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The National Book Festival

This past Saturday, my husband and I went to the National Book Festival, and it was so cool! They are now hosting it in the convention center rather than on the National Mall. It’s a lot easier to move around and it’s air-conditioned. 🙂

We got there right when the doors opened, so we were able to visit all the exhibits before it got really crowded. I loved the Parade of States exhibit.  Each state had its own table and there was a state booklet you took around to get stamped by each state. The people there from Indiana actually knew of the little town I grew up in, and the people from Illinois knew the tiny town I was born in, so that was cool.

Also, PBS had booth for The Great American Read that was fun. They had a wheel you could spin to win a prize. I landed on the special space that allowed me to pick a prize from a box. I got a journal.

I had heard about The Great American Read, but didn’t know exactly what it was about, so I was glad I was able to find out more about it, because now I’m participating in the event. (More to come about The Great American Read in a later post, so if you’re interested, be on the lookout for that.)

There were three authors I was hoping to meet and get books signed by, and I was able to meet all three and get my books signed.

I got When Dimple Met Rishi signed by Sandhya Menon,  Wonder Woman and The Language of Thorns signed by Leigh Bardugo, and The Darkest Minds signed by Alexandra Bracken.

All in all, it was a great day, and if you ever have the chance to check out The National Book Festival, I’d highly recommend it!

What about you? Have you been to any book festivals?  What did you like best about it?

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#authortoolboxbloghop

Choosing the Right Social Media Platform to Connect With Your Readers – #authortoolboxbloghop

Connecting With Your Readers#authortoolboxbloghop (2)

For last month’s bloghop, I posted about connecting with readers through your blog. If you missed it, you can read about it here. I want to share some tips about connecting with readers through social media, but first, I’d thought I’d share some tips on how to determine the best social media sites for you to use.

There are so many social media platforms out there, it’s hard to know which ones are best. There are some things you want to consider before choosing which ones you want to use.

1. First, find the sites your readers are always on. For me, I primarily use Instagram and Twitter. I’ve found a lot of YA readers on both.  Snapchat is another site YA readers hang out on, but your audience is limited to those you are already friends with, so I don’t use it much. Other options include Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Wattpad, and Goodreads.

2. Choose only two or three sites to manage. If you try to use all the sites, you’re going to be eating up a lot of your time. You can be much more effective if you choose just a couple of sites to focus on. Twitter and Instagram are my main focus. I also have accounts with Facebook, Pinterest, and Google+, but I use them far less.

3. Set realistic goals for using your chosen sites. Now that you’ve determined the sites you’re going to use, it’s time to set goals. You want to have goals for posting, interacting with and gaining followers, and promoting your books. I’ll share more about these in my next couple of posts.

While it can seem challenging and confusing at first, using social media can really help you build relationships with your readers. I have found it to be rewarding and enjoyable, and I have made a lot of great friends.

How about you? Do you use social media to connect with readers? Which sites to do you use? What do you like best about social media?  Let me know in the comments!

NanoBlogandSocialMediaHop2

This post is part of the #authortoolboxbloghop. It’s hosted by Raimey Gallant. For more details and to join in the fun, go here.

Mermaid Read-a-thon

Mermaid Sidekicks

Today’s blog challenge for the Let’s Be Mermaids challenge is hosted by Chelcie at booknerdchelcie. And her challenge is to share what kind of fish you think your favorite YA sidekick would be.

I chose Thomas Cresswell from the Stalking Jack the Ripper series. I love his relationship with Audrey Rose.  If he were a sea creature, I think he would be a dolphin because he likes to have fun, but he is also always there for Audrey Rose.

dolphin_getty_small

If you haven’t read the Stalking Jack the Ripper series, I highly recommend it. The series is so good!

What kind of sea creature do you think your favorite sidekick would be? Let me know in the comments!

Mermaid Read-a-thon

Little Mermaid Retellings

Today’s blog challenge for the Let’s Be Mermaid’s Read-a-thon (details about read-a-thon here) is hosted by Ashten at wonderlandianbooks. The challenge for today is to recommend some Little Mermaid retellings.

I haven’t read as many Little Mermaid retellings as some other retellings, but here are some I really enjoyed:

I’ve read a lot of  mermaid books, but many of them were not actual little mermaid retellings. To Kill a Kingdom was my favorite of these three.

What Little Mermaid retellings have you read? Which one was your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Mermaid Read-a-thon

Book Spine Poem

The fourth day challenge for the Let’s Be Mermaids read-a-thon is hosted by Kati at toberead.  (to find out more about the read-a-thon, go here).

Today’s challenge is to create a book spine poem with a mermaid feel.  I’ve seen a lot of these on Instagram, but this is my first attempt. It was kind of fun, and I’m thinking I’ll have to do some more of these. 🙂

So here is my book spine poem:

mermaid book spine

 

 

The surface breaks,

A siren’s song

Echoes.

Wild beauty

Rampant.

Have you ever made a book spine poem? Did you make one for the read-a-thon? Let me know in the comments!

Mermaid Read-a-thon

A Mermaid’s Tale Challenge

The second blog challenge for the Let’s Be Mermaids read-a-thon is hosted by Marta at the bookmermaidblog.  Her challenge is to create your own mermaid tail.  (If you haven’t heard about the read-a-thon yet, you can read about it here.)

So I created a mermaid on a digital doll page (http://www.azaleasdolls.com/dressupgames/mermaid-creator.php) and it has the kind of mermaid tail I’d love – shimmers of blue and purple. If I could’ve added another color, I might have added a little green.

Here it is:

Mermaid-by-AzaleasDolls

What kind of mermaid tail would you like? What do you think you would look like as a mermaid? Let me know in the comments!

Mermaid Read-a-thon

Mermazing Monday Blog Challenge

Today’s challenge for the Let’s be Mermaids read-a-thon is hosted by April at Hauntedbybooks and her challenge is to share some of your favorite mermaid things: books, movies, tv shows, ect.

If you haven’t heard about the Let’s Be Mermaid Read-a-thon yet, you can check out my post about it here.

So, here are some of my favorite books and movies:

mermaid books and movies

I just finished To Kill a Kingdom yesterday and loved it! Anything Jennifer Donnelly writes is really good.  Aquamarine is a bit cheesy, but I still love it. I have some great memories of watching it with my sisters. 🙂

And some other mermaid things I love:

mermaid other things

My mermaid tail blanket is great for IG posts, and I love the Bath and Body Works Mermaid line they came out with this summer. The shell is a Tarte eyeshadow compact with lots of beachy colors. I’ve used it almost every day since I bought it! And my mermaid scale leggings which I only paid five bucks for at Five Below.

What kind of mermaid things do you love? Let me know in the comments!