Armchair Book Expo Day 2: What Readers Want & Collaboration

Armchair Book Expo

Armchair Book Expo Day 2:

What Readers Want & Collaboration

What Do Readers Want?: What makes or breaks a book? How do we rate the books, or determine if it is good literature or a good story? What do we want from an author event? How does diversity representation fit into all of this?

For me, what makes a book:

  • very good style: beautiful and diversity of sentences (not all built on the same grammar mode – I have seen that!!), rich vocabulary, lively and true to life dialogs

  • unexpected twists

  • original plot

  • for audiobooks: a narrator that makes you believe he/she’s telling a story, not reading it to you; who uses different voices and accents for the characters

For me, what breaks a book:

  • same type of plot in the different books of a series

  • pace not matching the genre – fine with very slow uneventful book if it’s literary fiction, but not for a thriller, for instance

  • too many f* words and the like

  • too many typos, especially when trying to insert French words or expressions!

  • for audiobooks: dull voice, dull intention; voice sounding too old or too young for the main character; mispronunciation of French words (please professional, do your homework!)

  • the cover sometimes! Some marketers focus on a type of cover which is totally unappealing to me and makes me want to flee, whereas when I discover what it’s about, I’m interested


  • Right now, diversity for me means access to more foreign literature. More and more presses are trying to publish books in translation, I think it’s getting better. When I read books related to 52 countries for a special challenge, I discovered how rich it can be to perceive the difference of style between authors of various countries.

Let’s Collaborate & Listen: The online book community has changed so much over the years. How do we keep up within our own book-sphere as well as within the community as a whole (i.e., libraries, bookstores, authors, publishers, etc.)?

Personally, right now, I focus on:

  • visiting other blogs – though I have not done much recently

  • social media – mostly Twitter.  A bit Instagram, Youtube, Facebook

  • a few local bookstores

  • the book club I founded; and sometimes book clubs at my local library









Armchair Book Expo Day 1: Introductions and Best Practices

Armchair Book Expo

Armchair Book Expo Day 1:


Armchair Book Expo is back, with a new name. It looks like this is the 4th time I’m doing it, and last year I got to participate “live”, as it was in Chicago, in my corner of the world.

Ok, let’s start. Thanks to our awesome team, who came up with a short and sweet list of prompts for our Introductions. Neat!

I am . . .

Emma, a book blogger since 2010. I’m actually French. I teach French online and I also translate books from English to French, among other things.

Currently . . .

I’m in a middle of a fun audio project: I’m listening to the complete works of Sherlock Holmes, following the chronological order of publication. I have chosen Simon Prebble as a narrator, he’s excellent.
It’s  a wonderful experience, neat to see the evolution of the stories.

I love . . .

…reading, birding, hiking

My favorite . . .

…genres, right now, are historical mysteries and foreign literature (thrillers, literary fiction)

My least favorite . . .

…genre is romance

My current reads . . .


My summer plans . . .

Hiking and birding in the National Shawnee Forest

My blog/channel/social media . . .

Words And Peace is on Facebook,  Twitter, Google+Goodreads, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube

The best . . .

…thriller I have read this month is:

After the Crash

Best Practices

Best Practices in the Online Book Community: Let’s talk about our best practices within the book community. This can range from time management to the use of social media to even ethical obligations. 

I don’t have much time, so just a few things I think important right now, and that I do or aim at doing better:

  • visit other book bloggers and leave comment, or at least click on the “Like” button – unfortunately, some bloggers don’t have this feature on

  • absolutely go visit the blog of someone who left a comment at my place, and leave a comment on one of their posts. This is a regular practice for me

  • back up your blog on a regular basis

  • try to schedule ahead

  • write a review as soon as you finish a book – I’m not there yet!!

  • share on Instagram a picture of a new book I start reading – lots of improvement, but I would like to do this regularly

  • keep your blog as something fun, do not compare to what others do

  • be an active BookTuber!! Hmm, when was my last video??

  • etc.,

  • looking forward to reading what YOUR best practices are







Armchair BEA 2015: Characters and Blogging Q&A

ArmchairBEA 2015

Design by Amber of Shelf Notes

Click on the logo to access the site

Day 3 is about Characters and Blogging.


Sorry my dear readers, no time to come up with something decent on characters. I actually think I’m often more interested in how a book is written than the characters themselves. But my favorite literary character EVER, I believe, is Lee in Steinbeck’s East of Eden. I would need to really pinpoint why one day…

I also enjoy very much the characters in books by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt. This name may not ring a bell, but you may actually have seen the movies made from his books (originally written in French): Monsieur Ibrahim and the Flowers of the Qu’ran and Oscar and The Lady in Pink. They are so deeply human, warm, simple, and the dialogs between them are so real. By the way, they are written in a very easy French.
Well, I guess I ended up talking a bit about characters!

Blogging Q&A

 Here is the prompt:

Blogging 101. All kinds of tips and tricks to get you started or keep you going. Talk about ARCs, reviewing in general, web design, etc.  What blogging platform do you use? How do you network? What are some of your favorite web designs?  Or maybe you want to talk about your own blogging journey, and how you got to where you are now. Either way, we want you to share your knowledge with the rest of the community!

This is going to be a Q without the A!!

  1. I use I keep debating with myself for the possible switch to I have read enough horror stories with security issues and hacking of sites that I don’t feel ready to jump into self -hosting.
    Have YOU made the jump? For how long? Any issue? Why do you find it better, if you do indeed?
    Am I wrong to assume that is indeed safer than as for security issues?
  2. I assume you can’t ask someone to do a special web design for you if you use Or am I wrong? Do you know someone who could do that?
  3. I like a template with two right columns, but would love to use another one ( so far). So far, I have not found one that really grabbed me. Do you know one? Or why do you use the template you use? Be sure to give the url of your blog if you comment.
    Be honest with me: is there too much stuff in my right sidebars? What would you get rid of?
  4. For France Book Tours, I launched a Newsletter some time ago, and then stopped sending it after a few editions, not too sure about the content to insert, apart form an exclusive giveaway reserved to the subscribers to my Newsletter. Have you decided on a Newsletter to complement your book blog? Why? What do you insert in there that is not already in your posts?
  5. Next week, I am going to review an awesome book about starting a book by starting a blog, or turning your blog into a book. Have you done either, as a book blogger? Why did you decide to do it? How did it go? Any special advice?
  6. Let me know if YOU have any question for me, I’ll answer you in the comment section here below.


Any idea on these questions?