Showing posts with label authors. Show all posts
Showing posts with label authors. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Blogger Transparency: Should You Share Your Statistics on Your Blog? | Book Blogging Tips (#58)

I've been thinking a lot about this lately. Many bigger bloggers share their statistics and it's seemingly ONLY people with follower counts in the 4 or 5 digits. 

Personally, I feel conflicted about openly sharing my statistics, but I appreciate and love it when other people share theirs. So should we all?


Why would you even do that?

It definitely helps people who are looking to work with you and your blog professionally.

Whether it's:
  • authors seeking reviewers
  • publishers looking to add someone to their mailing lists
  • companies who are interested in having you review a product
  • anyone interested in advertising with you
  • anyone interested in professional collaboration

If you have your statistics openly displayed on your blog, people immediately know whether it makes sense to work with you. Let's not kid ourselves, people always say stats don't matter when talking about blogging, but we all know deep in our hearts that they do. Especially when we're talking about professional business with companies/authors/publishers who are actually earning money for what they're doing. 

As for individuals - I always like to see statistics because it makes it easier to categorize myself. To know how big my blog is in comparison to others. It's always great to be aware of the reach you have. 

But putting yourself out there like that isn't everyone's cup of tea. It's not necessarily a necessity to be completely transparent with your statistics. I absolutely understand it when people say they don't want to. Especially when you're still a small blogger you might hesitate to openly display how many clicks you get - it's easy to say "hey, no big deal" when you get 200k hits per month. 

So when is it TRULY necessary?

I think there is not really a necessity at all. You're not being dishonest by declining to openly show your stats to everyone. It's a personal matter after all and a personal decision. I had mine displayed for a hot minute, but felt very iffy about it all. 

You can always send out that information in private to people who are interested in working with you. Don't let anyone ever tell you, you have to do anything when it comes to blogging. Your blog, your rules.


Do you share your statistics on your blog?

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Monday, December 19, 2016

When Authors Reply to Reviews and Why This is a Problem | #AuthorsBehavingBadly

I've talked about #AuthorsBehavingBadly on Social Media in general before, but replying to reviews is a whole different matter that absolutely deserves its own post in my opinion.
Many authors who have just had their first book published and are slowly getting their first reviews or are simply not very active and well-versed in book community etiquette, will probably end up doing this.

Not all authors who comment on reviews have a malicious intention and I'm going to start of talking about those authors that really -just didn't know- they aren't supposed to comment.


Scenario 1: You wrote a good review and the author is commenting to say something nice

Why it's not cool
While this is clearly just a nice gesture of the author, or at least meant as such, this is an invasion of safe space. Reviewers sort-of exist in this bubble universe of the book industry. Iit's absolutely okay to share a positive review of your book that you liked, that's what they're for after all - but oh boy, please, please don't comment. Not even to say thanks. Just don't. Tweet the review if you like, share the link if you like, we appreciate it, but please don't comment.

When it's okay
Should you have gotten tagged in the review, this is a whole other story.

See, it all comes down to consent. Reviewers aren't interested in discussions with authors unless they are actively seeking those out. I wouldn't be reviewing if any and every author commented on my reviews. It just doesn't feel safe, you're feeling obligated to be nicer than you usually would have, you're not really able to express your opinion without cringing at the thought of the author reading it - it's just a mess.

So unless you have been sent the review, your comment isn't wanted.

Scenario 2: You wrote a negative review and the author is going "um, actually" on you


Why it's not cool
This is probably the nightmare of every reviewer. Having to justify yourself to the artist. - I get it, your books are your babies and you poured your heart and soul into this, but welcome to the real world. People will dislike your work and it will happen frequently and this is a thing you have to be able to deal with professionally, else, you're probably not in the right industry. 

I'm sorry but this is just making thing unnecessarily hard for everyone. The reviewer's irritated, the author's probably angry, the possible readers are weirded out. Why would you want that?

When it's okay
No matter what the reviewer said and no matter how much you think they're wrong, doing this is never ever ever ever ever okay. Even if you are sent a review, bashing reviewers is a no no. 


"Okay, so you say this isn't good, but I'm still going to comment, I don't care. They're wrong, I'm going to call them out."

The thing is, I'm addressing this in the first place because it is a problem. Recently a dear friend of mine has quit blogging after an author with a medium-sized following decided to unleash their fury on them. 

