LINK IT UP: Giveaways and Book To Movie Adaptions


ABEA 2015 is coming to a close! :'( Well, there's always next year. Don't forget to attend our final Twitter party! Also, there will be a closing survey going live on MONDAY! Please look out for it! We would really appreciate it if you could fill it out, and help us improve ABEA for next year. Also, there will be another prize drawing for those who fill out the survey. Thank you!

Daily Reminders

Instagram Challenge:

Best and Worst Book-to-Movie Adaptions
#BestMovieAdaption or #WorstMovieAdaption
Take a picture of books with the best and/or worst movie adaptions. Or, maybe you want to take a picture of the movie? A movie poster? It's up to you! Make sure you label which one is the best and which one is the worst in the comments.

Twitter Party
Use this nifty time zone conversion tool to see when the parties will take place in your time zone!
May 30th: 5:00 PM EST
*keep in mind that the dates vary depending on time zone. Please check out the time zone converter above!


Today's Topics

Giveaways
You host the giveaway on your own site and link it up here for all our participants to come and visit. Don’t forget to give Armchair BEA a little love when advertising, but you can choose your own guidelines and deadlines.

Book to Movie Adaptions

What books do you want to be made into a movie or television show? What are some of your favorites? We'll explore more about this topic, especially what works and what doesn't.  Are there any upcoming shows or movies that you're excited for? What are your recommendations?


How To Link Up

Please use the following format when linking up:

Name @ Blog Name - Daily Topic Represented 

For example: Sally @ Armchair BEA - Middle Grade OR Sally @ Armchair BEA - Advice & YA

Please use only permalinks (links going directly to the designated post) when linking up. If you link directly to your home page, your link will be removed.

LIVE FROM BEA! 2015 - Blogger Con Panel: Tactics to Create Better Content

Thank you to Kerry for taking these notes!

My thoughts: This was billed as a "Blogging at the Next Level" panel but a lot of the info was really basic or would already be known by long-time bloggers. Also, these are notes straight from the panelists--there are some things here I'm not sure I agree with, but I've included it all!

Tactics to Creating Killer Content Fast

From Kate Rados:

  • Listen to your audience
  • Decide which pieces you want to act upon; you don't have to react to every piece of input you receive
  • Think of your space as a living beta; be prepared to be agile and responsive
  • Poll your audience--and often--to get demographic information as well as input on what readers want to see on a blog. They wanted more recommendations, so we opened our recs to non-Penguin selections.
  • Use analytics to "test the waters" on ideas and follow what has worked; i.e. images of quotes, and build out on what gets most engagement
  • Make friends with fellow bloggers and see how you van share content and collaborate.
  • See links on her Twitter profile for links to resources.



From Maura Sweeney:

  • There are no cookie cutters. Need to find what works for us. My idea for cross pollination of content is not just with individuals but with various types of media.
  • The audience is a primarily written media group, but there ideas to go beyond.
  • Do a video of your choice based on what fits your personality. Can just use your phone! So simple and you're up. Taken traditional blog and found a new group of people. Send out on Twitter and embed on your blog. Can help attract a new and diff audience.
  • Or: podcasts. Completely different demographic. I do mine on my phone in my closet. Or you can get clever, adding music etc. Find a new way to find a new angle on what you do. Reference conversations about what happened in a previous blog. Add shout-outs and quote remarks. People will share their moment of fame.
  • Create your own book club or meet up. Go to events and go around like a roving reporter and use that content as part of your podcast. Invite other voices.


From Kate Tilton:

  • Other Kate mentioned listening to your audience. As a blogger you are an author in your own right--know what you do and what your audience is interested in.
  • Twitter: connect with people and also to find new content. Ie Twitter chats. Join in events and use topics to inspire blog content. Also allows you to make connections to other bloggers.
  • Pinterest: more than just photos and a black hole for your time. Join group boards, which can act like little group boards. What are readers pinning and writing about? Embed pins in blog posts. Add visual media.
  • Contests: try to use apps for giveaways (ie rafflecopter) to save time. Cross pollinate with other bloggers.


