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Finding a right reading lists couldn't be easier with the list search and tags. Warning: this can profoundly affect your Planning to read shelf. But who cares, the best bookshelf is the full bookshelf!
The list of Reading lists on BookLikes is growing and to help you find a perfect literary guide we've added possibility to tag a list and search a list with the book category, tag, the list name and the book title.
When you're creating a reading list, you can add a book genre or genres and tag it to help other book readers find it. If you've already created some reading lists don't worry - you can add categories and tags any time. Just edit your lists and add appropriate categories. Make sure that the category and tags correspond to the reading list character and books attached.
Tags and categories will be visible on the main Reading Lists page and when you enter a given list. Tags and categories are clickable.
The categories and tags will help you find a reading list within a genres you enjoy. You can search through the lists with the book category, tag name or the list name.
If you'd like to check which list your favorite book has been added to, search with the book title.
Now you can customize the new releases added by the BookLikes team. If you notice a new event on your Dashboard added by BookLikes, you can go to a release page and customize the book release page.
Check the book releases by day. You can check new books by day in the Book Release Calendar - go to a calendar view and click the day to see the new release list.
There isn't a better gift than a book. Oh wait, there is! A free book. Now the Giveaway section has received new sorting options: book categories, dates and number of copies which will help you successfully track your perfect book match.
How to choose the right book? Look through the Giveaways on BookLikes and use one or all of our new sort options: choose your favorite genre, check which Giveaways end soon and which book is the most accessible with the biggest number of copies.
Don't forget to choose a book format and check the availability for your country. To make the best fit select all sort options:
Search the author with the author's ID
If you've noticed that a book is missing an author or is assigned to a wrong author, and you know where the right author's page is, you can easily make the change. Now in the book edit mode you can search the author via author's ID. Author's ID is a number at the end of the address of the author's page, e.g.: http://booklikes.com/suzanne-collins/author,4193498 - author's ID is 4193498. Thanks to IDs you won't have a problem with duplicate author names.
BookLikes Librarians has just received new tools.
The group of BookLikes Librarians has received tools to combine book editions and merge author pages. If you notice that some books and authors should be combined, let us know via the Report option on the book/author pages.
Book lovers have different personalities just like ordinary people. We find it hard to choose only one as it also depends on the book(s) we're reading. For the most of the time we'll go for a mix of Polygamist+Extrovert+Altruist. Some books, however, make us monogamist introverts. And a very very tiny percentage of titles change us into neurotic readers.
How about you? Share your personalities in the comment section below.
Sharing is caring and supporting. Now you can share the news, images, texts and reviews you enjoyed on your social media straight from your BookLikes Dashboard.
The posts on your Dashboard has just received a new icon on the left - Share. Now if you enjoyed the text, you can share it with your friends on your social media. All you have to do is to click the share icon and choose the social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, G+, Pinterest, LinkedIn.
You can adjust the post/tweet/pin and add your comment.
You can use the standard social media or the extended. To be able to share you should be logged into your social media, no synchronization is required.
Discussion posts and notifications
We've updated the way of reaching the discussion post from your notification. Now when you receive a notification that a person added a new post/reply in the discussion thread, you'll be moved directly to this post/reply.
headline photo source
Your hands are shaking, your eyes are wide open, your voice is breaking, heart is beating like crazy. Your eyes have sparkles and body shivers. You just cant help it, you are bursting with excitement because of new book release! Oh yes, we know the feeling and we love it! Now we can live this moment every day thanks to book release calendar. Ladies and Gents, book events are open on BookLikes!
The Book Release Calendar
Book release calendar will not only let you keep track of new books, it's also a great opportunity to share a next book in a favorite series and the long awaited new titles. Book release calendar is a beginning, more book events types will be added soon.
The entrance to Book Events is via the upper menu. The main Book Events page presents the calendar where you can add and view recently added titles, the view can be also switched to the list view. The book releases presented in the calendar are adjusted to your language version.
If there's more than one event listed for a given day, you can view them all and visit the release pages one by one.
With the book release calendar you'll never miss a new book coming out. When you join a book even/book release, you'll get a book alert and a notification reminder about the release.
To add a new book event/book release select the release date and insert all necessary book data - if the book isn't in the book catalog, please add a new book entry and make a second search. You can also take care for the visual effect of the book release page.
The Book Release Page
The book release page is much more than just a book page of the upcoming title. Apart form the book information and reviews it is a custom made showcase -- each book release page can be personalized.
The personalization means you can design the book release page and make it look special by adding your own background image, changing the headline colors and fonts, adding the social media widgets, using your own domain, and creating a discussion.