  • Completely ignoring that this is cyberbullying - is that really the message you want to convey?
  • To have bloggers be scared to be scalded whenever they leave a negative review?
  • To make bloggers want to quit reviewing?
Time and time again I have to say that reviewers deserve respect, that we are a vital part of the publishing industry and that without us, many NYT-bestselling authors wouldn't be where they are right now.


So what have we learned?
  • Reviewers want their safe space and deserve their safe space
  • Respecting boundaries also includes biting your tongue when encountering negative reviews
  • Putting negativity into the world will probably come to bite you in the butt eventually. (RE: the stories of the cyberstalking/cyberbullying authors who aren't selling books anymore now, you know the ones)


How do you feel about authors replying to your reviews? 

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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

10 New-To-Me Authors Whose Books I Loved in 2016 feat. Melissa Landers, Sylvain Neuvel & more | Top Ten Tuesday




All of these people write fantastic books and contributed to making 2016 a *great* reading year for me. Looking forward to all their new releases.




Louise Gornall
She absolutely slayed me with her fantastic and beautiful debut UNDER ROSE-TAINTED SKIES. A must-read for anyone who has an invisible illness.

Julia Ember
She forever won my heart through UNICORN TRACKS. The first fantasy novel set in an African setting that felt authentic to me and that I wholeheartedly loved. Also it features lesbians. She's got a couple more queer books coming in 2017 and I can't wait!

Meg Haston
I've absolutely loved PAPERWEIGHT. So much that I actually read it *twice* this year. Such a raw and beautiful and courageous story about a girl with an eating disorder. A must-read if you can handle dark contempories. I can't wait for her next release in 2017, counting the days!




Moïra Fowley-Doyle 
My god, this woman is an artist. Her writing is insanely beautiful. Her magical realism debut THE ACCIDENT SEASON really convinced me to keep reading her books because of her writing style. She's got something involving witches coming in 2017 and I've already put my spyglasses on, I'm waiting.

Melissa Landers
I really liked ALIENATED and will probably read STARFLIGHT soon. I'm a sucker for YA aliens, this was just a matter of time until we two cross paths. She totally snagged the YA alien throne from JLA for me. But psst. 

April Genevieve Tucholke
It's been months and I'm still not over the brilliance that is WINK POPPY MIDNIGHT. I love her writing style and ideas so much.



Zoraida Córdova
Y'all know how much I love LABYRINTH LOST, considering that I can't stop talking about it. I'm dying to get my hands on the sequels, we all need more bisexual Latina witches in our lives

Sarah Crossan
ONE and APPLE & RAIN both absolutely shattered me emotionally. I plan on reading a lot more books by her, she's just such an extradordinary feel for her characters. My new contemporary queen and a worthy addition to my list of favorite authors!

Sylvain Neuvel
SLEEPING GIANTS was the cause of the biggest reading slump I've had. I think, ever. This book absolutely killed me, I'm writing this from the afterlife. I need book two. Like, yesterday.




Claudia Gray
Of course we cannot forget the author of my favorite book series in the entire world. A THOUSAND PIECES OF YOU was all I talked about mid-2016 and will probably forever be a favorite. I just love a good parellel universe novel.


Which authors slayed you with their brilliance in 2016?

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Are you awkward about getting Review Requests from Authors? | Book Blogging Tips (#44)






Even though I don't really mean to be, I have to admit I'm super awkward about getting review requests by authors. This is 100% on me.

Most experiences I've made so far were delightful and I ended up liking most of the books that were offered to me by their authors.

But what if I hadn't?



WHAT IF I DON'T LIKE THE BOOK?!

How do I phrase politely that I absolutely hated your novel and wrote a 300 word review about how much I hated it? Even though I feel like my reviewing style is at that point where even negative criticism is phrased respectfully, I'm sure no author wants to read this about their book. And yea, indie authors read reviews. I know they do because I get reactions to the reviews from them once I have sent the links over...!

I still want to review books that are offered to me by the authors, I think it's a great opportunity and I like that they are so approachable, but sometimes I just wish there was more .... distance. I wish I didn't have to bite my nails feeling ashamed. I wish I would stare at my email account, just waiting for one author to absolutely flip out when I send over a bad review. That stuff happens. 

Last year an author actually tracked down someone who gave them a negative review and wrote an article in The Guardian about this, not seeing what's wrong with that. Since I read that article I've been extra picky with accepting books for review that weren't offered through a publishing house.

AM I SCARED OF AUTHORS?

