Supporting Me, My Content & Others

I’m coming at you with something very exciting, it’s something I’d been seriously considering for a while now. Now though, I know roughly what I’d love to be able to do and that requires your guys’ help.

I’m not sure if you’ve heard of Ko-Fi before; simply it’s a way to give donations to creators for their work. I recently set up a page on there and I have plans to hopefully invest in getting Ko-Fi Gold to test out and see if that can help me, and in the long term my fellow book bloggers, out.

Read More »

Advertisements

No My TBR Did Not Murder Me (Life updates, Anouncements & More)

Wheeee hello all. I know it’s erm kinda been a while hasn’t it? So, firstly no I did not get murdered by my TBR. I am still living, sorta and breathing. I’ve just become a hermit recently because thing sgot overwhelming and I stepped back from posting on my blog, to sort some things out.

What’s been happening I hear you ask? WELL LEMME GATHER MY LIST HERE AND TELL YOU.

Bookending Winter 2018 AND Tidyathon

Yep, if you somehow missed those things then hop to it and click onto the related post in the title! Sam and I have worked so hard on Bookend Events, and it’s still a puppy albeit an excited puppy, we’re both new to this whole event running business. BUT we’re determined to make it work, and the Tidyathon is my puppy which is part of the Bookend Events.

A brief rundown is Bookend Events runs quarterly and began with Blogoween. Sam and I got our heads together, to rename it and add in 4 events (one for each season) so it become more of a long term thing. And so it wasn’t a major stress fest at the end of the year. Bookend Events is the umbrella term for Bookending Spring, Bookending Summer, Bookending Autumn/Fall (was called Blogoween originally) and Bookending Winter. We evolved the events, as well as making them as inclusive as we possibly could. The main event is to write 3-5 blog posts. Though the Tidyathon is an extra which happens alongside each event.

For more information though, do check out the posts! We have big plans for the event next year and erm…even into 2020 *smirks* we’re not partners in crime for nothing. We’re just trying to the book blogging community closer together and eventually…maybe even the whole bookish community? Who knows…

Blog Redesign

I’ve been working on this on and off since like August or something ridiculous like that. Basically, I started it and then stopped midway through realising I wanted a new direction. So I found my direction and I’m happy with it, what you can expect (hopefully on the 1st Jan it will be live)

  • My blog theme will be switching from Lovecraft to a new one
  • New colour scheme
  • New featured images
  • Colour revamp on graphics
  • New and updated pages (providing they don’t eat me first…I had a meltdown about them misbehaving on my test blog ok. *sobs*)
  • Some new graphics and the sidebar is gonna look prettier…hopefully

OH YEAH just a warning, cause I’m switching themes my new theme doesn’t have post excerpt enabled in it. So please don’t hurt me for my old posts showing all of itself, I’m hoping to get to reformatting some of them in the Tidyathon. But I won’t get to them till next year probably, so I’m sorry in advance for that.

Content For 2019

I’ve been getting my prewriting game on. In the sense of I basically have two reviews left to write up to post in January, and then January posts are basically written. Except for the goals and wrap up post. I’ve also been planning out content up till March and roughly outlining up to June. Since I like being able to see what I’m planning on having haha. So that’s kept me busy.

Life…aka College

I love college but also hate it at the same time. Mainly because I stress out over everything, overcomplicate things and have zero confidence in my designs haha. Still, what’s new? I’m still currently working on an assignment, which is a Zine assignment. That’s due in 7th December though…so soon.

Also hi, I’m super lazy at the moment so you get zero graphics in this post because most of them will get changed anyway. Anyway, Bookending Winter actually starts TOMORROW well for me in about 2ish hours. But I’m planning to snooze first.

What’s been happening with you all? Are you joining in on the event/s? 

 

Tidyathon Info

Are you excited to tidy up your blog and/or Goodreads? Yeah me neither, not unless I’m doing it with other people. I actually created the Tidyathon (Tidy Up – Hanna @ Booking in Heels dubbed it the tidyathon and it’s staying) a few months back, as I wanted to sort out my blog and goodreads. Whilst I actually didn’t get everything I wanted done, people did seem to enjoy it.

