Monday, May 9, 2016

A to Z Reflections



How was the A to Z this year? Not too shabby. Weird science was my follow-up to 2015's Mad Cool Math Nuggets. My posts weren't always as short as an ideal A to Z entry should be, but it was fun (if not maddening) to discover the topics. They worked well as a launching board to promote the speculative fiction anthology Parallels: Felix Was Here.

Parallels had its own blog participating in the A to Z Challenge and it was my duty to handle days L, X, and Y. Getting visitors to comment on one blog is a job. If you can get people to comment on more than one during this challenge, please let me know your secret.

Being a cohost's helper was wonderful. (Give it up for the hosts and co-hosts, in particular Heather Gardner, Stormy the Gnome, and his reattached tootsies!) This gave me twenty blogs to visit periodically, and since inactive blogs were being removed, this group changed with almost every check-in. (Whoever was working behind the scenes to keep things updated: Kudos to you!)

I also found a dedicated group of bloggers who believed in paying back comments with comments, so that added another 20 or so bloggers to visit. Do I wish I visited more? Of course. Hopefully I can get my blogs done in advance next year (fingers crossed) and spend even more time reading and commenting.

Most of the blogs I visited did a fantastic job. I loved learning about werewolf cats, phobias for every letter, and visiting exotic places. Leaving a blog link in the comments helped me a ton. A few A to Z list links sent me to a website page instead of directly to a blog, and a few I just could not find the comment button to save my life.

Will I be back next year? Oh, yeah. I'm already thinking of a theme, and hopefully I'll have my short story collections up on Amazon to promote in a fun way that isn't repetitive. 

How do you feel about blogs that promote books (or other things) during the A to Z challenge? Annoyed? Intrigued? Have you bought books because of the A to Z challenge?





56 comments:

  1. Hi Tamara. So pleased you enjoyed the Challenge and being a co-host. Congrats on your amazing posts!!! Let us know when your short stories are ready to buy! I'm also publishing my first collection later in the year. Have a fab week!

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  2. You made science fun. That was one of the subjects I sucked at in high school. My brains too creative for stuff like that. LOL

    I think it's a brilliant idea to use the challenge to promote a book. This year, I found a few books I bought as a result.

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    1. Agree this is taking the theme to the next level. Duly noted :)

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  3. Glad you had a good time with the Challenge and the co-hosting.
    I was also posting at the IWSG site and A to Z Blog. Didn't even try to send people over.

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  4. Thanks for being the only non-regular visitor who visited regularly it was very kind of you indeed and a bit of a shock as folk never do that. OK with the exception of my regular visitors, but then they are an odd mad lot who often have the same sense of bemusement of the world as myself. And we often read each others blogs and nod knowingly, pointing at the odd seagull as it passes and shouting at clouds (apparently that is not normal).

    Well what can I say as our ships pass and set off into the sunset to possibly meet up in Port AtoZed some time next year around about April-ish 2017. . . Assuming I am still sane and allowed out, and that my typing and spelling has not finally fallen down a huge abyss.

    We all love the A to Z but there is nothing quite like getting a few nice comments along the was. So next year I will try a bit harder to be nice . . . . . . HAH AHHAHAH ah ah ahahahah ah ah ah hah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah a
    ahah ahahah h ha ha hah a
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    ha ha ha ha
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    1. Along the way. . . . . DAMN (see what I mean)

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  5. I really enjoyed this year's challenge and I met some excellent new blogger friends. Thanks so much for all your work and, yes, putting a link in posts comments is very helpful.

    @Kathleen01930
    Blog

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  6. I didn't realise you were I spy when you visited me! I leave the process a little wiser in scientific matters thanks to your blog. A brilliant theme. How will you top it I wonder? I have to say that if I think an A-Z post is promoting anything at all, I exit stage left straight away!Finally thanks to being such a regular and loyal visitor to my humble blogamyjig.


    Visit Keith's Ramblings

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  7. You guys were smart to do the A to Z through the Parallels blog.

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  8. New bloggers for me, too! That's always one of the biggest perks of the #atozChallenge. Then learning new things is always such an incentive to keep going. Glad we connected in this 2016 challenge.

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  9. I'm glad the co-hosts had helpers! I couldn't imagine doing that job alone on top of everything else.

