Blog Jog Day

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Blog Jog Day is May 9th. It's a celebration and promotion of blogs all over the Internet and you can be a part of that too. It's a day bloggers you've never heard of will be promoting your site. The aim is to attract unique visitors to niches they would've never considered before. It's also hoped that readers will discover blogs they want to become a permanent part of. It's a day when each person in the circle of blog joggers will be promoting someone else's blog. It'll will be a great day full of fun and making new contacts and friends.


This is a promotion event I want to invite all my friends to join. I have a feeling that this is the start of something big. If it is, I want to be in from the start. It's an event run by author and blogger, Carol Denbow. Check out the website and/or send her an email (address on blog) for more information.


Join Blog Jog Day on May 9th. Let's all promote each other!

5 Fun Blogger Gadgets For Your Blog

5 Top Blogger Gadgets for Your Blog seeks to highlight some very handy and useful gadget to use when you manage a number of blogs. At the same time, we can do with some fun in our lives. I've picked these 5 out of the thousands available, not because they have any particular usefulness,  but because they can add charm, beauty and imagination to your blog. You can easily access these gadgets by going to your blog's layout.
Click on 'add a gadget', then go through 'more gadgets' to find these and others like them available. If you're pressed for time, just use the 'link' I've provided after each of these below to get to your chosen page. Remember to use the panels provided to properly customise each gadget to suit your individual needs.

Fun Blogger gadgets for your blog

Event
This fun Blogger gadget helps you and your readers to keep abreast of special events happening in the near future. Have you written an e-Book recently? Do you have a book launch, a special blog tour, a contest? 'My events' is splendid as a temporary way to add social interaction to your blog. Link Or go to your Layout - Add a Gadget - Featured Gadgets (click on blue print at the top left hand corner of the 'add gadgets' page) - and My Event is the 5th one on the list.

Flikr Photostream


I have this gadget on my new Shakespeare scenes blog. It showcases your most recent pictures uploaded on flickr and adds interest to a new blog when you're still not too sure of what gadgets you want included. It adds colour, a bit of fun, and something extra for your new readers to look at while you build your blog. Link Or go to your Layout - Add a Gadget - Featured Gadgets - and Flickr Photostream is the 7th one on the list.

The Daily Puppy

This fun Blogger gadget may appeal to people who like dogs. Even if we don't, we have to keep in mind that sites which feature animals (especially the cute, baby variety) do pretty well when it comes to increasing their page views. This gadget displays a different picture of a cute puppy each day. This one can be customised for size and the number of puppies you show. Link Or go to your Layout - Add a Gadget - More Gadgets - and Daily Puppy is in the middle of the first page.

Twitter 'Follow Me' Buttons
Just go to the page, click on a number and 'update.' You'll be spoilt for choice with the number of interesting/funny/cute 'follow me' buttons on offer. link Or go to Layout - Add a Gadget - More Gadgets - and Twitter 'Follow Me' buttons are in the middle of the second page of gadgets.

Pictures of Baby exotic animals - fun Blogger gadget



A beautiful, large selection of exotic baby animals to soften the look of your blog. Of course you can choose the height of this gadget, but I suspect you would want it a medium size to properly showcase this lovely selection. Again, this is not a feature of any particular use. It just sits there looking pretty. I can do with some 'pretty', can't you? Link Or go to your Layout - Add a Gadget - More Gadgets - and Pictures of exotic baby animals' gadget is towards the bottom of page 3.

Stay tuned for more hand-picked blogger gadgets. If you liked these fun Blogger gadgets, you will also need to add, free gadgets to increase page views, or Blogger's most useful gadgets. Why not check out this page of a range of free gadgets for your blog to find the one that suits you. If you liked 5 Fun Blogger Gadgets for Your Blog, I would love it if you shared this post on your favourite networking sites. Thank you.

Use Your Blogger Nav Bar: Share On Google Buzz

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If you're a regular blogger, no doubt you will have noticed that you can now submit your posts straight to Google Buzz merely by clicking the Share button from your navbar. Blogger users were previously able to share their new updates to Twitter, Facebook, and Google Reader. This welcome Google addition has come at a perfect time when Google Buzz is making quite an impact on our Internet and social-networking usage.


To clarify, the NavBar is the narrow panel you see across the top of your blog. From left to right, it gives you these options: 
Blogger search panel - search for any Blogger blog on the Internet. 
Follow - use this button to follow any blog you've landed on.
Share - share content (of any blog) on four different social networking sites. 
Report Abuse 
Next Blog - takes you to another random blog of a similar topic. For example clicking 'Next Blog' while on a writing site, will bring you to another blog of this genre. 


