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Book Blogging 101 - Book Blogs vs. Mommy Blogs

Spawned from the Big Sis, Little Blog program, Book Blogging 101 was born. Do you have a question? Leave it in the comments section or email me parajunkee at gmail dot com

Q. Each blogging community seems to have their own etiquette...why don't we push it like the mommy blogs?

My first trip into the world of blogging was through the eyes of designers. I followed design blogs, which are mostly run by powerhouse design firms and smokin' hot artists that first and foremost are professionals and running a business.

My foray into book blogging was an eye opener, because as a Marketing person I always look at things from a business stand-point. I've never been a community hobby type of person. No book clubs, knitting clubs - I was in a drinking club though. ;) The book blogging community is first and foremost the promotion of a hobby, the discussion of that hobby and the socialization between other people engaged in that hobby. The underlying elephant in that room is that particular hobby we are engaged in is a HUGE business. In 2009 the publishing industry was a 24 BILLION dollar machine in the US alone. {ref.} That is an awful lot of greenbacks. Combined with the decline of standard marketing techniques { direct mail, television commercials } and the increase of internet marketing effectiveness the publishing industry has a veritable goldmine on their hands. Advertising for trade.

A print advertising campaign, depending on the medium can run close to 1K an ad, depending on the audience. Subscriptions in the 100K range, you are looking at a couple hundred for a fraction ad, with no guaranteed results. But here you have us. The book bloggers. We have a captive target audience. Readers are reading us. And then we are usually genre based. I'll tell you now, I don't really follow any memoir book blogs. This is the perfectly targeted audience...and all it cost the authors or publicist or publisher is a book. We don't exploit it, or at least the ones I follow don't. We don't ask for money...and most of the bloggers I know, won't promote the book unless they've read it and liked it. Or, have read the author before and really enjoyed them.  There is that etiquette thing again.

Then you have the Mommy Blogs. Which I enjoy following, they just do things a bit differently. They do advertising along their sidebars and I've even read some of their PR policies that says they'll accept money to promote a product. They have these huge contests that require all these things to do to get extra entries.

We just don't do things like that over here. Not that the mommy blogs are wrong, it works there. It just doesn't work over here. I'm still trying to figure out why exactly that is? Because the fact is, book blogs actually have the upper hand on marketing value. Mommy blogs of course have the target market of females, married, with children, age range 25 - 40, but it stops at that, book blogs target market is genre specific. For example, if a romance publisher were to advertise on a romance bloggers web site, they are advertising directly to romance readers...because you really wouldn't be stalking a romance blogger unless you like romance? Right? Captive target audience.

Yet, we even feel a bit squirrelly about using Amazon Associates. There is that etiquette again.

So what is your book blogger etiquette?

Would you take paid advertisement for your blog?
Would you promote or hold a contest for a book that you haven't read?

Also, let me know if I'm off base here. Should we be making money? Should we put up advertising? I think I might have google stuff up... not that I've made a cent --- ooh my amazon associates account has .36 cents in it! But, if someone approached me for paid advertising I still don't know how I would react. I think I'm just still reeling over the fact that people send me books to read. And I save money that way.


On top of the advertisement there are a ton of other things that Mommy Blogs do that a book blogger would probably be shunned for doing. Some of those things are starting to trickle into the BB world, but it is a slow trickle and I don't think it will get as much steam as the mommy world gets.

Case in point the Blog Hops. We have like 2 hops in BB world. One of them here - because I saw it on a mommy blog and thought it was a good idea.  In Mommy world - they have a million. They have five on Monday, ten on Tuesday, five on Wednesday, probably about seven on Thursday and over 20 from what I can tell on Friday. I've also noticed a few popping up on Saturday and Sunday. You'll get these posts with 10 graphics on it..all for Blog Hops. I tried it on my Anya's Room blog. And I don't even think the people follow you. I had 285 followers when I did it yesterday, and at the end I had 291 followers - with 8 comments that I have new followers. I usually don't pay attention, but yesterday was my experiment. Now, granted they could have signed up for feedburner or following some other way, who knows. But do these endless blog hops work? I got 6 new folllowers, so that is something. But...will they come back, will they visit, comment, read? Does it matter to you? If you are just starting out, it might. A higher follower count might give you a little more punch in that book request you just sent to Simon & Schuster, right?


I'm going to leave you at that... let me know your thoughts. This was more a rambling book blogging 101 posts. I tried to get other ideas...but twitter pals were quiet last night.


Juju at Tales of said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Savannah said...

