Jul 31, 2015

July Wrap Up


Hey everyone!

I still can't accept the fact that July has ended already! It has been such an eventful month, atleast for me, and I can't wait to share all about it with you guys!

Before I start, I also want to make an announcement. From September, there won't be monthly wrap ups here in Chasing Faerytales! As much as I love them, they do take me hours to come up with them, so I've found an alternative for them!

Our last monthly wrap up will be in August! From September, we'll be doing weekly wrap ups, every other week!

Now let's get back to the topic, shall we?:)

So you guys all know, that I got myself a new co blogger this month! Jillian has been such an awesome person to work with, and I am having so much fun, co blogging with her!


WHAT WE READ


Mishma

The amount of books I've read this month is actually a bit embarassing. I spent most of my time on travelling and school, and didn't have much time to read. To top it off, after reading The Wrath and the Dawn, I experienced a major book hangover, so much so that, I didn't read much YA and read some of HQN novels - which are my guilty pleasures.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
Red Queen by Victora Aveyard
Sold to the Enemy by Sarah Morgan
The Brunelli Bargain by Kim Lawrence
The Prince and the Waitress by Sarah Morgan
The Christmas Love by Jennie Lucas

Currently Reading - Why We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

Jillian

Compared to Mishma's pile of read books, the books I read for July is very few to what I expected (and even more embarrassing, haha). Because school started early this month, I could barely read any book at all after being burnt out from writing school essays and sleep-depriving myself. Here are the books I read for July:

Queen of Tomorrow by Sherry D. Ficklin
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Currently Reading - What We Knew by Barbara Stewart // Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas
(Not really reading them much, but I AM TRYING.)

What We Posted


The Discussions


Jillian made her debut at Chasing Faerytales and here's her intro post!


Jillian shared her Bookish Bucket List

I shared a complete recap of my trip to Philippines

The Events

There were two events ongoing at Chasing Faerytales this month. First, I took part the Summer Blogger Promo Tour, hosted by the girls at The Book Bratz. So every Sunday, I feature a different blogger here at CF, and here are this month's guest posts!

Mimi stopped by and talked about travelling and books
Aila did the Cinderella Book Tag
Dawn answered some interview questions

The second is our own event, Learnt it the Hard Way, which Jillian and I are hosting. LITHW is an event which was created in order to help bloggers, with advice on various aspects of blogging! 

We kicked off the event on the 20th of July!

The event is a series of guest posts, with two twitter chats thrown in the middle. So far, we've had four bloggers who stopped by and offered some advice.


Hazel discussed the importance of blog design

Ashley shared an ultimate guide of blogging platforms and plugins

Rachel gave some advice on blog organisation

Check out the complete schedule of the guest posts and further details, in the kick off post! The event will be running until August 31st!


Around the Blogosphere


Meg discusses a sticky situation - When your loyalty to books is questioned

Rachel wrote a super helpful post on ARCs

Nova talked about the representation of culture in YA

Cait tells us when she decides to unfollow a blog and also lists the reasons why books should always mention food

Jillian confesses the blogging things that she's terrible at

Nicole talks about editing and self publishing

Kaitlin tries ( and mostly fails ) at remembering character names

Benish tells us why she's annoyed with gorgeous characters

Jeann talks about 3 star reviews

Asti shares her thoughts on sexy guys in supernatural books

Aimee gives some tips on how to tell an author that you love them.

Faye gives us a tour of Fully Booked

Melanie talks about crying over a book in public

Val discussed book endings

Shannon talks about character growth of heroines


Bookish and Blogging Community News



1. A lot of great reading challenges and readathons were announced! I am planning on signing up for a couple, as I have holidays in August. For now, I've decided on taking part in ARC August, hosted by the girls at Read Sleep Repeat.

Here's the sign up post if you want to take part!

I have a lot of e ARCS piled up in my kindle, that I have to finish! I am planning to be a little ambitious, and tackle as much as ARCs as I can! Let's see how it goes!

As I am a mood reader, I probably won't stick to a list, even if I make one, so I am just going to make a GR shelf of all my to-be-read ARCs, and knock off them from the shelf, as I finish the books.


2. Let's take a look at all the twitter chats! First of all, I myself hosted a twitter chat along with Jillian, as a part of our event, Learnt it the Hard Way. The #LITHW15 was a huge success, and a lot of bloggers hopped in and gave great advice!

I finally was able to join in Nori's #RQWN chat! It was fun, and I am looking forward to the next one!

Rachel, Kristen and Nicola hosted a chat for the debut authors of 2016! #FAC16 was super informative, and I got to know a lot of debut authors!

