Showing posts with label book blogging tips. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book blogging tips. Show all posts

Saturday, April 29, 2017

So You Just Received Your First Review Copy... | Book Blogging Tips (#55)


... and you probably think that you've made it. People are sending you free stuff! That's amazing! You've made it this far already but there are quite a couple of things I'd like to tell you. 

While you can be very proud of this accomplishment, you have to realize that by deciding to start accepting review copies, you're also accepting responsibility. 

Here are some things I wish someone had told me when I accepted my first copy.


1. Don't go overboard
I know it's super exciting to realize that you've been blogging long enough to be considered to receive review copies, but please please don't see this as a sign to start requesting everything. 

2. Don't request backlist titles
That's a thing many newbie bloggers don't know about - backlist titles are books that have been out for a while. Typically publishers have a set amount of review copies that are sent out at a certain time before or shortly after a book's release. Backlist titles are usually not available for review, so only request review copies of books that aren't out yet to avoid wasting someone's time.

3. Don't accept any and every review copy sent to you
It won't take long until lots of people will reach out to you. Usually it will be indie authors and small publishers first who will ask you to review their books. Don't say yes to every single book just because it's free. Keep in mind what kind of blog you run. Is this book something that you'd even pick up in a bookstore? If it's not, don't accept the copy. Just because it's free, you shouldn't say yes to everything because -

4. People expect you to actually read the book
Sure, this is the old drama, some people think review copies don't have to be read, it's only an agreement to consider - yada yada, let's not have this argument right now, this isn't the point of this post. You're getting the copy because something is expected in return, whatever that may be. Don't request a billion books with no intention of reading them, that's just not a nice thing to do. 

5. Don't be afraid to publish a negative review
Just because you got something for free it doesn't mean that you can't dislike it. Don't be afraid to publish a negative review for a review copy! Nobody will be mad at you for that. You're asked for your honest opinion in 99.5% of the cases, and that also covers the possibility that you might dislike it. 

6. - but don't be a jerk about disliking the book
Especially with ARC for indie and small-published books you have to realize that your review might be the first review that people see when they go look for the book. 

Sure, disliking and publishing really negative reviews is absolutely 100% fine, but pay attention to the tone. Reviewing is a skill, it's an art in itself to be able to express your negative opinion without being a complete douchebag about it. Meaning no insults.

7. Consider that you might receive backlash
If you read an early copy and are one of the first people to review a book, of course more people will see the review. Be prepared to have people disagree. Consider this while writing the review. Again, don't be a jerk. If you're going to be a jerk regardless, know that you might receive backlash.

8. Don't send negative reviews to the author or publisher!
You may have seen on twitter for example that many reviewer tag authors in reviews. This is a great way to get your review out there, but please, please, please only do this if you rated the book 4 stars and abover and/or hardly said anything negative about it. 

Many authors are very vocal about not wanting to be tagged in negative reviews unsoliticedly. Publishers won't reshare your negative reviews either and it's basically just wasting everyone's time / ruining somebody's day. So please don't do that. 

What are some things you wish someone had told you after you received your first review copy?

Continue Reading...

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

How Subjectivity Ruins Your Reviews | Book Blogging Tips (#54)

Reviewing is hard. Any blogger will be able to tell you that. 

Today we'll talk about a mistake that you'll find among veteran and rookie reviewers alike: being too subjective in your reviews and the effect this has on your readers.





Extreme subjectivity ruins most of my older reviews. 

Yes, reviewing is subjective by nature, but what I'm talking about is finding the balance between "this is a bad book" and "I didn't like this". I couldn't do that for a long time and I didn't see a need to do that for even longer. You absolutely non-negotiably need to do that though if you care for your audience and don't only do this for you. 

At the end of the day none of us are just reviewing for us, are we? 

I started out blogging to archive my thoughts for myself but since my blog has grown a bit, I grew more and more aware of the fact that there are a lot of people out there who come to me to find their next read or who absolutely trust my judgment. Chances are, it's the same for you.