Great post! I think one other thing you forgot to mention that is different between mommy bloggers and book bloggers is that we love to read. I mean we really love it. I think that is way we don't take money for advertisment or promotion. To me, it offends me. I love doing this because well I truly love to read. So to accept money is an insult and a lie. And your right about the followers. I actually stopped requiring people to follow my blog for contest, etc. I am now leaving all my contest open, to anybody who wants to enter. I don't want followers who enter for a contest then leave when it is over. I have had that happen. But now that I have left my contest open, I have gotten way more followers that way. Plus your blog hopping helps too!

Juju at Tales of said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Juju at Tales of said...

A. Great post!
B. I've noticed the differences too.
C. Some book bloggers need to lighten up.
D. Have I held a contest for a book I haven't read? SURE! Why not? I figure my readers love a chance to win a book, no matter what. In fact, I'm hosting one right now. (Check my sidebar if you'd like to enter)
E. Paid advertisement? Why not? As long as you are honest with your readers - I don't see a problem with it.
F. I don't require people follow me to enter my contests.
G. My only complaint is: I don't like when paid advertisements take over a page and become overwhelming or slow down the page load time. As long as their cute buttons I'm all for it. I like how this blogger does it:
H. I also don't like when a book blogger starts reviewing non book related things. (i.e. lotion, candles, etc.)
I. In the end, we're all readers. We follow each other because we want to stay abreast of book happenings. If someone is bringing something bookish to my attention - I'm alll for it.

PS Sorry for it taking me three tries to get this right! :)

ParaJunkee said...

@Savannah - good point. We do love to read. I don't know if advertising offends me, I guess it really depends on how it is done. Maybe if you are honest with your followers that this is a paid advertisement they won't feel like you are lying. But you might loose some, well some creds. If people don't know if you are being paid for something how can they trust if you really liked the book. I'm just playing devil's advocate. No one has ever tried to approach me for advertisement on my blog or to pay me for a promotion so this is all just "what ifs"

@Juju - 3rd times the charm, right darlin? I do feel some people need to lighten up. Kind of that if you don't agree with 'em don't follow them. But once again, everyone's opinion right? I like your blog, it works. Contest for a book you haven't read, I think is perfectly ok. But I think the offense comes with the paid promos.

I think I'm going to stop require following to enter also - not like I can check anymore - LOL.

The blog you showed works well also, look like she does the adverts for her sponsors so they stay within the "look" of her design. Not many people can do this though.

The non book related things, totally understandable. I have CSN promotions going on - and I feel like I'm stepping out of my range. But, I need a new bookshelf, LOL. But, I'm going to draw the line there. Book related items, maybe? Or is that pushing it? I was conflicted on that one...

Anonymous said...

I think that it's easy for book bloggers to blog; it comes very naturally most of us. We read, so therefore we write, right? Most of us have genuine passion for what we do, and want other people to feel the enjoyment of the latest book we just read. We have a purpose, and that makes us a community, with a shared goal; to read more AMAZING books. And I think that's the difference. Most of us aren't in it for the money, and our reputation is simply worth more to us than praising a lousy book 'cause we got paid for it. That's my humble opinion, anyway :)

MaryRedingWrites said...

This is a fantastic post! It adresses an issue we all (especially us beginning book bloggers) face. Ultimately I think the difference between mommy and book blogs is that there is a third party present for us: the authors. We understand that we are not just reviewing a product or sharing opinions, we are dealing with someone's pride and joy, and we treat it with respect. That means we give it an honest review that isn't affected by profit. Simply, we provide a service; reviewing, in return for their service; writing awesome books for us to read.

Autumn said...

I agree with JuJu on H. That annoys me. You have a book blog. Stay on topic. If you want to do other stuff...make another blog.

I think Mommy blogs are in it to supplement income. They're stay at home moms and they feel like they need to contribute the household in some way. By being reviewer they get free stuff and the ads get them a little income and it gives them a grown up outlet into the real world.

Book bloggers on the other hand do it for the love of books and whatever (dare I say?) "prostituting" we do is to feed the habit and keep the blog going. I think that's why book bloggers sometimes feel skeevy about ads and whatnot.

That's just my insight anyway, as a book blogger that's a mom too...that doesn't like the mommy blogs.

Oh...and on the topic of the never ending blog hops. I think they're too much work and not worth it. I like the two main ones we have in the book community. I think it would be fun to spice them up a bit, but other than that I don't see any reason to keep signing up for endless blog hops, it just clutters up your blog and your reader gets tired of all those damn icons everywhere.

Brooke said...

Great Post! I think we should get paid only if someone approaches us first and it shouldn't be like a million advertisements, but juust one or two. If your blog is good enough, people will come to it.

