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resources

CoSchedule it and Forget it: A Tutorial for Organizing your Book Reviews and your Life

Seems like every week I’m finding new ways to use CoSchedule (CS).

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I love Co Schedule because as a book review blogger, I need to stay organized. Not sure what Co Schedule is? Check out their video.

I am in the middle of multiple projects at the same time and CE helps so much with that. If I’ve just received a book, I will want to schedule a book review date. So I open CE and choose a date for my review.

coschedule example 1

As you can see from the photo above I have scheduled two book reviews. They are on the left side of the image in a light yellow. We’ll get to the images on the right later.

I generally schedule reviews three months out so it’s helpful to be able to put them in the calendar right away and not try to remember when something is due.

While I’m scheduling future reviews, I’m also in the process of writing reviews for books I’ve just read.  Again, CS comes in handy for that.

coschedule review post

After I’ve read the book, I open up the draft post I made 3 months earlier. I type up my review, add tags, change the title if necessary and other tasks. When I’m finished I’ll go to my CS calendar and open up that post. I’ll check the score of my title, see the yellow 60? If you hover over that number you’ll get your headline score. Mine says B+!

 

CE Headline analyzer

Depending on your grade and your preference, you can choose to keep or edit your headline. Since I schedule my posts in advance, I usually only use the title and author of the book as the blog post title. That’s not very fun and doesn’t usually acquire a good grade. So, I’ve learned, thanks to the headline analyzer, that I need to rewrite my headlines into something that people will actually want to read. This headline has been rewritten and since it’s a B+, it’s a keeper. Here’s the link to the CS Headline Analyzer if you want to try it for yourself.  Be sure to stay there and study up. Very helpful information there!

After I’ve checked my headline, it’s time to write my social media messages. You can write as many or as few as you’d like, so use what works for you. Look for the multi colored bullseye. Just underneath that is where you’re going to do your work.

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Click on the large white plus sign under the bullseye. To the left of the plus sign you’ll see Same Day as Publish and the publish date. What you want to do is write a social media message for that date so you’ll click the appropriate social media profile you want the message to go to and you write your message.

co schedule social media message

The message defaults to the title that you’ve written and it automagically includes the blog link. Choose the time you’d like your post to publish and click Add Message. You can send multiple messages multiple times and on multiple days: day after publish, week after publish, month after publish, etc. The options are endless. ENDLESS, like the ocean. It’s awesome! What this means is you can schedule your posts to be sent out to the social mediasphere 6 months after you’ve originally published it! Keep reading, mkay?

Now here’s where Co Schedule gets SUPER AMAZINGLY COOL. Remember in the first photo I told you to ignore the images in purple? Go ahead and scroll up and come back down when you’re done. {Waiting}

Did you see them? If you’re looking in the correct place you’ll see a few titles and although they are partially cut off in the image they look like: Let’s Get Started…How to Get Started…I’m super e…  Did you see those? Wonder what those are about? ‘Course you do.

So, what you wanna do is, after you’ve scheduled all the social media for the post you’re currently working on you’ll want to change tacks and become Grand Goddess of the Schedulephere. Well not Grand Goddess, cuz that’s my title, but you can be Associate Grand Goddess or make up your own dang title, whatevs. How’s that?

Go to a post that you’ve got scheduled for the future (beam me up Scotty). Note, it will NOT be purple. Purple is in the past, like Prince (sad panda). Stick with me, here. Go to the future post and click on it so it opens up.

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So, hey, you’ll notice that the future looks just like the present. Don’t be disappointed there’s no Jetsons in the future, which is A OK because what you’ve got here is a template that you’re super familiar with. You’ll see the headline grade up top and the Same day as publish dealy toward the bottom of the photo. There’s more to it, but this pic doesn’t include it, to save space. Look up 3 photos and you’ll see the same example. So what can you do with this? Why you can manipulate the future, Grand Goddess of the Schedulephere, that’s what! Just like you did with an original blog post, you can edit future posts as well. Say you want to change the blog post title, you can do that here. Why would you want to change the blog post title? Because maybe in the future that post will be tired and not as relevant as it was when you published it originally. Make it freshy fresh and change it. Also? If you’re using an auto scheduler like Buffer or the like, it will alert you when you’ve published multiple posts with the same title. NO matter how good your title is, no one wants to see the same title 40 skillion times. It’s boring. So be like Madonna and change with the times.