So, I brought it up to Sam about maybe including this, as an add on to the Bookend Events. As you can see, she liked the idea so here we are. This post will serve as the info post for the Tidyathon, what it is, how to join in and so on.

pink dragon divide

What Is It?

  • Running alongside a Bookend Event, the Tidyathon is a month long event
  • You set aside time (daily, weekly, all in a day, weekends etc) to get some tidying done: on the blog or on goodreads
  • The amount of time you spend on this is entirely up to you

mugs divide

How Do I Join?

  • Fill out the relevant Bookend Event form (for whichever event is running or upcoming)
  • When you reach this question What Are You Probably Going To Do? select ONE of these options: Tidyathon, Blog Posts & Tidyathon, Tidyathon & Christmas Readathon or Blog Posts, Tidyathon & Christmas Readathon.

purple dragon divide

What’s An Add On?

  • You have the main event, which will be one of the following: Bookending Spring, Bookending Summer, Bookending Autumn, Bookending Winter
  • The main event is this: write a minimum 3-5 blog posts and post them (more information on Bookend Events)
  • Add ons are extras to the main event: ranging from a Tidyathon to any Readathons which end up overlapping with the event month
  • The add ons are either universal or seasonal

mugs divide

Seasonal Add Ons

  • Extras to main event (main event refers to the Bookend Events)
  • Add ons count as taking part in the main event, if that’s all you want to do
  • Exclusive to ONE (1) particular event

For example, there may be a readathon which happens in the same month as the Bookending Summer 2019 event, that’s a seasonal add on. As it’s only happening on that month with that event.

purple dragon divide

Universal Add Ons

  • Extras to main event (main event refers to the Bookend Events)
  • Add ons count as taking part in the main event, if that’s all you want to do
  • Part of ALL FOUR (4) events

For example the Tidyathon, is something which will happen alongside each Bookend Event, making it universal. So it doesn’t matter if you join in on the Summer or the Winter events; the Tidyathon will run on all events.

mugs divide

Tidyathon Content

Below you will find two lists, full of ideas for what you could do as part of the Tidyathon. These are just suggestions, obviously you know what you need to get done. So long as its tidying based, on and around the blog/Goodreads (not reading based, this is NOT a readathon) you’re all good. You can choose whether, you focus on your blog or your Goodreads, maybe you decide to do both. It’s totally up to you.

Blog

  • Format Old Posts
  • Edit Old Links
  • Update Graphics
  • Create New Graphics
  • Declutter Sidebar
  • Write Blog Posts (ones you’ve been procrastinating)
  • Update/Create Pages
  • Sort Out Navigation Menu (that’s the bar holding your pages: About Me etc)
  • Check Social Media Links Are Working
  • Copy Across Reviews To GR
  • Copy Across Reviews To <insert site here>

Goodreads

  • Shelf Sorting (add, delete, organise your shelves)
  • Multiple Editions
  • Right Format
  • Copy Across Reviews To GR
  • Cull TBR
  • Update Reading Challenge

purple dragon divide

Review Sprints

The idea for this came about on the New Bloggers Discord, where we decided to do some review writing together. Thus a review sprint was born, I offered to include it in here so here we are.

  • Review sprints will work like reading or writing sprints on twitter
  • I’ll be running them from the @bookend_events twitter account
  • We’ll be focusing on writing the reviews we’ve either procrastinated on, or have outstanding still
  • We will be sprinting in a mix of these time slots: 10 mins, 20 mins, 30 mins

mugs divide

That’s everything you need to know about the Tidyathon! I’d suggest you come back and check each event, to make sure  nothing has changed or been added. As with Bookend Events, the Tidyathon will continually be evolving!

You Could…

  • Post a list of what you’re hoping to achieve in the Tidyathon to your blog or on twitter!
  • Make sure you use the #tidyathon AND #BkendingWin2018 hashtags when sharing on twitter, so both Sam and I can find you!
  • If you decide to do a blog post, you MUST link back to this post.

purple dragon divide

IMPORTANT

(this section will be updated with new and relevant information/links, so make sure you bookmark this post to find all relevant links in one place)

Bookend Events Overview & Info

Upcoming Event: Bookending Winter 2018

Running Time: 1st December 2018 – 31st December 2018

Participants Sign Up Form

pink dragon divide

Eeeek so who’s ready to tidy? Remember, you can set aside as much or as little time as you like. My lists of things you could do to tidy are suggestions, it’s up to you. What do you want to get done? What needs to be done? I know I have a ton of tidying things to get sorted for  t h e  n e w  y e a r  I know I went there guys haha. 

