Things that make my life as a blogger easier
1. Goodreads. The best book site ever, seriously. I can read everything about a book without actually reading the book. I can label all my books, plan out my weekly, monthly, and even yearly tbr lists. I can find great recommendations for new books. I can enter giveaways for new books. I can talk about books with other readers. Love it.
2. Fellow bloggers. To all the bloggers who share books with me, to all the bloggers whose words inspired me to start my own, to all the bloggers keep me blogging, I say a most heartful thank you. Some of these wonderful people include Maura @ The Whimsical Mama, Alex @ Peace, Love and Fangirl, Marissa & Jasmine @ Beneath the Moon and Stars, Kari @ A Good Addiction, Karen @ Teen Librarian Toolbox, Kristin @ Cool Librarian Glasses, Katie @ Mundie Moms, Mia @ Gripped into Books, Anasheh @ A Reading Nurse, Sabrina @ I Heart YA Fiction, Shane @ Itching for Books, and many, many others. I apoligize to anyone I've left off the list!
3. Friends. My friends have been crazy supportive about my blogging, and it means the world. My "real life" friends have just been really awesome trying to keep me pumped up, and my primarily online book community friends, from readers and bloggers to authors to editors and publicists, have given such great advice. I'm really grateful to live in Dallas, where I actaully have real life book friends now too!
4. Rafflecopter. Let's face it. I wouldn't give half as many giveaways if I didn't have Rafflecopter. I know some people don't like it, but I just don't have time to moderate all entries and try to be unbiased picking a winner. I don't want to do pick-a-random number giveaways either. Rafflecopter is a nice medium. It's random, but it allows me to give extra entries to people who put in extra effort. #Winning
5. Twitter. The primary hangout of the bookworms. When I first got on Twitter, my password was ihatetwitter. Seriously. Maybe I shouldn't say that, but that's what it was (it has now changed, fyi). I thought the idea was stupid. But now, it's my primary method of communication with bookish friends and source of book news.
6. My tablet. I got it for Christmas this past year, and it has been the biggest help. Apps for all the things, it's light, it's portable, it's easily accessible. I'm officially in love.
7. APPS FOR ALL THE THINGS. Whether it's Twitter, Goodreads, Blogger, Kindle, my notes (where I jot things down at events!), etc, apps make my life so much easier!
8. The library. The Dallas Public Library is massive and amazing. When I realized I was moving to Dallas, I signed up for my library card immediately. It was over a month before I moved. I used my hometown library a lot as a kid, but mostly during summer. After I grew up some, I then mostly spent my money at Borders to buy my own books. Then, in college, it was Amazon (after Borders died *tear*). But now, I just buy the books I know I'm going to love, and I get 90% of the rest at the library. If I love it after I read it at the library, I'll probably buy it. I just don't have the kind of money to blow like I thought I did 8 years ago. So instead of me buying one copy, I encourage DPL AND my hometown library to buy copies of all the books I want, and between the two of them, they usually buy at least 10 copies of one book. I call that a pretty sweet trade-off.
9. Netgalley & Edelweiss. I know it's really expensive for publishers to print up and ship out physical ARCs. I mean, I host giveaways all the time, and it can really add up! I think it's wonderful that these websites exist to help get copies of books into reviewers' hands without anyone having to pony up serious money. Being so new, I wouldn't be on any publisher's top blogger list, but when they can send out more copies digitally, my being low on the totem pole isn't a problem.
10. My laptop. As much as I love my tablet (and I do LOVE it), it's really hard to type. The keys are small and easily confused so I have to type with my pointers. I'm a much faster typer with a full keyboard that clicks and physically moves and everything. Although I use my tablet to read and for apps and general internet-surfing, I type up 97% of my posts on my lappy.
11. Google/Blogger. I would be remiss if I didn't mention my site host. I know basic html and css coding, and Blogger helps take my basic knowledge and turn it into a real blog. I'm definitely a Google girl. Since I have an Android tablet and use Google Analytics, everything is really incredibly compatible.
And, because it's fun, here's my list of things that make my life as a blogger harder:
1. Work. Ugh. I need money to do things in Real Life and also to run MHALBB, but dang. Work gets in the way a lot.
2. My family. Bless their little hearts. I know they love me and support me, but they are literally clueless when it comes to what I do as a blogger. Most of them, when told about my venture blogging, say something along the lines of, "That's great, Mary. Now if only there were a way you could get paid doing something like that..." Thanks, guys. I know you have my best interests at heart, but dang. Can a girl just do something she likes and not have it be about the money? I GET PAID IN BOOKS, DANGIT. Sorry, guys. Please don't be offended that I kind of just called you out on the internet. You know I love you. I know you love me and always have my back. I just wish you had my back more on the thing in my life that makes me happiest right now.
3. Movies & tv. I love books, but sometimes I just want to veg. Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Amazon Prime are all detrimental to my reading time. Also the library because I pick up dvds there all the time.
4. My tablet. See above in the laptop section. It's really hard to type well on my tablet. You would be horrified if you read my raw transcripts from an event. Words are misspelled like crazy, and the whole thing is a huge shorthand-ish mess. I have to email the notes to myself so I can translate it, which requires a LOT of retyping and formatting.
5. My TBR list. You'd think the books on my to-read shelf would be helpful, but you would be wrong. Authors talk a lot about being distracted by slutty Shiny New Ideas when trying to write. Well, I get distracted from reading my "required" reading list (the books I Must Read for my posts & reviews) by slutty Shiny New Books. It's a good problem to have, to be sure, but occassionally it is a problem.
6. A social life. Let's be real. I have a pretty quiet social life as it is, but if I didn't have one at all, I would definitely be a better blogger. I think I have a pretty good balance right now, but sometimes I would rather just stay home and read than Do Things In Real Life.
7. Sleep. See points on work and social life. Sometimes I sleep when I should be working on my blog, and sometimes I blog when I should be sleeping. I want to do more of both.
What helps you read or blog better? Have a TTT post? Share in the comments!