Make sure that the book release page looks perfectly by using the preview mode.
Recommend A Book
Book events are the best when you can share them with others. Use the book release calendar to recommend book titles to your friends.
When you create a book release event you can send an invitation via an email (insert email addresses separated with commas), via BookLikes notifications (only your Followers & Followings) and via social media (Facebook invite).
You can also recommend a book and invite your friends to join the book release alert when browsing the book release calendar. Go to the releases list and click Invite to view all invite options.
We're thankful for meeting and working with so awesome people and book lovers as you guys! Thank you for being wish us. Enjoy your holiday :-)
We’ve received many questions about BookLikes mobile app and the answer to this request is always the same: Yes, of course, there will be a mobile app. Definitely. Since the question is still present in BookLikes community I’ve decided to present you several challenges we’re dealing with and what we’re working on right now to resolve your doubts and to assure you that it’s something really worth waiting for.
BookLikes is an unusual company, our development isn’t just based on my and my team’s concept, it is an ongoing process which is also based on BookLikes’ members requests and suggestions. We’re not only creating BookLikes for book lover but with book lovers, with all of you guys. Knowing your opinion is something extremely valuable for me and for the BookLikes team, it has showed us many new paths and introduced great solutions that we’ve implemented. You feedback, options and requests have also guided us in what direction we should be developing in the near future.
The notion near future is crucial here, our regular members know that we release a new feature -- a new functionality available for all BookLikes members every week -- on Thursdays. Those special Thursdays became our traditions and we definitely don’t want to give up on them, however, the weekly releases have a big impact on the process of development and maintenance of the mobile app.
What we care about the most is the quality and the functionality. Those two characteristics are our guidelines for building BookLikes and cannot be ignored when we refer to BookLikes mobile app. The thing is, we still have many awesome ideas to show, numerous exciting releases to launch -- I’m talking about unique, innovative and special releases, not seen on any other book-social sites -- but if we decide to introduce a mobile app now, at this very stage, it would mean we should stop or at best limit the Thursday releases.
For us the most important question isn’t Will BookLikes introduce the mobile app? (the answer is Yes) but rather What BookLikes mobile apps will include? The process of preparing apps for various systems (Android, Windows, IOS) is a necessity as well as including all BookLikes functionalities and this results in major changes for BookLikes.
With an active mobile app we won’t be able to launch new feature every Thursday and update the app on the weekly bases as it requires extra time and resources which we cannot spare at this very moment. We would have to freeze the process of BookLikes development in order to adjust all BookLikes functions to the mobile application because the maintenance of the functional, high quality app with weekly updates would be extremely difficult. This would result in holding back the development of new options and improvements on BookLikes, and in consequence this would also mean introducing the incomplete and not fully functional app. It’s definitely not something we want to set up.
The app should be like a gift with an exciting inside and a breathtaking wrapping. Both of these elements need to be complete in order to present a full package of options to make BookLikes mobile experience total, fun and enjoyable.
We’re super excited about the features we want to introduce during the upcoming Thursdays and I think you’ll be also thrilled about the things we’ve prepared. For this reason I was looking for the best solution for BookLikes that would allow us to develop BookLikes, launch new weekly releases and present the mobile friendly design, and I figured out that the best solution would be a responsive design.
This way, we’ll be able to give you the Thursday candies and provide a webpage perfectly adjusted to your mobile devices. The implementation of the responsive design won’t happen overnight but it will be executed much faster than an app, plus nor the BookLikes team, nor you - the BookLikes members - will have to resign from our weekly surprises and new options for BookLikes community. And they are really worth a wait.
The BookLikes mobile app will be of course introduced, and we promise that it will be much more than just a blogging/book-cataloguing app. Just wait and see :-)
What are two easy ways to keep on reading and reviewing? Keep a record of your reading progress and review after reading. These two solution will keep you in a bookish mood, motivate to finish up the book, think it over and express your opinion. Then you're ready for another literary round. The completion of these stages is easier with two new BookLikes' features.
One: Update your reading progress
Firstly, we've updated the +Shelf Advanced window with a new option, now when you add a book to your Currently reading shelf, the total number of pages will be filled up according to the book edition. To keep record of your progress, just fill up the page you're on and keep updated when reading. When the edition is an ebook, the total number is changed into 100%. We're working on the solution for audiobooks.
The total number of pages will be filled up when you use advanced +Shelf options and Update option on Dashboard.
