Friday, August 4, 2017

Book Blogger Hop No. 103: Re-visitng Old Review Posts



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to find out the topic of next week's question, click HERE.


This Week's Question

Do you ever go "way back" to
when you first started blogging,
and look at your old review posts?
Do you see any differences from
then to now?

(Submitted  by Elizabeth @ 



My Answer

Okay, here are the short and sweet answers to both of these questions: !.) From to time, and 2.) Absolutely!

Of course, my answers can NEVER be THIS short. I HAVE to go into details. This is just the way I am! Lol.

I definitely see some differences between my early reviews and my later ones. There are not only differences in format, but also in writing style, although the latter has not changed drastically.

I will first discuss the format changes. In my early reviews, I included smaller pictures of the book covers of the books I was reviewing. Also, I always placed my rating stars (which I got courtesy of the blog Parajunkee) at the top of the review, underneath all the book information. Nowadays, I use bigger cover pictures, and place my rating stars at the end of my reviews. I have also added the words "My Rating", underlined, and all in caps, to the left of the stars.

Another difference: back then, I did not use "Bold" on my text, nor did I change the color of the font to white before publishing the post, as I do now.  In the post editor, the text appeared as black, but, when I published the post, it showed up as light gray. Somewhere along the line, I decided to change it to white, for easier reading. I also decided to use Verdana as the font for reviews, and Arial or Helvetica for the book information. I did experiment with Trebuchet, but didn't like it, so I abandoned it. The Blogger interface system doesn't provide much variety in fonts. I have also changed the font size. I tend to use a bigger size now. This is because I want to make my posts as easy to read as possible.

Speaking of font size, at some point, I began making the title of the book larger than the rest of the book information. This was a subtle change which I felt would make the title really stand out in the minds of my readers.

Another difference: in my early reviews, I never included a book synopsis, whereas now I do. Also, some time back, I began color-coding the synopsis to match the main color in the book cover. However, I've noticed that sometimes I don't do that, so I might be moving away from doing this.

Yet another difference: in my earlier reviews, I aligned the text to the left. One day, this began to bother me, for some reason. I then began using justified alignment. I think this change was due to aesthetic reasons; to me, the post looks much better with justified text.

More formatting differences: I never included any information about a book's author in my reviews, whereas now, I do. At most, I would sometimes include a photo of the author. Not only do I now include a photo, but a bio and online links, as well. Recently, I have begun to use a middle alignment for the author photo, bio, and links. Not that long ago, I was flushing everything left, except for the author links.

I also like to include the source of the book nowadays. If I'm reviewing for a blog tour, I will of course mention that I got the book from either the blog tour company, or the author. If I purchased the book for myself, I will then mention where I acquired it, whether online or at a physical bookstore.

Some time back, I used the now-defunct Picasa program to create little buttons that would serve as "dividers" between different sections of my posts, whether these were reviews or some other kind of post. I used my own blog header as background, and added headings.  See the samples below:









Also some time ago, I began using a button for a Goodreads link to books. There are many such buttons on the blogosphere. Here's the one I currently use, in my review posts, and blog tour posts:




As for the writing style, it hasn't really changed that much, except that, since I didn't include a book synopsis in my early reviews, I had a tendency to rehash the plot. So that meant that I also tended to give too much away. I have since attempted to curb this nagging little problem. I want my reviews to be as spoiler-free as possible! So now I do include the synopsis, right under the book information.

Sometimes, when revisiting these earlier reviews, I have made some changes. These are more in keeping with my current reviewing format and style. But then I decided to stop doing this. After all, blogging is a process of growth. It's nice to see just how far one has come, I think. My earlier reviews show where I was at that point in my blogging. Much has changed since then, in a good way. Not that these older reviews are BAD, but they don't represent my current style. I'm glad I stopped "revising" them, though. I now enjoy seeing the contrast between where I was then, and where I am now.(Besides, it would be a VERY time-consuming task to go back and make changes to every single one of my early reviews!)

If you'd like to see some of these differences for yourself, here are links to one of my older reviews, and to one of my more recent ones.


Lauren Kate
October 16, 2010


Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp
July 30, 2017




What are your thoughts on
this topic?
Please leave a comment!
If you're participating in this meme,
I'll go comment on your 
own BBH post.
If not, I will then comment on one 
of your blog posts!
Thanks for visiting!!! 







12 comments:

  1. Such an interesting post Maria.

    Over time we inevitably change. I have experimented with a few different styles and techniques. I am feeing that my entire blog look needs a refresh and revision. I need a chunk of time to work ion this however.

    I have thought about using plot summaries myself. I tend to not like summarizing plots but sometimes it cannot be helped.

    My writing has also changed a little. I think that most of us get a little better if we keep writing over time.

    I sometimes go go back and fix little errors that I made.

    Have a great weekend!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Brian!

      It is indeed true that we all change over time. When I first started blogging, I even had a different name for my blog: "Twilight and Other Dreams". I'm SO glad I decided to change that name! Lol. I didn't want visitors to think that this was "just another Twilight fan blog". NOPE!! Besides, with that title, I felt OBLIGATED to publish Twilight-related posts pretty often. I don't know what I was thinking.... So changing the title to the present one was DEFINITELY a good move!

