November 8, 2014

My Blogging Toolkit

There aren't really many things that I would consider part of my "blogging toolkit," but here's what I got.

In the reading phase, I use a spiral notebook or loose leaf paper to take notes on, assuming that I'm reading from a physical book. (If I'm reading on my Kindle, I use the Kindle note-taking features.) Upon finishing the book I'm reading, the pages upon which I wrote my thoughts about the particular book are put in a three-ring binder I keep for review notes. (I keep three sections in there: WIP notes for books I've temporarily set aside and intend to get back to; completed notes for books that I've finished but haven't yet reviewed; and reviewed notes for books that I no longer need the notes for, as I've already written the review.)

When it comes to actually blogging, I use Goodreads or Leafmarks to keep track of my reading progress and history. When I finish a book, I mark it as read on both platforms, and then I'm ready to write up the review. If I'm doing that immediately, I head over to Blogspot and get started. But if it's something that I'm not ready to write my review for just yet, I go over to Google Drive; In my Drive, I have an Amara's Eden folder that houses my review request form and results, as well as folders devoted to book blurbs I've copied down from books I own and have read, ideas for future posts, and reviews in progress.

There are a few other tools I use after posts are published. When I post a new review, I share a link at Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, and Goodreads, and I post the review at BookLikes and Leafmarks in addition to here. (For non-review posts, I tend to only share them at Twitter and sometimes Tumblr.) Meanwhile, I use Feedburner and Bloglovin to make it easier for people to follow Amara's Eden.

Finally, the last tools I could reasonably describe as being in my "blogging toolkit" involve discovering new books and following new blogs. I use Netgalley and Edelweiss for eARCs, and I also find Kindle freebies via /r/freeEBOOKS and always remember to pick up University of Chicago Press's monthly freebie here. (For more places to find free books, fanfiction, and amateur fiction, check out my Free Fiction page.)

Meanwhile, I follow blogs via Feedly, and it's through these blogs that I get a lot of my book recommendations. I usually hear about new and upcoming releases via--don't laugh--Cover Snark at A Reader of Fictions, while I tend to find older books via Goodreads Recommendations (or at least, I used to when I was more active on Goodreads).

So, is there anything I'm not using that I totally should be? Anything you think I should try out? And what do you have in your "toolkit"? Let me know in the comments below!

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