Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sea Smoke by Louis Jenkins: Prose Poetry

Sea Smoke by Louis Jenkins is a collection of sixty prose poems. Each poem is less than one page so the book is a quick read. The poems have a distinct northern-Midwest rural feel to them which I enjoyed. The poems are broken up into four parts and I have to say I never figured out why. I looked for themes within each part and didn’t come up with anything. I don’t feel like giving it much more thought so sorry, I don’t have anything genius to share.

That being said, I really enjoyed part one. I found myself smiling or chuckling in my head while reading it. Parts two through four had some hit and misses for me. My favorite poem was “Free Lawn Mower” which ponders the different aspects of the word “free.” A close second was “Goings On Around the House” which references Walt Whitman’s “noiseless, patient spider.”  Overall, the poems were fun and easy to read. I think Jenkins’ poetry will please those from the Midwest United States. The scenes depicted definitely struck a chord with me.  
Publisher: Holy Cow! Press, 2004    Pages: 76
Rating: 3.5 Stars    Source: University of Iowa Libraries

Last Chance to Vote on My Next Giveaway!

Today is the last day to vote for my next book giveaway. The poll can be found on my sidebar. It's a close race right now! So vote, vote, vote!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Review of The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

When you think “zombies” what comes to mind? Do you think of the latest video game or horror movie that features some skinny chick lopping off heads? Not your thing? Not mine either. Yet, I have inadvertently read two zombie books in a row. But both are completely different and neither are what I would have expected from a zombie story.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan is an eerie and proactive young adult novel. The writing was great. In fact, it’s some of the best writing I’ve come across in the YA genre. Mary tells the reader what it’s like to live in the confines of a village surrounded by a fence keeping out the Unconsecrated, also known as the infected or zombies. When the Sisterhood, entrusted with the village’s history and safety, betrays Mary’s trust and a breach occurs she must choose between the home she knows and the unknown world in the forest.

Mary’s story is completely believable. She is young and impetuous, even a bit reckless. Sometimes I liked Mary. Sometimes I didn’t. Overall, she felt like a real person whose future I was invested in. The confusion that Mary encounters, living in such a crazy world, is mirrored in her thoughts and actions. She tries to care for others but knows that she must trust her instincts if she is to have some peace of mind.

This is one of the big questions in the novel. Is survival enough? Is personal fulfillment selfish when others depend on you? Does falling in love give one the right to give up on life?  Does true love require the sacrifice of one’s dreams? How much sacrifice is acceptable? Personally, I think these are great questions for young adults to ponder.

The descriptions of the zombies were great in a not-too-overly gory but in a suspenseful, creepy and realistic way. There is lots of moaning and jaw snapping. Killing zombies is not what this book is all about, though several do get cut down at climactic moments. There is something of a love triangle, nay quadrangle, but it is seamlessly woven into the plot. So, those who like a little romance in their stories will be satisfied while those not huge on romances shouldn’t be put off either.

If you like suspense, fantasy or paranormal/paranormal romances then Ryan’s text is probably something you’ll like. Note, I don’t think this counts as horror even though it’s classified as such. I wasn’t horrified and I’m rather wimpy. If you’re looking to try out one of these other genres, The Forest of Hands and Teeth would make for a fun introduction. End of story, I loved this read and can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel.
Publisher: Delacorte, 2009    Pages: 310    Source: U of Iowa Library
Rating: 5 Stars        Recommended Age: 14 and up

My Twilight Wordle Creation

For the Summer Break Reading Challenge activity number two, I created a Wordle image of a Twilight review I found on Stephenie Meyer's website. Wordle is kinda fun to play around with if you haven't before.

Do Nothing But Read Day

Today, 6/27/2010, is Do Nothing But Read Day. I like the sound of that, don't you? There are prizes to be had so check out the link and sign up. Happy reading!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The LA Times Spotlights Book Bloggers

On her twitter yesterday Rebecca from The Book Lady’s Blog posted a link to an LAtimes.com article, “Book Bloggers Catch on with Publishers.”

