2018 Blogger Resolutions

It’s now becoming traditional for me to set goals at the beginning of the year, then reflect how I’ve done by the end. Following my failure to achieve these the last few years, I’ve significantly dropped my numbers, in the chance of actually meeting a couple!

  • Increase subscribers to this blog to 950, excluding twitter followers
  • Increase annual page hits to this blog (to 6500)
  • Increase twitter followers to @brumnordie (to 950)
  • Read and review 60 books. 50% to be paperbooks or audiobooks. I wont do a specific challenge this year – I did pretty badly last time I did one, so I wont set myself up to fail this time!
  • Get my Netgalley ratio into the 70% range (from 63%).
  • To aid in reading the books that I already have there will be a moratorium on requesting books from Netgalley or LibraryThing, and reviewing books I already have!
  • Post at least once a week
  • Make use of sharing with Facebook groups as appropriate.
  • Make better use of twitter, including the analytics, scheduling content.
  • Take part in twitter chats such as #Blogtacular #bookbloggers etc
  • Ensure about and contact details are maintained and up to date.
  • Make use of scheduling and planning software as appropriate.
  • Take part in blogging challenges, such as Bloggiesta, as and when I remember!
  • Look to do more non book related posts – get out into Birmingham more and write about stuff! This includes stuff at the museums etc.
  • Do more posts about sewing, my cross stitch and quilting in particular. I’m not putting numbers on this.
  • Comment more on other people’s blogs – I’m not going to put a number on this as it’ll be a nightmare to track. Just “do more”.
  • Release more books via Bookcrossing, either in OBCZs or via RABCKs
  • Start making my own media (photos etc) and make use of them in posts
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2017 Blogger Resolutions – The Results

Once again, a checkpoint against the blogging resolutions I made at the beginning of the year, which were admittedly quite aggressive.  I didn’t achieve many of these, simply because reading and general blogging was on the back burner for much of the year.

  • Increase subscribers to this blog to 1100, excluding twitter followers  The number of subscribers did increase to over 830, but didn’t come close to meeting the target. There are likely reasons mentioned below.
  • Increase annual page hits to this blog (to 12000). *This wasn’t met either, reasons given below. I pulled less than I did last year. Some months (e.g. Jan and April) I did significantly worse that the same time last year, but there are other months that I pulled similar numbers or did even better, even if I didn’t post as much*
  • Increase twitter followers to @brumnordie (to 1100)  *Whilst I did get my followers to over 750 (with some fluctuations), I didnt meet this target*
  • Read and review 60 books. 50% to be paperbooks or audiobooks.  *I came nowhere near any of this target, though I did read a mix of paper and ebooks. I’ve been quite strict on the Netgalley requests, and have managed to get my review ratio up into the low 60%*
  • Post at least twice a week *This certainly didn’t happen, and there are some weeks that I didnt post at all. I did however find a couple of new topics to write about, and published a couple*
  • Make use of sharing with Facebook groups as appropriate. *nope! did more than last year, but certainly not as much as I could have*
  • Make better use of twitter, including the analytics, scheduling content. This I did manage to do more of, especially after finding that tweets could be stored as “drafts”, which allowed me to keep a store of tweets to be scheduled. A cursory glance of  3 months of tweets shows I seem to have the 70:30 balance just the wrong way round.  At one point I managed to get my engagement rate at above 2k in a month, but have fallen back a bit – must find the stuff that works for people, whilst also talking to people as if they are real people (which they are!). I had a massive spike when I had Neil Gaiman retweet something of mine, so that pushed my numbers up high for part of November!
  • Take part in twitter chats such as #Blogtacular #bookbloggers etc *Happened sporadically, not good enough though*
  • Ensure about and contact details are maintained and up to date.*Nothing has changed, so nothing needed updating*
  • Make use of scheduling and planning software as appropriate. *Because of a change in my technology, this wasn’t really feasible*
  • Take part in blogging challenges, such as Bloggiesta, as and when I remember! *Happened sporadically, not good enough though*
  • Continue doing more non-review posts, such as Sunday Salon posts, which I hope people find interesting – they certainly generate comments! *Did more of these, especially as a result of not reviewing books as much.*
  • Look to do more non book related posts – get out into Birmingham more and write about stuff! This includes stuff at the museums etc. *I had plans, and did write posts, especially for some Foyles events, and whilst I did have plans for others, they didn’t come to anything*
  • Do more posts about sewing, my cross stitch and quilting in particular. I’m not putting numbers on this.   *This I managed to do more off so that’s a win*
  • Comment more on other people’s blogs – I’m not going to put a number on this as it’ll be a nightmare to track. Just “do more”. *Commenting did take place, but I didnt note how many posts I commented on. Most were not book-review related*
  • Release more books via Bookcrossing. I still have half a crate left over from the closure of a couple of OBCZs and the bookcrossing UK meetup in Birmingham in September 2016. *I inherited a load of books during several clearouts, and managed to release many of them, especially at the Bookcrossing meetup in Loughbrough. I also managed to release a couple as RABCKs*
  • Reorganise my bookshelves (Haven’t been done in two years – about time they’re done!). *This was done – kinda. I even wrote a post about it!*

#booktag – Reader Problems

I’ve dipped in and out of #BookTag the last few years, but have recently found some posts with questions, so thought I’d join in!

  • Q1: You have 20,000 books on your TBR. How in the world do you decide what to read next?
  • A1: In reality my bookshelves are fairly full and rather messy. I tend to look at which area I think needs tidying up the most, do a shuffle round, see if I’m in the mood to read the book that’s in my hand right now and go with that.  Or I look at my netgalley list and guilt about how low my review ratio is right now, and see what I should be reading right now.

