Friday, February 15, 2013

I need *your* help!! Really! I do!

Alright, so, why do I need your help?

Well, the blog turned a year old in January and I'm wanting to do some tweaking here and there to make things more user friendly and I'd like your input first.

What works for you, what doesn't, what would you like more (or less) of, is there something about the blog you love? Or that makes you grind your teeth?

Authors if you're following I'd love to hear from yall too. 

So here are the questions. And feel free to add other ideas/suggestions too, these are just the ones off the top of my head. And you don't have to answer all the questions ;)

1. Giveaways: 

  • Like em? Love em? Hate em? Wish there were more or less? 
  • Do you prefer print or ebooks? 
  • Does having books signed make a difference? It takes some work getting signed ones but if yall aren't into that I'll skip it. 
  • What about entries? Is Rafflecopter working for you? Or do you prefer leaving just a comment & email?
  • If you're a regular follower and commenter (not just a giveaway commenter) do you enter the giveaways?

2. Book Tours:
  • Do you even like these? Or do you ignore them?
  • If I do them what type of posts do you prefer? Review, Author Guest Post, Interviews, Excerpts/spotlights?
3. Memes/recurring posts: We have 4 currently
  • Tasty Tuesday- Anything you'd like to see? Do you like the variety? Something I could do better with explaining the recipes, etc
  • Cat Thursday- Do you check out the kitteh post? Would you be interested in a follower feature where I spotlight yall's kittehs?
  • Friday Finds- Are you grabbing books from these? Is there a format you'd like included in the buy links? That's mainly for international followers. I post the US ones (Amazon/B&N/Smashwords when it's available)
  • TBR Knockout- Is there something that would get you interested in joining in on this one?
4. Social Media:
  • Do you follow us on social media (Facebook, Pinterest, Goodreads, Twitter)?
  • Is there one you'd like us more active on? 
  • Types of things you'd like to see on those outlets? 
  • Are you part of our Goodreads discussion "group"? 
5. For the lurkers! And yeah, I so know about yall ;) And I hope you'll help me out on this one and de-lurk for a bit...
  • Is there something I can do that would encourage you to comment? You're all welcome here and I'd love to have you involved in posts and whatnot :) 
6. The actual blog: 
  • Are there any features that are not working properly? 
  • How does the layout work for you?
  • Anything you'd like changed/tweaked/etc?
7. Interviews/Guest Posts/Reviews/Randomness
  • Are there any authors you'd like to see on the blog? Either doing guest posts, interviews, or just being reviewed? 
  • Any topics you'd like to see talked about?
  • Are the reviews working for you? Would shorter/longer be better? With or without favorite quotes? Etc?
  • Do you want any random posts? What's going on with the herd/events I'm going to/etc?
8. Authors/Publishers/etc
  • Is there something I could do that would help yall? Tweaks I can do that would make a difference in your opinion??

Okay. That might be all for right now. If you'd like to leave feedback yall can do it in the comments or if you'd rather you can email me

And really t's really okay if you've got constructive criticism. I can take it. LOL. Like I said, I'm wanting to improve the blog and I can't do that if yall don't let me know what's working or not working for you : ) Thanks in advance for all your input! ~Anna


  1. Lots of good questions! I will email ya after I get my exams out of the way this weekend. :)

    1. And I like the white cat up there. :)

    2. Thanks Stephanie! OOoo good luck on your exams!!

  2. Ok, one, you think too much and you are stressing yourself out, I'm sure! I'm kind of newish to your blog on a regular basis. But so far I am really digging everything. I like the layout and the variance in posts. I like that I can actually read it (you know, no crazy font/colors) and I think what you have to say in your posts is interesting (I don't end up tuning it out). I enter some giveaways, not all. But that's how I am on all the blogs. I already have more books than I can handle, and I feel bad getting more - yet I love the thrill of winning and possessing the new books. Its a disease, yes. I love your logo, its terrific. And.... I think that's it for now. You are doing a really good job, and I think it shows <3

