Sunday, October 08, 2006

A new blog baby in the family

Bloggorrhea is taking hold of me. Not content with regaling you all with family chronicles and recipes, I am now starting a book blog, called Great Books Reviewed to review all my favourite books. This to be a semi-commercial venture...semi in that I’m going to review personal favourite books old and new, not the latest best-sellers unless they come my way and I like them (though I may not be able to resist the last Harry Potter if I get my hands on it), commercial because I’m putting on affiliate links to Amazon and Adsense ads, in the hope of earning a trickle of income, if anyone feels like buying from Amazon through my blog (that means I will be strong-arming my family into pushing all their Amazon purchases through my site!)

There has been lots of discussion about advertising on blogs. Does the commercialism of a blog detract from the pure, high-minded essence of blog–writing? Do we become slaves to key-words, fiendishly pursuing the big bucks, with great flashing banners all over the blog, so the content gets lost? (I had a look at one Mom website yesterday and would have been forgiven for thinking I’d got lost and gone to a yoghurt site, blinded by flashing-heart pink and white images!).

I hope to be able to keep my integrity among the temptations of commercialism (apart from reviewing Harry Potter that is, and I do have a sneaking fondness for those books, especially the first couple) and I think all us mums at home with kids should be making a few cents from our blogs if we can, even if it is only enough to pay for nappies or a bar of chocolate. Why not?! So far my Adsense on this blog has made about 2 dollars in six months so the whole internet advertising business is a mystery to me, but it’s worth a try.

I was wondering what to do about my old favourites that are no longer available on Amazon. I still want to review them, but don’t want to frustrate anyone by raving about a book that is out of print. My husband the Net Wizard came up with a solution: I can put an search bar on the blog, as well as an Amazon search bar. is an amazing site that collects together all second-hand, out of print, first editions, rare books, as well as new books from thousands of book stores, so you can find pretty much anything in the whole wide world there.

Far more of a concern to me is whether I can actually write good enough reviews to convey the essence of the book. I think this is an art that requires practice, so I’ll have to practise on my new blog. I am going to build it slowly, as I feel my way. Any constructive comments would be welcome and any suggestions of more books to read and review. I will also start building a blog roll of book blogs, so tell me if there are some you enjoy that I should include. I enjoyed reading everyone’s book memes recently – there are so many books out there and so little time to read them all!

If you'd like to visit Great Books Reviewed click on this link - see you there!


  1. I have been considering doing the same since I do the odd book review, and for the same reasons as you. My problem has been technical: I live in Germany and have ordered books myself from, .com and I have a small audience but they are spread all over the world: SA, Germany, England, Oz, USA, New Zealand, Spain. WHICH Amazon do they want to buy from and WHICH Amazon should I be linking to? My husband has even posted about this on his blog and got no good suggestions. I am really not sure how to get around it ... Anyway, long spiel apart, good luck with your book blog and please let me know its address so I can check it out!

  2. It sounds like an adventure worth the time... Any excuse to read and discuss literature! I'm particularly fond of Carlos Ruiz Zafon (The Shadow of the Wind), Ana Castillo (Peel my Love like an Onion; So Far from God) and Chris Bohjalian (Midwives)to name a few.

    Have fun with your new adventure.

    And I think that when tastefully done, ads don't detract from the site.

  3. I'm thinking of linking to both and Thanks fro bringing that point up, I've just thought of puting text links to each at the bottom of each post as well as having Search bars for them both. We'll see if that works. I've enjoyed your book reviews Charlotte, would definitely read your book blog, if you start it.
    I haven't read any of your suggestions Nicolle, how about you tell us about them on your blog, we'll get a book network going alondside our recipe and food sharing.
    I just put another link on my post so you can go to it if you like.

  4. If you haven't read Barbara Kingsolver, she's a must!

  5. Wonderful!! I am certain to be a regualer visitor, I love knowing the good books to read and why I should read them!!
    One of my favorites is Cold Sassy Tree

  6. It's about time you did this Kit! Kudos to you! I have so enjoyed your writings and observations and was hoping that could extend to your library! I'll be firing up the tea kettle and settling in for a great fall/winter reading your reviews. By the are in NO way in danger of losing your soul by linking to amazon...I have visited a few blogs that have turned to entire cataloges of a mindless inventory of consumerism and I run...not walk...away from these blogs! I want to peruse pages of appliances and bathroom accessories while reading about someone's sheep and cats?


Thanks for your comments - I appreciate every one!