Tag Archive | blogging

Back in the saddle again, for April AtoZ Challenge!

logo of April AtoZ blog challenge 2016Yes, I waffle about doing this every year.
No, I haven’t given up recommending books.
Maybe the outside forces that consumed the last few months of my life have abated… maybe.

I have been reading during all the time away from home, tossing aside the almost-good books and saving the gems for y’all.

So I’m using the April AtoZ Challenge to jumpstart BooksYALove again (that’s me at #1532), even though AtoZ shares its month with the gigantic Texas Library Association annual conference and all its presentations, author signings, and previews of upcoming books.

Every April day but Sundays will have a new BooksYALove post on the alphabetic track = April 1st is A, April 2nd is B, etc. And my theme is [drumroll,please!] the Books That Almost Got Away… the really good ones that you might have overlooked in past months when the shiny, super-hyped bestsellers took up so much book-talk space.

See you on April 1st with the first of 26 stellar reads that you won’t want to miss!

And, yes, you still have time to sign up your own blog for April AtoZ Challenge – over 1,500 bloggers strong!

We did it! Blogathon2015 is in the books

clipart of Fireworks by rduris from OpenClipArt.org

Fireworks by rduris via https://openclipart.org/detail/167949/firework-ns

If you are reading this, that means that I conquered the Blogathon2015 challenge and posted every day in June! [cue the fireworks!]

And it means that I’m smackdab in the middle of the International Association of School Librarianship‘s annual conference. This year IASL2015 is in lovely Maastricht, Netherlands (near the borders of Belgium and Germany), so I hope to post pictures here soon.

It also means that I am leading a workshop today on IASL’s GiggleIT Project for global student writing through school libraries. If you know/are a librarian or teacher, check out this fun and free way for your students to share their personal knowledge and sense of humor with the world: GiggleIT Project.

See y’all soon, and thanks for enjoying Blogathon2015 along with me!

Almost to the Blogathon 2015 finish line!

FLX blogathon2015 logoI did it!

Blogathon2015 ends today!

Thirty posts in thirty days, despite technology problems (happens during every blog challenge), being away from home for half the month, and all the just plain crazy things that get in the way when there’s a deadline looming.

Thanks to the folks at Freelance Success for shepherding me and my blogging buddies through June!

And now, back to our regularly scheduled programming – but with a break, so I can enjoy the IASL2015 conference in Maastricht, Netherlands!

Thanks for visiting BooksYALove – grab a great book and read, read, read!

A beautiful Dutch bookstore beckons in former church

Photo of Domincaen Bookstore in Maastricht, NetherlandsLarge or small,
New or old,
A bookstore or library can take you anywhere.

Greetings from the Dominicaen Bookstore in Maastricht, Netherlands – named one of the world’s loveliest bookstores by Architectural Digest!

What’s your favorite bookshop?

Slowdown Sunday with wordcloud – visual learners, unite!

A favorite Blogathon activity is creating a wordcloud based on your blog.

The more often that a word appears in your chosen text, the larger it appears in your wordcloud.

I’ve used Wordle and other tools, but have the most fun with the shapes and ‘spin color’ options on Tagxedo.

Here’s how Tagxedo “sees” BooksYALove posts over the past few weeks:

BooksYALove 2015 Tagxedo wordcloud in LOVE shapeHave you wordclouded lately?

Haiku for you

booksyalove-blogheader-31.pngThree cheers for theme days!
Hooray for Haiku Day!

Yes, we Blogathonners love playing with that 5-7-5 syllabic pattern, especially when a poem gets us that much closer to our goal of blogging every single day of June!

Again, a blank page.
Desperation? Reflection?
Poetry saves us.

My Blogathon haikus from past years are here and here and here and even here.

Do you haiku?

Blogging tools – accessibility edition

clipart of eye with global map by cam morris at OpenClipart.org

“Eye Can See the World” by cam morris https://openclipart.org/detail/65845/eye-can-see-the-world

Interesting – check.
Timely – yes.
Understandable to everyone – maybe?

As a blogger or website owner, whether you just dash off a quick daily note or craft a series of longer posts, do you ever think about

…readers with visual impairments being able “see” your images?

…people with color-blindness easily navigating your blog?

To help you reduce potential barriers for your readership, check out some free assessment tools and adopt simple practices for your blog.

For every image, photo, or video on your page, include an alt-text description. This allows screen readers to say aloud what it is. For instance, I use book covers from publishers in almost every BooksYALove post, so I always include alt-text like “book cover of Cool Book by Great Author published by Fancy Publisher” – which also gets picked up by search engines.