    1. LOL nah. I'm really not stressing over it all *that* much. Okay, most days I don't stress too much. LOL but this bit on everyone's thoughts? Not too much. Figure if there's someone everyone oy *hates* I'd rather not be wasting my time on it, ya know? But regular blogging I have a pretty good time with it :)

      Thank ya for all the input Liz! :) And oh I get ya on the book disease. LOL It is fun to win em now and again but yeah I probably don't need any more books either. LOL

    2. Oh, and more questions:

      unless its something I really want, I usually only enter by rafflecopter. It's a pain to disguise email addresses.

      I don't care if the prize is ebook, print, or signed, or swag - it's all awesome.

      I love your memes! i even tried the cinnamon roll waffles - very tasty!

      I do follow on you social media :) but you know that!

  3. I love your blog. I follow several of them and I think yours has one of the best setups. That is an honest assessment. I think you have a nice mix of everything including genres and authors. I'm personally not a big fan of erotic but even though you have it on there, you have a whole lot more of other genre too. I appreciate it :)
    I love the giveaways and will admit just leaving a comment would be easier for me because of my schedule but I do understand the other things on the raffle copter help promote the authors books, name, etc. so not a prob. Not complaining.
    I would love to see Christine Feehan or Kresley Cole.
    You may have had them before I started following your blog.
    I think I answered most of your questions. If not, please ask. I will give you honest opinion :)

    1. Thanks so much Lori! Yeah the Rafflecopter is one of those things I'm not so sure about. It can be a pain on this end of things too! I have to use them on some posts where other people are running the giveaways and it is nice to help the authors a little on them. Maybe I'll switch it up and do some just comment ones too. Hmmm.

      I'm glad you like the mix of books we feature! I like the variety when I'm reading and will try anything as you've seen. LOL.

      You know I don't think I've done any on Kresley Cole in a really long time. I love her though. Feehan's one I've not tried but have been thinking of looking into.

      Thanks again Lori! Hope you have a great day!

    2. You have a great weekend as well.

  4. Oh I almost forgot I love the giveaways. I like any of it but I'm old fashioned in that I actually like the paperback books too.

    1. I'm with ya on the paperbacks :) I'll try to work more of those in when they're an option :)

  5. Love the giveaways and I do enter almost all of them. The only ones I don't enter are the ones for the ebooks. I don't have an ereader and don't like reading them on my computer, have no plans on getting an ereader so I just leave those for people that do. So yes, I prefer print books.

    Love signed books, I have some and love getting them.

    Rafflecopter works fine for me, but so does just leaving a comment. Either way you want to do it is fine. Easy easy.

    I follow on fb and twitter. I don't have a pinterest account.

    On the other questions. I think you are doing a great job..don't worry so much. There are always going to be things that people do and don't like on can't please everyone all the time. Just keep doing what you're doing..

    I would love to see more Paranormal romance authors and books on the blog. That's mostly what I read. Sara Humphreys, Larissa Ione, Lori Foster, Christine Feehan, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jennifer Ashley, Kresley Cole, Gena Showalter, Shelly Laurenston, laurell K. Hamilton...just to name a few. lol

    1. Hmm I hadn't really thought about the ereader issue and had been doing more ebook giveaways recently. Thanks for mentioning that.

      Thinking back the last couple months I have been really short on pnr. Got in a bit of a historical swing there for a while. I do love almost all of the authors you mentioned (haven't read a couple of them yet) and should get back into theirs. Will look into getting some PNR authors actually on the blog too. Haven't had too many I don't think. Good call!

      Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a note Mary!

