Busting the Newbie Blues Event

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Small Review is hosting this great event designed to introduce new YA book bloggers and hear from experienced bloggers for their perspective so we can all learn from each other. Since I am most definitely a new blogger, I figured this would be a great way to connect with some new people and introduce myself a bit more.  I also have updated my About Me page so you can get to know me better.

You can access the event here and check out the linked posts to meet more bloggers. Below are my responses to the newbie questionnaire.

When did you start your blog?

Um.  December 3rd.  Of this year.  I'm reeeeally new.

Why did you start your blog?

I wanted a way to network with other writers and discover more YA fiction titles.  I wanted to plug in to the community.  I'm working on a novel that I started during NaNoWriMo, and have taken writing classes at the fabulous StoryStudio Chicago.  Through the writers I met there, I discovered a lot of them have blogs and use them to get important industry news, connect with authors, perfect their query letters and so on.  I wanted to be a part of all of that.

What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

Figuring out the lingo, etiquette, stuff like that.  I'm always worried I'll accidentally commit some horrific faux pas and get myself kicked out of the cool kids' club.  I'm still getting my sea legs, so there are bound to be missteps, but there are tons of helpful websites and blog posts around.  Parajunkee's View has a great Book Blogging 101 series that has been a terrific resource for me.

What do you find most discouraging about being a new blogger?

The feeling that I don't have anything new to bring to the table.  But Elana Johnson said it best: there is only one me, and that's the new perspective I'm bringing.

What do you find most encouraging?

People have already been very supportive and social. They comment back or introduce themselves in forums.  Everyone seems really nice and noncompetitive, which is a relief.  It makes me feel like this was a good choice.

What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?

I love the humor.  I love the honesty.  I'm definitely making an effort to bring out those elements more in my posts.  Not because everyone else is doing it so I should too, but because it's who I am.  It's just another reminder that I needs to keep it realz.

And I'm not gonna lie.  I love the giveaways, contests and challenges.  They're fun and motivating and get us all interacting and supporting each other.  I definitely want to host some of these in the future when I'm more established.  In the meantime I'll just keep stalking the rest of you.

What do you dislike about blogs you’ve read? Do you try to avoid this?

Since I'm still at the very beginning, I tend to make note of design elements that don't work for me as a blog reader so I can avoid incorporating those types of things.  I like seeing all of the different color schemes and buttons (how do you make those, by the way?) and layouts, then asking myself why I prefer one over the other.

Any advice for other new bloggers?

Don't be afraid to jump right in.  People will welcome you with open arms.  And never be afraid to ask questions. (Like, seriously, how do I make a button?)

Anything else you’d like to share about your experience?

This experience is opening me up to the book industry in a big way.  It's really eye opening to see how agents, editors, authors, aspiring authors, and reviewers all interact and come together to talk about everything related to books.  We're all after the same thing - to make excellent literature that people enjoy.

It's really fun and exciting to me to be exposed to authors still waiting for their books to be published.  It's great to get to know some of these people before I have the honor to read their writing, which is why I jumped immediately on Badass Bookie's Debutante Event and The Story Siren's Debut Author Challenge.

Is there anything you’d like to tell us about your blog?

I would love to hear suggestions, tips, bits of wisdom, anything, from my more experienced blogger brethren.  I want to make this a place where people like to return.  I'll be posting daily until my sanity reminds me that I have a life and I need to peel my fingers off of the keyboard, so feel free to stop by and say hi.

Thank you to Small Review for hosting this!  If you want to see how other book bloggers responded to their questionnaires, or want to participate yourself, check out the event page and join in the fun.


loganeturner said...

So, the comments thing. Do you like it when the blogger posts back in the same comments thread? Or do you prefer them to respond personally?

Jessica said...

If you find out how to make a button YOU MUST SHARE!!!!!!!! I am sooooo new to this and I am soooooo in awe over other people’s buttons! Ah. Love. hehehe

I like your blog layout btw...it’s clean and elegant. Good job!....now I must run away and see if anyone else has looked at my blog. *awkwardly twists and runs away*

Small Review said...

