Design credit goes to Nina of Nina Reads
Today’s topic for Armchair BEA is “Ask the Experts.” And believe you me, I have a few questions that I’m dying to have answered. I just have to remember them….
And if we are the experts – or we just can’t think up any questions – we have the option to share our own tips about book blogging.
Questions for the experts
While I have been blogging for over a year-and-a-half, I still have a ton of questions. Questions I never asked when starting out and questions that are probably not always appropriate to ask. But I suppose I can ask them here. Though it does reveal my complete and total cluelessness.
Oh, and I don’t consider myself an expert
Questions on conduct…
~ If you see a blogger behaving badly, do you keep it to yourself or share it with the community?
~ If you find out that someone’s a serial giveaway cheater, do you just delete the multiple entries, confront them privately or notify the community as chances are you’re not the only one they’ve done this to?
~ If you’re a YA book blogger is it okay to talk about anything and everything on Twitter or should those tweets be kept to a PG-13 level?
Questions on etiquette/procedure….
~ If you want to create a once-in-awhile kind of post that you’re sure someone else has as a feature, i.e., “cover love” or “book boyfriends,” but you don’t actually know for sure, do you need to search to find out who the originator is? Can you just call the post what pops into your head without worrying about attribution since it came to you on your own and not because you saw it elsewhere?
~ If someone has alerted you to the fact that another blogger has created a post with a title that you use for a feature, do you just let it slide, do you confront that blogger or do you tell all your blogger friends so that they can bring up the issue? (I’m pretty sure the third choice isn’t the right one, but boy does that make things easier.)
~ If you’re not going to accept a book for review or a guest post for your blog should you respond to the email if it’s personalized to you? Even if your review policy states that you aren’t accepting books for review?
~ If someone tweets you for a review request or other request for something you’re not entirely sure you want to answer, do you ignore the tweet, ask that person to DM, ask them to email you or answer the question?
~ What would be considered a reasonable expectation for the turnaround time for a review once a book is received? Is it a week, two weeks, a month?
~ At what point in your blog’s life is it acceptable to email an author for an interview? Is there a standard length of time you need to have been blogging? Do you need to have already “met” the author online? Can you email to request an interview or guest post if you haven’t read every single book they’ve written?
~ If you receive an ARC from a publisher through the Shelf Awareness newsletter, do you send a link of your review to the publicity contact listed on the book or do you just review the book and call it a day?
~ If you haven’t reviewed a book on NetGalley during the ideal review “grace period” can you still post your review and link on their site even if it’s a year or more later?
~ If you review a publisher’s title from an ARC but you hadn’t received the ARC specifically from the publisher, do you email your review link to the contact you have at that publishing house anyway? Or do you only alert them to reviews for books they specifically sent you?
While I have many, many more questions, I thought I’d end this part of the post now, before it gets too
long much longer.
Tips about book blogging from a non-expert
Some of these “tips” I’m sure I’ve posted about in my Random Thoughts posts or on Bloggers Corner. And I may have talked about a few of them in last year’s Armchair BEA post. But I thought I’d list the points that popped into my head this time around, even if they are repetitive….
~ Focus on your own blog. Make it the best blog it can be. Don’t worry about how well other blogs are doing. Seriously. This really isn’t a competition. The more book blogs and bloggers the better.
~ Find your voice, hone it and stick with it. I’ve said it before. And I’m sure there are plenty of bloggers who have also said it. But it bears repeating because it’s so important. The only thing that distinguishes you from another blogger is your voice. Let it speak for who you are. Don’t try to adopt someone else’s voice or style. Your blog readers are there because they want to hear what you have to say, in your own words, not in someone else’s.
~ Don’t develop ARC envy. It will just turn you into a bitter blogger, make you question your worth, make you hate your fellow bloggers. Some ARCs are plentiful and some aren’t. But as one blogger – and I wish I remember who it was – said, they’re just books. They’ll be released eventually. You’ll get to read them.
~ Find your blog’s focus and make it clear on your “about” page (a.k.a. finding you’re blog’s audience). It’s fine to be eclectic but then let it be known. And if your blog is YA or Non-YA paranormal/urban fantasy or even more focused than that, stick with it. Don’t confuse your readers or the potential authors or publishers who visit your site looking to have their books reviewed.
~ Focus on your content. Mix it up. Keep it interesting. Don’t let yourself or your blog get bored or boring. Find something entertaining or promotional or informational or fun and talk about it. You don’t always have to meme to fill the spaces between reviews. Come up with something of your own.
~ Market yourself with images. Create an AVI. Create a blog button with grab code. An AVI gives you an identity and helps you stand out on Twitter amidst a timeline that can just zip on past. And create a blog button so that others can grab it and help to drive traffic back to your blog. Both options don’t demand that you be social, which is a huge plus for shy bloggers just starting out.
I think I’m going to end it there. This post is long enough. The hour is late enough. And there are plenty of blogs to stop by and visit today that I know will have a wealth of information to share.
For those of you who have been participating in the Armchair BEA event I hope you had an amazing time, met some really cool new bloggers, got a few more visitors to your own blog and possibly won a few prizes. Until next year, happy reading and happy blogging!Read More