If you have any questions, about the tidyathon leave them below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can. Also, if you’re taking part in Bookending Winter 2018, lemme know what you’re doing! Are you doing just the main event (3-5 blog posts), Amy’s readathon or the tidyathon? Maybe you’re doing a mix of them. 

 

 

Bookending Winter 2018 Announcement!

*sips tea* It’s finally here, the announcement post for Bookending Winter HAS ARRIVED! Are we excited? I know Sam and I are excited, we’ve been hard at work on all things Bookend related which you know…is a lot. Thankfully having a partner  in crime helps, so enough of my rambling. Read on to find out all about this event.

pink dragon divide

What Is It?

Bookending Winter is one of the quarterly events, running under the umbrella term “Bookend Events”, aspiring to bring the book blogging community closer together! Bookending Winter has a vague theme of Christmas/Winter, but you don’t need to stick to this theme at all! This year we’re joining forces with Amy @ Little Booknerds In The Corner to bring you the 12 Reads Of Christmas Readathon as a seasonal add on!

mugs divide

What Counts For This Event?

  • Posting a minimum of 3-5 blog posts (you can use the prompts or not, up to you)
  • Taking part in the Tidyathon
  • Joining in with Amy’s 12 Reads of Christmas Readathon

Now, you don’t have to do ALL of them. You can do one, two or all three. Mix and match how you like, it’s totally up to you.

purple dragon divide

Content Guidelines

  • Book reviews DON’T count as part of the event – but you’re more than welcome to still post them throughout the month. Just remember they won’t count as part of your 3-5 posts
  • Not restricted to a theme/topic – you can post about whatever you want, however,  we do encourage discussion posts and/or creative post types to branch out and have fun!
  • Autumn and Winter have more of a Halloween and Christmas theme added in, but you don’t need to include that if you don’t want to
  • General Topic Ideas: Discussion Posts, Tags/Awards, Memes, Writing Themed Posts, Blogging Themed Posts etc.
  • You MUST include the Bookend Events logo somewhere on/within your post, this is so we know which posts are part of the event/got inspired through the event. It also helps us with blog hopping.


this is the logo you’ll need to use somewhere on your post/featured image 🙂 

mugs divide

How To Sign Up

Join in on this fun by filling out the form! When you sign up, this allows us to see who’s taking part/planning to take part. It’s totally ok, if you end up not being able to take part etc. It’s to give us an idea and make sure we know who we’re blog hopping to.

purple dragon divide

Hosts & Prompts

When we ran Blogoween, we had Hosts, who came up with prompts. Our events still have wonderful Hosts, who create prompts to help you out if you’re stuck. You don’t need to do these prompts at all, but if you want to–you totally can!!

Anthony @ Keep Reading Forward (1st Dec – 3rd Dec)

Saturday 1st
Prompt Title: Christmas Characters Tag
Explanation: A brand new tag featuring popular Christmas characters and holiday traditions.

Sunday 2nd
Prompt Title: Dear Santa…
Explanation: Dear Santa, I’ve been good this year and all I want for Christmas this year are books….

Monday 3rd
Prompt Title: Winter Wonderland
Explanation: It’s a Snow Day! Now what?

Imogen @ Imogen’s Typewriter (4th Dec – 7th Dec)

Tuesday 4th
Prompt Title: Holiday Season TBR!
Explanation: What books do you want to read by the fire this season?

Wednesday 5th
Prompt Title: Audiobooks for the Sleigh!
Explanation: Audiobook recommendations for Santa to listen to as he drives around delivering presents!

Thursday 6th
Prompt Title: 2019 Releases!
Explanation: The books being released in 2019 that you’re excited for.

Friday 7th
Prompt Title: Written by Elves!
Explanation: Santa’s elves spend their year making the presents for all the good girls and boys. Describe your dream book that they would write for you if you were very very good this year.

Lauren @ Northern Plunder (8th Dec – 10th Dec)

Saturday 8th
Prompt Title: Warming Your Winter
Explanation: A look at some bloggers I’ve been reading this year, reflecting on friendships and good blog posts.