Two: Review after reading
Secondly, when your click Finished! under your book in the Currently reading spot on your Dashboard, you'll see a new option Save and write a review which will save the rating and reading dates, and move you to a writing window. Plus, the finished reading date will be filled up.
The Author Page
The author page on BookLikes has just received a new option: Add a new book. Now when you won't find a book in the book catalog, you can add it directly on the author's page. The author will be selected automatically in the add a new book form.
Three: Synchronize and stay active
The BL->GR Sync
The BL->GR synchronization received an update. To synchronize your accounts, go to Settings/Import and click Connect. Remember to be logged into GR in the second tab and to authorize the app (unless it's already been authorized).
The synchronization includes the following actions: adding books, adding/editing ratings, adding/editing shelves, adding/editing reviews. Once you do one of those things on BookLikes, they will be published on your BookLikes webpage and on your Goodreads profile.
Remember that the synchronization is possible due to the ISBN numbers and that some delays may occur.
Four: Import and share
The GR Import
The import from Goodreads received an update - now the import process includes the private notes. To import your GR collection export your books on GR to a CSV file, go to your BookLikes Settings/Import, select the file and hit Import. We'll import your books, ratings, reviews, private notes, shelves and dates. The updated option works only for new imports.
In case you missed BookLikes bookmarks winners, we remind you the winning stories in their full length. Dear winners, one more time congratulations! Your gifts are on their way :-)
Dear BookLikers, should we make another contest?
Darkness consumes me.
I welcome the freedom now.
Silence in the night.
The Spirit of the Season I was driving back to the office after having dealt with a couple of would be Satanists up at the Hallowed Hollow boneyard and feeling pretty good about having locked them in the Hamperdamp family mausoleum. Old Man Hamperdamp had been a bastard when he was alive. Death hadn’t mellowed him and he hated being disturbed. If their hearts held out till morning, someone would be along to let them out eventually. And DeRigor Mortis, the funeral director, had paid in cash, no questions asked. Life was good.
I was cruising along, keeping an eye out for any sugar crazed costumed midgets who might dart out into the street and put a damper on my evening, and a costly dent in my grille when something in my peripheral vision caught my attention. I pulled over and slowly scanned the street. The house I had just passed was dark, the only undecorated one on the street. Nothing odd there. So, what was making the hair on the back of my neck do the wave? A group of kids passed by the dark house and moved on to the next. About 20 yards behind them, a lone boy in pirate gear, maybe 9 years old was fishing around in his bag of booty and dawdling along. Suddenly, the porchlight at the darkened house came on. The boy finished fiddling with candy and began angling towards the house. And a cold hand grabbed my guts. I pulled a fast u-turn, parked in front of the joint, and got out of the car to intercept the kid.
The boy saw me and stopped short. Smart boy. I pointed up at the house and shook my head.
“Forget that one, buddy. Light’s are on a timer, y’know?”
He glanced at the house, then back at me and nodded slowly.
I pulled a wad of cash out of my pocket, peeled off a couple of twenties, wadded them up and tossed them into his bag as I headed up the walk to the house.
“Happy Halloween, kid. Now go catch up with the others, okay?”
He took off like a shot, calling “Thanks, mister!” over his shoulder.
Quietly, I stepped up to the front door, rang the bell and sidestepped to the left. One beat too fast, the door opened.
“Ahoy, what a fine pir…” was all he got out before I had him by the throat.
I knew why this place set off my alarms the minute I got a good look at the home owner.
“Sonovavich…Bobby Lee Gagney! How’s tricks, you little freak?”
Bobby Lee was a child molestor and registered sex offender who had gotten out of prison about a month ago. The house had belonged to his mother.
He struggled to break my grip, squeaking something that sounded like “lawyer” and “sue”.
“Bobby, you know the damn rules! No lights. No decorations. And where is your warning sign?”
A quick dart of his eyes pointed out where the official “Sex Offender Warning” sign lay on the table next to the door.
I dragged his sorry butt out of the house and down to my car. A quick rap of his head against the roof put him down for the count and I tossed him into the backseat. I started the car and headed for the Boggman place. Every town has a haunted house, a place everyone avoids. Ours was the Boggman house. The place has been empty for over 75 years. Sort of. Bobby was just coming around when I parked in front of the old Gothic pile. I dragged him out by his collar and hauled him to the front door. Bobby babbled the whole way.
“This is kidnapping! I’m gonna have you arrested! I didn’t do nothing! I’m sick! I’m gonna sue!”
I gave him a good shake and pointed at the front door.
