Kristen and I exchanged questions and answers some weeks ago. Although we read and review very different genres, we share many ideas about why we blog.
Kristen's blog is one of those with many different features to look at. You can also follow The Story Siren on Twitter where she has an incredible number of followers.
What led you to create your blog?
My blog was created mainly just for me to keep track of what I was reading and what I thought about it. I never intended for it to be a “review” blog. It sort of evolved into that as time went by.
What are the main objectives of your blog?
The main objective is spreading the word about YA titles. Most of the time it’s upcoming YA titles. I do read older titles at times, but it’s usually fairly new novels that I post about and review. When I used to do challenges I’d read some older titles, but I just don’t have the time for those now, that must of the books I read are review titles.
What are the greatest pleasures in blogging?
The greatest pleasures is “meeting” fantastic people that enjoy reading as much as you do! I love being able to chat with other bloggers and authors. It’s something that I never anticipated and it’s one of the things that I enjoy the most.
Is there a blog post or meme that has been far more successful than anything else you've done?
In My Mailbox is one of my most popular meme. It’s a meme about sharing what books you’ve received that week, via your mailbox, bought, or library. It’s a really great way for me to give all the books I receive a spotlight on the blog even if I may not get around to reviewing them all. Plus it a great way to network with other blogs and find new blogs to follow! And I always like to see what books other people are getting so I can add new ones to my wish list!
My most popular post was a recent post I did entitled The Dark Side (of blogging) that struck a chord with a lot of people.
What new skills have you learnt through blogging?
Well, my writing has improved a lot. I still think it need a lot more, but I can see how I’m able to write my reviews with a little more ease. I’ve also had been able to get over some of my apprehensions about voicing my opinion. Usually I just like to agree with other people to keep from making any sort of confrontation, but I’ve learned that voicing my opinion isn’t a bad thing, it’s something I have a right to do!
Are you a book reviewer who happens to blog, or a blogger who happens to write book reviews?
I’m most definitely a blogger who happens to write book reviews. My reviews are very personal, rather than professional.
What is the best YA book you've read this year?
Wow, I don’t think I could narrow it down to just one. I’ve read a lot of fantastic books this year. There are just too many to name. YA authors never cease to amaze me.
What do you think are the main elements of a good book review?
I like reviews that are honest and to the point. If you don’t like something, or if you do, be sure to state why. That way your readers can make an objective decision.
What are the best features of a good blog?
I guess that depends on what type of blog you have. With a review blog, obviously some reviews would be a good feature. But it always nice to vary things a little bit too. You want a good representation of interesting content.
What are the regular features of your blog? Which have been the most successful?
Interviews, book tours, reviews, contests, In My Mailbox and Books to Pine For are my regular features and the last two are my most popular too. I think I have the most fun doing them too!
The contests are always popular, which isn’t all that surprising since everyone loves to win things, especially free books when you’re a book lover!
Interviews just depend. Some are more popular than others, I’m not sure if it’s a lack of interesting questions on my part, a lack of interest in the author, or perhaps a combination of the both.
Many thanks to Story Siren for her frankness.
BTW The Story Siren has won the BBAW Award for The Most Extravagant Giveaways. Well done!
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