Sunday, November 13, 2011

It's Social Networking Saturday (or Sunday...whatever)!

It's no secret I've been battling a blogging funk. And according to my Google Reader, I'm not the only one. It's comforting in a we're-all-in-this-together sort of way to see some of my favorite book bloggers are dealing with burn-out and reading slumps of their own.

All this down time gave me a chance to do some re-evaluating. It's been a year and a half since Edgy Inspirational Romance went live and if I want this blogging business to be an endurance race instead of a sprint, some things need to change around here.

1. Social Networking Saturdays.

I've reduced the time I spend online. I want to be more present for my kids and that doesn't include sitting in the same room with the computer on my lap. They won't be young forever y'know?

Last year I could spend 2 hours/day reading the 300+ blogs I follow, now I find myself going entire work weeks without even peeking at my feeds. When I do get around to checking, I read them in list view instead of expanded view. So instead of skimming entire blog posts, I'm just skimming blog titles or looking for the names of my homies.

Social Networking Saturday (or Sunday, whatever) is the one day every week I make a point of visiting and leaving comments on my favorite blogs. I might be the last person to your party, but I'm still thinking about you.

2. Email gets answered on Saturdays too (or Sundays, whatever).

My phone dings with every message, so I read them immediately, I just don't have time to respond until the weekend (usually). If you don't hear from me on Social Networking Saturday, please send the message again.

3. The PDF Review Copy Revolt

I'm coming out of the closet to say I despise reading books on my computer screen. It was never my favorite way to review, but these days I find it almost intolerable.

Unfortunately, this puts me in a bit of a bind. Our blog has been a big supporter of small press and epublishers in the past and often the only review copies they send are PDFs. I have one half-read PDF review copy languishing in my inbox right now (it's a great story from an author I LOVE, and the blogger guilt I'm experiencing over this fact could beat mommy guilt in an arm wrestle).

I haven't found the solution to this, but I'm still looking. Does anyone know of a way to convert PDF files into Mobipocket (PRC) files for my Kindle? I know I can email PDFs straight to the Kindle, but I find the print is small and sometimes there are funky page breaks. That method just hasn't been working out.

Alright, enough about me. It's Sunday and I've got some emails to send and some blogs to visit. Happy reading!


11 comments:

  1. Does it help if you put "convert" (no quotes) in the subject line? That's how I usually send things to myself. Also, pubbers can send directly to your kindle if they're on your approved list.

    Burn out. I get that. One night this week, I was sitting, as usual, glued to my Kindle, stressed about finishing that book so I could move on to the next and I said to my husband, "I really wish I could just stop reading for one hour and watch some mind-numbing TV." He got this strange look on his face and said, "I never -- NEVER -- thought I would hear you say that."

    Giving ourselves boundaries is the first defense against burnout. You've inspired me.

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  2. Argh! Don't you hate that stressed feeling about review books? Doesn't it just suck all the love of reading right out of you?

    I have tried emailing (converted) PDFs with varying bits of success. Some turn out just fine, others are too small to read.

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  3. It is really hard to keep up with everything! I had high hopes of editing my first manuscript this month, but right now homework and school projects have to take priority. I still have some time left this month...but I think a lot of editing is going to have to be postponed!

    Anyway, I agree that it isn't the most fun to read PDF copies of books on the computer. :( I'll do it occasionally, but I much prefer to read a hard copy of a book.

    I agree with Serena - boundaries are important, and your desire to prioritize without giving up social-networking altogether is an inspiration. :)

    ~Amber

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  4. Oh Joy, how true that are children are only young for a little while. I'm so glad that you understand this and have taken your family as your priority. You will reap many more blessings from being involved in your children's activities than you ever will from blogging about a book. This is not to say that you aren't missed around the blogosphere! But I admire your commitment to your family.

    I too hate reading a book on my computer. When B&H Publishers decided that they were no longer going to send ARC copies to bloggers but require them to use NetGalley I was very disappointed. But I quickly figured out how to put those books on my Kindle. As far as other publishers wanting to only send .pdf files I tell them no. I know it limits what books I receive, but I'm not willing to sit with my computer in my lap more than I do already. And I'm not willing to add anyone else to my accept list on my Kindle. I guess we all have our different ways of how we want to read a book. I love my Kindle when I travel, but at home I prefer a "real" book in hand.

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  5. No matter when you show up, Joy, you're always something special to see. :)

    I have a program on my computer that is supposed to convert certain files to Kindle files, but I'm not sure what it does with PDF. If you want to send me one and I'll experiment (and then delete the one you sent me. ;-) with it and see if it works.

    Ack! You too?? I have to cut back on my review books so I can enjoy a bit of mind numbing tv. ;-)

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  6. My thoughts mirror Serena's: I always send email the file to the Kindle. I email it to myself at the Kindle (yourname@kindle.com) and then put Convert in the subject line. Then for a small fee it converts the file to a Kindle file so the font size is adjustable.

    Sorry to hear you're in a funk but happy to hear you're spending more time with the fam :)

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  7. Joy,

    You are so not alone in your "funk-hood"...I've been there for weeks now, and I'm dying for a way to get out of it. I'm *this* close to formulating a similar plan to yours just so I can keep my sanity, but still get my blogging/reading fix.

    Sounds like everyone else has got it figured out for the pdf/Kindle fix. I usually just download the pdf straight to my Kindle, and read it as is. Yeah, it gets a little confusing in some spots, but I can usually overlook it ("usually" being the key here).

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  8. @Christy- I think everyone must go through this at some point. I have noticed you're blog is hopping over there though, so you are doing a great job with it. I hope you're able to find a groove that works for you.

    @Juju- I know I have used the convert trick before, but I've had some files that just didn't turn out readable that way. Even a Netgalley one came messed up. I guess I'll try it again.

    @Casey- Thanks! I think I'm going to take you up on that offer!

    @Julie- Oh no, B&H stopped their ARC program? That was a sweet program wasn't it? I guess it was inevitable though. I actually got one review copy once from Booksneeze that was actually a kindle file (mobi). That was the only time I've ever seen that. I hope more publishers start releasing review copies on that format.

    @Amber- Oh, don't even get me started on the writing thing. I have it on hold for now. That was something else that took a couple of hours every evening and honestly, my kids can't afford it right now. :(

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  9. Feel free to do so! It doesn't to try. :)

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  10. Girlfriend, Im so with you!! I feel stressed out reading lately and that is a huge Red Flag for me, since when did something I love become stress!!?? Thats why I took a 3 week reading break and it was refreshing not to worry. Im taking on your new goals and no longer doing the PDF's I just cant do it anymore. I know that after this year Im only posting on certain days and not stressing about having something filled for everyday of the week!! My reviews as of late have so been full of slack!!

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  11. You've definitely been missed, but I don't blame you one bit for formulating a plan!!
    I've been struggling lately with trying to find some kind of balance. I seem to be mostly moving in the children's book categories at the moment.

    I've always greatly preferred the feel and smell of an actual book in my hands!! ;)

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