The Book Blog Makeover

There comes a time when change is needed. Not only for the purpose of keeping up with the year / decade / century but also because change is a much-needed process we all have to go through. The change I´m talking about is a personal change. It´s actually a first world problem if you don´t see it from my point of view.

Bah. My blog needs a makeover. It´s boring the shippy dippy out of me. White with white and maybe a contrast speck here and a nuance darker there. It´s driving me bananas, to be honest.

Although, I picked the theme and the colors because I thought everything together represented me to the T. I don´t have much color in my life ( this is not a metaphor for some deep-rooted issue I have. I mean- I might have a deep-rooted issue but I´m waiting to deal with that when I´m 80+ years old ). When I say I don´t have much color in my life I´m telling you that there is literally not much color around me. Like, at all. Every color is subtle. It´s either black, gray or white for me.

I´m either a brooding emo or the sun is shining out from my behind. That´s how you can imagine what my house looks like.

So, to give my blog a makeover is somewhat difficult. What should I do? What colors do I pick? What about feathers, arrows, antlers, flowers? Should I go for something bold and sophisticated or maybe add something girly like hearts and… more hearts? Glitter and rainbows? How about unicorns? Do I even go for something trendy or stick with something timeless? I´m not even sure why I´m putting so much thought into this subject.

Pardon the overly dramatic gif. I felt a dramatic moment creep up but it´s gone now.


So, I´ve decided to go age appropriate with a nice feminine touch. I´ve also decided, the theme and colors are staying… for now. I can´t stomach too much change at once that´s why I´m going to ease my way into this blog makeover at a snail’s pace.

Some of you might have already noticed the changes. Some of you probably haven´t. What a great way to enlighten you now!

Alas…. I present… the mini blog makeover in progress.


The Rating Stars

A disliked system to rate books ( so I´ve noticed and been told ) but I love it and can´t imagine my reviews without them. Star ratings make my life easier and hopefully other lives as well.


5 stars


5 stars


Book Synopsis & My Thoughts

This is something I feel that is important to add to reviews because…. Well, what´s the point of a review if I don´t share my thoughts, am I right?   So, to highlight the synopsis and my thoughts I decided to separate them and add a nice graphic to help readers understand which is what ( because you just never know who get´s confused, you know?)


synopsis 2



synopsis single



The Signature

This is just a fun feature I decided to include because typing my name on the bottom of every post looked a tad sad and dull. Not sure if my name looks all too spiffy in a graphic, either, but it definitely lightens up the picture.

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Another change some of you may have noticed would be my added  `Before & After Review feature. This is a whole new kind of review world for me and it´s fun. Time consuming but still a joy. To reread older books and write what I thought 10 years ago and compare that to my 10 years later opinion.

before and after


Also, I thought it would be a little helpful to stick to a short, 4 day, weekly theme to not overwhelm myself or get confused ( because, old lady here, remember? )


Monday – Mug Monday & Bookish Talk

Tuesday – Review Day

Wednesday – Meme / personal book related discoveries, fun stuff

Thursday – Discussion posts / rants

Friday – Optional for tags or other extremely fun stuff

Saturday – Day off

Sunday – Day off

On the first of every month I´ll upload a Reading List and every last day of each month I´ll admit my failure of reaching my reading goals for the month.


So, this is going to be a taking baby steps changing process. Hopefully before 2018 ends I´ll have the blog makeover done and ready. Oh, and…. I went for the feathers and flowers ( in case you haven´t noticed ).


Thank you all so much for reading my overly exciting blog post about my insignificant blog decoration issues. It means the world to me that you even stopped to look.


Until next time, my dear bookish Padawans,

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Self Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing: Part One

To self publish or not to self publish.

That´s something I never had to ask myself because I´m not a writer, but many others have undoubtedly asked themselves if they should dive into self publishing or not.

Writers from all literature corners have, at some point, thought of the idea of publishing their own work, whether through traditional publishing or through self-publishing.

Both routes are fully acceptable these days, but before any writer choses a path to take they should definitely have a closer look at the pro´s and con´s of both traditional publishing and self publishing. Let´s do a quick breakdown to show the differences between the two and include pros and cons for both traditional publishing and self publishing:

Pros for Traditional Publishing

  • Marketing
  • Reach a wide audience, more exposure
  • Publishing houses often offer a financial advance
  • Publishing houses take care of edits, covers, etc.

Cons for Traditional Publishing

  • A writer hardly ( if at all, depending on the publisher) has a say ( in all areas)
  • Marketing runs at a snail’s pace
  • Royalty rates suck
  • It´s hard to get out of a contract

So basically, a writer´s hands are bound.