I also don't like how people hold giveaways just to get more followers. I've given into that and actually followed people just to enter a contest but I don't ever go read their blog. I should want to go to your blog because of the great content, not because of what contest their holding.

Tea and Tomes said...

Interesting food for thought, though I have to disagree about book bloggers not having 101 ways to get extra entries in their contests and giveaways. About half of the giveaways I've seen on book blogs give you an extra entry for being a follower, for Tweeting about the giveaway, for making a blog post of your own about the contest... The list goes on. When I finally host a giveaway (haven't done so yet because I'm unemployed and broke), I can't say I'd mind a little extra advertising or a few more followers, but I don't think I'd make it as complex as some do. If people want to follow, fine, but I think I'd rather they come back because of what I have to say than because they were obliged to hear me out because I'm offering a book they want.

I, for one, would love to get financial compensation for book blogging, because I'm all about paying the bills by doing what I love to do. That being said, however, I wouldn't just blog for money. If I were to accept payment for advertising, for example, I don't think I could, in good conscience, do it unless it was a company I already know well and trust and like. I don't think I could accept money for a good book review if I really didn't like the book, either. I do this because I like to do it, not because I'm a sell-out. There's a clear line between enjoying making money by doing something and making money by doing what you enjoy.

And I somehow doubt publishing companies are going to start offering us paid advertising any time soon. After all, we give them advertising for free just by reviewing their books! There's little sense in them giving away money for a small sidebar ad when they can have entire entries devoted to their books, all for the price of... well, whatever it costs them to ship out an ARC. Sometimes not even that.

I have Google Ads on my blog. I haven't made a cent from them. Any money I made from Google is because I have an old account on an article-writing site that they're affiliated with. But even if book blogging isn't actively making me money, it's certainly saving me money! If publishers send me books, then I don't have to buy them, and that means I can save my money for something else if I want. It's a pretty sweet deal, considering the amount of books I buy!

That's my reasoning behind linking to Amazon in my reviews, too, or publisher sites. I don't mind making a few cents here and there, really, if I'm directing to a book I recommend and think that others might want to also read. In one review I did regarding a book I absolutely hated, I couldn't bring myself to link to a site where the book could be bought. That felt too much like selling out. "I hate this book, but go buy it so I can get money!" Yeah, I haven't sunk that low yet. :p

The thing I like about book blogs compared to a lot of other blogs is that book blogs are largely content-driven. Yes, we've all got our flashy graphics and shiny template designs, but ultimately, if there's no content, nobody's going to read the blog. This, I find, is different from other blog types (mommy blogs, for example), where sometimes all one has to do is post a photo and you're done for the day. Post a picture of your kids every once in a while and that sort of thing is fine for a mommy blog. Expected, even! But we're all about words here, and it's no so easy for a bookblogger to just post a picture of their books and let that be the end of it. The closest thing we have to that is the In My Mailbox meme, I think, and often we still talk about the books we just got even if we haven't turned to the first page yet. We read, our readers read, and so our blogs are driven more by what we say than what we sell, or how we advertise. If ads overwhelm the content, I'm not interested. But if the ads aren't obtrusive and are done decently, I have no problem with it, and I even support it.

April (BooksandWine) said...

Where can I sign up for the drinking club? Ha ha.

What I love about book blogging is the integrity! I mean, maybe some people say they like a book when they don't just to get a free book, but that is few and far between in the community I think. I hope the community stays this way.

As for ads, that's your perrogative. I've been approached to place a link on one of my more popular posts, but I refused as it wasn't relevent to the post. As for CSN, I don't mind those posts, especially if people are posting about book cases.

Man of la Books said...

I see nothing wrong with taking money for ads. Is it any better or worst than getting free books?

We all know this is not a money making operation anyway.

Amy said...

How interesting. I don't do advertising or the associates thing, and feel kind of weird about doing it myself, I have to say. I have no issues with book bloggers having associate things, but paid advertising seems weird. I don't know, might just be me :) I don't follow any mommy blogs, I don't think (not a mommy, don't want kids, not married), but I have noticed a few blog hops around the book blogosphere, and what about those CSN advertisement things? They seem odd to me, more like just ads!

Joy Tamsin David said...

I see nothing wrong with promoting a book you haven't read as long as you're not writing a review for the book. You can have the author on to interview and give the book away if you haven't read it. I don't know what the big deal is.

I see nothing wrong with button advertisements in the sidebar.

I don't like to see google ads for things unrelated to books though.

I don't like contests with a million different ways to earn entries.

Every now and then I like to join the mommy blog hops b/c before I was a book blogger I was a mom who loved to read. I like to branch out an pick up followers who are not also book bloggers or writers.

Great topic!

ParaJunkee said...

