It’s been about 10 months since I started this blog and it has gone through some pretty big changes in that time, so I wanted to do a quick update about how far it’s come, and hopefully will go! When I started I never imagined how welcoming and supportive the book blogging community could be, but you’ve all taken me in and accepted me as one of your own, and I can’t express how grateful I am!
When I started this blog it was intended to be somewhere I could post about my writing progress and share reviews of books I read, but having discovered book tags and awards, memes and blog hops, it’s become so much more than that. The interaction is my favourite part of blogging now, being tagged by other bloggers and chatting in the comments, hopping around everyone’s posts, whether it’s Top Ten Tuesday or the Author Toolbox.
I hope you enjoy the kinds of posts I share as much as I enjoy writing them! If there’s anything you’d like to see more of, or less of, just let me know in the comments.
So, you might have noticed I gave the blog a bit of a refresh a few months ago, changing the template and layout etc. I also created a page where all my review are archived for ease, and I wanted to ask if you would appreciate having the star ratings listed on this page too? At the moment the star rating is only in each review, I don’t list it in the blog titles or on the Reviews page. Let me know what you would prefer in future.
I also created a page where you can find out more about my own books and what I’m currently writing. There’s also a link to sign up and download the first three chapters of The Fair Queen, my first novel, which I’m about to enter into #PitchWars. I’m so nervously excited about the pitching process, but I feel like this competition will be my best bet for finding representation and a good way to throw myself into the querying trenches. If you’ve taken part in a previous Pitch Wars or you’re planning to enter this year let me know in the comments! I’ve entered #menteeshelpingmentees, so I can’t wait to find out if I’ve won and one of the past mentees is going to help me perfect my entry. I’ll keep you all up to date with how everything goes!
I joined Netgalley this week, which – for those of you who don’t know – is a website where publishers and indie authors post their upcoming books and bloggers, librarians, school teachers and other influencers can request e-ARCs (electronic advanced reader copies) to read and review or decide whether to stock it on release. I applied for a couple of books and quickly received polite rejection emails, so I googled how to get accepted and found lots of advice for improving my profile and increasing my chances of getting the books I want. I downloaded a couple of the Read Now books, which are books that everyone is automatically accepted for, to give my feedback on and start building my profile up. Hopefully, before long I’ll be getting exciting ARCs like some of the fabulous, established bloggers I follow.
I also signed up to the Book Depository affiliates program, which you might have seen if you’ve read any of my recent reviews. This is a scheme where I share links to the Book Depository website for any books I mention in a blog post, and if any of you click through and decide to buy it I can earn 5% commission. It doesn’t affect my reviews, they’re still completely my own opinions and I’m not being paid to share them, or even encouraged to read and review particular books. So nothing will change around here except that you can now click on a book title and buy the book and support my blog at the same time!
I also started posting my reviews on Goodreads, and shared another YouTube video of an Illumicrate unboxing, and I plan to make more videos, so let me know what kinds of BookTube videos you love in the comments!
And I joined Bookstagram, but I haven’t posted any photos yet as all my books are currently packed ready for the move! I’d love it if you popped across to Instagram and followed my new account, it’s @lyndleloo_books and I’ll post my first bookstagram photo soon…
In a couple of days, Camp Nano begins (I’m also moving house, but that’s a whole other story) and I’ll be starting to write the first draft of a completely new WIP, tentatively called Cockle Shells and Silver Bells. It’s a YA magical realism reimagining of The Secret Garden, which I can’t stop thinking about and I’m hoping will be really fun to write! Since finishing The Fair Queen and handing it over to beta readers last month I’ve been desperate to start something new, but I’ve taken my time in planning and outlining my new WIP so that I’ll have everything pretty much in order by July 1st for Camp.
I’ve set my target at 35k, which is the most I’ve ever achieved during Nano, so fingers crossed I’ll at least achieve that, but with the aforementioned house move I’m not too sure. At the end of the day, words are words, and any achievement is a success, so I’m not too worried. Wish me luck!
I’ve been thinking about moving this blog over to a new domain and hosting, but I’m not exactly sure how it all works so I’ve been putting it off until now. I’m planning to make the move in a few months, once I’m all settled in my new house and everything is back to normal, so I’ll keep you all posted when the time comes. It shouldn’t affect how you see my blog, I’ll be sticking with WordPress, just moving to the self-hosted version, so I should still appear in the Reader, etc.
If you have any tips for moving from WordPress.com to WordPress.org, leave them in the comments please!
It’s been a whirlwind ten months, what with starting and growing this blog, finishing my first novel and preparing to enter a pitch competition, discovering and taking part in two (soon to be three) NaNoWriMos, joining BookTube and Bookstagram, and everything else that’s gone on at home and work, but I wouldn’t change a single thing. I’m enjoying being a part of the online bookish community so much, you’re such a crazy, sweet and fun bunch and I love reading all your posts and chatting with you in the comments and on Twitter. I’ve definitely found where I belong, and I’m looking forward to many years of being a part of this amazing community and getting to know you all better!
Thanks for reading, and being a part of my little blogging world 🙂