My experience: Opening up my own Business

rahmenToday I want to tell you what happened to Magic Chest. For those who didn’t know, this year in January, I started my own book subscription business 😀 I did it because I wanted to give European people the opportunity to get fantasy book boxes from their own region and make it more affordable for people to subscribe to a box. Usually, a box costs about 50€ ( about 56Dollars) with the shipping from the US and I knew many bloggers and friends who just couldn’t afford that. So I thought, Why don’t I change that?

That’S how Magic Chest was born. Since then, much has happened but today, I want to tell you a little bit about what changed for me personally since I started my own business. I want to give you some insight in how it is to start a business and also share my experience with you 🙂

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Bye bye free time. Well, the obvious thing is that until recently, you haven’t seen me around much because between my part-time job, my own business and uni, I didn’t have any time for anything. Especially in the first two months or so, I was really engrossed in and preoccupied with all the legal stuff I needed to remember, include, write and tell different departments. I also created my own logo and tried to come up with a decent and affordable marketing plan.

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Reading and researching basically became my job. As a blogger, reading ARCs is fun, even if it is stressful at times. It is something I really don’t want to miss, that’s why I started to dedicate more time to it again. When reading becomes your job though, you do look at books differently: will my customers like this book? Why? How expensive is the hardcover edition? Is the language easy to understand for people who don’t have an advanced knowledge of English? Is it a good book to create a theme based upon the content? There are many more things to consider than simply ‘Did I enjoy reading the book’ and in some way, I learned that the hard way. I might tell you more of that at some other point 😉

20170610_185035...Interacting, posting, photos and videos and What is a Hashtag?## When I first started out, I literally had to learn everything about social media, Newsletter Marketing, Tweets, Hashtags and how important interaction actually is. Of course I knew about Hashtags but there can be a BIG difference in your audience, depending on which ones you use. Also, I learned how to make high-quality pictures of my product and how to reach out to others to do the same. I am generally a really shy person so this was a huge deal for me in the beginning. You really wouldn’t believe how much time and effort it takes to create beautiful pictures and thoughtful content! 😀

Skill honing: I can plan ahead even better than before. I am in this ‘business’ now for about six months and even though I could organize my studies and work pretty decently before, I can do so even better now. The simple reason for that time has become something that is easily ‘sold out# so to speak. But I have a private life, friends, family, my boyfriend and sports and I want to keep a balance between work and my private life. In the beginning I utterly failed to do anything else than work (understandably, as I literally didn’t know anything about sh*t) but now it has become much easier to let work go even if I have a new idea or some info I desperately want to share right now. I plan months ahead. Not only the books, monthly themes and items, but also marketing strategies and my own social media posts are planned ahead so I can make sure I never forget anything, like important holidays. Which brings  me to my next point.

20170201_225746-mcBe patient! What I really learned, and needed to learn(!), was to be more patient. I am a really impulsive person, best example: I thought about opening up a business and the next day, I just did it 😀 I am just like that and privately, I think it is actually a great thing to be energetic and spontaneous ( but not before thinking things through at least a little bit 😉 ) BUT for a business, this can be a TOTAl killer! So I really needed to plan ahead instead of jumping straight to some new idea or spilling all the important stuff right at the beginning. Especially when it all started out, I think I acted a little too fast sometimes. Gladly, there were no  bad consequences that I could actually track down but I know I could have done better.

Be tough! In the beginning, I really only created Magic Chest so people could have better access to the book boxes they so desired but after spending over a thousand Euros, which is a lot for a student, I realized that I had to calculate better instead of ONLY trying to appease people and make their unboxing experience great. Now, I have learned to create a great product for my customers but also to  look after myself and my budget. And so, in the last two months I have actually made my first money with the boxes ❤ ❤

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What I can honestly say is that it was and is tough with my studies, a job and my own business, but at the end of each day, no matter if I am extremely tired of relaxed all day, I know that I did the right thing and I would do it again and again and again. I am actually thinking of creating another small business when the time is right 😉

Please let me know what you thought about this post and if you’d like to know more about me and my experiences as a business owner;)

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Parasyte: The Anime everybody should watch!

lmao i had to.

Hey guys! I know this is not a bookish theme at all but as some of you might know, I’m a big anime fan and I love to explore and watch new anime series whenever I can ( which is unfortunately never as much as I would like 😉 ).

