My name is Lori and I have a blog problem. No, seriously—I blog because I’m addicted. If I don’t blog, I get cranky!
There used to be a time when I never really understood the blog thing. Imagine that! It was when blogs first started. For some reason, it seemed so selfish to me and just a way for people to take advantage of their fifteen minutes of fame. Times have changed and I think blogs are an amazing tool. Blogs have become a wealth of information. There are blogs on everything from writing to books to parenting to marketing. And that’s why I blog—to gather and share information.
There is so much to learn about writing for children, the ins and outs of publishing, and all of the amazing books that are available. I find blogging helps me stay on top of the latest news. It forces me to read books I normally wouldn’t pick up in a bookstore, and it allows me to network with so many awesome people across the internet.
What do you blog about?
I blog about everything related to children’s literature. You’ll find reading recommendations and reviews from board books to young adult, author interviews, writing tips and articles, and children’s book news and events. There’s so much stuff to share, I usually have to remind myself to spread good news about my own writing and books!
Who is your target readership?
My target readership is writers, parents, and librarians. Basically anyone who has a love for children’s books, is looking for some new selections, and wants to strengthen children’s literacy.
How often do you blog?
As I stated earlier, I’m addicted. I usually blog every Monday through Friday. Fridays are dedicated to Fish for a Free Book. It’s a weekly meme that lists all of the free children’s book giveaways across the web. I invite anyone hosting a children’s- young adult book-related giveaway, sponsoring a giveaway, or anyone who has just found a really awesome giveaway to stop by and share the link. I don’t know about you, but I just love the word FREE. There are so many giveaways out there, I find this is a great way to find them and discover new blogs that offer giveaways.
How much time do you devote to blogging?
Way too much. I tell myself everyday that I need to cut down, but I always find myself blogging the same amount. I usually dedicate about a half hour to each post, sometimes more. It all depends on what the post is about.
Do you have a favourite blog post?
My favorite blog posts are author interviews. In a previous life, I used to be a TV producer and loved doing face to face interviews. Since I made the leap to become a full time freelance writer and children’s book author, my blog still gives me the opportunity to conduct interviews. There’s just something about learning an author’s path to publication, where they got the inspiration for their book, and what makes them tick.
It’s so hard to pick just one, but a recent interview I did was with debut author and fellow Indie-Debut member, Danika Dinsmore. Danika accidentally became a novelist and has such an interesting path to publication. Hearing about an author’s struggles, perseverance, and writing tips can be extremely helpful for a writer.
What do you see as the benefits of blogging?
It might be easier to list the negatives of blogging. There are so many benefits—
1. Gathering/ sharing information
4. Creating a platform
5. Keeping up with a daily writing schedule
and one of my favorites as a book blogger…
6. Receiving books for review. I love getting books to review because I’m often introduced to titles I normally wouldn’t pick up in a bookstore.
What blogging platform do you use and why?
I used Blogger when I was first starting out, and found it extremely easy to use. The interface was easy to understand, it was easy to change templates, and simple to post. However, as I learned more about html, I made the switch to a self-hosted WordPress site. I was lucky to find The WordPress Chick who helped me with the design, and I haven’t turned back since. I LOVE wordpress and highly recommend it.
I still use Blogger for my sports blog (http://sportsbooksforkidsandteens.blogspot.com) and the Indie-Debut 2010 group blog (http://indiedebut2010.blogspot.com), but if I had to choose, it would be WordPress all the way!
Do you have a favourite blog to visit (other than your own)?
Sally Murphy’s Writing for Children Blog, of course!
I visit a lot of blogs. For book reviews, I especially love Jen Robinson’s Book Page . For fun interesting tidbits, I love Elizabeth Dulemba’s blog . And you’ll often find me hanging out at the blog of my critique partner, Donna McDine—Write What Inspires You!
Lastly, when you are not blogging, what else do you do?
When I’m not blogging, I’m usually writing, chasing around my two boys, and chugging as much coffee as any one person can consume!