@Rachel - Very true, most of us are writers, or at least well versed in some way. The one thing though about an online identity is that it isn’t really us, so we can hide behind an assumed persona with very little backlash in our actual lives. So reputation might be part of it, but I think it might be also peer pressure.

@Mary - Thanks! Yes, you are right. The authors definitely play a big part. I liked how you put that... “ we give it an honest review that isn't affected by profit. Simply, we provide a service; reviewing, in return for their service; writing awesome books for us to read.” But you can’t forget that there is a third party & sometimes 4th party involved with the publishers and publicists. You also have to understand that authors make money from their books, so do their publicist and the publisher. So, yes, we do provide a service, but when pocketbooks get involved some things tend to change.

@Autumn - But what if someone doesn’t want to make another blog? I know a few bloggers that pair everything into one. In fact a good bloggy friend has her mommy blog, her book blog and her product review blog all rolled into one? I don’t see anything wrong with that. I understand if you are a dedicated book blog with nothing but books - but an occasional deviation can’t hurt. What about movie reviews?

You are dead on with the mommy income supplement, a lot of them are SAHM (stay at home moms). I guess that might be the difference.

Prostituting? LOL. Maybe in better terms PIMPING? We are book pimps?

@Brooke - I personally like giveaways on blogs. Fun to win stuff and if it is to gain followers, I’m guilty of that and didn’t think anything was wrong with it. I wanted to get attention and that was how I did it. I think my contest sucked em in ;) and my content kept them coming back.

@Tea - I know we do a few extra entries...but the Mommy Blogs go a little above and beyond. Go to the web site and tell me what you want to buy on it. Like this facebook site and this one and this one and this one. Go to my friends site and enter her contest. Run around the room and take youtube video with my logo painted on your stomach...

Personally I usually do tweet for extra entries, and facebook likes.

Perspectives change, right when you are looking for ways to support yourself. Totally understandable. And it is wonderful for people to sit there and say, we do it for the love of books, that is until you can’t afford any more books, and the landlord is knocking on your door. How about accept monetary compensation with a good conscious. Put up an ad for a publishing house you like, or an author you’ve read. Don’t accept cash for post like promotions... and I think you might be surprised with the promotions that might start to occur.

You made some wonderful points and I think you made your case a lot better than I did...;)

@April - We are a good bunch of people aren’t we. I’m actually quite impressed with the group that is us ... I think I’m going to go with the bookcase for review, LOL. And hopefully the winner of the contests can get something fancy shelves for themselves.

@Man - I guess it is all about what you take the money for. Is it just screen real estate, a spot on your sidebar. Or is it an actual review. I think that is where the integrity comes into play.

@Amy - I just did a CSN thing LOL. They are promoting through book blogs, giving away gift certificates so we can get bookshelves or other furniture. Not books...but a lot of us are in desperate need of bookshelves.

@Joy - Point made. As long as you aren’t writing a review is my big thing. The google ads are annoying sometimes, especially if they come out with like crazy penis enlargement things or something. Harassment through google. Thanks!

ParaJunkee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amy said...

Ahhhhh I get it, bookshelves! I kind of skimmed most of the ones I saw, but they always talked about lights and I couldn't figure it out!! LOL

Mrs. Vanquish said...

Wow this is an awesome post with great comments. It addresses quite some good questions , questions I keep asking myself and discuss with my Co-Bloggers from time to time.

Honestly, I wouldn't feel good getting money from the hobby of BookBlogging. I started our Blog for the Love of Books and all I wanted was to talk about books. I'm already happy to get free books to read and review and this also sometimes feels weird, specially when I don't like the book. So I feel better when I review a book that I have bought myself.

About the contest, so far we also required to be a Follower when entering a giveaway. I have to rethink this after I read so many comments here about this....

In the beginning, we discussed about the Amazon ads but I didn't like it! I don't want to give our Readers the feeling we are blogging for money, because we don't! We are not even blogging for free books! This is just a nice side effect but when I started the blog I didn't even know that this opens the possibility to get free books or ARC copies. (Dude, I didn't even know what an ARC is...)

In the end, I'm happy about the community so far. I don't have the feeling people review books for money and all reviews I read are just their honest opinions, this is what I want.

I love the two Blog Hops we have and I wouldn't want to have one each day of a week, this would be too much. Your's is lovely, specially since you always spotlight another blog - all about community and sharing the love! The other blog hop now requires that you answer a question about yourself and I love that too.

Felicia the Geeky Blogger said...