Pros for Self Publishing

  • You call the shots. You´re your own boss.
  • Publication is almost instantly
  • Royalty rates are higher
  • No rejections ( other than maybe from readers)

Cons for Self Publishing

  • No professional book polish ( no editing, no suitable cover image)
  • You have to do major self marketing
  • Potential for publishing a shitty book
  • Literally, anyone can self publish

It all comes down to having all the freedom in the world but also investing an outrageous amount of time doing self promotion because.. since you´re your own boss you have to do every stinking thing yourself.

If I was in a writer´s position I would definitely go with the traditional route. But that´s just me. Since I´m not a writer it´s not important what I would do, right?

A simple fact is: It´s hard getting a deal with a publishing house and it´s easy as hell to self publish.

Doing business with hundreds of self published writers did reveal an awful lot, but what the years of observation have shown was that many self published authors struggle.

And the struggle is real.

Some authors don´t know how to market themselves or they find it extremely difficult.

Why is that?

Well, for one… most writers who go into self publishing and want to make a name for themselves know that they´re going to have to deal with marketing but they don´t know how hard it is.

Imagine you wrote a book and you set your mind of self publishing. Great. But what steps need to be done?

Is your book edited? If not, it should be. You don´t want to sell crap and no one wants to spend money on crap. A harsh truth alot of self published author´s don´t want to hear.

Is the book cover image eye-catchy and is the quality of the image good? If not, you might want to invest some money and get something that´ll make a reader want to buy your book. Many readers judge a book by it´s cover. ( read my article on book covers )

Once your book is properly looked over and the cover ( incl. the quality) is ready you still need readers.

Do you have fans? Without fans you have little to no sales. And without fans you have no one but yourself and maybe your mother to spread the word about your book.

Your book can be a genius piece of written art or a possible world-wide bestseller but that´s worth crap if you don´t have any readers.

You need a plan. A large one.

From what I´ve been able to learn was that self published authors NEED to interact with people. There´s no way around it. Writers must use the tools they´re given and start interacting with all sorts of people in order to get the marketing ball rolling.

Social media is the best place for that. Millions of book lovers hang around Facebook, Twitter & Co. and are dying to get their hands on a new book. Befriending authors is also a step in the right direction because other, more accomplished self published authors have the know-how and can help with fulfilling a dream of becoming a known writer. Contacting book blogs is another way. Us foot folk know how to spread the word in an effective way.

It sounds so easy. But then again- everything seems easy in theory. Contacting strangers is not always easy. It´s acutally awkward.

„Hey, we don´t know each other but I have a book and ( after a full-blown social media investigation) I know you like to read… So, do you wanna read my book?“

Yes. That´s awkward but with a little more tact there is a high chance of gaining potential readers that way.

When a writer has to do their own marketing that means nothing other than having to sell their own product. In this case, it´s their book. Selling a product involves having to interact with people.

A nightmare for introverts or moody artists.

Another thing most self published authors forget is that self marketing never stops. It´s a constant, never-ending cycle. Once the self marketing slows down or stops then that´s it. Everything else stops too.

It also doesn´t stop at the interacting, either. There´s a whole lot more to self marketing than a writer´s eye can meet. Writers need to become creative and find ways to keep the ball rolling. This can be done with simple posts of teasers from their book or maybe a graphic quote or possibly through another author promoting a new writer. Something that engages other people. There are ways to make self marketing fun and slightly easier but the key is: interaction.

It also can´t hurt to mention how much time self published writers need to invest on self marketing. Yes. Many writers would appreciate a day with more than 24 hours.

The reality of self publishing is completely different from what people might think. It´s not just going on some self publishing platform and uploading a story with over 60.000 words and calling it a day.

Of course, writers who chose the traditional path and get taken under the wings of a publishing house have it bit easier. They don´t have to worry about self marketing because that´s included in their package. All the fun( insert sarcasm) with having to deal with emotional stress, interacting with strangers and working on spreading the word falls in the hands of competent people who know how to work the book mill. It might not always be what the writer had planned but it´s one less thing to worry about.

Self publishing is hard work and we´ve only just scratched the surface of how hard and frustrating self publishing can really be. The only advice I can give to writers who are unsure of which publishing path to take is: Collect as much info as possible and weigh your options. See what works best.

Because if we´re honest- not everyone is capable of marketing themselves or their work. Not everyone is a social bunny. But if a writer wants to self publish then there´s no way around having to do some self marketing. But when someone is good at marketing themselves then self publishing can be a joy and fun all around.

Coming next: Self Published Authors, Part Two: Book Pricing