I’m very happy to be able to welcome Sarah Odedina to the blog today, talking about her new job at One World Publishing.
You’ve been a part of the publishing industry for a long time now. What first drew you to editing, and how do you view your role?
When I look back to my post schedules for this time last year, one thing kept popping up: ‘My Blogging Essentials.’ Although I knew exactly how I was going to write the post, I could never quite get it right. There was either something wrong with the pictures, or something else popped up. Finally, though, you’re getting the post! Here are some of my blogging essentials!
My Blogging Notebook
Without my notebook, I doubt I could blog half as much as I do. It’s where I write all of my schedules, all of my post ideas, and it’s my main place of organisation. I’m nearly running out of space in it though, which I’m very sad about! You can pick up pretty cheap notebooks at The Works, which is where I always buy mine. I find the size of them suits me very well because I definitely prefer a larger notebook with a spiralled edge.
I always have a book nearby when I’m writing my post because I can then dip in and out whilst I’m waiting for a photo to upload. It’s also a better way to be distracted than social media! In the picture you can see New Girl by Carmen Reid and Only Ever Yours by Louise O’Neill.
I always like to have my phone as a back up if I have to tweet because my Tweet Deck seems to by a bit untrustworthy from time to time. I couldn’t run Twitter chats without it, and it’s also where I can tweet and Instagram from during the day when I’m not at my laptop. I’ve also got into the habit of lying in bed at 6:30 in the morning and answering emails, and I couldn’t do it without my phone.
I now have a Macbook Air and it has been a lifesaver. I can use it to edit my videos and I also have Tweet Deck downloaded on it to help run my #ukyachat’s. Without it, I’d be completely lost! It’s like my child.
I recently invested in a Canon 700D and it’s a main part of my blogging tool kit now. It’s really sparked my love for photography and the pictures on the blog have improved leaps and bounds to how they were a year ago. I love all of the features on it and being able to change the settings. It’s really worth the money!
And finally for the most important thing to have – chocolate! It’s great to use as a motivational tool (“Write five blog posts and you’ll get chocolate, Lucy!”) and it also tastes amazing. I definitely favour the Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Oreo which tastes like you have died and gone to heaven. I LOVE it!
What are your blogging must-haves?
I love finding new bloggers and reading back through all of their old blog posts. I thought I would share some of my favourite blogs today so you can do the same!
Lauryn writes so articulately and every single blog post of hers is a pleasure to read. I wish I could write as beautifully as her because she’s so talented. Her blog is truly unique, and she deserves all of the success she has had so far. One of my favourite blogs!
Rhys’s blog always has the most perfect graphics that I’ll forever be in awe of! I’m also totally jealous of his blog design, and there’s always a variety of brilliant posts. And whilst you’re checking out his blog, fill out the Book Community Survey 2015!
Although only a recent member of the blogosphere, Chelle’s blog is AMAZING! Chelle is such a lovely person and I think you should go and follow her on Twitter right away. Tales of Yesterday is one of the best YA book blogs out there and I’m so pleased to see it growing even more as time passes.
Whilst Bookish Peeps isn’t technically a book blog, it is full of book bloggers! Bookish Peeps is a forum started up by Jesse and I think it’s a wonderful idea. It’s a place to go for lots of bookish discussion, and I’m hoping to contribute a lot more to the discussions in the next few months.
What are your favourite blogs of the moment?
I know you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover, but sometimes I can’t help it. In the past few years, cover design has improved so much and there are always gorgeous new books being released. Here are a few of my favourites!
When you take off the dust jacket of The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman, revealed is this gorgeous illustration by Chris Riddell. I’m a huge fan of the illustrations in the book, and the dust jacket of this hardback is even translucent so you can see the illustration through it.
I adore the post-it notes on All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. Whilst I haven’t read it yet, I’m really looking forward to because it has been a major 2015 release. The cover stands out so nicely on my bookcase and is so bright! I love this shade of blue on covers.
All of Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle books have amazing covers and I particularly love Blue Lily, Lily Blue. It’s as if you can see each layer and I think you could put it in a frame and hang it on your wall – it’s that appealing!
Trouble by Non Pratt has perhaps the best cover on a YA novel EVER. Yes, that really is an egg being fertilised on the front. Being about teenage pregnancy, I love how you instantly know what the book will be about, and it’s admirable because it breaks down unnecessary barriers that should have been broken down a long time ago.
