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@jolinsdell

Do you like books? You're in the right place! Welcome to my little corner of the web. I'm Jo, a book blogger with a passion for marketing.
My work (and this site) is devoted to sharing ideas, tools, and resources that will help you
reach your goals, and create a better product/brand.
Whether you're a self published author or a blogger, I'm here to help you
through virtual coaching, book cover design, articles, and books.
Avid reader? I've got plenty of book recommendations for you.


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The #1 question everyone wants to know is: What works? What works in marketing? What works to sell more, earn more, and drive more results?
Of course, the answer is "it depends". I don't have all the answers, but I'm committed to bringing you the very best whilst keeping it real and honest as I go.
What works for one person might not work for another.

The key is discovering what works for you, and I'm here to help you do just that



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What People Are Saying


“Jo is one of those rare writers who really "gets" not only the art of writing but the business and promotional sides as well. In addition to her books and e-books on Italy, she's done a great service for the writing community through her Promo Day efforts, and anyone taking her on in a writing or editorial capacity would certainly benefit from her practical knowledge and experience in that area.” - Jennifer Mattern, Owner, JH Mattern Communications


“Jo is an energetic, self-motivated and highly organized marketer. She knows how to pull a project together in a timely fashion, putting elements in place ahead of schedule so things come off without a hitch. I value her advice, her writing style and her ideas.” - Sandy Lender, Author, Editor and Writing Consultant


“I've worked with Jo as a presenter for her Promo Day online conference and partnered with her on a small writers' conference in Rome. This woman is dynamite! She's organized and marketing savvy. She's prompt and personable. How lucky we are that we need no longer be constrained by oceans." - Carolyn Howard-Johnson, Instructor UCLA Extension Writers' Program, UCLA


From The Blog
Recent Posts

Friday, 20 November 2020

The Ultimate Guide for Book Bloggers

The Ultimate Guide for Book Bloggers: Everything You Need To Know About Book Blogging (For Beginners and More Advanced Bloggers)


The Ultimate Guide for Book Bloggers


Whether you're just considering getting started as a book blogger, are new to the book blogging community, or even if you've been running a book blog for a while, this post is for you! 

Welcome to the ultimate guide for book bloggers. It's packed full of information and tips to help you be the best book blogger you can be. 

I've divided all the information into categories to make it easier to find what you're looking for.

Book Blogging Community

Link Ups

If you're looking for some book blog link ups to participate in Never Enough Novels has a good list at https://neverenoughnovels.com/2018/04/04/list-of-book-blog-link-ups/. Joining in link ups can be a great way to meet other book bloggers, discover new books, and increase traffic to your own book blog at the same time. 


Lovely Audiobooks does a monthly link up at https://lovelyaudiobooks.info/the-monthly-book-blogger-link-up/. It's not just for audiobook reviews either. Any book reviews are welcome. 


Emily the Book Nerd lists 10 link ups for book bloggers in this post at http://www.emilythebooknerd.com/2019/09/10-blog-party-link-ups-every-book.html

Networking

Connect with other book bloggers and get more involved in the book blogging community. At https://www.jolinsdell.com/2018/05/108-book-blogs-to-follow.html you'll find 108 book blogs to follow to get you started. 


Are you new to book blogging or thinking about getting started? Still not sure if book blogging is for you? Check out this collaboration post about why we love the book blogging community at https://www.jolinsdell.com/2019/09/why-we-love-book-blogging-community.html

Making Money With Your Book Blog

If you want to make your book blog more than a hobby and actually start earning money from your book blog than I suggest checking out this post at https://bookriot.com/how-to-make-money-blogging-about-books/ by Lesbrary for Book Riot


Fancy getting paid to read books? This post at https://fattenthewallet.com/get-paid-to-read-books-online/ by Fatten the Wallet lists 7 sites that pay you to read books. Even better news is that it includes sites for every level so whether you're a new book blogger or a more experienced book reviewer you should be able to find a site for you. 


Interested in diving into affiliate marketing? Wonderfully Bookish has you covered at https://wonderfullybookish.co.uk/affiliate-guide-for-book-bloggers/ Includes info on everything from how to disclose affiliate links to different affiliate programs for book bloggers.


