- Respect authors, publishers, and other bloggers. I feel like this is pretty self-explanatory, but to clarify: don't hate on other bloggers, don't bash authors, and if you're emailing a publisher, be professional.
- Feel free to write negative reviews. But if you're going to write negative reviews, don't do it in a way that bashes on the author. Point out what you felt would've made it a better book and try to--if possible--point out what you liked as well. However, if you are going to post negative reviews, do not @ mention the author on Twitter with your review link and don't email it to them either. If you're sending a negative review to a publisher, let them know that it wasn't something that you loved.
- Hold off on requesting books at first. If you don't have a decent following and decent stats, it's best to hold off on requesting books--tempting as they can be. The rule of thumb is this: blog consistently for six months before requesting books from publishers. Also, remember that review copies are a privilege, not a right. Even larger blogs might not get what they request, that's just how it is. What do you do before then? Review books that you own, books that you buy, and books that you borrow from friends or the library. Do not illegally download books. I feel like that's common sense, but I thought I'd mention it just in case. If you have a local library, utilize it.
- Be yourself. Write in your voice and don't feel like you have to follow a "set" of review guidelines--but please don't just summarize the book.
- Don't feel like you need a rating system. Yes, they can be handy, but you can explain your opinion of a book well enough without one.
- Use social networking to your advantage. Twitter, Facebook, Pintrest, Goodreads and Tumblr are your friends. They can help drive traffic to your blog and they can also help you make new friends!
- Schedule reviews whenever possible. Alright, maybe this is just me, but I find that scheduling reviews really helps. I used to post reviews as I went along, but I found that I'd start posting infrequently and that I'd read books so far in advance that if I didn't write up my review immediately, it was harder to write the review--but at the same time, I couldn't (or really, shouldn't) post it when I wrote it if I read the book too far in advance as usually publishers prefer you to post your reviews close to the book's publication date.
- Make your blog visually pleasing and easy to navigate. Too many countdowns or widgets can really clutter a blog and more importantly, make it difficult to load; also, as much as I love music, I feel it's best to leave it off of your blog. On top of this, bright colors that hurt one's eyes can turn a reader off of your blog and small text can also turn a reader away from your blog if they find it difficult to read. I'd really recommend getting a blog design done by a professional, if you can.
- Interact with other bloggers. Find bloggers who share your taste in books and maybe follow their blogs or follow them on Twitter. Commenting is an important part of blogging--that I really need to do more often--and making blogging friends is always a good idea (although your TBR list may disagree).
- Have fun with it. I think that's the most important piece of advice that I can give you. If you've hit a blogging slump, feel free to take a break!
Monday, April 16, 2012
Top Ten Tuesday: Tips for New Bloggers
The Broke and the Bookish and this week's topic is: tips for new bloggers. Book blogging can definitely be overwhelming at times and hopefully this week's topic will help new bloggers out!