for blogging related tutorials is Parajunkee's View. There is a weekly column there called Book Blogging 101 where questions are answered, and all of the information is archived. Also, there are bloggers out there who also offer site design services so that might be something to look into. Depending on what you want you could end up spending anywhere for $30 - 40, to up to $200 from what I've seen. (I've been contemplating this myself.) It really depends on your budget, what you want for your blog, etc. And the key, of course, is finding someone who can express you rather then having the project be an expression of themself, which is difficult.

    Anyway, welcome to the wonderful world of book blogging! Always remember two things: this should be fun, and you are the one thing about your blog that nobody else can replicate.

    Have a great day!

  9. I find huge blocks of text daunting, too, but I can't get myself to stop writing. When I start to put my thoughts down in a review I just keep going and going and before I know it, I've got far, far too many words. But, I like how Small does her reviews. She doesn't add a lot of graphics, but she breaks things up with funny (and colorful) headings.

  10. Haha I thought it would be easy also. How wrong I was. It takes so much time and work. You gave really good advice. Thank you. Also, I love your Some Books I Love. I look forward to following your blog.

  11. New Follower


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