Heck yea, I am. I'm scared of getting negative reviews, possibly managing to agitate a black sheep that turns out to be a psychopath. Things like this are known to happen. Remember that author who tracked down a reviewer and hit them over the head with a bottle? I'm flat out scared to get my face slashed by someone that didn't like my opinion. Is this far-fetched? Maybe

The thing is, while this probably, very likely *knock on wood* won't happen to me, there's always the possibility. The easiest solution would be to only work with big publishers then and completely cut off any contact with authors that isn't going through their publicists first. Well. I don't know if that really is a solution. 
  • I want to read indie books, 
  • I want to talk to authors, 
  • I want to see their reactions to nice reviews, 
... but there's always going to be this little voice inside my head that will tell me to keep this or that sentence out of my review.

It will tell me to censor my review a little more, which I definitely wouldn't have done if the book were offered to me through a publicist.

While I do know that not every author can afford a publicist and/or it doesn't make sense for everyone, sometimes I wish there was a puffer person. 


Am I weird or are you also awkward about getting review requests from authors?

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Sunday, July 10, 2016

On #AuthorsBehavingBadly Online and What to Do So I Will Never Buy Their Books EVER | YA Talk



Many people who are active in the blogging community have probably interacted with authors at some point or have witnessed their interactions with other readers. 

Here are some things I've witnessed. Feel free to add your own stories.

Note: I won't mention any names here, only paraphrase stories that have already gone viral, cause, ya know, the message of this post is bullying isn't cool. Also they're sort of old news.



  • What not to do on twitter

Subtweeting on twitter and/or talking down to their readers and/or bloggers.

Every year around BEA or ALA time we have the same spiel. The old discussion whether bloggers deserve to be at conventions because some excessively snatch ARCs and sell them online.  And every year my so-called Blacklist of authors who will never gain any exposure or profit from me grows. It's value to know when not to say anything at all - there are enough authors who are hateful and mean towards bloggers.

It's not cool to write mean things about the people that essentially pay your bills by buying and/or reviewing your stuff.

Retweeting people who subtweet readers and bloggers. 

Retweeting seems like an easy way to state your opinion without actually having to talk trash. While it's very tempting, to me this doesn't make it any different from you writing an actual tweet. It makes you all the less sympathetic because I'll just think you're too cowardly to actually say what you're thinking in the fear that people may quote you.

I always wonder whether these people would actually dare to say these things to people's faces, there are too many authors to mention who are ready to hate on any and everyone who doesn't agree with them. Bullying is never cool, especially not if you're in the public eye. You're a role model for people. Remember that.

  • What not to do on Goodreads

Goodreads is a great platform for readers to discover new books and authors to get more exposure. But apparently, some people just don't understand the concept of boundaries.

Too often I see authors commenting on reviews, trying to justify their work, and too often this leaves reviewers startled. 

A particular case that gained quite the noticeable amount of attention is that of a well-known author attacking a well-known blogger and basically slandering them publicly because they didn't like their book, leaving anonymous comments, basically cyberstalking them and calling them out everywhere. The story even made it to Publishers Weekly.

Or that one author who showed up at a reviewer's house after they left a negative review on Goodreads. That story made it to The Guardian, of course, putting all the blame on the reviewer.

Stuff like this makes me want to quit blogging completely and tell everyone else to as well. So incredibly disappointing and discouraging - usually you see authors say "hey, please review my book it helps me so much" - but then you see other authors do stuff like that.


  • What not to do on your personal blog

While I am very much for freedom of speech and consider blogs to generally be a safe space, authors don't have the privilege of being able to "say what they want" because it's "their blog".

I think a certain degree of professionalism is a must for authors. It's a privilege to be a published writer, and one of the downsides is that people aren't going to like controversial (negative) opinions coming from them.

I've seen authors talk trash about negative reviews, complain, complain, complain about how reviewers aren't understanding their book, and generally being bitter about the lack of success.  Even screenshotting bad reviews and inviting their followers to attack the reviewer!

Think for a second here - what benefit does this serve? Do you genuinely think this is helping? Helping me to decide whose book not to buy, maybe.


  • What not to do on tumblr

Tumblr is known for its avid fandom culture. People make edits, people write fan fiction, and people ship characters. It all stops being fun when the author decides it's "hello kids I'm here to ruin the fun " time and starts to comment on every single headcanon of their book and to state what's actually canon according to them. 

Again, this isn't a "I witnessed this one time" thing. This happens quite often and i physically do not understand why authors think it's okay to barge in on fan conversations.

