Saturday, December 18, 2010

Busting the Newbie Blues

1. When did you start your blog?
I began The Children’s War on June 11, 2010.

2. Why did you start your blog?
I have always had an interest in popular culture and when it came time to write my dissertation, I chose to write on popular fiction written for girls in Nazi Germany. I read over 100 novels written for girls’ from 1933 to 1945. When I was done, I the novels away with my collection of American and English books for kids on WW II that I have had since I was young, or had acquired over the years and it occurred to me it might be interesting to write a blog devoted to these kinds of books.

3. What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Probably the same challenges most new bloggers face – getting noticed and finding followers who are interested in what I am writing about. Also the technical side of blogging and getting things to look the way I want them to.

4. What do you find most discouraging about being a new blogger?
This is answered in part by question 3. Also, self promotion is difficult for me. I am a low-profile person by nature, and you can’t be that way to some extent with a blog. For example, I didn’t ask anyone the Cybils and missed out on the opportunity to participate. I could kick myself – but there is next year. Now, I ask questions and push myself to be out there in the blogosphere as much as possible.

5. What do you find most encouraging?
The most encouraging thing about blogging is the support from the wonderful people I have met since starting my blog. And other bloggers are so willing to give helpful advice if you need it. I also try to make my blog a resource that people can use, and when they comment on the additional information or the links I include, I feel very gratified.

6. What do you like best about the blogs you read? Have you tried to replicate this in your blog?
I like the reviews when I can tell that the bloggers are expressing themselves and not just copying from a promo or dust jacket. I also like a good clean layout, where things are easy to find. Sometimes a blog is so cluttered that I just navigate away from it. I did use a few blogs which I considered to be good examples in terms of layout as a template for my own blog.

7. What do you dislike about blogs you read? Do you try to avoid this?
The main thing I dislike is a blogger who writes “I loved, loved, loved the book” followed by a cut and paste from the publisher’s website. It tells me nothing about the book. I also do not like a blog with a black or dark background and colored text. I have eye problems and these are so hard to read.

8. Do you have any advice for new bloggers?
The best advice is to stick with it and have a lot of patience. Remember – Rome wasn’t built in a day. Join a few memes and/blog hops and decide which work best for you. I think the first six months to a year are for experimenting in ways to make your blog exactly what you want it to be. And be consistent with posts. I lose interest in blogs that have long periods of time between postings.

9. How did you bring your blog to the attention of so many people?
I joined Book Blogs and Kidlitosphere, since I do children’s and YA books. I also set up a twitter account and post on that. And I participate in some memes and comment on the blogs I read.

10. Is there anything else you would like to share about your experience?
Be yourself and have fun with your blog and don’t give up.

Thanks to Small Review for hosting this event.


  1. I enjoyed reading your survey for this event! You and I started blogging right around the same time...

  2. I'm glad you started blogging---I enjoy your reviews very much!

  3. Well I love reading your reviews, keep up the good work!

  4. Thanks for the kind comments. I enjoy writing this blog and reading your blogs. Yes, Margo, you and I were newbies together and I have read and enjoyed your blog since it started.

    Charlotte, your blog, as I told you before, is one I both enjoy reading and use as a book resource for the kids in my life as well as my own reading and have never gone wrong with the choices I have made after reading your reviews.

    Kimberly, your blog is great and I hope you too keep up the good work. And I see by your profile that your are a fellow bento-er. Don't you just love bento?

    Thanks again, everyone.

  5. Thanks for participating!

    I agree with what you've said about reviews. We can get publishers' blurbs all over the place. I come to blogs to see the individual's response to a book.

    As a person who also has imperfect vision, I appreciate the clean layout of your blog. It's clear, easy to navigate, and easy on the eyes.

    I enjoyed reading your responses. :)

  6. The two things that helped me moving from posting and receiving a single response were to participate in a meme each week and to visit ten book blogs each week.

    Here's my Best Of list:

  7. Glad to have found your blog through this event! Wow, I love your reason for starting your blog! It's so different than what I'm used to hearing. I agree that the community is so accepting and they really welcome everyone.