Monday, March 18, 2019

PR & Publishing // A Newbie's Guide to PR in the Publishing Field

Hey, guys!

            I’ve been taking this Intro to PR class and we’ve been discussing the different facets of PR and the processes of PR in different fields and careers. I thought it would be fun to do my own research on PR & Publishing. I find the topic so fascinating and I’m always so interested in what goes on behind the scenes between authors, their publishing companies, and the PR buzz that surrounds their books. Sometimes an author does the majority of their buzz, but sometimes they have a big enough fanbase or a large PR campaign behind them. However, the author is almost always working on their own hype and buzz. I wanted to explore why that is. Let’s get into it! *

*All information is taken from my own experiences and from the sources listed below. All statistics and concrete lists and things are from experienced professionals and academics.

Are You Interested in Going into PR for a Publishing Career?

What does a PR agent do when in the publishing field?

According to Melissa Nguyen, the Publicity, Marketing, and Sales Manager at indie publishing company, The Experiment, most her responsibilities vary from day-to-day. However, the majority of her time is spent:

·       “Writing promotional copy” (i.e. galleys, press releases, and pitch letters)
·       Working with authors to plan publicity surrounding their work
·       Designing promo materials
·       Updating the websites and blogs
·       Tracking the sales of the released works
·       Acting as the liaison between the publisher, distributors, and sales representatives

These aren’t all of the jobs that a PR agent has in publishing but are some of the many. 

So, you want to go into PR for publishing?

Many of my nerdy comrades are probably saying “Oh dang, this sounds like the perfect job for me! How do I prepare myself to have this kind of job in the future?” OR “I’d love to go to school to do this! What can I do?” You’re probably not asking those exact questions, but you’re probably wondering, right? Of course, you are! I’ll just answer your questions right now.

To have a job in publishing, it is recommended that you have at least a Bachelor’s in English, communications, journalism, or any other related field. You’re asked to have strong analytical, business, and marketing critical thinking skills. You can research the company that you’re looking to work with and they usually have the information you will need to prepare yourself.

Well, what can I do to further cement my likelihood of getting this job?

As a college student, I cannot give you tips that will definitely help you get into your preferred job, but here are some tips from other sources that I trust. I’m currently studying to get a job in publishing, so I’m going through this advice myself for the future.
  •  Get experience through a school newspaper or school journal. This will further help you get individual experience, help you acquire teamwork skills, and if you were to have something published, that would be icing on the cake.
  • Complete an internship that is relevant to your future dream job. In my English program, it is required that you complete an internship outside of your regularly required classes. During the last semester and this semester, I’ve been a part of my campus’ academic journal. This internship has allowed me to acquire experience in a publishing setting and be a part of a team with like-minded goals. Being a part of a relevant internship allows you to gain knowledge of the career and to gain practical experience in the industry.
  • Be ready and willing to start in a lower position. In most publishing settings, you typically start in a lower position and work your way up into the group as you gain experience, skills, and show your dedication to the group.


Information an Author Must Be Aware Of:

What is an author’s job when promoting their work(s)?

Since the boom of “author twitter” and “writing/writer twitter”, the processes of individual writers have been actively displayed to readers and the public world. Though authors have been doing their own PR since before the internet age, the processes that they go through have been blasted into the interwebs and captivated the bookish and the nerdy, alike. Many who aren’t actively in the bookish community do not realize the intense amount of work that an author does in their spare time and when they aren’t writing. Many newly published writers have asked “Why should the focus be on me? Why not my work? Why should I have to do all of this for free?” The answer isn’t simple or easy.
You’d think that the author could just sit back and enjoy the bliss of completing their revisions and wait for their release-bliss…NOPE! According to “The Guardian”, even Charles Dickens did his own PR! During his time, he managed to travel around Britain and Ireland and give 87 “’farewell readings.’”

What can I do to promote my book?

If you’re already a self-published author, you probably already realize the amount of effort that goes into getting your work out into the public sphere. It will not be easy, my friends! Here are some methods you can use to get your work out into the wild.

