Read My Latest Book Reviews…

For all my latest book reviews, book news and author interviews head over to www.vfamilyfun.co.uk

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I’d love to see you there!

kate1

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Me, My Books and I is Moving!

Hello Me, My Books and I readers,

Some of you may already know that I have a second blog called V Family Fun. This has been a place for me to talk about all aspects of my family life except books which have always been posted here on Me, My Books and I. Well, after a lot of thought, I have decided to merge them both together.

Don’t worry though, this won’t be happening overnight. I’ve recently given birth to our fourth child (another beautiful daughter who is doing great and has us all wrapped around her little finger already) and am taking my time to recover from what turned out to be a pretty traumatic experience. When I feel ready to start blogging again my new book reviews will be posted on V Family Fun and eventually I’ll transfer all of my previous reviews over too.

So, for now, Me, My Books and I will be staying put but there won’t be any new book reviews/interviews etc posted here in the future.

If you enjoy my book reviews then I’d love to see you over on V Family Fun so feel free to pop by and say hi! If you’d like to subscribe to V Family Fun blog posts by email so that you don’t miss any new bookish posts you can do so here:

Subscribe to V Family Fun by Email

Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years, I hope you choose to join me on this new chapter in my blogging life!

kate1

The Butterfly Dawn Blog Planner From Jera’s Jamboree And GoodwinDZN

Planning is a vital part of running a blog of any kind and it’s a subject that I’ve seen mentioned many times on social media. Everyone seems to have their own way of doing it but if you want to make life easy on yourself then the sensible solution is to buy a ready-made Blog Planner.

My lovely blogging friend Shaz from Jera’s Jamboree has collaborated with the very talented GoodwinDZN to come up with a Blog Planner that not only looks great but covers a huge range of planning requirements for any type of blogger.

FYI: Goodwin DZN is a graphic design business which has for the past four years designed graphics for indie musicians which includes all promotional material (logos, covers, posters, t-shirts etc) and pitches for a radio station in London.

Introducing the Butterfly Dawn Planner…

Butterfly Dawn Planner

Shaz very kindly sent me a free download of the planner so I could see for myself how useful it can be and I have to say, they really have covered everything. It’s useful for both my book blog and my family blog – it helps me feel in control!

The best part for me is that you can print out the planner (and specific pages) again and again. Some pages you might even want to laminate and write on with a dry wipe pen so you can reuse them.

There are a few pages which are available as a free download (see below) and the full planner is available to download digitally for just £4!

So what pages can you find in the Butterfly Dawn Planner?

Blog Mission Statement

Whether you are new to blogging or an experienced blogger, everyone needs to make plans for what you are hoping to achieve.  You will be able to keep your mission at the front of your planner to remind you of the message you want to share with your audience, whether you are on track with what you were hoping to learn and if your goals have stayed the same or changed.

Monthly Editorial Calendar

The place where you can see your month ahead at a glance and plan your posts.  Dates are blank for you to complete. Print out one for each month or laminate and use a dry wipe pen.

Checklist

Want to see your tasks for the week in one place?  Use the checklist for tasks and the day of the week they need to be completed by.

Daily To Do List

Prioritise your tasks with due deadlines and check whether the task is in progress.  Space for you to note anything you need to do before tomorrow.

Download this page for FREE here

Thought Shower

Use this blank mind map to capture those thoughts when you’re spending creative time planning for future content. Print out for each session or laminate and use a dry wipe pen.

Content Planner

Plan your content with requirements, notes and ideas, preparation and value to your readers.  Is this a collaborative post? Sponsored? Affiliate?  Deadlines, tags, and categories can be recorded.  At a glance you will be able to see where you are in the process of planning your content.

Archive Planner

Why would you need a record of your archives?  The Archive Planner has been included for those evergreen posts from your archives that with a little updating can be re-posted to a new audience.  On this page you will be able to record information such as the original date of the post, what you need to edit and why you are re-publishing.

Pitch List

Have you made pitches to brands?  Here’s where you will record the information, including the date you contacted the brand.

Weekly/Monthly/Annual Statistics

Whether you want to keep a track of your analytics (subscribers, page views, bounce rate, social media etc) on a weekly or monthly basis there is a page to complete for both.  From the start of the week/month to the end you will be able to track where you are towards your blog goals.  Most stats are already on this page but there are blanks for you to add your own.  Transfer your monthly statistics on to the annual page for an overview of the bigger picture.

Butterfly Dawn Planner

Twitter Monthly Statistics

Easy to complete, keep a record of your followers, tweets, impressions, profile visits, mentions and tweets linking to you. Use these statistics to make goals and achieve them.

Facebook Tracker

Running a campaign?  See at a glance the impact of your Facebook post.  How many likes, shares, comments and shares did the post you’re tracking receive?  What was the reach?  Use this to keep your goals on track.

