How I Use My Magical Monthly Reading Planner

How I Use My Magical Monthly Reading Planner

Hello and happy Wednesday. I am super excited to share this post with you because I love being able to help new book bloggers and reviewers whenever I can. Today I would like to tell you how I keep my blogging life organized by using the Magical Monthly Reading Planner I got in an Owlcrate a few months ago.

The first thing you’ll notice is that, yes, I put sticky tabs because I am constantly moving back and forth and writing stuff, and I need everything to be easily located.

 

 

Here we have where most of the magic happens: the monthly planner. I didn’t start using this on January 1st, so it actually begins way later. I also don’t use a specific set of pages for a month and then move to the next one, I prefer to continue on the same page because it gives me a clearer vision of my immediate blogging future.

Like I said once when I was talking about how I keep organized, I prefer a horizontal view rather than a vertical one, so monthly planners work better for me than weekly planners do. This notebook has both, but I’m not currently using the weekly planner pages. The way I plan is pretty straightforward: I write down the ideas for the day when I want to write the post and I highlight them when said post has been written. If for some reason I can’t write them that day, I’ll just scratch them off, and draw a cute little arrow or an asterisk. The horizontal disposition is also helpful for this because it helps things still look organized even after I’ve made alterations.

We then have a page which originally was titled New Releases This Month, but I couldn’t care any less about that, so instead it’s my physical TBR list. I have a column for books in English and one for books in Spanish, and the reason why I have it is that when I go on trips I prefer to take a physical book and this is a practical way to find one to take with me.

 

 

 

 

 

Because my reading paces vary so much depending on my mood and my job situation, I don’t really need a Monthly TBR list, so instead I have this chart so that I can expand on post ideas. Basically, I write the post title and then I jot down key points so that I know where I wanted to go when I originally came up with the post. This is especially helpful for content that is very long or specific, or that I feel that I can easily lose the focus of if I don’t have a guideline.

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Finally, we have the Book Review Section. Again, I keep one page for books in Spanish, and the other one for books in English. Personally, this format has helped me organize my thoughts when I’m writing reviews. It’s way more concise than what I was used to, and so far I’m very happy with it.

Whether you have a planner like this one or not, the contents of it can be useful for you, especially if you’re getting started as a book blogger or reviewer. To me, it’s been key to have everything in one place, sitting on my desk so that all I have to do is consult it whenever I need it. If you’re a blogger as well, I would love to know about your tips and tricks to be organized. Tell me about them in the comments below.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

 

 

 

 

Tips For New Book Bloggers and Reviewers

Tips For New Book Bloggers and Reviewers

 

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Hello and happy Wednesday. This is actually my second attempt to write this post because I’d written the whole thing and thought I’d scheduled it, but didn’t and lost about half an hour of work. It’s ironic, given that I’m writing tips for new book bloggers and reviewers, but that happens sometimes and we just have to take a deep breath and look for solutions. Mine was to rewrite the whole post, so here I am. Let’s get started, then!

1. Complete the following sentence: “I want to start a new blog because…” 

Everyone has a different reason for starting new projects, and about 90% of those reasons are valid. When I started my book blog three years ago, I did it because I’d just read a book and wanted to share my thoughts about it but felt that my friends and family wouldn’t understand me because they hadn’t read it and were not interested. Some people want to be relevant in the bookish community and have a more solid plan than the one I had, and some others just want to try it out, no commitment, no pressure. Still, I think it’s important to know why you want to start a blog, and why you want to share your reviews with the world. That’s what’s going to keep you motivated in the future and it’s what, in a way, is going to shape some decisions you make regarding your blog.

2. Be organized and consistent

Again, I’m talking from experience here when I tell you that scheduling my posts is one of the best decisions I could’ve made regarding my blog. I started writing my posts a week or so in advance, and now I’ve gotten to a point in which I have posts that are scheduled months in advance. This is great for me because it helps me manage my time and not stress about having a deadline to write something. Without the pressure, I make sure that there is more quality in the content I’m sharing, that I’m not just writing something because I need to meet a goal. Obviously, being organized means to have an idea regarding your blogging schedule. What I mean is, have a set blogging day, or rather a publishing day. I blog about books every Wednesday, and have done so for a while. Having set days to publish your posts will translate in having a consistent blog, and your readers will notice that.

3. Start by reviewing the books you already own

Publishing your first post is exciting, especially when you see how many people saw and liked it and then when you start getting followers. It makes you picture yourself as this super famous blogger and reviewer, with this super successful blog, and of course, we all want to get there one day, but first you need to start small. Starting small may not sound as fun, but it will ensure that you won’t get as overwhelmed, and trust me, at least once you’ll feel overwhelmed with your blog. Start by reviewing books you already own, even books that you read before you had your blog. The bookish community is great when it comes to new titles to add to your TBR and wish lists, but it doesn’t mean you have to buy and read (and review!) every single book that comes out.

4. Learn to use NetGalley wisely 

If you want to get ARCs (Advance Reader’s Copy) for free to read and review, NetGalley is your place. Granted, you need to be an established reviewer and post said reviews either in your blog or Tumblr or other social media, so it’s not just a way to get free books, there are other sites for that. NetGalley connects you with publishing houses and authors. I discovered Ali Novak and Kody Keplinger via NetGalley, and it is a website I visit daily. I have even gotten e-mail of publishers “inviting” me to get an ARC of a book. Obviously because I live in Colombia, all of my ARCs are digital, but if you’re lucky enough to live in the US, Canada, the UK, or other country where NetGalley can send books over, then you’re lucky because you might get actual physical copies of ARCS.

When I say use this site wisely, I mean find a good balance. Don’t ask for books you’re not planning on reading because what it does is affect your reviewing ratio, which is the number of books you’ve reviewed over the number of books you’ve requested. An ideal ratio is 80% and it’s something that could definitely affect your chances of getting ARCs. I would also suggest you to download the ebook to your device once you get the email that it’s been approved so that you ensure that you have it. When titles are archived, you cannot download them anymore. Also, final NetGalley tip is keep the e-mails you get from publishing houses because there you have valuable information such as e-mail addresses from people who can provide you ARCs in the future, or the contact of authors you can connect with.

5. Make blogging a fun experience for you

Here’s the deal. When you’ve been blogging for a while, it’s okay to feel discouraged or even bored. One day early this year I found myself juggling with three blogs, no followers in either and just a few comments. I then decided to switch from Blogger to WordPress and combine them all in this one blog. I made that decision because blogging has become a very important part of my life, but I felt I needed a change and now that I made it, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been with this little baby called Miss Camila’s Blog.

The truth is, you have to help yourself. Scheduling your posts is step one because it’ll save you time and stress. If like me, you’re blogging for fun, you have to remember that you’re doing it mainly for yourself, and that means that you get to be selfish and call the shots. Don’t just post reviews because reviewing takes a lot of time and can become stressful. Publish different kinds of posts, like bookish hauls and tags, or unboxings. I have this sort of series called “the book was better,” and what I do is read a book and then watch the adaptation and write about my thoughts. I love doing top 5 posts at the end of the year, and I talk about my crushes, my disenchantments, and my favorite series. If you’re having fun while blogging, you’ll keep doing it for a long time.

Those are my tips for new bloggers and reviewers. If you have any question or a tip I didn’t include, please let me know in the comments.

Happy reading!

Love, Miss Camila

PS: Click here to enter my giveaway and win a signed (used) copy of The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker.