Aug 31, 2015

August Wrap-Up

Hi bookworms! This is Jillian!

August has come to its end, and I literally cannot process the fact that it's September already! Which means only 3 months left before Christmas. WHAT. (Alright, let's not think about that now.) Anyway, I just want to thank you all for making August a great one for us at Chasing Faerytales! It was a great blogging month here.

I'm not sure if August was a "great month" to me personally, but it was A-okay. Here are some stuff that happened to the both of us:


WHAT WE READ


Mishma

I had a horrible reading slump this month. Which sucked because I had so much time as it's my holidays. But I diverted my attention to blogging and was able to get a lot of blogging stuff done. so yay for me!

Books Read

Reawakened by Colleen Houck
Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
The Archived by Victoria Schwab
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E.Schwab
Highlander Most Wanted by Maya Banks
The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley

Currently Reading

A Step Toward Falling by Cammie McGovern

Jillian

Remember when I said that I would read more this August? Well, I was wrong! I thought I could do it, but I am leaning towards a reading slump at the moment because of school and stress. But let's see if September could do better! (It should.) The book I read this month:

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Currently Reading: The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak // El Filibusterismo by Jose Rizal (for school)


WHAT WE POSTED


The Reviews



The Discussions

Mishma posted an amazing post about blogging drama and accusations

Others


The Event

Learnt It The Hard Way was amazing, guys! Mishma and I are really proud that it went out successful because we literally didn't expect so much people to support it. Thank you all so much! I won't be linking all the previous guest posts here, but check out our Learnt It The Hard Way recap post!

(Here's a random photo of a bunny in a tea cup, by the way!)


AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE





Larissa from YA Midnight Reads bids farewell to the blog and the blogosphere 
(I AM SO SAD.)


(Well, hello there Julia Anne and Mishma!)

Kayla shares with us her August TBR

Shannon introduces the Shattering Stigmas event
(Kudos to Kayla and Inge, who also host this amazing event.)


BOOKISH AND BLOGGING COMMUNITY NEWS


1. The Learnt It The Hard Way monthly twitter chat: Since the second twitter chat has become a huge success, Mishma and I have decided to do the twitter chat on a monthly basis from now on! Exact date and time will be posted soon. If you want an alert of when the twitter chats would start, tweet either of us, yeah? 

2. Queen of Shadows will be released tomorrow: I repeat -- QUEEN OF SHADOWS WILL BE RELEASED TOMORROW. Which of you would be buying a copy? I'm currently searching for Heir of Fire, so I don't think I'd be reading this in September. Tell me how it went (to those who've read the ARC).

3. "A Series of Unfortunate Events" by Lemony Snicket will be a Netflix show: Because more people need to be satisfied, right? Good for you, Netflix. Now it's time for you to start being available in my country so I can watch the show soon. (*cry* please?) Read about it HERE.


PERSONALLY, OUR AUGUST...


Mishma

1. Holidays! I didn't do any socializing and practically woke up to twitter, blogged and read all day and went to sleep again with twitter. I know, I have a super active social life! But holidays are coming to an end, and I am super sad about that. I am not ready for Advanced Levels!

2. I got my first batch of physical ARCs! So many of them came in the same month, and I was super excited! I received Reawakened and Illuminae, which was a total surprise, and I also received my first batch of Harper ARCs , which were A Step Toward Falling, A Madness So Discreet and Dreamland while I also got Undaunted by Ronnie Douglas, by Harper as well, which was for a blog tour!

3.I am getting better at book photography! Or I like to think so. I am loving taking photos, and my new camera - which I named Iris - is super awesome!

4. I started co blogging at A Perfection Called Books! You guys have known this for some time, but I officially joined this month! Working with Rachel and Julia - my other co blogger - is super fun, and I am just awed by Rachel's organizing skills! Don't forget to check out my posts there as well!

5.I made an appearance in a book blog and a booktube! I guest posted at Oh the Books, and shared my checklist for a perfect villain! Check it out! I also got interviewed by Faye at her booktube account, and that means you can finally see how I look and sound like! *hides*

6. I am so excited for September! I start A/Levels officially ( I've been only doing a pre course these past three months) and I am super nervous! But excited as well! Plus, my birthday is coming! Last year's birthday was a disaster *sad face* so I am determined to make this one awesome!

Jillian

1. New friends: So my freshman year of high school was exciting, terrifying, and disappointing altogether. I went through a lot of friend drama in my group that year. Right now, there's still tension, but this year I learned to let it not get into me. I'm so happy to say I've made a few new friends now! And I learned that I'm a much happier person if I don't let the tension dig in my nerves too deep.

2. I joined a high school party: My classmates and I attended a small party at this guy's house last Saturday, and it was actually really fun! This wasn't my first, but it went better than the last one.

This is really big news to me because that means I AM SOCIALIZING. I have really bad social anxiety and I nearly suffered a panic attack because of so many people, but I overcame it AND I AM SO PROUD. I feel like I've left my comfort zone after a long while because I MET NEW PEOPLE.


3. I won my first giveaway: I finally earned my luck! Thanks to Rachel for hosting it, by the way. I'm getting signed swag from Lauren Gibaldi, author of The Night We Said Yes. ^_^



A few things about September

There might be a few changes here at Chasing Faerytales from September, and we wanted to let you guys know that!

  • We've planned to take our own photos for our post banners. We are beginner photographers, so forgive if they are not up to expectations. We'll get better, we promise!
  • There won't be monthly recaps anyway. Rather we are planning to do a bi-weekly wrap up, and there might be a few changes in the format as well.

How was your August?

Aug 30, 2015

Learnt it the Hard Way has come to an end!


Hi guys!

So, sadly, it's time to wrap up our first event at Chasing Faerytales - Learnt it the Hard Way.

When I came up with the idea for this event and made plans with Jillian, I had no idea that it will be such a big success!

Every time someone sent us a tweet saying that they loved the series of posts and twitter chats and that it was informative and helpful, we were super happy and excited!

All we wanted to do through LITHW is help bloggers, and we're glad that we've achieved our goal!

I've got to say thank you for a lot of people. Let's go one by one shall we?

Everyone who guest posted - I love all eleven of you! With the bottom of my heart:) Thank you Nova, Hazel, Ashley, Rachel, Aimee, Megan. Kat, Alexa, Faye, Kelly and April! Thanks a lot for helping us with our event by contributing with your awesome guest posts!

Everyone who took part in our twitter chats - You guys were amazing! Me and Jill thought that we'll only get the attention of 10 people, and finish the chat within the hour. But we were stumped by the amount of people who joined in! Love you all!

Jillian - My lovely co blogger! We word vomited each other in twitter DMs, and our brains started to get all muddled with the planning and scheduling but we survived! I couldn't have done this all without her, so a huge thank you to you Jill!

All of my lovely readers - The response you guys gave for the guest posts were wonderful! Some of you even asked for a repeat! We are not sure about that, but who knows? We might do another event like this in the future since we loved this round so much!

The Recap

In case you missed it, here's the complete list of guest posts we featured during LITHW!



Ashley gave a rundown of blogging platforms

Rachel shared some tips on organizing

Aimee offered some tips on how to face the consequences of negative reviews

Yours truly listed everything you need to know about discussion posts.

Megan explained the art of commenting


Kat shared some expert advice on finding your blogging style

Faye told us why co bloggers rock your socks


April shared her views on blogging superiority

Twitter Chats

We managed to have two twitter chats during the event, and you even asked for more! Jillian and I have planned to make this a monthly chat since you guys seem to love our chat a lot! Don't miss the next chat in September!

I wanted to include as much tweets as possible, but there were too many and I didn't want to spam you guys! So here are a few selected tweets.

The first chat

 Question #1

Answers






Question #2



Answers


Question #3


Answers
Question #4


Answers






Question #5





Answers




Question #6




Answers


Question #7 



Answers

Question #8


Answers



The Second Chat

Question #1


Answers
Question #3



Answers


Question #4


Answers

Question #5




Answers







By the end of the second chat, we also opened the chat for bloggers to ask their own questions. I Which we're planning to do in the future monthly chats as well!

Plus, if you need a reminder when we host our next #LITHW15 chat, let me know! I'll add you to my twitter list!


I am sorry the post was super long guys!:) But I really hope that Learnt it the Hard Way was an informative event to you all! I had such a great time putting up with this event!




Aug 28, 2015

LITHW #13 : The so called Blogger Superiority


So the fatal day has finally arrived! Today's the last day of Learnt it the Hard Way! I had so much fun with the event, and I am so sad that it's coming to an end. 

The complete wrap up of the event and the twitter chats will be up by the end of the month. Don't forget to check it out!

That being said, today we are going to tackle a topic which has always been the elephant in the room when it comes to the blogger community. Blogger Superiority.

Let's face it. We are always intimidated by popular bloggers. We hesitate to approach them. We think that it's impossible to enter their conversations.

But what do the said popular bloggers think?

So today, we have April from Good Books & Good Wine who has been part of the blogging community for 6 years, and shares her views on the so called blogger superiority.



Hello new and old reader friends - I’m April and I blog over at Good Books & Good Wine. I’ve been a book blogger since 2009. I am what you might call a geezer. It is fascinating to see the community grow and change over the years. You know that saying about how the more things change, the more they stay the same? That holds true for blogging.

When I began blogging, it was a smaller community. In some ways, I miss that tight knit feeling. There were the huge bloggers, sure. There were bloggers I was afraid to approach because they seemed like celebrities in a way. Yet, because the community was small at that point, I began to interact with those larger bloggers and they became my friends.

Sometimes I wonder if newer bloggers feel a ‘You Can’t Sit With Us’ vibe from more popular, established bloggers. I wonder if maybe people who’ve been at this as long as I have give off an air of superiority. Straight up, I am writing this post to tell you that yes indeed you can sit with us. Granted, on Wednesdays we do wear pink - but it is not a hard and fast requirement.

Sure, there are some people who think that they are better than others because they’ve got the vast audience. Those people are a very small minority. In fact, I could not name a single person who genuinely thinks that other, smaller bloggers are not worthy of their time and friendship. Maybe somebody does not respond to your tweet or comment, but before viewing that person as conceited, maybe consider that they might have something private and personal going on in their lives or are just overwhelmed.


In short — there’s enough room at the table of book advocacy and blogging for all literature lovers. Don’t be intimidated - if you think a blogger is rad - let them know. If you see someone with thousands of followers - trust they want to be your friend.

What's your opinion on blogger superiority? Do you think it exists? Or not?


Aug 26, 2015

An epic tale of history, battles and betrayals || Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman (Giveaway!!!)


Title : Legacy of Kings
Author : Eleanor Herman
Release Date: August 18th 2015
Publisher : Harlequin Teen
Synopsis:
Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.

Alexander, Macedonia’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world but finds himself drawn to newcomer Katerina, who must navigate the dark secrets of court life while hiding her own mission: kill the Queen. But Kat’s first love, Jacob, will go to unthinkable lengths to win her, even if it means competing for her heart with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince. And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet fiancée, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.

Weaving fantasy with the salacious and fascinating details of real history, New York Times bestselling author Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known: Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.



I received an ARC of this book from Harlequin Teen in exchange for a honest review.

Legacy of Kings is a book that I was practically dying to read ever since I heard about it earlier this year. I was hooked from the moment I saw that this book was a historic high fantasy which retells the life of Alexander the Great in his teenage years. As a huge addict of both history and fantasy, I was expecting to enjoy this book greatly, but what I didn't expect was that I'd be completely blown away and amazed by this gorgeously written phenomenal tale of history, vengeance, magic, betrayals, battles, destruction and overall awesomeness!


The book tells the story of teenage Alexander, who is physically deformed, and has a thirst to prove himself - in front of a nation which thinks of him as unworthy and a father who doesn't give him any chance to shine. Along with him is his best friend Heph, who hides some secrets of his own and is utterly loyal to Alex to the point of death. Then there's Alex's mother, Olympias, a power hungry and creepy woman who will go to any length to get what she wants done. Also in the palace, is Cyane, Alex's half sister who is as dangerous as she's beautiful, and doesn't hesitate to use her charm or people to achieve her goals. And then there's Kat and Jacob, two commoners who enter the palace through the same opportunity, but for different purposes. Jacob, because he wants to prove himself to be worthy of the girl he loves - Kat. And the girl in question herself, wants to avenge her mother's death by killing the queen. Away from all these people, and far across the globe is Zofia, a princess of a middle eastern country, who tries to escape her marriage to Alex and ends up in a worse situation than an arranged marriage. Legacy of Kings tells us the story of how these seven individuals' lives connect and how their deeds and desires affect themselves and one another.

I loved practically every single thing about this book. Legacy of Kings is pure perfection, and Eleanor Herman managed to deliver every single aspect I normally love in a book in a quite alluring and wonderful manner.


First of all, there's the world building. As I told above, the story revolves around history, and it also deals with quite a lot of mythology. The author has done her research, and it shows clearly in the way culture is depicted perfectly in the book - both when it comes to Greece and in Zofia's story - Persia. The book even mentioned the issues faced in these ancient cultures, such as trafficking and prostitution, and it makes you feel like you got a complete understanding of the ancient civilizations of Greece and Persia by the time you finish the book.

The writing, It's gorgeous! Eleanor's writing had all the allure that this book needed, and the way she describes things, people, situations and the back stories is so captivating. Another thing I want to mention is the POVs. You might have heard by now, that this book has seven POVs. The thing is, this book is written in 3rd person, but at the same time, since it individually tracks seven character's lives, the author gives an insight from each character frequently. If you ask me, there's no need to be intimidated by the sheer amount of POVs. I personally loved the way the book gave a chance for us to see each character's life, motives, actions and feelings. It makes you understand the story better, and the characters too, and there's a distinctive difference to each character's voice, that I guarantee that you'll never feel confused or detached at any point.


The characters. Since there's seven of them, let me talk about them, one by one.

Alex - Our hero, and probably my favourite along with Kat. I've always admired Alexander the Great as a historical figure, and I really liked reading about him in his teen years. I also loved how he had his own insecurities, which was pretty amusing, considering how great a ruler he will turn out to be in the future. He was a strategist, smart, charming and I really liked his character!

Kat - Again, I really liked her. She had a stable mind and a compassionate soul. Plus her power was really cool!

Cyane - Woah, this girl was a piece of work! I hated her. Period,

Heph - I had mixed feelings for this guy. On one hand he is such a strong character, a good friend and a loyal companion. But at the same time, he was also pretty easy to manipulate, and at a time I didn't know whether to dislike this guy or feel sorry for him.

Jacob -Poor guy. His feelings for Kat reminded me a lot of Tariq from The Wrath and the Dawn.

Olympias - Such a creepy and terrifying villain. She made me super uncomfortable, from her creepy obsession with snakes to her burning hunger for power,

Zofia - I just hope that this girl gets the happy ending she deserves. She suffers so much in this book!

There isn't much time for romance in the book. There isn't any fixed ships or relationships, but what I really loved was the fact that there was an existing sexual tension between multiple characters. No relationship, alliance and feelings should be trusted when it comes to Legacy of Kings. There is a betrayal, a deception and an inner motive, behind every character's deeds, so nothing was predictable and no one could trust another, creating a suspicious atmosphere throughout the novel.


There was also consistent action in the book. There's always something happening in the book, and let me tell you that there's never a dull moment in Legacy of Kings. The battles scenes were terrific as well, with a lot of violence, strategy and beautifully written descriptions.


Probably one of the only drawback of Lok would be that the book is so dense. It might be a little hard for you to get into the book if you aren't a huge fan of intense high fantasy. I myself loved the fact that the story was so intense, intricate and vigorous, but I do know that some of you might not appreciate that. I'd also suggest you get a physical copy of this book rather than an ebook, because trust me, reading this book as a eARC was not at all an easy task.

I'd recommend Legacy of Kings to any fan of high fantasy especially if you appreciate history and mythology added in. I'd describe this book as a YA version of Game of Thrones, and it's a sumptuous and enthralling tale that you should not miss!

That's not it! Since I loved the book so much, I wanted you guys to have a chance to read the book too!

So, Eleanor Herman - who is such a sweetheart as a person as well - is giving away a signed copy of Legacy of Kings to one lucky reader of Chasing Faerytales! 

US only.



Aug 24, 2015

LITHW #12 : How to be social in social media

Social media holds a variety of users everywhere, may they be authors, bloggers, writers, etc. And it can be pretty intimidating sometimes to approach someone through social media because often, we feel inferior or disliked by other people.

Kelly from Diva Booknerd has a say on what to do when you're online: from basic netiquette to proper behavior. Say hello!


Blogging and social media go hand in hand. It's how we engage with potential readers, friends and make new connections with like minded book lovers. It can be seen as an enormous asset, unless you're a social misfit who doesn't play well with others. And we all know one of those.

I'm probably not the best person to be sharing advice on how to be a social butterfly, I may even be the poster girl for pissing people off, but I also see a lot of shit hitting the fan on social media and it's surprising how so many of us tend to forget our social filter. It's not about being silenced, but common courtesy for others and just because you have an opinion on a whole range of topics, some things are really best left unsaid. Especially if they are liable to offend.

My social media of choice has always been Twitter, it's the quickest way to connect with other bloggers, readers, authors and publishers. There are networks and circles in which book bloggers seem to participate, but with the added bonus of being retweeted to a new audience, perhaps expanding your own in the process. Because Twitter is quickfire and only 140 characters, sometimes Tweets can be misinterpreted unless you add a stupid emoticon on the end.

So how do you succeed at Twitter? Here's a dodgy list that probably won't help you, but here goes.

  • Don't be a wanker. Using big, pretentious words makes you look like a tool. If we have to Google what the hell you're talking about, you're doing it wrong. And stop it.
  • Don't write a snarky review and Tweet it to the author. Pretty sure they won't appreciate it. And will do a background search... Rent a car...
  • If someone posts a photo of a book they've received from a publisher, and you've been dying to read said book. Don't drop your bundle and throw a tanty. Chances are they've been desperate to read it as well. Suck it up and be happy at least one of you has the chance to read it.
  • If you have an unpopular opinion, there's a reason it's unpopular. If you're hesitating whether or not to post it, the chances are it might be offensive. As in, 'adults who read young adult are pathetic'. Tweet something like that and even I'll be standing in line to cut a bitch.
  • Settle down with the hundreds of 'selfies'. Unless it's book related, with an author, a group of bloggers or an event. Most of us couldn't give a shit 
  • And that brings me to swearing. Be mindful of your audience. If you review mostly middle grade, no one wants to see the words fuck, and Percy Jackson in a sentence. 
  • Don't poke fun at others unless you and that person have a relationship away from the bright lights of social media, and both share the joke. 
  • Respect is a two way street.
  • Stop spamming. You may not be selling anything, but seeing several Tweets per hour pointing to your latest post will cause others to unfollow. And quickly. We know you're proud of your work, but give us a chance to get around to seeing it before you flood our feed with the same link over and over. The same can be said to those who link up all of their social media accounts. I've had bloggers post on Instagram, their blog and then on Bloglovin', then tweeting a link. You can't escape and personally, it makes me determined not to see whatever the hell you're trying to show everyone. 

Now what can you do to boost your profile and meet other like minded bloggers and readers?

  • Join Twitter chats. In Australia we have #PTAchat run by Penguin Teen Australia and also #OzYAChat. Both are hosted and international bloggers are welcome. It's a great introduction to not only finding awesome new reads, but connecting with others. A friendly chat is more liable to have new friends checking your blog out than pushing it in our faces. Check with your local fellow book bloggers and they'll give you the heads up what's going on in your own Twitterverse.
  • Written a fabulous review on a new favourite book? Tweet the author and the publisher, even if it's a copy you've purchased yourself. Not only will most authors engage and retweet you, but you're also potentially starting a relationship with the publisher, leading to possible ARC books later down the track.
  • Don't be afraid or intimidated by bloggers who seem 'untouchable'. The higher the popularity doesn't equate to them being an asshole. it just means that a lot of fellow bloggers relate and enjoy what they have to say. Most of the big wig bloggers love to be engaged in conversation.
  • Please unlink your social accounts, especially when they're all posting the same thing and connected to Twitter.
  • But most importantly, be yourself. Unless you're horrible, then be a better version of yourself. One we'll all like. And preferably who smells nice.
Have you got any social media tips? Pet peeves? Or just want to unload about a Twitter asshole you wish would vanish into cyber space?

Aug 23, 2015

Faerie tales recommendations with Pam @ A Writer's Tales (SBPT)



Today, we have Pam from A Writer's Tales, who's here to share some recs for readers who love faeries!

Faeries Are Awesome

As my second favorite mythical creatures (dragons are my number 1 because dragons are awesome), we thought it’d be fun to dedicate this post to faeries, also given that Mishma’s blog name :3

Faery Movie


Yes! Tinkerbell! I was in love with the world of Pixiehollow when the movie first came out. The way they explained how the seasons happened, and the little society they had, it was so pretty! I was complete mush.
It was a good take on the season thing faeries have going. Each one contributes to the job.

Faery Books

Now, the good stuff. Faery books!

THE IRON FEY, by Julie Kagawa



This was the series that introduced me to the literary world of the fey. I have never read A Midsummer Night’s Dream, but I learned a good deal about it in this book, since it’s based on those faeries. Oberon, Titania, the rulers of the Summer Court, Mab being the queen of Winter…. And then there’s Robin Goodfellow. ;) They are books so vividly described! And the character’s personalities are very well developed.

TITHE, by Holly Black


Holly Black’s Tithe is the dark take on faeries. Where the Iron Fey series’ Nevernever is deadly but refined, Tithe’s whatever-it’s-called, is so up-front violent it’s not even funny.
No, seriously, it’s not funny. It’s, however very intriguing. And not a favorite, but I really liked it because in other books, the faeries who aren’t at least 80% humanoid and fair skinned, and flawless are never in the front stage of the story (much less be the MC), and this book defies that. Green skin!

WINTERSPELL, by Claire Legrand


A retelling of The Nutcracker, involving a heck lot more faeries. Evil faeries. An evil faery queen that can build things with her evil faery magic.


My favorite thing about books featuring faeries is that they (mostly) make me connect more with nature, with all the Summer, and Winter courts drama, and how, in the case of the Iron Fey and Winterspell, it’s also portrayed the majorly techonology-dominated world we have now. Of course, the old school faeries are quite amazing too, I just prefer this other modern take on them!

I’d like to know what do you guys think about faeries! Do you even like them? Have you got other books with faeries you know about and love/hate?


Aug 21, 2015

LITHW #11: Why Co-Bloggers Rock Your Socks

Hi guys!

As much as we love blogging, and adore our respective blogs, sometimes we come to a point where we realize that we can't do it all alone. When we hit that point, the saving grace we all turn to is,
Co bloggers.

I myself, have a wonderful experience with co blogging, as I welcomed Jillian to my blog last month and joined A Perfection Called Books with Rachel and Julia from this month. So today, we have, Faye from A Social Potato is here to tell you why co bloggers rock your socks.



When I first jumpstarted my blog, I was ecstatic to finally have my own space in the huge, wide web that I can totally call my own. Imagine, in this network of a million users and websites and opinions, there was a space dedicated to my own thoughts and my words, something that only I can control, something that was 100% ME.

I'm sure a lot of you thought of that, too. The euphoria of writing your own thoughts and clicking that big button called PUBLISH, your post finally becoming available for the world to read. That giddy smile you get when you receive a comment from a reader, appreciating and acknowledging your insights. That feeling where you don't want to let go of that reign, that control, that “high”; that this special place remain yours forever.

I was like that, until it felt lonely and tiresome. Yes, these things were so validating, but I was only celebrating by myself. I had no one to feel joyful with; no one to share these blessings with, and there were times it did feel a bit pathetic going, “YAY! 100 followers!” and only having yourself to pat on the back. When the blog got bigger and bigger, the responsibilities did, too, and soon it became so exhausting having to come up with post after post when I didn't have any inspiration at all.

And so, I decided to take in two co-bloggers: Aimee and Rashika.

I never looked back since.

  1. Support system. It was amazing to finally have two other people who I could rely on. Feeling down? These two were there to comfort me. Wanting to rant about a book? These two were there to listen to me vent (I'm sorry, guys, but hey! I did listen to yours, too!). Wanting to flail about a book? These two endured my endless praises and incoherent words that resembled “ASDFGHJKL; YOU MUST READ THIS BOOK, GAIZ!” It was so reassuring knowing that whatever happened, these two had my back through thick and thin.

  2. Creativity becomes easier. It's just like what they say: “Two... ergo, three heads are better than one.” Before, it was a struggle to come up with new things to post on the blog, but when Aimee and Rashika entered the scene, it became easier and even fun! There were many nights on Google Hangouts and Skype where we just rambled on and on about the things we wanted to do.

  3. More time for yourself. With my co-bloggers, I finally had time for myself. Before, it was so tiring to catch up on posts and deadlines. I had to read book after book after book because it was necessary to put reviews at least three times a week. But now that I have Aimee and Rashika, I was able to sit back a bit and relax, because these two were there to take on the burden with me. Heck, I was even able to become a co-blogger, too, to two other book blogs!

  4. Everlasting friendship. However, at the end of the day, it's not the blog that benefits from this system the most, but yourself, because you end up creating a precious and irreplaceable friendship with other people. I swear, us three? We are a riot. We love each other so much that I actually see them as sisters already. It doesn't just become a “my blog”, it becomes an “our blog”. That change in pronouns makes all the difference.

The next time you're thinking of taking on a co-blogger, don't hesitate. Yes, it may not just be your own space anymore, at least not exclusively, but at least you'll have someone to share it with come low or high water. What have you got to lose?


Aug 19, 2015

LITHW #10 : On Hosting Blog Events

Hi guys!

We all love blog events. Read a longs, challenges, twitter chats, giveaways, new friendships - the amount of fun things they bring our way is endless! And it might be a dream to host a super successful and fun blog event for many bloggers out there, so here is a post that might give you an insight on hosting blog events.

So everyone, welcome Alexa, of Alexa Loves Books who is the host one of my favourite blog events - Book Blogger Love-a-Thon. She's here to tell you everything you need to know about hosting a blog event!



When Jill & Mishma asked me to write about hosting blog events for Learnt It the Hard Way, I was flattered. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you’ll know that I absolutely adore hosting blog events! I have done few individual events (including this year’s Book Blogger Love-a-Thon), but I really like collaborating with friends (like last year’s Fall Into Fantasy event or this year’s edition of Mabuhay!).

Events are a fun way to be even more specific about my passions, and often result in some of my most creative, most unique posts! In keeping with their theme, I thought it’d be helpful to share a few of the things I’ve learned after hosting a number of blog events on my own blog.



1. WHAT – Identify the focal point of your event. Is it about a book? A series? An author? A hobby? A theme? There are so many different event ideas that can be brought to life, and for the most part, your perspective will ensure that it’s unique to you.

2. WHO – Immediately identify whether you are flying solo, lining up contributors or working together with collaborators. It depends on how much work you want to do yourself, or can potentially be swayed by knowing other people share your passion for the “what” in the category above.

3. HOW – Here’s where the nitty gritty stuff comes in. You have to identify when the event will be held and for how long. You also have to figure out the kind of posts you’re including, create an event graphic and an official schedule. This is the bit where it’s best if you are organized, with lists and dates down somewhere and easy for you to access. It might sound like it’s a lot of work, but if you have it all properly arranged, it’ll be easier for you (and your potential collaborators or contributors).



1. Make sure you’re doing the event for the right reasons, which to me, is because you’re driven by a deep love or passion for whatever your event is about. You’ll find yourself excited about it the whole process, instead of faltering and feeling forced to do it halfway through.

2. Scheduling posts ahead of time is your friend. Seriously. You will be cool as a cucumber when the time comes for the event to play out.

3. A giveaway is not necessary for your event, though it will help bring attention to it. If you can afford to host a giveaway, then go right ahead!

4. Promotion is important, so use what social media you can to do so. You can promote events in various ways – through Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, to name a few.

5. There is a difference between spamming and promotion though.

6. Play to your strengths. If you’re not good at graphics, for example, maybe ask help or advice from other bloggers who have that as their strength.

7. If you’re requesting contributions, make sure your email about it is concise, with clear instructions and deadlines. Also, make sure that you give them ample time to send in their stuff.

8. Be sure and email your contributors when their post goes up! It’s a nice way to kill two birds with one stone, since you’ll be able to thank them and give them direct access to their guest post.

9. If you’re working with other people, be willing to listen and consider their opinions. They might have ideas that you would never have come up with on your own.

10. If you’re working with other people, definitely don’t be afraid to ask for help. That’s the beauty of collaboration – you have other people who can help you out when you’re stuck or something happens.



It is my hope that these tips and tricks will help anyone planning to host a blog event of their own, whether it’s the first time or the thirty-third. I certainly look forward to many more blog events in my future; there are a couple in the works for me this year. In case you wanted to learn more about how I do my blog events, I wrote this other post outlining my process last year

Thanks again to Jill and Mishma for inviting me to be a part of Learnt It the Hard Way – you ladies have put together an incredible event!