You probably have a couple people out there who solely rely on you and your reviews to pick their next read. Writing books off immediately that are well-written with well-rounded characters and fantastic world building, simply because you didn't enjoy them for a very subjective irrelevant reason? That's selfish. Yes, it's your blog and all and you can do whatever you want; I'd never try to tell you any differently. Stop reading right here if don't tell me what to do is your takeaway from what I just said. Or read those paragraphs again.

If you cherish being a resource for people, it's important to also take into consideration that 

Your taste =/= an infallible indicator of quality, talent, or entertainment value.

To explain that I usually use books that provide excellent representation of marginalized identities. HOW TO MAKE A WISH by Ashley Herring Blake for example wasn't my thing personally, because I don't like sad, quiet contemporaries. Super subjective and tells you nothing about the quality of this book. It's just my two cents that couldn't be more irrelevant. HOW TO MAKE A WISH also had the first biracial character that I saw myself in. Like, ever. The first time I felt represented. I still gave the book five stars and I'd do it all over again, even though I didn't really enjoy it aside from the representation aspect. 

By being extremely subjective and giving books 1-3 star ratings left and right because you didn't enjoy them for an arbitrary irrelevant taste reason, you are possibly preventing readers from finding a read that will change their lives. People hardly ever read full reviews, and sometimes they pick books up solely because of the rating of their favorite blogger. Contributing to a negative rating (3 stars and below), will also make sure that less people who might be able to see themselves in this book will pick it up. That's on you. You contributed to that. This obviously transcends the issue of representation of marginalized identities. This is a lesson that definitely was the hardest for me personally. 

I do struggle to give books that I didn't care for five stars, and I do struggle sometimes to not just downrate something because I thought it was a terrible book, personally. But the people that I owe the most to are my readers, people like you who are here every week or even every day. And I hope that this helped you to understand that blogging and reviewing is about so much more than just you and your taste.

You're completely free to disagree with what I said, but truly, at some point, reviewing isn't about you anymore. Think of your audience. Especially the marginalized people. Cause if you don't care about them and are just doing this for you, why do you give them the option to follow? Why is your blog public?

What do you think of really subjective reviews?


More Book Blogging Tips on Reviewing

When is it okay to share your review of a DNF?

If you'd like advice on allyship and writing diversely, check out my Patreon.
Support The Bookavid by leaving me a virtual coffee on ko-fi.

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Saturday, April 1, 2017

Do You Need a Blog Schedule? | Book Blogging Tips (#53)




Over the course of my blogging career I've both had schedules and "post whatever you want" kind of phases. 

But when I look at other blogs, most of them tend to all have schedules, may it be because they post memes that are set to be posted on a specific week day and/or because they just have their life and blog together more than me.



Perks + Not So Perks of a Schedule

  • So what I like about other blogs that are organized is that if I end up super liking one of their features, I know which day I have to check back to see another of those posts. I'm mostly talking about original content here, though some people manage to get me hooked on their meme-only blogs, too, because of their sheer creative brilliance.
  • A schedule also makes the queuing more structured and maybe even easier. My blog solely runs on a huge queue, and because I have no structure whatsoever at the moment, (well aside from reviews scheduled every 6-9 days), it can get super difficult to fit specific posts in. 
  • Sometimes you'll go through a phase of ONLY wanting to write a specific type of post, but then again I don't want to queue them all in a row to bore my readers. 
  • If I had a schedule, I think the perfect one would go something like this:
Review - Meme - Discussion - Review - Recommendation

with maybe 2 or three days inbetween each post. I think it's nice to mix it up a little. I think the more diverse your content is, the higher the possibility you'll have something for everyone! Of course every schedule should be adapted to your personal taste and likes and this is by no means a "do this or don't do anything at all" type of advice. Just my personal 2 cents!