Great Post! My book blogging is a hobby--could a book blogger turn their blog into a business? I am sure they could but then that would put them more into the Romantic Times, Fresh Fiction, and Rom Con website territory. I don't know at that point it would be a "book blog" as we know it but more of a business "book blog". There is room for all of them out there :) I enjoy our community because I know that when I go read a review from a book blogger, they spent their time outside their job reading the book and putting their thoughts into it. Do I think we all need to do things the same way like I see the mommy bloggers do? No! In fact, I think it would hinder our community. Now for accepting advertisement on a blog---I am not a huge fan of it but I wouldn't hold it against other people. I don't visit the CSN giveaways nor do I enter the 5000 extra things you can do to enter this contest giveaway. Why? The first just isn't about books for me (even if it for shelves) and the second is not meant for the contestant but the blogger to get more traffic. Which I understand wanting but it is just not my cup of tea. We kind of do work for books though after reading a book that was sent to me for review, finding it less than steller but gave it a fair review (aka the story didn't appeal to me but I can see where it would appeal to others--blah, blah, blah), and even sending the author a copy before posting to see if there were more positive (really loved) reviews they would like me to link, and them writing me back saying don't post the review because you didn't like it (along with choice words)...I am almost to the point where I won't even accept books LOL. I think the great thing about 90% of book bloggers is that we write/review for other book fans :) As long as the community stays like that I think we will actually be successful in the long run!

Talk about a ramble LOL

~Jennifer~ said...

This totally hits home for me as I was a mommy blogger for years before starting a book blog. I eventually had to completely leave the mommy blog community because I didn't want to become shill for any company willing to give me a few dollars and I had no interest in reading millions of product reviews from moms only out to make a buck. The transformation happened almost overnight and I couldn't get out of there fast enough.

The other reason I had to leave is the mommy bloggers are cliquey. Like hardcore high school cliquey. Book bloggers have their moments, but for the most part everyone is friendly and supportive and will talk to anyone who wants to chat.

In a bizarre random coincidence, my Amazon affiliate links have brought in a total of 36 cents too.

ParaJunkee said...

@Mrs Vanquish: Thanks! I try. ;) I kinda sparked up something with this one, talk about fishing for comments, right???

A lot of people are struggling right now though, and what better way to make money than from your hobby? Like selling your sketches, or your crocheting? I would especially feel weird if I didn’t like the book. Get your point totally there.

About the require a follower - do what you want. I think this is a point that is your choice and you really shouldn’t feel bad about what others think on this. I might not require a following anymore - but I might do the announcement in a you kinda have to follow. Sneaky sneaky. And you want to reward your followers right, with a contest?

*Breaks out the cane and old lady voice* I remember when, I had just started (back in the day) and I was on another’s blog and she was waving around an ARC of Hush, Hush in a Vlog. I think she might have kissed it. I was totally thinking in my head “WTF is an ARC?” And try doing a search for ARC on google... not much help.

Thanks about the blog hop kudos. I really appreciate it.

@Felicia: Thanks! Obviously you can turn your book blog into a money maker. You just have to a good marketing strategy and have enough traffic. It could still be a book blog per se - just might have a more professional feel.

I completely understand your point about giveaways, extras and furniture... my feelings are just don’t enter it and if they get persistent or annoying, well you don’t have to visit the blog anymore.

That is awfully nice of you to write the author about bad reviews and if they have links to include. I’m not that good...LOL. The fact that they responded in that direction, well, key word in this post seems to be integrity. I hear ya at that almost to the point... I’m turning down a lot more these days. About the community I think we are staying strong, I think it might change slowly, but it usually shifts for better, not worse (knock on wood).

ParaJunkee said...

@Jennifer - I haven’t noticed it, but my Anya’s Room blog is mostly for children’s books. Because I was getting all these children’s book requests and I didn’t see them “working” on a site where I also review PNR. So, I haven’t really been approached for a lot of product reviews. That really sucks that it is cliquish like that.

Kinda funny about the amazon associates thing.

Vegetarian Cannibal said...

Interesting comments everyone. Especially Autumn's comment. I don't have the time or interest to do book reviews (being a writer) however you guys are soooooooo beneficial to me and my other writer colleagues. Honestly, I love you guys. That you can review sooooo many books is amazing! Regardless how you're doing it, *I* appreciate it. I've met so many new authors because of you guys. Keep doing what you do! Book bloggers rock my socks off! :D

Autumn said...

About not wanting to start another blog...I can understand that. I don't mind an occasional "check out my kids" post or "I saw xyz movie last night" or "I tried this recipe". I like to know bloggers on a somewhat personal level (not in a creepy stalker way, but enough to know why they may or may not like a particular book). I don't like when a blog poses as a book blog, but every post is something unrelated to anything about tupperware giveaways. In that case, start a tupperware blog!