“Shut up and listen! Here’s the deal: I dare you to knock on that door. Do that and you’re outta here. You don’t and we go visit your parole officer. Choose!”
He looked at me like I had lost my mind. I was used to it and let it go.
“Seriously? I just knock and I can split?”
“Three times, yes.”
A creepy little smile crept across his face as he turned to the door and rapped his knuckles three times. He started giggling and whispered “Trick or trea…..” when the door swung open in well oiled silence, the shadows yanked him in, and the door swung shut once more. I lit a smoke as I waited. I had only taken two drags when Bobby screamed. He stopped before I finished my third. I heard the door open behind me and turned to see a figure in the doorway, formed by writhing shadows. A pair of glowing orange eyes watched me from beneath the edge of a tattered hood as a wide, sharp toothed smile that would have made the Joker green with envy split it’s otherwise featureless black face.
“Good evening, Mr. Chase.”
“Same to you, Mr. Boggman.”
“Please, call me Bogart. It amuses me and is close enough to my given name.”
“No problem. I gotta tell you, I’m a bit surprised to find you doing this sort of thing.”
“Why, Mr. Chase? I deal in fear. Some say I am Fear itself. Frightening children to teach them caution is my reputation. Giving terror back to those who find pleasure in spreading it is a higher calling, wouldn’t you agree?”
“Works for me, Bogart.”
“Excellent! Now, since you have brought me such a thoughtful treat, tradition demands I give you one.”
He reached into his own substance and withdrew a jingling bag the size of a melon and handed it to me.
“I cross your palm with clean silver, Mr. Chase, for the gift of one black soul. Now I must bid you good night, for Mr. Gagney has a great deal more screaming to do. Happy Halloween, Mr. Chase.”
“Happy Halloween, Bogart.”
He shut the door as I headed for my car. I hefted Bogart’s gift and smiled. They say you should never make deals with the Devil, but no one ever said you couldn’t bargain with the Bogeyman.
Carlos María Domínguez once said
To build up a library is to create a life.
It’s never just a random collection of books.
Reading Lists, just like your books on bookshelves, present reading ideas, guidelines, inspirations for you and other book lovers, and they are seldom random. That's why we've decided to add some improvements to the literary guides to polish their appearance on BookLikes.
First of all, now you can search not only from the Book Catalog but also from your Shelf. This will help you to create a list with books you've already read and can recommend with an open heart.
Secondly, we've added the description field for your reading lists. Some of you requested the ability to add a short summary of what the list is about and why these particular books have been chosen. Now you can add a short description when creating a list or add one to your existing reading guide.
Thirdly, the reading list page presents the number of books added -- this can be used as a reading order, and can be helpful in the book series and collections reading lists.
Finally, we've made the Edit option for your reading lists more visible to spot and use. You can modify your reading lists, add/remove books, add a description any time.
The book series names are visible on the book pages. If the book entry includes the book series information, it will be visible on the book page. You can also add book series information by editing the book page.
The Photo Size Limit for the uploaded images and a Photo Post has been changed to 4MB. The limit for a photo added via image URL link (the upper tool bar in the writing box) is unlimited.
headline photo: source
We have several treats for you today.There's a new way of showing what you're reading with the reading list widget. Those of you who want to change a book edition, can do it on your bookshelf. Read on to know more on tags and photos updates, and to find out who the Halloween Bookmark winners are.
There's a new widget in BookLikes' Goodies -- the Reading list widget! You can show the reading lists you've created, liked and the ones you signed up to. The widget will present the list's name, number of books and people signed up and three book covers as a list's preview. You can personalize the widget by choosing the widget type, name and the number of lists that should be presented.
To show the widget on your BookLikes blog copy the widget code, go to a customization tab and insert the code in the Widget Area.
Remember to Save and check if the widget displays correctly on your blog page. You can add several widget codes in the Widget Area to show your books on shelf, reviews, or a profile summary.
You can also add the widget on your other webpages to share your reading goals with your blog readers.
Change Edition on Your Shelf
We've updated the way you can change the book edition on your Shelf -- just go to your Shelf Table View and click change edition under a book title.
The title will be inserted in the search box. To trigger the search, press enter and choose a book. Then you'll see a window with other editions to choose from.
Choose the book edition that suits you and it will be updated on your Shelf and in the review. All data, like rating stars, reading dates and private notes will be also attached to your newly chosen edition.
Have in mind that the window with other editions will be full only when all editions are combined. If you notice that some titles should be merged, please let us know by using Report option on the book page.
Remember that you can choose a desirable edition of the title on a book page. When you're adding a new book to your shelf, use the upper main search box, click the cover and go to a book page. To view all editions, click Other Editions and look through other formats of the title.
