Posts Tagged ‘Armchair BEA’

Today’s the last day of Armchair BEA.  Thanks to them for hosting it.  I hope you’ve enjoyed these posts and I hope those new to Steamed will come back.  We always have something going on. 

Today we’re supposed to blog about blogging.  I’m going to talk just a little about running a group blog.  I didn’t start Steamed!, I joined up when someone else formed it.  Actually, I don’t know how I ended up being the defacto blog mistress, though I’ve always been “calendar keeper.”  I just do what I need to do to keep this blog running, since I believe in what we do. 

Group blogging can be a fun way to get into blogging without having to set up your own blog, blog all the time, etc.  It can also be a great way to be able to blog about other things that may not fit on your current blog.  For example, here I mostly blog about Steampunk and writing Steampunk.  But on my personal blog, I’ll get more into the general trials, tribulations, and craft of writing in general, not just Steampunk, and post silly things (like my Friday fun videos) that might not fit a Steampunk blog.  On Geekmom, another group blog, I’ll talk about more mom-type things, like misadventures in crafting or fishing–things that may not work on either blog. 

One thing to think about, whether starting or joining a group blog is the commitment.  Do people have a “day” where they blog, or do they blog whenever?  Is it okay when they miss or do you have to blog on your day?  If you can blog whenever do you still need to meet a minimum, like a post a week? 

We’re pretty lax here at Steamed since we’re all writers with things like deadlines, day jobs, kids, etc.  But it’s definitely something to carefully consider. 

How often are you going to have content?  If you want to have something going on every single day, it can be a lot of work.  Also, who’s going to be doing the scheduling/setting up posts?  Does everyone post their own thing or does someone pst it for someone?  Is there an approval/editor process?  Who keeps the calendar?

Here at Steamed, the Lolitas all post their own stuff, and I post a majority of the guest posts.  But at Geekmom I write my post and put it in a queue for approval and one of the editors checks over all our posts before making them live, she also manages the flow to make sure there’s not 10 posts one day and only 1 the next.  I keep the calendar here at Steamed, I also book most of the guests.  As I said before, I’m not really sure how I ended up sort of running the show, sometimes I wonder, especially when I start scheduling odd-ball theme weeks, if someone’s going to take my calender away, lol. 

Do you have a style guide or anything to ensure uniformity? 

We don’t here at Steamed, but at Geekmom they do.  I struggle with the “one space in-between sentences” since I naturally use two, even when I tweet. 

Also, what are the parameters?  Do they assign particular topics?  Have theme weeks?  Just have a general theme (like Steampunk) that you blog around?  Will it be hard for you to come up with topics?  Are there things that you can’t talk about? 

It might seem like a great opportunity to join a group blog, but thing hard about how difficult it will be to come up with topics.  For example, I struggle with posts for Geekmom and am grateful they give us lots of ideas.  I always feel like I’m just not geeky enough.  (Shhh…)

Are you going to have special events?  Who will be in charge of them? 

I adore running special events here at Steamed, and I’m the one who usually ends up doing them, though really anyone could.  I have to say, special events can be a huge time suck.  When I run Steampunkapalooza in April, it’s like a part-time job.  But, to me, it’s well worth it. 

Do you fit?  Not all group blogs are going to be good fits.  Can you meet the time commitment?  Do you mesh with the other bloggers? 

I adore all my fellow Lolitas and the Geekmoms are fabulous.  But not everyone would be a good fit for the different groups.  Having diverse viewpoints and personalities in a blog is great, but everyone should still be united around the central goal/theme of the blog.

Most of all, will it be fun to have/join this group blog, or will it be a stressor? 

Blogging should be fun!  If you’re stressing out about topics or time or blogging feels like a chore, then maybe it’s time to take a step back and see what you need to do to make it fun again. 

Thanks so much for joining me during Armchair BEA.  Come back soon.  Have you entered our contest just for Armchair BEA participants yet?

What do you think is something to take into consideration before starting a blog of your own or joining a group one?

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I’m excited to be a part of Armchair BEA as we continue our virtual conference.

Today we’re supposed to talk about relationships.  Although I love to get ARCs, I don’t get a ton of them since there’s just not that much Steampunk out there yet.  We also usually only feature books we’re in love with (but we always welcome author guest blogs.  Since the Lolitas are authors we  want to support other authors.  We also welcome guest reviewers.)  I feel guilty asking for non-Steampunk ARCs since this is a Steampunk blog, but if I really love a book, I might feature if even it’s not Steampunk and sometimes we have non-Steampunk theme weeks. 

But honestly, the relationships I want to talk about aren’t about with authors, publishers, or even other book bloggers.  It’s about the relationships I’ve built with my co-bloggers, my fellow Lolitas.  There are four of us (myself, Theresa Meyers, Marie-Claude Bourque, and Elizabeth Darvill) who post regularly, but there’s about a dozen of us all-together, most of whom only post once in a while (including my “sister” Leanna Renne Hieber, who is awesome.)  Having a group of co-bloggers is amazing.  It’s having a group of people who you can share things with from silly links to trials and tribulations.  I know if I go to a conference there will be people to hang out with–and people to conspire with for submitting panel and workshop proposals.  If I’m panicking about something writing-related or need a last-minute beta I know someone will answer my emails (Yes, Shelley and Deb, I’m talking about you.)   Sure, running a group blog is a ton of work.  Group blogging is also not for everyone.   But, to me, just being part of a group like the Lolitas is well worth the effort. 