On the right hand of the NavBar you should see the following: 
Your own username (you only ever see your own). 
New Post - a short cut to making new posts. 
Customise brings you to your layout page and finally, you can sign out.


Back to the topic at hand: Share This now allows Blogger users to submit all their new posts with a click of a button. Don't miss out on your opportunity to make use of this. Google has also recently launched a Google Buzz button, you can also get this for your site. Go to http://www.google.com/buzz/stuff and customise your own Google Buzz button.




Happy buzzing! And don't forget to check out our How Do I Blog page for more articles. 



This Week's Three Best Selling Books On Amazon

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From time to time I bring my readers a list of some great books to read. They don't necessarily have anything to do with writing or blogging, but as the sun is waking up from its lengthy hibernation, now is the perfect time to sit outside with a good book (or two). So after the gardening is done, get these for your kindle (or paperback) and settle into a good read.


Here's this week's list: 


The Dark Tide by Andrew Gross

The Dark Tide



This book is ranked as a best seller in General books and has an average of four and a half stars, out of a possible five. It attracted 113 reviews and is published by Harper, reprint edition.
David Pitt from the Booklist says: 


The second solo novel from frequent James Patterson cowriter Gross is much better than his first. This one begins with a bang, as a bomb explodes in a commuter train station, killing several people, including New York City hedge-fund manager Charles Friedman. At roughly the same time, a suspicious auto accident kills a young man in Greenwich, Connecticut. The detective on that case, Ty Hauck, soon discovers an odd connection between the hit-and-run and the bombing. He investigates and discovers that Charles Friedman was not the man he appeared to be. He also forges a connection with the dead man’s wife, Karen, that leads him into uncharted waters.


The Dark Side is available in several formats including kindle , hard cover, paperback, CD, audio book etc. With an introduction like the one above, it's no wonder so many people are dipping their fingers into the dark tide.


Rooms by James L Hubbard


Rooms: A Novel



Rooms was published by B&H Books and has caused quite a stir on the literary front, especially in the Mystery and Spirituality tagged sections. Rooms has nineteen customer reviews with a staggering five star average. I haven't seen a perfect score like this for a very long time. The art work on the jacket is intriguing enough to tickle anyone's curiosity bone. Rooms is available in Kindle and paperback formats.
Amazon's product (part) review: 


On a rainy spring day in Seattle, young software tycoon Micah Taylor receives a cryptic, twenty-five-year-old letter from a great uncle he never knew. It claims a home awaits him on the Oregon coast that will turn his world inside out. Suspecting a prank, Micah arrives at Cannon Beach to discover a stunning brand new nine-thousand square foot house. And after meeting Sarah Sabin at a nearby ice cream shop, he has two reasons to visit the beach every weekend.

When bizarre things start happening in the rooms of the home, Micah suspects they have some connection to his enigmatic new friend, Rick, the town mechanic. But Rick will only say the house is spiritual. 


A Promise To Remember by Kathryn Cushman


A Promise to Remember


A Promise To Remember has been on Amazon's best selling list for some time now. The surprising thing about this book is that even though it's included as one of Kindle's free uploads, it has attracted quite a number of positive reviews (some negative ones too). Considering nineteen people out of twenty-five gave it a five star review (after getting it free), it's certainly worth a look.
One customer's review:
This isn't the type of story that I normally read. I was really surprised to find out how much I liked this book. I expected to be bored but I never was. This author did a really great job showing two women dealing with grief in mostly realistic ways. The characters were flawed but not so flawed that they were not likeable. I'm different from most reviewers in that I liked one of the mothers better than the other. However, both were likable and I felt compassion for each one. This book is thought-provoking, warm, and hopeful. 
A Promise to Remember was published by Bethany House and is available in Kindle, hard cover and paperback formats. If you do have a kindle, it should already be on it, ready for you to read. 


Watch out for my next post on Amazon's best-selling books. Subscribe to this blog so you'll be one of the first to be updated with what's hot on Amazon.



Whinging Wednesday - Shoes That Tone Your Bottom

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Don't know if you've been given the news yet, but the market is awash with shoes that plump your bottom. Yay! No need for that planned surgery any more. I know this sounds a bit crazy, but you've got to hear me out.