I meant we prostitute ourselves for books!! I suppose we pimp the books too. Talk about walking both sides of the street at the same time!!

The Book Guru said...

My response turned out to be massive so I did a post lol

Excellent blogging 101 :)

Tynga said...

- I do hold contest for book I haven't because aither a) I will read it or b) I think my readers would be interested in said book. I'm not saying I hold giveaways for any books for the sake of holding a giveaway, I have turned down opportunities before because they just didn't fit my blog.

- Now blog Hoping, While I understand the reasonning behind the whole concept. I will never join it. I honestly hate logging on my reader on Friday and just see 150 Follow Firday/Blog Hop/Whatever you wanna call it posts. I just skip them all quite honestly.

fantasylover12001 said..., I'm such a newbie...I didn't know the difference between a book blog and a mommy blog (or that they were two different entitys...). Thanks for explaining it. Now that I know the difference I prefer book blogs but to each their own, right?
I mostly do my book blogs on with my own money or I just use my local library. I haven't even begun the whole ARC thing yet mostly cause I don't even know what the deal with them are (the rules, how you get them and whatnot). Maybe after I've been blogging for a year or so I'll try it out but for now I'm good with how I do things. I personally wouldn't take money for my reviews because I'm not even a professional writer (nor do I have this super huge following anyway) so it wouldn't feel right to me.

Carrie at In the Hammock Blog said...

Awesome post, Parajunkee!!

I agree with a lot of things Juju said. I think it's great to have some paid advertisements on a blog, especially sidebar. When I started blogging, I wouldn't have dreamed of having ads, but I had NO idea how much work goes into keeping up with it. At first I thought getting books was enough compensation until I started feeling all the pressure to get reviews posted by certain dates, etc. I think book bloggers deserve to be compensated and ads don't bother me at all!!!

Mommy blogs are an interesting phenomenon. Their contests are outrageous, but I do throw my name in the hat on occasion (never won anything). I think one or two extra entries about spreading the word are neccessary in contests to get more people to know about your contest.

Lexie said...

to be honest 'Mommy Blogs' scare the living daylights out of me. And the folks who run the blogs, or who frequent the blogs, scare me even more. They're so...intense. I mean I followed a few when I first started (cause it seemed like a good way to help pad out the expenses here at my dad's house), and I think I commented a few times.

I got a lot of rude feedback to be honest. ::makes stink eye at those bloggers::

Rachel said...

At first I tried to be a Mommy Blogger, but my love for books just kind of took over. I won't rule out posting Mommy-related posts, since it's my blog, darn it, and I'll do what I want with it, but I find it so much easier to relate to people through books than anything else - it still feels like "me" versus feeling like I'm speaking for my children if it were a predominately Mommy blog. In addition, some of those Mommy blogs feel like one-up-manship and "my kid is better than your kid because...". I only subscibe to one Mommy blog, and only because I know the owner outside of the blogging community.
To be honest, I was completely floored at the size of the book-blogging community and how much "power" it has to influence the book industry. I only wish I had discovered it much earlier in my life, as I likely would have been an old pro at it all by now!

Emily said...

What an interesting post! I have to say how much I look forward to reading Book Blogging 101 every Thursday.

Anyway, I think for me the difference lies in the purpose of the blog- if a person is out to supplement their income (and I define income here as either stuff or money) then having a lot of ads and promotional stuff might make sense for them. If a person is out to connect with other people who share a similar interest, to discuss that topic of mutual interest, and to expand their awareness of other facets of that topic (which is what I think book blogging is all about for most folks that I've met so far) then ads and distracters are very counterproductive to that purpose.

I mean, think of it this way- if you have a million widgets and ads and logos and blinkies all over your blog, your page takes forever to load and oftentimes people will lose interest before they get to your content.

I finally started using Amazon Affiliates mostly because hunting down cover images and getting them formatted and all that jazz was getting to be really tedious, but honestly? I don't care if I ever make a cent from my blog. I've met folks who I love to talk books with, have connected with authors whose books I enjoy, and I've been able to promote books, characters, authors, and publishers whose work I enjoy.

The level of community and the support we all have for each other here in Book Bloggerland is what I enjoy the most- I have the opportunity to talk about my favorite things (books) with people who will talk back! In the end, that's worth more to me than any advertiser fee or promotional gimmick.

nymfaux said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this post!!!! And the comments are AMAZING too!!!! I honestly want to say I like everybody's comments, but especially Tea's, and also ParaJunkee's replies!!!

I'm a fairly new blogger...Every time I think I start to get the hang of it, I discover something totally new!!!--like the difference between book blogs and mommy blogs :)

Wow--I feel like there are so many topics going on right now!!!--I especially loved Autumn's comment about "walking both sides of the street," because I totally feel that way.

