Google+ YA Romantics: I Want Your Opinion

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I Want Your Opinion

When bloggers come together to get stuff done!

Bloggiesta coincides (roughly) with my 6 month blogoversary *throws confetti*

So it seems like a good time to evaluate how things are going!

I'd love your feedback. Here are my questions. If you have any thoughts, I'd love to hear them, either in comments or you can email me!



  • Do you find this blog easy to read, both in terms of the font, color scheme, and layout? Can you find things easily?
  • Do I give you the right amount of information in reviews -- enough to make up your mind, but not too much? Are my reviews too long?
  • I don't do a star system. Every book I feature on the blog is, in my opinion,  a 3 1/2 to 5 star book that is worth your time -- if it's your kind of book.  Which is what I hope my reviews help you to figure out. But ... would it be helpful to you if I singled out books that I put on my Keeper Shelf? Or are you happy with the way things are? 
  • I get so confused about when books come out. I'm thinking of doing a weekly feature highlighting great books releasing that week. Would you be interested in that, or not?
  • Would you like it if my reviews included links to other reviews of the same book? Or links to other similar books?
  • I added the "mature content" info on the request of a reader, but I'm finding it hard to keep track of that stuff as I read. I get to the end of a book and think, "Was there swearing?" Is this feature important to you?
  • What's your favorite thing about the blog, the one thing you don't want me to change?
Thanks for your help -- you guys are the greatest!  And remember, commenting enters you in my April contest. If you email, I'll count that too!

28 comments:

  1. Yes, I can read everything fine. I'm not sure on rating systems. I think I'm about to start one myself. I've noticed that if my google reader is overflowing, I tend to just skim posts and those who have a very unique rating system will usually catch my eye. Those end up becoming the blogs I comment on most frequently. I like your keeper shelf idea though.

    It's so confusing figuring out when things are coming out! I would be interested in highlight posts! I love the anticipation of upcoming books, so I don't think I'll ever be overwhelmed with posts like that.

    I don't mind if you link to other reviews, but I probably won't click on them unless they are relevant... if the review of another blogger is the reason you picked up your book, or you are referencing one of your own past reviews, etc.

    As for mature content... I'm 25 and I read a lot of "edgy" books anyway. It might be nice to mention if something was gratuitous, or unexpected.

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  2. Steph, thanks SO much for the feedback. Your point about skimming is such a good one. I do the same thing. Still thinking about a way to give info quickly for those who skim while still offering more detail to those who read.

    On the mature content, that's where I come out. I think I'm going to switch to the way my reviews were before -- if a book has content that seems out of the norm for YA, I'll mention it. I just feel like there are other sites that do this better than I do.

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  3. I like the grays and the font - gentle on eyes. And it loaded fine - which surprised me. Most high-graphic sites take an annoying time. Looks good! I don't know much more than this first impression. LOOKS NICE.

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  4. I think your blog is nice and easy to read. It's easy to find things and not cluttered. (I need to de-clutter mine) I don't think a star system is necessary. Your reviews say how you feel about the book, that's good enough for me. I don't care either way about the mature content label, but I also don't mind reading books like that. Keep up the good work hon!

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    1. The clutter does tend to pile up, just like at home LOL.
      I love your blog too!

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  5. The font is perfect in terms of color and boldness. It's easy to find on the page as well as your layout. I've found while buttons can be fun, they are very distracting! I try not to add any buttons to mine, even if it's for blog giveaways etc. It distracts the readers eye and if there's too many my eyes get all cross eyed! I try to keep mine to a minimum and am constantly "cleaning" them out and getting rid of things I don't absolutely need!