So go to the Same day as publish date and click the super size plus sign. You know what to do here, dontcha? Yep, been there, done that, snagged that t-shirt. Since you know how to work this part, why not change the title here too? You can make it super new, super fresh and  super relevant to what the world is talking about (or WILL be talking about). This function is great for example, if I read a book about a duck running for president and reviewed it several months ago but also want it to run in the weeks before the election. Why would I want to do that, Grand Goddess? Great question! Let’s say that the world will be buzzing with election talk leading up to the elections. Parents, teachers, and librarians might need books for little kids but might not know of any. But aha! I have read and reviewed one that would be perfect for the little ones and now they too, can participate in election talk, but at their own level. So, your future titles might not mention the name of the book but rather something that has to do with elections or presidents or etc. Geniusness.

So friends and fellow future travelers, that’s how I use Co Schedule. Got questions? I got answers. Hit me up or check out Co Schedule and use my referral link.

 

 

 

 

 

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Diversity Reading Challenge

The 2016 Diversity Reading Challenge Begins Today!

It’s time for diversity! Last year I started a diversity reading challenge for myself and I was amazed at the number of people who were drawn to it. It’s so great to know that I’m not the only person who realizes that more books need to feature diverse characters AND that mainstream readers demand them too!

I’m Thrilled to announce that I have partnered with my bestie Thien-Kim Lam of From Left To Write and from I’m Not the Nanny and this year’s Diversity Challenge will be DOUBLE THE FUN! Kim and I go waaaay back and as she’s raising biracial kids, she’s always got my back when it comes to diversity. While Kim is good at so many things (check out her blog, yo) she likes to read adult fiction and she will host the Diversity Reading Challenge portion on her blog that focuses on books for grown ups.

While Kim will focus on the books for adults, I will continue to focus on diverse reads for kids.  Presenting The Diversity Reading Challenge list for 2016!

Diversity 2016 Reading ChallengeKIDLITSTAMP

The Diversity Reading Challenge is meant to be easy peasey lemon squeezy. 12 books in 12 months, which equals 1 diverse book a month. You can’t get easier than that! Whether you read non fiction or fiction, picture books, or graphic novels, the Diversity Reading Challenge will fit in with everything you do.

Follow us on Twitter, #ReadDiverseLit and stay tuned for #ReadDiverseLit chats on Twitter:

  • Kim (@FromLeft2Write) will host an Adult chat the 2nd Wednesday at 3pm EST; and
  • I (@pamlovesbooks) will host a Kid chat the 4th Thursday at 9pm EST

We would love to hear from you. Hit us up anytime!
Get some of this Diversity Action and link up your Diversity Challenge blog posts here:

Categories
2015 Diversity Reading Challenge Dewey's Read-a-thon

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon Hour 3 Mini Challenge: DIVERSITY SHELFIE

WELCOME to Hour 3 of Dewey’s Readathon! It’s going to be a great event and since it’s early in the Readathon,

LET’S

DO

THIS

THING!!!

I don’t know about you but I’m all about diversity! It’s what makes the world go ’round and my tiny brain go pitter patter. I can’t get enough of books about people of different colors, ethnicities, orientations, languages, etc. Diversity is the honey in my coffee.  Maybe you love diversity as much as I do or maybe you need to step up your Diversity game. Either way, now’s your chance to SHINE!

Here’s how you do the Diversity SHELFIE Mini Challenge:

  • go to your shelf
  • find a book containing diversity
  • take a selfie with said book (hence the term “shelfie”
  • post to Instagram (or Twitter if you don’t have IG)
  • tag [email protected]
  • post the title of the book and a word or two about why you love the book
  • enter as many times as you want

 

Don’t have a book containing diversity in your stacks? No worries!

  • find a photo of a book with a diverse character that you’ve read or want to read
  • save it
  • upload it to Instagram (or Twitter)
  • tag me. I’m still @pamlovesbooks
  • post the title of the book and a word or two about why you love the book
  • enter as often as you like
  • if you don’t have Instagram or Twitter, leave a comment below with a diverse book

Here’s a sample of my Shelfie.