  6. First-- RELAX-- love hanging out with you even if I don't always comment.
    1. Love the giveaways. I like both print & e-books, signed copies are nice but not a neccesity for me. Rafflecopter is ok, but it gets stuck on my kindle. It works fine on the laptop. Commenting works well also, as long as people actually put a little thought in there!
    2. Love book tours! Find so many great new reads & authors that way!
    3. Like tasty tuesday, but sorry I'm a dog person, but the cats are cute.
    4-- I follow mostly by facebook & email
    5-- not sure what to tell ya there
    6-I like it! Unless there is something YOU want to change.
    7--love the fav quotes in reviews and character interviews are great.

    Hope that helped some!

    1. LOL yall I'm really not too stressed :) Promise. Just wanted to check in on some things and see what yall were thinking :)

      Thanks for your input Lisa!

      Good to hear on the book tours :) It is a great way to find some new authors for me too! LOL at the dog person bit. I sneak a pup in there every once in a while ;)

      Thanks again!

  7. Your blog is truly one of my favorites. That is not me blowing sunshine. It really is one of my favorites! Your reviews are great & I love the quotes. I like the ratings too. The only thing I would like to see there is maybe what kind of sex (if it's not clear in the review) like BDSM, menage, anal, etc. Kinda like the tags that Amazon used to have. I've seen a couple of other blogs starting to use tags in their reviews and recommendations. Things like time-travel, military, historical, western, romantic suspense, biker, rock-star, erotica, etc. I really like the tags. I didn't realize how much I used them until Amazon took them away. I've even seen one blog that puts how many sex scenes & the total number of pages the sex scenes take up. That's not necessary for me. If I get bored with the sex scenes I'll skip them.

    Personally, I don't like Rafflecopter if there's a lot of things I have to do. Sometimes I enter anyway and sometimes I don't. It depends on what the prize is. I very much prefer just leaving a comment to enter. But having said that, the Rafflecopter is not a deal breaker. I'll use it. I just don't like it. LOL I get that it can help authors though so I'm okay with that. I only enter giveaways if it's something I want to read. There's no sense in me winning a book I'll never bother to read. Let someone else have it. Signed or not is fine with me.

    I like all the other things too....Tasty Tuesdays, Friday Finds, etc. I think you have a good variety of books and other things that most people enjoy reading.

    Thanks for all of your hard work!

    1. Thanks Tonya!

      For yall that don't like Rafflecopter. What if I had an option to leave a comment and if you like their page, etc you could do a +1 in your actual comment so I know you liked em, etc. Still a little extra work for those entries but bypasses the actual Rafflecopter. Or maybe that's worse since the one click like option woudn't be there. Hrmm. One I'll have to think more on I think.

      Oooo tags. Yeah you know I've done that on one or two reviews but I never really did it consistently outside of genre. I do include those on each but not really the type of sex involved. I'll start working on that one. I can see how it would definitely help if there are things you just don't enjoy knowing ahead of time.

    2. Like I said, the Rafflecopter is not a deal breaker. I'll still enter the contest if it's something I want bad enough. I'm sure it's easier for you to keep up with all the +1s with the Rafflecopter. A lot of people use it for contests now so it's not like it's gonna go away if you stop using it. LOL

      I never would've mentioned tags if Amazon hadn't taken them away. I don't know why they did that. But I do know a lot of people aren't happy about it. I don't want to make things difficult but it would be good if people could come here and search for books by using the tags. Like for example if someone was wanting to read a military romance they could search for it by typing in or clicking on military. I don't know how to go about doing that though & I don't want to make it hard on you. Your blog is great without changing a thing.

    3. I'll play around with tags. I know there's a way to add a search feature but it searches entire posts I think not just tags. I do have that tag cloud over on the left but the smaller tags are so hard to read because of the small size and they're not alphabetical.

      It does make sense to have a way to sort those out and search easily. Will see what I can come up with :)

      Thanks Tonya!

  8. Who doesn't love giveaways? Of course I love a printed copy that's signed but I get just as happy over an ebook. I have come to the conclusion that I will no longer participate in giveaways that require I leave my email in the comment section. Since doing so, I've been receiving spam emails and it just seems to increase over time. You could always do giveaways and instead of leaving their emails make them come back to the blog to see the announcement of who won.