3. As for events, like I said above, Jill and I hosted our own, first ever event! We are so excited about it, and are hoping that it's as helpful for blogger as we hoped!
 Also a major event started this July! OTSP Secret Sisters , which is such an amazing project, has started! Although, I myself couldn't participate - as I am from Sri Lanka, and they couldn't pair me with anyone - I love stalking the hashtag and looking at people's gift exchanges and tweets.

4. Oh, and, Zoey is looking for co bloggers! If you are interested, check out her original post!

Personally, our July


Mishma

1.My July has been awesome! By now, I guess you all know that I went on a trip to PH, had the best time, met bloggers, ate delicious food and came back home with a huge haul of books!:) You can check out my recap - complete with photographs- here.

2. I also went on a road trip last Sunday. We're planning to go on another one this weekend too! I am so excited:)

3. Also, school! Tbh, I had more holidays than school days in July, as the beginning months of Advanced Levels are supposed to be relaxing as we still have to get used to the new subjects and classmates. But that also means, that I have to start working hard from September. *sighs* 

4. On the other hand, I got my holidays! School is starting on the 9th of September, so until then, I am planning to read a lot, and spend time on blogging as well as concentrate on my forgotten WIP!

5. I also went to the movies with my friends! I saw Antman in PH, and it was a cute movie, especially Paul Rudd was adorable!:) I also went and watched Paper Towns, though I didn't exactly like the book. It was okay, and I loved Cara - but then, I've always been a huge fan of her!:)
But the best of all is a movie in my own language - which was an epic historic film which reminded me a lot of Gladiator! It was amazing, and resulted in me having a craving for books about kings and queens. Any recs, guys?

6. Oh and I almost forgot! My new camera! I bought a DSLR this month, a Canon EOS 100D and I am in love with it already, and I adore taking photographs after the purchase. Btw, I've named her Iris!:)


Jillian

1. I joined Chasing Faerytales: This is one of July's blogging highlights, and I'm so happy to be co-blogging here with Mishma! She's been such a great person to co-blog and chat with, so my experience here in the blog has been going great so far. Additionally, I'm getting to know some of you from the comments, and you're all very friendly people!

2. 10th grade happened: And it's my final year in junior high school because I'll be taking up preliminary college next year for senior high. That means, yes, I'm "graduating" this year and I'm required to attend 3-4 career talks at school for my pre-college course. I'm planning to take up a Humanities/Social Science course, but I'm not so sure yet. So nervous for this because I'M ONLY 14, and I have to start thinking about pre-college stuff. I miss grade school now.

3. I joined the school newspaper: I applied last week and re-submitted my 9th grade essays and written compositions (which I hope they never noticed at all), and I actually got in! I can't believe the entire high school body is going to read my work soon.

4. I'm expecting my first book mail: I'm still not sure when it's arriving, but I'm expecting a few weeks from now because that book has been on a long journey! (From USA to the Philippines.) First ever bookmail, and I can't wait!



Jul 29, 2015

LITHW #4: On Being An Organized Blogger

Having a disorganized blog with lots of cluttered ideas can be pretty overwhelming. We may often tend to forget the things we should do at the blog, or sometimes we get overwhelmed to the point where a break is needed. Blogging organization is very important, yet it's something most bloggers may tend to lack.

 That's why today we have a friend to help us all out! Say hello to Rachel from A Perfection Called Books because today, she will talk about blogging organization and tips!


Hello everyone! I'm Rachel and I blog at A Perfection Called Books. As you might be able to tell from my blog title and my social media account name (yaperfectionist), I am a bit of a perfectionist. For my sanity, I need to keep things as perfect as possible. When it comes to blogging that means keeping things very organized. I'll share some tips on how to become an organized blogger, the pros and cons of organizing everything down to the teeth, and the various techniques and hardships of being an organized maniac.

TIPS ON BEING ORGANIZED


- Figure out your blog niche. How do you want to blog? How often to post? What types of posts? Will you comment back? Etc... Once you know this information, it'll be easier to organize yourself accordingly.

- Plan ahead. I use Google Calendar to plan out next month's posts. You can make calendar events and give them post titles. I color code mine. Green -- Review, Yellow -- Discussion, Red -- Blog Tour Stop, Blue -- Promo Post etc... It's a good way to easily see which posts you have most of, and it's good to have a diversity of color. It's a lot of placeholders for the most part. I haven't written some of the posts yet, but it's good to know what you have to write and when it's going to be posted.

