I love Fridays for lots of reasons, but mostly because if it’s Friday, it’s time for Featured Blogger Friday. Today’s featured blogger is a really delightful lady, and a fellow West Aussie, Rebecca Newman. Welcome Rebecca!
Firstly, why do you blog?
I blog at Soup Blog because there’s so much material that I can’t fit into an issue of the magazine (like book events and writing workshops kids would be interested in) and what I can’t fit in the magazine goes on the blog instead. Plus some extra stuff that wouldn’t go in the magazine anyway!
I started blogging at Boobook because on Soup Blog I’m limited to posting material suitable for primary school aged kids (in keeping with the magazine’s readership). Sometimes I’d read a great YA book, or toddler picture book, or even a grown ups’ book (a rare thing for me these days!) and I couldn’t post about them on Soup Blog because they aren’t relevant (or appropriate) for the blog’s audience. So I started Boobook for myself. I’m still experimenting a bit there and pottering about.
What do you blog about?
Soup Blog: I post Q&As with children’s authors and illustrators, additional material to complement what’s in an issue of Alphabet Soup, book reviews/recommendations, Australian book-related events for kids like writing workshops, book launches, writing competitions, meet-the-author, book signings, writers festival kids’ events etc, and of course I do some promotion for each upcoming issue of Alphabet Soup magazine and for our latest writing/cover design competitions.
Boobook: I blog about all sorts of bits and pieces. Books by my bed, poetry week, what I’m working on with writing or the magazine, things that make me laugh, sometimes a bit about what I’m doing with my kids. (When I was little and we were moving house, my mum labelled the box of stuff from my second desk drawer ‘TERRIBLE MISC.’. Boobook is a bit like that.) It does tend to have a bookish flavour to it, because I’m passionate about books, words and language and that creeps in everywhere!
Who is your target readership?
Soup Blog: the main readership is children aged 6 to 12. But I know that there are primary school teachers and parents who read it too. I’ve recently added an ‘activities’ page on the blog with activities and a music listening list to go with the theme of the latest issue of the magazine, and that’s really aimed at the parents and teachers. But the blog posts are always aimed at the kids.
Boobook: people who are a bit like me. Parents and writers and readers who love boxes containing terrible misc, books (especially kidlit), and going to the library a lot. (But Boobook hasn’t been going long, so I’m not sure who is actually reading it yet.)
How often do you blog?
Soup Blog: about twice a week. But it can be daily when there’s a blog tour going.
Boobook: it’s a bit irregular at the moment. Maybe twice a month,
How much time do you devote to blogging?
It varies. About two hours a week for Soup Blog, unless there’s a blog tour when I have to write lots of posts, or compile lots of other people’s posts and photographs in preparation—those odd weeks might take up to 5 hours that week, depending on the length of the blog tour.
I don’t blog as often at Boobook—about ½ an hour every now and again! I am very busy with the magazine and my family, so personal blogging ends up lower on the priority list.
Do you have a favourite blog post?
On Soup Blog I loved this one.
I received a pile of letters from Palymra primary school students about a visit to see Narelle Oliver and what they thought of her books. (They were very enthusiastic.) We couldn’t print them all in the magazine, so these were some that we posted to the blog.
What do you see as the benefits of blogging?
It good for raising the magazine’s profile because I have three young kids at home and I can’t travel much. It has also been a fantastic way of meeting authors and illustrators and helping to promote them, too.
What blogging platform do you use and why?
I use WordPress for both. I didn’t know much about blogging platforms when I decided to start Soup Blog. I had heard of WordPress and Blogger … and, well, WordPress had ‘word’ in its name. (I probably shouldn’t admit that that swayed me.) But I like it—it’s fairly easy for a novice blogger to use. (Though I have just discovered that the free version won’t allow me to upload sound files. I was a bit sad about that.)
Do you have a favourite blog to visit (other than your own)?
My favourites are:
The Book Chook posts about literacy and includes posts combining technology and literacy. It’s a great resource for parents and teachers.
Hey Teenager of the Year Steph Bowe is a 16 year old writer with a novel coming out in September 2010. She often posts book reviews and interviews and great writing tips.
Eglantine’s Cake author Penni Russon’s blog. I love the way she writes, especially about her family.
(Disclaimer: The Book Chook—Susan Stephenson—has a writing tips column in Alphabet Soup magazine. But I was a fan of her blog even before she started doing that!)
Lastly, when you are not blogging, what else do you do?
I am a mum with three kids under 8 and I edit and publish children’s literary magazine, Alphabet Soup. I read a lot and I write a lot too, though not as much as I’d like to. Someday I’d like to have a picture book published.
Thanks for letting me visit, Sally!
Rebecca Newman is the Publisher and Managing Editor of children’s literary magazine, Alphabet Soup.
Thanks for visiting Rebecca. It’s been great to get to know you!