A Glo-Worm’s Thoughts – Co-Bloggers and the Pros and Cons

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This post may be a bit ranty at times, but that’s partly why I’m writing it. For those of you that don’t know, I have another blog. On this blog I have two other reviewers. We each post one review a week and rotate certain memes and features, or so we did.

So I started my other blog in December of 2011. At the time I didn’t feel that I read enough to make enough review posts. So I asked my best friend if she wanted to join in to help out. She was happy to do this, so we were two. Fast forward to this past summer. I met a new neighbour who also has a passion for reading and was interested in blogging but wasn’t sure if she would be able to commit to it. So at the time we were having trouble getting as many posts done as we wanted, so I asked her if she wanted to join it. So there were three of us and has been ever since.

Well, the past couple of months, after we’ve been scheduling posts since the summer to make sure everyone gets what they needed done, I noticed that neither of them were following the schedule anymore. So I asked them about it. One never ever got back to me and the other thought for some reason I had removed her from this feature, so wasn’t bother to look or even check the schedule to see if she was on it (huh?!). Basically I had a moment where I wanted to say a few things, I didn’t and just told them both to never mind and scrapped the feature. I could have done it by myself but it was a post that each of us did once a month since it was a bit harder to think of enough ideas each week. So that’s now gone and they are back in their own worlds, the blog has gone on and all is fine.

But I had been thinking about it for awhile and realized a few things. There are things that would have been much easier if I was the only blogger, boom A Glo-Worm Reads was born! Don’t get me wrong, I still love my other blog and my co-bloggers but it has been so much easier alone. There are always going to be pros and cons in any relationship like this, so I thought I would make a list of what I’ve noticed in case you’re thinking of getting a co-blogger. So you can decide if it’s the right choice for you!

Pros:

  • More bloggers = less posts that you have to do!
  • More blog diversity for types of books read
  • Less stress for getting so many books read to review each week
  • You always have someone to discuss books with!
  • More people to help promote the blog!
  • Different review voices (writing styles) for more variety

Cons:

  • Sometimes not everyone does their posts
  • Sometimes contacting co-bloggers can be difficult, so if something is time sensitive..
  • In my case, I do most things, make schedules, find contacts, comment on other blogs, reply to comments
  • Co-blogger(s) might quit with no notice (this is always a worry of mine!) Causes stress!
  • They might not follow the schedule.
  • Can sometimes be more stress/work for one person
  • Can’t really personalise anything because of conflicting personalities
  • No room for flexibility in blog schedule

Basically I’m not having the best time with my co-bloggers anymore. We’ve thought about getting our own domain and a new blog makeover, but no one was willing to help split the costs with me. Yes, I know I made the blog, but I didn’t even blog a month alone, so there has pretty much been someone there the whole time with me. They could help split the cost but won’t, so I feel like there is a lack of commitment. They say they want the change, but are unwilling to help? I also fund most of the giveaways and such. Most, but not all.

I’ve found that I’m wasting my time making a schedule, so I might just stop bothering if no one is going to look at it. Maybe they will make it? Doubtful. There are times where I feel like everything I’ve done for the blog is taken for granted. I’ve had next to no help lately, other than them getting their posts up on time. It kind of sucks. I’m having a much better time on this blog because I can be more flexible with my posts. this is a much less stressful project for me now.

At least I’m having fun here! I’m sorry if I got a bit ranty, clearly I’m not happy with some things right now. What do you guys think? Are co-bloogers something you would want? My experience with them did start out really great for about 6 months or so, but only recently it’s changed.

 

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A Glo-Worm’s Thoughts: Following Blogs

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So last week I was having a comment conversation with Asti and we sort of talked a bit about what type of blogs we like to follow and it got me to thinking:

What is it that makes you want to follow a blog?

I know for me that when I first started blogging, I mostly followed those who followed us and I found a Goodreads group that specifically did this. You follow someone and they returned your follow. Then I realized that hey, these people never really visit. what good are followers that don’t actually visit your blog? Yes, you can claim you have so many followers but in reality, it’s just not true.

So then I started entering the blog hops of giveaways. Nearly everyone wants you to follow them for these, so you end up following hundreds of blogs (and getting hundreds of followers if you also have a giveaway). Again though, now you have all these followers, but they aren’t there because they like your blog, they are just there for free books. So you can claim so many followers again, but no one is still reading your blog.

I’m ashamed that with my first blog I did these things. I have hundreds of blogs that I follow and I don’t have time to read that many. So I’ve been slowly unfollowing people (most of them don’t even post reviews of books I’m interested in) to clean up my bloglovin’. Now before I unfollow or even follow a new blog, I look at the content they have. I’ve become a reader that mostly looks out for blogs that have a variety of content. People who post reviews (of books I’m actually interested in), discussions and don’t participate in an overwhelming number of memes are generally people I’ll now follow.