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon Hour 3 Mini Challenge: DIVERSITY SHELFIE

 

I’ll do another one during the challenge. Probably won’t have lipstick on but whatever, right?

When we’re done I hope to have a list of new Diverse books to read and enjoy, cuz you can never have enough books, right?

Challenge will run through hour 21 os LET’S GET GOING!

I’ll choose a winner (or maybe 2) and post it here. Prize is a super duper cute bookmark or if you’re outside the US you can choose a prize from the main site.

Categories
Books Young Adult

C. Lee McKenzie, author, of Sudden Secrets sits down for an interview

Sudden Secrets by C. Lee McKenzie I LOVE interviews!

They’re a chance to get to know authors better and see how their minds work. Today I’m interviewing C. Lee McKenzie who wrote Sudden Secrets.  You might not know this but I’m pretty sure the C stands for Chariot and the Lee is short for for Leeks, those cute little oniony things that look like mini pompoms. Chariot Leeks. Great name, majestic and helpful.

UNCONVENTIONAL LIBRARIAN:  Welcome to our interview! Let’s get started. Do you drink coffee?

C. Lee McKenzie: I absolutely do. It must be freshly ground, dark roasted, preferably from Costa Rica, and sold to me by Tim at the Roasting Company. Other than that, I’m not too fussy.

UL: Oh, Tim. Yeah I like that guy too.  Do you like donuts or cookies? Do you dunk?

CLM: We’ll I’d have to resign from the human race if I didn’t like these. However, I seldom eat donuts. When I do, I’m a devoted dunker. Cookies I don’t dunk. I like them crunchy.

UL: Hopefully with sprinkles? Now for the hard stuff, how did your book get started?

CLM: This one has been inside my head for a long time. It started with a story I heard about a recluse. I had a hard time understanding how anyone could lock themselves away and never step outside their house. Then I went to an exhibit of the haute couture of the 40’s-90’s, and somehow these two idead merged. If I understood why, I’d tell you.

UL: Yeah hmmmm that is an interesting concept. What else have you written?

CLM: Sliding on the Edge (Westside Books) was my debut novel, then came The Princess of Las Pulgas (same publisher). Double Negative was my third young adult book and my first one with Evernight Teen. I write realistic-contemporary stories, but when I needed a break, I wrote Alligators Overhead and a sequel, The Great Time Lock Disaster. These are middle grade stories, and there’s very little that’s realistic about either of them. 

When I first started writing I wrote a lot of short stories, and I was lucky enough to have several of them published. I hope to pull those together into a collection one of these days. And speaking of collections, I really love being asked to contribute to anthologies, so I do. I have three stories in three different anthologies now: The First Time, Two and Twenty Dark Tales, and most recently, Beware the Little White Rabbit.

UL: Wow. You’ve been really really busy.  If you could have any superpower what would it be?

CLM: Flying. Absolutely. I’ve always dreamed of having an eagle’s view of the world.

UL: Ah me too. Kindred spirits! What makes you happy?

CLM: Just about anything. I’m really easy to make happy. Good coffee. Interesting conversation. Quiet writing time. A great hike up a mountain. Pasta.

UL: Pasta! Wrapping up now, anything else you want to tell us?

CLM: It’s always fun to be a guest on blogs that are about writing and writers. I’ve enjoyed visiting yours for a while now, so this “appearance” is very exciting. I’m probably going to go into hibernation come November, so I can finish a book and take a trip, but other than that, I’m planning on staying in touch with my blogging community and connecting with writers and readers as much as possible.

See how wonderful Chariot Leeks McKenzie is? Check out her other works at her blog  and find her on Twitter. I’m just gonna tip toe around that alligator tho…

Categories
Blogging

Get Back Your Ooo With Co-Schedule

Get Back Your Ooo With Co-Schedule

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Dudes. I know you’re probably wondering what I’m talking about, right? If you’re like me, your busy. I mean like don’t have time to stop and think busy. I eat on the go, I read on the go, I go on the go. All I do is go go go! It’s exhausting and sometimes your Ooo turns into Oh (crap). When you’re a busy person you need help. That’s where CoSchedule comes in; I can get back my Ooo.