1. Start a blog! Having a platform allows you to get a reputation among the writing/reading/bookish community and allows you to interact with readers, bloggers, and social media personnel. As a book blogger, myself, it’s really great to see what kind of platform an indie author has because it shows their dedication to their craft and I can have a connection to them as a fellow writer. A blog is also a platform for your other social media. Always include:

· Information about your work
· Your social media links
· Information on where to read your work

Today, readers are interested in your writing process and your journey to publication. Continue to bare your soul to them and show them your dedication to your craft.

    2. Don’t be afraid to leverage your work. If a blogger or reviewer isn’t interested in your book, take heart and keep searching. Ask around and see who is interested in your book. Ask the blogger! The majority of the bloggers I know are eager and happy to help authors promote their work or give you recommendations on who will enjoy your book. As a blogger veteran (4+ years, baby!), I’ve made many friends in the community and I’m always happy to point authors in the right direction when it comes to promoting their work. Some readers really do not enjoy some niches of books. We’re all diverse in reading tastes. Why not be kind and help others?

3. Invest your time in social media. The world is quite consumed by social media and taking advantage of the perks of each platform will bring attention to your work.
·       Instagram: Post aesthetically pleasing photos of your book. Post stories on your writing process and publishing journey.
·       Twitter: Post quips and advice for other writers. Make friends. Post photos! Share snippets of your characters or inspiring quotes.
·       Goodreads: Host giveaways, share your inspiration, update your profile and book information.
Those are just some examples, but utilize your platforms and get to know your followers, friends, and viewers.

     4. Don’t ignore the opinions of journalists. If a journalist approaches you, answer their message(s), provide information, and get back with them in a timely manner! These are the contacts that will benefit you in the future. HOWEVER, do NOT pester them. They are busy and appreciate their time. If they aren’t interested in your work, do not bug them for another chance. Take the rejection with grace. ALSO, do not treat them as a “one night stand”. Build relationships and reputations with the journalists you work with.

5. Be careful with what you put out.
  • Do not overuse hashtags. Hashtags should always be used sparingly. If used improperly, you look desperate and unaware of social media etiquette.
  • Do not tweet without fully thinking about the reception it will receive. When you are attempting to put your work into the world, you are going to be as professional as possible. In this case, Twitter is a business tool that should not be abused. 
  • Do not use fillers in your press releases. All press releases should be short, concise, and to-the-point.
The Perks of A PR Firm
Maintaining your reputation through so many mediums of social media can be a challenge. According to the blog: “Book Baby”, “being connected to a firm can show reviewers, publishers, and the media that you’re a serious author and that you mean business.
PR Firms and PR departments allow authors to have more flexibility. Because of their more accommodating budget, PR teams can do many things for authors that authors cannot feasibly do without extensive funds.

Some examples are:
  • Setting up book tours
  • Connecting with harder to reach media contacts (i.e. newspapers, other well-known authors, etc.)
  • Book you for speaking events or release events
  • Workshop messages that will reach the largest and most effective audience

Further reading

Whether you’re doing your own PR or you’re working with a firm, patience and perseverance are the key to success. You have to put in the extra effort to get the word out about your work and you cannot rely on others to do everything for you. Whether you’re an indie author or you’re being published with one of the major publishing companies, you need to be aware of what all goes into publishing a book. Writing the book is just the first step to publishing a successful tome.

Happy reading!
~Liv the Book Nerd~

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

{Bookish Box} The Wicked King Book Hangover Crate by FaeCrate

Hey, guys!

2019 is the year of splurging for book boxes. I'm so excessive! However, when I finally received my Wicked King Hangover Crate, it was sooo worth the hefty price. This is probably my favorite book box that I've ever gotten. I've already ordered a few more boxes for myself, so that might change, but I freaking loved this box! It was so much fun. I have an unboxing on my stories where I gush and gush and gush about the items in the box. If you're interested in that unboxing, it's in my save story highlights!

Here is what was in The Wicked King Hangover Crate!

Here is the lovely little print by Gabriella Bujdoso that is on the other side of the spoiler card. I love her sketch style so much!

#1: Thorn socks from FaeCrate!

These socks are so gorgeous and so soft. I love wearing them!

#2: Leaf Tea Infuser from FaeCrate

This infuser is so freaking nice. I used it the day after I got the box and I've used it consistently since then. It's currently being used, so enjoy a picture from my first use on my IG stories!