Today I want to present you with an anime I watched very recently, or rather, I binge watched it because it was really entertaining and had all the right twists. Paraysite or Kiseijuu actually has a very cliché premise: Aliens come to the world and try to dominate human kind. However these, aliens are parasites that eat up people’s brains and  replace their humans in society. Still, when I first heard about it I was rather sceptical but I started it anyway because I wanted to try out something new and I was a little bored, too. 😀

Well, it turned out that my initial scepticism was uncalled for, as Parasyte developed into a fun adventurous and disturbing anime, full of action and amazing characters. We follow the story of Shinichi, I 18-year old who is stuck with a parasite who ate up his arm and is now part of his body. Shinichi calls him Migi (Japanese for ‘right side’) as he ate up Shinichi’s right hand.

Soon, our main character realizes that even though the aliens are quite intelligent, this is the only connection they have with humans. They are cannibals by nature, very aggressive and above all, void of any emotions. This is a mixture that leads Migi and Shinichi into many dangerous and mysterious situations as they try to find their place in life.

The anime is not only full of action and fun encounters but it is also quite serious in the sense that it also tries to answer the big questions all of us have. Why are we here? What is the reason we are alive and how are humans different to animals. Where do I stand within my society? It’s really amazing how this anime captured so many of these important questions but still having its light and care-free moments, a little romance and school life.

The thing I want to mention before I tell you all to start watching today is that I want to mention that this is no anime you should watch with your children! Not at all! There are many gory, detailed and bloody scenes and it is certainly not for young kids. There are some really disturbing scenes which I really liked but there is no way these scenes would not affect small children in an extremely negative way.

Start watching today!

 

Have you watched or read Parasyte? What did you think? Do you like anime at all?

Tell me your thoughts!

Characters I can’t let go

There are billions of books out there. Some of them, I have read. Others, I shunned. Still others, I wish I had in every possible edition. Some of those beloved books hold characters, I will probably never forget, no matter how much time passes. In this little post, I want to you to get to know some of them.

The order is no ranking.

Ähnliches FotoBilbo Baggings from the Shire. Is probably my all-time favourite character. I loved his struggles, his bravery, his snobbish attitude, his love for smoking weeds and cakes. He is a hero of many sorts and I would be lying if I’d say I haven’t dreamt of writing my Bachelor Thesis about him. He is so afraid and wants to go home and snuggle up to his coziest blanket and forget the evil and dangerous world outside the Shire but he keeps going, saving his friends, showing how cunning he truly is and staying true to himself and his (moral) standards. I just adore him ❤

I guess all of you know the book he is from but I’ll post a picture anyway 😉 FUNfact: J.R.R Tolkien painted this cover himself.

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Bildergebnis für samwell tarly I know that this might come a little unexpected, but I love Samwell Tarly with all my heart. Just like Bilbo ( I can’t help it, I know, I know ), or probably even more like Bilbo, Samwell struggles to find his place in a world that is alien to him. He says he is a craven but the old gods and the new know that he is a hero in his own right. He is brave, loyal and strong, even though he is a fat little fella who can’t carry his own weight around. Even though I am more a fan of the books than of the series, I just love the makers of Game of Thrones because they made Sam look just as I have always imagined him to be ❤

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Bildergebnis für Ronan and adamI want to mention Ronan Lynch and Adam Parrish together because they belong to the same books. Ronan is somebody who is very.. socially awkward in a way that isn’t really obvious. He can’t express his feeling very well and some of his school mates even call him ‘soulless’ but that’s just the only way he knows how. He was different, at some point in his life before everything came crashing down and I just felt for him, his story, his life. I felt so connected to him that it physically hurt to read the books sometimes. Ronan is love, silent, dark and frail love ❤

Bildergebnis für raven boysI can say the same thing about a character I didn’t really like in the second book of the series. I don’t know why, but he annoyed me at that point. But later on, he turned out to be the spark that lit my heart on fire. I love this series and I love Adam and Ronan. Adam is a frail character in so many other ways than Ronan, but he struggles and struggles…. and he pulls through it all. He’s the one lesson everybody should keep in mind. It’s “Keep going and it’s going to be alright”. That’s the most important message of all I believe. Adam also represents a part of me that I never really acknowledge because I ignore it most of the time. There is a life-changing encounter he has with somebody ( no spoilers here ;)) that change him and I went through something very similar, so we’re basically stuck with the same problems. That was what really made me love Adam Parrish ❤

