Monday, March 30, 2015

How I Make My Bookish Rounds Posts

This might not be a topic a lot of people are interested in, but one of the most frequently asked questions on my bookish rounds posts is 'how do you do it?' Sometimes, it's rhetorical, like how do I find the time and energy to make such long posts full of MG/YA/NA publishing news, cover reveals, discussion posts, etc. But sometimes, I think that people are very earnest and would like to know how I've gathered my links and kept up with the news. Asti once explained how she created her very popular Bookish Games feature. I figured that I might do something similar.

I'll split this up by the same sections I do for Bookish Rounds.

Publishing/Discussion/Movie/TV show News:

  • The single most important element of gathering all the links for bookish rounds posts is knowing which twitter accounts to follow. Probably the most helpful for publishing news, at least, is Children's Bookshelf run by Publisher's Weekly. For discussion, I know that I can always count on the teen blog for Barnes & Noble to have recommendations to post; or Epic Reads to have a Book Nerds Problem video or a discussion post or one of their lovely infographics designed to promote YA books first and their HC books second. So, essentially, I've made a list of accounts that I go through on Tuesdays to find the appropriate posts. Publishers, agents, bloggers, etc. Some accounts are more helpful than others, like Epic Reads, whereas another publisher might just be promoting their books alone. Sometimes that helps; I'll get book trailers, interviews, excerpts; but sometimes I'll get book sale deals, like X and X is $2.99 on Kindle, which is an extraneous tweet not related to my doing the bookish rounds. If I'm doing just a week's worth of news, this link round-up can take anywhere from 2-5 hours. The accounts are all good for different things, though.
  • Publishers also tend to post when their books have been optioned for film, so that helps me gather movie / tv show news. Sometimes Children's Bookshelf will even mention if a book is being optioned or on the table for optioning. They do "movie spotlights" as well. The two main accounts for movie/tv show news that I used to follow heavily were Page to Premiere and YA Hollywood. YA Hollywood is a little difficult to follow because they cover EVERYTHING YA, not just the adaptations. So some tweets follow people like Shailene Woodley and what films she'll be in next, but truthfully I don't really care about the individual actors; for bookish rounds posts, I like to cover news on the adaptations alone. So, Page to Premiere is ideal, except recently they've been posting a lot more quotes and other material, so I've just been taking to looking at the official accounts of the bigger movies, like Paper Towns and Insurgent. They'll have trailers, stills, etc. just the same.
  • As for book blogger discussions, I've given up on using Feedly. It did allow me to organize things for a time -- discussions and cover reveals -- but then I wanted to include more blogs in my discussion section but then my Feedly just became overrun with blogs and so hard to follow. Now I've a Google Doc titled "Discussion." In there I have an already made format of blogger names and their blogs, and so I click the links and search for a discussion post within that week. If I've linked to it previously, I won't link to it again. If it's about something like writing, I probably won't link to it. It's hard choosing what to link to and what not to -- I'm probably inconsistent within my own internal rules for this but oh well. So, essentially, it's like: "** Christina at Christina Reads YA:" I copy and paste all the bullet points like this so that I can edit freely and leave my template untouched. The negative to this is that I've got to add more blogs. Some bloggers have quit, and I just haven't had the time yet to rearrange which blogs are there. There's over 100 blogs, and convincing myself to add more is a little tiresome, considering that linking to blogger discussions posts takes about 1-2 hours (in addition to the other link round-ups, cover reveals, etc.).
  • Well, I've sort of given up on Feedly. Sometimes, if I'm in the mood, I'll look through Feedly for a few giveaway posts. Mostly, though, I've just kept the same bloggers there. Lori of Pure Imagination has "Saturday Situation" each week and bloggers get to link their giveaways there, so why not keep posting that? Why not link to Children's Publishing, which has a giveaway every week? YABC Central, giveaways each month. Most of the time, I'm not in the mood, so I don't actively search for giveaways, so I leave that section least edited.
Cover Reveals:
  • In the earlier days of these posts, I used to do Google searches. "Young adult cover reveals" or "new adult cover reveals" and I would limit the search frame to within the last week. Sometimes it helped, some major covers were revealed across many, many blogs. But there were over ten pages of results for those searches, and sometimes the reveals were repetitive across blogs, and this method was primarily good for catching self-published cover reveals. Some of the covers were so ugly! (No, I don't think all self-pub covers are ugly. Not at all). And given that this just added extra time onto an already labor intensive post, I ended up cutting off this method. It wasn't giving me the major cover reveals, the ones from the big publishing houses that I figured y'all were most interested in. Sometimes, though, I do something similar. I search "cover reveals" on twitter. The good thing about this search is that twitter will a.) tell you when that tweet happened (no need for a filter like with google) and b.) twitter tells you which of the people you follow are following the person who tweeted the cover. If someone like a publicist is following the tweeter, there's a good chance that cover reveal is more legit than the ones from someone who has no common followers with you.