    If the author/book interests me I check out the blog tour. Usually the author gives away their book at each stop or a grand prize of some awesome items.

    Love the meme's. Keep doing what you're doing.

    As far as commenting go, just don't do captcha. I don't care if I typed a novel, the second captcha pops up, I exit out of the browser. I can never get the code right.

    The only thing about social networking and the blog is... I can't find a twitter button. :( There's no easy access to connect with you on Twitter. Unless I'm just blind.

    And keep the favorite quotes! LoL ;-)

    Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anonymous

    1. Oh damn Kristin you called that one. There is no Twitter button. Not sure how I missed that one. Lordy. I'll have to add that in when I get home tonight.

      I don't think I have captcha on. If it ever does pop up someone PLEASE tell me. I know in the past when I was working on something it reset and was on for a while before I figured that out but yeah I am NOT a fan of Captcha so if it shows it was not intentional. At all.

      Thanks Kristin!

  9. Love your blog cause you always take time out to interact with us.Love giveaways and I have no preference if they are ebooks, print, or signed. Love them all.I don't enter a lot as I am trying to get through what I have. LOL. Rafflecopter works for me. The other way is fine too. Enjoy book tours especially with authors or interviews. My favorite are Cat Thursday and Friday Finds. Think I just follow on Facebook and Twitter. Have to check the others. LOL. I use Facebook more. I like when you say what is on your blog for the day. I pretty much like everything about the blog right now. I know I am not helping. LOL. Can't think of anything for question 8.
    Sue B

    1. Thanks so much Sue! I really love those Cat Thursday posts too. I have so much fun with them and am so glad yall enjoy them too :)

      I think I'm going to try for more interviews the next few months. They seem to be fairly popular and I've just never really done many of them until recently. Thanks for your input! Really appreciate it :)

  10. Anna, I'm going to make a basic thing here simply because everything you do on the blog is great. All you mentioned above are great just the way they are. As for giveaways and Friday Finds, I enter or get the ones that scream at me to get them. I made a promise to myself this year not to enter anything unless I just have a burning desire to because I want to get all the books that I won last year read. I was very fortunate in contests last year and because of that still have a huge amount to get read and reviewed. Plus I want to go back through my keeper shelves and re-read books that I have fell in love with over the last 20 years. Some have really been calling to me and are part of a series. Also, Diana Gabaldon is coming out with another in her Outlander series this year and when that happens, I always re-read the entire series back to back which takes a few months simply because they are so long, BUT so good!

    Your blog is one of my top favorites and I look forward to everything you post.

  11. Anna, your blog is the only one I follow reularly. There are a few others I check out here and there, but I really like yours, so it actually comes to my email. I can't think of anything I actually dislike. As for the questions, love giveaways! Like most of us, I really don't need more books, but I still love winning them. Especially books from authors I either love or have never read. If it's a new to me, I get to discover new books/authors. If I don't like it, I'm not annoyed about being out the money. If it's someone I love, well, duh, of course I'm happy lol. I'll take any I get, but I do admit to a special thrill over signed real books and/or swag. Tours are ok, but I don't enter very often. Not that I don't want to but I honestly don't have time! I work 12 hour days 4 days a week...spend an hour and a half or more driving back and forth to work/home...check my email, your blog, my facebook, then bed to read til I fall asleep. In between I have to eat and do laundry and shower and give my animals their lovins. Days off I have more time, but I spend most of it catching up on the stuff I didn't do on work days. And some days I go on facebook too early and get sucked into one of my group pages (esp when PJ or smut are involved around lol). Don't really have an opinion on HOW to enter. Both ways have good and bad sides. If I want the book offered I'll enter no matter what, if not I don't bother. I love your memes...esp the herd, cuz I'm into rescuing also. And I think you know I follow you on facebook, as long as you realize who I am (think of above referenced PJ and smut lol), so I know of other places to find you also. I follow on twitter too, but I never go there.