I like to read reviews of books I’m interested in,if I’m not going to be reading them in the near future, or ones I’ve read. Then I actually have something meaningful I can post on their thoughts.

I like reading discussions. Maybe I’m just really nosy, but I like to know what other people opinions are on certain things. I also like being able to discus and share my own thoughts on it in the comments.

I guess another thing that ties in there is that I like to follow people who actually respond to my comments. I don’t care if they don’t respond to something small, like if I were to tell them I enjoyed their post, but if I leave a meaningful comment that takes me awhile to post and they say nothing? I’m kind of insulted. Again, I don’t care if it takes awhile for them to respond, but if like two weeks later they still haven’t responded to me but have to others, it makes me feel like they don’t care about my comment, even though I spent more than a few seconds on it and clearly thought about what they said. They don’t even have to visit my blog, just leave me a reply and I’ll be happy!

I do like when people comment on my blog. When I get comments from new people, one of the first things I do, after replying to them of course, is to go visit their blog and check out some of their content. If I liek what they have, I’m most likely going to follow them! There are a lot of blogs out there and this is something that can make you stand out of the group.

I also mentioned memes. Some blogs are exclusively memes, did you know that? I know there are tons of memes out there for every day of the week, but if your blog is just memes (no reviews even), you’re not a real blogger, you are just pretending to be one. You have to think about your own content, make something that’s going to separate you from the hundreds of other blogs out there. I’m okay with blogs that post maybe 3 memes a week, as long as they have unique features and well written, interesting reviews, I will follow them. Your content is important.

The last thing I like is unique blogs. The ones who you can tell that they actually care about what they are posting. People who try to come up with their own features, it’s doesn’t always work out for them, but at least they are trying! Or their blog just looks awesome. Maybe their reviews are different from everyone else, it doesn’t matter, if something makes them stick out, I will follow them.

So I guess this is what it comes down to for me, if you want to convince me to follow your blog:

  1. Reviews of the types books I like to read

  2. Discussions

  3. Don’t go crazy on the memes

  4. Be unique!

  5. Reply if it’s clear I left a thoughtful comment!

  6. Comment on my blog so I can check out your blog, if I haven’t already!

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So that’s what makes me follow blogs, what about you? Do you have certain things that will make you press that follow button?

A Glo-Worm’s Thoughts: Juggling Life With Blogging

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I have a busy life, as I’m sure a lot of you do. Some of you might have school or jobs and others like me have families, or any combination of the three. Regardless, we are all busy and yet we still find a way to make time for blogging. Sometimes I don’t get as much time as I would like, but there isn’t much I can do about it for the most part.

When I first started blogging, it was just Kailyn and I home together all day. She napped about 1.5-3 hours every afternoon and I had some spare time. She also got into the habit of going to bed at 7pm every night, which she still does for the most part. She rarely naps any more though.

You would think that losing those few hours a day to myself wouldn’t really matter, but it really does. After she stopped napping as much I suddenly didn’t have the time to go and check out all of the blogs that I would look at daily. I still managed to get my posts in, but barely. One of the things that I enjoy about blogging is the social interaction. I like to be able to go and see other peoples posts and the comments on it and leave my own thoughts on it. But right now I’m finding it harder and harder to do. I know I can spend my time in the evening commenting and checking out blog posts, but honestly, I don’t want to spend all of my free time commenting. I have other things to do, like read, clean, read, sleep and play a game occasionally.

I realise that this might make me seem like a jerk because I can’t always get back to people right away but sometimes it just has to wait. I like to respond to all comments that are made on my blogs (I have two if you didn’t know) but I can’t get to it right away all the time.

Since I started blogging, I’ve learned how to better manage the time that I do have. Sometimes I might take one night of the week and just prepare a ton of my posts so I don’t have to worry about it for a few days. Which I’ve done. Just last week I wrote four reviews in one night because I powered through a bunch of books and didn’t stop to write reviews. It was a bit of a pain but I got it done. Other nights I will read all night, watch a show or I’ll try to level one of my many Warcraft characters. Anything I do is after I clean generally. Which is something I have to keep up on or I will get way behind.

I don’t know about you guys but when I get on the computer I tend to get stuck on social medias a lot, so getting anything blog related, like writing posts might take twice as long as it should. So sitting down and reading is easier because the book gets all of my attention, then when I know I have a lot of reviews to write, I’m more likely to get it done in one sitting because I know I don’t have the time to waste.