Perks + Not So Perks of #YOLO

  • Not having a schedule is just the way my blog has been running for maybe a year and a half, simply because it's so easy.
  • Without a schedule you can post whatever you want whenever you want and the maintenance goes does to a minimum.
  • You also have to be very careful that you're not missing days and weeks worth of posting due to slumps. Queuing is key for people who don't schedule-
  • Another problem here is that many readers out there like other blogs they frequent to be either consistently putting out content or at least to have a special meme that comes out regularly. I definitely do unfollow people who sometimes just miss a week or month without any indication. This doesn't mean that you have to post all the time or anything, it's just a personal preference that I have and I know many others share.

Now what, do I need a schedule or not?

To be honest, the best way to decide whether you need a schedule is to look at your content and try to see if you even have different categories. If you only post one specific type of content, it doesn't matter anyways.

If you do post different things - reviews, original posts, memes, - think about it. I put out a lot of original content and by just observing my views I've noticed that this is what most of my readers tend to go for. If a specific type of post gives you the best kind of resonance - stick with it. Make is a regular feature that comes out every week or month, so readers know when to come back!

I know it's super difficult to just decide to completely overthrow your blog from one day to the next and I definitely don't expect you to do that. If you're unsure, start scheduling one day of the week for a post type. Start posting reviews every Monday for example, and if that works out for you on the long run, go from there!





More helpful posts on blog maintenance in my Book Blogging Tips Series
6 Things Your Blog Design Has To Have
How to Scare Potential Readers Away With Your Theme
Pros and Cons of Book Blogging Memes
How Queuing Posts Makes Blogging 200% Easier

all original posts


Do you have a blog schedule?

Continue Reading...

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Review-Only Book Blogs and Why They Almost Never Work Out | Book Blogging Tips (#52)




Many bloggers I know started their blogs because they only wanted to share their reviews with other people, myself included. But is that actually a good idea?

My blog first and foremost was born because I wanted to share my reviews. But I had to learn the hard way that review-only blogs are not a thing and very likely never will be.



So why do review-only blogs not work?

  • People don't read reviews!
Seriously. Any and every blogger will tell you that their reviews get the least views out of all their posts. People don't read book blogs for the reviews only and if they do, you have to write extremely good reviews. Once you've established a significant following and people know who you are and care for your opinion, this might change. But to get there with a review only blog is a thing that I'm yet so see in the blogging world. 
  • Reviewing is a skill that you can't build in a year or less!
Everyone's early reviews are a mess. This is just a fact. Writing reviews on a blog is completely different from any other platform. Even if you've been writing reviews on tumblr or Goodreads or booklikes or wherever for YEARS, this doesn't count. 

Trust me, you still won't be up to book blog standard and you will go back and cringe at all these reviews. It will be even harder to attract readers with a review-only blog when your reviews clearly display all the signs of a blogging newbie.

A lot of bloggers who start up review-only blogs probably still make newbie mistakes and probably will for a long time. It took me at least a year of reviewing to write halfway decent reviews. No formatting, way too long reviews, repeating the plot instead of giving your opinion - basic stuff like that. That's something you can't immediately change when you notice you're doing it. You'll learn how to review through writing bad reviews at first, that's how it goes for everyone.

  • You have to make a name for yourself before people care about your opinion!
It's true that you can maybe fake your way to the top with a crappy blog if you advertise a lot and comment on 3280932893 blogs per day, but who has the time? Also you won't get any long-time readers from this, only follow-backs.

The thing is, nobody will listen to your rambles if you're the new kid on the block. You have to earn readers for your reviews. You have to post other super interesting things to get people interested in what you have to say, and you can only do that by posting something else than reviews.

  • Post-consistency is a thing for all blogs!
And if you only post reviews, you'll have to read a lot. I usually unsubscribe from blogs that don't post at LEAST weekly, I do prefer blogs that post 2 or 3 times a week in general. Unless you can't commit to read and write a review for at least one book per week, you're screwed.

...


Sure, at the end of the day, it's your blog and you can do whatever you want, but I can already tell you, either a year from now your blog will be gone. Sometimes listening to experienced bloggers is the best thing you can do, we've all learned from our mistakes, you don't need to repeat them and go through the same thing, do you? Trying to start a review-only blog is the hardest way to start out and it just never works out.

Did you start out as review-only?