Expenses and Earnings

In most planners you will find these basic accounting functions on separate pages but in this planner you can track your finances with a running total. Record your earnings and expenses and you will be able to see at a glance the financial health of your blog.

Ads/Sponsors Tracker

Record on this page the start/end date of the ads on your blog as well as the revenue and if you have been paid.  You might not be accepting ads at the moment but you might consider it in the future.

Affiliate Tracker

Keep a record of the affiliate programmes you have been accepted on and use when planning your content.

Giveaway Tracker (1)

The Giveaway Tracker records the purpose of a giveaway funded by you (ie; you may have a goal for increasing your Instagram followers and decide to use a giveaway for entrants to do this action to enter). Use the tracker to organise your giveaway with the title of your post, what you are giving away, start/end date as well as the details of the winner and more.

Giveaway Tracker (2)

This tracker organises your sponsored giveaways.  As well as recording information from the funded giveaway you have the option of adding the company, their website and contact.

Linky List

If you take part in linky’s regularly it can be hard to keep track on who you are going to link with and when.  Use this page to record the linky name/website, what day of the week and the host’s social media information.

Contacts

Keep a record of your contacts in one place.

Download this page for FREE here

Passwords

If your planner isn’t leaving your home then you might want to use this page for recording your passwords.  However, for security purposes, remember that it should be kept secured.  Only use it if you’re confident you are the only person with access to your blog planner.

There are also two specific pages just for us book bloggers…

Books To Read

The majority of book bloggers have huge towering ‘to be read’ piles.  Use this page to record the title, author, genre, publisher, source (did you purchase it? was it gifted? Is it a review copy?), is there a deadline? Date finished reading. Use the tick box for adding to your schedule, when your review is drafted, when the review is scheduled and published and shared with social media. Straightforward recording but it might save you from missing out that all important novel you should have been reading.

Download this page for FREE here

Butterfly Dawn Planner

Blog Tour Tracker

Blog Tours are usually booked up in advance so keep yourself organised with this simple recording page.  Note the date, publisher, PR contact.  Did you say you would review? Or host a guest post? Take part with a Q&A?  Use the tick box.  Write your notes and then use the tick box to record where you are in the process.

There are also two Yearly calendars (2016 and 2017) for those of you who want to see the year at a glance.

If this design isn’t quite your thing, never fear because there are plans for alternative designs in the future and they’re happy to take suggestions so if you are a blogger with a niche and would like specific pages created for you, get in touch. It’s definitely worth keeping an eye on the website.

Do you use a blog planner? Is the Butterfly Dawn Planner everything you’ve ever dreamed of as a blogger? I’d love to hear from you.

 kate1

I’m Pregnant… Again!!!

You may (or may not) have noticed that I haven’t been around much recently. I’m here today to explain why – I’m expecting our fourth child in September!

12 Week Scan

It’s been a difficult few months with nausea 24 hours a day and some scary bleeding incidents. Add to that all the usual pregnancy ailments, throw in a crazy everyday life with three children (hubby has done as much as he possibly can but those bills won’t get paid if he doesn’t go to work so obviously he hasn’t always been at home to help me) and I’m afraid something had to give – in this case, my online life.

So here I am at 20 weeks pregnant, finally feeling a bit more human and I find myself sitting at my computer. It feels like a stranger after such a long break. I look at the mountains of emails, tweets and comments and to be honest I feel a little overwhelmed. I plan on taking baby steps to get back into the swing of things so please bear with me while I find my feet again. Blog posts and replies may not happen on a regular basis but I promise I will get round to them when I can.

I have a few reviews waiting to be typed up, firstly on Me, My Books and I:

  • Book review of Sleepless in Manhattan by Sarah Morgan
  • Book review of The Last Thing I Remember by Deborah Bee

Secondly on V Family Fun:

  • Review of a mobile phone wallet from Tuff-Luv
  • Review of the Wicked Mega Bounce XL from Wicked Mania
  • Review of a personalised mixing bowl and wooden spoon from ijustloveit.co.uk

I’m hoping to get these posted over the next few weeks.

Now back to the pregnancy – we’re all extremely excited and nervous at the same time. For me, this will be my fourth c-section and although I’m trying to put that part of it to the back of my mind, it’s difficult not to think about it. This is also the smallest gap between our children with E being just 2 years old so that will be a new challenge for us.

I plan on writing some blog posts on V Family Fun exploring our experiences with this pregnancy further so keep your eyes peeled.

I’d love to hear from anyone who has had the same or similar experiences so feel free to leave a comment.

kate1

Are You in The ‘Write’ Club? Opportunities For Aspiring Authors Created by The London Book Fair

Today I’m pleased to share with you some information about an upcoming residential weekend for authors. A fantastic opportunity!

