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First Post of the New Year!

Published January 10, 2014 by G.L.

If anyone hasnt noticed, we’ve bought out domain!

We love the great work done by Blogovation Design!

Now that we have a new look,and the year is young, we wanted to go over some of the goals we wanted to achieve for 2014!

  • Release two self published titles at the very least. Two multicultural fantasy titles(Including our anticipated “The Mark of Noba”)and if we manage our time well, a contemporary Young Adult title featuring all Latinas(of all races).
  • Chronicle each learning experience from our first 3 critical reviews.
  • Highlight each self publishing experience, good or bad. It will definitely help for anyone unsure of self publishing with specific ventures.
  • Highlight ways to incorporate diversity in anyone’s writing who may be skeptical of touching a marginalized group they’re unsure.
  • Attend one multi genre convention, martial arts convention and writer’s conference(It’s based on our finances).
  • Create a special blog hop for promoting diversity in fiction.
  • Start up a multicultural virtual blog tour company(First year it may start out slow to maintain amazing service).
  • Produce three web series pilots for multicultural themed Youtube shows.(Should be interesting. If the response is positive, perhaps they can go further.

Many of these goals, once they’re achieved, we wont worry about whether it’s a huge success. We just plan to keep it moving to the next goal.

Anyone else have any goals for 2014?

Celebrate the Small Things Blog Hop September 26th

Published September 26, 2013 by G.L.

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Celebrate the Small Things.

So of course doing some web surfing we managed to find another blog hop to participate in! Blog hops are fun because you meet a lot of like minded people who may just enjoy the same things as you. And while we both started out as book bloggers and seem to becoming more and more productive with our book blog, we’re trying to discover ways to connect with other writers…..

Voila! The Celebrate The Small Things Blog Hop comes in!

How it works:

1) Sign up on the linky list below.

2) Each Friday, post in your blog something you wish to celebrate achieving / doing that week.

It can be writing related: I finished a tricky chapter! I finished my outline!
It can be reading related: I read two books!
It can be life related: I tidied my sock drawer! My child finally ate something green! I cleaned the shed!

Whatever you like.

Guinevere‘s response:

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1) I finished one of five books we promised to review for a giveaway were hosting in October. We don’t generally read books at the exact same time, so if we promise this many, I will admit, sharing a blog definitely does help =D

2) I’ve written nonstop the entire week for at least two hours a day. I will admit, I had writer’s block for quite some time. This may not work for everyone, but I read 90 day novel, and I haven’t been able to stop writing. I’ve honestly never been this productive.  In the past, I’ve written but when I’d burn out, I wouldn’t touch projects for weeks. The book teaches a writer to write without the fear of being perfect, as you can seek perfection in the rewrites. But one who does not write, cant fix mistakes!

3)I bought Travis Garland concert tickets. I wanted to go see Justin Timberlake, but he’s far too expensive. So it just worked out, that as soon as I decided I couldn’t afford JT tickets, Travis announced he was coming to my area. For the same price I’d pay to get crappy seats to see JT, I could see Travis AND afford the VIP package, which allows me to meet and take a picture with him! So I lucked out!

Libertad‘s answer:

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1.I finally got the author interview questions out to the 5 authors we planned to feature on our book review blog, Twinja Book Reviews . I procrastinated like crazy to get them the questions, now all I am waiting on are the answers :/

2.I managed to get some writing done this week. Even though it’s just one chapter, it’s one i’ll probably continue to keep reworking because I’m just not sure about it yet 😄

3. Had the time to do some social networking for two days strong this week. Quite often I don’t allow myself “computer time” until i meet some kind of unwritten writing goal, but I was stuck for a day so I said “What the hay?”

2A) Use the Badge! 🙂

3) Hop around other blogs and offer congratulations/a pat on the back to other people. If everyone visits at least a few other blogs, we’ll all have some congratulations.

4) Feel warm and fuzzy inside.

I would also REALLY appreciate it if people could please advertise this, at least at first, so we have a few peeps joining in. It should be fairly low maintenance week to week, and feel free to include your celebration item within a post covering other topics.

This is the code for the badge.

Also: let me know how this is going. It was a toss up between weekly and fortnightly in the votes. I went for weekly as fortnightly leads to the ‘is it an on or off week’ confusion but if it feels better, we can always drop it down to fortnightly.

I have put the linky list as open for the whole year, but will revisit after a couple of months, see if anybody is joining in.

I vote we sign up this week, and begin next week!

Please do join in, let’s celebrate those small achievements! 🙂

Here’s the sign up:

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Feature & Follow #3 Book blog Fridays

Published May 17, 2013 by G.L.