    Congrats on finishing the challenge!

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  10. I was frustrated a number of times when I couldn't figure out how to comment. And it slows down the process when the link goes to a webpage instead of the blog.

    Susan Says

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  11. I'm glad you enjoyed being a helper, and found a group of blogs to visit. :)

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  12. I was a helper...but of the kind that went around to check to make sure people were participating. That was a lot of work! I have found the only way to get people to visit mine is to comment...and you have to comment a LOT on A to Z to get one person to read yours. I don't know why that is. I think a lot of people just don't realize how much time reading blogs actually takes.

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  13. I am with you, I wish I could have visited more blogs. I will keep my fingers crossed for you and myself that we can get our posts pre-written next year!

    I don't mind book promotions for the A to Z. In fact, I picked up a few during the month!

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  14. Did I buy books that were promoted during the Challenge, a big yes. A lot of the authors I didn't know or hadn't read any of their works so it was great to finally read about them.
    And of course, I enjoyed your blog very much.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia http://www.patgarciaandeverythingmustchange.com/2016/05/reflection-to-z-blog-challenge-2016.html

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  15. Glad you enjoyed A-Z Challenge and found new blogger friends who follow back and comment. I'm trying to be better about visiting new followers. So important, but I've been really busy with my writing job.

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  16. Making the comment field easy to find is a big help. There were a couple blogs I happened across that had either terrible comment interfaces or they were difficult to locate. Providing a link back, or being clear from which of the four blogs someone participates in is doing A to Z would also be helpful.

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  17. I wasn't thrilled to click on a blog and find any kind of sales promotion, whether it was for books or services. I get that people think it's ok to do that, so I don't make a big deal of it. But once I saw what was going on, I never returned to the blog. I prefer my personal blogging experiences to be... personal. 'Ya know?

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  18. I recall buying a few books because of the challenge. I started the anthology and hope to finish soon.

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  19. Sweet! I love the challenge but it wasn't a reality this year. Next year, I hope. So that's what cohosts do...

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  20. Sounds like you had a great time this year! I don't mind if someone's book is mentioned once or twice, but to be honest, if their entire theme revolves around trying to sell me a book (or anything) then I don't visit more than once. I have bought books that have caught my attention in side bars though :)
    Debbie

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  21. I enjoyed visiting your blog during the A-Z... I'm okay with books during the A-Z and might buy one if it really intrigued me. I've thought about an All State author type program but then there are some states I haven't read of any author from t here.

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  22. I'm glad you found some new bloggers who get it about commenting on posts and visiting other bloggers. That's what makes blogging fun.

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  23. I admire you for co-hosting, as I know from past experience how difficult it was to get through A to Z without the added pressure of reading so many daily blogs. I'm glad it worked so well for you.

    Julie

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  24. Glad you had a great time at the A-Z, great that so many of us had a good A-Z!

    I found your theme riveting and I visited this and parallels as often as I could, I enjoy book promos (and any others - travel services, home decor, book interior design) done creatively. I did come across ad sites using the A-Z for blatantly selling things this year, and that put me off.

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  25. I'm late here but will be back cause this theme sounded interesting :)
    And I do like book promos... helps me find some underrated gems I would have definitely missed otherwise.


    My recent blog post -
    On Writing 20,000 Words About TV Shows in a Single Month

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  26. I loved reading the posts during the A-Z. And I enjoyed reading all different themes and posts.

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  27. This year I did excerpts from my new book for A to Z, and people seemed to enjoy them. Maybe it also helped that the posts were very short.

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  28. It's always nice when bloggers comment back, which has always seemed to me one of the big reasons for blogging, a quid pro quo. I do find it easier to attack A-Z as a group blog than individually.

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  29. I really do think that I will FINALLY do the A-Z next year :)

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  30. How awesome that you picked up so many good bloggers!

    That co-host stuff is hard work. Thanks to you all for doing it.

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  31. How awesome that you picked up so many good bloggers!

    That co-host stuff is hard work. Thanks to you all for doing it.

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I will do everything in my power to visit commenter's blogs unless I've been abducted by aliens or my children get sick. (If my children get abducted by aliens, I will be very busy, of course, catching up on my sleep.)

Note: During the A to Z challenge, I may not be able to return all comments in a timely fashion, but I will do my best.