CoSchedule helps me stay on schedule. Because I’m always either writing a book review or reading a book, I need to stay on top of my schedule so I submit my reviews on time.  The hardest bit about blogging is that after you’ve written a kick butt review, then you have to remember to send them to 47 skillion social media sites so everyone can read the awesome thing you wrote. READ. ALL. THE. THINGS!!!!

But dude, they can’t read all the things (!) if you don’t remember to send them to all your sharing sites.

Enter your new boo CoSchedule. He (or she) will bring back your Ooo. Your new boo will bring back your Ooo.

How’s that work? I’m glad you asked. See, your new boo thang is a calendar. I KNOW you don’t need another calendar to keep, but you do. This is your boo, remember, she will help keep you straight. Take a look.

CoSchedule-Calendar

 

See all those entries? Those are your little blog posts of love. Yawn. But there not doing anything for you, are they? Kinda like a bunch of Cinderellas waiting at the ball for Prince Charming to ask them to dance. Once you activate them (PowerRangers anyone?) they will do anything you want them to do; mostly talk to Twitter, Facebook, and Google + but that’s just me. You use your boo however you want to (sorry I just can’t resist a rhyme).

Looky here.

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If you’ve already written your precious little gems and they are sitting against the proverbial dance wall waiting to get asked to dance, they aren’t helping you very much, are they? To be sure, you might have published them or scheduled them to be published but that’s SO 2013. When you go into the magic world of the CoSchedule calendar, you can dress those puppies up and schedule them to go anywhere and anytime!

The best best thing about this social media calendaring feature? You can create individual messages for each social media platform. When sending your blog post to Twitter, you can include one message. Posting to Facebook? Gear the message toward that crowd. Letting the Google+ world know about your post? Include a very special message for them. It’s win win win with CoSchedule. All the beautiful Cinderellas have someone to dance with. They each have a new boo, thanks to you (sorry, not sorry).

I love that this feature works retroactively (no they are not wearing Jetson’s costumes, unless that’s what you’re into). Retroactively means you can reschedule those old posts and make them shiny and pretty by sending them to social media channels.

Have les amies in France? Schedule your posts for 1am EST.  Got a friend in Goa? Schedule at 8:30 pm EST and it’ll arrive as she gets ready for work at 6am. How ding dang cool is that? Now you don’t have to worry about Tweeting a post and hoping your friend will see it amid the 4300 other social media posts they are bombarded with.

The CoScheudle people have made this lovely video for you to watch. There are no dancing cats, but it’s still pretty rad. Check it out.

CoSchedule equals love. You’ll get your Ooo back. If you’re thinking about trying CoSchedule, you can use my referral link link: http://coschedule.com/r/4278  I signed up through a referral link; everyone wins. Everyone gets their Ooo back!

How you use CoSchedule is up to you. But once you get it, you’ll be hooked.

Categories
resources

I Hate Grammar Mistakes, don’t you? Which Celebrities Make the Most? Let’s Ask Grammarly

Grammarly Celebrity Twitter Mistakes
Grammarly’s Free Grammar Checker. Correct all grammar errors and check for plagiarism – instant and free! #ad

Categories
Blogging from A to Z Challenge Books

#AtoZchallenge Reflection: I’m Sad it’s Over!

A-to-Z Reflection [2014]

Well here we are, the calm after the storm.  To be sure, April’s blogging challenge is a whirlwind of activity and I hafta admit, I LOVED every moment of it!  It’s like being invited to a party and everyone’s excited to see you.  Parties are hard work and require lots of preparation and checking and double checking to make sure everything is just so. But all the hard work is worth it in the end of everyone has a good time, right?

Right.

I’m no stranger to the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge; I’ve been participating for a few years now. But the best thing for me was being a co host. It was a dream come true! I was so excited and honestly a little overwhelmed at time but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I learned alot about my time management skills during this time and that there is always room for improvement.

I love being able to meet new people, share books with them and get to know them better.  The Thursday afternoon Twitter chats were my absolute favorite day of the week.