- Schedule posts ahead of time. Instead of scrambling to write by midnight to post, I like to schedule posts ahead of time. You can do that by setting the date and time of the posting on Blogger (don't forget to hit "publish"), and it will automatically post at the set time. On WordPress you can do the same. This keeps posting low stress and allows you to focus on future posts. Also, my post quality is much better when it's not last minute.

- Have backup posts ready. Life happens. You go on vacation, school gets tough, testing begins. Unexpected things occur sometimes, so it's good to have a few reviews or discussion posts as backups for when you're busy. When I went on Spring Break vacation, I used up my review reserve so I could post a bit and not leave the blog empty for two weeks. It's like saving for a rainy day!

- Organize your ARCs. I know it might be hard to do but in order to review books in an organized and timely fashion, I like to make a document or Notes page on my phone organizing my ARCs (both physical and eARC) by month (and sometimes by release date under the month). It's a good visual to show you what you need to read and what book reviews should be posted soon. It also ensures that you read the books coming out sooner before the ones coming out later. Some people use spreadsheets or Excel or Evernote. Whatever works for you!

- Make reading goals and tentative TBRs. There are lots of challenges that start up at the beginning of the year to encourage you to read a certain genre or a certain number of books. The only reading goal I can remember to commit to is Goodreads, but here's a list of other challenges. I don't normally stick to a monthly TBR because I'm a mood reader, but I like to figure out which ARCs I should read for the month. It keeps your reading schedule organized a bit while still giving you some free reign to choose. I like to alternate by reading an ARC I need to read soon and then reading a book I purely just want to read without a commitment attached and then repeat.

- Find a commenting back groove. I highly recommend commenting on other people's blogs and commenting back on the blogs' of your commenters. You meet lots of people, learn about new books, read awesome posts, and discover new book blogs to check out! Sometimes commenting back gets overwhelming if you get really behind on it, so I suggest you NOT let yourself get far behind. When I comment back, I like to do it consecutively by post. I'll pick the earliest post I haven't commented back on, and click on the profiles for all the commenters of that specific post. Then I ex out of the window, and I see my tabs become fewer and fewer as I comment back more and more and ex out more windows. It's a nice way to track your progress. Every time I publish a post, I like to comment back for one post. I suggest not being more than one week behind on comments.

- Keep a blogroll or list of blogs to check out. As I mentioned before, commenting is a great part of blogging that I encourage you to use. I think it's most beneficial to have a blogroll somewhere on your blog (or use another blogger's blogroll) to easily click and access your favorite blogs to comment on. It's a great way to organize your favorite sites.

- Do monthly wrap-ups. Monthly wrap-ups are a great way to organize your monthly blogging. I like to post what books I read that month, highlight my favorite blog posts, and recap on what's been going on in my life. It organizes you while also adding a personal side to your blog. Here's an example.

PROS AND CONS OF BEING ORGANIZED


Pros:

- No last-minute frenzy/stress to post
- Can focus on future works and posts
- No uncertainty

Cons:

- No quick posting
- Can't post instantly, thinking so far in advance
- No spontaneity

TECHNIQUES & HARDSHIPS


Techniques:

  • Write a certain number of posts each week. I like to write 2-5 posts each week.
  • Have a blog schedule or to-do list. "Today I will comment back for the commenters on these two posts. I will finish this book and write the review."
  • Review the book you just finished before reading another book. <---- This is my golden rule!! Less stress, less generic review, more memory, more substance.

Hardships:
  • Having to scramble your carefully laid plans to work in a time-sensitive post
  • Knowing people won't see your review/post for another month or five....
  • Going cross-eyed while commenting back
  • Struggling to fix the formatting of a post because Blogger is moody

I hope these tips help you on your way to becoming a more organized blogger!

Jul 27, 2015

LITHW #3 : Choosing your blogging platform


Hi everyone! 

First of all, let me say thanks to everyone who joined in the #LITHW15 twitter chat this Saturday! It was a huge success, and we were able to cover a lot of aspects of blogging! I hope that it was informative to everyone, and don't forget to join in out next chat, on the 15th of August 12 PM EST!

Having said that, let's move on to the topic in hand today!

When you start a blog, one of the most important decisions to make is your blogging platform! There are a couple of good ones, out there, and it's necessary to choose the right one!

So today, Ashley from Nose Graze is here to help you with it! Other than being a blogger herself, she runs a business to help bloggers and entrepreneurs with their websites, and you can check out her shop here

Over to you, Ashley!


How to choose a platform as a new blogger

You're new to the blogging world and want to get started, but the big questions are:

  • How do you get set up?
  • Where do you get set up?