  • This is when it's good to be on Pinterest. There are a lot of awesome pinners I follow who do a good job finding cover reveals too: Mery Snz, Cat at Addicted to Heroines, P. Blanca Flores, Sana at Artsy MusingsKatherine Skye, Petra Poet, and more. Should some of those stop pinning, I could look into the people who I see pinning from me again and again - I'm sure they have boards dedicated to cover reveals as well. Actually I'm pretty sure that in general I could be A LOT better about following cover reveals. For instance, when I see pins from amazon, immediately I start to question that pin. Amazon seems well known for revealing covers ahead of time and thus partially ruining planned cover reveals - so at that point, I wonder, is that pinner on Amazon that often, or do they have alert for when Amazon's added new covers? The same thing has happened with Goodreads. I see covers that haven't really been revealed yet or just don't have HUGE posts about their reveals, and they're pinned, and I think that there must be a section in Goodreads Librarian edits where you can see if someone has added covers. I haven't investigated either of these theories mostly because I don't really care and/or want to spend the extra effort. As of now, bookish rounds posts have about 25 - 70 covers per week. Maybe I'll miss a few cover reveals. Who's really counting?
  • To mitigate the number of cover reveals that I miss, I check other features dedicated to cover reveals: on Thursdays, Cover Snark, and Sundays, YA Interrobang.  Most often for Cover Snark, this is MG titles because I'm not very active about following twitter accounts related to MG content. For YA titles, YA Interrobang sometimes gets a couple I've missed. The total time for cover reveals is probably 2 - 3 hours. For the actual post, it's maybe only 1 - 2 hours writing up the titles and getting Goodreads links and saving the covers to my computer and arranging the covers in PicMonkey, but then I'm on Pinterest often, "liking" pins for future investigation (are these cover reveals "MG/YA/NA" or are they erotica/adult literary/etc.?), and I have to add an hour for that alone.
"Other" section:
  • Initially this section was just meant as a section for me to share my blog's posts this week. My reviews, you know. Doesn't a bookish rounds post seem to you like a newsletter? It seemed appropriate that I would have a "recent recommended reads" section, something personal that made it clear that I was still here and could comment a bit on my own personal life. But then I'd also added another element.
  • It seemed fitting to add New Releases to this section. If I'm going to link to my own reviews, why not write about the books that it's likely you'll see reviews of that week? Plus reminding folks that these books are out. If I have a post of cover reveals and publishing news with promotional content, why wouldn't I also link to traditionally published YA novels (I know I say "MG" and "NA" news too, but those new releases... I've considered adding but ugh all the extra work! no more adding on things!). Several bloggers track new releases with features of their own: Jen Ryland (Hot Off the Presses), Giselle (Fresh Batch), Stephanie (Hot New Titles), Stories and Sweeties (What's New), YA Interrobang (above), and more. If I were a less lazy blogger, I could also look on Goodreads for say, "March YA titles" lists. I could sort through the titles on my own each week. I could also find some pinners who keep track of new releases - some of the pinners I've already linked to do just that. Heck, even Publisher's Weekly has started to do its version of "hot off the presses." But, most of the time I rely on these other bloggers because quite simply, it's easier. Edit 01/19: *In my previous “how to” post, I listed other blogger’s features for how I keep track of new releases. Today and future posts will likely rely on the Hot Off the Press posts by Josephine at Word Revel, a fantastic blogger running an excellent series of posts.
Ah, it's good to have finally written a post like this. I've given credit to people before for their help with links and covers and the like, but I haven't done that on a larger scale like this. There are a few people who purposely do not tell you how they've gotten their information - it's a carefully kept secret for them - but I'm not going to be one of them. Y'all are free to all this information, but I doubt that you're really going to want to spend between 7-10+ hours per week on creating a post like this (and more so when I would make book byte videos :O!). It takes determination and a lot of effort. I don't care if you know my methods, and I know that other people who do variations on book news or news round-ups do only "chunks" to reduce the amount of time required. If you do choose to follow any of the tips here for that, I would definitely advise that method.

