Monday, April 30, 2012

New template and other changes

I've finally migrated my old template into the Blogger Template Designer, so even though I've used the same background and image header, it will look a little different now.  Eventually I think I will change those, too, though.

I've also, by changing the template, started the process of eliminating Barnes & Noble affiliate ads from my blog.  I am doing this for two reasons: One, I wasn't making any money at it, and two, I discovered the affiliate program doesn't pay commissions on ebook sales.  The two may have something to do with one another, I don't know.  In any case, for the time being my blog revenue on this blog will come solely from AdSense ads.

I'm looking forward to the new look and the ad changes as I finish them!

Barnes & Noble and Microsoft team up

Once again, I am so sorry for the lack of posting lately.  Despite my good intentions once my client backed off on doling out blog assignments, I've been too busy to play catch-up on my blogs quite yet.  Even with this morning to myself, the thought is still a little overwhelming, so I may have to resort to just going back to my blog like normal, rather than trying to write reviews about all the books I've read over the past few months.

Anyway, a couple of articles today revealed a startling move by Barnes & Noble: They are going to create a subsidiary for just the Nook and the college bookstore, and Microsoft is going in on it too.  Here are a couple of stories about it:

NPR: Barnes & Noble Deal Gives Microsoft Door to E-Books
NY Times: Microsoft to Take Stake in Nook Unit of Barnes & Noble

I don't think this will mean any changes for those of us who already own Nooks and/or have ebook libraries with Barnes & Noble.  It sounds like B&N is separating the Nook from the physical books because the former is eating through the profits of the latter.  It costs a lot more money to stay on the cutting edge of technology, apparently.  And of course, the inclusion of Microsoft, and the upcoming Nook app for Windows 8, is expected to benefit those with computers and Windows-based tablets, and probably capture a whole new segment of the market, technology geeks "who did not associate the bookseller with e-books," according to the NY Times article.

Anything that makes the Nook and the ebook market stronger sounds good to me.  My readers know that I'm big on supporting Barnes & Noble, who was somewhat of an underdog in the fight against Amazon and Apple.  Considering the success of their latest devices -- the Nook Tablet and the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight -- they probably can't be considered an underdog anymore, but I'm still all for supporting them over the two A-words.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Getting used to the Blogger changes

I've had quite a few busy weeks, and as a result I haven't had a chance yet to start incorporating my changes to the blog.  My mornings have been largely taken up by pet appointments and other things, and for the first time since I started my afternoon nanny job in November, I actually am really starting to miss having my whole day to myself (instead of just the morning and early afternoon).  I have to remind myself that the extra (and reliable) income from the nanny job is a very, very good thing!

But I digress.  I noticed that during my blogcation, Blogger incorporated some changes.  I think I like the changes, but they are taking some getting used to.  Still, they might make things a little easier as I get ready to eliminate the Barnes & Noble affiliate ads from my blog.

I am curious -- what do other bloggers think about Blogger's new look?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Catching up and upcoming changes

For several months now, I've been writing for a client with a number of book-related blogs, which is part of why this blog has been so ignored of late — sometimes it's hard to come up with two posts for the same books, and I'm afraid that the blogs that generate solid income are the ones that have benefited from my limited creative impulse.  (Although I do get some ad revenue from my blogs, this is NOT one of the higher-performing sites — which has to do with some other changes I will address in a moment.)

Anyway, said client recently backed off a bit on assignments, so I will only be writing a few blog posts for them a week now.  Although in some ways I'm sad to see the additional income go, at the same time I am looking forward to having more time to devote to my own blogs again.  They have been quite ignored since I started blogging for this client!

One other change to report: I discovered last month that Barnes & Noble's affiliate program no longer pays commissions on ebooks.  While I realize that many of my readers do still read traditional books, it seems that those who buy from the links on my page do not, as I have yet to earn any commissions from the affiliate program.  Therefore I've decided to stop using my book reviews to advertise.  It will be much quicker for me to just load a cover image into Blogger, rather than creating an affiliate link via LinkShare's website, which is a little slow (and Barnes & Noble's site is even slower, so I likely won't be getting my cover images there, either!).  The downside is that my readers will no longer be able to click on a cover and buy a book, but I may consider keeping a Barnes & Noble search button in the sidebar to make up for that deficiency.

I may also be changing the look of the blog a little bit to make managing it even easier — I'm still using Classic Blogger because of my older custom template.

Stay tuned...  As I find the time (which I should be able to do so more readily now), I will start making the changes to the blog!