 


Bildergebnis für Rhysand Last but not least: Rhysand, High Lord of the Night Court. This is probably the guy who doesn’t quite fit in the lot but I had to mention him here nonetheless. From the first book onward I just knew there was more to this guy than he let on but to what extend- I never truly knew untill I read he second part of the ACOTAR series. I don’t think it’s about him being sexy. It’s more about giving up everything for the people he loves, his people. He is the one who would never hesitate. Even though his might be an odd thing to say, I hated Tamlin from the start, so it really wasn’t hard for me that he did… what he did haha don’t want to spoiler anybody 😉

Rhysand s just funny, brave, loyal and independent, smart, what more would anybody want? ❤

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Magic Chest Subscription Box! Thank You & Get 25% off your first Subscription

 

The first box of the new Magic Chest subscription box will ship at the end of this moth, and we’re happy that so many of you have been interested and as excited as we were about starting our European subscription box!

We want to say THANK YOU to all of you who liked and shared and followed us on Instagram and Twitter and spread the word on WordPress! But actions speak louder than words. That’s why we want to give all you

25% OFF YOUR FIRST SUBSCRIPTION!

Use the coupon code: RIBBON25  at our cratejoy shop Magic Chest and follow us on Instagram 😉

Spread the Word!

Tell your crazy aunt, the neighbor, you followers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and share the love – and the coupon of course!

You mights also want to know the

Who wants to know the Theme of the Month?

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It’s gonna be..

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Again, Thanks to 🙂

Always Booking

The Bookworm Who Lived

Literary Dust

A Book Lover’s Corner

Ardent Attachments

Novel Gossip

Magic of Books

Bella Myz Blogz Thingz

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The Book Thief Without Words

After Butterfly Rain

 

Interview with M. Tara Crowl & Giveaway

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Hey chumps! Today I want to present you M. Tara Crowl’s books Eden’s Whish and Eden’s Escape of the Eden of the Lamp series. The books may not be my usual YA/ Fantasy post but they’re no less unique and interesting;) I interviews the author of the two books and of course I don’t want to leave you out 😉

I’m also hosting a Giveaway for the first book of the Eden of the Lamp series! Just write your Name ( with link to your blog or email adress if you don’t have a blog) in the comments and the winner will be selected on the 12th of February via Email.

 

Interview

Why did you start writing stories?

As a child, I read constantly and dreamed of writing my own books. In high school, I changed direction and decided I wanted to make movies, so I moved to Los Angeles and went to film school at the University of Southern California. After graduating, I worked in Hollywood for a producer and a literary manager, and then at a talent agency. That was when I realized that my dream of writing books hadn’t gone anywhere; it was still alive and well. So I dropped everything in LA and moved to Sydney, Australia for a Master’s program in Creative Writing.

What gave you the idea for the Eden of the Lamp series?

I was on a plane, listening to the audio book of Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder. It mentions the prospect of meeting a genie and being able to make three wishes. When we think about the genie myth, I think most of us do usually see it from that perspective, and dream about what we’d wish for. But that day, I started to imagine what it would be like to be a genie. You’d have no friends, no fresh air, and no freedom. You could only leave the lamp when some random person rubbed it, and you could only stay on Earth for as long as it took to grant their wishes. You could give people their greatest fantasies, but you’d have no power over your own life. That was infuriating to me.

From there, I started to dream up the character of Eden. She’s in love with the world, but she can’t explore it until she’s completed her career as a genie. The story started with her character, and grew from there.

Do you have a favourite author?

If I have to choose one, I’d say Roald Dahl.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

There’s a middle-grade book that I wrote before I went to school to study writing. I finished a draft and revised it a little, but never completed revisions. I haven’t looked at it for years. Currently, I’m halfway through a new manuscript.

Is there an Eden in real life? Or somebody the main character is based on?

No, Eden isn’t based on anyone. She’s just the character I dreamed up when I came up with the book’s premise and started to imagine someone in her circumstances.

If you had three wishes free, what would you wish for?

1.The ability to travel to the past — not to change anything, just to experience it.

2.Perfect control over my memory, so I could remember everything I want to remember, and forget what I want to forget.

3.For every person on Earth to experience real, true love.

What kind of research do you do and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?