All you have to do to tone your gluteus maximus (the muscle - or pocket of flesh - that is your bottom) is buy these shoes and wear them. Seriously, there is no need for exercise, no need for eating right, nothing. Forget all the years and effort you put into climbing up and down the steps, wearing out your cheap, multicoloured stairs carpet. 


Never mind all the rides you turned down just so you could walk an extra block to give those babies a boost. Don't even think about all the hours wasted at that expensive gym, where you swallowed your pride and got on that awkward, uppy, downy machine which makes your bottom wiggle and jiggle. And the times you looked all stupid climbing the stairs at work when all the J-lo haters were taking the stairs - forget about it!


These new and improved shoes come with a built-in plan. They do just what they say they will. Honest! I give you my word they'll work. After all, I have seen this advert on the telly. 


Have a bonfire and get rid of your hated rowing machine and gym bikes that take up so much space in your living rooms and conservatories. It's not like you use them anyway. Of course, you meant to when you got them home from the store, but by the time you'd finished paying (with interest) for them, the excitement had faded, and frankly, you don't have the time.


The diet? You can forget that too. These shoes are the bees' knees. They are all you need for a toned, fit, attractive tushy. Buy them and yours would be the talk of the town. 


Come on (insert name of very popular sports shoes manufacturers, think something that rhymes with 'zeepoc') who do you think you're kidding? While I must admit I love watching the lovely bums on my television screen, (maybe even much more than my husband does, but that's an issue I will take up with my shrink if I ever do get one) I don't for one minute believe that mere shoes can do wonders to any part of my body. This has got the 'too good to be true' story written all over its sole. 


Skechers Women's Shape Up-Strength Fitness Walking Shoe,Black/White,10 M US
The link is for those who want to see what they are.

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Thanks for your time, the visit, and your comments. I really do appreciate them.

I started A Blogger's Books when I realised, in my search for information, that many sites offer blogging/writing advice aimed at people who are already halfway through this journey. This blog is about the research I have done and the lessons I have learned in order to get to that half-way point. I hope I can help you get there too. 


Please subscribe to this blog. It is free and you can unsubscribe whenever your purpose is no longer being served.

Just click on the 'subscribe' icon in the title bar or on the link at the top of this page, and you can have my new posts straight to your inbox.  Thank you.

Let me also say that a small amount of my posts are sponsored. As you can see, I have Google adsense and Amazon adverts on my page. These help with running and web hosting costs incurred from having a domain blog such as this one. Thank you for your patience. If you would like to advertise anything relating to A Blogger's Books' niche, please contact me.


If you have any questions, send me an email


Blogger's Top Gadgets

Blogger's top gadgets has everyone talking about them, because when it comes to gadgets, Blogger has certainly pulled out all the stops. When I started blogging years ago, before I really knew how to blog properly, there were just a handful of gadgets on offer. This number has steadily grown and now you can access more than a thousand of them simply by going to your blog's Layout and Add a gadget.


Of course, if you were to add them all there would be no place left to actually do any posting. This is why I've come up with a list of what I think are the best Blogger gadgets, new and old, to add to your blog. 


Blogger's Top Gadgets


Pages



This is a new addition to Blogger. It's terribly useful for additions like an 'About me' or a 'links' page. Go to your layout page. 'Add a gadget' then add 'pages.' Once you've done this you can design whatever you want for this feature and showcase it on your link bar or your side panel etc. Move it around on your blog until you've got it in a prominent place where it won't be missed by passing visitors.




Followers



Many bloggers don't see a need to add this top gadget because they don't think it helps the look of the blog in any way. This is a mistake. Having a followers' panel makes it clear that you want to make friends. It calls your viewer to a course of action. It asks them to follow your blog, to come back and read it again. Remember that like search engines, people also follow the crowd. If you have no follow panel, chances are  you won't be added to anyone's friend-connection circles. This is also a valid chance to offer your visitors something back. People can arrive on their site from yours. You're advertising their blogs as they are yours, when you follow them.

HTML/Javascript 



These days it's almost impossible to have a blog without adding a few html/javascript panels to it. If you're going to have any ads on your blog, a blog list showcasing your links, your books, your other sites etc. you need to add this gadget. It can also be used to implement things like add this panels, twitter updates, follow me, add me on facebook etc. Many bloggers prefer to use html/javascript instead of messing with their blog's general html codes. Remember if you want to earn money online from blogging, you definitely need this top gadget for enabling adsense and other ads. 






