This year I am leaving the giveaway up to YOU, my readers! Simply fill out the below Rafflecopter widget letting me know which book you are absolutely so excited for! I would prefer to hear about new, upcoming books but if there’s a book you’ve been dying to read but just haven’t purchased yet then fine, I’ll let you pick that one. 😉
Additional entries for following are available but are NOT required. I will be double checking entries to ensure that everyone is being honest. Any dishonest people will be disqualified. Please be honest!
This giveaway is open to US and Canada only. A $15 limit for one title as well.
If I get OVER 1,000 entry points I will add a second winner.
Today we’ve been directed to discuss how we develop ourselves as bloggers. Last year we touched on this topic by discussing Networking. Developing our blogs depends on the type of blogger you currently are, the type of blogger you wish to become and the amount of time you have available to become that blogger.
For myself, I find it a good job if I can actively update my blog at least once or twice a month. I have had an extremely busy schedule with work, school, children and such. I had made a goal to review the books as I read them….and have not been keeping that goal! I still read ALL THE TIME. I just can’t seem to find the time to dedicate to writing up a review. If the book is extremely satisfying and MUST be shared I do wiggle in the time to write a quick review.
My suggestions to anyone trying to build up their blog is to first and foremost BE YOURSELF. Do not portray yourself as someone else, unless, of course that is your intent. I suggest reading and reviewing your most favorite books. Negative book reviews are always a sore subject, believe me. I have written my fair share and I will always stick by them. It’s important to be honest though. Don’t give a high rating to a book that you don’t like. Everyone is entitled to their opinions.
To increase blog traffic and commenting it’s always a good idea to host a giveaway. Giveaways are always fun! Joining Blog Tours is also a great way to get, first, review copies, and the chance to participate in a cooperative event. I love hosting author guest posts. I am not creative enough to do interviews but that’s always a route to take. Blog Hops are also awesome ways to generate traffic. I enjoy doing one seasonally or so. Having a good statistics metric meter is a great way to monitor your blog traffic. Since I use WordPress I have many options to rely on. I do a monthly traffic analysis and update my Policy page. These statistics are necessary to update my profiles on both NetGalley and Edelweiss.
Lastly, network! Make sure you have a blog dedicated Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, RSS Feedburner and Goodreads accounts. These are staples to connecting with bloggers and readers alike. I participate in online networking the most but many bloggers have found ways to venture out into the world for IRL networking. Attending author events and conferences are great opportunities to meet other bloggers and authors. I have attending BEA several times as a publishing professional and a blogger both. It is quite the experience and I welcome every blogger to experience it at least once in your lifetime.
I participated in Armchair BEA last year and was excited to participate this year too!
I am getting off to a late start though, so my apologies!
If you’re new to The Cozy Reader: Welcome! I hope you enjoy my little cozy corner of the interwebz.
My name is Jessica and I love reading! I started my blog in 2007 but originally had it hosted as a Blogspot blog called “Book Reviews by Jess“, which I did cross posted to for quite a while but have not updated it in a long time. In May 2010 I decided to self host, re-name and re-image my blog; hence, The Cozy Reader. I couldn’t be more happier with my new look, even though it is three years old already!
If you peruse my reviews you’ll see that I love YA. I am also a lover of New Adult. I also find time to stick with some of my favorite adult authors and love that many of them have ventured into writing young adult series too.
This November I’ll celebrate my 6th year of blogging. This past year has not been too active for me because I completed my Associate’s Degree in Business. I will soon be starting my Bachelor’s degree and will need to focus back on school again.
Today’s topic is blogging advice, tips and tricks. We can either offer advice or ask others for advice. I’m going to talk a little bit about how I see blogging personally.
Love it or Lose it
I think the most important thing to do as a blogger (or any one really!) is follow your heart. That means do what you love and love what you do. If you’re not doing either of those things then what’s the point? If you don’t enjoy what you’re blogging about there’s only so much of that you can take before you burn out. I’ve been blogging for almost 5 years, believe me that this is extremely important if you want to keep going!
It took me a while before I realized (and accepted) that I can’t possibly read and review every single book a publisher sends me. It’s unrealistic for starters, not just because of the number of books I receive, but also because some of them I have zero interest in reading. I like to think that leaving those books in the lunch room at work is a decent thing to do. I also feature them in my Stacking the Shelves posts at the very least.
I don’t usually blog on a regular schedule. Therefore, I make sure my content is worthy of those that decide to stop by the blog. I don’t usually participate in daily or even weekly memes but I do enjoy sharing new cover art.
Reviews! I know I’m not a “normal” reviewer. My reviews have a unique structure that works for me. If I didn’t outline my reviews the way I do I’m not exactly sure what you’d get out of me! That leads me to….
