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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I am BACK <33

20161209_075758Hey guys this is just a quick update that I am back in the game, at least try to and I really want to post regularly again. I had a really tough time with two jobs, uni and what basically was a pathetic excuse for a life these past few weeks.

From today on, I will try my best to post regularly and engage with you guys more. I know I have been slow to respond to comments, which was partly due to the fact that my WordPress died xDD I want to be an active part of this community again and I hope you guys will stay around even if I have neglected my bookish friends and my followers for a while ❤

Anyway, I don’t want to bore you with the details, I just want to say that I am back and that there will be regular posts once more. YAY 😀

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Alire Saenz | Review

BowBowBowBowBow 5/5 Ribbons

Bildergebnis für Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universefor this wonderful book that I should have read sooner ❤

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is a YA book that has all the right twist and turns. Unexpected friendships, love, family… Even though there are lots of light-hearted and insightful scenes, Aristotle and Dante’s story has also a few darker moments. Prejudice, gang life, poverty, racism and homophobia are addressed in this book on different levels. 

There is a variety of themes and so, there are also a variety of characters I met in this book. From doting parents, funny pets and amazing main characters and even some cowards and villains, you can find everything here.

Th writing style was imaginative and elaborate, without being overly explanatory or boring. It fit well in the story’s mood. The dialogues were extraordinarily well placed ( I think most authors use dialogues just because they don’t know how to go about a certain topic in the book). Saenz did a wonderful job of bringing this story to my home.

But I didn’t like Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe because of the character variety. I honestly cared almost only for the two main characters Ari and Dante. heir story is the main story and it touched my heart in ways I cannot or care not to analyze because it was just beautiful to listen to the awesome audiobook and enjoy the dialogues and the questions those two asked themselves: who am I? Where do I belong to? Which is the culture I want to be part of? What about my family, sexuality and education?

These are questions all us ask themselves to some degree at some point of their life and I just love their journey. The way is full of stones and rocks and hills and rivers, but also sunny days, and they make it through everything together as friends. I don’t feel embarrassed to say that I have started crying about four times while listening to the book in one day (!!).

There is nothing bad I can say about this book, I loved every minute of it and afterwards, I decided to immediately buy the hardcover edition because I just needed to have this book in m house ❤ I actually had such a bad hangover that only a week after I have finished it, I am ready to write this review. The story progresses slowly and naturally.

Maybe not all of you ( who haven’t read it) will be touched by the book as I was, but fr me, it is now one of my all-time-favourites. You should start reading really,soon!

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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Blue Lilly, Lilly Blue by Maggie Stiefvater | Review

BowBowBowBowBow 5/5 Ribbons

Ok, this review is LONG overdue, but I’m going to do it anyway, even if it might turn out a little shorter than usual.

THIS STORY will probably be one of the best I will have read in 2017! Why? Well guys, the truth is really simple: I love the characters, there is always something magical and mystical going on AND the mix is perfect. Fantasy, myths, romance, adventure.

I loved the new characters that were introduced in the fourth book of Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Circle. My heart was beating in unison with the rhythm of the story. There were a few breath taking moments… I simply couldn’t put it down.  I was sucked into this world and devoured by the beauty of it all.

The character development is detailed, subtle charming and it always feels just right. I have seldom read a book that had me invest so much time and thoughts to single characters like Blue Lilly, Lilly Blue. I have mentioned in my previous reviews that plot-wise, the story didn’t move very fast. Not only did that change now, I also wouldn’t have cared anymore because sometimes, as a blogger you want to be a little objective.

I can’t say I want to deprive the Raven Circle books of the last ribbon any longer.

Honestly, I listened to al the books on Audible but I just have to buy them because I desperately want to own them. ❤ As I said, this review is really short and less a review than a call to action:

If you haven’t done so, start the series today!

 

 

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.

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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 😉

 

New Year’s Resolutions And The Virtues of a Book Blogger

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you had a great party, or a wonderful, cozy evening. Whatever you prefer more. But the thing is, all of us know that in truth, nothing much has changed from yesterday to today. I’m still sitting at my laptop and try to study, you might still be reading the same book as you did yesterday.

The only difference is really, that some of us set up a few (or lots of ) new year’s resolutions. But who can actually live according to them throughout the next year? The truth is, some might not even make it till the end of January.

Be it more sports, less smoking, losing the five pounds you gained in December or something else, successful are the least of us. That’s why I actually didn’t bother for quite some time to come up with any resolutions at all. I’m just not that disciplined ( except if I want to study, I just love my books ❤ ) I’ll show you what I want to do better in 2017 – and how I’m going to accomplish it!

This year, I want to change a few small things:

  1. I want to do some sports
  2. I want to eat a little bit healthier
  3. I want to take better care of myself
  4. Get rid of my TBR mountain

Why?

  1. In 2016, I had a big surgery and wasn’t able to do any sport at all. Before, I was fine and I went to the gym about twice a week. I want to go to the gym again, and do a few short exercises a few days a week at home. My cousin will get married this summer and I want to look my best.
  2. After the same surgery, I couldn’t really move or lift, well a purse, so me and my bf only ever bought things when there was really nothing left in the house. Chips, cans, bread and bread, bread, bread! I want to eat more fruits and less milk, cheese and eggs, maybe even less salty. 
  3. 2016 was a good year, even though I had extreme health issues. Everything turned out fine in the end, but I think I should try not to stress and fuss over things. I want to try to take more ME time during the week and do more with friends.
  4. It’s growing way too fast

How?

  1. I started this morning, after sleeping in, with five minutes of biceps, triceps and back muscle training. I talked to my bf while I did it to not over do it. This will be this first thing every second morning, because when I’m still a little tired and sleepy, I tend not to think so much so I can’t say ‘I have too much to do’. I will always have 5 minutes for that.
  2. We do cheat days every week and I want to start cooking on cheat days instead of eating chips and ice-cream all day. Just things that you normally think have too much calories like burgers, lasagna or chips. But if I make them myself, I can decide what to put in them and how much fat you use. It’s not the healthiest food, but the ingredients will be better. Also, I bought a few veggie spreads so I don’t rely too much on cheese.
  3. I think this will be the hardest part of all. But the first step has already been taken a few days ago. I quit my old job. In Germany, after you quit, you have to work for the company a few weeks longer. So they can find replacement and you a new job. I have written a few applications and I’ll go from there. I hated this job and the people made me angry all the time. I’m searching for a job where I can work fewer hours per week. Then I’ll have more time for my studies and won’t be so stressed out and always behind schedule. I actually hope to read a little more, take a bath sometimes. Nothing special, just more listening to what I want instead of always doing what has to be done. 
  4. Read more, of course. But I also want to write a few posts about my TBR to get me going 😀