Becoming A Bilingual Book Blogger

English. French. German. Spanish.

 

The languages I speak fluently. I guess this can be blamed on the fact that I live here, in Germany. How I would love to blame this on ( what I lovingly nicknamed to be ) the “European curse”. Everything´s so multicultural here that it´s impossible to speak just one language. It´s not the curse, though. I´m a cultural mutt who happens to have a knack for speaking languages.

“You should become a translator!”, they said when I first started applying for jobs. Back then, I couldn´t have thought of anything more boring than translating. Now, I kind of regret not having gone that route. To be able to speak four languages does have its perks. It comes in handy when going on vacation, watching TV shows in OT, etc. But with perks also come downfalls: Out of the four languages, I´ve only mastered the art of writing in two. English ( which is my native language ) and Spanish. German and French? Not so much, if at all. So, that´s my personal burden. This explains why I only blog in English – Why I only read English written books.

Just recently, I started to dabble into German romances. Never, not even in my wildest dreams, did I believe I´d pick up a romance written by a German romance author. I mean, why would I? The language is hard enough as it is to speak. Reading a German romance novel would take me months, or so I thought.

Since I´ve been spending lots of time in bookstores lately ( gotta support your local bookstore ) I´ve been noticing lots of new romance releases by German authors squished in between translated novels by American writers. Which is great for German readers. It´s nice to see the niche branching out over here and not just in the U.S and U.K.

 

German romance writers are stepping up their game.

 

It was only a matter of time before I´d stop before one of the German romance titles. One thing I´ve noticed was:  German romance novels definitely know how to grab someone´s attention with their covers. Bright colors and great contrasts with fun elements ( glitter, metallics, prints ). Personally, I feel like the Germans have visual book marketing down to a T. You can´t walk past a beautiful book cover (s).

I began to think. What if I started to read a German romance novel? But then a little voice inside my head reminded me that I´d only be reading a German book, not reading & reviewing it. Because I´m a total disaster when it comes to writing anything in German. The book blogger in me wants to review everything I read, though. It´s become a second nature for me to give feedback. How weird would it feel to only read and not review, especially for a new release?

So, I asked my husband. He´s German. He´d be able to help me with my feedback, right? “I think I want to write reviews in German.”, I started. The look on his face said more than he did. “Please, don´t.”, was his reply. I couldn´t help but laugh at his horrified expression. “I´m serious. I think it wouldn´t hurt to try. Maybe you can spell-check my reviews before I upload them.” 

After a short, panicked discussion ( hubby was panicking, not me ) he agreed to help me out. We agreed on one German book review per month. That´s more than acceptable for me. If I´m honest, I don´t think I´d be capable of doing more.

So, that´s it. The start of a new chapter in my book blogging career. A new challenge. I can officially call myself a bilingual book blogger now. Even if the majority of my book reviews will be in English, I´ll have one German review each month to offer.

Do I have any doubts about my new blog feature? Kind of, yes. I´m normally a confident person. I´m nowhere near confident when I even think about writing in a different language, though. Maybe what I´m feeling isn´t self-doubt. Maybe it´s just a weird sense of excitement for the unknown. Something like being nervous in a positive way. Who knows what´ll happen. I might end up filing for a divorce after the first review. Perhaps I´ll slay the German review thing. Whatever will happen, I´ll be prepared.

 


 

What about you? Do you speak more than one language? If so, which ones do you speak? Do you blog in a different language? Let´s chat. ❤


 

Thank you so much for reading this blog post. I hope you enjoyed.

Share the book love,

Morgana

 

Spam Box Treasures: Part 8

You know, I find spam comments really hilarious. They just make my day, week, month, year. As of late, my spam comments have become more interesting. Some are starting to make sense.

 

 

We´re not talking about the majority of my spam comments, though. I still have a good amount of weird things in my comment box. Wanna see?

 

 


 

#1   I need a p.c. to power the message house. 

 

spam 17

 

 

#2   What thing?!

 

spam 16

 

 

#3   Well, I watch the news on TV. 

 

spam 15

 

 

#4   Dear John, 

Thanks for everything. 

spam 14

 

 

 

#5   Frank, you started out great but now I think you´re either drunk or confused.

 

spam 13

 


 

That´s it for this month´s spam box treasures. I hope you enjoyed reading these as much as I did.

 

Feel hugged. Share the book love ❤

Sending out lots of virtual chocolates,

 

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Sorry, I Won´t Buy Your Paperback.

It´s time to take off my ever understanding book blogger glasses and become the everyday reader. The consumer. The poor sucker who doesn´t earn enough money to afford all the physical books I´d like to have. Well, that´s not entirely true. I could, but, you know… Life and all that.