More advice for newbie bloggers in my Book Blogging Tips series:

Continue Reading...

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Unsolicited Review Copies: Reviewing Them, Ignoring Them, What To Do With Them | Book Blogging Tips (#51)




If you're receiving unsolicited review copies, you're probably already an established blogger and at least know somewhat what you're doing.

While it's a fantastic thing to receive the newest releases in the mail, it can get pretty overwhelming very easily.






Do you have to review them?

There are bloggers who get unsolicited copies sent to them every month, from many different publishers. If you're one of those people, it's virtually impossible to read all these books, even if you don't have a day job.

Personally, I think every single review copy you receive, whether unsolicited or not, is a privilege.

You have to consider that these copies cost more money to print than regular copies and are sent out to publishing professionals. If you've made it to that circle of people, you better act like a professional!

Meaning
  1. no selling
  2. no hoarding
  3. no requesting more ARCs when you're already drowning in them. 
Disagree if you want, but also know that misbehavior does not go unnoticed. Again, these books are a privilege that not every blogger has.

I don't believe that unsolicited copies all have to be reviewed. If you didn't request it, you don't have to review it in my opinion, though giving even just a little back in terms of maybe posting a picture of it or talking about it on social media is simply common courtesy.

If you don't want to read a review copy for what reason ever or don't have the time to read it-

Here are some alternatives:

  • Give the book to another blogger. Some review copies that I have received actually say on them that they are meant to be given to other bloggers. That way the publisher still gets "something" in return, even if it's only the exposure from being featured on another blog.
  • Contact the publicist. If you're receiving an overwhelming amount of books that's absolutely impossible to review, the smartest way to go about this is to contact the publicist responsible and just tell them you appreciate it, but don't have the time to review these books.
  • Host giveaways. While review copies are NEVER under no circumstances allowed to be sold (you can actually get sued for this), giveaways are a-okay. Check back with the publisher if you're unsure, some publishers don't want any ARCs circulating before the release date. 
  • Post pictures. If you're not able to post a review, just featuring the review copies you've received in a meme, (In My Mailbox, Stacking the Shelves etc.), or posting pictures on instagram or tumblr does the job. You'd still aim for managing to read them, since that's the reason why you got them in the first place.

What do you do with your unsolicited review copies?


More on review copies in my Book Blogging Tips Series



Continue Reading...

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

8 Blogging Maintenance Things You're Probably Neglecting | Book Blogging Tips (#49)

Blogging maintenance is probably the most underrated and most brushed-under-the-table part of blogging that nobody really wants to talk about. All of these are pesky things that you probably won't want to do. But trust me, you should.






#8: Replying to Comments on Your Crossposts
I am so notorious for being late on these. Bless the people who comment on my crossposts! Not all platforms are designed very well to actually notify you when people do - but please do keep an eye on the people that comment on your posts, even if it's not on your actual blog. It's just as vital as replying to the comments that you get on the blog itself. Also do keep an eye on your Goodreads comments!

#7: Fixing Broken Links
You just gotta randomly click through old posts for many reasons, the first one being that your blog is probably littered with broken links. Sometimes you just forget that you moved a scheduled review to a different date which then changes the permalink, or you simply deleted a post that you no longer want on your blog. Either way - go check.

#6: Disappearing Pictures
Everyone's least favorite magic trick. This might be just a Blogger thing. Blogger has been notorious for messing up both my theme and my content since the very beginning of my blog in 2014. Sometimes pictures just randomly get eaten. You won't know if you're not looking at old posts every now and then.

#5: Checking For Typos
Another thing you should be looking out for while reading old articles are the pesky typos! I do read my blog posts through about five to ten times depending on what kind of post it is before I even schedule them to be published - but ho boy sometimes these little pesky things manage to slither in. You have go back and read some older reviews sometimes, spellcheck can't find anything. Trust me, it's mortifying to find these, you better go and check right now.

#4: Updating Your Tabs
If you have links to about me sections or contact sections, it's absolutely vital that you update them. I update my contact info probably every month, but I'm notorious for neglecting my about me section. If you blog like me, you're probably constantly changing something about your blog. Might as well be consistent and give every part of your blog equal attention!