I think experience is the best research. For me, being in the place where the story is set is really helpful. Seeing the buildings and the terrain, hearing its sounds, feeling its weather, meeting people who live there. It’s hard for me to write about a place if I don’t feel like I’m familiar with it.

Beyond that, it depends what the book is about. I try not to get too bogged down in research, but there always ends up being more than I anticipate. For the story to ring true, you’ve got to get details right, no matter how inconsequential they might seem. Every bit of incorrect information has the power to break the story’s spell for a reader.

 

ABOUT THE BOOKS

edenswishEden’s Wish

(Eden of the Lamp #1)

By M. Tara Crowl

From Disney-Hyperion

Release Date: September 1, 2015

Ages 9-12

All twelve years of Eden’s life have been spent in an antique oil lamp. She lives like a princess inside her tiny, luxurious home; but to Eden, the lamp is nothing but a prison. She hates being a genie. All she wants, more than anything, is freedom.

When Eden finds a gateway to Earth within the lamp, she takes her chance and enters the world she loves. And this time, she won’t be sent back after three wishes.

Posing as the new kid at a California middle school, Eden revels in all of Earth’s pleasures–but quickly learns that this world isn’t as perfect as she always thought it was. Eden soon finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old conflict between powerful immortals. A ruthless organization run by a former genie will stop at nothing to acquire the lamp and its power–even hurt Tyler and Sasha, the new mortal friends who have given Eden a home. To save her friends and protect the lamp’s magic, Eden must decide once and for all where she belongs.

Goodreads

Amazon

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Indiebound

edensescapeEden’s Escape

(Eden of the Lamp #2)

By M. Tara Crowl

From Disney-Hyperion

Release Date: September 6, 2016

Ages 9-12

Eden’s new life on earth begins in New York City under the guidance of her new guardian: Pepper, a petite, bubbly genie alum who’s also a Broadway actress. Before she has a chance to settle in, though, Eden is whisked away for a granting–only to find herself trapped in a laboratory. David Brightly, owner of the world’s leading tech company, cares more about tapping into the lamp’s power than making a wish and starts performing tests on Eden. With Brightly’s plasma shield around the lamp, Eden has no way home. Left without a choice, she escapes the lab and goes on the run. After her daring exit, Eden finds herself on the streets of Paris–home to Electra’s headquarters. Left in a strange city with a price on her head (courtesy of scheming Brightly), Eden has to keep her wits about her. She dons a chic disguise and flits around Paris incognito, investigating Brightly Tech. Assisted by Pepper and her old adversary Bola, as well as some new friends, Eden embarks on a quest to retrieve the lamp and protect the secrets of the genie legacy.

Goodreads

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Indiebound

PRAISE

“Crowl’s imaginative storyline rings with both perception and humor.”

Kirkus Reviews

“Middle grade readers will enjoy the children’s autonomy and Eden’s humorous difficulties in grasping how school works…Hand this to readers who like their magical fantasy combined with middle school drama.”

School Library Journal

“An imaginative romp with a smart, snarky protagonist and a humorous interpretation of the world as we know it…[Eden] is also just plain entertaining, with a sassy attitude and a clever wit that saves her on more than one occasion.”

BCCB

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

M. Tara Crowl grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She studied Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, then received an MA in Creative Writing at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She lives in New York City.

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How Audiobooks Changed My Life as a Blogger

I have mentioned in a few comments over the last few weeks and I wanted to dedicate a whole post to the wonderful realm of audiobooks.

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The thing is, I have never really liked audiobooks to begin with. I listened to one audiobook all the time before I started blogging and that was The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Much later, when I had been blogging for about two months, I read a post about audiobooks and even though I was interested, I was also sceptical.

How could a story that you didn’t read yourself be as fascinating and as captivating as something you have read on your own? As I listened to The Hobbit every once in a while though, I though I’d just give it a try.

And that’s what I did.

I listened to the Harry Potter series and I fell in love with the books all over again. Immediately after, I started to listen to Halfway Dead, which turned out to be not my thing ( I might write a review about the audiobook a little later), because the narrator is extremely important.

Even if I “only” listen to an audiobook, the feels are real!

I thought I couldn’t listen to women narrating a story but then I listened to Ruin and Rising and I loved it just as much with a male narrator. So I realized it depended more on intonation and the way they talked than on the voice itself.

the narrator

How did this help me become a better blogger?