From Nina Amir:

  • Evernote: way to clip ideas and store them for future use and inspiration. Free version has options for organization and tags.
  • Create a blog plan: most bloggers struggle with the blank screen and finding ideas. Having a plan helps you find ideas to post and helps your  readers know what to expect. I use mindforge as a mind mapping tool for this.
  • Calendar: helpful to look at a calendar and see what is scheduled and how frequently content is posted. WordPress has a plugin.
  • Templates for reviews, interviews, types of posts can help make blogging faster.
  • Create visuals: more ppl buy things off Pinterest than any other social networks. Include affiliate links. Photos are 75% of content on FB worldwide and are most engaging content on the platform. Canva, pic monkey, instaquote, tweetgram easy for creating images.
  • Scribner as a tool for blogging: organize blog posts, and learn multi-markdown language. Very simple. Write with this in Scribner and then export or compile as HTML and copy-paste into blog and it is formatted in your post--no need to spend time formatting. Can also export compiled posts as ebooks.

FEATURED GIVEAWAY: ARC Prize Packs from Quirk Books


Our next FEATURED GIVEAWAY is brought to you by the AMAZING Quirk Books.  Read on to learn more about Quirk and all their awesomeness!
Quirk Books is headquartered on a quiet cobblestone street in the historic Old City district of Philadelphia. Quirk publishes just 25 books per year and every title is a labor of love. Some of our more popular recent titles include the bestselling YA fantasy novel MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN, the Edgar Award-winning mystery THE LAST POLICEMAN, the legendary PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES, and classroom favorite WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S STAR WARS -- plus cookbooks, children’s books, art books, gag gifts, pop culture titles, and more. Our books are distributed worldwide by Penguin Random House.


Now, for the giveaway details!

Quirk is giving away Twenty Prize Packs to Armchair BEA participants!

TWENTY WINNERS will receive four (4) ARCs and a chaplet prize pack from Quirk Books.

Titles include: 
Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio(ARC)
Kid Athletes: True Tales of Childhood from Sports Legends by David Stabler(ARC)
Pop Sonnets: Shakespearean Spins on Your Favorite Songs by Erik Didriksen (ARC)
The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray: A Critical Appreciation of the World's Finest Actor by Robert Schnakenberg (ARC)
 Chaplet:  Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

To enter, simply fill out the form below.  All winners will be chosen using this one form.  The entry form is open until Monday, June 1 at 12:00 Midnight EST.  The winner will be contacted via email as well as announced here on the site once all featured giveaway winners are confirmed.  Winners will be required to confirm prize winnings within 48 hours, so be sure you are watching your email closely.

LIVE FROM BEA - Blogger Con Panel: Engaging Your Readers


Hi everyone,

Amber & Arianna from Shelf Notes here - and also from the floor of BEA 2015! We have done so much in the past few days already, but we wanted to share some wonderful items we picked up from the Blogger Conference with our readers. One of our favorite panels was Engaging Your Readers: Tips from Experienced Bloggers, and it featured Amanda Nelson from Book Riot as the moderator! The panel was made up of Kerry McHugh (Entomology of a Bookworm), Melody Scheiber (Melody & Words), and Emily Wilson (Books, the Universe, and Everything).



