ArmchairBEA 2013: Blogger Development & Genre Fiction

Posted May 29, 2013 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in ArmchairBEA / 26 Comments

armchairBEADay two here at Armchair BEA and we are talking blogging and genre fiction. This could be interesting; I can’t wait to see what people say about both topics. When it comes to blogging I take this serious; it’s not that I want to become a professional and earn money (sure that would be nice but I want to treat this as a hobby, I’d love to get paid for doing what I love but I’m happy to have fun) I just like things organised and looking good. I’m not entirely happy with the way my blog looks but I think I lack the coding and graphic design skills to fix it so I leave it the way it is. Now when it comes to blogging platforms, I’m an elitist and think a self published wordpress blog is the only way to go; it is the only way to be flexible and professional. I’ve also recently discovered this amazing plugin thanks to The Oaken Bookcase which has been a book blogging lifesaver (after the hours spent going though older posts to fill in the information) so if you are on check it out.

Last year I wrote a Top Tips for Book Blogging post as part of Armchair BEA but think time I think I would just like to share my goals for this blog which should lead into the talking about genre fiction. This blog originally started as a way to document my reading journey, I’ve always thought my target audience is me and any other readers are just added bonuses. Now I want to be a literary explorer, I don’t want to get tied into only reading one genre, so before I started this blog I started a Goodreads book club also called Literary Exploration  in which we try to read different books in different themes and genres. Now this is all voted on so sometimes I think the book club can get a little stuck on reading cannon books but it is a lot of fun and still takes me out of my comfort zone. This led to the Literary Exploration Reading Challenge where we challenged people to read a book from different genres. This has had such a positive result that I think it will become a yearly challenge (with some fine tuning) and I hope it will continue to push people out of their comfort zones.

Now I like to read literary books but I do enjoy some good hard crime (hard-boiled and noir) but as a literary explorer I have to force myself to read all genres. I really struggle with Fantasy (not so much urban fantasy), Romance, Erotica, Chick Lit, Paranormal and Young Adult fiction but I really try. I think it is important to be willing to try other genres because there are always great books to experience and if we are not willing to try we end up missing books that could become our next loved book. A recent example of this for me was The People of Forever Are Not Afraid by Shani Boianjiu, I expected Young/New Adult but I got so much more for the book.

ArmchairBEA is a virtual convention for book blogger who can’t attend Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention. Banner by Nina of Nina Reads and button by Sarah of Puss Reboots

26 responses to “ArmchairBEA 2013: Blogger Development & Genre Fiction

  1. Kathryn Trask


    I love what you say about literary exploration, I think you have a very good point there. As I read mainly to relax and overcome stress of the job I mainly stick to what I like. However I have a personal goal for this year to read a couple of books outside my comfort zone. I should look in on your book group for some ideas.

    Yes well I am with blogger, but if I had given it more thought would have gone with I do use a wordpress blog for my classroom and am familiar with it. But no I jump in and go with Blogger. When I retire next year I may look at switching it as I will have more time.

    Great post.


    My Blogger Development

    • Michael @ Literary Exploration

      Literary exploration has been working really well for me, I feel like I’m not entrenching myself in one genre and finding great books everywhere I look

  2. Barbara

    I’m with Kathyrn on blogger. Had I known I might have started with wordpress, but now it seems quite late to switch. I have read across genres though there are some I avoid — romance, chic lit. But I have read a lot and for a long time, so I am now somewhat selective about my reading. There was a time when I would try just about anything.

  3. Stormy C

    Literary exploration is definitely a thing I’m working on! Before I started blogging six months ago, I hardly ever read YA fiction, and now it’s what I read the most. I’m pretty easy when it comes to genres, but there are some I still shy away from, and I’m hoping to expand my reading taste a bit.

  4. Liviania

    That sounds like a great club! I know blogging keeps pushing me out of my comfort zone in the best way.

  5. I feel the same way…that I lack the coding and design skills to get my blog where I really want it. I’m learning…slowly. I think it’s great that you’ve started your own reading challenge. I’ve toyed with that idea myself, but there are SO many reading challenges that I figured anything I could come up with is probably already out there. I give you kudos for trying romance, erotica, chick lit, paranormal, and YA. Sounds like you’re doing great with your blogger development!

    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

  6. Rachel @ Unforgettable Books

    I enjoy branching out into different genres too. I like some crime books, the suspense and mystery is exciting to read about. It was nice to read about you reading journey with the challenge you created.

  7. Ems

    Pushing people out of their comfort zones is the best thing about a book group! I’ve been trying to branch out as well, and it’s been fun.

  8. Kim Ukura

    I’ve seen lots of people mention the Ultimate Book Blogger plugin. Is there a way to customize the look (one thing I haven’t liked is most of the blogs I see using it end up looking really similar).

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