Continue reading

Genres I don’t read

Thanks to Boats against the Current who helped out with some blogging prompts! I’m going to try out a couple of these suggestions and see where they take me.

open book
stocksnap.io

This time, I will talk about the Genres I don’t read. Hopefully you’ll know I have a review policy, which has been built up over the time I’ve been blogging. I know it looks pretty big and scary but it’s been built on, often as a reaction to a review pitch where my instinctive response has first been “no!” and then “err, why?”.

Christian Fiction

I am not a fan of Christian (or generally religious) Fiction.  I have read enough of them to know to avoid. One or two have almost changed my mind, but they are outweighed by the ones that have put me off.  I don’t like it for the same reason I avoid evangelical Christians……simply far far too earnest and desperate to make me exactly the same as them (or that i’m somehow inferior/unworthy if I resist). There are a couple of books where I’ve come away feeling hit around the head with a brick.  “I am going to tell you why my life is better than yours, why I am a better person than you and all you have to do is exactly what I tell you too, and then you will feel exactly the same way I do”. I am a practical person, and much prefer the “show, don’t tell” way of things: TELLING me means nothing – SHOW me how good a person your religion has made you in both thought and deed; what joy, compassion and goodwill your religion has brought and how, when the going gets tough, your religion brings you peace and strength. Problems with organised religion much? moi? haha!

Continue reading

Armchair BEA Day 2 – What do Readers want?

I’ve been to several Author Events, in various different locations, in differing styles and different levels of “fame”. There has been only one author event that is definitely marked under the “downright awful” title.  I won’t mention the author, or where I met him, but all he did was read extracts from his book(s) in a low monotone voice and barely looking up from the page. Considering he was supposed to be a teacher, he was certainly lacking in the engagement department and he soon lost his audience, the majority of whom disappeared in search of alcohol, never to return.  I have no idea whether he twigged what had happened.

letters book readWhat do I think makes an event successful? That the author is engaging, articulate, willing to look the audience in the eye (we’re there to buy the book in the end, right?). I’ve had a warning that one relatively famous author was known to be a little “difficult”, but on the day was lovely, took questions, gave promotional info on her new book, and then signed everyone’s book (even chatting with the starry eyed fan who Wouldn’t Let It Go) etc. If that was “Difficult” then sign me up!

I’ve noticed that I can get tongue-tied with various authors, and it must be hard for them in return to make some kind of connection. Terry Pratchett signed for me a couple of times, and remembered me once (because of my unusual name) and was relatively easy to talk to. Neil Gaiman is harder to talk to because I’m such a fan-girl. Henry Wrinkler? The loveliest man I have ever met, I was the last in the queue in what I knew had been a hard day for him, so I just shook his hand and wibbled. Continue reading

Armchair BEA 2017 Day 1: Introductions

armchairbea2017

I usually attend Armchair BEA (Now called Armchair Book Expo), and I am usually a LOT more prepared than this!” It only really came up in my twitter feed the other day, and it turns out that I can’t get to the main site from here! Boo!  We shall see how we get on. Anyway, as usual, there’s the space for Introductions, so here’s my answers to some of the questions.

I am…Nordie, a crafter, reader, tweeter, comic book nerd etc.

Currently, I am not reading as much as I should, even with 3 books on the go.

My favorite genres are: Romance, Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction,

My Least favourite Genre is: Christian Fiction. I end up feeling slapped around the head with a very unsubtle brick. I dont read non-Fiction or Poetry, not because I hate it, but because I simply don’t find it interesting.

My Social Media Links include: twitter (as @Brumnordie), Facebook (closed, Personal account), this blog, google+.

My summer plans . . . there’s a lot going on this summer In Real Life, so there is nothing planned for the summer. However, there is a bookish meet later in the year, that I am currently planning on atteding

My blog/channel/social media . . . chat with me on any of the following social media outlets

2017 Blogger Resolutions

It’s now becoming traditional for me to set goals at the beginning of the year, then reflect how I’ve done by the end. Many of these are based on resolutions from previous years, which I have had mixed results in achieving.

  • Increase subscribers to this blog to 1100, excluding twitter followers
  • Increase annual page hits to this blog (to 12000)
  • Increase twitter followers to @brumnordie (to 1100)
  • Read and review 60 books. 50% to be paperbooks or audiobooks.
  • Post at least twice a week
  • Mamet use of sharing with Facebook groups as appropriate.
  • Make better use of twitter, including the analytics, scheduling content.
  • Take part in twitter chats such as #Blogtacular #bookbloggers etc
  • Ensure about and contact details are maintained and up to date.
  • Make use of scheduling and planning software as appropriate.
  • Take part in blogging challenges, such as Bloggiesta, as and when I remember!
  • Continue doing more non-review posts, such as Sunday Salon posts, which I hope people find interesting – they certainly generate comments!
  • Look to do more non book related posts – get out into Birmingham more and write about stuff! This includes stuff at the museums etc.
  • do more posts about sewing, my cross stitch and quilting in particular. I’m not putting numbers on this.
  • Comment more on other people’s blogs – I’m not going to put a number on this as it’ll be a nightmare to track. Just “do more”.
  • Release more books via Bookcrossing. I still have half a crate left over from the closure of a couple of OBCZs and the bookcrossing UK meetup in Birmingham in September 2016
  • Reorganise my bookshelves (Haven’t been done in two years – about time they’re done!)