I love you all. I really do. But here’s the thing: I don’t actually know most of you. So here’s the deal.
Until now, I haven’t set up any guidelines for guest post submissions. I liked the open-door philosophy: if you write it, I will take it! But I’m receiving a lot of prefab propositions that all sound eerily alike and don’t lead back to a blogger. Instead, it’s always someone who just wants to advertise a commercial website. Which is fine. But that’s not why I do this.
I want to support the blogging community. So to guest post for me, you have to have your own blog. It doesn’t have to be about writing, or reading, or anything specific. It can be about rutabagas. In fact, your guest post can even be about rutabagas- if you’re very clever and you somehow make it relevant.
This also helps to ensure that I’m receiving original content. If I know where you live, so to speak, I can trust you more. If I can trust you, then I can ask my readers to trust you, and ultimately this trust upholds the integrity of my site.
Sound fair? I think it does.
Otherwise, my guidelines remain the same. Include a bio and a photo and a good, original post (recycled or new- doesn’t matter), and I will let you hang out at this blog as often as you like. I’ll even give you content in return, if you want it.
In other news!
The talented Connor at Cities of the Mind- Freelance Writing recently reviewed this blog. You can read the review and his other reviews HERE. This is definitely a good place to get overviews on potentially awesome blogs. And who doesn’t want an introduction to that? Connor’s reviews are concise, informative, and accurate. It’s like going blog shopping with a blog expert. I doubt he’d claim to be an expert, though, but then that’s part of the reason we like him, right?
Also, speaking of guest blogging, I’m the guest this week at the Gritty Blog. Some of my regular readers might recognize this post about Believability in Fiction. It’s a good one, I think, and it was a fun one to write.
And speaking of GCP, I’d like to give a shout-out to some of our writers. Check out:
I’d also like to note that I’m looking forward to reading and reviewing Will Kosh’s book, Little Winged One: The First Book of Guardians. There are other books on my “to-review” digital stack, too, I know- I haven’t forgotten you… One I should probably mention is Liz Schulte’s Secrets: Guardian Trilogy Book One (what’s with all the guardian stuff, I wonder?) Out of the five authors that participated in the Blog Tour de Force, she was the only one who emailed me about a review. And I’m not including the prefab mass email requests. But honestly, these authors all gave their books away for free; of course they all deserve reviews. Secrets just got bumped up the list because I appreciate the personable approach.
One other thing. My son turned ONE YEAR OLD yesterday. Where did this year go?! My little monkey is growing up. He’s not even technically a baby any longer- he’s a toddler. I have a toddler. What?!
Today I welcome Megan from the book review blog, The Reading List, to share with us some reasons to start or continue blogging.
I’m a writer, not a blogger!
Sorry, I couldn’t resist the Star Trek-ish reference in the title. Being a writer and/or an author and being a blogger are actually two different things. I know this from experience. It’s sort of like comparing peaches to plums. Same family, but completely different fruit.
When I decided to delve into the scary world of book review blogging a few months ago, I gave it a lot of thought. I’ve always been the type to methodically think things through before I come to any kind of decision. Just when I’ve thought I’ve made a decision, I have to think about the whole thing even more to make sure it’s the right decision. Starting a book review blog was no exception.
In the end, I remembered that blogging was something that I wanted to do. I have been an avid reader since I was a kid. Books that focused on the supernatural or Sci-Fi particularly piqued my interest and as I got older, that love for reading continued to grow as well. Books have always been a way for me to escape the hectic pressures of everyday life. I wanted to review books so that I could hopefully share my favorites and the authors that write them with others. It probably seems like we’re going to start singing Kumbaya here in a moment, but it’s the truth.
I think a lot of would-be bloggers are hesitant to jump into blogging because it can be very time consuming. You select a book, read it from cover to cover, pick out what you liked and didn’t like about it (in my case you make a very structured list), and you write it all down in a way that will hopefully appeal to your readers.
