September 2010 Winner of the 'I Love Your Blog' Award...Life After Twilight

This month I chose a site that caught my attention just with the title. If you haven't guessed, I indulge in the world of Twilight quite frequently. So, when I typed into Google the words Twilight and book reviews, I had three words pop out at me. Life. After. Twilight. Of course I jumped on it since it said Twilight and Life After had to me what life was like after you read the Twilight saga. Luckily, I got to know these girls when I asked to become affiliates and after a couple hundred more views, I knew that these girls had to be the next winners of ILYB Award!

LAT has one of the best designs I've ever seen and is the first site I've given the award to that has their own society! These girls have worked their butt off on this site and so much more, so I have to give it up to them. Their had work pays off with amazing news on books, reviews, and so forth.

I sat down and typed on my questions for the lovely Brandi and she answered all my "hard hitting" questions:

How did you come up with the site?
Well, if I am to be honest it was the viewers from Youtube who suggested I start a website. LAT was originally started on my Youtube channel BrandiMarie88. I have always loved reading and after I got done with the Twilight series I though "now what?"
I was looking for something interesting or fun to do with my channel and decided to share some books with people through video. My friend and I were talking when she said something that gave me the idea for the name of "Life After Twilight." (continued in question 2)

Why did you name your site, Life After Twilight?I can't remember the exact discussion I had with her but I do remember she said something that inspired the name. It was just cute and funny at the time. Twilighters were popping out of the ground like daisies and everyone was looking for that next "thing."

What do you think makes your site unique from other sites?We are a "fan site" for books. Yes, there are reviewers and other book sites... but Jenni, Livia, and myself just LOVE books. Even the ones we have not read yet. We post video reviews, as well as written, we post the latest news on popular books (and the up and coming), we post author interviews, have special giveaways, but most of all we try our best to listen to what the readers want. They are the ones who made LAT blossom... I just listened and did what I was told when I could. There are some amazing people/readers out there.

What are some special features on your site?We are currently trying to update some features but I think our most popular now is the Night Owl Society. The NOS is a community group I created back in February that is an online book club readers can join. We have a monthly book everyone votes on, reads, and then at the end of the month we have a live discussion. Besides the NOS we have an archive of all the books we have read and reviewed as well as authors. Did I mention they are in alphabetical order which makes it easy to find what you are looking for? Bless Livia and Jenni's hearts... they worked their butts off.

What is in the LAT shop?Oh man... I am really excited you asked about that. It is fairly new (since I updated it) and has some awesome stuff in it. We have Night Owl Society bling, cute T-shirts, bags, blankets, umbrellas, buttons, and more! Right now we have a really cute Tee that has a quote from the latest Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay. It says, "You love me... Real or Not Real?" "Real." I am such a nerd but that just makes me happy.

What was each of your favorite book you have read since starting the site?Wow. You had to ask a really hard one. The viewers introduced me to Cassandra Clare and her Mortal Instruments series, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, I Am Number Four, Wake Series, SHIVER, The Hunger Games, The Awakening, any book by John Green.... I seriously could go on forever.

How do you rate your books?I rate books by my overall experience and how I interacted with the book. I know that sounds strange but when everyone finishes a book you have a moment. Some toss the book aside, others sit for a moment to think, some close the book lovingly... you get the idea. I am usually the one that sits and thinks for a moment. How did I like the characters? Was the an enjoyable experience? Did I have trouble understanding the author? I basically ask myself questions and write down my thoughts. Then I convert that into a rating and share it via Youtube.

What kind of books do you usually rate?
I like books with a little soul, dash of love, hint of suspense, and relate able characters. Through this experience I have become very open to picking up a book I would normally be "hesitant" about. The fellow readers/viewers have trained me well.  

How did you come up with the design of your site?I just know what I want and usually relay that to a designer. Our current design was special for our August layout since it was the big 2 year anniversary! Kayla from Shattered Memories designs did an awesome job! She actually has done another design before previous to this one. She is so sweet!

What is the ARC Campaign? Why did you guys sign-up?The ARC Campaign was brought about by our staff member Jenni. She also helps out at http://behindyelloweyes.com/ and sent me the link. It is basically bringing up the issue of the buy and selling of ARC's. I wanted to join in because I, like many, think that is not cool at all. I wanted to show my support and so did Jenni and Livia. ARC's have a purpose and that purpose is NOT to be sold and make a profit from.

What has been the biggest challenge of havinging a book blog site? What is the greatest satisfaction?The biggest challenge is that I have a life aside from the site. I am a college student, a part-time worker, and am involved in other things outside the world wide web. So trying to get on a schedule is hard but I am trying. The greatest satisfaction is being able to meet some pretty awesome people and talk about books. The authors are so cool and they adore their fans. The readers are passionate and so much fun! It is just a very friendly environment full of people who have a love for books.

Are there any contests/giveaways on your site at the moment? How can people join in?Not at the moment but we ARE planning some, so people need to keep an eye out. People can join in by checking out the Night Owl Society, joining our new forums (Jenni is so awesome), and visiting the Youtube channel to check out the review videos!

What releases are you looking forward to?
Livia recently reviewed a book called "Matched"... I have heard nothing but good things about this book so I am excited to get that. I think Livia is shipping me a copy! Woot Woot! I am also eagerly waiting on Torment, Beautiful Darkness, The Scorch Trials, City of Fallen Angels... and I think that is about enough.

Do you have any advice for general bloggers? Book bloggers?
Get creative and have fun! Spice things up with a new feature or something special every now and again... your readers deserve love and you should give it to them ;) I always really enjoy giving stuff away so it is fun for everyone... (ha that rhymed).

Last thing: Give anything you want to say to readers all around!
Just because you are hesitant about a book doesn't mean you should push it aside. Go crazy and try something new, you never know what might surprise you. Also...Live. Love. Read.

In more ILYB news, November is coming up and guess what that means, that it will be the first annual 'I Love Your Blog' Award Ceremony! The whole month of November will be dedicated to celebrating blogs who have the best design to the best title! Check back for further updates! And, for the month of October, I will be giving you guys the steering will, starting now, comment on this post and nominate any blog you think deserves the October 'I Love Your Blog' Award (and yes you can nominate your own blog)! You have until October 15th and whoever has the most nominations will be crowned October's 'I Love Your Blog' Award! So, get nominating!

Peace and Fangs,
Alisha
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