You can find more advice about affiliate marketing for book bloggers at https://whatshotblog.com/affiliate-marketing-for-book-bloggers/What's Hot covers deep links, banner ads etc... 

ARCs and Review Copies

That Bookish Brunette gives a nice overview of what ARCs are and where to get them at https://www.thatbookishbrunette.com/arcs-101-guide-to-advanced-reader-copies/

BooksNest covers the basics of ARCs at https://booksnest.co.uk/post/how-to-request-arcs-from-publishers/ and even includes sample templates for what to write in your message to request an ARC from a publisher. 

Prefer audiobooks? Check out this post for where to find free audiobooks https://www.jolinsdell.com/2019/09/exploring-audiobooks-where-to-find-free.html

Lovely Audiobooks also has a post about getting free audiobook review copies at https://lovelyaudiobooks.info/how-to-get-free-audiobook-review-copies/


The Ultimate Guide to Book Blogging: Tips and Resources to be the best Book Blogger EVER!


Book Blogging How To

Just getting started in your book blogging adventure? Suggested Reads gives a good introduction on how to start a book blog at https://suggestedreads.com/how-to-start-a-book-blog-beginners/

The Uncorked Librarian also does a great overview for beginner book bloggers in her post at https://www.theuncorkedlibrarian.com/book-blogging-how-to-start-a-book-blog/ and has a mountain of other information and tips for book bloggers at https://www.theuncorkedlibrarian.com/book-blogging-tips-and-resources/ A must read! You'll want to click on all the links in the list. 

Not sure what to post to your book blog? Book blogging can be so much more than just book reviews. Check out this post I did with 101 blog post ideas for book bloggers for inspiration https://www.jolinsdell.com/2020/10/101-blog-post-ideas-for-book-bloggers.html 

Looking to improve your book blog? Join the Blog Audit Challenge 2020 https://www.jolinsdell.com/2020/01/blog-audit-challenge-2020.html 


Find out the ways you can give some love to your older blog posts and increase traffic to your book blog at https://www.jolinsdell.com/2019/04/want-to-increase-your-blog-traffic-ways.html

Effective Call's To Action, or CTA's, guide your visitors to take action. Learn more about the different types of CTA's you can use at https://www.jolinsdell.com/2019/04/exploring-ctas-different-types-of-calls.html

Book blogging can be stressful at times. Blossoms and Bullet Journals talks about how to reduce ARC related stress in this post at https://blossomsandbulletjournals.wordpress.com/2018/10/23/how-to-reduce-arc-related-stress/

As with most things in life, you only realise certain things after you've started. That applies to blogging too. Find out what book bloggers which they knew at https://www.jolinsdell.com/2018/03/what-book-bloggers-wish-they-knew.html

Book Bumblings is always a great source of information but this post listing the book blogging tools they use most at http://www.bookbumblings.com/blogging-toolkit-bookblogwrimo/ is well worth bookmarking. 


A lot of work goes into creating, maintaining, and marketing a blog. There are a few things you can do to make it easier though. https://www.jolinsdell.com/2018/03/quick-tips-about-blogging-from-book.html



Want to go more in-depth about what to do and not do when reviewing a book, then check out this post https://lithub.com/13-common-mistakes-in-book-reviewing-and-how-to-avoid-them/ by Literary Hub about common mistakes in book reviewing and how to avoid them. 

Find more info on the what, how and why of book reviews at https://www.jolinsdell.com/2016/09/book-reviews-what-why-and-how-webinar.html

Bored of the same old same old? Find inspiration to get more creative with your book reviews at https://www.jolinsdell.com/2019/06/ways-to-write-more-creative-book-reviews.html and stand out from the crowd.