 

Isn´t that who we all are?

Just normal book-loving people who want to read? 

 

To be honest, I don´t necessarily want to take my book blogger glasses off. By doing so I´d have to be the rational person I am. The one who weighs out options and often has to say no. Because more often than not- Many things deserve a big fat no.

It´s common knowledge that authors are starving artists. Everyone knows this whether they care about it or not. And this is where the problem lies:

 

  • The people who care are often the ones who have a lot more insight into what it means to be an author. We know. We understand. We try to support this artistry.
  • The people who don´t care lack the background info or just flat out don´t give a hoot for whatever reason.

 

Many either belong to one or the other. I belong to both except…

Today, I´m going to be the one who´ll turn two blind eyes towards everything I know about struggling artists/authors because I can´t be anyone else regarding this topic. Because it involves my wallet.

 

Self-published book prices. 

 

Now, I´m the type of book blogger who´s chosen to remove all sorts of easy book access ( ARCs, betas, review considerations ) from my book blogging life because I want to support authors by purchasing their books. Their physical books. I´ll consider an ebook purchase if there´s no other way but will otherwise avoid ebook editions. What can I say? I´m a paperback girl.

I know books aren´t always cheap. Reading is an expensive past time activity.

But this… This takes the cake.

 

 

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You´ll have to excuse me for not wanting to shit all over the author. It´s not the name I dislike- It´s the price I´m allergic to.  16.23 Euros for a 370-page paperback?

And this book is the first book in a trilogy. This means that price ( give or take a few cents ) x 3.  I´d be spending somewhere around 50 Euros ( $ 55.00 or 43 GBP ) for 3 books.

 

No. 

 

At this point, I don´t even want to think about the author because I´m a normal Amazon shopper. I´m disappointed that the price is considered to be okay enough to demand. And without my ever understanding book blogging glasses, I´d even go so far and say this is rude.

This is another reason why many readers pick Kindle editions- Because they´re the cheaper option. Which isn´t horrible, by any means. This just means readers can´t afford printed books. Well, no wonder. If they weren´t able to afford them before they sure as Hell won´t be able to afford them now.

I´ve spoken with a few book bloggers about this topic and many said the majority of the self-published authors they´re in contact with are saddened that their printed editions are never purchased. I have a wild guess as to why that is.

Sadly, after having seen this shocking price, I began noticing so many other over-priced printed novels by other self-published authors.

As an everyday consumer, I find it difficult to accept this. A novel written by a novelist who´s demanding almost hardcover prices for a self-published work.

 

Now, for the sake of saving my own ass, I´m going to slip my book blogger glasses back on and see this from a kinder perspective.

Authors are struggling. They´re trying to turn their hobby/passion into a full-time profession that´ll pay the bills. I´ve spoken to many self-publishing authors and have felt their pains to want to make their dreams come to life. The struggle is real in this over-crowded literary world. There´s more at stake than just book sales. It´s also about making a name for themselves. It´s about growing a fanbase. It´s making sure they stay relevant so their dreams can carry them for as long as possible. Their dreams are just as important as anyone else´s. All the sweat, time and love invested in their carefully written stories has to be paid. Their efforts should be paid. I will support authors. I will help any way I´m able to and if that means I´d help more by purchasing their work then I will do that. All within reason.

But… ( removing my book blogger glasses again ), not like this. Not by asking for an unusual amount of money from a reader.

 

Sorry, I won´t buy your paperback.

 

The price is a little over the top. 16. 23 Euros for a paperback is definitely unreasonable for me. The same goes for any other overpriced self-published paperback.

 

Authors need to earn money. I need to save money. 

 

There´s no doubt that there are readers ( especially fans of authors ) who stand behind a self-publishing author´s price choice. They´ll justify the high amount by telling everyone else that “Their ( an author´s ) time is worth money. Authors are artists and books are written art.” 

Which is true. But does this mean I´m chopped liver?  It´s not about the art a person has unleashed upon us peasants. It´s about what they want for their work- money.

Of course, I could just ignore all this and go straight for the Kindle edition. But I won´t. Because I´m a paperback girl.

 

 

So, where does this leave me? If an author wants to be compensated for their hard work and I refuse to buy their overpriced book then I guess there won´t be any progress on either side. I, the stink normal consumer, can absolutely live with that.

 

On a kind note: Should anyone feel it´s okay to invest in overpriced books then by all means- You have my blessings.

 

I´d also like to add that whatever type of reader you are: You´re fine. I won´t judge you for wanting to support an author nor will I judge you if you couldn´t care less about an author. I understand both sides and find each is acceptable.