I am definitely not the expert on blogging, by any means. I sit in a 5 x10 ft cube all day hunched over my computer keyboard, hacking away at the keys while I wonder what life is like on the outside. Then I go home to try to make sense of my book review blog, The Reading List. But there are a few things that I’ve learned that were pretty helpful in making my decision in starting a blog.
Social Media is the new media
Social media and blogging, in particular, are especially important in today’s technology driven world. Social media is quickly becoming the way that consumers get and receive their news and information. When I started college (all of six years ago), classes that focused on writing for the ‘new media’ were essentially ingrained into the curriculum. It’s a sad reality, but the days of print newspapers and periodicals are numbered.
Share your interests
There’s something to be said about how much we can relate to another person just based on reading their blog. Think of it as a small window into someone else’s thoughts or ideas.
Starting a blog is easy. You only need an email address to get started, but a blog opens a number of doors for a writer. You can share your feelings on something that you’re passionate about, and collaborate with others who might feel similarly or even those who don’t. It’s completely up to you how your blog shapes up.
The same is true for authors. As a reader, I follow a lot of my favorite authors’ blogs on my feed reader. I like reading about what they are working on or when the next book in one of my favorite series will be released.
Attract readers and reviewers to your writing
You’d be surprised how much a blog or twitter feed can draw interest in your work. If readers enjoy your posts on your blog they might be more inclined to check out other things that you’ve written. I have discovered so many new authors and great reads through Twitter and through the blogosphere (yes, I did use that word) that I wouldn’t have found if I hadn’t gotten into blogging.
Seems obvious, yes? Not if you’re a slightly paranoid, former technophobe like I am.
I’m not sure if I’ve left any words of wisdom, but if a light bulb flickered brightly somewhere in your general vicinity, you either have a ghost problem– or maybe, just maybe, that was the kick in the pants you needed to start blogging.
By day, Megan is a Staff Writer and Editor in Washington, DC– by night, she is an avid reader and reviews books on her blog, The Reading List, with the hope that others will develop an interest in urban fantasy, horror and paranormal fiction.
You can usually catch her with her head down and face shoved into the pages of a book. When she isn’t reading or talking about books she is geeking out over Buffy reruns, playing The Sims 3 on her computer or pretending to be a normal person by exploring the streets of her city.
Dear Vince Flynn‘s editor,
My voice was raspy, rough, and cracked.
I said, “I am a little hoarse.”
They stuck a saddle on my back
And jumped on me—and now, of course,
They trot me and they gallop me,
They prance me up and down the town
Yellin’, “Giddy up, little hoarse.”
(Some things don’t mean the way they sound.)
The errors present in the hardcover edition of Flynn’s American Assassin distract from the story. A lot.
On page 152, two characters are interchanged in the same paragraph. “Sharif” becomes “Rashid” then returns to being “Sharif.” This is, of course, super confusing because Rashid is not meant to be in this scene at all.
The same thing occurs on page 355 where Hurley’s name appears where Ridley’s name should be. Sure, these names are similar… but the characters are entirely different people!
On page 161, the main character “nudged his beg toward the Custom’s desk.” His beg… whatever that means…
Page 165 talks of a “crappy little red, four-cylinder Flat.” I might be mistaken, but I’ve never heard of an automobile called a Flat (and I think that would be a stupid name for a car.) I have, however, heard of a Fiat.
The plural and singular version of words are mixed up in a few places. On page 213, it says “…who helps terrorist move their money…”
There are also several instances where the word “the” is completely missing.
And on page 290, it says “the don’t play nice.” I think a “y” at the end of that word would have looked lovely.
On page 314, a “cabble” becomes a “cabbie” later on. I wonder if a cabble is like a baby cab driver.
Lastly, and the best one I noticed, was the phrase “Trojan Hoarse,” hence the little poem I included at the top of this post.
For a best-selling author, this was disappointing… to say the least. The story was entertaining enough, but all I kept thinking was, “Negligence!” How hard is it to proofread something before it hits the shelves? I love to proofread. Maybe Vince Flynn should hire me.