Learn how to write an audible review at https://lovelyaudiobooks.info/how-to-write-an-audible-review/ courtesy of Lovely Audiobooks

As with pretty much anything in life there are always a few people that spoil things for the rest of us. Book blogging is no exception. Check out this discussion post about trusting book bloggers at https://www.jolinsdell.com/2019/06/book-reviews-can-you-trust-book-bloggers.html

A media kit is a powerful tool that all bloggers should have. Find out more about why and what to include in yours at https://www.jolinsdell.com/2018/12/media-kits-what-is-media-kit-and-why-do.html

Social Media for Book Bloggers 

Instagram

Are you part of/planning on joining the world of Bookstagram? Me Otherwise does a fantastic breakdown of the hashtags you need to kill it as a Bookstagrammer at  https://www.meotherwise.com/hashtags-for-books-on-instagram-bloggers/. She even divides them all into categories making it super easy to find the best ones for your Instagram content. These hashtags can be used on other social media sites like Twitter and Facebook too for you'll really want to bookmark this one!


Not sure what to post as a Bookstagrammer? Check out these awesome ideas from Word Revel at http://wordrevel.com/b101-props-are-not-required/. As the title of the blog post states, props are not required. 


L.M. Durand shares 5 tips you should keep in mind to grow your Bookstagram at  https://lmdurand.com/5-things-you-should-keep-in-mind-to-grow-your-bookstagram/


Unbound Pages has some good tips to help you schedule a month of Bookstagram posts in one day at http://unboundpages.com/how-to-schedule-a-month-of-bookstagrams-in-one-day/. Perfect for those of you without a lot of free time. 


Alison in Bookland gives insight into whether to use a personal or business account for your Bookstagram at https://alisoninbookland.com/2019/08/07/is-is-worth-making-your-bookstagram-account-into-a-creator-account/


The Riverside Library has an amazing post that breaks down Bookstagram hashtags by post type at https://theriversidelibrary.com/2019/09/03/100-bookstagram-hashtags-by-post-type/  making it super easy to find the right hashtag for your post.

Pinterest

Pinterest can be a powerhouse for driving traffic to your book blog and one great way to leverage it is to be part of group boards. Reading in Stilettos has done a great post breaking the lists down into categories at https://readinginstilettos.com/pinterest-group-boards-for-book-blogger/. The post includes; general book related boards, book review boards, book blogger boards and group boards with specific book themes.

New to Pinterest and not sure where to start? In this post at  https://bookishhedgemom.com/using-pinterest/ The Bookish Hedgemom takes you through the various steps she took to get started in her beginners guide to Pinterest for book bloggers. 


Twitter

Cat on the Bookshelf gives a great list of hashtags for book bloggers to use on Twitter in this post at https://catonthebookshelf.wordpress.com/2018/03/26/the-guide-to-twitter-hashtags-for-new-book-bloggers/

Facebook

Lovely Audiobooks discusses being a book blogger on Facebook at https://lovelyaudiobooks.info/facebook-for-book-bloggers/ A great introductions to Facebook pages and groups.

Youtube

Part of the Booktube community? Get a more professional look and learn how to add your logo to your YouTube videos at https://www.jolinsdell.com/2018/10/how-to-add-logo-to-your-youtube-videos.html

Goodreads

New to Goodreads? Book Bumblings gives a good introduction in how to get started at http://www.bookbumblings.com/goodreads-101/


The Ultimate Guide for Book Bloggers: Everything you need to know  about Book blogging



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Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Book Review: Chocolat by Joanne Harris

 

Book Review: Chocolat by Joanne Harris

My thoughts about Chocolat by Joanne Harris

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, I get a commission if you purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.



When the exotic stranger Vianne Rocher arrives in the old French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique called “La Celeste Praline” directly across the square from the church, Father Reynaud identifies her as a serious danger to his flock. It is the beginning of Lent: the traditional season of self-denial. The priest says she’ll be out of business by Easter.

Chocolat by Joanne Harris
To make matters worse, Vianne does not go to church and has a penchant for superstition. Like her mother, she can read Tarot cards. But she begins to win over customers with her smiles, her intuition for everyone’s favourites, and her delightful confections. Her shop provides a place, too, for secrets to be whispered, grievances aired. She begins to shake up the rigid morality of the community. Vianne’s plans for an Easter Chocolate Festival divide the whole community. Can the solemnity of the Church compare with the pagan passion of a chocolate éclair?