 


 

What about you? What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you have a book price limit? What´s an acceptable book price for you? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤

 


 

As always, thank you for reading my blog post. I hope you enjoyed.

 

XO´s

Morgana

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My First Official Book Blogger Meet-Up

I thought I´d never see the day come when I´d willingly go to a book blogger meet-up. Yet, here I am- having survived what I´d call `Therapy For Book Bloggers`. Ha, just kidding.

 

 

So, yeah, I went to one of those meet-ups. As in- I actually squeezed my derriére in a pair of long-forgotten & unloved jeans and left the comfort of my four walls. Because I was invited. And what do you do when someone asks you to grace their party with your presence? You go.

Usually, when people talk about book blogger get-togethers, all I hear about is how nice they were.

“I had a really nice time.” Is what I get to hear. Now, for me, that statement can mean a lot of things. `Nice` could be the little sister of shit, for all I know.  It could be a genuine response though, as well. Who knows. I was never apart of any book blogger meet-up before.

There´s one reason why I never joined any book blogger evenings. I live in Germany. This country isn´t exactly known for being a book blogger hotspot. I´m sure there are tons of book bloggers here but they´re not as widely spread or make themselves known.

Besides- Me, an older American speaking book blogger fossil who blogs in English about romance novels? Most book bloggers I know are 20-something innovative spring chickens who aren´t dying to spend time with a 37-year-old. Mainly because I´m… old.

 

 

Well, someone I know thought it was a good idea to have me at a book blogger get-together. So, I went. And what happened was far more awesome than I could´ve ever imagined.

  1. Eight book bloggers, myself included. I only knew one person and she was the one who dragged me to the party. All 7 book bloggers blogged about different genres, which was such a relief to know. As I later found out, the others were just as relieved. I was the only romance book blogger.
  2. Book bloggers usually have the reputation of being introverts. Shy, quiet, always reading. The bunch I met with were far from introverted. Jesus Christ and his twelve buddies… I was surrounded by a group of bookish extroverts and I loved every minute of it.
  3. I wasn´t the oldest or the youngest of the bunch. Normally, large age differences don´t bother me. You can always find some common ground with a person. There´s only a problem when a large age gap shows. And this time I was terrified. I mean- I´ll meet with younger book bloggers but 7 of them? What if they´re all still in school? Conversation material will most likely run out quickly since there´s only so much you can talk about ( unless someone is willing to hear about the horrors of adulthood/parenthood and gardening ). This doesn´t mean I think less of younger people. I´m just saying that at some point, an age difference can´t be ignored.  Thankfully, the group I met with was between 29-42 years old. I felt comfortable instead of feeling like a group mother.
  4.  Book talk. We spent quite a lot of time talking about genres and our favorite books. We discussed reviews and discussion posts, stats and followers. The things that mean something to book bloggers. We talked about how we could improve ourselves, our blogs and the community. This happened during dinner.

 

Well, guess what? The minute dinner was over I thought our meet-up was done. It wasn´t. I quickly found out that dinner was only preparation for what was to come- Bar hopping. I had to call the husbutt and tell him there was a good chance the night would have an open end.

To make a long story short: It was 5 a.m when I called my brother to pick me up. He wasn´t happy. But I was ( since he was the only one who picked up his phone at stupid o´clock).

 

 

Where does the book blogger therapy fit into all this? Well, as the drinks kept flowing, the mouths became looser than they already were. The 7 became chattier, myself included. All of a sudden we all complained about nasty comments and crappy books. We developed strategies during cocktail hour on how to eliminate self-proclaimed book editors who cause more damage to self-published authors than not.

Through all the hours spent partying with the book blogger gang I realized a few things:

 

  • German book bloggers are full of surprises ( bookish and non-bookish)
  • Book blogger problems seem to be universal
  • Book bloggers need to meet more often
  • Replacing cocktail names with book titles is GENIUS

 

It´s one thing to vent to your significant other/your parents/your pet. I mean, that works too if no one else is around. Venting online is also good. But to have someone in front of you who actually knows what you´re talking about is something else. I highly recommend book blogger get-togethers because they´re not only fun and informative, they´re also great for your mind´s peace.

One book blogger mentioned a wonderful idea for a blog post and I immediately asked if I could use her idea. I vowed to give credit ( since credit needs to be given ). Her answer:

“Who hurt you?! Girl, you don´t need my permission nor do you need to give credit. We´re only brainstorming. Take the idea. Tweak it, mold it, throw it in the washer and see what happens. Just text me when you upload the blog post.”

 

My reaction.

 

 

That was just one tiny tidbit from the conversations we had. I was also able to take some great advice home to use for my blog.

