This week’s list is about the ‘tools of the trade’ that make my life as a book blogger stress-free and fun. If you’re into the blogging scene, you’ll recognize the majority of these as necessities or ‘givens.’ If you don’t blog, I encourage you to check out these resources anyway – they’re great tools for the serious reader as well as the hobbyist blogger. Anything that introduces you to more books is a good thing, right?!
Top Ten Things That Make My Blogging Life Easier
1. Goodreads – This is THE social network for readers. It’s a database where you can keep track of the books you’ve read, write reviews, give star ratings, and interact with your favorite authors (if that’s your jam). I get great recommendations from fellow readers every time I log in.
2. Bloggiesta – Hosted biannually, this is a blogger ‘work party,’ where an entire weekend is devoted to updating whatever needs updating on your blog, and also learning new tricks of the trade. I learned basic HTML coding from participating in Bloggiesta!
3. Weekly memes – Events like Top Ten Tuesday (this post!) and Waiting on Wednesday are great ways to find new blogs to read and fellow readers with the same taste. TTT is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, and WoW is hosted by Breaking the Spine.
4. Arlington County Libraries and King County Library System – Libraries. They remain a favorite method of mine for accessing new and not-so-new releases. Arlington County is my current location, and they’ve got a good selection of YA in print and digital formats. KCLS is ‘back home,’ and I still peruse their digital collection on a weekly basis.
5. Twitter – My preferred social network, and a great way to discover the latest news in the publishing world. I follow agents, editors, authors, bloggers, and more. What’s noteworthy? You’ll find people talking about it on Twitter.
6. Blank journal/notebook – I like to write most of my reviews longhand before I type them up. I find that this allows me to edit, deliberate over word choice, and make sure my conclusions are sound before I hit the ‘publish’ button. Because the internet doesn’t forget. And you can still cross things out in a notebook!
7. Kindle, OverDrive, iBooks and Blio – I don’t have an e-reader, so I rely on these reading apps for iPhone. They offer digital access to galleys, library books and ebook purchases, free of charge. And then I can read happily on my phone during my commute!
8. NetGalley access to digital ARCs – Speaking of galleys (not-quite-final books that are circulated to selected reviewers and influencers before publication to create hype), I use NetGalley to request early reading rights from publishers. I don’t use this service as much as I once did, but a couple of times a season I’ll peruse the site and get stars in my eyes from all the books on offer. If you review books, or are a librarian, bookseller or educator, you too can sign up!
9. Edelweiss & Shelf Awareness emails – Edelweiss is a service that, like NetGalley, offers digital access to ARCs. But my favorite part of Edelweiss? Their weekly Monday emails with publishing catalogue updates. I do a lot of new title discovery on Monday afternoons (thanks, guys!). Shelf Awareness’ daily emails are essential for anyone interested in the publishing industry. If you like books, you should sign up for Shelf Awareness.
10. Book Expo America – This yearly conference is basically book heaven. I go to meet up with fellow bloggers, make contacts among publishing professionals, and see what’s new and awesome in book world. While not necessary to maintaining a successful blog, BEA is a great help and a lot of fun besides.
Do you use any of these tools or resources? Which one is your favorite?