#3: Replying to Old Comments
Commenting back or not is a whole different discussion, but the one thing you really have to do is set up an email notification for your blog comments so you don't miss a single one, no matter how old the post itself is. I think replying to comments is vital and if your blog is at a size where the amount of comments you get are still manageable to reply to, just do it. To me it's absolutely mortifying to have to reply to a comment from like 6 months ago late because you neglected your email notification. That's just embarassing.

#2: Just Getting Rid of Scheduled Posts
Sometimes you write something really stupid when you're in a weird mood and end up queueing it anyway. If you queue as much as I do, you're really going to want to have a look on all that stuff that's been accumulating in your drafts. Not every post is a good post. Not everything you've written should actually end up published on your blog.

#1: BACK YOUR CONTENT UP
This is honestly not negotiable. Trust me. Back your content up at least every three months, you'll be devastated once your blogging platform randomly decides to eat your content. Save those posts. Save that theme. Thank me later. Yes, do it now if you haven't in a while.


What are some maintenance things you tend to neglect on your blog?


More Book Blogging Tips:

Continue Reading...

Saturday, January 14, 2017

8 Blogging Resolutions for 2017 - Things I Vow to Do, and You Should, Too | Book Blogging Tips (#47)

Resolutions are a tricky thing. I usually don't really care for them because they hardly ever are things that I think I can realistically achieve. 

But looking at the development my blog has gone through since launch in september 2014, I noticed that I very much am able to fulfill bookish ones - and that doing this absolutely changes my blog for the better.

Call this a blogging hacks post if you will, disguised as a new year's resolution.


#8: I vow to read more out of my comfort zone.
Doing that is sometimes hard, I get it. But by picking up books you normally wouldn't have, you can sometimes find gems. Would you believe that one of my favorite books ever, LIFE'S THAT WAY by Jim Beaver was one of these? I don't do Non-Fiction, usually. Makes me uncomfortable and I don't really care. But trust me, sometimes it's worth taking a chance on books you're skeptic about.

#7: I vow to read genres I usually dislike. 
If you've been following me for a long time you know that I don't like high fantasy. Never have. But looking at my blog statistics, it's the most reviewed genre. Why? I want to educate myself. Read stuff I don't usually read. Sometimes you can find new favorites like that. This year's genre is Historical Fiction + Historical Fantasy. I'm hoping to make it the most reviewed genre on my blog by 2018.

#6: I vow to give popular books a shot.
You know I'm a hipster when it comes to reading - I don't like reading what's popular and that's not really a desirable characteristic. I'll try to read more popular books in 2017 and push myself.

#5: I vow to read even more diverse books than non-diverse ones.
My reading habits changed for the better since I consciously picked up more diverse books. Just trust me on this one, especially if you have a marginalization, may that be a mental illness, disability, or being a person of color - reading about people like you makes your life better. And even if you aren't marginalized - expand your horizon. It's fun.

#4: I vow to not bother with books that I don't enjoy.
I DNF left and right and you should, too. Don't bother with books that are a chore to go through. Your time is too precious.

#3: I vow to boost the heck out of my reviews of problematic books.
This is a very important thing to do. I know, it feels scary to speak up sometimes, but know that you're protecting marginalized readers, especially teens, by doing that. Sharing is caring.

#2: I vow to stand with bloggers and reviewers who are getting attacked for speaking up.
This goes with the previous point - as much as it is important to speak up about problematic representation, it's also important to protect the people that are doing the talking. We need to have their back, no matter the cost.

#1: I vow to keep on improving, keep on changing.
I think that's the beauty of blogging. That you can look back at all your old content and smile because it reminds you of the person you were when you posted it. Blogging styles change and post formats and ideas and all that do, too. That's a beautiful thing. I hope I'll get some more of that blogging nostalgia looking back at this post a couple years from now.


What are your resolutions blogging-wise for 2017?