For the first time, here is a novel in which chocolate enjoys its true importance, emerging as an agent of transformation. Rich, clever, and mischievous, reminiscent of a folk tale or fable, this is a triumphant read with a memorable character at its heart.

Says Harris: “You might see [Vianne] as an archetype or a mythical figure. I prefer to see her as the lone gunslinger who blows into the town, has a showdown with the man in the black hat, then moves on relentless. But on another level she is a perfectly real person with real insecurities and a very human desire for love and acceptance. Her qualities too - kindness, love, tolerance - are very human.” Vianne and her young daughter Anouk, come into town on Shrove Tuesday. “Carnivals make us uneasy,” says Harris, “because of what they represent: the residual memory of blood sacrifice (it is after all from the word "carne" that the term arises), of pagan celebration. And they represent a loss of inhibition; carnival time is a time at which almost anything is possible.”

The book became an international best-seller, and was optioned to film quickly. The Oscar-nominated movie, with its star-studded cast including Juliette Binoche (The English Patient) and Judi Dench (Shakespeare in Love), was directed by Lasse Hallstrom, whose previous film The Cider House Rules (based on a John Irving novel) also looks at issues of community and moral standards, though in a less lighthearted vein.

The idea for the book came from a comment her husband made one day while he was immersed in a football game on TV. “It was a throwaway comment, designed to annoy and it did. It was along the lines of...Chocolate is to women what football is to men…” The idea stuck, and Harris began thinking that “people have these conflicting feelings about chocolate, and that a lot of people who have very little else in common relate to chocolate in more or less the same kind of way. It became a kind of challenge to see exactly how much of a story I could get which was uniquely centred around chocolate.”

Rich with metaphor and gorgeous writing... sit back and gorge yourself on Chocolat. 





Some quotes I liked:

“Life is what you celebrate. All of it. Even its end.”

“The process of giving is without limits.”

“I envy the table its scars, the scorch marks caused by the hot bread tins. I envy its calm sense of time, and I wish I could say: I did this five years ago. I made this mark, this ring caused by a wet coffee cup, this cigarette burn, this ladder of cuts against the wood’s coarse grain. This is where Anouk carved her initials, the year she was six years old, this secret place behind the table leg. I did this on a warm day seven summers ago with the carving knife. Do you remember? Do you remember the summer the river ran dry? Do you remember? I envy the table’s calm sense of place. It has been here a long time. It belongs.”

 

“Happiness. Simple as a glass of chocolate or tortuous as the heart. Bitter. Sweet. Alive.”




Are you a book blogger? Check out 101 Blog Post Ideas For Book Bloggers

Saturday, 7 November 2020

Blog Audit Challenge 2020: October Link Up


Blog Audit Challenge 2020: October Link Up #BlogAuditChallenge2020

Blog Audit Challenge 2020

As I mentioned in the sign up post for this challenge, I'll be hosting monthly link ups in order to keep us all on track, and give us a way to see each others progress. On the first Saturday of every month participants can share their links and discuss their progress. 

#BlogAuditChallenge2020

October Link Up


How did you do with the October challenges? What was the hardest part of the challenge? What are your thoughts about the Blog Audit Challenge so far? Create a blog post sharing your progress and link it up below so we can all visit and support each other in our mission for blog awesomeness. 



Save the date!

Check back to the 2nd November post for the November Challenges. 


Blog Audit Challenge 2020: October Link Up #BlogAuditChallenge2020



You might also like: 60 Blog Post Ideas For Book Bloggers


Don't forget to promote your participation in the Blog Audit Challenge 2020 by using the following graphic in any blog posts you do connected with the challenge along with a link back to this site. 


Blog Audit Challenge 2020 hosted by @JoLinsdell at www.JoLinsdell.com

Wednesday, 4 November 2020

2020 Challenges: October Update

2020 Challenges: October Update

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning, I get a commission if you purchase through my links, at no cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

2020 Challenges: October Update

October has definitely had it's highs and lows. The major low point has been health related.

I've been ill for a few weeks now. I literally left the house once in weeks but that's all it took. A simple walk in the park. We were outside, wearing masks, and kept our distance. I got ill anyway. The joys of an immune system that struggles. 