The group started off with one big tip from each panelist - my apologies that I didn’t take note of who said what, but I think all of the suggestions were very helpful:

  • Think about things in the media you engage with, and then apply them to your blog, put that in your own content - for instance, if you constantly find yourself reposting images, that is clearly something you enjoy, so share that love with others!
  • Social media is your friend, but it is also WORK. You can’t just slap up a social media profile and then just hope that everyone will flock to you. You do NOT need to be everywhere! Also - engage in interactions, but genuinely - don’t just say “I liked that book too, here’s MY review!” Auto-posting is also a bad practice if that is all you do (for instance, don’t have a Twitter account that is solely posting links to your blog updates - you need more content than that for people to engage).
  • Switch up the format of your blog and of your content, try new things, try new media - keep things interesting! And this panelist also reiterated that you should pursue what you are passionate about, and what you find yourself gravitating towards.
  • Try to open up conversation in your book reviews - if there are ways you can expand the conversation in your post, do so - ask questions of your readers, or write about something that might draw others on a more personal level. This speaker mentioned the type of feedback she experienced for her post about “how to become a Tolkien fan, for the reluctant” - she knew there was already a glut of posts out there already about the Lord of the Rings. This was a great, unique take on the matter, and a lot of readers connected.

From there, the panelists discussed further tips in a more open and conversational format. These included:

  • Don’t be afraid to write about books that aren’t new - feel free to post from your backlist! They are books the audience has probably already read, so maybe they will want to converse with you about them. Sure, posting about books before they are released can pull in some curious readers, but to engage readers often means shared emoting over how much you loved (or hated) a particular book.
  • Go beyond direct book reviews: a summary of the plot plus whether it was good or bad can be rather dry & boring - try to add more about why you chose the book, how you connected with it personally, etc.
  • Try to bring something “plus books” in - e.g., a review of the book and its movie, or a recipe that was inspired by the book.
  • Along those lines: “Your reading life is multifaceted” - it’s in the movies you like, the foods you eat, the hobbies you pursue, your family - so bring those things in! Think about how in your reading life, books inform your daily life choices (and vice-versa).
  • Sharing your personal experience (with a book, or even just a personal story) is going to make your blog more interesting to your readers.
  • Establishing a schedule will allow your readers to develop expectations - you can regularly post a “top 10” list on Tuesdays (like The Broke and the Bookish), for instance, and your readers will start to know they will see that content - if they engaged with it once, they may be more inclined to check out future lists!
  • Schedule posts in advance! This allows you to both pace your posting (spacing a few out over a week is ideal) and also gives you a breather so you aren’t forced to post when you don’t have content or don’t feel up to it.
  • Related: Never publish something you’re not proud of. Don’t just post because you feel as if you have to slap something up. One of the panelists offered the great “gut check” of: If this post went viral, would I be proud of it?
  • “At the end of the day, this is a hobby and we do it because we love it. But when it stops being fun, it stops being engaging for you and it stops being engaging for your readers. If you are not interested in what you are writing, why would anyone else be?”
  • Make friends! Go out there and meet other bloggers (online or at places like blogger conferences).
  • Reply to your comments! Don’t let them fall through the cracks or get pushed to the back burner - make a point to show that you are reading them and acknowledge that the commenters want to engage with you. (You can use a tool like Disqus to make comment management easier.)
  • TinyLetter was suggested as a tool for creating very accessible mailing lists.
  • Think about having a comment policy. One blogger found that introducing one allowed readers who had once been lurkers to feel more comfortable leaving comments because they knew they would be more protected from trolls or other aggressive behaviors. This is your blog, and you can make the rules about what stays and what goes.
  • Feeling burnt out from blogging? Take a break! Just make sure you let your readers know you will be back. They want to know you are a human being just like they are, and they will understand that you have a life outside of your blog. In fact, they might appreciate knowing you are multifaceted!
And last but certainly not least:

  • If you are only on the channels where the book lovers are, that is great but remember you might be missing out on the opportunity to engage with people outside of that realm.

LIVE FROM BEA: Author Signatures


Hi everyone! This is ShelfNotes (Amber & Arianna) live from Book Expo America, finally getting a break to give Armchair a little love. We hope things have been going great for you at home and we're excited to share some of our adventures. I was wondering what we should share with you (especially based on the feedback from last year), it seemed to me that we needed to do a little something more for those of you at home. What could we bring you that you don't already know or have heard/seen? We had a mini meeting on our Brooklyn Air B&B rooftop and thought, 'Hey, maybe some people would like to see some of the Autographs! We hope you'll enjoy this and we have enough variety to cover all genres/bases.