    As far as reviews go I think it just varies by each review. Yes, I do think you give enough enough. Your reviews are some of the few that I read the whole way through! I've recently started switching up my reviews. I no longer include an over view of the book. It's pointless and wastes my readers time! I include the synopsis so my OWN over view is pointless. I will include something only if it isn't mentioned on the synopsis and I think it's important. I have personally been changing all of my reviews up this past month to short 3 or 4 paragraph ones, and including more or myself and my personality into them. I think that will set me apart from others. And like Steph, my google reader is FULL of blog reviews. If I look at it and see it's more than 3 or 4 short paragraph's I just move on even if its a book I was interested in. A great example, is The Story Siren! SHort and to the point!

    I kind of prefer star ratings. Because I had no idea you didn't post your review if it was under 3 stars. So I just assumed, like us all, you reviewed everything! You can use actual star ratings or a customized one. Or just a shelfability like The Story SIren. My own personal shelfability system is BUY IT NOW, Loved it, and check it out at the library! lol When I ask a friend about a book that's how I classify it. Is it good enough to run out and buy right now? Or should I wait until I can get it at my local library?

    I do LOVE to visit blogs that do the weekly releases in YA posts but since there are other blogs doing that, it isn't a must have for me. ANd I know it's time consuming, so if you have the time, do it! If not, don't worry. Plenty of other people do it!

    I've tossed around the idea of rating books by content as well. Like PG etc. Because the libraries in my county promote my blog and I want to caution the teens and or parents or teachers. I am a bit sensative to language so for me it's easy to know if its there or not. And I just include it in my review. "it was heavy on the cursing but despite that I still really enjoyed it" that way teens, parents or anyone else can decide for themselves!

    As far as linking other blogs that's a no for me. lol I personally don't have a lot of time to read reviews. And I wouldn't check them out, so it would just be time wasted for you!

    I will say what draws me to a blog! Content, content, content! I like blogs that are fun and don't take themselves too seriously. A Clean blog without a lot of gadgets that distract and hurt my eyeballs. Again, CONTENT! It's very important! There's a lot of blogs I have stoped reading because they have ONLY been reviewing darker books instead of mixing it up. If the blogger is versatile and not just stuck on one type of book, I'm much more likely to keep stopping by. Also if the blogger has similar taste to mine! Which is another reason why I stop by yours so often. Your taste is similar to mine and I value your opinion. Sometimes we may differ in how we'd rate a book maybe a 3.5 star verus a 4 but I know if you like a book that I will too!

    As far as not changing anything. Just don't stop being yourself! What sets you apart is your giving spirit. Whether that be contests or donating to charities. Your great about getting us involved and your taste in books is fantastic! :) And now that I've written a novel I'm going to go do some laundry! haha

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Love the long response!
      I'm glad people are excited about the new release posts -- got to get on that.
      It's funny how blogs have a personality. Yours is a happy place -- you're always upbeat and excited about the books!

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    2. hahaha another blogger told me that this week. I'm glad! :) I want it to be a fun place to stop by and visit. But seriously girl, you do fantastic! You always have new content and reviews for us. Just keep it up! :)

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  6. This is one of my absolute favorite blogs. It loads super fast, easy to find anything, and I love the background picture so please keep that. I also really like that you reply to comments and I always look forward to your replies when I comment on something. Definitely seems a lot more personal in my oppinion. I don't really look at star ratings, I rather just read the reviews, it's a lot better to tell exactly what people liked/disliked about a book. I also don't ever really notice if something is of "mature content". Most books I read has swearing or drinking, something like that, it's actually more normal to me when those things are happening in a book, but I don't judge a book by the content. I would love to know when new books are coming out, definitely makes it easier to keep track so I'm not always wondering if a certain book is out yet. I love this whole blog and all the reviews and giveaways, the trivia is fun, it's really cool when you donate books, and you yourself is super cool. I wouldn't want anything to change.

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    1. Thanks so much !!
      Because I don't have a star system I assumed most people would want one. I just have a hard time quantifying my opinions into numbers. It would drive me crazy. I do like Cristina's idea of categories rather than numerical ratings.

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  7. first of all, I think you could have used google docs to do a survey asking these questions.. but since you didn't, here goes my answers...