It was encouraging to read how the community of book bloggers is impacting the book publishing industry and getting some recognition for its loyalty to books. I think a key to the growing success of book bloggers is their genuine interest in their reading. And the informal medium of a blog makes book reviews friendly and fun to read. I don’t answer to anyone, really, but my own conscious about the reviews I write and so, I don’t have an editor to please or a paycheck to strive for. And best of all I don’t have to write those ridiculous and worthless book blurbs that end up on the back of a book. Does anyone take those things seriously? That’s got to be the worst job ever. Ok, hyperbole. But I digress…

While the article does a great job of praising the book blogging sphere for its interconnectivity there’s one thing it didn’t address. How do we reach readers outside of our blogging community? I know book bloggers exist and so I actively read their posts for book reviews. But what about the general online community? Do they know we exist? Do they think to search under “Blogs” for a book review? I know that utilizing key words, etc, makes my blog more visible. But my site still looks unofficial. Will a person unfamiliar with blogs know that my review is worth reading? Or do they only care about what the NYT has to say about a book? To me, reading a blog review is similar to asking the locals where a good place to eat it. Sure, I can take a travel book's recommendation. But the locals always know where the good stuff is.

I’m grateful to the LA Times for running this article. That’s just the kind of spotlight our community needs. I hope book bloggers will continue to positively impact our beloved industry. I'm sure we will.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Blogs I've Discovered and the Book Blogger Hop

I've found a few interesting book blogs in the last few weeks. I thought I'd share them with you while I'm participating in this week's Book Blogger Hop.

English Major's Junk Food - Ash is a fellow student at my University who shares my passion for reading and libraries. I "ran into her" on Goodreads.com and found out we'll be working in the same building this fall.

In the Library of Lady Violet - Rachel reads and reviews a variety of books. I am enjoying her vlogs and confess it's partly for her U.K. accent. I can't help it. I live in the middle of the U.S. and we don't get many visitors in these here parts. Ok, and her reviews are great, too!

Park Benches and Book Ends - Jess and Chris are a married duo reviewing a variety of books. They've got a little something for everybody. Even if a book doesn't particularly interest me I still enjoy reading their posts for their humor and insight. 

I've been reading several juvenile/ya books lately and have found a couple good ones. I'm really enjoying The Forest of Hands and Teeth right now. I'll be taking a short repreive from the ya after this book. I'm in the mood for something "grown-up." If you're hopping by from the Book Hop stick around and check out my site. Before you leave, VOTE IN MY POLL for my next giveaway! Happy Hopping!

Goop Soup: Nathan Abercrombie, Accidental Zombie book 3 by David Lubar

Nathan Abercrombie, fifth grader, is in training to be a super-spy. But will he complete his training in time to save the city from a dangerous and subversive terrorist group? As if saving the world isn’t difficult enough, Nathan must cope with being a zombie, the living-dead. For everyone’s safety, he must keep this and his spy activity a secret from his watchful parents.

This is totally the kind of book I would have devoured as a kid. I adored The Magic School Bus books and in many ways, Goop Soup reminds me of the former series expect Goop is for an audience willing to read text with no pictures. Science abounds in Goop Soup as Nathan and his friends Mookie and girl-genius Abigail come up with solutions to world-crushing problems. Don’t have a temperature because you’re dead? No problem. Chemistry is here to the rescue. With a little help from BUM, the spy agency that has recruited Nathan, and his trusty friends, there is no problem that a little scientific research can’t solve.

I’m encouraged to see a new (to me) series that will excite kids about the sciences. I think it’s important for youngsters to know that science is something they can do and can be fun, not just a bunch of hard work.  And I think Lubar’s new book does that.

In the back of the book there is a Reader’s Guide with some excellent questions. Some require kids to do a little research while others involve written responses like poems and letters. Geesh, they were even fun for me to think about. I think Goop Soup will appeal to both boys and girls who like science or who are looking for an adventurous story. I definitely recommend this book to parents of young readers.

Publisher: Starscape, 2010      Pages: 176       Recommended Age: 9-12
Rating: 5 Stars                           Source: received for free from the author. Thanks, Mr. Lubar!
P.S. I really did like this book and receiving the text in no way influenced my rating. 
Check out David Lubar's website for info on his books, humor and more!

Monday, June 21, 2010

This is Me from Now On by Barbara Dee: An uplifting middle school read

This is Me from Now On by Barbara Dee is a cute story about friendship. Seventh grade is hard enough for Evie but when she gets partnered up with the new girl, Francesca, on a killer history assignment, Evie’s world gets complicated. Francesca is anything but typical and Evie finds herself both fascinated and confused by Francesca’s behavior in which Evie often finds herself an unwitting accomplice.