There are a variety of different blogging platforms available, and they all have their own set of pros and cons. I'll walk you through a few of the most popular:

Blogger


Blogger is a simple, free platform owned by Google. It's easy to get started and completely free.

Pros:

  1. It's free! No costs at all.
  2. You can choose to buy and use a custom domain name (yearly fee).
  3. It's quick and easy to get set up.
  4. It's very simple and easy/quick to navigate.

Cons:
  1. Since it's free, there's less motivation for Google to keep it running. They could choose to shut it down at any time since it's not profitable for them.
  2. There aren't many options for customization or expansion. You can outgrow the platform quickly and easily.
  3. You don't own your content. This ties in closely to #1. You're storing everything on Google's servers and they can choose to shut your site down at any time, for any reason.
  4. Themes don't have a lot of customization power. You need to know how to code to make significant changes.
  5. There are a few arbitrary limits. For example: you can only have 2000 unique labels per blog, and only 20 per post.

WordPress.com

WordPress.com uses a stripped down version of the WordPress platform. Your content gets hosted for free on Automattic's servers.


Pros:
  1. It's very, very easy to move to self-hosted WordPress later, since it's still the WordPress platform.
  2. It's easy to get started. Pretty much just a matter of creating an account and signing in.
  3. Since every theme is coded or approved by Automattic, they're all guaranteed to work nicely. You don't have to worry about your site breaking when switching from one theme to another.
Cons:
  1. Since it's free, you have less ownership and control over your content. You're bound by a strict set of Terms of Service that may limit your ability to use advertisements, affiliate links, etc. Your site can get shut down at any time.
  2. You cannot use a custom theme.
  3. You cannot use any of the WordPress plugins.
  4. You have to pay for a lot of simple features, like the ability to add custom CSS code.
  5. You cannot use JavaScript or iframes, which may limit what you can post on your site. For example, you cannot embed Rafflecopter giveaways.

WordPress.org (self hosted)

I know this has almost the same name as WordPress.com and that's crazy confusing because they're actually totally different. With WordPress.com, you get a stripped down version of the WordPress platform. Automattic (a company) has the WordPress platform installed on their servers, they've stripped away some features (and added some others) and give you access to it for free.
On self-hosted (WordPress.org), you get the full, complete, unmodified WordPress platform and host it yourself. That means there's more of a set up process, but you also get a lot more features.

Pros:
  • You can use the thousands of free plugins and themes available in the WordPress.org repository. You can also upload any custom/premium plugin or theme you want.
  • Many themes have very user-friendly interfaces and settings panels where you can change the design.
  • Because of the thousands of available plugins, you have a lot of options for growth and expansion. You can create templates for different kinds of posts and save them, you can offer email subscriptions straight from your platform, you can view Google Analytics, improve SEO, or even sell products online.
  • It's completely open source. That means if you have coding knowledge you can change any part of the platform. You can code your own plugins, add your own features, or change how certain things work.
  • WordPress is used by 24.2% of all websites, and used by 60.3% of all website that use a content management system[source]. That makes it the single most popular content management platform on the internet. The benefit of this is that it's super easy to find solutions to your problems, since it's very likely that someone else has had the same problem at one point.
Cons:
  • There's a monthly fee for hosting (average $5 - $20 per month) and a yearly fee for a custom domain name (about $15 per year).
  • It's more complicated to set up. It's not just a matter of creating an account and logging in. You have to find a web hosting company, create an account with them, then install WordPress on that account. It's not too hard, but can be a bit confusing or overwhelming.
  • You cannot stop and take a break. Once you stop paying for your hosting, the company has the right to delete your site/data.
  • You're in charge of your own site. That means you have to be security conscious and stay on track of updating your plugins and themes.
  • There can sometimes be a "quality control" problem with themes and plugins. There's no warranty with those products so not everything may work correctly or work well together. You may sometimes experience issues when switching themes or adding new plugins.
Recommended web hosts:

Remember: you get what you pay for with hosting. Those $1/month deals (*cough* GoDaddy *cough*) might be tempting, but the less you pay the lower quality service you should expect!

Recommended plugins:

Squarespace

Squarespace is a blogging platform that's recently been on the rise. People are talking about it more and more. Let's see how it compares...