#3: The Fae Prince Plushie from FaeCrate

Ugh! This Cardan plushie is so freaking cute! So soft! The details are absolutely perfect!

#4: Rowan Berry Protection Necklace from FaeCrate

#5: "Spill the Tea" loose leaf tea from @acourtofcandles

This tea is so delicious! I absolutely adore drinking it. I'm currently rationing it out. I could drink it for days. 

#5: Elfhame Tea Towel from @blissfullybookish

I absolutely love this towel. I'm currently just storing it in my box, but I'm definitely going to make it a wall hanging in the future. 

#6: Double Sided Pillow Case by @gabriella.bujdoso


This pillow case is so gorgeous! I'm so excited to get an insert for it. Gabriella is such a beautiful artist and I love her work so much.

#7: Underwater Oaths Candle from @burningbrightlibrary

This lovely candle smells of sea kelp, untamed waves, and filtered sunlight. It's so fresh and bright. I can't wait to burn this candle this summer. 

#8: The General's Crest Iron-On Patch designed by

This patch is so lovely. I'm planning on buying a leather jacket and when I do, I'm going to be artsy and iron this patch on there. I'm so in love with the design.

#9: Court of Shadows Trading Cards by @rachelhanke27

#10: Wicked Golden Acorn Tea Cup & Saucer Set designed by @ekatearcher

I love this set! It's so beautiful and it fits perfectly in my hand. 

#11: Double Sided Sturdy Print 

Fae Prince & the Human by @faeriereverie

Sea Princess by @Eklixio

I'm obsessed with this art! I can't decide which I love more.

#12 Double-sided bookmark with author letter

  This is just too cute! I love this bookmark so much. The concept art for the plushie is just so beautiful!

This box was just so perfect for me. I absolutely adore every item. I cannot wait to get my Defy Me Hangover Crate and my March BaeCrate (their sister company that fully focuses on adult and new adult romance). 

What is your favorite book box? Let's talk about them in the comments!

Happy reading!
                                         ~Liv the Book Nerd~

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

{Review} Galatea by Madeline Miller


Page Count: 37
Published On: August 13, 2013
Published By: Ecco
Genre(s): Fantasy, Mythology, Adult, Historical, Retelling, Short Stories
Source: ebook- accessed through Hoopla
Where To Find It: Amazon 

My Rating: 5 stars 

Goodreads synopsis:

In Ancient Greece, a skilled marble sculptor has been blessed by a goddess who has given his masterpiece – the most beautiful woman the town has ever seen – the gift of life. Now his wife, Galatea is expected to be obedience and humility personified, but it is not long before she learns to use her beauty as a form of manipulation. In a desperate bid by her obsessive husband to keep her under control, she is locked away under the constant supervision of doctors and nurses. But with a daughter to rescue, she is determined to break free, whatever the cost...


Hey, guys!

My friends, Mariana, Alice, Brooke, & Becky, have been urging me to pick up a Madeline Miller book for quite some time, but it just hadn't happened. When I found this short story on Hoopla, I had to check it out. 37 pages? No sweat! 

This was exactly what I needed. This short story was absolutely flawless and so addicting and engaging. If you're a fan of ancient myths, you will absolutely be a fan of this short story. 

Galatea is a retelling of sorts from Galatea's perspective after the events of the story of Pygmalion. This story was just so brilliantly done. Miller really creates such a beautifully complex and intense character that I cannot help but adore. She is so inspiring and her journey post-sculpture life is so inspiring from a young woman's perspective. 

This story is a lovely examination of the impact of society's expectations on women and their overtly controlling and objectifying expectations for "the perfect woman".

This was perfect, powerful, and beautiful. Please read this short story!

Happy reading,
~Liv the Book Nerd~
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Song Recommendation

Thursday, March 7, 2019

{Review} Bloodleaf by Crystal Smith


Page Count: 384
Published On: March 12, 2019
Published By: HMH Books For Young Readers
Genre(s): Fantasy, YA
Source: paperback ARC - provided by HMH 
Age Rating: 16
Where To Find It: Amazon // Book Depository

My Rating: 4.5 stars 

Goodreads synopsis:

Aurelia is the first princess born to the Renalten crown in two hundred years, destined to fulfill a treaty by journeying to marry Valentin, the prince of Achelva – Renalt’s greatest enemy. Rumors of an unwell, cruel prince abound, and the only thing that eclipses Aurelia’s apprehension of her impending marriage is her fear of those who’d kill her to prevent it.