Tomorrow look out for two Author interviews from Candlewick Press, Maggie Thrash who is coming out with a very unique graphic novel called "Honor Girl" and Pat Schmatz coming out with a very original book called "Lizard Radio". Both of these books will be giveaways during Armchair and we have a nice giveaway surprise from Maggie Thrash for a lucky reader. We can't wait to share this with you.

LINK IT UP: Character Chatter and Blogging Q & A

Today, we're talking about characters and blogging! Make sure you also check out our Twitter party and Instagram challenge. Did you enjoy the party yesterday? :)

Daily Reminders

Instagram Challenge

Character quotes
#CharacterQuotes
Take a picture of your favorite character quotes, or make one with beautiful typography apps!

Diverse book covers
#DiversityinBookCovers
What book covers are the most diverse to you? Which exemplify diversity? Snap a picture or a screenshot and share!

Twitter Party
Use this nifty time zone conversion tool to see when the parties will take place in your time zone!
May 29th: 10:00 AM EST
*keep in mind that the dates vary depending on time zone. Please check out the time zone converter above!



Today's Topics
Character Chatter
It's time to give your favorite characters some love! Characters are essential to a story, and they can make or break a book for some readers. Now's your chance to shine the spotlight on your favorite characters, or maybe your least favorite. Who's your favorite couple? What are the components of a well written character? What are you favorite or least favorite cliches associated with characters?

Blogging Q&A

Blogging 101. All kinds of tips and tricks to get you started or keep you going. Talk about ARCs, reviewing in general, web design, etc.  What blogging platform do you use? How do you network? What are some of your favorite web designs?  Or maybe you want to talk about your own blogging journey, and how you got to where you are now. Either way, we want you to share your knowledge with the rest of the community!

How To Link Up

Please use the following format when linking up:

Name @ Blog Name - Daily Topic Represented 

For example: Sally @ Armchair BEA - Middle Grade OR Sally @ Armchair BEA - Advice & YA

Please use only permalinks (links going directly to the designated post) when linking up. If you link directly to your home page, your link will be removed.

FEATURED GIVEAWAY: All the ebooks from Pen Name Publishing and French Press Bookworks


Our first FEATURED GIVEAWAY this year is brought to you by Pen Name Publishing and their imprint French Press Books – Wait until you see what they are giving away!

Pen Name Publishing Header

Pen Name Publishing is an award winning boutique publisher looking for bold stories by bold voices. We are the current recipient of the Silver eLit Award for excellence in digital publishing and design for our work on Peter Monn's "The Before Now and After Then."

Founded in 2014, we continue to push the boundaries in seeking diverse books and diverse authors. In addition to Pen Name Publishing, we have started a new imprint - French Press Bookworks - that seeks to work with authors on a one to one level. Each author is treated independently and their royalties are based on the amount of work needed to successfully complete the book, with authors taking up to 80%. Through both imprints, our main goal is to service authors they way they should be treated and make sure they always come first. We believe in building a writing community and advancing the literary world from all sides.


Now, for the giveaway details!

ONE WINNER will receive a Grand Prize that includes ebooks of ALL THE TITLES available from Pen Name Publishing and their imprint French Press Bookworks

a SECOND WINNER will receive an autographed copy of their choice from the Pen Name Publishing/ French Press Bookworks listings and a personal note from the author. 

Here are just a few of the books/ options:

Coins In The Coffee Cup    The Before Now and After Then
When Love's Knot Enough  I, Peter Wood   




To enter, simply fill out the form below.  All winners will be chosen using this one form.  The entry form is open until Monday, June 1 at 12:00 Midnight EST.  The winner will be contacted via email as well as announced here on the site once all featured giveaway winners are confirmed.  Winners will be required to confirm prize winnings within 48 hours, so be sure you are watching your email closely.