Welcome to part 2 of my segment “growth of blogging”. Last week, I talked about the growth of blogging and how we change and evolve over the years of blogging. Because blogging allows us to grow and learn and improve ourselves and become stronger. And running my blog has done that for me and MORE!!
So today I would like to talk about the sources for bloggers and romance readers…and there is quite a bit of resource out there for many of us. And I have discovered these ever since I started blogging, and I will mention that pretty much all of these sources didn’t exist when I first started and with the growth of the internet and technology there has also been so much available to us that we should take advantage of. So I would love to share these with you!!
Goodreads–I adore this site, and even though I have issues with this site since it combined with Amazon, I still love what if offers to readers. This is a site where you can track your books, meet fellow readers and bloggers that share your same reading tastes and there is quite a good focus on social connections. I do love their listopia’s and the groups. And I do love the shelves, which you are capable of organizing in any way.
LibraryThing–This is not as common of a site, it’s very different from Goodreads. It’s still a way to track your books, but there isn’t much focus on the social media. Its more of building a book database, but I have loved using this over the years. When I am looking for more details on a book, such as time era’s or certain tropes, I can find more information than I normally can find on Goodreads.
eye on romance–I have adored this site and its been a great resource for me. Especially if I am looking for a certain book in a specific time era. Because I love historical romance, and I like more than just Regency folks. In fact, there are other era’s that I love so much more, and this is a great site to find those books in these era’s I love to find. This site has a variety of communities with various genres in romances such as new adult, historical, paranormal, and more!!
RT Book Reviews–I have really enjoyed this site. I found it when I first started blogging and its been a great resource for finding new authors to try out. The past few years I have loved getting their book magazine in the mail every month, and I was disappointed when it went all digital to their VIP salon. Which thankfully is only $5 for a whole year….really great deal. But I love discovering books I didn’t know of before or getting more insider info on publishers and authors. And they run great book conventions from what I hear.
Heroes and Heartbreakers–This is a great resource for romance book lovers, and recently they took away their site, which is so sad. But they send out emails now with great loads of information every week so I can’t complain too much. Here is their Twitter and Facebook feeds that they still are pretty active on. But shame on the owners of this site that shut it down.
Smart Bitches and Trashy Books-I just LOVE this site so much and over the years it’s been a great resource for me. I recently got hooked on their podcast which is so awesome. They interview some of my favorite authors and those that work in publishing and they have such great information and I love their humor and I can relate to them so much.
The Ripped Bodice–I recently discovered these sisters and I adore them so much. I have heard their interviews on SBTB, and they are so bright and funny. They run a bookshop in CA, which is a romance book store…HOW COOL IS THAT? I just love that and they are living the dream for sure!! I don’t live close at all and I do plan on doing a trip to see this store, but in the meantime, I support them every month through their Patron–which is a way to support them through donations. And if I want to purchase a printed book, then I will go to their store. And their Instagram posts are so fun and they always make me smile. So if you love romance, you should check these gals out!!
Fictiondb–I use this mostly because they have EVERY book on their site. And many times when Goodreads doesn’t have a blurb, then I can go to this site and it will have the full blurb for a book, especially if its an older romance which many times on Amazon and Goodreads, they don’t have the full synopsis.
OpenLibrary–I just adore this site, because it’s like an online library. It’s a great resource if you want to read books for free. It’s great especially if you enjoy reading older romances. It doesn’t have many newer titles but they have some great titles from before 2010. Many books from authors like Edith Layton, Connie Mason, Lisa Kleypas, Lorraine Heath and more!!!
Now below are sources for those that need more information or fun times with web design and what has really helped me the most since going to self-hosting!!
Canva–This is a great site, and its what I use primarily for my web designs. And even though I am starting to take tutorials and classes for photoshop but there is so much to learn so it will probably be a while. I like Canva because you can do so many kinds of designs. I like being able to use my own fonts on it and they do have some pretty good stock images that you can purchase if you like.
Creative Market–This is a fabulous site that has plenty of themes, fonts, graphics, stock images and more. This is my primary site that I use and LOVE for my graphics and fonts that I use and purchase fully. So if you are wondering where I get my graphics…this is what I use mostly. They have some of the best and its also where I found my latest theme that I use. And I love their font bundles because they are great deals. And they offer free stuff every week if you sign up for their email.
The Hungry JPEG–This is a newer site, very similar to Creative Market and I really like their content as well. I am curious to see what they will offer in the future. So keep an eye out for this site!!!
Shutterstock–This is a top quality resource for getting stock images. Now they have different packages you have to pay for these images. But if you are looking for the best stock images, this is the best site if you are willing and can pay for them.
Deposit Photo–This is a site, that you can pay for stock photos, but its a much more affordable than ShutterStock. It’s pretty much $1 per image. Not as good of quality as Shutterstock but still some great quality….more than what you get at the free sites of stock photos.
Unsplash–This is my FAVORITE free stock photo site. It has some fantastic content, and out of all the free stock photos site, I feel like it has the best quality out there for free availability. And the majority of the images I use, I use through this site.
Nose Graze–When I first switched to a self-hosted blog, I discovered this lovely gal and I adore her so much. She has some fantastic WordPress themes and plugins. My favorite plugin is her Ultimate Book Blogger. This is a great plugin especially a must have if you run a book blog. It allows you to organize your book reviews so well and pretty adaptable. And I love the Archives that it automatically adds for you where before I discovered this plugin, I had to do it manually. So this plugin does so much work and I love it so much. I used her Tweak Me theme for the longest time. I really enjoyed it quite a bit and its great to use especially if you are new to self-hosting. I do know Ashley, here also will set up a self-hosted site for you.
Angie Makes–This is a site I recently discovered and I do love their themes. Its very adaptable and I am currently using one of their themes and I am hooked!! Its great to use especially if you are looking to do a landing page. I like the feminine style of their themes. Their style is very classy and elegant and light.
Book Bumblings–This has been a great resource for myself, as I look for great blogging tips. I especially love her EXCEL spreadsheets for tracking your books and ARC’s even. I recently started to use these spreadsheets and its been helping me track my books and most especially my ARC reading. She also has some great tips for SEO, Email Marketing and using Social Media.