Tags & Photo Size
We've done some updates concerning tags: please use only letters and numbers which can be divided with hyphen or space. Special characters will be removed from tags.
We've done some updates concerning photos: photo size for the uploaded images and Photo Post should be maximum 500KB.
Halloween Bookmarks Winners
Do you remember our last week contest? We know who'll get our handy bookmarks, we've picked two winners! Congratulations!
You can read the winning stories below:
I was driving back to the office after having dealt with a couple of would be Satanists up at the Hallowed Hollow boneyard and feeling pretty good about having locked them in the Hamperdamp family mausoleum. Old Man Hamperdamp had been a bastard when he was alive. Death hadn’t mellowed him and he hated being disturbed. If their hearts held out till morning, someone would be along to let them out eventually. And DeRigor Mortis, the funeral director, had paid in cash, no questions asked. Life was good.
I was cruising along, keeping an eye out for any sugar crazed costumed midgets who might dart out into the street and put a damper on my evening, and a costly dent in my grille when something in my peripheral vision caught my attention... read more
Darkness consumes me.
I welcome the freedom now.
Silence in the night.
Dear winners, congrats! We'll contact you to collect your postal addresses and send out the treats :-)
Please welcome Kate Brauning to BookLikes' Author Talks!
Kate is an Young Adult author with her debut novel How We Fall coming out November 11th. She writes contemporary and speculative suspense. Kate has written novels since she was a teen, but it wasn’t until she studied literature in college that she fell in love with the soul of young adult books.
You can follow Kate on BookLikes where she shares her favorite reads and reviews here: Kate Brauning. Read on to win Kate's debut novel.
As a child you’ve enjoyed spending time in the library. Was it then when you thought “I want to be a writer!”?
I’ve always had fun writing stories, and I wrote a novel all through high school. I loved it, but it just never occurred to me that I could write for a career. I kept on loving it, though, and in college I decided that I loved it too much to not try.
You seems to be keen on Young Adult: you write and edit YA novels. Why have you decided to write in this genre, or did the genre pick you?
Oh, that’s a great question, with a tough answer. Yes, YA has really grabbed me. Young adult fiction explores the teenage years of a person’s life, and those years are a significant point of change for most of us. Teens are tackling adult issues for the first time—serious relationships, jobs, shifting authority structures, new limits and opportunities—but they’re doing it without the experience and often without the resources that adults may have. It’s a vulnerable, heady, thrilling stage in someone’s life. Teens are also adjusting to greater independence and more authority in their own lives, but might still be dealing with limitations at odds with those things, like curfews, not having a car, house rules, and the structures of school. YA tackles that.
The experiences we have in our teenage years are formative ones, and the mistakes and choices we make can follow us into adulthood. There’s great opportunity, uncertainty, and passion in those years, and they leave a mark on us. I didn’t start reading YA until I reached my twenties, and I wish I’d found it earlier—seeing so closely into the lives of other teens who are wrestling with the same changes and struggles I was would have been so helpful as a teen. I still find myself identifying with the characters in these stories, because people never stop struggling with change. You don’t grow out of YA.
A final reason I love YA is that there’s no reason not to. Teens are every bit as complex as adults, and they can think as deeply, too. Of course they can. Teens aren’t a more simplistic or less demanding audience, and their stories aren’t any simpler or less worthy. When I came to YA as an adult, what drew me in was the depth of these stories, and that’s what I’ve stayed for, too.
Your debut novel How We Fall is about to be released, congratulations! Can you tell our readers more about the book -- the plot is quite controversial.
I’d love to! Yes, the cousins relationship is unusual, but the complexities of it are why I wanted to write about it. I love best friend romances, and to me, that’s essentially what this story is. I think best friend romances are sweet, and deep, and full of little tensions. There’s not much like discovering the person who knows you best is the one you want to share your life with.
To me, How We Fall is primarily a best friend romance, even though it’s a taboo one. I liked the idea of writing a sort of extreme best friend love story, and the cousin dynamic seemed like a fascinating one to use. For a lot of people, the cousin relationship is a unique one. Cousins know your family, but don’t necessarily share the same baggage. They know your siblings and parents and the special aggravation that can come with them. A lot of people grew up seeing their cousins frequently, so there’s no use having pretensions– they’ve known you since you were little. They’ve been there, they know you, and they’ll be there for the rest of your life.