THE AUTHOR CLUB and a WRITE NOW! Residential Weekend for Authors, 23rd & 24th January 2016

LONDON, 10 December 2015:   The London Book Fair (LBF) is continuing to expand its programme for authors, with the launch of two new initiatives for 2016 – the Author Club, which will provide a range of LBF benefits and networking opportunities throughout the year, and Write Now!, a residential weekend of informative talks and workshops focusing on Women’s Fiction, curated in partnership with HarperCollins’ digital-first imprint, Carina UK.

Created with LBF’s ever-growing author audience in mind, Write Now! will take place at Bailbrook House Hotel, Bath over the weekend of 23rd and 24th January 2016.  Aimed at aspiring, new and hybrid authors, it will provide practical advice to guide attendees through the never-ending choices now available to them when it comes to how they publish and market their books. The focus of the weekend will be on enabling each attending author to find the right route to publication for their work.   The action-packed programme will include sessions by Victoria Oundjian, lead editor for Carina UK, and Sam Missingham, head of events at HarperCollins UK.  Other participating speakers will include agents – with Caroline Sheldon, Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency, leading a session on rights – as well as publishers, authors, marketers and consultants.  The programme will cover:

  • Honing your Craft: Planning Techniques and Self-editing
  • Publishing Women’s Fiction Now: The Agent/Traditional Publisher Route
  • Publishing Women’s Fiction Now: The Self-publishing Route
  • Get to Know Your Rights:  Contracts, Rights and other Legalities
  • Marketing and PR: Getting Your Story Out There
  • The Business of Publishing: Money; Margins and Profit
  • The Power of Social Media and How to Create Your Community

The weekend will wrap up with a special edition of LBF’s popular The Write Stuff competition that takes places every year at LBF.  A Dragon’s Den style event, Write Now! attendees will have the opportunity to enter a competition to pitch their books on the day to agent Caroline Sheldon, as well as Victoria Oundjian and Sam Missingham from the HarperCollins team, in front of the Write Now! audience.  The Write Stuff winner will win a revision letter from Victoria Oundjian to review their work in more depth.

Write Now! delegates will also attend a networking drinks reception and official dinner on the Saturday evening, which will include an after-dinner talk by Carina UK’s bestselling writer Annie Lyons, author of Not Quite Perfect, Dear Lizzieand, most recently, Life or Something Like It.  The evening will provide the perfect opportunity for attendees to meet up with other authors, as well as publishing and agenting professionals.

Lisa Milton, Executive Publisher, Harlequin UK, HarperCollins, said: “For HarperCollins, authors are at the heart of what we do. Encouraging authors, finding and developing new talent is what motivates and excites us. I can’t wait to see the work of the future stars who will be attending, and hopefully we will be publishing one or two.”

In addition to Write Now!, LBF’s brand new Author Club will expand its author community that has to date focused on one of the most popular features at the Fair – Author HQ, the dedicated theatre for authors, originally launched as a response to increasing interest from the self-publishing community.   All Write Now! attendees automatically become members. Authors registering for the Author Club will have access to everything on offer from LBF throughout the year, as well as access to year round amazing benefits, including:

  • A free ticket to LBF 2016 and access to exclusive LBF events just for Author Club members
  • Global Rights 365 membership
  • Discount to all LBF author events including the Write Now! residential weekend
  • Regular updates from LBF’s  quarterly ‘Authority’ Newsletter
  • Invitations to networking drinks throughout the year
  • The opportunity to be included in the LBF Anthology of New Writing eBook
  • FREE access to LBF Autumn Author Clinic

The LBF Anthology of New Writing will be formally announced in the New Year.

Jacks Thomas, Director, The London Book Fair, said:  “We know from our interaction with authors attending Author HQ at The London Book Fair that it is really useful to talk not only to industry professionals but also to other authors.   It seems a perfect time to expand what we are able to offer to the LBF author community, both at the book fair and beyond it, while also doing even more to help this important creative group tap in to the expertise of the publishing industry.   We are delighted that the team at Carina UK and HarperCollins will be sharing their wealth of knowledge with Write Now! attendees.”

WRITE NOW! RATES AND BOOKING INFORMATION

  • Dates: Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th January 2016
  • Venue: The Bailbrook House Hotel, Bath, Somerset
  • Ticket information: £150.00 + VAT for Author Club members, £300.00 + VAT standard price.  This includes the two day programme of events, lunches on both days, refreshments, pre-dinner reception and gala dinner on Saturday 23rd January and accommodation on the night of Saturday 23rd January at the Bailbrook House Hotel
  • Book Now: www.londonbookfair.co.uk/writenow

THE AUTHOR CLUB REGISTRATION

kate1