  • If they get tagged or receive a personal message, okay! Be my guest, glad you replied! 
  • If someone actively reaches out to them and ASKS them, okay! 
  • BUT don't just search a tag and decide to ruin everyone's fun by telling them how wrong they are one by one.

The thing is- people can see you, dear authors. 

People check your social media, typically after they have read one of your books or are planning to buy one. It's so, so, so important to keep your mouth shut about some topics that may offend. I'm not saying that you can't express opinions, but sprouting offensive and hateful non-sense and treating your readers horribly doesn't seem like a smart idea, does it? 

If you're one of those people that has too many opinions that may offend, hire a publicist to handle your official account and post your opinions on your personal, non-public account.



The four golden rules for authors on social media

  1. Don't say anything that you wouldn't say in an interview in person
  2. Don't talk trash about the people who pay your bills, oh my god, I can't believe I actually have to say this
  3. Don't chime in on conversations about your book that no one invited you to
  4. DON'T BE A BULLY


Who is on your author blacklist?



More on the Author / Reader relationship:
More YA TALKs

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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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Thursday, February 18, 2016

How I Pick Which Books I Request For Review | Book Blogging Tips (#39)



If you have the luxury of getting requests by authors and publishers, you also have to choose which ones to read and which offers to decline.

Here's a list of things that I take into consideration when I'm looking at a review request.

For a bigger list of DON'Ts when pitching books to bloggers, click here.




#1: Form
You probably know already that I'm not a fan of mass emails.
Unless they're coming from a big publisher and I've subscribed to their mail list/newsletter, I usually delete these immediately. Everything addressed to "Dear Blogger" etc. remains unread and gets deleted.

#2: Genre
I go through phases where I read a bunch of books in one genre and am absolutely not interested in anything else. Even if my favorite author has a new book out and it's not in a genre that I'm into right now, I probably won't read the book. It's arbitrary sometimes and has nothing to do with the quality of the work that's offered to me.

#3: Synopsis
If the form is impeccable, the genre is something that I'm interested in right now, the synopsis really has to get to me. If you've got a good pitch, I'm absolutely interested. It's important to have a good pitch, your book can be exactly up my alley, but if you've got a bunch of typos and didn't really put any effort in this, I'm just moving on.

#4: Amazon Preview!
My favorite feature. That's why I ask for official links in my review policy. If available, I always make use of the preview feature. If the form, genre, and synopsis are just right, the last obstacle is the preview. If I like writing style, I'm going to request! I don't request books that didn't make me want to desperately continue reading, the better the preview, the more intrigued am I! Cliffhangers are a plus here!

Bonus: 
Niche Markets
If I've liked several books about a super specific genre lately, I'll probably try to get my hands on everything related to that. That's why it's always a good idea to look at my social media accounts and check what I've been reading lately. 

I've read books from that author before
There are some talented writers out there (not necessarily big names, also indie writers!!) who have just impressed me so much with their writing that I'll request their books no matter the genre or the mood. If you've received a good review from me once, there's a very high chance I'll turn a blind eye on my review policy and even try something I usually don't read.

How do you pick which books you review?


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Friday, September 11, 2015

How to Scare Potential Readers Away With Your Theme | Book Blogging Tips (#16)

If you're a little like me, your theme is probably the bane of your existence as well.

I'm constantly editing it, never quite getting it right and spend days trying to edit a single thing, but then end up not liking the end result.

You can have the best content in the world, when your theme is terrible, you'll never get the recognition you deserve.


Here are fourteen DON'Ts in regards to your theme.


! CAUTION: Sarcasm ahead ! 


1. Pop-Ups and Ads Wherever You Can.
Yeah, ads are always a great idea if you're looking to earn money with your blog. You should totally start advertising early on, even if you get only a hundred views per month.
The more ads the better. Make sure to remind your readers to subscribe to your email newsletter every five minutes with a pop-up, they'll be very grateful for the reminder.

2. Low Contrast Script and Background
Pastel colors, am I right? How about a beige background with a light pink script? Looks fashionable. Who cares whether you can read the posts, as long as it looks pretty.
Aesthetics over content all the way.

3. Show ALL THE BADGES
Yes you're a proud member of Team Damon, Team Edward, Team Maxon, Team Ash, Team Stark, Team Patch, The Shadowhunters and so many more! Make sure to add all your fandoms so your readers will know what you love to read about.
Don't forget to add a badge for every tag award you've ever gotten.

4. Avantgarde Themes
There's a reason standard blogging templates are so frowned upon. Show us your graphic designer skills and give us a theme filled with animations and giant pictures. It has to be a challenge for the reader to find your posts, else they aren't worthy of reading them anyways.