The story’s appeal is for young girls around 10-13. On a reader enjoyment level, the book didn’t have much appeal to me. The plot was fairly predictable and I figured Evie would work things out in the end. But I do think young girls will like this story. I appreciated the fact that Evie is able to recognize the tunnel she begins spiraling down and tries her best, and succeeds, in straightening herself out. She learns to be strong and stick with her decisions. Although Francesca’s friendship was tricky and difficult, Evie never gave up on Francesca who desperately needed a friend. Evie was able to reach out to her teenage sister for advice. The situation with Evie’s parents (who were always too busy to talk with Evie about “little” problems) felt realistic and the sister was a great role model of responsibility towards school and relationships who gave Evie good advice.

I think this story encourages girls to learn how to mend their friendships by being honest with and sensitive to their friends’ feelings. Young girls often get hurt over small things and friendships turn sour as a result. Evie fights hard against this and I was happy that she didn’t give up on mending relationships.

When Evie wants to date she actually asks her parents and respects their desire for her to do group activities. The “date” was an eye-opener for Evie that she doesn’t have to rush into dating and accepts being friends with the guy she likes. There are practically no causes for concern. The girls get into a web of lies and do a little thieving but it comes to bite them in the butt and they fess up. Swearing is not really an issue. There’s only some OMG!’s and that’s it. The neighbor lady, Francesca’s aunt, throws some parties but they hardly factor into the plot. Overall this is a clean and uplifting story. Although I didn’t personally swoon over the book, I think young girls will enjoy it.
Publisher: Aladdin Mix, 2010      Pages: 259     Source: I won this from Reading Teen! Thanks!
Rating: 3 Stars                        Recommended Age: 10-13

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Make Like a Frog, and Hop!

The Book Blogger Hop, hosted by Crazy-for-Books, is all about finding new bloggers who share a passion for books while getting your own blog out there, too. There are nearly 200 people participating every week! If you're stopping by from the Hop, Hi! Do check out my poll and vote for my next giveaway (blogger's polls were down  recently and I lost previous votes! If you voted before you'll need to do it again to ensure your book of choice is the winner)!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Anastasia's Secret by Susanne Dunlap and the Alexander Palace

This historical novel follows the teenage years of Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova, daughter of the last Tsar of Russia. Anastasia undergoes many changes physically and emotionally as she matures during World War I and the Russian Revolution in 1917 that ended her father’s reign and eventually led to the family’s captivity and death. But Dunlap, using her creative license, ends Anastasia’s story with a window of hope, albeit a small one, that Nastya (Anastasia’s nickname) may have survived.

The focus of Anastasia’s Secret is two-fold: historical accuracy and romance. Dunlap did extensive research and nearly every character is verifiable, the most notable exception being Sasha, a soldier who guards the Romanovs and falls in love with Nastya. The romance is the duchess’ great secret. However, being so young and just a girl, Anastasia is able to overhear much or witness things she wasn’t supposed to know about. This ease-dropping attribute allowed Dunlap to feed the reader historical information. I didn’t care for this method, personally, and wished the information could have been more seamlessly worked into the plot. We get a sense for important events taking place outside the palace, like the war and revolution, but only enough to whet the appetite. I wanted more details but I suspect that for young adult readers Dunlap offered enough information. The text did get a bit dry and I think that stems from the way, as I mentioned, that information is presented.

The romance was, I felt (and I don’t mean this to sound so negative) completely unrealistic. It’s possible and even likely the Romanov girls had crushes on soldiers (hey, I married one!). But I doubt any of them could carry off a romance like Sasha and Nastya do in the novel. The situation is so dangerous that for the couple to have clandestine meetings is sweet but not likely. So, a little suspension of beliefs is necessary but again I suspect that for young readers it’s not a problem.

I do wish we knew more about Sasha. Besides his romantic interest in Nastya it was hard to get to know him. I did like the family members, especially the sister Mashka. There were so many other characters I felt lost at times. I think this reflects Dunlap’s incredible research and it may have been hard for her to let go of some of that info. I think this text would have benefitted from a closer examination of a few characters rather than crowding the text with so many. That’s just my take.

