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Book Blogging 101: Ten Tips for Newbies

I just started blogging and I can't even think of what I need to know much less what you can tell me. Can you maybe give some tips for a new blogger, things I should know. - Viv
A: How about a Ten List?? Everyone likes these. Now I don't know if this is the top ten items you should know...but its stuff I think you should know.

Ten Things a NEWBIE Book Blogger Should Know.

  1. Nothing happens automatically. Authors will not automatically send you books as soon as you slap a review policy up on your site. Book Blogging takes time and in order for authors to find you, you need to get your book blog off the ground. So step 1 with any book blog is marketing and networking. 
  2. ARCs also come in time. Do not assume you will get tons of ARCs just because you start your blog. The best way to get in on the ARC craze is to join
  3. Most of the time you should request books from the publishers. Authors get a few ARCs and finished copies, but they don't get a ton of them and those will usually go to their author friends, family and their choice reviewers. A lot of the time if an author sends you a review copy they purchase them and then mail them to you. So, easiest way to get a review copy is going through the publisher. Publishers will have special email addresses for requesting review copies on their webpages. Just do a search, you can usually find the email address on their CONTACT US page.
  4. When mailing a book to a contest winner, a friend, or for a book exchange you can mail through MEDIA MAIL, this is a way to save money on postage.
  5. No matter how pretty that picture is on the internet that you found, if it does not say that it is available for use, please don't use it. Always ask for permission. This also goes for content and writing.
  6. You have a blog -- now join twitter, facebook, ning sites, publisher forums, if it has something to do with writing join up! Network, network, network.
  7. Put your URL on everything. It should be in your facebook, twitter, ning profile. It should be in your signature of your emails. It should be at the end of every comment. It should be on everything!!!
  8. Play around with things like FEEDBURNER, Google Docs, Goodreads - utilize them and implement everything they have to offer!
  9. Keep on top of your favorite author's blogs and web sites, follow them on twitter, facebook etc. A lot of the time they make announcements this way and it is always good to share this with your readers.
  10. And lastly, book blogging is a lot of work. You are looking about probably 1 - 2 hours daily, minimum. If you don't have the time, inclination or patience you might want to think about the investment you put into it.

I have an option on my blog to follow by email. Is there a way for me to check what the emails are that are subscribed? I use Feedburner, though I may switch over to Blogger's way of subscribing, if Blogger can do it and Feedburner can't.
Thanks for all the awesome advice, PJ!
- Riv Re
A: Step 1: Log into feedburner
Step 2: On front page that lists the number of subscribers, click: See more about your subscribers »
Step 3: Scroll down to: Email Subscription Services, click on FeedBurner Email Subscriptions, then click Manage Your Email Subscriber List

There you go, the list of who subscribes to you...

What's my blog's RSS feed? And how does it work?
- Riv Re
A: In blogger to find out your RSS feed, scroll all the way down until you get to the bottom of your posts and you see ATOM. That link is your feed. Right click and scroll to copy link. That is your RSS feed.

Now what is it? The wikidef is: RSS (most commonly expanded as Really Simple Syndication) is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated works—such as blog entries, news headlines, audio, and video—in a standardized format.[2] An RSS document (which is called a "feed", "web feed",[3] or "channel") includes full or summarized text, plus metadata such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place.


The old way of doing things was:

YOU ----> go to ----> Blog 1 ----> look around *nothing new!* on to ---> Blog 2 ----> Nothing new! ---> search search more

But with RSS those feeds come to you, so it turns it around

You <---- Blog 1 New Post <---- Blog 2 New Post

Subscribing to someone's RSS is their stream, feed, burn, post, update all getting pushed over to your reader, instead of you going to them. I saw an explanation where they compared Netflix & Video stores to online search and RSS feeds. RSS = Netflix

I would love to see you do a tutorial on how to create
named attribution jumps (i.e. for review pages). I saw a tutorial for this on another blog but the instructions were not clear and Blogger keeps  corrupting the code every time you go and update your post/page. Surely there has to be a way to add the code into Blogger without it corrupting each time, right? I figured if anyone would know how to do it, it would be you :) 
- Abby
A: A named attribution jump is what in web design speak is also called an anchor.

Basically if your link looks like this <a href="">Parajunkee</a> You add an anchor to a certain part of your code. Let's say...TOP, so your link would now look like this:

<a href=<a href="">Go To Top</a>

Did you notice that I put the # sign before the name of the anchor? That is integral to the link! But now how do you make an anchor?

It is really rather easy. You would navigate to where in the code you would like your anchor. If you are doing a top anchor it would of course be at the very top of the page.

Paste this: <a name="TOP" id="TOP"></a>

That is it. You would just change TOP to what you want to call it. It is CASE SENSITIVE, so keep it all same.

How to create a drop-down navi bar.  - AnnaBanana
A:I'm sorry Anna - but, I'm not going to do a tutorial on this. This would fall into the ADVANCED category. There are a few sites that offer downloads, like this one:

And last but not least...the winner of the "Someone Needs a Hug or a Slap Award"...

Book blogger jealousy! YEA I'm are jealous! You big follower book bloggers wave your ARCS around in our faces. Of course I"M jealous. They never want to send ARCS to me. The only way I can get one is by winning one. I don't think publishers should count followers for who they send ARCS too, they should send it to the REAL fans. Not the people that just get them cause they are the IN book. Why do authors look at followers? That shouldn't count at all. - Anonymous
A:I'm sorry you are feeling the Book Blogger Envy. But, I'm kinda of feeling a bit grumpy about the waving books in your face remark. I'm sorry you feel that way, but just because I'm showing off my pretty book doesn't mean I'm rubbing it in your face. If I pulled up in a new car -- but you had an old car, would you consider that rubbing it in your face? Because, I don't mean it that way, I'm just excited about my new shiny book and if I show my husband he goes "Whatever." If I show my Book Blogger friends they SQUEE with me. I sooo want people to SQUEE with me. That is not rubbing faces, that is excitement, glee, happiness and joy over a new book. Don't let that green seep into your skin --- makes for an unhappy person. You don't want to be unhappy. No one wants to be unhappy.

Now as for those followers, those people that read the blog that you don't think count. Well, you see I think they do. I think I put a lot of work into my blog. I've been doing this for almost two years. I've seen blogs come and go. Every week I meet at least ten new blogs that just popped up and ten blogs disappear off the radar. Now publishers and publicists and authors, this is their JOB. JOB JOB JOB. Their writing = their paycheck. That book you review, well it could equal increased profitability. If the review is read. They want to look for a blog that will review their book (so first thing they look for is how long the blog has been around) an upstart blog might have more trouble because they haven't established a reputation yet. And then more followers equal a broader platform that they are reaching. Now, granted they don't always go for the highest follower count. 500 dedicated followers is a lot better than 2000 followers that aren't reading your they also look at comments and things like that to see if you are getting responses. All of this takes time, work and a little elbow grease. Ranting will not get you ARCs - why don't you try netgalley. They might be more accommodating.

That's it folks. Talk Less. Read More. Happy Thursday. 


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