Anyway, due to the current situation it was more complicated to get in touch with my doctor and unfortunately I tend to downwards spiral quite quickly. 

After almost a week I managed to get tested in a drive in. It took a while as for most places you need to book online first but none had spaces available. In the end I found a drive in where you could just show up and wait inline. 

We got up at 5:30am and were in line by 6am. The line was already huge by then. Test was done around 11:30am and then just had to wait for the results. All this without getting out of the car. It took them 30 minutes to do the test and give me my results. The good news is that I tested negative for Covid (relieved!). The doctors at the drive in were all super nice and did a great job. These people are amazing! 

The bad news is I'm still ill. I'm on some antibiotics and hoping they do some miracle work soon. Unfortunately all these Covid cases make normal healthcare harder to get at the moment. It's all a bit complicated this year. 

All this means I've basically been in bed all month with a fever, cough, and other symptoms. I also completely lost my voice. Fingers crossed things start getting better soon. 

The Blog Audit Challenge 2020

This is a challenge I created aimed at improving our blogs. You can find full details here in case you missed the introduction post. 

I do have some awesome news to share. Last month I told you about how September saw the highest number of views to my site since it's creation. Well, October did even better! I'm thrilled with the results. Over 30K pageviews in just one month. That basically means my monthly traffic has doubled since the start of the year (January had just over 15K). I hope you're noticing an increase in your own traffic too. 

Now on to the October goals. The focus was to do with getting social.

The October challenges:


1. Increase traffic to your blog

Task 1 : I've been trying to share my content more on my Twitter and my Pinterest (my main social media profiles). I really need to get better at sharing more often to my Facebook page though. I did make some progress with that in the first week of the month but then all my health problems started. 

Task 2: I already have several click and share buttons to multiple social media channels on my blog posts. I do plan on updating them though. G+ still features as one of the main share options. 

I personally love Sumo.com and use it on this site as it allows for image sharing as well as plain text. It's free too! The only problem is that recently it stopped working for sharing the image on Twitter. I'm not sure if this is due to a Sumo update or a Twitter update. I'll need to look into this some more in the future.


2. Increase engagement on your blog

Task 1: Comment on other blogs. 

Again based on the first week of this month, I was back taking part in comment threads in Facebook groups and on Twitter. This really helped increase the number of comments left on my posts. It was great to be back with my blogging friends in these thread too. It's a nice way to keep in touch with them too. 

Task 2: Link to other blogs in your content.

I need to improve on my external linking. Once I'm better I plan on going through my older posts and updating with relevant external links to make them better. 

Task 3: Make sure your social media channels are set up and that you're interactive with your audience. 

I tend to stick to Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook. The latter of which really needs some more work. I don't use my Facebook page as much as I probably should. I've also been thinking about getting my Instagram profile back up and running.  I already have an account I just haven't used it in a while. 

Task 4: Share your content.

This is something I'm working on. I started making video pins and gifs for sharing on Pinterest. I plan to do more of these for other blog posts too. Alternative graphics and media makes a post more pinnable.


The Audiobook Challenge

This challenge is was created by Eline from Lovely Audiobooks. I'm doing it as a year long challenge. 

Zero new audiobooks to add this month. 

The Audiobook Challenge 2020 Progress Report


Audiobooks listened to in October:
  • 0

The A to Z Reading Challenge

Next up is the A to Z Reading Challenge

Just one book added this month. 


The A to Z Reading Challenge 2020: October Progress


Books read this month:

C- Chocolat by Joanne Harris


Armed with a Bingo

I'm also doing the Armed with a Bingo challenge.

Chocolat lets me tick off another square for this challenge too. I'm also making progress with the first book in the Assassin's Creed series, Renaissance, which will get me the 500+ Pages once I'm done. I'm currently at 133/516.


Armed with a Bingo October Progress


Books read this month:
  • Chocolat by Joanne Harris (a book with a food included in the title)


2020 Challenges: October Update


How are you doing with your 2020 Challenges? Are you taking part in the Blog Audit Challenge? Have you read any of these books? Join the conversation in the comments section. 

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