Little Red Flags: The romance does get intense. Though the language is not terribly graphic about sex the novel is very sexually charged as the two lovers meet time and again. There’s only one violent scene that is brief and besides a few lewd comments by soldiers no foul language. 

You have to check this out. If you have any interest in the Romanovs, Russian history or royalty in general, check out the pictures at this website. It’s fantastic and I will be looking at it for some time.
Mountain Hall: The indoor slide mentioned in the book
Anastasia Information 
Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2010      Pages: 320     Source: IC Public Library    
Rating: 3 Stars          If this was a movie: PG-13

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Festivities Come to an End!

Today is the last day of Bloggiesta. There are some great pictures of other participants up on Maw Books Blog! I did the RSS Mini-challenge today, finishing 5 out of the 7 steps, that Puss Reboots suggested.
1. Check to see if your blog or website has a feed
2. Set up a feed if it doesn't
3. Set up a subscribe by email option
4. Validate your feed
5. Put an RSS icon that linked to your feed and another for your email option. 
6. Add the RSS feed to your header so your browser auto-detects the feed. 
7. Leave the link to your challenge post. 
And I finished fixing my links that were directing to my old blog. I spent about 3 hours today doing the bloggiesta. It was fun watching the transformations on other participants websites and hearing about their hard work. Thanks to those who stopped by and gave me more blogging tips!

P.S. Total hours of participation: 17...phew!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Bloggiesta: Hours Logged and Bumps Along the Way

Yesterday I spent roughly twelve hours on blog related business...long computer day. My husband felt neglected but I did ride bikes a couple miles with him. Pathetic, I know. Poor Jon.

First, I spent forever choosing a new blog name while looking into getting my own domain versus continuing with Blogger. For now, Blogger meets my needs. Then I spent as much time tweaking my new layout and widgets including adding my first poll. This whole blogging things is a learn-as-I-go process so each change takes me forever. I finished reading a book and wrote my review. But for unknown reasons Blogger would not publish my post in my new blog! So vexing! I had to strip out everything fancy and republish each time I added a picture. Irritating. Then I installed Google Analytics to my new blog because I cannot live without that info! It's too much fun!

Today, I discovered links on my pages, like my reviews page, direct traffic to my old blog even though the posts are on my new blog. For lack of a better way to fix the problem I changed each link manually to my new site. This is time consuming since I have to bring up each individual post in my new blog and then copy/paste the URL and copy that over my old link...ugh. I'm half done. Anyone know a better way to do this? Also, I am unaware of how to allow readers to leave hyperlinks within a comment on my posts. It seems Blogger does not allow this. Anyone have tips? So, about 2 hours of Bloggiesta activity today!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bloggiesta and My New Blog

Maw Books Blog is hosting Bloggiesta to ecourage bloggers to whip their blogs into shape! There are challenges, prizes and great tips from book bloggers on how to improve your blog! The event ends Sunday the 13th.

In my recent post on
Branding, I mentioned I didn't care for my blog (old) name, Time Out. My (old) layout has been giving me issues as well. Bloggiesta has motivated me to make a major change. I have started a new blog with a new URL at The Prairie Library. So, in order to keep following my posts head over to my new (this) site and follow me there (here)! In a few months I will shut down Time Out so, say goodbye to the old and in with the new! I  hope you like my new layout! Other than that, expect more of the same as you get at Time Out.

For the Blog Improvement Mini Challenge: I have three immediate goals: 1 - get my old readers switched over to my new blog! 2) store up posts/book reviews this summer before school starts and pleasure reading goes out the window and 3) get a guest post!

Review of A Room with a View by E.M. Forster and Italy Photos from My Honeymoon

The Plot: Young girl grows up in sheltered home. Girl travels to Florence, Italy. Girl meets boy. Girl scared of boy. Girl returns to England confused. Girl gets engaged to a jerk. Previous boy turns up causing more unrest. But not to worry, things more or less sort themselves out. Left is a photo of Bobbio Pellice in the Alps.

The dialogue is witty and fun to read. I wish there had been more of it. There is a lot of (what I would call) received narration. Forster is a master at this but there was just too much. I wanted more straightforward dialogue. The third person point of view seemed to shift between several characters – Lucy the protagonist, Mr. Beebe the rector, Miss Bartlett the chaperon, the mother, the brother…and on and on. I felt I did not intimately know any of the characters as a result. It left me feeling distant from them all. 