Are you surprised by my methods? Do you have any more efficient ones that you follow yourself? Are you considering keeping up with new releases, movie news, etc. on your own? Do you have any suggestions for improvement or things you'd like me to add to bookish rounds posts?

Let me know!


  1. It's really interesting to see how you gather information! I always love your Bookish Rounds post(I don't often comment on them because most of the time I don't really feel like I have anything to say, but I always appreciate them). It's kinda surprising to me that twitter is so useful as far as bookish news goes, but then publishers/authors do tend to post news there, so that does make sense--just not something I would have thought about.

  2. I've seen a lot of people changing from Bloglovin to Feedly but I don't think I will be one of them. There's just too much changing going on and I hate change. LoL Plus, I like that I can group the blogs I follow. I currently have them all lumped together because it will be a lot of work to do so but I would like to organize the blogs I follow a little better on there. It's so easy to get overwhelmed when scrolling though a list of hundreds of other blogs.

  3. This is pretty awesome. I've always wondered how you found all this stuff. I've been having a similar issue with my Book Deals posts. It's become a lot easier with the advent of BookBub, Book Gorilla, and all those, but I also end up doing a LOT of searching on my own. (Did you know that Amazon doesn't let you skip to a page in results? I had to click SO MANY times to get to the right kind of results.) So if you have tips on that, I'd love to know.


    Sarcasm & Lemons

  4. Wow! I love your bookish rounds posts and I appreciate them even more now that I know all of the work that goes into them. I honestly do not think that you will have trouble with someone stealing your idea. Not many bloggers are that motivated (even myself). I make my own posts once a month with a roundup of ebook deals, and I find that hard enough to keep up with.

  5. I am amazed at the time you spend to this post! It is one of my favorites on the blogsphere!

  6. I've always wondered just how you do it and now that you've revealed all, I know the answer is with a LOT of hard work! You go to great lengths but it does create a fantastic bookish news post.

  7. I've definitely wondered how you get all of the information that you do…I'm just amazed and it's awesome! ~Pam

  8. It's okay if you don't comment! I can tell people are definitely visiting and there's so much information that it might be overwhelming and hard to comment.

    Twitter is *so* helpful. Publishers and authors update the most there, honestly. More so than their own sites, which makes me wonder if twitter x books is going to be the next big thing.

  9. Hahah, I'm not good at change either. You can group blogs you follow in Feedly too :). I have some lists (author blogs vs. book bloggers, etc.), but I think it's just overwhelming for me to see; I always feel TOO BEHIND when I look at Feedly. I'm glad Bloglovin works well for you though :)

  10. Oh, gosh, I have absolutely no advice with book deals posts. I have never searched for any sort of book deals/price changes, and wasn't really aware of the discounts until I'd started making these bookish rounds posts. Sorry I can't be more helpful!

  11. Thanks, Tessa! Ha, I don't mind if people go out and post news. It's not really stealing an idea - there are honestly very few "original" ideas. It's always (to me) a difference in the level of work and a tone or attitude shift. I have a hard time motivating myself to do a lot of different things blogging wise, so I understand what you mean.

  12. Thanks, Trish! I do put in a lot of work, and I'm glad that there are people who care enough to read through a post like this or other bookish rounds.

  13. Thanks, Pam! I'm glad you enjoy these posts!

  14. You are amazing for doing all this work and I always appreciate your bookish rounds :) I love to find new discussion posts or visit the ones I missed in my busy Bloglovin' feed. You are so efficient and I admire the system you use :)!

  15. Thanks, Mel! I doubt the efficient comment since I would've had my bookish rounds up right now if I was truly efficient, ha, but oh well. Thanks anyway ;).


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