Sunday 9th
Prompt Title: Fireside Favourites
Explanation: Favourite reads of 2018 that I recommend picking up to pass the time whilst snuggled in with a hot coco next to the fire.

Monday 10th
Prompt Title: Reading Goals for the New Year
Explanation: Setting out a plan for what books I’d like to read in 2019

Julia @ Fable Hunter (11th Dec – 14th Dec)

Tuesday 11th
Prompt Title: Christmas Cover Hunt
Explanation: 5-10 book covers in red, green, silver or gold. Bonus points if it is Christmas themed (snow, trees, presents, etc..)

Wednesday 12th
Prompt Title: Holly Jolly Mistletoe
Explanation: What character couples would you want to see stuck under some mistletoe? (Can be enemies, friends, characters you wish would have been together and weren’t, your favorite character couples)

Thursday 13th
Prompt Title: Holiday Exploration
Explanation: You received Harry Potter’s cloak of invisibility for Christmas this year! Where would you go and what would you do? (Can be in the real world or a bookish one!)

Friday 14th
Prompt Title: Holiday Traditions
Explanation: Discussion of my favorite books and movies to reread/rewatch in the winter and why.

Camilla @ Reader In The Attic (15th Dec – 17th Dec)

Saturday 15th
Prompt Title: Winter Market
Explanation: Choose a world or more than one, and describe its Winter Market. What commerciants would sell? Which toys, sweet treat, and other nice objects?

Sunday 16th
Prompt Title: The Bookish Cenone
Explanation: In Italy the Cenone is a must. We sit down both at the Vigil and on Christmas day to eat with the family. This year, you decide to organize two days of special dinners for the winter time. Characters from the last two/three books you read, will be at your door to join in on these festivities. They’ll come with a gift, maybe bring some food too. How will your night unravel? What gift/s did they bring? Will you all survive? Just imagine if a villain ring your bell door…

Monday 17th
Prompt Title: The Befana comes by night
Explanation: During January Italian kids usually get visited by the Befana. (an old woman who flies on a broom; honestly no idea why we just don’t say she’s a witch). Inside socks made for the occasion, she leaves sweets for the good kids and a piece of coal for the bad kids. This time you will be the Befana and your role is to distribute books. Which books would you gift to good people and which one you will use as punishment?

Erin @ Bluestocking Bookworm (18th Dec – 21st Dec)

Tuesday 18th
Prompt Title: Handmade Gift Ideas for Book Lovers
Explanation: I will list 3-5 handmade gift ideas ranging in difficulty, with steps, that you can make for your BFF (your bookish friend forever).

Wednesday 19th
Prompt Title: Gruß vom Krampus (Greetings from Krampus)
Explanation: Unlike Santa Claus, Krampus (a half goat, half demon) of Central European folklore concerns himself with naughty children. Which fictional characters deserve a visit from Krampus this year, complete with coal in their stocking and a swat with some birch branches?

Thursday 20th
Prompt Title: Throwback Thursday – Holiday Edition
Explanation: I will post a list of 10 prompts about holidays past (a photo of your first holiday season, what did you do last December, what was your worst New Years Eve, etc). You can do one, or you can do them all!

Friday 21st
Prompt Title: Lord/Lady/Liege of Misrule
Explanation: In ancient Roman traditions, one peasant was nominated as the leader of the Christmastime revelry. Which SUPPORTING character from a book that you have read this year would you like to party (whatever your definition of party is) with?

Sam @ Fictionally Sam (22nd Dec – 24th Dec)

Saturday 22nd
Prompt Title: The Grinch Who Stole…Books?
Explanation: books you wish you could steal, this could be rare editions of your favorite books, a collectors edition, or the overall idea of the book from the author!

Sunday 23rd
Prompt Title: The Holiday Photo
Explanation: Characters you’d love to have with you in your christmas card/photo

Monday 24th
Prompt Title: Christmas Dinner Tag (Original)

Amy @ Little Booknerds In The Corner (25th Dec – 28th Dec)

Tuesday 25th
Prompt Title: Christmas Gifts
Explanation: As Christmas is a time of giving, list down 5 books you would give to your friend and family this Christmas.