Forster pokes fun at each character's short-comings giving some mild comic relief. Mostly, he reveals upper class snobbery and self-delusions about their “liberal” and “rebellious” natures. There are many touristy blunders committed as well. I felt for Lucy who desperately wanted to see the “real” Italy but was too afraid to plunge into unknown territories on her own. This is a picture from Florence.

What I liked in this novel was the idea that passion is not wrong, nor is it something to run away from, but it is to be acknowledged as a truth and dealt with accordingly. Lucy fears censure so much that she cloisters herself off and relies upon her elders for advice on her every little move or thought. Yet she wants to believe she is independent. It’s only when she is able to know her own mind that she can take control of her future (though she still receives a push to get to this point). The novel is set in the end of the Victorian and early Edwardian period and the stifling nature of the time is exposed. Forster was able to see the fear in his own culture. I’m speaking of a fear of passion in general. Hand holding, helping a female into a carriage, etc. was a big deal then and could potentially be turned against a girl to ruin her reputation.

And this is where Italy comes in. Having been to Rome, I must say I think it is the most romantic place in the world. You should go there with someone special. It’s not a town for friends but for lovers. No one minds hand holding there! The fountains, the ancient ruins, the lights, the cool evenings, the sculptures and paintings, the cobblestone streets and charming people all create a mood of intense feeling. It’s no wonder Forster was impressed by Italy during his journey there and felt, as many others have, that the Italians have it right.The Trevi Fountain (Rome) is gorgeous at night!

I said the end mostly worked out. I’ve read Howard’s End as well and it too has a near happy-ending. The right couple ends up together but there is a cost. It’s not a completely happily-ever-after kind of end. I find this sort of ending realistic without being a downer. If you like Howard’s End or early Modern literature you may like A Room with a View. This photo is of the Pantheon, ancient pagan temple turned Christian church, and an engineering feat. I hope you enjoyed the pictures from my Italian honeymoon!
Publisher: Barnes & Noble, 1993 (originally published in 1908)     Pages: 232
Rating: 3 Stars                        Source: Purchased at a used book sale

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

On Returning to the Real World

Well, I'm back to civilization and want to say thanks for the well wishes on our camping trip! We had a fantabulous (spell check says this isn't a word, but I DO so there!) time! I evaded being sunburned too bad. Just a little pink on the forehead. That's me canoeing. I think next time I'll take the back seat because rear end shots are not the best. I'm shielding you from the other pictures...trust me.

Amanda, camping is my recharge session as well! It's oddly relaxing to me to be active outside. And it helped that the locals were awesome and gave us free cake and ice cream when we stopped at their berry farm. =)
I only read one chapter last week from A Room With a View. I don't know what it is with this book but it's taking me forever. I am enjoying it so I don't know what it is. I will try to be more articulate when I eventually post my review. How do you guys work in time to read when you're on vacation? Or do you just forget about it? I'm curious.
Today was my first day back to work. I've been unemployed/in limbo/playing housewife since December. It feels good to be a productive member of society again! I have my old job back at the University's library working for the circulation department. It's like old times again.
I hope everyone's summer is off to as great a start as mine!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Gone Camping

Behold my terrible drawing skills! I am not your greatest ally in Pictionary. Luckily, drawing skills are not required for where I'm headed.

We'll be camping in The Land of Ten Thousand Lakes. That's supposed to be me and my husband roasting marshmallows. Hopefully I'll get a chance to do some reading in between the biking, canoeing and cave touring. Notice the sun is shining in my picture. Pray it doesn't rain.Well, see you all next week!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Marketing Your Blog: Post Three on Branding

PART THREE: This post is intended to give ideas to book bloggers who want to increase their readership using methods of marketing. I will be writing from my personal experience. Although I am not an expert, I figure I can pass along some things I wish I had known a while back. Much will be obvious but some maybe not so much. Use what helps you, forget what doesn’t! This is post three of three in my marketing series.

Branding: Making Your Mark: The look and feel of your blog can, in less than 5 seconds, decide if someone stays to read or clicks the X to exit.