 

  • Your blog is a reflection of yourself. 
  • If you have an idea get it out there. Don´t waste time overthinking it.
  • You´ll only make others happy if you change your content to avoid hate.
  • Book blog like there´s no tomorrow. 

 

So, yes. I had an awesome time. And yes, I´d gladly participate in another book blogger meet-up, especially with the group I met up with.


 

What about you? Have you been to a book blogger meet-up before? Do you prefer smaller or larger groups to meet? Or would you rather skip the whole thing and stay at home? Let me know in the comments below. Would love to chat. ❤ 

 

As always- Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope you enjoyed.

Share the book love, y´all.

Many hugs,

Morgana

 

The Book Blog Changes

So it begins…

 

I´ve had a good few weeks to prepare for this moment. Many hours of brainstorming were invested into this pimp-my-book-blog project. Now, I think I´m happy with the end results.

Thanks to the harsh critique I received from close friends regarding my blog ( which can be read in my It´s Time For A Book Blog Change blog post ) I was able to see why I was not feeling my online baby. Even if I didn´t like most of the critique that was thrown at me I still understood each point and decided to sit down and think about my blog´s future.

As much as I appreciated the feedback… not everything I was advised to change truly needed a makeover. Which made this somehow a more difficult project than it would´ve been if I were to start from scratch.

Here´s a quick rundown on what the professionals thought needed improvement:

  • everything ( including my blog name ) except my blog content

What a way to kill a book blogger´s mood. So, I began thinking about my blog structure. Since I won´t be changing my blog name I figured I could rethink my setup. The features I currently have are:

Monday:  Mug Monday

Tuesday:  Book Reviews

Wednesday: Discussion Topics

Thursday: Simply Book Covers

Friday: Random

This isn´t a popular book blog schedule as many of the most used themes done by other book bloggers aren´t included ( and probably never will be, but more on that in a future post )

I think uploading five times a week is a lot so I´ve decided to remove a few days. This not only gives me more room for spontaneous posts but also allows more time for research ( should I need to do my homework on certain topics ). Without further ado, my new upload dates will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The goal here is not to become overwhelmed by my hobby and to not spam the hell out of everyone.

Good to know is that whatever I deem worthy of uploading on my blog- There will always be a book involved just to keep the connection with the book blog. This means there won´t ever be a post that doesn´t show or at least mention a book.

So without any delay… The new uploading days ( with their touched up features/themes ) will be:

Monday – Mug Feature with either a book-related topic and/or hot beverage & book talk, and/or mentionable stand-out line from a book.

Wednesday – Book reviews. This day will be dedicated to standalone reviews, collective reviews and DNF´d reads. Also, I´ll include a review in a foreign language once a month.

Friday – Book Discussions & Book Findings.

I know. This doesn´t seem like anything ground-breaking. But as I said… This is a touch-up. A rearrangement that fits my schedule a little better. I can preschedule posts better and spread these out more. This, in turn, also gives me more time.

Of course, there will be uploading exceptions every now and again in the future. I´m planning on doing some more Bookstagram recreations and even including book blogger interviews before each major holiday.

Another critique point was the Bitmoji images I´ve been including, with the addition of my self-made graphics. * takes deep breaths * I was told they´re shit. As in shittier than shit. If you want to see me curl up in the fetus position and watch me cry my eyes out just tell me the hours I spent creating banners have been for nothing. Okay. Critique noted. This is why I contacted a photographer friend of mine to help me out a little.

Let´s all bid the Bitmoji´s and self-made banners a farewell and welcome creative book photography ( not the Instagram kind ). I´ll admit that this is the weirdest change for me because these new images that are supposed to represent my book blog will have my face on them. Not every picture but a few for sure. I figured that not many book bloggers like to expose themselves this way so I might as well stand out. If my book blog is going to be judged for its appearance then I might as well expose the face behind it all and have that judged, too.

Now for the blog appearance. I was told that white is the way to go. Simple layouts that offer easy readability. Nothing too flashy. Nothing too dark. Personally, I don´t think I can get things to be simpler than they already are on my blog. So, my layout will remain. The white will stay. The only thing I´ll do is rearrange the menu and clean up the sidebar.

My greatest goal for my “new” book blog is to be as transparent as possible. Aside from spilling a little bookish Tea, I´d love for my book blog posts to help others.

With all this having been said- I think I´m good to go for now. I´m liking the changes I´ve made so far ( they all look fab on paper ). I´m excited to see how they´ll be received. Should all go downhill for whatever reason I can still go back to the same old, right?

Here´s to changes!

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. I hope you enjoyed. Get in touch!

Warm book blogger hugs,

Morgana