And I mean, why not write about cousins? a) It’s not illegal. Cousin marriage is legal in about half the states, and is only considered incest in a few. b) It happens. Some form of cousin marriage accounts for 20% of marriages worldwide. I personally know of a few cousin marriages. c) People do write about it. We have a history full of famous cousin marriages, as well as a number of famous novels (including Mansfield Park) where cousin marriage is part of the story. d) Cousin crushes happen a lot. One thing I find really interesting is the stories people tell me when they hear about my book. Turns out, a lot of people kissed their cousin when they were little and a lot of people crushed on an older cousin. It’s there—we just don’t talk about it much.
Yes, there are safety issues, similar to other forms of nontraditional relationships, and yes, there are genetic issues, though the genetic issues with children from first cousin marriages are widely exaggerated. The risk of birth defects for children of first cousins is only 2% higher than for the general population.
The problems and issues surrounding cousin relationships are exactly why I wanted to write about it. Conflict makes a story, right? Usually, the deeper the struggle, the more fascinating the story. The problems with cousin relationships are a huge part of why I wanted to write about it. It would test my characters in ways not much else could.
To me, How We Fall is about self more than cousins. It’s about finding out what you really want out of life, and being brave enough to go after it. It’s about emotional dishonesty, and courage, and roots, and missed opportunities changing who you become. And really, I hope it’s a fun read. There’s humor, produce farming, and Casablanca quotes, and flirting, friendship, and sisters. It’s about parents, and being uprooted, and sneaking off in the dark, and Hitchcock movies. It’s about a girl and her family, and the guy she can’t/won’t/desperately wants to go after.
Literary genres mingle and mix with each other, YA is not only dedicated for teens and gathers more and more adult readers. You’ve worked as a high school English teacher and you have some experience with teenagers. In your opinion, what issues should Young Adult books touch to meet teens’ expectation and be well received?
Oh, tough question. Since YA explores the lives of teens, it can cover a lot of territory. Being a teen for one person may be an entirely different experience than being a teen is for someone else. However, dealing with the changes and struggles that go along with being both a person and a teenager is really what most YA explores. Independence. A changing identity. Choices that affect your future. Serious relationships. Friendships. Sex. Jobs. Those things are key to YA. And YA needs to be authentic and genuine about what it means to be a teen, for that character, in that culture and situation, because teens can identify pandering and preachy stories so easily, but also because I think most great authors write to explore, as a way to be genuine and interact authentically with the world.
If I write a story that’s not authentic, that doesn’t deal with real life and tough issues, I’m missing the whole point of why I write. I don’t know how other authors feel about that, but that’s how it is for me.
Apart from being a write, you’re also an editor. What’s more difficult: writing or editing? How these two jobs are different from each other?
They’re both challenging careers. Which one is tougher depends on the day and the book, I suppose! They’re very different from each other, though, because when I write, I’m creating—my own world, my own characters, my own vision for the book. When I edit someone else’s book, I’m evaluating and challenging the story, and helping that author figure out how to get his/her vision on the page. It’s a supportive position instead of a creator position.
How long does it take to write a book? Can you tell our readers about your writing process and its phases?
For me, it depends on the book. A few months to a year, depending on what else is going on in my life and how easily the book comes together for me. I like to spend time mulling over the characters and the conflict and even scenes before I ever start writing the book. I tend to fast-draft the first 30,000 words or so, and then take a step back and do heavy revisions to condense, focus, and shift anything that needs to change. Then I finish writing the book, and start revising again. Then it goes to my critique partners and agent, and I do more revisions.
Do you have any writing habits, like drinking a coffee from your lucky mug, not writing on Mondays, inventing the plot while riding a bike?
I think having a routine is important. It helps me stay dedicated, accountable, and avoid burnout. I like to turn on my playlist for the book, get coffee, and sit in my armchair with a yellow legal pad and jot down the conflicts, goals, and ideas for the scene I need to work on, and spend a while thinking it through. I then turn off the music so I can focus, and work through those notes while I write the scene. Doing this every day is my goal, but life gets in the way. The times I can do this consistently, every day, without interruption, are the times I produce the best writing and the times it comes most easily for me.
You run fiction workshops in your local library, what have you learned from teaching others how to write?
Teaching writing fiction to others has been one of the main things that has shown me how many varied ways there are to be a talented writer. Writing is made up of so many different skills, that even if you need to strengthen most of your skills in that area, there are likely several areas where you really stand out. The unique fingerprint of each individual writer on his/her story always surprises me. It’s a wonderful field to work in.