      In the beginning, I also experimented with the blog design, trying out different templates and backgrounds provided by Blogger. When I came across the Picture Window template, and the "merrymoonmary" background, the combination just....CLICKED. I still had the problem of the header, though. So I created several myself, using the Picasa program. I wasn't satisfied, though, but thankfully, I found Jennifer Johnson, web designer extraordinaire, who designed my present header. I LOVE this header!!!!!!

      Once I had settled into this design, I kept it. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!! There's SO much blue!!!! Lol. :) :) :)
      Aside from the fact that I do love my present design, it's just too much of a hassle to change it. There are bloggers who keep changing their design pretty often. Not me! As the saying goes, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

      When I noticed that I was repeating the plot in my early reviews, I decided to start including synopses in my reviews. Then I could concentrate on providing my thoughts and reactions to the book itself. So then I started analyzing the characters, the plot, the setting, etc., without including too many spoilers (some are inevitable, though.)

      So, as you can see, including those plot summaries had an effect on my writing. And I do think it was for the better! However, my style has not changed all that much. Perhaps now, though, I do tend to ramble less. Lol.

      If I go back and notice a misspelling, or an awkward sentence, I will DEFINITELY fix it! However, I am no longer changing the overall look of the review. I started doing that, but then stopped. Aside from the fact that this would be a VERY time-consuming task, I do think it's nice to compare early and current reviews, and see how much one has grown.

      Thanks so much for the NICE comment!! Hope you have a great weekend, too!! <3 :)

      Delete
  2. Great discussion. I'm always trying to improve my graphics and do change that up from time to time. I basically use the same format for all reviews but hope that they have improved over the past few years. I haven't really went back that far and looked at some older ones, but they are all on Goodreads so I see them there from time to time. Last year I did start adding commentary in my reviews from Booker (and sometimes Cass) if there is a dog featured predominately in the book. It's fun and I think it sets me apart from some other bloggers and we all have our unique spins on things.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Barb!

      Yeah, I think this is a GREAT question!

      I used to experiment quite a bit in the beginning, but, once I found a blog design I was happy with, I decided to stick with it. I did have some trouble finding a satisfactory header, until I came across Jennifer Johnson, web designer extraordinaire! She designed my current header, as well as my blog button. KUDOS to her!!

      I always post reviews here first, and then copy and pasted them over to Goodreads and Amazon. Which reminds me.... I need to take a look and see which reviews I haven't published on those two sites yet. The only problem is, if I don't like one of my older reviews as it is, I might have to change it when I go over to those two sites. But that would be much too time-consuming, so then I will probably not post those reviews to those sites. Gotta think about that one!

      I think your commentary from the Boxer Boys is SO cute!! Yes, it does set you apart from other bloggers. And it's also ADORABLE. I LOVE commenting on those posts, and sending the boys a "WOOF, WOOF" greeting!! Lol.

      Thanks so much for the GREAT comment, Barb!! You're so sweet!!!! HUGS TO YOU & THE BOYS!! WOOF, WOOF!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

      Delete
  3. Love, Love, Love your answer.

    Isn't change wonderful!!

    I love looking back and seeing what I used to do. Some of it is pretty bad. I don't change anything, though.

    Thanks for your marvelous-as-always answer, Maria.

    Happy Hopping!!

    Elizabeth
    Silver's Reviews
    My Blog Hop Answer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Elizabeth!

      Awwwww.....THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! <3 <3

      Yes, change is wonderful! But I'm not one of those bloggers who is constantly tweaking their blog design. What I AM constantly tweaking is my writing. I revise my posts -- ESPECIALLY my reviews -- endlessly, even after I've published them! Lol. I'm always looking out for typos, and/or redundant and even awkwardly-worded sentences. If I don't find spelling, redundancy, or syntax errors right away, I will sometimes come back days later, to double-check. When I see an error, I get a little shock, and immediately go and fix it! Lol.

      The process with my reviews has been a gradual one. The changes have basically come by themselves. One day, it just hit me that my review posts, as well as other posts, would look much better if I did such-and-such. So I did. And I'm much more satisfied with them now!

      One subtle but big change was using Bold throughout the text, no matter what font I was working with. I just prefer the way the text looks in Bold -- sharper and more legible, I think.

      Other changes, such as adding the header buttons to separate sections of my posts, complement my blog design, and are a tribute to Jennifer Johnson
      's work.(This is the web designer who created my blog header and button) I learned this thing of using butons to divide post sections from other blogs I've seen.

      As for changing my previous reviews to reflect my current style, I did start to do that, as I mentioned in my post, but then stopped. Not only would it be much too time-consuming, but it would also make the reviews not "match" the other blog posts. And, of course, there's the whole rationale of seeing how one has grown. This is very important, indeed!

      Thanks again for your compliments, Elizabeth!! You're such a WONDERFUL blogging buddy!!

      Happy Hopping to you, as well!! ENJOY your weekend!! HUGS!!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

      Delete
    2. I only change things in the posts I am currently writing.

      There is no time to go back and fix my old ones. Some are bad, but I am pretty sure there aren't any typos, but you never know.

      HUGS, and LOVE your reply to me. THANKS.

      Delete
    3. You're very welcome!! HUGS BACK!!!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. Hi, Ronyell!

      Thanks for the compliment, and for dropping by!! <3 :)

      Delete
  5. Interesting to hear how your posts have progressed. Have a fun weekend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Nicki!

      Oh, definitely! I'm sure all of us bloggers can see such progressions. It's an evolving process!

      Thanks for commenting! Hope you have a fun weekend, too!! <3 :)

      Delete

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