When an assassination attempt forces Aurelia to use forbidden magic to save a stranger, she is driven from Renalt by the witch-hunting Tribunal and a mob out for blood. But before she can claim asylum in the court of her betrothed, her travel party turns on her, forcing her to trade places with her treacherous lady-in-waiting, Lisette.

Now penniless in Achleva and bereft of her identity, Aurelia must decide if she wants to surrender to her new life or fight for her old one, all while navigating the complicated ties binding her to the enigmatic prince, the unquiet ghost of an ancient queen, and a poisonous plant called bloodleaf.

Aurelia is a pawn in a centuries-long game of love, power, and war— and if she can’t extricate herself from it before Lisette marries Valentin in her stead, she may face losses far more devastating than her crown.


Hey, guys!

    I was sent this beautiful ARC for an honest review. All thoughts and feelings are my own. Thank you HMH Teen for sending me the promotional package!

Trigger Warnings for rape, self-harm, war, intense violence

    If you guys have followed me for a while, you'll recognize that I am a massive fan of high fantasy novels with a focus on politics, magic, intense characterization, and fast-paced plots. I'm always jazzed to read a fantasy book that revolves around an arranged marriage -- I'm not sure why. I guess I'm just fascinated by the actions of the two people and how they respond to what they're being ordered to do. Marriage is such a special and sacred bond to me. I just love how girls/women respond to those situations, especially. Bring on the feminism! 

    Anyway, this book is pitched as a Goose Girl retelling, but I honestly haven't read that fairy tale. I read a minor synopsis after writing this review, but I think that this book absolutely stands on its own. The plot is so fantastically original and the characters and magic are so engaging. I loved it so much. 

    The book automatically drops us into the action and the political intrigue and discourse of Achleva and Renalt. I honestly loved the clash of the two kingdoms. The conflict wasn't particularly intense or complex, but it was still so much fun to read about. The characters really drove this book rather than the actual plot. Don't get me wrong, the plot was lovely and solid, but the characters really took the cake for me. I cannot wait to read the next two books to see what happens. This was just a fantastic introduction to a trilogy and a fantastic glimpse into Crystal Smith's writing capabilities. 

    This book was just so entertaining and fun to read. There were times where I would laugh out loud, and I totally cried toward the end. I need need need the sequel to this book. I'm so excited for everyone to get their hands on this book because they will be so pleased. 

Thank you, again, HMH for sending me an ARC copy!

Happy reading!
~Liv the Book Nerd~
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Song Recommendation:

Saturday, March 2, 2019

February 2019 Book Haul

Hey, guys!

This is probably going to be one of my last mega book hauls. I'm planning on spending my book "budget" boxes. It's wild. I hope you guys enjoy this book haul. I really don't plan on buying any extra books in the next few months. I really should not buy anything else. Let's hope!

Enjoy my wild book haul!

Gifts & Twitter Trades

    • The Annotated Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, edited by John Matteson
      • This book was gifted to me by my BEAUTIFUL boyfriend, Alex, for Valentines Day! He knows me too well! I'm so excited to dive into this massive tome!
    • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
      • Mallory was unhauling this gem, so of course, I snatched it up for a potential giveaway?? Or I'm just being excessive and adding it to my own collection? I'm not sure yet???
    • (TT) The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
    • (TT) Seafire by Natalie C. Parker
    • On Thin Ice by Julie Cross
      • Thank you, Entangled Teen!


    Personal Excessive Purchases

    • Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
    • Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
    • More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer
    • Mammoth by Jill Baguchinsky [ARC - found at a library sale for $0.25!]
    • The Martian by Andy Weir ($0.50 at the library sale!)
    • One Plus One by Jojo Moyes [mass market paperback for $0.25 from the library sale!)
    • Bloom by Kevin Panetta and Savanna Ganucheau

      e-Books & e-ARCs

      40969415365118054114727941150285361186823933845441063454Obsidian (A Lux Novel Book 1) by [Armentrout, Jennifer L.]