Now finding time for reading is a bit harder. I run a dayhome out of my house, so I will admit at times I will read more than I should. If the kids are playing I will sit in the room with a book and read. I will of course separate any fights that come up quickly and attend to any bumps and falls as fast as I can get to them but I still feel a bit guilty for reading sometimes. Even if they aren’t paying attention to me. One of the reasons I read so much is so I can get review books read on time and such, so it is a bit shameful at times.

Regardless, I still manage to take care of the kids, play with my daughter on weekends, keep my house somewhat clean, feed everyone, watch a couple of shows, play a game and relax, while still keeping up on blogging. I guess being a mommy blogger has made it easier to mutlitask in a way.

How about you guys? Are you able to juggle life with blogging without going too much of one way (which I’m guilty of) and ignoring the other? How do you find a balance?

 

A Glo-Worm’s Thoughts: How Do You Read?

A GloWorms Thoughts Button-01I know, this seems like a very strange question, but the other night I was reading (like usual) and I just started wondering how other people read. What I mean is, like me for instance. I’m the type of person who has to read every  word. If I skip something or try to skim part of a book I have to go back and read whatever it was because I forget it or just don’t absorb any of it. I know there are people who can skim and skip things, I’m not one of those people.

There are other ways that people read too. Like last week, someone told me that they got their copy of Clockwork Princess and immediately read the ending first. Just because they couldn’t bear to put all of the effort into reading it and have it turn out how they aren’t expecting. I’m not saying it’s wrong to do that, some people like to even. I, myself, wouldn’t read the end first. I just started Clockwork Princess  the other day and accidentally saw the family tree on the dust cover. I haven’t really been reading anything on it because I don’t want to accidentally come across a spoiler and ended up seeing something I really didn’t want to see because I wasn’t aware it was there.

Some people read fast, others read slow. There are some like me who just read at a rate somewhere in the middle. I’m not as fast at reading as people tend to think. I read a lot of books, yes, but that’s because I sneak in a bit of reading at every chance I get. My daughter is playing quietly with her toys in the room? Going to read. Cooking supper? Going to read. Playing a game? Going to listen to an audio book.

I read before bed every night. I always have, it helps me sleep. When I’m cold (which is a lot), I tend to have a bath and read in the tub. When I don’t want any distractions in the evening, I go downstairs and pop some popcorn and sit and read alone. Basically, I spend a lot of time reading. I enjoy it and I plod a long at my own pace.

I’m also a snacker when I read. I like to snack on things like popcorn, candy, fruit. Basically if it only takes one hand I’ll snack on it.

So what about you? Are you a speed reader, slower or like me and somewhere in between? Is there a certain time of day that you read? Do you have to snack while you read or have any other reading habits?

A Glo-Worms Thoughts: Do You Have a Favourite Genre?

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Occasionally, I’ll have someone ask me what my favourite genre to read is. When I tell them I don’t really have one, they get confused and ask why. Well, I honestly like all different genres. There are some that I don’t like, very few in this category actually, and then there are the genres that I like.

I don’t think that I just have to pick one and scream to the world that it’s my favourite genre to read and then read all that I can get my hands on. No, I may go through phases where I’ll read all dystopias, which I have, or I’ll read all contemporary books for awhile. Sometimes I just want to read fantasy or science fiction or even a historical romance. Then ever so occasionally, a romance or erotica. But just because I read one over the other for awhile, does it mean I have to like one more than the others?

I have many favourite books. In my top ten favourites I have: fantasy, historical fiction, dystopian, science fiction, contemporary. All of these genres. So if I love these books so much, even if they have nothing really in common, not even their genre, why should I pick?

I know people, as I’m sure most of you do, that only read one genre. I kind of feel sad for them sometimes because maybe if they would break out of their comfort zone, maybe they will find something else that’s amazing. They might find a new genre that will open so many more books to them. Maybe. Or they might hate it and continue on with what they know and that’s that. I know I shouldn’t feel sad for them, but I do. Even though it’s their choice, at least they are reading something. Unlike those evil book haters! The ones who give nothing a shot.

So what about you? Do you think that everyone should have a favourite genre? Or can they be like me and just read anything and like it all equally?

A Glo-Worms Thoughts: Book Format, Does It Really Matter?

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I know a lot of people who feel very strongly on the type of format that they read a book in. One of my friends is all about physical copies and has actually made me feel like I’m doing something wrong for reading on my Kobo. That my choice of using it makes me less of a reader. Is this right? Should I feel this way because I occasionally use an ereader?

What about the tons of books that I read as physical copies? What about those ones? I buy too many books. I like looking at them, it’s an addiction. Every so often I will open up my closet (the only safe place for my books from my very inquisitive toddler) and look at them. I touch them and pick them up, flipping through the pages.

