Mar 072011
 

…crazy fun!

Sheila, Mindy and I had a blast hanging with book people we knew as well as meeting new book friends. Part of me can’t believe I’m posting so many photos with me in them, but I’m over it. It was way too much fun not to share these photos with you.

Shanda, Mindy, Sheralyn Pratt, Lisa Mangum, Sheila, and Natasha (@mawbooks - she started this whole thing)

Shanda, LT Elliot, Jenn Johansson, and Nichole Giles

Shanda & Margot Hovley (aka @the_damsel)

Shanda & beautiful Penelope from @ReadingFever

Kim from Good Clean Reads, Heather (@FireIcePhotos) & me. Again. :)

Nichole Giles, Sheralyn Pratt, Sheila, Christy (@dearestdreams), Shanda & Mindy

Bree Despain, Debbie (@cranberryfries), Sheila, Shanda & Mindy

See what I mean? Too fun! Thanks to everyone who organized the social. We had a great time & we’re looking forward to the next one.

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Happy day!

 Posted by  Blog News, News
Feb 022011
 

Do you remember this post from a few weeks back?

Well, guess what came today!

Woohoo! Check it out- courtesy of my good friend, Sarah M. Eden in honor of her latest book release, The Kiss of a Stranger, which I bought last week in anticipation of completing my Whitney judging.

On this frigid day I plan on settling by the fire with my new book and my new mug full of hot chocolate. Sigh. I’m in my own little corner of reader heaven.

Thank you, Sarah!

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Jan 242011
 

In honor of LDSWBR’s five year anniversary, we spent the weekend moving our blogger posts here to the podcast blog so we could combine the two sites into one. Let me say that for not having lifted even one box of books, my back feels like I relocated the Beast’s library. (I really need to work on my posture while working at the computer. Ha!)

Since it was Bloggiesta these past three days, it was the perfect time to hunker down and completely redo the entire podcast blog. After hours, and hours, and hours, the new place looks AWESOME. Don’t you think? It’s just my opinion of course. Kind of like how every mom thinks her baby’s the cutest – because it is.

By the way, if you subscribed to LDSWBR through blogger/blogspot (ldswbr.blogspot.com) please update your reader feed to: http://feeds.feedburner.com/LDSWomensBookReview

If you get the LDSWBR blogspot posts in email, please re-subscribe here on this blog so you won’t miss a thing.

Now for a quick list of the extreme blog makeover to-dos that we crossed off our list:

  • Created a new logo using original creative work and free commercial-use fonts. I spent about 6 hours taking photos, manipulating them in Photoshop, and formatting it for the new theme. Add another 1-2 hours for the blog button, since by the time I made the button I wasn’t tracking my time anymore.
  • Tweaked the new theme on the test site for 12-15+ hours, learning what did what and alternately getting confused and frustrated followed by exclamations of amazement and awe every time we discovered something cool. We did a lot of experimenting as well as finalizing the settings because apparently once we decided how we wanted it to look we could just export the settings to the live site and BAM- done! It wasn’t a perfectly smooth transition but it was SO much easier than redoing all the settings on the live blog.
  • Once I finalized how I wanted the blog to look, I spent another 12+ hours deciding what content I wanted, where I wanted it and, sometimes, researching how to get it there. It’s kind of funny what content seemed so necessary when I first set up my blogs. It was nice to slim the side bars down a bit and move some things up to the nav bar. I did tweak some post and page content here and there as well.
  • Visited #bloggiesta on Twitter. I probably spent a good 2-4 hours skimming through tweets and following links to some really great information. There was so much going on with #bloggiesta that it was at times hard to both follow the hashtag and work on the blog, but hey, everyone deserves to take a break once in a while, right?
  • Organizing and updating blogroll links took another 4-5 hours as I was combining blogs I follow on both the podcast site and blogger. I also split the blogroll links into categories instead of one long list.
  • While I was doing all of this my hubby was moving content from our old Mambo site and blogger into our WordPress blog. Ah, those old comments from 5 years ago- should we keep you or let you go? Ultimately we kept some, but not all. Took about 4 hours.
  • Hubby took down the site for maintenance and then 4 hours later put it back up all shiny and new. :)
  • I added pages and categories and parent categories and edited the latest posts that were originally on Blogger because they didn’t format well and the HTML badly needed to be cleaned up. Still have hundreds of posts to clean up, but it’s a start. This took 2+ hours.
  • I wrote a “We’ve moved!” post on the old blog, then hubby added the automatic redirection to the new site as well as a few more behind-the-scenes plug-ins like Google Analytics, etc. That took maybe an hour or so.
  • We accomplished this while nursing a sick 3 year-old. There is still plenty of work to be done. While this might seem like a fairly short list, each bulleted task consisted of anywhere from a dozen to innumerable smaller tasks.
  • Some of the things left on the to-do list: make a google form for review requests; update the About Us information; add an Our Favorite Books page in the nav bar; upload photos used in blogger posts to the Media Library and replace the photos that still link to blogger; change/update links in old blogger posts; finish cleaning up HTML in old blogger posts so they will render correctly in WordPress; update tags and categories on the imported blog posts so they are easier to find and sort; upload all of our LDSWBR related photos to Flickr and add a widget to the blog so everyone can enjoy them.
  • Oh, one more thing I need to do: Write a post with all the details for our huge “5th Podcast-iversary” contest. We want to give a lot of stuff away, so watch for details.