      • Waiting For Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey
        • Release Date: June 11, 2019
      • Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett
        • Release Date: April 16, 2019
      • Again, But Better by Christine Riccio
        • Release Date: May 7, 2019
      • The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada & Holly Lorincz
        • Release Date: June 11, 2019
      • Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan
        • Release Date: April 2, 2019
      • The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
        • 4.5 stars!
        • Release date: May 7, 2019
      • Meet Cute (Extended Preview) by Helena Hunting
        • So far, 4.5 stars! I cannot wait to read this!
        • Release date: April 9, 2019
      • Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
        • Free for Kindle!

      Number of Books Read: 8

      Did you buy books this month? Which books? What are your favorites? Let's chat in the comments!

      Happy reading, friends!
      ~Liv the Book Nerd~
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      Friday, March 1, 2019

      February 2019 Reading Wrap Up + My Current Reads!

      Hey, guys!

      This past month has been sooo freaking busy. I'm so sorry that I haven't been updating you all. I'm finding that the junior years of high school and college are definitely the hardest years so far. I've managed to read much more than I anticipated and the books that I did read were so fantastic! Here are the books that I read this month (+mini reviews - for now!)

      A Curse So Dark & Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

      ~ 5 stars ~

            I had the pleasure of reading this book a week early, but I became so busy that I was unable to read it completely beforehand. I managed to finish the book the day after it was published and WOW-OH-WOW! I was so pleased with this book. It's definitely a new favorite and I'm unashamed to say that I bought two more of Brigid's books this month post-Curse. This book was the perfect blend of diversity, a new fantastical world, alternate universe crossing, romance, friendship, action, retelling elements, and immersive writing. I love this book so fracking much. I'm honestly still not sure how to describe why I love it so much. I'm still collecting my thoughts and I honestly want to reread the novel so that I can read a finished copy. I cannot wait for A Heart So Fierce & Broken. I already know it's going to be epic and beautiful. Bring it on, Brigid!

      Shoutout to Good Choice Reading for the amazing virtual signing for Curse!

      Bloom by Kevin Panetta & Savanna Ganucheau

      ~ 5 stars ~

             Another beautifully written story that I cannot get enough of. This book is also a new favorite that I instantly bought soon after reading it. I had been eagerly yet quietly anticipating this book for a month now and when one of the librarians pointed out the new graphic novels in our collection, I had to read it ASAP. I procrastinated my homework and binge-read the first 3/4 before the library closed and basically swallowed the last 1/4 after I got home. This story is just so beautiful, sweet, and wholesome. I absolutely love Ari and Hector. They are the soft, beautiful baking boys of my heart. I cannot wait to read more from Kevin and Savanna. This graphic novel deserves all of the stars!

      Bingo Love Volume 1: Jackpot Edition by Tee Franklin, Marguerite Bennett, Gail Simone, Shawn Pryor, Jenn St. Onge, Sara Alfageeh, Paulina Ganucheau, Beverly Johnson, and Ariela Kristantina

      ~ 4 stars ~

      I also picked this beautiful book up from my university's library (along with Be Prepared and Bloom). I've been eyeing this story since it came to our shelves and I am so glad that I read this lovely story. The story of Hazel and Mari is so beautiful, inspiring, and heartwrenching. I am, for real, so blessed to have read this book. This book follows Hazel and Mari as they fall in love in the 1960s, but are driven apart by the hands of their conservative families. Decades later, they find each other again and realize that their love is still very much alive. They take control of their lives and live the rest of their lives together. The journeys that these women face is so eye-opening and inspiring. This graphic novel needs to go viral and get into the hands of anyone and everyone. 

      Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol
      ~ 3 stars ~

           I've been following Vera as an artist for a hot minute, but I have never really read any of her published work. I'll see clips or bits and pieces online, but I've never really picked up her work before Be Prepared. One of her other graphic novels, Anya's Ghost, was very popular when it first came out in 2011, but I haven't picked that one up either (I will soon, though because it's at the library!). Be Prepared follows Vera in a semi-autobiographical story about how she goes to a Russian summer camp. Throughout the story, Vera is trying to make friends, find herself in her culture, and to learn more about herself as a person. Though I enjoyed this story, I really didn't connect with Vera like I would have hoped. Maybe it's because I'm not nine or Russian, but I just didn't like her that much. I just didn't think there was a hopeful message at the end. It just fell flat. However, I really did enjoy the story, the illustrations, and color schemes. This is perfect for younger readers. I just didn't connect as much as I thought I would. 

      Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

      ~ 5 stars ~

      Another new favorite contemporary! February has been a fantastic month for finding new faves. It's crazy how much I enjoyed Radio Silence. I started listening to this glorious book via Hoopla over a weekend and I could not put this book down! Not only was the audio narrator fantastic (Aysha Kala), the story was absolutely enthralling. I absolutely love the characters, their stories, the diversity, the whole vibe...everything was perfect! There was never a dull moment in this book. I've never really chosen to lay in bed and finish an audiobook, but I stayed up til 2am to finish this one. This book was everything I could have asked for. I need more Alice Oseman! I recommend this book to everyone! It has everything you could want: platonic boy/girl relationships, beautiful soft boys, diverse characters, a podcast with fantasy/dystopia elements, different social media, road trips, school drama, mystery, and more! This book is too wonderful to explain. I wish I had more. I need more!

      image was taken from

      The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

      ~ 4.5 stars ~

      This book was everything I could have hoped for. Not only was it just as deliciously romantic as The Kiss Quotient, the characters were also just so engaging and the plot was just so wonderfully done. I had the pleasure of reading and e-ARC from NetGalley and this book just made me sooo excited for more work from Helen Hoang. I absolutely adore her writing style, her methods of characterization, and the way she develops relationships and incorporates diverse characters and topics. I cannot wait to read the next book in this little universe. I was so thrilled to have gotten to see Stella and Michael in this book too. Their little cameo was perfect and I literally yelled when I realized that it was them. Ugh, I love Helen's characters. I cannot wait to get my hands on my preordered finished copy. 
      Release Date: May 7, 2019

      My Current Reads

      I've also managed to have quite a few books on the back burner this month. I'm currently reading 3 books alongside the books I'm reading for school. I'm really excited to finish these awesome books and let you all know what I think of them. Keep an eye on my Goodreads and Instagram stories to know about my current reading progress!

      Roomies by Christina Lauren

      (via physical paperback)
      As I am typing up this blog post, I'm pretty positive that I'm going to be finishing this book after I finish writing up my wrap up and book haul. This book is so much fun. I love the writing style of the authors. Their dialogue is so funny and the premises of their books are so ridiculous, but so well executed and addicting to read. I love love love Holland and Calvin's personalities. They absolutely crack me up. I cannot wait to see how the second half of this book will go. I honestly hope that I cry.
      I'm currently 40% through this book.

      Echo North by Joanna Ruth Meyer

      (via physical hardback)
      This book is also SO GOOD! Joanna's writing style is so beautiful and I cannot wait to see how this book turns out. I've been putting off finishing this book because I don't want it to end. I love the elements that she's taken from Russian folklore and culture and the basic bits from the legend of East O' the Sun West O' the Moon. It's probably tied with Beauty and the Beast as my favorite fairy tale/folk story. I cannot wait to pick up Joanna's other book, Beneath the Haunting Sea. Joanna pitches it as "Jane Eyre meets The Silmarillion" I think I need that in my life! Yes, please!
      I'm currently 60% through this book.


      Solitaire by Alice Oseman

      (via audiobook through Hoopla)
      I quickly picked started this audiobook after listening to Radio Silence, hoping for a story that was just as engaging and entertaining as RD. Unfortunately, Solitaire isn't as good as RD, but I'm still quite enjoying it. I'm not sure how I like the main character, Tori, or the audio narrator; but I really enjoy the side characters and the mystery of the plot. I'm eager to pick up more of Oseman's work after this. I love her writing style and characterization techniques. 
      I'm currently 36% through this book. 

      What are you guys currently reading? Let's chat in the comments!

      Happy reading!
      ~Liv the Book Nerd~
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