As for making money...This has totally sprung out of my passion for books, and sharing with other readers/bloggers--But if someone said, "here, keep doing what you're doing, but also take our money," I don't see anything wrong with that...Wouldn't we all love to get paid to do something we're passionate about, instead of having to go to work someplace boring?--However, right now, I think that situation is closer to wishful thinking than reality right now. The big thing is that everything I write, is my honest opinion--And I'm not going to pimp a book that I can't say anything good about (Golden Rule and all that).

As for advertising, I haven't noticed it being much of an issue--I know what ads look like & I don't click on them--And if there isn't any content, then I won't have any reason to go back to that blog.

As for contests, I LOVE FREE things!!! I've entered lots, and had one of my own. I like the ability to tweet about something, or put a link on my sidebar for extra entries, and I have no problem telling people about contest, because I like to win stuff, so I figure other people will, too--It depends on how interested I am in the prize as to how much extra stuff I'll do. I don't force anyone to follow me, but hey, if they do, don't they deserve an extra entry? I think it's only fair--I don't like a million things, but I think as long as it's extra, and optional, then I would do it myself, because I enjoy it.

Also, I'm one of those people that occasionally does movie posts--Movies are my other passion and I want to share them too. I mostly want to write about books, but I'm new, and just figuring out how everything fits together, and who I am as a blogger, and I guess my thing is--I came here because of books, but if someone wants to write about something else--I might hear an interesting story or learn something new--And if I'm not interested, I don't have to read it--which goes for my blog, too--If you're not interested, you don't have to read it (but I write it, because it's something I want to share, and think others might enjoy).

As for Blog Hops, I've done two the last two Fridays, and am planning on joining tomorrow :)
I'm somewhat of the opinion that follower numbers are artificial--It just isn't realistic to check that amount of blogs all the time--But I think the numbers are a good visual if you want publishers to send you books, and yes, I would like free books--who doesn't like free stuff?
I can't even fathom the mommy hops--But I like the book hops, because I'm new--It's how I get to meet new people, and how I get to introduce myself to other people. Yes, I do leave standard "hopping by" comments, because there are so many blogs to check out--but, I get a picture of what the other person's blog is like, and can go back and check it out more thoroughly when I more time. I'm thinking about hopping once a month, or so, just to see who else is out there, and let other people know I'm out here too.

I feel a little scattered and hope what I've said makes some sort of sense :) Honestly, I just feel privileged to do something I enjoy so much and share the things I enjoy--To meet such cool people, who have similar likes :) And to even have the opportunity to meet some of the authors that I am so in love with!!!!

nymfaux said...

p.s. I'm not sure yet what Amazon Affiliates is--I thought it was advertising, but someone else made it sound like links or images??? just curious

ParaJunkee said...

@Vegetarian - Thank you for the kudos. It is very appreciated that authors actually like what we are doing - instead of finding us bothersome pest. ;)

@Autumn - Gotcha. Tupperware blog lol.

@Guru - great response BTW

@Tynga - I will hold them too also, if they are within in my genres, and authors that I’m familiar with. The only time I get iffy is when I don’t know the author. I don’t want to “pimp” out bad goods ;)

Fine skip over my blog hop *pouts*

@fantasy - seriously? LOL. Since you are so new you might want to go and read some past BB101 posts {link in navigation on right side sidebar top)

The going rate is about 6 months for lift off... that is about the average. Good luck, and leave your link next time so we can check out your blog!

@Carrie - This is a ton of work. I feel sometimes that I need to find some kind of sleep replacement pill. What with this blog, the group blog and the Kiddie Book Blog sometimes I overwhelm myself.

I’ve tried those contests also and haven’t won anything. I mean c’mon who can resist a little playhouse for the tot??? Extra entries are fine thought but sometimes the stuff is just redonkulous...

@Lexi - MommieBlogphobia. That is terrible. Hey put those eyes away... you might have just been on the crazy mommy blog side of the bloggyverse LOL

@Rachel - Tell ‘em how it is. It’s My Blog And I’ll Do What I Want! A lot of mommies are one-upping each other, I’m surprised it is not more prevalent in the blogging world. But who can blame them right? We all think our children are geniuses and the most beautiful, unfortunately, bragging over the blog sometimes looks a little show-off.

You’ll be an old pro in no time...BTW.

@Emily - You flatter me. Thanks. Good point, maybe someone who needs a little extra grip might find a happy medium. I think an over abundance of widgets is a little over-powering and tend to distract me to the point of I can’t pay attention to the writing.