More Book Blogging Tips:

Dramatic Changes I Made that Ended Up Improving My Blog
No Comments on Book Reviews?
How Often Should You Post per Week?
Are You Awkward About Getting Review Requests from Authors?

8 Tips to Get Motivated to Write Blog Posts
More Generous Ratings for Indie Books?


Continue Reading...

Saturday, November 5, 2016

8 Tips to Get Motivated to Write Blog Posts | Book Blogging Tips (#45)



We all love blogging, don't we? 

As much as we do, sometimes it's hard to get motivated, to keep writing, to even gather enough motivation to click on "write a new post". 

I'll try to help you with that. 


#8 Look at your favorite bloggers that you look up to

You want to be like them, don't you? You aren't ever going to be like them if you don't write those posts! Envy is the biggest motivator. Trust me.

#7 Binge-writing and Scheduling: the OTP

You don't need motivation when you just live for those little moments when blog inspiration seems to come to you on its own. Use those moments up and binge write every idea you have at once and then slack for the rest of the month!

#6 Try something different.

Chances are you're probably not motivated because you're not ~feeling like~ writing a review, a discussion, a meme post, or whatever you're used to writing all the time. Personal posts are a great way to get motivated and to bring fresh content into your blog. What are you passionate about right now? A TV show? Your celebrity crush? Write about that. 

#5 Do something else blog-related

Not feeling like writing a blog post yourself? Comment on other blogs, design something, read a book - eventually you'll very likely randomly get inspired and will want to write a post. 

#4 RANT

Not feeling like writing a post - write a post about how much you don't want to write a post! Ranting in general is so much easier than putting together a well-structured and well-thought out blog post or review. Just rant away, let your anger flow, my buddy!

#3 Set goals and reward yourself
If you like playing video games or writing or whatever you do in your free time - only allow yourself to indulge in your favorite hobby once you've written a post. Half a post, if the motivation really is extremely low. Sometimes you gotta force yourself. You'll be surprised what you can accomplish if you really want to continue watching your favorite show or playing your favorite game.

#2 Brainstorm

It's perfectly fine if you don't want to actually write, but that doesn't mean that you'll necessarily also not have any ideas. Write down the titles of the blog posts you WOULD write if you wanted to actually write. Make a document on your computer with those titles and whenever you're in a motivation slump, read through those titles. The more ideas you've collected the more likely it is that you might fancy writing one of those posts!

#1 Remind yourself why you started your blog. And then do exactly that.
  • Did you come for the reviews? Then go review a book or read somebody else's review.
  • Did you come for the social interaction? Go comment on other blogs.
  • Did you come for the discussion? Participate in a discussion on another blog or write your own.



Remember 

Being in a blogging/motivation slump isn't the end of your blog. If you really need to and none of these tips help, go on a hiatus, if you like. The blogging world will still be back when you return and welcome you with open arms. 


How do you get out of motivation slumps?

Continue Reading...

Saturday, September 10, 2016

2 year Blogoversary MASSIVE #Giveaway! Win $60 Worth of Books and Learn About my Blog Statistics




I can't believe it but my blog is turning 2 today! 

Thank you so much to all the viewers, commenters, and followers. I wouldn't still be blogging with such joy if it weren't for you guys!





Let's take a look at the past 2 years:
  • I've reviewed 200+ books
  • Hit 200,000 page views
  • Published nearly 300 posts
  • Written about 500 posts

I've also launched four original features (and countless original posts):

Book Blogging Etiquette, in which I teach newbie bloggers the unwritten rules of blogging. (4 posts)



Book Blogging Tips, in which I let you in on the tips and tricks I use to make blogging easier (45 posts)

You're A Terrible Blogger Because You Don't Post Every Day
Do You Actually Review Unsolicited ARCs?
How I Pick Which Books I Request for Review
Review Copies Are Not Free Books
Dramatic Changes I Made that Ended Up Improving My Blog
No Comments on Book Reviews?
How Often Should You Post per Week?

YA Talk, in which I chat with you guys about all things ya-lit (16 posts)



and of course my latest one and my baby, #DiversityBoost, in which I highlight and boost diverse authors and diverse books!