Be sure to bookmark and refer to the checklists on the Website Accessibility Project’s site so that you can institute the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines recommended changes one at a time (and monitor how they affect your site for viewers). The very first one is providing text descriptions for non-text elements.

Read a brief background on color-blindness and web design here, then use some of the free online tools listed by Sitepoint here to check your site. Good color contrast when a website is greyscaled also helps older readers better distinguish things there.

Free and easy ways to help more people read what you’ve worked so hard to write!
What accessibility tips do you recommend?

Hello, Blogathon!

sketch of book on computer screen by boxfordlibrary on openclipart.org

image courtesy of boxfordlibrary at https://openclipart.org/detail/174651/book-on-monitor

If it’s June, then it’s time for Freelance Success/WordCount Blogathon!

I’ll be posting every day in June to build up my blogging muscles and help clear out my to-be-reviewed bookshelf. On Thursdays, I’ll highlight the new pair of free audiobooks for download, a great service of @AudiobookSYNC.

We should have some theme days (gotta do haiku and word clouds, as in years past!), and I hope to have a guest reviewer or two who’ll share their no-spoilers recommendation of outstanding young adult books that you might have missed.

If you’re interested in writing a guest post, please give me a buzz at Katy@BooksYALove.com.

Happy June and happy reading, y’all!

Is it Blogathon yet? Blog strong – every day of June!

sketch of paper wrapped inkpen by Vinsche from OpenClipArt.org

image courtesy of Vinsche https://openclipart.org/detail/148327/paperpen

Is it June yet?
Can you haiku?
Wanna wordcloud?

Long-time BooksYALove readers (or any who show up this time of year) will recall that the WordCount Blogathon in May 2010 was the impetus for starting this book recommendation site. I set up my first Blogger site on April 30, then leapt into blogging on May 1, buoyed by how-to-do-this guidance from Michelle Rafter, some theme days to give structure to the month (31 whole days to fill!), and even guest posts.

Now, for my 6th year participating, I give big thanks in advance to Jeannie Phillips and the Freelance Success crew who are once again leading this supportive and enriching blogging experience, following Michelle’s lead.

If you want to build up your blogging muscles by posting every day of June (your choice of subject, of course), be sure to sign up by May 31 here, then reply to the email that Jeannie sends you. Also, like the 2015 Freelance Success/Wordcount Blogathon Facebook page where participants will share blog post links, find new blogs to follow, and seek guest bloggers.

It’s free!
Participants who post every day of June can win prizes!
And you’ll love the theme days, camaraderie, new followers, and sense of accomplishment that participating in this blog challenge brings.

C’mon over! Sign up here and blog along with us!


AprilAtoZ 2015 Challenge is in the books!

graphic of April AtoZ blog challenge 2015 calendarI did it!
26 new books recommended in 26 days this April!
AprilA2Z Challenge 2015 is complete!

Was it worth all the effort? Let’s look at the numbers: Google Analytics says that my April readership was up 15% from March. Hooray! My Akismet site stats give a more detailed picture, showing a huge increase during first week of April, with lower numbers for the rest of the month, but page view total still about 20% above March 2015.

Of course, the opportunity (with deadlines!) to move 26 books from my “to be reviewed” shelf to the “y’all must read this & here’s why” files of BooksYALove is probably the main reason that I jump in to April AtoZ Challenge each year.

I might not have gotten to visit as many fellow participants’ blogs during the past month as I’ would have liked, since April also brings the Texas Library Association conference, but I will be visiting others during May and beyond because I do enjoy finding new ones to enjoy throughout the year.

A huge thank-you to the A2Z organizers who take time away from their own blogging to set up the challenge, visit participants’ blogs, retweet our #AprilA2Z tweets, and give us all a boost.

So, will I be posting 6 days a week from now on? No way! I plan to post frequently, with book birthday Tuesdays and audiobook Thursdays guaranteed, plus 1-2 more recommendations weekly.

You’ll definitely want to stay tuned to BooksYALove this summer, as SYNC and Audiofile Magazine once again will provide 2 FREE young adult audiobooks for you to download each week from May 7 through August 13. I’ll post direct links to each pair on Thursdays, starting next week; you can also sign up for reminders on the SYNC site here.

If you subscribe to BooksYALove by email or RSS feed, please do come over to the site occasionally and comment so that I know you’re out there! I don’t think that the site stats or Google stats can measure your smiles, trips to the library, or visits to your favorite bookstore resulting from my recommendations.

So many more great books coming up in the weeks and months ahead!
Let me know what you’ll be reading.