First and foremost I love promoting the authors also. Nothing like passing someone a book and they loving it also! I feel like clapping...good closing darlin’

Dana Alma said...

I love your ramblings, keep them coming. I just began book blogging not so long ago. I was clueless to every aspect of the book blogging world. There was only one thing I knew, and that was I loved to read, and I love to share what I read with anyone that will listen. It wasn't even on my radar, the money making aspects, until google started sending emails about adsense and so forth. Thanks to you and siren and a few others I've learned tons and can't get enough. You guys are a fountain of info in the book blogging world. I'm willing to bet that most of the book bloggers could care less if they got paid, it's all about the books for them. I think you hit it right on the mark about getting the free books is more than enough. If I knew a blogger was getting paid to review, I don't know if I would trust the review. I spend alot of money on books and want an honest opinion, books don't cost pennies anymore. I love the hop and follow, there are tons of new blogs out there and new friends. I love getting to know the authors too. I do go back and visit with them every now and then and of course have my favs. I plan on my first giveaway soon and everything comes from my pocket. Thanks for being such a great big sister.
Readaholics Anonymous

nymfaux said...

Oh, and I loved when someone said sometimes all a mommy blog has to do is post a picture of their kids--I totally started laughing and visualizing various book blogs, with only a picture of a book instead of a review :)

nymfaux said...

just saw your post on Amazon Associates!!!! Am catching up on your old posts :)

Tynga said...

@Parajunkee It's not personnal darling ^.- I <3 ya much!

Julie said...

When I began blogging, I hadn't even realized you could get paid for it! I was FLABERGASTED when I got an email yesterday from someone asking to advertise on my blog and that they'd pay me. As a teenage girl who just wants to talk about books, thw thought that it could be more didn't occur to me. Because...I'm not even old enough to drive.

This was a fabulous post! And I'm loving the comments. Wish I could contribute more but it's almost 3 am and I've been frying my brain all night reading a REALLY bad fanfic.

And I won't lie...mommy blogs kind of scare me.

Cat @ Beyond Books said...

I consider myself a blogger. Just that, a blogger. One who happens to have a book blog as well as a personal blog and for a while a wedding blog (then I got married and didn't need to continue it, but it's still up there!)
I blog because I have a lot to say and after a while my husband gets tired of me talking at him all the time. (ha ha) I blog because I want to blog not to make money or get books or any of that. So, no, I would not have advertising on my blog. In fact I have AdBlocker on my browser so people who use Amazon Associate book links don't even show up when I read them.

I personally would not have a contest for a book I have not read. Why? Because everything I write on my book blog I have read (or not finished) it's my own personal book journal. I will have a contest for books that I have read or that I have in my home that I want to get rid of though.

People blog for varying reasons, I happen to do it because I like to talk at whomever will listen to me. Heh.

My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

I started as mommy blog but it has turned into book blogger and the friends/books I have read and made have been much beneficial for me.

Great topic as always Rach. But my blog and I'll put up pics of my kids or talk about whats on my mind besides book..but my header tells people who I am and my blog is all about .

AmandaRose said...

I'm new to the world of book blogging and really enjoying your posts! Thanks! For me I think it's just important to do what makes me happy and what I think is fun! And I will. :-)

Betty: Reflections with Coffee said...

I wish I had read this in August-September before a certain Mommy-blog type giveaway that I participated in.
I keep nodding my head "right" "true!" "me too!" while reading all these comments.
Now to go read the other Blog 101 posts!
Thanks, Parajunkee.

inga said...

It seems I am the first one to comment here during 2011.
I was reading your blog and ended up here. I have read already few of the posts about blogging and so far it has been very helpful, especially considering that I am fairly "young" blogger.
I think it is fabulous that you have these posts for bloggers! I think it is need for many blogger, or at least it could be useful for most of them.
I do not blog for income nor money. I do it because I love to read. I am using amazon associates, and I do it for getting easy access for book links in my posts. I have never even checked if I have earned something there. Would I take paid ads to my blog? Honestly, too early to say, but I guess not.

I have also noticed the differences between book blogs and mommy blogs and other types of blogs. As you mentioned that you have read professional blogs for long time, so have I, mostly about technology developments, business developments etc. These are in my opinion totally different and their aim or goal is very different from each other. That's why i think that there is a time and place for different views on the paid ads as well.

I do like Book blog Hops. Firstly, because it is new for me and secondly, it gives me acces to read many different blogs which cover very different genres. I love to read what other bloggers think about books and read how they describe their reading experiences. Some of them are based on the feelings what they got reading a book, some of them only give a short synpsis. It is fascinating!

roro said...

new bookblogger here
tnx para junkee(rogier from

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