Here's the announcement Introducing #DiversityBoost: I'll be promoting and boosting #ownvoices and #diverse Authors! 

And the first post! 20 Exciting 2016/17 YA Books by Black Women


These are my most viewed posts:

Requesting Review Copies from Publishers | Book Blogging Tips #1
Recommendation: Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1) - Zoraida Córdova: Witches, Latinx, and Demons
Introducing #DiversityBoost: I'll be promoting and boosting #ownvoices and #diverse Authors! | Blog News

...and all thanks to you guys!

So long story short, here's the promised giveaway with lots of options to enter through a lot of different social media platforms.




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks so much for sticking around, guys. It means a lot.

Continue Reading...

Thursday, July 14, 2016

No Comments on Book Reviews? | Book Blogging Tips (#42)




What I've noticed recently is that book reviews generally seem to get less reader interaction in form of comments. 

And I wonder why, because reviews tend to be the one thing I focus most on when I'm checking out a new blog. 


I personally read other blogs mostly for the reviews, but I figured maybe that's not what everyone seems to be interested in.

So I did a little digging, observed my own commenting habits, and tried to find out why people tend to comment less on book reviews than on other posts


1) People like to share their opinion

You'd think this would go towards the "reasons why people comment on reviews" pile, but it doesn't. Not everyone will read or even think about reading the same books as you. While I do follow many, many, and almost exclusively YA book blogs, there are maybe only two people whose tastes mesh very nicely with mine. 

If your readers haven't read the book - they can't share their opinion of it, so no comments on that!

2) Reviews are longer than most other posts

Everyone has their own way of writing reviews, but I noticed that people tend to write too much rather than too little. If I see a brick wall of a review in front of me, I sometimes just close the window and don't read it, even if I was interested in that blogger's opinion in the first place. I usually just zone out after a certain length and just skim the review. If I have skimmed the whole thing, I don't feel comfortable commenting.

3) Formatting is everything - you can lose a lot of readers over this

The only thing that's worse than having a 2500 word review is a poorly formatted 2500 word review. I do know some bloggers who do this only with their reviews but format everything nicely. If you post reviews like these, it's even less likely to get comments. 


Should we just stop writing reviews then? Nobody reads them anyways...

There are so many factors that can impact whether I read a review in the first place and whether I'll comment. Even if there's a perfectly formatted, wonderful short review of a book that I have read by someone that I trust - I don't think this would be a 100% guarantee that I'll comment. And you want to know why? Because I'm scared to disagree. 

Sometimes I don't like a book and I still keep reading reviews of it to see if I'm the only one, but I don't want a fight.

There'll always be books that people like or dislike, and there'll always be people who defend said book to their dying breath. I think maybe that might be the reason why there are usually so few comments on book reviews. People don't necessarily agree and don't want to start a fight. Maybe this, or they just don't read them.

Regardless, I'll still keep writing reviews. Will you?

Continue Reading...

Thursday, May 26, 2016

10 Dramatic Changes I Made that Ended up Improving My Blog | Book Blogging Tips (#41)




Sometimes you've gotta make tough decisions blogging-wise. Here are the decisions I had to make that ended up being for the better.

This is only to give you an idea of what you CAN do, you don't have to use any of my tips for your own blog, but feel free to do so if you like!



#10: Crossposting
There's no way around crossposting. Everyone of us probably has one social media platform that's doing a little better than the others. Use that to your advantage and pitch your posts there. Of course don't go overboard so people won't think you're spamming!

#9: Original posts!
Hard to believe, but I used to be a meme and review-only blog. It ended up improving my blog (for myself) a lot I think.

#8: Having a set post structure
Gosh, I can't even look back at the old reviews I wrote. I used to NOT format at all. For chatty and discussion posts that MIGHT work and you can get away with it, but you can't just publish a block of text review. This is never okay. Find your style, come up with something you're comfortable with and stick to that structure.

#7: Making graphics for each post
Before I made original posts much at all, I never had a reason to make any kind of graphics. Now I make them for every single post that isn't a review. It brightened up my blog a lot and I think they're quite eye-catching and pretty.