Follow Friday Button
What its all about!
Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers — but you have to know — the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.
RULES
1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
(Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
2. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
3. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
4. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers.
This weeks wonderful question:
School is out, Finals are over(For us anyways 😄 ) What’s your favorite summer reading book?

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Guinevere:

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I want to say a book called Just for fins by Tera Lynn Childs.It’s a really cute, light and fast read. It’s a mermaid book and has all this really cool mermaid slang.

Libby1

Libertad:

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Hmmm….I tend to read a lot over the summer but last summer i remember reading The Fold by AN NA and really enjoyed it.It’s about a young korean american girl who’s aunt stumbles on some money and decides to share it it with the family. Her vain auntie offers the lead character the double eyelid surgery claiming it will make her prettier. It’s a really interesting read because one of my friends is korean and enlightened me how popular the procedure is among korean women to have a more “successful” look. It’s really relatable!

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An author blog. An important piece of an author platform and why you shouldn’t give up on it. Part I

Published May 11, 2013 by G.L.

Blogs. Over time they’ve become a gateway of thoughts, for connecting others who feel, or may not feel the same way you do, but bring out great conversations when they don’t agree. Learning about things that someone may have more knowledge about, or even teaching others things YOU may have more knowledge about, and want others to know.

They’re important in gaining an author’s platform, but also important for just people looking to make brands for themselves. We wanted to write this fifty page blog post about why one should have a blog, especially those hoping to release a book, or those who have already released a book. But we’ve decided to stretch the subjects out. I’d hate to give people too much to read, and it would ensure I can write as much as I want on the different reasons or excuses one may give themselves for not writing one.

The reason we’re writing this blog is mainly through a connect on Goodreads. The woman appears so interesting, and her thoughts and opinions are so insightful, I was curious to know if she herself had a blog. I was in luck, as due to how specific her screen name was, I found a blog of hers right away. It featured everything I thought it might in my exchanges with her, and possibly more. The one drawback however was that it hadn’t updated since 2011. This was disappointing, but brought back memories of my own blog I’d started years ago, but stopped writing for.

There are many reasons why you should consider a blog, but some never even consider the reasons, they only consider the excuses.

Excuses One May Have:

Excuse One-Followers. Having none, not enough, or having a lot of followers that are only along for the ride because of follow for follow tactics. If you have no or few followers, it’s time to start get creative in gaining some. Research communities that you’re in. Communicate with others in communities you’ve gained and find people who have common interests. Get them interested in your blog, and vice versa. Be as invested in them and you expect them to be in you. And while follow for follow can seem slow at times in your numbers, it does help. Researching blog hops are even better. Sometimes it’s possible to gain 50+ in a week with a decent blog hop, and you’re getting to learn about your audience as well as the blogs you’ve become an audience to. But when you follow others, leave a note or a comment! If you don’t let them know, they may not even know that you’re following them!

And as far as people whom are following you now? Even if it by gaining followers you’d done it  through follow for follow, put pride aside. Say “Who cares?” The point is that they’re following you. And hopefully they’re following you because you at least have one common interest. For us it’s been books. And we’re positive not everyone is following us because they’re passionate about multiculturalism. But our point is just to make people aware of multiculturalism, or the lack of it. Perhaps an interesting post title will catch someone’s attention? But the point is, we’re TRYING to catch people’s attention.

It may not affect most people(and when I say most, it could mean white, or able bodied, or people of the Christian faith, etc.) but imagine this situation. You’re in a bookstore with your friend.

Insert Friend Here-

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Imagine both of you going to the same section of the bookstore(for me, it would mostly likely be Young Adult) with the intention of buying a brand new book. The default for book covers feature Caucasian, able bodied, “All-American” types. You see many books you feel you can relate to, and leave with a book. You’re completely satisfied in your purchase, but it bugs you that your friend didn’t leave with anything. I mean there were so many books to choose from, and you wanted to share why you bought yours, and hear why she bought hers(or his ;p). Asking her/him why she/he left with nothing, she/he gives you some reply about wanting to be able to relate to the cover as well. Now you’re friend is Black/Latino/Asian/Muslim/Disabled/Gay/Transgender(sorry I couldn’t find any flattering pics of gay men or women that were cartoons =/) etc. You’re friends with them because appearance doesn’t matter to you, so you’re unsure on why something as simple as a book cover would stop them from getting anything, especially when there were so many great choices to choose from! She/He tells you, “It’s easy for you to say, because in books you’re not invisible. That if race, religion, sexual orientation or disability are so insignificant, why can’t a book cover ever feature a non-Caucasian, non able-bodied, non-Christian default type character? You don’t know how to feel about that statement. So there’s an awkward walk to the car or bus. You quickly change the subject, as you’ve already forgotten. Unfortunately this is not a luxury your friend has 😦 This subject will probably stay with them for much longer than a car/bus ride home. So I know not everyone will get what we’re writing about, but for us the whole point is to get people thinking about it.