On the other hand, I have a few friends who prefer ereading, for the convenience. It’s much easier to carry around an ereader. I completely agree with this and frequently take mine if we are travelling any distance. Once I forgot to take it when we went to visit family and it was the one time we got stuck there for the night because of an accident that made us have to turn around. What a terrible time that was. Luckily, I was able to borrow a book from my mother in law, but it wasn’t the same since I was using a crappy booklight that kept flickering and going out (reading in the room where my toddler was sleeping).

So I bought myself a Kobo Glo for Christmas and always take it with me now, just in case. Even if at the time I’m reading a physical book. You never know, I might finish my book and then where would I be?

Another benefit as a reviewer to having the Kobo is that I can read the egalleys. I feel it’s a win win for the publisher and I. They don’t have to pay for shipping and I get the book right away. I do love physical books as well though, I don’t forget about them as easily!

Then what about audiobooks? I know people who don’t consider these reading. I do. I mean, I’m still investing time to listen to the story, I can just get other things done at the same time. I’m a fairly new to the audiobook fanbase, but I’ll be staying for awhile. The last couple of nights I’ve been sitting at the table listening to a book while working at some puzzles, something I haven’t done in FOREVER because if I’m not reading I feel like I’m wasting time that I could be reading. There are too many books and I’ll never have enough time to get through them all! So this is my solution.

Back to the point, does it matter what you read a book in? Hardback, paperback, ebook, audiobook. I like them all. I don’t  think that it makes the slightest difference how I read. Isn’t the main point that I’m reading? At the end of the day, there’s nothing better than picking up my book or Kobo and reading whatever it is I’m reading.

Occasionally, while creeping around on facebook, I will come across someone who hates reading. I get a pang of sadness every time I see it. They have no idea how much they are missing out! So I don’t think the issue is what format you are reading in, just that you ARE reading. There is nothing better than curling up with a book.

So what do you think? Does it matter? Or are you just happy to read?

A Glo-Worms Thoughts: Series VS Stand-Alones

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This is a debate I’ve seen going around for awhile. Which is better, series books or stand-alones? I can kind of understand why everyone has an opinion on it, but I think it all comes down to the individual. Some people like a long series and others like to read a stand-alone book and be done with that story and move on to the next one.

As for me, I’m not really sure which I prefer. I’m sure there are many others who fall into this category. I just can’t manage to pick. I guess it depends on my mood. I love series books because you get to continue after and fall in love with the characters, watch them grow and learn new things (Yes, you can also do this in a stand-alone, but it lasts so much longer in a series). Also, with series, you have something to continuously look forward too. When I was younger I only ever knew when the Harry Potter books were coming out and I was always so excited.

Not that I can’t follow stand-alones just as easily, but I think I might hesitate occasionally to pick one up because I’m afraid. Why? Because I just don’t know what it’s going to be like. That’s the risk you always take when starting a new book of course, but at least with a series there is the familiar. You know going in that it’s going to be similar to the last one. The same characters, world, writing style (hopefully). I get a sense of contentment when I pick up the newest book in a favourite series, knowing that I’m going to devour it like the last one.

Stand-alones I just don’t know what to expect, anything could happen. I mean, you might have read something from the author before, so you have an idea of the writing style but the characters are going to be different. Sometimes I like that though. Lately it seems like everything that is coming out is a series, normally a trilogy as they are quite popular these days. Sometimes I just want to pick up a book that has no other ties to it. It’s just one book and once it’s over the story is over. No waiting and agonizing over a cliffhanger ending for the next year or so. Just a nice sense of contentment with knowing a whole story for a change. I supposed if you never take risks you wouldn’t find new authors and genres. Sometimes risks are good.

Then there is another downside to series. The dreaded last book. You’ve been loving these characters and have had something to look forward to for years and suddenly, there’s no more. It’s just done. I’m not going to lie, I cried at the end of Harry Potter. Both the books and the movies. Not because I was sad about the ending itself but because it was done. I had nothing left to look forward to in that series. I had to say goodbye to the characters that I had fallen in love with over the years. Yes, I go back and visit them every so often, but it’s just not the same.

I’m sure there are others like me that hesitate to read the last book because, what if you don’t like the ending? What if you’ve spent years reading the story only to find out that you HATE the ending and it just makes you so mad you want to toss the book out the window? At least if you don’t like how a stand-alone ends you have only invested a few days or hours into it. It’s just not the same as years.

I’d have to say that there are many pros and cons for both. So I just can’t pick a preference. I think that I have more series that are my favourites, but that’s not because I prefer them over stand-alones. For one there just seems to be more series out there than stand-alones. At least that I’ve read, so it’s kind of easy to have more of them on my favourites.

So what about you? Are you like me and can’t decide which you like more? Or are you a series kind of person? Stand-alone? Why are you in preference of one over the other if you like one better?