I’ve hammered out the final details of my CafePress shop. For any of you out there who are thinking of getting a CafePress shop, my most important piece of advice is to skip the flashy and enticing “Beta” shop option and scroll down to use the “Basic” shop option instead. They’re both free, but the basic plan will let you customise the shop, taking out the stuff you don’t want (like the clock and the covered box) and adding in the stuff you DO want (like buttons, magnets, and iPhone cases). I learned the difference between the shops the hard way, and then had to waste a lot of time undoing my mistake.
I finally figured out how to examine my RSS feed using this handy-dandy feed validator but while I think I resolved that godforsaken apostrophe problem, I have two more error messages that I’m still working through. Actually, I asked the help desk associated with one of the companies I’m working with (I’m not saying which one) to help me fix those error messages and their answer makes me wonder if they even read my question. In any case, they didn’t answer it and I’m going to have to use a few more sources and a few more brain cells to figure this out. And on a related note, if you’re enough of a tech head that something like
line 54, column 1:
actually makes sense to you (and you can help me fix the damn thing), then please let me know!
Now on to the fun stuff — planning out my booktalks!
Okay, so, I’m in the process of sorting through all the booktalks I’ve saved over the years, which (unfortunately) I’ve saved in a variety of places. I have a bunch saved on the hard drive of my computer, with file names referring to age levels. I also have my more recent booktalks saved in a variety of Google Docs files, which I really need to consolidate. I group most of my booktalks by middle school level and high school level, and I have some books that I feel comfortable bringing to either group. Plus, it always helps me to have a few children’s booktalks ready to go just in case I’m asked to pinch-hit in the children’s room.
In all honesty, whenever I’m going to a school to visit classes, I’ve learned that very often some or even most of the kids in the class are reading below their grade level. So unless I’m given specific instructions otherwise (like being told I’m only going to be visiting honors classes) I tend to err on the side of caution and pack my suitcase accordingly.
In terms of which booktalks I’ll be presenting in this podcast, I’m considering a couple of different criteria:
- The books should still be in print.
- The books should represent a good mix of fiction and nonfiction titles, and a good variety of genres.
- The booktalks should be ones that I haven’t recorded before.
Having said that, I can tell you that I’ve already picked the first book I’m going to booktalk on this podcast. I won’t tell you what it is, but I’ll give you a hint: it’s dystopian. And no, it’s NOT The Hunger Games. Don’t get me wrong; I love the whole Hunger Games trilogy, but that series is so popular that I can’t imagine NEEDING to booktalk it. I’ll be honest here; I’m picking a dystopian book as my first booktalk for this podcast primarily because dystopian literature for teens is such a hot topic right now. So people who are conducting internet searches for dystopian teen literature are going to come flocking to this podcast and swell our ranks. And in conclusion, I would like to say … dystopian, dystopian, dystopian, and dystopian.
Why … thank you, Google! Look at all our new friends!
Anyway, tune in on Wednesday to hear the booktalk.
Oh, and you might notice that I’m starting to use the “categories” widget over in the sidebar. I’m not going to apply any categories to posts like these, which don’t contain actual podcast episodes. But for each post that does contain a podcast, if it’s the first episode of the month I’ll categorize it as “how-to.” If it’s a booktalk episode I’ll use categories like “older kids”, “middle school”, “high school”, “romance”, “horror”, “historical fiction”, “dystopian”, etc. That way, it will be easier for new and old listeners to jump right to the episodes that will be most helpful and interesting to them.
Okay, that’s all for now, my dystopian friends. Talk to you soon!