Books on the Nightstand podcasts are so GREAT!

I have been a fan of podcasts since I got my iPod for Christmas in 2006.  Recently I have been taking advantage of listening to them on my iPad 2 while I get ready in the mornings and am doing my hair and applying my make-up.  I’m obsessed with listening to author interviews and book review podcasts and in my searches I have discovered a wonderful podcast and blog called Books on the Nightstand (BOTNS) The hosts are Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman who work for Random House but the podcasts are their own personal opinions about books they love and industry chatter.  Their format is nice and covers a discussion topic, hot industry topics/titles/reading lists and two books they can’t wait for their audience to read.

I was listening to Podcast #128 the other day and I wanted to respond to it.  I thought responding on my blog would be a great way to do that so I’m starting a new thing here.  Responding to Books on the Nightstand podcast topics and possibly other podcasts as I come across them.  Be sure to check out Books on the Nightstand yourself.  If you would please click on the link to the podcast I’ll be responding to in posts and listen to it first and then come back and read my response I would love you for it.  I will always link to the podcast just like I did above.

Planet Books RESPONSE to the question “Do you read the epigraph?”:

Epigraph ~ (n) ~ a quotation at the beginning of a book, chapter, etc, suggesting its theme

I do read the epigraph!  Sometimes it does connect to the book and sometimes I go back while reading the book and the wonder what the hell it means.  Most times the epigraph ends up being relevant but on the rare occasion it remains a puzzle.  I believe that the epigraph can set the tone for the book.  It can give the reader a little hint of what is in store for them ahead.  I agree with Michael when he says he thinks that sometimes the epigraph was that one thread that the author jumped off from and got the idea for their book. 

It’s an interesting question!  Do you read the epigraph?  Did you used to read it when you were holding the old-fashioned paper and ink book in your hands and now you have an e-reader that automatically goes to the first page when starting a book so you forget about it?  I always go back to the cover page on my Kindle and then look at each page as I click my way towards the first page of the story. 

Let me know your thoughts and feel free to respond on the BOTNS site too.  I don’t know Michael and Ann but I like what they are doing with the podcast medium.  Their web site is great and chock full of book and publishing information and I’m learning about even more books out there and som behind the scenes info too.

Social Networking – Do you do it?

I was just listening to a podcast from Small Biz Tech Girl where they were discussing the importance of social networking using such sites as Facebook, MySpace, Linked and numerous others to drive up business for your product.  They also touched on the potential waste of time these sites can be if you get sucked in.  I use Facebook, MySpace, Okinawa Hai! Society and my latest discovery, Blissfully Domestic Living Community to help drive readers to my blog.  I use the e-mail system on Facebook to e-mail all of my ‘friends’ and the Bulletin option on MySpace in the same way.  Okinawa Hai! Society and Blissfully Domestic Living Community allow me to create an event advertising my giveaways and even creating a start and end time for the event.  Add all the e-mails I send to my huge contact list in my personal e-mail account and I have got some big numbers on giveaway opening days. 

If you have a blog and want to drive traffic to it do you use social networking sites to help like I do?  Where do most of your readers find out about your blog in the first place?  Do you think that social networking is a good thing or a waste of time?

My New Hobby

As you may know, I have an iPod and I can’t live with out it.  I download free Podcasts on iTunes (by the way, you DO NOT have to have an iPod to utilize the free downloaded iTunes software and listen on your computer) and listen to them in the car or when I’m getting ready for bed.  Recently I discovered the box in the bottom right hand corner of the iTunes Store Podcast page titled “Topics In Focus”.  One of the topics is “Book Lovers” so of course I clicked on that immediately.  There I found Podcasts about books and authors.  There are thirty-eight different Podcasts to subscribe to (for free) so I narrowed it down and selected “Amazon Wire”, “iTunes: Meet The Author”, “Book Lust With Nancy Pearl” and “B&N Meet the Writers Audio Interviews”.  So far I have listened to interviews with James Patterson, Stephenie Meyer, Henry Winkler, Michael Connelly and Judy Bloom.  Listening to these interviews is so interesting because I am reminded that these people have goals, self-doubt, and lives just like anybody else.  Did you know that Stephenie Meyer didn’t even plan on publishing the TWILIGHT books until her sister suggested that she do it?  She had written the first book, TWILIGHT, in just three months and her husband didn’t even know she was doing it.  She wrote it to entertain herself and the idea for the story came from a dream she had had one night. 

Another great place to find interviews with authors is B&N Studio and Borders Media.  Personally I think that Barnes & Noble has a better system for this and has much more selection on their site.  These interviews are viewed through the web site.  So, if you would like to get to know some of your favorite authors a little better, I highly recommend checking out these great resources.