Pros:
  • You have a dedicated support team at your finger tips.
  • There's a free trial so you can test it out before committing to a monthly fee.
  • It's easy to sign up.
  • It's very "what you see is what you get". It's super easy to customize themes and see your changes instantly.
  • I've heard it's very simple and easy to navigate. People seem to love the admin interface.
  • It has a lot of integrations, like with MailChimp, Typkit, and Google Fonts.
  • It's very easy to add cool things like buttons, galleries, and columns.
  • Since every theme is coded by Squarespace, they're all guaranteed to work nicely, transition smoothly from one theme to another, and they're all responsive. You don't have to worry about your site/features breaking when you switch themes.

Cons:
  • There's a monthly fee (starting from $8 per month).
  • You cannot build your own theme. You can only use and customize the ones that are available to you. You don't have the option of hiring a designer to code something completely custom. (Note: They do have a "Developer Platform" with one of their higher tier plans that mentions having control over HTML and CSS, but I don't have experience with this first hand.)
  • There are fewer options since it's a closed source platform. You don't have access to thousands of plugins, like in WordPress. You only have access to the features that are given to you.
  • You cannot stop and take a break. Once you stop paying, Squarespace has the right to delete/remove your site.
  • The lower plan ($8/month) has some arbitrary limitations: maximum of 20 pages and 2 contributors.

What about the platforms not on this list?

If it's not on this list, don't use it.

Why would I say that? Because if it's not on this list then it's not a common or popular platform. And that isn't a terrible thing if you know what you're doing. But if you're not super tech savvy and will want to be able to easily Google things and ask for help, then you want a platform that everyone and their mother is using—not a platform that only a handful of people are using.

The platforms listed above all have a huge wealth of information, guides, and help available. You can easily Google for information you're looking for, or ask your friends for help since it's likely that you'll find people who are on the same platform.

Avoid these mistakes!

  • Using Disqus on Blogger? Make sure you enabled the "sync new comments" feature. Otherwise your Disqus comments won't sync back to Blogger and your comments won't move over to WordPress if you ever migrate.
  • Stay away from Weebly. A lot of people outgrow Weebly and want to move to WordPress later on, but Weebly makes it VERY hard to move away from since they don't provide any good content export options. If you want to try a free platform, choose Blogger or WordPress.com.
  • Interested in moving to WordPress? Make sure you understand the difference between WordPress.com and self-hosted WordPress.org. Many people move to WordPress.com, but don't realize that it's not the full version of WordPress. Then they're disappointed when they can't actually use the plugins everyone raves about!

Which platform sounds the most appealing to you?

Or if you've already chosen a platform, which one did you go with?



Jul 26, 2015

An interview with Dawn @ Bang Bang Books (SBPT #4)



It's the fourth week of SBPT and today I am featuring Dawn who blogs over at Bang Bang Books!

The amazing thing about this particular Sunday is that we're featuring each other on our blogs on the same day!

So today, both of us will be answering the same set of questions, which were created by Dawn!

Here's Dawn's take on the questions.

1.  Fave book of 2015

Six of Crows

2. Most anticipated book of 2015

Winter by Marissa Meyer

3. Best author you've met to date

Mary E. Pearson. She said I was the only reader so far to get the references in Kiss of Deception.

4. A book everyone hated but you liked

The Glass Casket by Templeman McCormick

5.  Who's your favorite YA bad boy? 

Ronan-I just want to give him a hug.

6.  Who's your latest book boyfriend?-

Kaz from Six of Crows

7. What are you currently reading and how is it making you feel right now? 

Illuminae, confused-a lot of info and I'm not sure what info is important and what's not.

8. What fandoms are you in

Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Sherlock, Doctor Who

9. What nerdy TV show do you love but your friends "don't get it?"

I don't know how nerdy this is but I like iCarly.

10. What is a nerdy think you like to do when you are by yourself? 

Watch Harry Potter

Jul 24, 2015

LITHW #2 : Blog Design Matters



Sometimes blogging is not just about content and writing. As a blogger, there are a few things that we need to be concerned about, and such a concept, is blog design!

Why do we need a blog design? Hazel @ Stay Bookish  explains!

P.S - Hazel is also a pretty talented designer herself! She did my blog design, and check out her design shop here




So you have all this awesome content. Very eloquently written reviews and interesting features. And yet you find yourself wondering: Why aren’t more people reading? 

Here are a few things to consider:
  • Maybe it’s hard to read your posts because your font size is tiny.
  • Maybe your blog colors are super neon and you’ve blinded your readers.
  • Maybe they couldn’t follow you because they couldn’t find your social media on your cluttered sidebar.
  • Maybe you chased them away with your glittery mouse hover.
Now, not everyone is a blog design fail obviously. In fact, a lot of book blogs I know have really invested in their design because they knew for a fact that a good blog design matters.

We know a bad design isn’t enticing to readers. But let me tell you- an unremarkable one is just the same.