Spoilers! When I first started reviewing books on here I probably did what most new reviewers do. I summarized the books like we used to do in grammer school for book reports! That is not what a review is. Reviewing is taking a critical eye to the story you’ve read and sharing those critical aspects with your blog readers. I cannot express how much it infuriates me to see summaries instead of reviews on some sites. This is usually what I see when I check out a book on Amazon. I don’t want to know what happened! I want to know what aspects you loved or didn’t like about a book, you know, without the DETAILS! Leave the details for your book club!
The last piece of advice I would give anyone doing anything is put your self into it. Meaning, don’t be a robot or just some other person doing the same thing as the other person two doors down. Make it your own. Give everything a splash of your self. Personalize it. Connect with your readers on a personal level. That doesn’t mean you have to share every last personal detail about yourself or your family. I know that I connect better and make an effort to visit sites where the author has presented themselves along with their content. I guess in the long run just be friendly!
What about you? What advice to you live by to make your blog great? Link me to your post for today or just shout it in your comment!
Thank you to everyone who has stopped by my blog over the last week. A great big hug to the new followers on here as well as Twitter, Google+, Facebook and Goodreads!
[amazon_link id=”1442439459″ target=”_blank” ]Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”0061659282″ target=”_blank” ]Carnival of Souls by Melissa Marr[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”0061978086″ target=”_blank” ]The Spindlers by Lauren Oliver[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”0062114875″ target=”_blank” ]What’s Left of Me: The Hybrid Chronicles, Book One[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”1423157370″ target=”_blank” ]The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”1423157192″ target=”_blank” ]Beta by Rachel Cohn[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”1423149769″ target=”_blank” ]False Memory by Dan Krokos[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”0545424925″ target=”_blank” ]The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”0761388656″ target=”_blank” ]Skylark (The Skylark Trilogy) by Meagan Spooner[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”1442445939″ target=”_blank” ]Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”1595145958″ target=”_blank” ]Origin by Jessica Khoury[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”031612611X” target=”_blank” ]The Diviners by Libba Bray[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”0547887205″ target=”_blank” ]Son by Lois Lowry[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”054529018X” target=”_blank” ]Magisterium by Jeff Hisrch[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”1442436646″ target=”_blank” ]Poison Princess (The Arcana Chronicles) by Kresley Cole[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”1595145842″ target=”_blank” ]Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”0761375279″ target=”_blank” ]The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories (Carolrhoda Ya) [/amazon_link]
I got the following digitally with codes from Macmillan
[amazon_image id=”0312625200″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Death and the Girl Next Door[/amazon_image][amazon_image id=”0312583516″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Eve and Adam[/amazon_image][amazon_image id=”0374316414″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Crewel (Crewel World)[/amazon_image][amazon_image id=”0374380740″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Because It Is My Blood (Birthright)[/amazon_image]
[amazon_link id=”0312625200″ target=”_blank” ]Death and the Girl Next Door[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”0312583516″ target=”_blank” ]Eve and Adam[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”0374380740″ target=”_blank” ]Because It Is My Blood (Birthright)[/amazon_link]
I stopped at a lot of author signings but only got 3 of the signed! Those would be Fathomless, Shine, and Keeper of the Lost Cities. The other lines were either incredibily too long (The Curiosities) or later than then I wanted to stay at the show (Darker Still).
I missed copies of Prodigy and Alice in Zombieland! 😦 I have to get in touch with the publisher to have copies sent to me!
[amazon_image id=”0399256768″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Prodigy: A Legend Novel[/amazon_image]
[amazon_link id=”0399256768″ target=”_blank” ]Prodigy: A Legend Novel[/amazon_link]
[amazon_image id=”0373210582″ link=”true” target=”_blank” size=”medium” ]Alice in Zombieland (Harlequin Teen)[/amazon_image]
[amazon_link id=”0373210582″ target=”_blank” ]Alice in Zombieland (Harlequin Teen)[/amazon_link]
Today’s topic: “Today we will be sharing tips that will help you move your blog forward or perhaps your own personal goals of writing and making an income from what you love to do.”.
I would not consider myself a creative person. I would LOVE to write but I find that I lack the discipline as well as the creativity to do a good job. That doesn’t mean I haven’t tried. I have and do currently have a work in progress. I just haven’t done much with it and have a long way to go before I’d call it a book. I would love to spend more time on it and make it more interesting. But to do that? I had have to stop doing something else to make room for it. I love reading too much to give that up and I can’t really give anything else up except for sleep and I need that!
Money in Blogging
To make money off of writing on the blog I do have an Amazon.com affliation, which means most of my links go to Amazon.com and if anyone makes a purchase while on my link I get a very small portion of the sales. This has amounted to about $30 a year, not even enough to pay for my hosting or domain name! But I’ll take it. I once had someone buy an Amazon Kindle DX, which gave me $35 for just that one purchase! That was a few years ago but I’ll never forget it.