What are your favourite covers?
With lots more authors under the age of 20 being published, those of us left behind can often feel the mounting pressure. So how much of a difference does being published at a young age make?
Being 15, every birthday can feel like a step closer to author failure. My teenagerdom is a ticking time bomb. I’m in the process of starting my own manuscript, but it’s as if the pressure is on. Young people being published is an amazing thing, and I am in awe of every single person who has been published at such a young age, but I can’t help but feel a tiny bit inconsequential every time I hear about a new book deal.
That being said, young authors are amazing. Often they have to juggle schoolwork with writing, edits and then promotional stuff afterwards. I hate the phrase “that’s so good! I can’t believe he/she is so young” because young people have exactly the same potential as older people. I find it rather degrading because I’ve read books by young authors that are far better than those written by older writers.
I need to remind myself that there’s no rush. Take your time, figure out who you are as person and how you write, and it will all come naturally. Write because you love it; not because you feel like you have to.
So you may be new to reading YA, or just looking for some awesome book recommendations… Today I’m going to help you add LOTS and LOTS of books to your TBR piles!
Undone by Cat Clarke will give you ALL THE FEELS. It made me cry so much and I loved every single second of reading it. It’s a must have on your shelf because it has LGBT themes, deals with grief and loss, and also has a brilliant plot!
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater is a favourite YA book of mine because I read it right when I was getting serious about reading YA. It’s about werewolves which may seem cheesy after Twilight but it’s such a refreshing urban fantasy novel that you can become invested in easily.
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor has SO many fans. I still haven’t read the second or third books in the trilogy, but I really enjoyed the first instalment when I read it a few years ago. It’s completely unpredictable so it’s a very exciting reading experience!
The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson is one of my favourite books of 2015 so far and is about imitations of the Jack the Ripper murders happening in London. Rory, the main character, is American and starts at a boarding school in London just as the murders start to happen. I LOVE this series a lot and can’t stop recommending it! SO, SO fantastic!
Trouble by Non Pratt is about teenage pregnancy and it’s written perfectly. I enjoyed it so much and can’t wait to read Non’s next book, Remix, as I loved Trouble so much.
We Were Liars….It really is best to lie about this book because the least you know about it the better! It took the book world by storm last year, and I still can’t believe the shock ending! I really didn’t expect it at all.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell is one of my all-time favourite books and perfect for people who love sites like Tumblr and are involved in Internet culture. It’s about a girl called Cath who, alongside her twin sister, is starting college. Cath writes fan fiction on a book series very similar to Harry Potter!
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas is a favourite fantasy book of mine and centres around Celaena Sardothien, an assassin who is chosen by the prince to enter a competition to become the King’s Assassin. READ IT, READ IT, READ IT!
Have a Little Faith by Candy Harper is hilarious and is a relatively short book too! It’s very true to a British teenager’s life and I adored it.
Every Day by David Levithan tells the story of A, a person who wakes up in a different body each day but, one day, A finds that there’s someone they just can’t let go of. It’s unique and David Levithan writes so beautifully.
Which books would you add to my list? Have you read any of these?
Whilst being a blogger may seem like an easy thing to do, it really is rather difficult! It’s a constant job and, whilst I do love it, sometimes it can become a bit of a chore. In this post, I want to confess to some of the naughty things I do (and don’t do!) and highlight the fact that every blogger works differently.
Confession #1: I spend more time thinking about writing blog posts than actually writing them.
Sometimes my motivation levels can be extremely low. I have SO many ideas for blog posts, but getting them actually written is another thing entirely! What even are words? Occasionally, I really don’t know!
Confession #2: Blogging is a 24/7 job.
Even when you’re not sitting down writing a post, you’ll still be preparing for it by reading or researching; you might be posting on social media or brainstorming ideas. Even when you’re on a hiatus, your blog will still be running around your mind!
Confession #3: I blog instead of doing my homework.
Anything school related most definitely comes second to blogging and reading. Who cares about physics when you can instead talk about your favourite books?!
Confession #4: I wish I was more committed to my blog.
Although I do put lots of time and effort into my blog, I wish I could put more in! I need to get a lot better at organising myself, and I also need a big spring clean of my blog!