“But my blog is clean and neat and simple. Isn’t that enough?

 Sure, if you’re able to balance it out with enough visual elements (like photography and illustrations) to keep your reader’s attention. Tea Between Books and Word Revel are great examples of blogs with minimalistic designs that totally work because of their content. But as you can see, they still have these eye-catching headers that make their blog just as remarkable as any intricately designed blog.

“My blog is VERY colourful. I have a floral background and script fonts and heart buttons and other pretty elements EVERYWHERE.” 

Chances are you’ve overdone it. As much as you prettified your blog, you somehow failed to ‘brand’ it because your design is just a mix of everything. You’ve overwhelmed your readers with too much that your content failed to shine through.

Remember that aside from your content, your blog design makes an impression too. As much as we’d like to believe that readers won’t just be considering a blog at face value, most of the time they do. If you see a blog that’s gorgeous (and well updated- that’s important too), don’t you automatically want to follow? If you had two blogs that have equally good content but the first one had a really good design, won’t you like it slightly better than the other?

I’m not saying spend $$$ on hiring a designer (although if you do have the budget and you really want to invest in your blog, go right ahead!) or make your design extremely fabulous or that how your blog looks is everything. I’m only saying that your blog design accounts for something. Just by tweaking your look and making it more inviting and notable you can take your blog even further. Now, wouldn’t that be great?

Now tell us what you think? What's your opinion on blog design? What type of designs do you prefer?
Is it worth spending so much money for blog design?

Jul 22, 2015

LITHW #1 : Mistakes of a beginner blogger


To start off our event, Learnt it the Hard Way, today we have Nova @ Out of Time who's stopping by the blog to talk about the classic mistakes and blunders we make as beginner bloggers, and sometimes even after we've been blogging for some time.

Over to you, Nova!















The ever so lovely Mishma asked me to write a post for her. Obviously, I charged her a fee [because 
Nova is in high demand, you know?] On my blog, I do an incredibly original feature known as Mandatory Rules On where I give you the best tips to be the best blogger you can be - just remember that I am still better than you.

Today, I will be sharing a bit of truth for you. Here are some things that you should do as a newbie blogger. I hope you can learn a thing or two since you're obviously not as smart as I am.

  1. Memes!
    Your number one goal is followers, yes? When you start your blog, you're at zero and no one wants to be a zero. Do as many memes as it takes to get your blog into the quadruple digits - like mine. Two memes in one day? Go for it!

  2. ARCs. They determine your progress.
    Requesting ARCs is mandatory. Don't worry about being a newbie. Publishers will see that you're fabulous [if you follow all of these tips] so even if you're only a week old, the pubs will be begging to send your ARCs.

  3. Friends are overrated.
    It's so beneath you to have to talk to other bloggers who obv aren't as good as you. Have a twitter but only post links to your blog for more traffic. Don't bother following anyone back because developing "relationships" is stupid.

  4. So is commenting on others blogs.
    Commenting back takes FOREVER. Why bother? Spend that time working on new content!

  5. Reviews: the longer, the better!
    Make sure you've got a good length to your reviews. This means at least two thousand words. Why would anyone want to read a short review? They aren't helpful... AT ALL! Like people want to know what you think of the book, right down to the core. Remember that you can never write too much.

  6. Oh your design? You're broke so you can't afford a fancy schmancy one - DIY!
    Not everyone is a designer, that's for sure. But you're a super blogger. You can do anything. Stay up all night working on a new blog design [with software you don't know how to use] and then show it off. If you have to, get images from Google without purchasing the royalties - hey, life is rough.

  7. Tag authors in your reviews on twitter so they'll RT it and give you more followers.
    It's genius! The best is to annoy the crap out of them by tagging them multiple times. After all, you are the best blogger ever. Really, they should be grateful that you're reading their book.

  8. Promo Posts
    When you promote an author, it means that they'll definitely post about you on their twitter. You should promote them so you get promotion in return. If you have to, join different blog tour companies and sign up for everything. If you can't post, just fade out of existence and hope the tour organizer forgets.

  9. Reading is a race and you must come in first.
    At the beginning of the year, every blogger does their best to set a goodreads goal. Your job? Set one that's higher than everyone else's and then crush it so people can look at you in awe. Whether that means read longer, stay up all night or even read short books to get ahead - you decide.

  10. Be formal, professional, dignified.
    When publishers look at posts, they want to see someone professional. Don't use contractions and make sure there are no gifs. The only thing that's acceptable is images that are made by you. Personality is always a bad idea because then people don't take you seriously - they think you're childish.