Can anyone become a writer? What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
I think anyone with the passion to become a writer can. Some people have more natural talent than others, but writing is also a skill that can be developed if you’re determined enough. My advice to aspiring writers is to study writing fiction, and not just keep writing draft after draft. Practice is definitely important, but there’s so much to storytelling that I’d struggle to pick up just from practicing. How the human attention span works, what makes people curious, what puts them on edge, how to make concepts interesting, the difference between theme and message, identifying and then connecting with your readers, etc. Reading good books on craft and hearing great authors speak has been invaluable to me, so definitely do that.
Also, read. And read more than you think need to. At least a book a week, if not two. It will show you what’s out there, help you identify all-important voice, and help you see how others did what you want to do.
Can you tell our readers what are you working on right now?
I’ve got a couple projects going! I’m working on a new adult contemporary right now, and I’ve got something really fun and different (not contemporary), too.
Do you read books during your writing process? Do they influence your work?
I do! I have to, or I lose touch of what great writing is. I usually try to be conscious of not letting the voice in another book bleed over into mine, but if I’m paying attention that usually doesn’t happen.
What are you reading now?
I just finished Carrie Mesrobian’s Sex & Violence, and it was wonderful and voicey and thought-provoking. I also finished Where’d You Go, Bernadette? So funny and charming and engrossing!
Are you a book collector or a book recommender?
Both. I love owning books I loved, and I love telling people about the great reads I come across. If I loved something, you’ll probably hear about it.
Paper books or e-books? Why?
I love both—but ownership is important to me, and I don’t feel like I own an e-book. I love e-books for sales and trying new authors and for bringing a tonof reading on vacation, but if I love a book or the author, I buy a physical copy. Just to make it mine.
What are your favorite books?
Please recommend some must read titles for our readers.
Gone Girl. The 5th Wave. What Alice Forgot. Warm Bodies. Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Under the Never Sky. This is Not a Test. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown. This Song Will Save Your Life.
Every one of these books is imaginative, twisting, gripping, and completely engrossing. Read them all.
What are you favorite quotes?
I have two that rank pretty highly for me:
The first comes from A Dance With Dragons, by George R.R. Martin: “‘A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies,’ said Jojen. ‘The man who never reads lives only one.’”
The second is from The Deathly Hallows and J.K. Rowling, courtesy of Kingsley Shacklebolt:
We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.
What’s your favorite writing and reading spot?
I love to read on my couch at home, or in bed at night, but I most often write in the creative arts studio I run with my husband and a friend.
It’s a gorgeous studio with hardwood floors, a high table I use for a standing desk (important for people who sit all day!) and lots of natural light. It also shares a building with a café/wine bar, which is a great perk.
Thank you, Kate!
And here's a surprise from Kate Brauning:
enter the giveaway to win How We Fall:
You can find more information on Kate's author page.
A lot of BookLikes members have been asking us about the ability to edit/add/improve book information on BookLikes' book pages. Guess what -- its here!
All BookLikes members can help us improve the book and author information. The book pages and author pages has just received a new edit option -- available for all book lovers.
To edit the book and author information, go to a book page or an author page and click edit.
The edit view is the same as the one in add a new book form and includes the same fields to fill up.
Please make sure to add the correct data that refers to a given book edition.
Remember that the book and author information should be objective, and should not include a review or personal feelings (have a look at the edits guidelines). Let's make it professional.
With your help we wish to develop and maintain the biggest multilingual online book catalog, however, we need to make sure that all the edits are necessary and that the changes are well executed. Today we introduce two features: the ability to make edits on book/author pages and a new official status for BookLikes bloggers -- The Librarians.
The Librarians are BookLikes bloggers who have been invited by the BookLikes team to join this special project and to monitor all the edits made in the BookLikes' book catalog. You can recognize the Librarians by the special badge visible on their blogs and by their avatars'.
The Librarians will have the overview of all the edits done by the BookLikes members. Once the edits get accepted, they will be made public and visible on the book page and author page. The process of verification will allow us to counteract the unfair behavior and listing the incorrect data. The Librarians have also an ability to look through the new book entries added to BookLikes' catalog and reports. No book entries will be deleted, the information will be reviewed and improved.
The BookLikes' team wish to thank all Librarians and BookLikes' members who support us and help in making BookLikes better and better.
And Happy Halloween, folks! We have a treat for you -- win a halloween bookmark from the BookLikes team!
What to do to grab those hands? Make up a rhyme / short story / poem / video post / a book-likes collage / haiku / or any other form in a halloween spooky mood and publish it on your BookLikes blog with a #HalloweenBookmark tag.