    -I can easily find things I'm looking for in your blog.
    -Reviews are long for my taste but at the same time, it is very informative so I understand why it would be long. I just honestly don't read long reviews unless I'm super interested in the book.
    -I don't do a star system either so I don't really care. I think it's better without it so there's no bias on deciding whether we want to get the book for ourselves or not.
    -A highlight feature sounds nice but I honestly don't pay attention even to those kinds of posts. I just stay confused haha.
    -I LOVE the idea of other links to the same review! It's a nice way to gather the community together and get some publicity, haha.
    -I don't know what to say about the mature content. Mature to me is erotic books which I don't even post on my blog after realizing I don't want my readers seeing them.
    -I don't want you to change the way you interact with readers. It's the reason why I make sure to literally type in your blog address EVERY SINGLE DAY to see what you got posted and see if you replied to my comments. DON'T CHANGE THAT.

    One last thing I wanted to say is to make sure the sidebar is not cluttered. It is still okay for right now. I just think "Labels" is not necessaryto be there, but hey, that's just me. I'm compulsive about sidebars.:D

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    1. I think Google docs is great for quick yes/no answers -- for long answers all the text gets crammed into those tiny little boxes and is hard to read.

      Thanks for the feedback. You stay confused! As you know, there's plenty I'm confused about too :)

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    2. Ignorance is bliss half the time!

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  8. I can read everything fine! I would move a few things around on your sidebars, if it was me ... maybe move your 'About Me' over to the top right, then all your follower links underneath that.

    I've thought about doing a rating system on my blog, but I find it so hard to give a star rating to books ...

    I like the idea of adding links to other similar reviews ... I've thought about doing that myself, but I'm not sure if I'd be able to keep up with it ...

    Happy blogiversary!

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    1. Thanks for the feedback. For some reason the "About Me" text insists on being dark and it doesn't show up. So I have an About Me page. I should probably get rid of the other About Me because it's so hard to read!

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  9. I think your blog is pretty easy to read. I love the color scheme and the way it's set up. Your blog is easy to navigate so that's always a plus!

    Maybe with your idea for a star system when there's a book that you think is amazing you should somehow mention that so your readers will know that you think that book is great!

    Weekly features about new releases would be great! It'd be nice to know what books you are excited to be reading!

    I don't think the mature content feature is that important. Normally by the way your reviews go it's pretty obvious if a book has mature content or not. Does that make sense?

    I honestly love pretty much everything about your blog! It loads fast, yet it has graphics which is really nice! Also your reviews aren't too drawn out, so that's really good.

    Happy blogoversary!

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  10. Thanks so much! I really appreciate you taking the time to give me your opinions!

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  11. I think your blog is very easy on the eyes, the grey and red really 'pop'; I love the length of your reviews, not too short, not too long (I need to trim mine down, I think), ratings? I kinda like them. Not a necessity, but I dig them; I LOVE book release news! I have my upcoming release thumbnails on my sidebar (which pretty much comes straight from my Goodreads tbr list) but I think it's great to see what other people put out there because sometimes I miss things on my own; I love book review comparisons AND similar reads. When I read a book I adored, it's great if a blogger knows about other books that are similar that I might want to check into; personally, I don't much care about what kind of content (mature or otherwise) is in a review, BUT I don't yet have teenagers at home reading so I might feel differently in a few years; and what I love most about your blog is it's clean (as in not very cluttered), loads easily, and seems very organized. Also, you seem to post every day, which is awesome and inspirational:)

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    1. Oh! And that you take the time to reply to comments is really AWESOME. I know it can be a pian in the butt to do that, so thanks!

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    2. Well, so do you!!
      Thanks! I definitely think I'm going to try out an Upcoming Release Post every Tuesday.

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  12. The only thing that bothers me is the red text on the dark background. I always find it easier to read black text on a light background.