Okay, if you're still here and you're majorly confused, let me back up. Everything up to this point is a joke. I write like that on purpose. "Mandatory Rules On" is a feature where I give you awful advice and use my powers of sarcasm to the fullest.

Specifically, these are things that I did when I was a newbie blogger. Sometimes I still cringe at the essay-lengths of my reviews or how I really did believe reading was a race. I also remember staying up late and trying to fix my design when I don't have the skills. My twitter was the worst. I didn't mean to be elusive but I was very antisocial and just did not think I needed friends. In fact, the people who've seen my twitter evolve have seen my tweets go from plain ignorance to wisdom that still have a bunch of ignorance.

In the end, it's all about making a bunch of mistakes and then learning from it. We grow and change on all fronts. Just like anything else, blogging is a learning experience and who knows, sometimes the mistakes we make are kind of funny. Like, I do feel bad for the authors I spammed on twitter but now we're great friends and they just think it's fun to think back on.

Okay, let's bring it to you! What are some seriously bad things you did as a newbie blogger without knowing? Have you done any of the things I have? Make me feel like I haven't made a thousand and one more mistakes than any other blogger!



Jul 20, 2015

We're Officially Kicking Off Learnt It The Hard Way!


Why, hello there! This is Jillian!

As you all have known from our announcement post, Mishma and I have collaborated on a new event called Learnt it the Hard Way, and we're so excited right now because today we're officially kicking off our first event here at Chasing Faerytales! How exciting! 
This event will run from July 20 - August 31, 2015 at the blog. Just to remind you all again:

WHAT EXACTLY IS "LEARNT IT THE HARD WAY"?

Mishma thought up of this idea as a creative feature back then, which she never really continued at all. But a few weeks back, she and I decided to make this a 6-week blog event at Chasing Faerytales. This event is all about sharing informative blogging tricks to bloggers both new and old in a course of one month, which we hope will benefit YOU GUYS as bloggers.
Fun part? We've invited amazing bloggers to guest post on different blogging aspects to help you all guys out! And Mishma and I will add a little bit of our posts into the event as well! VERY FUN.

WHO AND WHAT WILL I EXPECT?


We have a schedule on the ready because we're prepared that way! Here are the people who will come up at the blog, together with their post topic and date:

BLOGGER POST TOPIC DATE
Nova @ Out of Time Beginner Blogger Mistakes July 22, 2015
Hazel @ Stay Bookish Blog Design July 24, 2015
Ashley @ Nose Graze Platforms and Plugins July 27, 2015
Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books Blogging Organization July 29, 2015
Aimee @ Deadly Darlings Responding to Negative Comments August 5, 2015
Mishma @ Chasing Faerytales  Writing Discussion Posts August 7, 2015
Meg @ Adrift on Vulcan On Commenting August 10, 2015
Jillian @ Jillian's Books Pros and Cons of Writing Personal Posts August 14, 2015
Kat @ Cuddlebuggery Blogging Creativity and Style August 17, 2015
Alexa @ Alexa Loves Books Hosting Blog Events August 19, 2015
Faye @ The Social Potato Co-blogging August 21, 2015
Kelly @ Diva Booknerd Social Media August 24, 2015
April @ Good Books and Good Wine Blogging Superiority August 28, 2015


ARE THERE ANY OTHER FUN STUFF GOING ON?


Mishma and I are hosting two Twitter chats while Learnt It The Hard Way is ongoing. Questions will be fun and related to this, and you should definitely join because it'll be REALLY FUN. Here are some information on the chats:

  • First Twitter Chat: July 25, 12 PM EST.
  • Second Twitter Chat: August 15, 12 PM EST.

We will be using the hashtag #LITHW15 for the chats. More announcements on this will be posted real soon in our Twitter accounts, so we'll update you, yeah? :-)


I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS!


You are? GOOD FOR YOU. :-) Haha, but we're also excited as you are! Anyway, if you're totally up for this event, please consider filling up this survey for us! I know we've continuously brought this up, but promise, this is the last time! It won't take 3 minutes or more, so please do take the time because it will help us a lot.



That's all there is for now!

Check back and take a look at the schedule every so often if you wish to know who's coming up next throughout this special event. This Wednesday, we'll be handing the blog over to Nova.

Learnt It The Hard Way Officially Kicks Off TODAY!

Jul 19, 2015

Guest Post : The Cinderella Book Tag (SBPT #3)


Hey guys! 