Be crazy, be creative, surprise us. We'll pick two stories we like the most and send out the Halloween treats to you :-) So, who's in?
You have 7 days -- we'll introduce the winners next Thursday :-)
Discovery boxes on your Dashboard has just received new options. From now on you can add your reading preferences and choose what books and blogs will be presented to you.
All new options are visible in the discovery boxes in the upper part of your Dashboard, in the upper right corner of the box. Each box has received its Settings spot where you can choose the preferences for each discovery box.
Let's have a closer look at the particular Settings:
- Popular Reviews Discovery Box - you can select book categories that you enjoy reading, the reviews will be selected from the chosen genres.
- Who To Follow Discovery Box - select blog categories -- these are the genres that bloggers read and review on their blogs, the categories have been selected while registration or anytime in Settings/Blog.
If you haven't filled up the categories for your book blog, you can update them in Settings/Blog -> edit categories
- Giveaways Discovery Box - select preferences for the giveaway books -- you can choose language, country and format.
- Daily Deals / Free Kindle eBooks Discovery Box - select categories for the discounted books and free e-books.
The Daily Deals and Free Ebooks sections are in the middle further development. We're working on adding new book sources for the book promotions, deals and free reads, however, not all sources have a ready to go solutions and ways to connect.
Apart from Settings the discover boxes are equipped with See me / See me not option, you can hide and unhide the discovery boxes any time. However, thanks to discovery boxes both new BookLikes' members and our regular bloggers can meet new book-likes friends, discover great reviews and grab new books, thus, we highly recommend to glance over them from time to time.
We'll be also adding new discovery paths and new sectors to explore. Stay tuned.
Recently we've experienced minor issues with the images, including avatars and some book covers. If you've noticed that your avatar is still missing, please upload the photo in your Settings. Then everything should get back to normal with your photo image/avatar. Sorry for any inconvenience.
This may be also a good time to make some changes to your blog look. Click to read more ->
just wanted to let you know that we're having minor issues with some of the images, including the avatars and some book covers. But don't worry, we're working now to sort everything out.
However, if you notice that your avatar is still missing, feel free to upload the photo in your Settings. Then everything should get back to normal with your photo image/avatar. Sorry for any inconvenience. We're in the middle of sorting things out.
But hey, let's look at this from different perspective. Maybe it's also a good time to make some changes to your blogs, go wild and crazy with the design, maybe prepare it for the Halloween week or simply make it look special?
You can personalize your BookLikes' webpage in Settings/Blog. Simply click Customize and change the layout of your blog, add social profile link, upload background images, and change colors. You can explore different layouts in the BookLikes Theme Store, or personalize the blog's look by yourself. BookLikes' bloggers are also great examples to look into. Find more on the Explore page.
Some of our posts that you may find useful while making-up your blog look:
One more time sorry for trouble. Can't wait to see your new looks.
The discovery paths on BookLikes can lead you into various book-likes places: new books, reviews, authors, reading lists, reading challenges, great blogs and shelves. From now on you'll have more opportunities to explore BookLikes places and community and decide where to go first.
The upper part of your Dashboard presents the discover boxes with the most recent activities of BookLikes Community and places worth visiting, like Book Catalog, Reading Lists and Discussion Rooms. We wish to encourage new and our regular members of BookLikes Community to explore all BookLikes' spots and find new friends with a similar reading taste and interesting books.
To boost the discovery experience we're also showing you valuable BookLikes blogs as well as books and reviews worth your attention.
Warning! You TBR pile might get bigger with the Daily Deals, Free Ebook and Giveaways sections.
The discovery box display will change when you refresh your Dashboard page. If you're BookLikes' regular blogger and know all our places by heart you can hide the discovery boxes. However, we highly encourage you to glimpse once in a while at the discovery hints as we have a great bunch of new cool options to launch and reveal.
We also plan some further development on the discovery boxes. The personalized settings for each discovery box are on their way as well as more hints and guidelines what's worth discovering on BookLikes.
Don't pick up random books. Plan you reading ahead with the reading lists which are great for sharing book series, book recommendations and presenting a reading guide for other book lovers.
Your reading list guide can present an endless number of books. You can choose the book order to suggest where to start or show the titles according to your preferences.
When you find a reading list that works for you, you can not only Sign in but also Like it and add all listed books to your Shelf page. The books will be added to a thematic shelf named after the List and will include the reading status if selected.
This will help you to stay up to date with your reading plan and keep you on reading.
You can easily reach your lists on the Reading Lists page which presents now your lists, lists that you've liked, and the BookLikes community's reading guides.