I’m actually not sure if my reviews have a better quality of if I’m writing better. But what I do know is that it helps me to plan posts better. I don’t have to stress about not having time to read, especially now that my finals are ringing at my doorbell like nasty neighbor’s boys. I can dedicate much more time to the audiobooks than I currently can devote to physical books . I can still enjoy great books without loosing too much sleep during the week.

But what about the argument that I might not really listen to the book, or that I could get distracted more easily? Well the thing is, I only listen to audiobooks when I do tasks that don’t require much thinking.

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  • Doing the Laundry
  • Vacuuming the house
  • Driving my car
  • Preparing sandwiches for me and my boyfriend
  • Getting ready in the morning (showering, putting on some makeup, eating breakfast(when alone))

This way, I can’t get distracted and stop listening because all these task are so automated that I don’t need two brain cells to accomplish them haha. But they make these tasks so much more enjoyable and exciting!

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So put your fears aside chumps! I bet all of you know at least one book they’d like to read immediately but don’t have the time. Next time you’ll get on the bus, train or do the laundry, listen to it! I’m sure it will be great 😉

 

Audiobook Tour: Halfway Dead by Terry Maggert

 

Author: Terry Maggert

Narrator: Erin Spencer

Length: 7h 12m

Publisher: Terry Maggert⎮2015

Genre: Paranormal

Release date: Aug. 07, 2015

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synopsis

Carlie McEwan loves many things. She loves being a witch. She loves her town of Halfway, NY – a tourist destination nestled on the shores of an Adirondack lake. Carlie loves her enormous familiar, Gus, who is 25 pounds of judgmental Maine Coon cat, and she positively worships her grandmother, a witch of incredible power and wisdom. Carlie spends her days cooking at the finest – and only – real diner in town, and her life is a balance between magic and the mundane, just as she likes it.

When a blond stranger sits at the diner counter and calls her by name, that balance is gone. Major Pickford asks Carlie to lead him into the deepest shadows of the forest to find a mythical circle of chestnut trees, thought lost to forever to mankind. There are ghosts in the forest, and one of them cries out to Carlie across the years. Come find me.

Danger, like the shadowed pools of the forest, can run deep. The danger is real, but Carlie’s magic is born of a pure spirit. With the help of Gus, and Gran, and a rugged cop who really does want to save the world, she’ll fight to bring a ghost home, and deliver justice to a murderer who hides in the cool, mysterious green of a forest gone mad with magic.

 

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Buy on AudibleAmazoniTunes

 

author-bio

Left-handed. Father of an apparent nudist. Husband to a half-Norwegian. Herder of cats and dogs. Lover of pie. I write books. I’ve had an unhealthy fascination with dragons since the age of– well, for a while. Native Floridian. Current Tennessean. Location subject to change based on insurrection, upheaval, or availability of coffee. Nine books and counting, with no end in sight. You’ve been warned.

 

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narrator-bio

Erin loves audiobooks!  As an actress, they have allowed her to creatively stretch by playing all kinds of characters, all kinds of ages and all kinds of accents!  She voiced roles in the Audie award winning title, Illuminae and was also nominated for a Voice Arts Award in the romance category.  She has narrated over 100 titles and as an audiobook director has worked on at least 100 more.  She has worked for most of the major publishers and also enjoys working with indie writers who are some of the most talented writers out there! Follow her on Twitter @ErinSpencerLA or find her on Facebook, Erin Spencer Actress.

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giveaway

Mini Bluetooth Speaker

$10 Amazon Gift Card

Halfway Dead Digital Audiobook

 

tour-schedule

Jan. 2: Dab of Darkness (Review)

Jan. 3: The Desert Bibliophile (Review, Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Jan. 4: Que Sara Sera (Review & Spotlight)

Jan. 5: Terri Loves Books (Review & Author Interview)

Jan. 6: Guilty Indulgence Book Club (Review)

Jan. 7: The Owlery (Review)

Jan. 8: Ribbon Reviews (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

Jan. 9: Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm (Review, Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

2 Girls and A Book (Review)

Jan. 10: Chapter Break (Review & Author Interview)

Jan. 11: Jorie Loves A Story (Review)

Jan. 12: Smada’s Book Blog (Review & Audio Excerpt)

Jan. 13: Mama Reads (Review & Author Interview)

Jan. 14: Bound 4 Escape (Review & Audio Excerpt)

Jan. 15: Avid Book Collector (Spotlight & Audio Excerpt)

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