The blogger I am featuring today for the Summer Blogger Promo Tour is Aila from One Way or an Author
Say hi to Aila, everyone!:)

Aila is going to take the Cinderella Book Tag as her guest post, and here are her answers!:)

Evil Stepsisters:
 A Book With Characters You Hate

This is definitely an unpopular opinion, but I really didn't enjoy Elias and Laia from An Ember In The Ashes. Also, that love square didn't make it any better. Elias wasn't as intense as I would have liked and Laia was pretty meek overall. I'll still read the sequel of course, just to see how the story ends. 


Prince Charming:
 A Book With A Gentleman

Prince Titus from The Burning Sky is certainly a charming gentleman. He's sweet and his relationship with Iolanthe = goals. Can I have a devoted, caring prince please?


Cinderella: 
A Character That Is Graceful, Kind, and Defiant

This describes Elisa from The Girl of Fire and Thorns - plus, she always has a plan! This queen is elegant but kickass at the same time. Her character is one of my all-time favorites in YA fantasy. 


Fairy Godmother: 
A Character That Aways Has Someone Looking Out For Them

I would have to say Meira from Snow Like Ashes has a fairy godmother: Sir, or William, or basically her father-figure. Throughout the book, you could really see how much he cares for her, even if he's hesitant in showing his affection. 


Helpful Creatures:
 Something That Makes You Happy When You're Sad

Rereading standalone books. Series always take too much time, but I'm always up for a second or third or even fourth go at a book whose story begins and ends in about 300-400 pages. It's the perfect amount to get immersed in a book and forget the bad news in a day. Recently I enjoyed my second round with Rook, which actually got me out of a reading slump.


Pumpkin:
 A Character With A Transformation

Adelina from The Young Elites REALLY underwent a transformation in the book... A hardcore one, at that! I can't wait to see more badassery in the next book, especially after what Rafael did and what happened with Enzo...

Ashes: 
A Book You Didn't Care For

Everyone really liked Daughter of Smoke and Bone, but I never saw the appeal in it. It was alright, but nothing squeal-worthy for me. 

Impossible: 
A Book With An Ending You Didn't See Coming

I'd say the ending of Champion was a surprise I didn't see coming, nor liked very much. It was alright, but overall left me really unsatisfied. Scratch that - open endings in general are always leave me like, "Whaaaaaat?" :0

Just Breathe: 
Something That Inspires You To Be Courageous

Whenever characters do something stupid but is successful at the same time. I remember while reading A Court of Thorns and Ashes, I summed up Feyre's character to be like:
Every other character: Feyre don't do the thing.
Feyre: *does the thing* 
And at the time, they were pretty dumb decisions but overall had a positive effect. Hey, if she could do that, what's stopping me?

Happily Ever After: 
A Book With A Perfect Ending

Undivided, the last book in the Unwind Series, had me tearing at how happy I was with the ending. Given my rather bad experience with dystopian endings (*cough* Mockingjay, Allegiant, Champion *cough*), let's just say Shusterman gave me a pleasant surprise. 

Hope you guys enjoyed the answers, and hope you enjoyed doing the tag Aila!:)


Jul 10, 2015

My Bookish Bucket List


Hey there, earthlings! This is Jill!

As a reader and writer, I can be very ambitious. Since I was 6, I already dreamt of being an NYT bestseller, or having my own book signing event at some fancy place. Something like that! While I can't achieve any of those right now, I still have the dreams to hold on to as the little reader I am today.

Here are some:

Get a book signed.

Believe it or not, I have never gotten any of my books signed because I just never go to book signings. Apart from borrowing books most of the time, book signings meant tons of people showing up and I'm very claustrophobic, and so I'm afraid of thick crowds. But I hope to go to one someday! I'm very willing to defeat my fear if it meant getting a signature from a favorite author!

Join a book and blogger event.

I'm totally looking forward to the annual Manila International Book Fair later this year, which is the biggest book fair in the country! (Like, seriously, they have every book in the world!) Even if I might not ever go to BEA or a blogger conference, joining any book event is fine with me so long as there are books. Lots of books.

Become best friends with an author.

Authors are my #1 literary idols! I admire them and their books, and I want to BE like them one day and have my own book published... IT'S A DESPERATE NEED. Send any author to Manila, and I'll be friends with them.

Meet a book blogger in real life.

Basically, that means any of you. Yes, you. I want to meet YOU reading this post and actually be friends! I've formed so many friendships with a few blog buddies of mine through Twitter and my blog, but I think it would be great getting to know you all personally. It's an exciting thing I wish could happen!


Those are the few things in my bucket lsit! What are some of your bookish goals? Anything you plan to achieve?