    Ok, I'm done for now! I still have to hit facebook and get to bed. 5:30am comes way to freaking early!

  12. Lots of questions Anna, but I do follow your blog because I like it as it is. And it should not matter so much what people want, but what you like, as it is your hobby and you have to like what you do.
    1. Yes, I love giveways. I still prefer paperbacks over ebooks, but I will go for an ebook if I really really want the book and cannot buy it myself.
    Rafflecopter is fine, though sometimes there are glitches. Then I just come back the next day and try again.
    2. No, I am not a fan of booktours, especially if you see the same book promoted on a lot of blogs you follow. Unless of course it is an author I already love, and she is giving away some (signed) swag or something. But you don't know that in advance ;). I do read author guestpost if I like the topic, and I do love interviews. Never read excerpts though.
    3. I usually don't like memes all that much, but I do like your recipes posts, though I will never make them as I don't enjoy cooking all that much. I love cat pictures, so keep that up. The Friday Finds often make me find something I want to read, so I download that. You cannot know if a book is not free overseas so of course I don't hold that against you. And I like seeing your progress on tackling your TBR pile. No I won't join as it is too much work for me ;) and everything I read is from my own TBR as I very rarely accept review books.
    4. I do read you on Facebook, Twitter is just a coincidence as I am not there all that often. I haven't gotten used to Goodreads yet, though I have an account and post my reviews there as well.
    5. I am not a lurker :)
    6. I like your blog, don't change it.
    7. I love reading reviews, and interviews, and of course what you are up to bookwise. So keep posting about meeting authors, going to conventions and stuff.


  13. 1. Giveaways:
    I love giveaways, more would be sweet.
    I prefer print books, but I like ebooks as well. I like giftcards a lot too.
    I like signed books, it makes it even cooler.
    As for entries, I prefer Rafflecopter.

    2. Book Tours:
    Do you even like these? Or do you ignore them?
    If I do them what type of posts do you prefer? Review, Author Guest Post, Interviews, Excerpts/spotlights?

    3. Memes/recurring posts: We have 4 currently
    Tasty Tuesday- I like the recipes, a good variety. I'd love if you could add more sugar-free or diabetic-friendly recipes.
    Cat Thursday- I love all the kittehs!
    Friday Finds- I love the freebies, I often do grab them. I'd love if you included different genres of books, especially if you could throw in more GLBT books.
    TBR Knockout- I haven't participated in one yet, though I'd be interested in participating.

    4. Social Media:
    I do follow on social media, most prominently email.
    No, I'm not a part of your Goodreads discussion "group"? Didn't know there was one.

    5. I'm a big lurker, so I'll help you here. I follow so many blogs, so it's hard to take the time out and visit each one to comment. I know another blog I follow Book Crazy, has a comment incentive giveaway every month on her blog. You should check out Brenda's blog and see what she did. I go out of my way to visit her blog and comment every day.

    6. The actual blog:
    I like your blog, it's nice.

    7. Interviews/Guest Posts/Reviews/Randomness
    I'd love to see more GLBT authors on your blog, and maybe some YA ones. Different genres, etc.
    I love your reviews, and I love the favorite quotes, it's great.
    I don't mind random posts, makes it interesting.

  14. I kno I have said this before, but I love the blog! With everything going on lately I haven't had much time to blog surf. I dmake sure tocheck yours everyda if I can because you always have something great! Whether it's a new book to distract me or the great memes that just make me smile.

    I like that it's not all just books (yes blasphemy I know!) The randomness is what makes it fun!

    I follow you on all fronts I think. I love actual books especialy if they are signed since I don't have many chncesto get those myself. Ebooks are wonderful as well!

    Now I don't read many excerpts but I do read just about all the other types of posts.


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