Thank you for participating in this event!

OOooh, you're a writer? I look forward to seeing what you write. Good luck! I'm not a writer, but it seems like there is a really great community here for writers with great support and tips.

Oh gosh, I'm right there with you about worrying over etiquette! I'm so worry I'll really stick my foot in it and not even realize and everyone will be looking at me all, "Ugh, look at what she just did!" But, the community here seems really nice and helpful, so I think all that worry is probably pretty unfounded.

I'm looking forward to reading more from you (and learning about your unique headwear. Seriously? That sounds awesome!)

Ok, so buttons. I'm not sure how helpful this will be, but here goes:

Do you have a program like Photoshop or GIMP? If so, then hopefully you know how to use it better than I do! I googled most everything (literally, I was typing in stuff like "How to make a new layer in Photoshop"). I didn't know what I was doing and I was able to figure it out, so it's not too difficult once you get past the initial "What the heck is all this stuff??" phase. The hardest part really is deciding on your picture.

Basically, you:

-Make an image you want to represent you in one of those programs and then save it.
-Upload it to something like photobucket or flickr (I used tinypic and that seems to work so far but might not be the best choice)
-I only know how to get it on your page using Blogger, but there's probably something similar. Look for something that allows you to add stuff to your sidebar. Do you have an option to add a picture? Add the picture you made for your button.
-Then, underneath your picture add this:

You can adjust the numbers to fit the size you want. That *should* do it.

If you have any questions or that doesn't make any sense, feel free to email me: imagesandwords at optonline dot net

Small Review said...

Ha, ok, so the "Add this" part doesn't show up. I'll email you.

loganeturner said...

Oh, you are the best!!! Thank you thank you. I'll try it out.

loganeturner said...

Jessica, thanks for the compliment! You are hilarious. You have a great blog, too!

Jessica K. said...

Thanks! Man...you are super duper nice. Oh and the hats...and the shoooooeeeesss...o.m.gosh. LOVE!

Aylee said...

Hi there! So nice to have found your blog through this event! It took me awhile to figure out how to follow you without a GFC Follower widget but I think I figured it out. I'm such a noob. Oi, I worry about etiquette, too! Like is it rude to signup for netgalley and request books when I've only been blogging a couple of weeks?

loganeturner said...

I hope not, because I already signed up for Netgalley! Yeah, it sucks that I can't add GFC. I may upgrade and add it in the future, but for now I'm just working with the RSS feeds. Unless anyone else has better suggestions?

Aylee said...

Nope, I have none. I had no idea that you were unable to add it; I thought everyone with a website could.

loganeturner said...

Wordpress.com blocks the GFC code and any other embed codes or Javascript file to prevent hacks, I guess. Which of course I didn't realize until after I'd chosen to set up on WP instead of Blogger. Oh well.

Jessica said...

Do sign up for netgalley....you may not get every book you request, but it is a great starting place. I just reviewed my first ARC from netgalley.

Melissa said...

I love your answers and how honest you are! Blogging isn't something you just get the hang of overnight, you know? It's taken me a year to become even remotely "good" at it, but "good" is entirely subjective, as well. I love that you know it's important to be yourself :)

kewpie83 said...

I would totally follow you if I could! I'm enjoying this education on publishing houses, agents, etc that I've received since starting my blog.


kewpie83 said...

My link: http://brookesboxofbooks.blogspot.com/2010/12/small-reviews-busting-newbie-blues-meme.html

loganeturner said...

I got my first ARCs today! Now I know what to start reading!

loganeturner said...

Thanks for stopping by! I really appreciate it. I'm sure I'll still be getting the hang of things for years to come lol.

loganeturner said...

Thanks for visiting! I'll add you to my RSS feed. That's the way I've been following people. The ones with GFC I follow with my Twitter account until I can figure out a better way of doing it. This wordpress thing is a bigger hassle than I anticipated. :)

T.B. said...

I agree the community is very accepting and welcomes everyone. Events like Busting The Newbie Blues really help! I think that's so cool how your writing your own novel! I would love to hear how it goes!

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