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A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy
Inside A Chair, A Fireplace & a Tea Cozy

An Unconventional Blog Tour: What We Said

As you remember, Kelly Jensen from Stacked and I put together a bit of an Unconventional Blog Tour this past week.

Here is a quick recap, with links to posts to the blogs that participated.

Monday, May 28

Pam Coughlin (MotherReader) on Playing Nicely “With the right attitude and a smile a new best friend or a chance to play with the multi-layed sand sifter is in your reach. Blogging is a solitary activity in the writing, but a group activity in the reading, connecting, and sharing information. Play your part in that aspect by commenting on other blogs. Who knows when you’ll find a new best friend or a future presenting partner.”

Colleen Mondor (Chasing Ray) on Author-Blogger relationships ”Surprisingly, the answer to how blogger and authors can most effectively work together is actually pretty simple. You have to be willing to put in the time. Bloggers have to be willing to write consistently smart and entertaining posts and authors have to be willing to engage with lit bloggers on subjects other than their own books. Through time bloggers will make themselves someone who authors want to engage with and vice versa. Conversations will take place that have nothing to do with the author’s book or the blogger’s blog but books and blogs and all manner of literary greatness in general.”

Tuesday, May 29

Ana and Thea (The Book Smugglers) on Maintaining Independence and Integrity ”The first step toward maintaining independence and integrity is self-awareness. The reality is that for all that we say we blog for ourselves, the moment someone starts a blog and makes it public, choosing to share their thoughts with others, that person is no longer blogging solely for themselves. This blogger has readers – readers who rely on them for discussion, for opinion, and for reviews. A rapport is established between every blogger and her readers. This relationship, between blogger and reader, is sacrosanct and should take priority over all others (including relationships between a blogger and a publisher or author).”

Liz Burns (A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy) on Audience and Writing for Readers ”I write for people interested in reading culture. People who realize a “book” is more than paper or e-ink; who are intrigued by story or narrative; who want to be entertained; who are seeking information. Who see the value in people reading, and so are interested in all the things that go along with stories and books and reading: diversity, and cover art, and publishing; different types of readers; how a draft becomes a book; what the difference is between “young adult” and “tweens”; what reading levels really mean; etc. etc. This includes writing as if reading matters; and hoping that my readers, here, share that belief.”

Wednesday, May 30

Sarah Moon (Clear Eyes, Full Shelves) on Finding Your Blogging Voice ”Blogs are living organisms. Your interests may change over the life of your blogging career. Maybe you started writing about contemporary young adult fiction, and then fell for urban fantasy hard. A lot of folks will tell you to stay the course if you’ve got some traction in that niche. However, I couldn’t disagree more. I’m thinking of the book blog I’ve probably read the longest, The Book Smugglers, and their reviewing focus has evolved and developed over the years. For me, this is one of the reasons that such a long-lived blog still feels fresh with each day’s post. In a blogging climate where we’re told that to be “successful,” we need to specialize, specialize, specialize,**** keep in mind that if you’re too rigid in your approach you can find yourself bored and burned out. (Trust me—that’s why I put my old blog on permanent hiatus.)”

Kelly Jensen (STACKED) on Blogging as Professional Experience ”I’ve been asked before and I’ll say it as someone who has been on the hiring side of the table: if you are a blogger and it’s something you work at — something that you invest your time and energy into — you absolutely should include it on your resume, in job applications, in your cover letters, in your interviews, or in any other capacity where you are discussing your relevant skills. Your blog is probably the biggest portfolio you can show off.”

Thursday, May 31

Sarah Bean Thompson (Green Bean Teen Queen) on Everything I Need To Know About Conferences I Learned in Kindergarten: Conference Professionalism ”So what exactly does conference professionalism look like? Is there a code on how to act or what to do? Sometimes it feels that way. So instead of giving the age old advice you always hear about wearing comfy shoes, dress for both heat and cool rooms, carry tote bags, I’m hoping I can share some insights on how to survive a conference and be professional (and not ending up as one of the people everyone is talking about in a bad way).”

Kim Ukura (Sophisticated Dorkiness) on Objectivity and Transparency Online ”There needs to be some ethic in place that guides honest and open communication, whether that communication is in the form of a review, an opinion post, a giveaway, or something else. Instead of objectivity, I suggest transparency. Being transparent is a way for all bloggers — regardless of how objective or not you decide to be — to build trust with all your readers, whether they are long-time subscribers or someone who stumbles across your blog after a Google search.”

Friday, June 1

Sarah Andersen (YA Love Blog) on Blogging and Why Community Matters ”I’ve asked myself tons of questions and even questioned if I’m “doing it right.”  Often these musings are on Twitter and I usually get this response: “It’s your blog, so do whatever you think is right or whatever you want.”  Not always in those words, but the general idea is there.  And I have to admit that it’s true; this is my blog so I shouldn’t worry about anyone else.  But don’t we still think about our readers and our community?  Yes, I’m writing what I want to write, but I always have my readers and students in mind.  When it gets right down to it, my community often drives my blogging.  Maybe that’s wrong, maybe it’s okay, but it’s the truth.”

Kate Hart (Kate Hart) on Citing Sources: A Quick and Graphic Guide (Kate’s graphic is awesome) “Remember that in addition to credits, citations are there to help others track down information they need. My English professor BFF suggested that links are like page numbers in academic citations. Taking two extra minutes to include them might save someone hours of searching, not to mention the help it will be if you need to retrace your steps someday.”

Now, a question for you:

Just out of curiosity, if, theoretically, a second such blog tour was put together, what sorts of subjects would you like to see covered?

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About Elizabeth Burns

Looking for a place to talk about young adult books? Pull up a chair, have a cup of tea, and let's chat. I am a New Jersey librarian. My opinions do not reflect those of my employer, SLJ, YALSA, or anyone else. On Twitter I'm @LizB; my email is lizzy.burns@gmail.com.

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