I enjoy linking to Amazon.com and then reviewing my earning reports to see what books had the most impact to my readers. This year the book to be ordered the most through my links as been The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, with 7 copies being ordered. This is probably because the book was being shipped SIGNED if you preordered by the publication date! It’s not very often that you get to do that especially through Amazon.
I also have adversiting ads available through BlogAds but have not had anyone advertise yet. I was spectical to do this but can’t see any harm.
In the long run, I’m not blogging to make money. I blog because I want to. I want to express my feelings and I want my feelings to be hear by someone else like me: a book lover. My husband, on the other hand, would love to see me make money off my blog. To me it’s just a very small bonus. And thank you to those who click my links and sometimes order something on Amazon!
Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to reading any comments on my return after BEA.
It’s not a secret to those who know me that I’m a slight introvert. I have a mild case of social anxiety that makes it difficult for me to walk up to someone, whether they’re a stranger or someone I’ve known for years, and start a conversation. I would rather hang back and let them carry on with their day.
Therefore, when it comes to networking in real life I don’t do much of it at all. I do share my favorite books or talk about books with my close friends as well as family members. I have left books at work for my co-workers to grab if they want.
I have suggested to others walking around the same section as me in Borders (RIP) a book I’ve enjoyed. But since there is no longer a Borders near me I don’t go to a brick and mortar bookstore any more. The closest I get is the not so awesome book aisle at Wal-mart.
For me my networking happens online nearly exclusively. I much prefer it that way. Maye it would be different if I lived in a larger city.
Attending Author Events or Conferences
I have gone to a few author signings that were happening locally but that hardly comes up with authors I’m intersted in. I’ve thought of traveling a few times to go see Maggie Stiefvater.
I have been lucky to attend a few BEAs in the past though. I am actually going to BEA tomorrow! So I guess I’ll be doing a bit of face to face networking. You can check out my previous BEA experiences if you’re interested.
Don’t forget to stop by Armchair BEA for information on their Twitter Party as well as guest post from Joe Foster from Edelweiss on digital review copies.
Picking the “Best of” is usually not an easy task! Here are a few books I’ve read this year that I loved! If I’ve reviewed it a link to my review will be provided. Otherwise, I’ll just be doing a super mini review here letting you know why I loved it!
This one was just a perfect example of the type of contemporary romance I die inside to read. Hadley and Oliver meet in an airport and things just blossom from there. I loved the vulnerability of them both. The unfolding of emotion and the stories they tell each other. A brilliant love at first sight story. I can’t wait to read more by this author! Her next book, This is What Happy Looks Like, sounds amazing and I can’t wait to read it in 2013!
This series is just amazing. I’ve had Fire since BEA 2010 and I am appauld that I waited so long to read it! Fire was probably my favorite of the series. The world building is just amazing and the characters have such depth to them that you can’t help but love them all.
This book. Is. Amazing. I couldn’t get enough of it. I actually read the first pre-novella, The Assassin and the Pirate Lord (Throne of Glass, #0.1) , first and about died because I wanted to read more. I stalked the publisher to get my approval on NetGalley and I’m not ashamed. If you have the funds I highly recommend all the pre-novellas because they are totally worth the $0.99! The story and plot are rich with mystery, action, romance and tension! Oh, the tension! I can NOT wait for the next book and this one hasn’t even published yet! This, my blogger friends, is the only thing I hate about being a book reviewer. Those amazing books we get to read early and have to wait FOREVER to read the next one!
I just finished this recently and while it wasn’t an all time favorite read it was probably one of the most original things I’ve ever read. It is relatively close to the concept of Incarnate except that “A” reincarnates EVERY DAY into a new body. The story follows A through 40 days of being someone new. A is neather male nor female because A is an entity or rather a soul not a body. This book will quickly get under your skin and will hopefully give everyone that reads it insight into how it may be like to be in someone elses shoes.
Told in three separate story lines, Lois Lowry’s Son combines elements from the first three novels in her Giver Quartet — The Giver (1994 Newbery Medal winner), Gathering Blue, and Messenger — into a breathtaking, thought-provoking narrative that wrestles with ideas of human freedom. Thrust again into the dark, claustrophobic world of The Giver, readers will meet an intriguing new heroine, fourteen-year-old Claire. Jonas from The Giver is here too, and Kira, the heroine of Gathering Blue. In a final clash between good and evil, a new hero emerges.
I am a HUGE Gena Showalter fan and I eagerly await her new YA series! I was told I’m quoted in the ARC edition so I can’t wait to get my hands on it! Hoping to grab a copy on Thursday, but I’ve been promised a copy from Harlequin Teen.