So in all, we technically spent at least 55-60 hours on blog improvements, but it sure felt like longer than that. I’m so glad it’s done. I’m pleased with the results and I think the hard work and long hours were worth it. The Bloggiesta helped keep me motivated to stick to it and get it done, especially when things became difficult or I got tired. I am looking forward to the next Bloggiesta, though I’m thinking I might have to have my own personal Bloggiesta soon to tackle the last of the to-dos.

It was a Fiesta! The Bloggiesta! Now it’s time for…a siesta…I’m going to go to bed now that the sun is up. Enjoy the newly-refurbished LDS Women’s Book Review blog and thanks for hanging with me this far!

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Jan 212011
 

From Maw Books, host of Bloggiesta:
Some of you may be asking what is Bloggiesta? In short, it’s a blogging marathon. A opportunity to cross those nagging items off of your to-do list and improve your blog while in the good company of other awesome bloggers doing the same thing. Our awesome mascot Pedro (Plan. Edit. Develop. Review. Organize) is ready to break out the nachos, enchiladas, drinks, mariachi music and whack a pinata or two! It’s nothing short of an awesome fiesta!

I’m so excited to be a part of Bloggiesta. This is the perfect time for some big changes that have needed to happen on the LDSWBR blog and podcast website.

LDS Women’s Book Review podcast is celebrating its 5 year anniversary this month, and to celebrate we are doing some major tweaking. Change can be scary, but don’t worry, the end result is going to be awesome.

I’ll be tracking the time I spent on the changes and challenges on this post. Check back later to see how I did.

If you have any suggestions (or encouragement) for me, please comment below. Any and all feedback is welcome! Just be polite. :)

If your blog has been in need of some tidying, or maybe even an extreme makeover, visit Maw Books to sign up for the Bloggiesta.

**BLOGGIESTA UPDATE – JAN 23

With the help of my tech genius hubby, we have been checking new blog To-Dos off the list like crazy. I’ll post a list of all the things we were able to do on Monday, after we get everything changed over. I can’t wait for you to see all we’ve done!

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Apr 302010
 

Would you watch?
Too too funny. Check it out here.

The comments are hilarious!

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 Comments Off on Survivor: LDS Author Style @ Timothy Types TMI Blog  Tagged with: ,
Apr 152010
 
Recently, Sheila, Hillary and I were able to sit down with Karen Hoover, author of The Sapphire Flute, and Candace Salima, president of Valor Publishing for Episode 43. We had spoken briefly with Karen at the Valor Publishing Book Launch in March, and it was nice to be able to speak with Karen about her book in greater detail. Candace is teaching at the LDStorymakers Conference taking place April 23-24 at the Provo Marriott Hotel.
If you’re still debating about attending the LDStorymakers Conference, listen to Episode 43 and learn how much the Conference helped both Karen and Candace in their success as authors.

Today, April 15, is THE LAST DAY TO REGISTER for the LDStorymakers Conference. There are no walk-ins this year, so don’t delay- register today!

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