Excuse Two-Not having anything to write about. One of the biggest mistakes one could make about starting a blog is giving your blog a subject you couldn’t talk about during your everyday life. Multiculturalism seems to come up in a conversation at least once a day for us. I can be watching one of our favorite shows “The Big Bang Theory”, and while most of their cast is Caucasian, two of their major characters belong to two religions that don’t fall into Christianity(One is Hindu, one is Jewish). I live in downtown New Haven, which is Yale territory. On my way to Starbucks, I’ll see plenty of same sex couples, interracial couples, interfaith couples, etc.  New Haven is colorful, so I’m pretty sure I even see a lot of transgender females and males. So as long as I notice cultures within cultures in society I’ll be covered. Being Afro-Cuban American, I can’t help but notice and care for different cultures. But being a book lover, the lack of a diverse world also gives me much to write about.

NEVER CHOOSE A SUBJECT YOU CAN ONLY GET THREE MONTHS OUT OF. If you love hair, and everything that goes with it, such as different ways to style it, how to combat hair during weather changes, or performing tasks on hair that is not a texture you’re familiar with, then go for that. If you’re a pet person, there are lots of subjects you can talk about with that. Music lover? Even better! But remember to choose wisely. I had a blog two years ago(it’s actually still up 6_6). I choose a subject that I was passionate about, an anime I loved, but when that show came to an end, I stopped writing for it ^-^. Unbeknownst to me, that in while ignoring it for two years, I’d gotten 4800 page views, which was insane, because I only had two followers(and I’m ashamed to admit it was just Libby and I ^_^) and I didnt know all the ways in gaining audiences, so I never reached viewers on my own. Had I known it could have been a success, I would’ve improved it at the very least. So choose your weapon in war wisely. You may find out you’ve brought a pen to a pencil fight.

Pen_Vs_Pencil_by_ScorpioReport

Excuse Three– Not having any time. While this is a relevant excuse, it’s a dumb one. Many of us spend hours on social networks, researching things to buy, and following celebrity gossip. If you have time for those things, you have time to engage people whom you may want to read your book one day. There are dozens of ways to find ways to manage time, but unfortunately it’s up to a person to follow them. I feel the best advice I could give, is to help you manage your blog with very little time.

Try committing to your blog 30 minutes a day. Even if those minutes are not consecutive. Duolit, a team of an author and marketer have great ways in using time wisely, and all their info is free! They give great advice about time management, launching your book release, creating your author platform and much more. They can be found at http://selfpublishingteam.com or https://twitter.com/duolit

And I don’t think we have to tell anyone that the more you write, the more you’re giving an audience to comment on, provoke conversation, and see what you’re all about, but if school, parenthood, work or just life in general will not allow you a ton of time, any audience you have or plan to gain needs to know what you can commit to. At the very least, on your blog, there should be something indicating that you write weekly or even monthly. If this is all you can commit to, make it fun by counting down to your audience when the next blog post will be coming. Make your audience look forward to every post, even if they’re infrequent. Also, try writing your blog posts in advance, that way you can just post them when they’re scheduled to be released. Just try not to go more than a month without posting or updating anything. If you cant commit to at least once a month, some may question why they’re even following someone who never updates their blog.

So with all this being said, if you start a blog, start it for the right reasons, but also always find ways to commit to it. You wont regret it, and people you learn from or those whom learn from you wont either!

Part II coming soon…

Published May 3, 2013 by G.L.

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FEATURE & FOLLOW FRIDAY is a blog hop that is designed to provide as much exposure towards other bloggers as well as yourself, and to expand following. It’s hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read, each whom feature a chosen blog for a week, it’s also an interesting way to get to know one another bloggers.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Give us a sneak! What are you reading? Tell us about a fun or fail scene in your current read.
 
Currently I, Libertad am reading an awesome book called Wildefire by Karsten Knight about a Polynesian girl who discovers she’s a hot blooded Volcano goddess and her friends from school all happen to be gods of their own cultures.It started out slow but is ending up being pretty cool. The book is so diverse and the author worked really hard at making all her friends non stereotypical!
 

Guinevere is reading Water by Terra Harmony and so far she has some mixed feelings about it :/ 

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