My Name Is – Time Out by sheer default because I wasn’t feeling creative and wanted to get my blog going as soon as possible (because I was excited, ya know?). But I’m not crazy about the name. It’s OK. If you’re still a newbie blogger and don’t care for your blog’s name, change it before people consider you and your blog’s name to be one and the same. Think of your blog’s name as a name brand, like Starbucks. You thought of coffee didn’t you? Not stars and not bucks – coffee. The name and object are one and the same. That’s the power of a brand. You’re blog title is the same – a brand. Your brand. And it’s a difficult decision to change it late in the game. Sometimes, I visit a site just because their blog title is nifty. Brand power!

Color, Font and Layout Matter – big time! Your blog’s look (regardless of content) attracts or detracts certain readers. To gain readers, use a style that works, not necessarily what you may like best. This can be hard, I know. But a little sacrifice and effort can go a long way towards readership. And there’s usually a happy medium to be found.
  • Colors Send a Message: Be sure you are attracting the type of reader that matches the type of content you post. I want men and women readers so I have chosen a fairly gender neutral background color. Ladies: got a girly looking site? Then don’t be surprised if you never get many guy readers. Many just won’t stay if your web site is pink. Period. Food for thought. But maybe you read chick lit so gals are your target audience! Then pink might be right for you.
  • Let’s talk font. Simple is best. If it’s hard to read, they won’t stay. End of story. If a reader mentions difficulty reading your site, hurry and change the colors/font!
    • Keep in mind, if you use Internet Explorer but 30% of your readers use other browsers (check your analytics), it’s likely their browsers interpret fonts differently than yours. Also, older computers may have difficulty loading and reading a flashy or colorful website. 
  • Layout effects the way people process information on your blog. To be most effective:
    • Compartmentalize your side bar(s). Keep similar sidebar posts together for easy reader reference. 
    • The human eye likes symmetry. When applicable, do your best to make things line up and be sure text and graphics are not overlapping. A continuously sloppy layout sends the wrong message. It says disorganized, disinterested and unreliable. 
    • Many chose to pay someone to create a personalized blog with personalized buttons. Let your designer know not only what you like, but what kind of audience you want to attract with your look.
  • Keep your layout clean, tidy and with the most important information in prominent locations. Doing so creates an easy friendly reading environment and marks you as an author who cares about what you’re doing.
  • Your blog is personal. If you feel you’ve made too many sacrifices and lost the essence of “you” then by all means, make your blog look how you want. Blog design is a tricky tango between personal taste and reader needs.
About Me Page – a really good idea. Be honest (don’t exaggerate), be succinct (dispense with the “I don’t know what to say” stuff), be yourself (like you’re talking to a friend). This is not the place to talk to publishers. This is the place to talk to readers, to attract them into subscribing/following and to build community. Readers do not want to hear your sales pitch to the corporate world. Have a separate page or section for soliciting ARCs. I read so many “about me” sections that are THE SAME which is bizarre since we are all so unique and different. So, Info to Consider Including:
  • What you read – favorite books, genres, authors.
  • What your site is for - Blog because you love reading? For escape? Fun? Work? School? If you feel comfortable being personal let us know what type of school, what job or what reading club you read with.
  • Location makes you interesting. Where in the world are you?
  • What you do when you’re not blogging/reading.
  • How you heard about blogging and started your own.
Tone: Even Starbucks has a tone. And they try hard to set an appealing one (though lost on me – not a coffee drinker). A part of your blog’s brand is the way your blog feels. Your tone is comprised of everything visible on your site including: pictures, graphics, background, font, links, giveaways, blogroll, header, post titles and all text. Look at your blog homepage – the colors, the types of giveaways you advertise, post titles. Are they funny, serious, whimsical, pushy, gothic, academic, sexy, happy, forgetful? What word(s) comes to mind? This is your blog’s tone. Set a tone that reaches out to your target audience as well as one that reflects who you are.

Well, there you have it. My tips for marketing your blog: know your audience, actively pursue them and brand your blog. Remember, there’s no wrong way to eat a peanut butter cup write a blog. Just ok, good and (always) better. Be patient and attentive and you’ll gain the readers you’re looking for!

What ideas do you guys have about branding? What has worked/not worked for you? And if you actually read the entire post – wow, thanks! It got a bit long!