5. A LOT of Friendship Buttons
Show off all the friends you made in the blogging world. Don't only put three or four on your site. It's like facebook, the more friends you have, the cooler you are.

6. Sidebar Taller Than You Are
The more widgets the better. It's not cluttered, there are a lot of options for the reader to explore!!

7. List All Authors and Publishers That Support You
It's very important to make sure that you thank all 89 authors and publishers that sent you a review copy. It's even more important when you've been blogging for ten years. You can't miss a single name. Don't put it on an extra page either, it has to be on the front page.

8. Typos + No Proofreading
Were all humans. Typos make you evn more symptaehtic. Prof reading just takes up mroe time. Let's get it all online quiasly. its not liek you can´t undesrtand what I#M typing is it

9. Release Day Widgets. All of Them.
The more, the better. I mean, your readers have to know what you're currently waiting on. Don't let them know in a post. It's all about visualization.

10. Super-slim Themes
The slimmer the better. That's the 2015
look. If your sentences all have to be
shortened and look like haikus now
then you're absolutely doing it right.
Scrolling is a form of exercise as well,
you're doing your readers a favor
They should pay you for that service if
you think about it.

11. Stop Formatting
It's only a waste of time. Don't even use paragraphs. You'll save a lot of time and will be able to dedicate that time to reading more.

12. Did Somebody Say Comic Sans?
You don't know what people are talking about, it's not like you're running a business blog. Comic Sans in bright yellow is a perfectly acceptable font to run a blog in your spare time. Everybody calm down.

13. Animations and Customized Cursors
Come on, who doesn't want those back? Remember how awesome our myspace pages looked? You're aiming for the nostalgic look and it's working. Maybe add some glitter or falling snow while you're at it.

14. Unreadable Colors
Seriously, if they'd take the time and effort to read your posts, they'd be able to. It's not like your writing for the uneducated masses. Your blog posts are important and making a difference so it can't be that hard to highlight them with a right-click if they have problems reading them, jeez.




Always remember: Blogging isn't an exact science.

Even if you have some or most of these things on your blog, who cares? It's still your blog and it has to look pretty to YOU! I'm sure there are a lot of people who think my theme is absolutely terrible. To each their own, my friends.


I hopüe this could help you out a litlle and nyou know now aht not do when you're wiring a blog post Obviously everyone's approaches are different. Team EdwwarD!!



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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Instant Love and Why it Ruins Everything | YA Talk






Either you don't care or you hate it. At this point, instant love has become a common trope in YA and honestly - it makes me want to cry.

There's no better way to ruin a reading experience for me.

What is instant love?


When two characters barely know each other, yet very quickly proclaim their undying love to each other.

You should think that instant love is only a plot device in novels that aren't really about romance.
In reality though, I've come across way too many instant love relationships in novels exclusively about romance and it's shocking.

You'd think that in a novel that has no other plot than the blossoming of a love between two people, the author would actually make an effort to make it seem realistic. I've encountered more instant love relationships in romance novels than I'd like to admit.


Authors, Why?

You'd think that the journey is the best way about traveling. I guess this doesn't apply to 40% of YA romance writers. Why make the protagonists fall in love instantly? What story do you want to tell if they already fell in love? Why, why, why? Yeah, it's easy and convenient, especially if the romance is only a side plot. I have news for you:




IF YOU DON'T HAVE THE TIME TO PUT EFFORT IN DEVELOPING A ROMANCE PLOT DON'T ADD A ROMANCE PLOT 2k15

Why I'm so angry

  1. Because it ruins my day every time
  2. Because it makes every other aspect about the book irrelevant, if I think about that book in retrospective all I see is the terrible romance subplot the author was too lazy to develop
  3. Because sometimes there is so much lost potential
  4. Because I didn't sign up for this

When I want to read about romance, I want it all and from the start. I want to know to be able to pinpoint the second the characters fall in love and I want to be able totell exactly what makes them special to the other. The most fun thing about romance novels to me is especially the lead-up to it. I won't care about a relationship unless the beginning is strong and the characters got me hooked individually.
Logically, if that is missing, why would I care? Why would I care about two people that I don't even know? Character building is essential for characer-driven novels, especially for romance.

And yeah, if we're talking about a novel that isn't only about the romance, get out. There is NO justification for a poor instant-love romance side plot in a novel that isn't about that.

What are your thoughts on instant-love in books?

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