So, very quickly, here’s what I’d like to stress:

  • Start planning early, like January
  • Join Triberr to get the most out of your Twitter account
  • Comment EVERYWHERE
  • Meet as many new people as you can
  • Laugh often and loud
  • Make mistakes and learn from them

Those last two especially apply to me. I made many mistakes but hopefully next year I wont make those same mistakes; I’ll prolly make new ones, but hey, that’s all part of learning, right? My biggest mistake: Not commenting enough. I wished I’d commented more.  I wished I’d eaten more cake too.

Did you write a reflections post? Leave your link below and I’ll visit you. Cake optional, I’m on a diet. hahahaha

See you next year!

I heart april a to z.jpg

Categories
Blogging from A to Z Challenge

5 Reasons Why You Should Attend the #AZchat on Thursdays

5 Reasons Why You Should Attend the #AZchat on Thursdays

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Every Thursday during the month of March, many wonderful people are getting together during an #AZChat to discuss the #atozchallenge that’s coming up in April. (wooo APRIL!!!!)

That’s my Blogging form A to Z Challenge badge. I’m a co host. I formed an Unconventional Alliance, kinda like Katniss in Hunger Games, but with more cake. And fewer baboons.

The Blogging from A to Z Challenge is like a giant party of a  blog hop and since you know I love parties I was thrilled to discover there were other parties happening on Twitter. During the Twitter chats, we discuss the ins and outs, the whos and whys of the challenge. If you’ve not participated, here are FIVE REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD ATTEND THE TWITTER CHATS.

  1. They are offered at two different times, 1pm and 8pm Eastern, to accommodate everyone’s schedule.
  2. The chats are a quick way to get your questions answered.
  3. You’ll make new friends and quickly!
  4. There’s always at least one Co Host on hand.
  5. Everyone is FRIENDLY

So, if you’re on the fence about doing the A to Z Challenge or have questions as to if you’re doing it correctly, or you want to get to know more people or you have nothing else to do at these times, DROP IN!

Forgot to sign up for the challenge? There’s still time! Here’s the link

 

Categories
Blogging from A to Z Challenge

How To Schedule your #atozchallenge Posts?

You’ve committed yourself to the a to z challenge. You’ve tossed around a few ideas. You’re excited to begin but still you’re wondering…

How to Schedule your A to Z Challenge Posts?

 

Scheduling is VERY important friends, if you want to have a stress free #atozchallenge! Here’s an image that should help you know when to schedule each post.

APRIL-CALENDAR [2014] - updated

Love this graphic? Click the image and it will take you to the site and you can download your own and make it your desktop image!

So, you have your schedule, now what? Do as much prep work as possible BEFORE the challenge begins:

  • preload all your titles for the month with #atozchallenge somewhere in it
  • choose your theme, if you’re having one
  • download/upload the alphabets for the appropriate blog posts
  • try to write 3-5 blog posts prior to  April 1 (that way you’ll have more time to have fun & visit other blogs)
  • when you DO sit down to write blog posts, try to write at least a day or two ahead, in case of emergencies (cuz they will come up)
  • keep your posts short
  • ensure COMMENT VERIFICATION IS TURNED OFF
  •  find a rhythm that works for you
  • read the A to Z blog for tips
  • reach out for help (Tweet me: @Pamlovesbooks)
Categories
Books

Self Published Authors Wanted!

Self Published Authors Wanted!

Are  you a self published author? Have you written a great book, novel, short story, novella, or picture book and want to tell the world about it?

Need social media exposure?  Need an alternative to a blog tour? Just want to try something new?  Here’s your answer:

Buy an ad spot on An Unconventional Librarian.

Why?  As a blogger and a book seller I understand the importance of getting the right book into the hands of a reader. Readers can’t buy your book if they don’t know it exists! So the question is, if readers don’t see your book in a bookstore where can they see it?

cAtchingfirepam copy

The answer is: on a blog just like this!  More and more readers trust book bloggers as a source of finding their next great read. They like us and as a result trust our judgement based on shared interests.  It’s kind of like the alliance Katniss and Peeta form with other champions in the Quarter Quell, without the menacing monkeys.  Readers who come to An Unconventional Librarian like middle grade, Young Adult, and children’s books.

Buy an ad spot on An Unconventional Librarian’s site and get easy additional exposure to potential readers. Choose your weapon below to help fight off President Snow and get noticed by future readers and friends.