Wednesday 26th
Prompt Title: Post Christmas Chilling
Explanation: After eating Christmas dinner you feel very sluggish. List down 5 books that would be perfect to read while you feel like this.

Thursday 27th
Prompt Title: Hopeful New Years
Explanation: As New Years is fast approaching, which book/books would you like to read before the clock strikes midnight on New Years Eve.

Friday 28th
Prompt Title: Yearly Thoughts
Explanation: Time to write your yearly wrap up. What things in the bookish year were things you were happy about? This could include anticipated book releases and/or bookish events you went to.

Sophia @ Bookwyrming Thoughts (29th Dec – 31st Dec)

Saturday 29th
Prompt Title: Dear Fictional Characters, Come Hang Out with Me
Explanation: Tell us the fictional characters you want to come hang out with you as you ring in the new year.

Sunday 30th
Prompt Title: Forget Christmas, It’s Time to Steal the New Year
Explanation: Villains don’t steal Christmas, they steal the New Year. Tell us about the villains you’d recruit for the New Year, or any other villain and new year combination.

Monday 31st
Prompt Title: Ring in the New Year!
Explanation – Tell us about your goals, dreams, aspirations for 2019! What are you hoping for next year?

Using Hosts Prompts:

  • MUST link back to the original prompt
  • Prompts can be posted AFTER the Hosts prompt date, but NOT BEFORE e.g you want to do Amy’s prompt which goes up on the 25th. You can post it on the 25th and after that date but not before the 25th

mugs divide

SEASONAL ADD ON ALERT!

Seasonal add ons are exclusive to that one event, unless the person we teamed up with, happens to run the event again and it overlaps one of our other events.

Can you hear the sirens? This event we’re teaming up with Amy @ Little Booknerds In The Corner to let you join her readathon as part of this event! That’s right guys, reading means you’re taking part in this event, if you’re doing Amy’s readathon.

What does this mean? Well it means you can choose to just take part in her month long readathon, or take part in that and something else. Either way, if you take part in her readathon, you took part in Bookending Winter 2018!

Sharing On Twitter

  • tag our twitter account @bookend_events in any posts you do towards the event so we can see them. Blog hop to them and share them.
  • Also mention our personal twitters @Sammers65 and @eloisethewriter to doubly make sure we don’t miss you.
  • Feel free to @ us if you’re doing the readathon/tidyathon and using twitter to give updates
  • Tag the tweets with the #BkendingWin2018!

purple dragon divide

IMPORTANT

(this section will be updated with new and relevant information/links, so make sure you bookmark this post to find all relevant links in one place)

Bookend Events Overview/Info (ALL EVENTS)
Events Running Time: 1st December 2018 – 31st December 2018
Participants Sign Up Form
Tidyathon Info
Amy’s Readathon Info
Grab The Official Logo! (you want the logo, which says Bookending Winter by the way)

pink dragon divide

Sam will also have an announcement post, over on her blog! This is so you all know you can go to either of our blogs, to find the relevant information. The Tidyathon post will be exclusive to my blog, but Sam will have the link back to the post when it’s up.

That’s a wrap on the official announcement post, I know it was a lot to take in but please reread it if you’re confused. Then if you’re still confused, just comment and Sam or I will be about to help you out.

 

The Backlash Some Negative Reviews Get (M Hashmi @ Chronicles of a Fantasy Writer)

Colourful On Pastel is a series of guest posts from fellow bookbloggers. The meaning behind the series name, is because my blog is made up of pastel colours whereas most other blogs are made up of strong vibrant colours. That’s how the name was born. Stick around for discussions from bookbloggers all over the blogosphere.

Today we have a guest post from M Hashmi, all about negative reviews and the backlash they often receive.

Also just a super quick life update: my netbook charger died last saturday, the replacement finally came yesterday. Then my netbook rudely showed me the blue screen of death. Meanwhile I’m running about trying to sort out graphics, Bookend Event things. It’s been hectic guys. I’ll be doing a proper post updating you all soon on what’s been happening. Until then – enjoy this wonderful guest post!

pink dragon divide

So I know this is something a lot of book bloggers and booktubers have already spoken about at length. But I wanted to talk about it myself since I have previously discussed my review method on my blog, and a few people pointed out how my method was problematic.