#6: Reviewing for NetGalley
This is such an essential part of my blogging experience now, I can't believe I never used it. NetGalley can be overwhelming at first, but reviewing new releases is a GREAT way to attract new viewers to your blog. Go on, make a NetGalley account!

#5: Deleting Old Posts
Sometimes you just gotta say goodbye to posts that neither have done well, not are up to your current standards, nor are anything that you think would attract any more readers. I used to do so many memes back when I first started (and not very well and very half-heartedly). Don't be afraid to delete crappy stuff!

#4: Ditching the open post archive
+guiltless reader, remember last year during Bloggiesta when you said to me to ditch that stupid open post archive? I was so upset about changing it because I liked it so much to have all my posts displayed there, but I'm so glad I listened.

Prime example why you should always, always listen to other bloggers' advice! I can't imagine having anything other than a drop down archive on my blog now!

#3: Working more with catchy headlines
I used to not really hashtag or try to make the headlines of my posts go into the clickbait direction, but I think I've gotten a little better at it now.
Try to give out as much info about your post in the headline, this is the prime ground where you advertise for your posts! Use it!

#2: Starting to recommend more!
I used to only have the little section of five star reviews in my header and that was it. I can't imagine my blog without themed recommendations now! If you love them and would like to see a specific theme, head over to my tumblr and send me a quick message, I'll make a post for it on a topic of your choice. Always open for requests!

#1: Linking within posts
Seriously, how did I never do this? If you write a lot of personal or discussion posts, this is such an essential thing to do. Link similar topics below or in the post so people who might be interested can find them. Such a great way to build more traffic.


Have you ever had to make dramatic changes to your blog?


Need more advice? Check out my blogging tips!


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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

7 Reasons Why I Declined Your Review Inquiry


I'm flattered every time I get an inquiry by a fellow blogger, publisher, or author. Most of these are lovely and the people actually put a lot of effort in it. 

Sadly, there are still some black sheep in my inbox.

1. You didn't read the review policy
Do you really think I can't tell? It's there for a reason. We bloggers make the effort to write them because they actually serve a purpose!
Do you think I bothered to type up an 800 word policy just for jokes?

2. You ignored my review policy
Yeah, I said I'm not open to the genre X or physical books/ebooks/pdfs. Still you decided to take the plunge. You know how that makes me feel? Like you haven't read my policy. Why should I read your book if you can't even be bothered to read my policy?

3. You're disrespectful
Just because I'm a blogger, it doesn't mean that this isn't a virtual contract. If we're collaborating, we become business partners. Yeah, you don't have to be arch-conservative, you can use smileys and call me by my first name, but don't be rude.

If I decline your offer and you keep sending me emails trying to persuade me, you aren't really helping the cause. You certainly won't be able to convince me by re-sending your review request ten times.

4. I don't like the book
This isn't something personal, I just didn't think that the book fits into my blog concept.
I actually did you a favor by saying that right now instead of just waiting for you to send the book and post a terrible review of it afterwards.

As an experienced blogger I can tell when I'm going to absolutely hate a book and before I shame your hard work publicly, I'd rather say no. It's called politeness.

5. I don't have time
Sadly, I'm not a full-time blogger. I don't get paid for this. I don't have the time to read and review every single book that is offered to me. It has nothing to do with your work.

6. I don't think the book fits into my blog
I don't review this genre on my blog, regardless of personal taste. Yeah, you might argue that you've seen me say that I like that genre, but this doesn't automatically mean that I think it's suitable for my blog. I write reviews for my readers.

7. It's a mass mail.
You really think we can't tell? I can absolutely tell if you just sent me the same copy and paste mail that you sent to 2389289 other bloggers. Please, just don't.
It's spam, and it's annoying, and I will report it. I get that you're just seeking promotion, but please, not like this.


What are your review inquiry pet peeves?


For more posts about review copies, check out my original posts section!

If you struggle with declining review requests, I talked about how to do this politely here.
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