To help spread the Steampunk love, I’m doing a Steampunk-themed giveaway open to all ArmChair BEA participants (even the international ones).  I’ll email you if you win. 

Just comment below on what Steampunk book you’d love to read most for your chance to win your choice of:

 Blameless, by Gail Carriger is one of the Parasol Protectorate books.  This series is my favorite. 


 The Brimstone Key, is part of the Clockwork Chronicles Series, featuring the popular Grey Griffins. 

So, is there some Steampunk book out there you’re dying to read? 

Contest open to all Armchair BEA participants (I’m going to trust you on this).  Contest closes Monday, May 30 at 11:59 PM PST.  Winner will be contacted by email.

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Apparently, I never signed up for an interview.   Oops.

Since a few people expressed surprise at the idea of a Steampunk book(ish) blog, I thought I’d share a few of them with you:

The definitive Steampunk book blogger is Mick Perschon, aka the Steampunk Scholar.  He’s a doctoral student doing his thesis on Steampunk and a professor who has his students read and analyze Gail Carriger’s books (among other things).  He’s got extensive reviews and reading lists on his site.

Matt Delman, who runs Dr. Fantastique’s Show of Wonders, also has a blog called Free the Princess which is “A practical literary guide to Steampunk and the Victorian Era” where he talks about books, features Steampunk authors, and talks about Steampunk.

Silver Goggles also reviews books but this is different from the usual book blog.  Jha reviews books from the view of a Steampunk Post-Colonist, analyzing them to “deconstruct narratives in steampunk, with a particular focus on the issues of colonialism, imperialism and politics, as they appear within steampunk literature and/or roleplay, in order to de-center the traditional Eurocentric focus” which can offer a very different perspective.

Do you know of a book blog that’s almost exclusively Steampunk?  I’d love to know about them…

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Armchair BEA is continuing (for those of us not at BEA in New York.) 

Today all of us participating in Armchair BEA were asked what we think the “Best of 2011” is.

I can’t even begin to fathom such a list, there’s a ton of great books that have come out this year and a ton more on the way. 

However, I will share the best new book 2011 I’ve read so far and the book I’m most looking forward to. 

 The Girl in the Steel Corset, by Kady Cross is the best new book of 2011 I’ve read so far.  It’s a Steampunk YA (but of course) and a debut.  I loved it because there are kick-butt heroines, action, adventure, very solid steampunk worldbuilidng, great gadgets, and pulls in themes from classics (Jekyll and Hyde anyone?)  My review of it is here.  I’ve got a different review and a giveaway of this book over here on another site I blog at. 

 Darker Still, by Leanna Renne Hieber is the book of 2011 I’m looking forward to the most.  It releases in November 2011.  It’s  her YA debut (she also writes the Percy Parker books, which are amazing.)    Darker Still isn’t Steampunk, but Gaslamp (think Victorian fantasy), but nevertheless sounds awesome.  What I love most about Leanna’s books is that they all feature unconventional heroines.  In this book Natalie suffers from Selective Mutism.  Yeah, totally looking forward to this book.

What are you looking forward to?  What’s been the best new book of 2011 you’ve read so far?

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Hi, I’m Lolita Suzanne (aka Suzanne Lazear) and first off, thanks to the folks at Armchair BEA for organizing this great event for all of us who can’t make it to Book Expo America

I’m one of the Lolitas here at Steamed, which is a blog about writing Steampunk fiction (and Steampunk in general), run by a group of Steampunk authors.  I write about Steampunk faeries.  Innocent Darkness:  A Steampunk Fairytale comes out from Flux in 2012.   

I fell in love with Steampunk long ago, but I didn’t know it had a name until a few years ago.   I discovered the clothes, the music, and of course, the books!  If you still have no idea what Steampunk is, I have an explanation here.

I never set out to be a blogger, per say, but when I group of writers formed Steamed I jumped on board.  Somehow I’ve managed to become the defacto blog mistress for Steamed, which just celebrated its second birthday.  I book all of our Thursday special guests, coordinate our blog events like Steampunkapalooza,  a giant Steampunk blog party that happens every April, and I’m also the Monday blogger.  (Today I’m blogging about putting together Steampunk outfits).   I also run an occasional feature called “Book Monday” where I review (mostly) Steampunk books that I absolutly love and think you might love, too.  Because Steamed is run by authors we’re book heavy and we have a ton of posts on writing Steampunk, interviews with authors, and we tend to blab about our favorite books, but we also feature artists, musicians, and jewelry makers, and talk a lot about cute Steampunk clothes (I write Steampunk for the hats and tiaras.)

Thanks again to the Armchair BEA team for organizing this great event.  I look forward to getting to know everyone and I hope you come back and visit soon.

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