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    1. I completely agree with you on the red. I've tried other colors, which were even harder to read against the dark. So in the end I just tried to minimize the amount of red.

      Thanks for the feedback -- that's definitely something I want to improve on if I do a redesign.

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  13. Doing a post on new books that come out that week would be a great idea. With so many books on my TBR list, I sometimes forget when a new book is released. I enjoy your trivias. Don't ever stop! LOL :D Another thing that I like about your blog is that you respond back when you can, which is most of the time. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to our comments!

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    1. Well, that post is premiering today -- Tuesday -- please let me know what you think!!!

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  14. I think your blog is very easy to read and navigate! The one thing I wish you had, though, was a review archive! I know that I can search your blog, and maybe I just like nice pretty lists (wait, yes, there's no maybe about it - I LOVE lists!), but I really like it when a blog has that feature. But they do take maintenance and I know it would probably be really hard for you to go back and link up all your reviews. So if you don't want to do it, I understand! ;)

    I think your reviews are great - very informative and funny and no spoilers (thanks for that!). And I don't think they're too long. Mine seem kind of long at times, but I've read some reviews that are just like a paragraph or two and I'm just like, "Wait, you hardly said anything! Where's the review?" I think you've got a good length going.

    I personally like to see a star system in the reviews that I read - but that's mostly for the blogs that I don't read regularly and if I don't have time to read the review I just want to kind of get an idea as to what they rated it. But I love reading your reviews, so you don't fall under that category. But it would be cool to see which ones go on your "Keeper Shelf!"

    I link to other people's reviews of the books if I didn't particularly like the book. I find positive reviews of that book so that my readers can see that even though I didn't like it, there are others out there who did. But if you want to link up to other reviews for all your reviews then I say do it! I'm sure the bloggers who you link to would be happy that you did! And I link to similar books with my reviews if I know of any, and sometimes that's hard to figure out! But either way, I think you do what you want to do with that!

    I think the "mature content" thing is a great idea, but it doesn't really affect me too much. I mean, if there's major gore or something really really disturbing in the book, then yes, I'd like to know, but swearing and sex and stuff doesn't bother me. But I know that it does for some readers so I guess you just have to go with the majority of your audience with that one!

    Hmm, my favorite thing about the blog? I don't really know! I think it's all really cool. You have great reviews, and I love the trivia, and I love how you give away so many of your books to other bloggers and to libraries and such! And I love how invested you are in your readership - you comment back all the time and interact with all of us and that's really cool and I try to do that, too!

    I say just keep on keepin' on! You're doing a great job and I love your blog, your humor, and your thoughts! And I can't believe you've only been doing this for 6 months! You seem like a seasoned veteran! ;)

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    1. Thanks -- that's so nice of you to say.
      I love all this feedback. Look forward to making some changes!

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  15. I love your blog - otherwise why would I be on here so much! ;) One of the reasons is because it is easy to read and loads quickly. Also, I like how your reviews aren't super long. They seem to be just the right amount of info. I like the content info, but that's me. However, I always kind of expect some swearing in books. I more want to know if there's more than a few times this happens or if there's sex. One reason I am as sensitive as I am is because I just don't like that stuff, but also because I share the books I own with my family and friends and with my kids so I'm more picky about what is on my shelves. I think that you have to go with what you feel on that one though. I don't think you need to do a rating system, but I do like the idea that if you really thought a book was a keeper that you would note that somehow. There are some books I have bought after reading a review because it was a trusted reviewer and they loved the book (plus it had clean content), so I just bought it instead of waiting for it through the library (Edenbrooke is one of those that I did this with). I have to say I love your giveaways - that you share the love with your ARC's, the comment giveaways, and the gifting books per comment you had. I think you have done great at being creative with themes and questionnaires and such, so keep it up!

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Thanks so much for stopping by today. I hope you'll leave me a comment. I read and appreciate each and every one and try my best to reply. Leave me a link to your blog or website!

 
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