Now before we get into it, believe me, I appreciate criticism. In fact, they helped me along the way as I reviewed more books. I whole-heartedly agreed with some of the criticism, and used the advice to better myself.

But I disagreed with a few, and I think it was only right I got a chance to discuss WHY I disagreed.

mugs divide

For those who are unfamiliar, for my in-depth analyses, I split my thoughts into ten points, ranging from my thoughts on the opening, pacing, world and character building, the concept, all the way to the ending. Every point is an aspect of story-telling I personally look at quite carefully while reading a book, and they are usually what make or break a book for me, and possibly for a whole lot of others. For every one of the boxes a book checks, I give it one point, and then bring the final rating to a five point scale.

In the end, I write a separate review, not only summarizing the dissection, but also discussing my reading experience in general for readers who are there simply for the juicy review. This final “reading experience” or Review Section also adds or subtracts from the rating.

Again, every point I mark a book on is one of my personal criteria for liking a book. Yes, I do put every book I read under intense scrutiny as a writer. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy them as a reader simultaneously.

And yes, it hardly happens that a book checks all the boxes. Which is fine. There is no such thing as a perfect book for anyone.  

I believe that reviewers should be allowed to discuss a book as openly as they want. That is basically what authors mean when they talk about an honest review. And if I’m being honest, I’m gonna talk about things I dislike in a book, whether the author likes it or not.

purple dragon divide

Being a writer myself, I hate receiving criticism. Believe me, it is the worst feeling ever. I am currently running every chapter of my Work In Progress by my critique partners, and, considering it is my first ever novel, it is receiving a tonne of bashing. But by being a writer, one needs to basically sign an unwritten contract to suck it up and use the criticism to better themselves.

So it is only natural that a book WILL receive criticism. It doesn’t have to be harsh, but if I find a flaw, I will talk about it. If I dislike certain parts about a book, but ONLY talk about the story in a flowery way, I will be doing my readers a disservice, because if anyone ends up getting influenced by my blog, actually reading the book and finding out I glossed over all the messy parts, I might lose my credibility as a reviewer.

As will any reviewer, if they JUST talk about the good things in the book. When we review a book, we talk about our personal reading experience, and believe me, it’s NEVER perfect, and to paint it that way is to be dishonest.

mugs divide

For those who say we should offer our criticism to authors in private instead of publishing it for the whole world to see, well, the book is published for the whole world to see too. Sooner or later, people will start talking about any flaws a book might have, so if I am participating in that discussion, or even initiating it, it is not a crime.

It doesn’t matter how good a book is, part of it may simply not click with every reader, and if we happen to express that, well, that’s an honest review for you. The book blogging network exists to discuss books, not just praise them.

Some people also believe that if we don’t like a book, we should simply DNF it instead of publishing a scathing review.

I must admit, I kind of agree with this one.

When it comes to reviewing books, especially those written by indie authors or lesser-known authors, I think we should be as gentle and constructive in our criticism as possible. As I mentioned earlier, it sucks for them to have us talk negatively about their work, and if it’s happening anyway, we might wanna be nice about it. After all, we want to bring authors up, not pull them down.

purple dragon divide

However, so far, I have not DNFed a single book that has been sent to me for review. Why? Well, I think that if I have promised a review, I should deliver one. Maybe it’s just me, but I read every single book, even if it takes a lot of time. I highlight the good parts in my review as much as possible, but I also mention the parts I didn’t enjoy. So even if a lot of things in a book don’t work for me, I believe the least I can do is get the name out there and inform people about the pros and cons.

For all we know, in the process, the book might just find the right audience, which it never will if I simply DNF it. But again, this is just my method, and who knows, I might end up DNFing books in the future.

mugs divide

But yeah, it is important for bloggers to be honest in their reviews without fear of backlash. Because let’s face it, every opinion and reading experience may be different, but equally valuable. And if authors have a problem with negative reviews, perhaps they really aren’t ready to be published yet, since this little thing right here called criticism is a HUGE part of the process. The reading community should be open to all sorts of debate as long as they don’t turn nasty, and the discussion of a book’s cons is a topic that cannot be ignored or swept under a rug.

pink dragon divide

Connect With M Hashmi

Blog

Twitter

Facebook

clo