Blog list



This gadget has two basic uses. The first one naturally, is simply to pay back your blogging friends for supporting you. You advertise their sites on your blog so that your readers can be introduced to them and vice versa. The second purpose of having a blog list is to make it easy for you to keep up with what's happening with the blogs you like to read. It's difficult to keep up with your friends' recent posts. A blog list saves you from having to visit your favourite sites individually to check for their latest articles. Instead, you can easily see the new posts from your very own page. There is an option in this gadget. You can choose to feature just the titles of the posts, or pictures, snippets, dates etc. Play around until you get exactly what's right for you. 


Subscribe



Put this in a prominent place on your blog. Similar to the followers panel, this calls for a definite course of action from your visitors. By just clicking on a button they can subscribe to your page and get all your posts by email.


Recent Posts


It helps to have archives so that passing visitors can see what your blog is about. In addition, with Blogger's top gadgets, you can choose to place your recent posts in a prominent position on your page. You can edit this gadget for size and choose the amount of posts you want included. From just one panel, visitors can access your recent articles with a click of a button. 

Recent Comments


This is another very important gadget to show your friends and supporters how much you appreciate them. Research has shown that blogs with a 'recent comments' gadget have more comments per post than blogs without it. People who leave comments are aware that their names/blogs are advertised for free on your site. This is a chance not to be sneezed at. This gadget can be properly edited. You can choose how many characters you want displayed. Your commentators will have their names displayed on your blog, but you can choose how much of the actual comment you want there. I suggest using shorter forms of each comment (fewer characters) so that you can get a larger number of commentators on the front page. 

Twitter Update

Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook play a very important role in your blogging life. Allow the people who land on your page to make contact with you by choosing to add this gadget to your blog.   Your new twitter followers can help spread the word about your blog on Twitter, and you can do the same for them.


Let me know if you have any difficulty adding these Blogger top gadgets to your page. If you're just starting out on Blogger and need some more Blogging tips, you need to visit this page. If you're looking for some writing opportunities, why not click on the link. As always, thanks for the visit and I'd dearly appreciate it if you shared 'Blogger's Top Gadgets' on your favourite social networking sites. Thank you.

Write Your Own Children's Book

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Many people I know are attempting to write for children. I, myself have toyed with the idea and have unearthed varied suggestions, sometimes even conflicting advice. I have to admit that I do have some kids' stories ideas, and even some abandoned writing tucked away. So far, I have not come to a final decision either way.


One thing I found very encouraging was that despite the world-wide economic downturn, the sale of children's books has remained a constant, and in some cases have even increased in sales. I suppose no parent sees a shortage of funds as a reason to stop entertaining or educating their kids. 


I also noted that Robyn Opie, author of more than 76 children's books, has written an impressive guide on how to create great children's books that publishers actually want to take on.
She's addresses issues of dialogue and characters kids love to read. She also talks about the best ways to plot and edit your book. She's even included a section on how to format your manuscript and research the marketplace. 


I think this is a fantastic opportunity to dive into the world of children's writing, especially since everything you want to know is in one place. If you want to check this guide out just Click Here and this could be the start of your new career.

Tulagi Hotel

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Tulagi Hotel is an amazing, exciting book by the stunningly talented Finnish writer Heikki Hietala. It was published by Dragon Independent International Arts  on April 12, 2010, and is available in hardcover and paperback at Amazon and The Book Depository, as well as selected bookshops. You can also purchase an e-book for Amazon's Kindle.



Here's the blurb

World War II has given Jack McGuire the chance to escape the confines of the Midwest and the family farm. An ace U.S. Marine fighter pilot, he risks his life each day with his squadron in the South Pacific theatre. For him, there's calm and camaraderie up there in the cockpit. But when the war ends, Jack struggles to find his place in civilian society.


Turning his back on his home, family and inheritance, he returns to the Solomon Islands. Here he builds a hotel on the same island paradise he flew
over in his years of combat, and settles down to a relaxed lifestyle in the sun.

But when Kay Wheeler, the widow of his wartime best friend and wingman, comes to visit the island, Jack's orderly world is disrupted. He is forced to consider whether there's room enough for two in his reinvented life.

I can personally recommend this book. It will pummel your heart, bring you tears, then set you free like no book has done before.




Anne's a published author, freelance writer and experienced editor. She's just signed her second publishing contract this year with 2 separate publishing houses. You can hire her or see her available books in the side panel on the right.
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