Armchair BEA 2013: Keeping it real, fresh, and fun

Armchair BEA

Day 5:  Keeping it real,
fresh, and fun

Day 1 was a total blast for me with Introductions.
Day 2 was about Blog Development
Day 3 was also giveaway day – don’t miss my post, I have 4 books for grab!
Day 4 was about Ethics in Blogging
day 5 is also about Picture Books to YA



Day 5 question is:

“Today, we’re interested in knowing how you address that question, especially if you’ve been doing this for a while. If you have been around for years, how do you keep your material fresh? How do you continue to keep blogging fun? How do you not only grow an audience, but how do you keep them coming back for more? Think about it, post about it, link to it, and read about how other bloggers are keeping it real, fresh, and fun. Maybe we can inspire each other today!
New projects, redesigns, collaboratives–what do you do to keep blogging fresh for you? Post about your ideas and experiences, link up, and find inspiration in what other bloggers are doing!”

The mere fact of adding new reviews, especially of recent or brand new books keeps my material fresh, hopefully. I also try to improve my reviews and make them more personal and detailed.

Fun? Yes, it is always fun to share about my books, and interact with awesome other book bloggers through comments.

I try to keep my readers coming by:

  1. organizing giveaways, [one is coming on June 4th!
  2. and encouraging them to subscribe through emails when entering those giveaways
  3. adding new features, such as I Love France meme and the Books on France Reading Challenge, including incentives for those who participate

I Love France Books on France

  • encouraging my readers to review books featured on France Book Tours, with great incentives [book of the month giveaway or a $15 gift card of their choice, and their book blog featured all month long]. [links give here send you to the current giveaway and winner]
  • building the book blogging community by actively participating in numerous reading challenges, a few weekly memes
  • tweeting, retweeting, facebooking, and pinteresting. I wish I could automatically connect my posts to Google +. If you know how to do this, please share your secret!
  • with the very recent launching of France Book Tours, I do not have any big new project in mind
  • I am currently happy with my blog design, though I would love to use larger fonts without too much html work. I recently added a flag widget, just for fun


2013 Audio book challenge

2013 Audio Book Challenge


I planned to listen to 12 audiobooks in 2013. That’s the Going Steady level.
As I publish this recap, I listened to 16 of them. Very happy!

  1. Désirée, by Annemarie Selinko
  2. The Painted Girls, by Cathy Marie Buchanan
  3. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life, by Walter Isaacson
  4. Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil, by John Berendt
  5. Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline
  6. Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World, by Matthew Goodman
  7. The Marseille Caper, by Peter Mayle
  8. The World’s Strongest Librarian, by Josh Hanagarne
  9. The Cleaner of Chartres, by Salley Vickers
  10. The Amazing Mrs. Pollifax, by Dorothy Gilman
  11. The Elusive Mrs. Pollifax, by Dorothy Gilman
  12. Sutton, by J. R. Moehringer
  13. Mrs. Pollifax on Safari, by Dorothy Gilman
  14. Mrs. Pollifax and the Golden Triangle, by Dorothy Gilman
  15. Mrs. Pollifax and the Second Thief, by Dorothy Gilman
  16. Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station, by Dorothy Gilman
  17. The Ocean At The End of The Lane, by Neil Gaiman
  18. Mrs. Pollifax and the Hong Kong Buddha