She won’t rest until she’s sent every walking corpse back to its grave. Forever.
Had anyone told Alice Bell that her entire life would change course between one heartbeat and the next, she would have laughed. From blissful to tragic, innocent to ruined? Please. But that’s all it took. One heartbeat. A blink, a breath, a second, and everything she knew and loved was gone.
Her father was right. The monsters are real….
To avenge her family, Ali must learn to fight the undead. To survive, she must learn to trust the baddest of the bad boys, Cole Holland. But Cole has secrets of his own, and if Ali isn’t careful, those secrets might just prove to be more dangerous than the zombies….
Publishing October 30th, 2012. And I just noticed the Kindle Edition is $13.99!!! I hate it when ebooks are over $9.99. Grrr!
This is a no brainer. One of my all time favorite series. And if you read my introduction post this series has one of my favorite male characters ever. Since this will follow a younger character of the series, I’m not so sure how much of Barrons will be in there. Here’s to hoping though!
“I’m currently working on a trilogy that features Dani, Christian MacKeltar, Ryodan, and the mysterious ‘Dancer,’ set primarily in Fever-Dublin. Each installment in the trilogy is a stand-alone mystery, however there are larger plot arcs unfolding in the background…
..For those of you who have been worrying—the trilogy is not YA. If I had to categorize it, I would say it straddles the line between YA and adult uneasily. …Many of the questions I left unanswered in the FEVER series are addressed in this new series.
Parker Shelton pretty much has the perfect life. She’s on her way to becoming valedictorian at Hundred Oaks High, she’s made the all-star softball team, and she has plenty of friends. Then her mother’s scandal rocks their small town and suddenly no one will talk to her.
Now Parker wants a new life.
So she quits softball. Drops twenty pounds. And she figures why kiss one guy when she can kiss three? Or four. Why limit herself to high school boys when the majorly cute new baseball coach seems especially flirty?
But how far is too far before she loses herself completely?
Companion to CATCHING JORDAN.
That’s a look into what I’ve read and enjoyed and what I can’t wait ot get my hands on!
Looking for my Best of 2012 post? (yes, I accidently put my giveaway post in the Best of 2012 post, sorry!!)
Today’s topics are Best of 2012 and or a giveaway! I’m doing both so be sure to check out both posts!
Don’t forget to stop by Armchair BEA for information on their Twitter Party as well as guest post from Joe Foster from Edelweiss on digital review copies.
What would be better than to pick a book that releases today! Happy Release Day Leigh! Don’t forget to watch the pretty amazing trailer below! Love it!
Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.
Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.
Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha…and the secrets of her heart.
This book was phenomenal. I can’t say much more than that. It is definately a must read!
Fill out the Rafflecopter widget to be entered.
You may select the hardcover or the Kindle edition.
Welcome to Armchair BEA! The feature created for Book Bloggers who are unable to attend Book Expo America (BEA) in New York City.
Today is opening day aka introduction day! Here are the five questions I have selected to answer to introduce myself. Please link me to your introduction if you comment here! I’ll be visiting from the Mr. Linky on the main post but don’t want to miss anyone who has visited me here directly!
Don’t forget to check out the guest post from Lindsey Rudnickas at NetGalley and details about a promotion!
All About Jess (The Cozy Reader)
Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
Hi! I’m Jess, The Cozy Reader! I’m a mother of two, wife of one (hehe). We have a nearly 8 year old daughter, Madison, and a 13 month old son, Riley. We’ve been married 10 years this June.
I’ve been blogging for…(sneaks a peek at Blogoversary ticker)… four years now. I started my blog first as a sort of online journal but then it quickly became my outlet to express my thoughts on the books I had read. I never had the intention of book blogging or rather reviewing books, let alone reviewing pre-published books by some of my favorite authors. I consider myself blessed because not only do I love reading but I enjoy reading and then sharing some amazing books with my readers.
Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.
I am a gamer. Right now I am playing Diablo III as a Demon Hunter, who I have named Buffy. She’s level 53 and doing pretty awesome DPS. I play with my husband and a few of our good friends. I have also played my fair share of World of Warcraft and Counter Strike: Source.
I also just donated 12 inches of my hair to Locks of Love! See my blog post about the donation with before and after pictures!
Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?
If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?
I would love to have dinner, or possibly cake, with Jerico Z. Barrons from Karen Marie Monings Fever series. Why? Why wouldn’t I? Also, I plead the fifth. 😛
Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?
I would say my reading tastes haven’t really changed. I am a paranormal fan in both adult and young adult. I enjoy a good contemporary every now and again. I seem to crave contemporaries more than I do paranormals though, which wasn’t the case a few years ago.
Thanks for stopping by! Don’t forget to link me to your introduction post!