This is where I pretend that I know what I’m talking about.

Spawned from the Big Sis, Little Blog program, Book Blogging 101 was born. Do you have a question? Leave it in the google docs form and I’ll try and answer them in the order they are received.

Q: How many reviews must I post in a week. I have a problem reading more than two books, sometimes I only manage one book a week – is this a problem?

A. There really isn’t a must. It is really about personal preference.

Things you might want to keep in mind.

  1. Not everyone has the ability to read as fast or as much as others, so don’t compare yourself to others. There are some bloggers that can read a book a day. I’m jealous of these readers, but having a job, a child and a husband does not allow me this luxury. Personally I think there are very few people that can do this…librarians. Now that is a job I’m envious of. Not saying that librarians just sit around and read all day – but wouldn’t it be lovely??
  2. There are other things besides reviews that you can post on your blog. (I’ll expand on this below)
  3. If you are feeling pressured to read more and review more maybe read a few short stories and review them, this way you feel you are reading and reviewing quicker.
  4. Maybe stay away from the HUGE epic novels for a bit. On a personal note I currently have THE HALF-MADE WORLD on my currently reading shelf. It is semi-long and more importantly an intense, in-depth read, not one that you will sit down and get engrossed in, more like something you read and contemplate. I’ve been reading it for like 3 weeks with other books in between. I even downloaded the audio book thinking I might be able to digest it better. The book is very good, don’t get me wrong, it is just not a read a page here — move along and do laundry — pick it back and up and be ok. My point. Try to manage your reading shelf with books you know you might be able to finish quickly, leaving the bigger ones for times that you know you have a little wiggle room to read longer.

Let’s expand on Item #2 above. I actually did a previous BB101 on prolific posting that you might want to refer to. {Here} It is just basically a list of memes that you might want to consider participating. But there is always that fine line, a fine line between just putting up a post to have a post, or actually conveying quality information to your readers.

Think of your blog as a media outlet. You are there to pass on information, you decide what that information will be, whether you are just writing a chronicle of your life as a reader, or you are set on just posting about books, books and more books. Making that distinction from the start is always helpful. Sort of like writing your mission statement. Think about the first paragraph of your ABOUT ME, this is usually a type of mission statement. Mold your posts around this mission statement.

If your mission is to talk about yourself and your life and your books, write fun posts about how you went shopping and what books you purchased, or your favorite reading spots, or other things that are not reviews – but are pertinent to your blog.

If you blog mission is to be a site dedicated to just reviews and information on books, maybe intersperse your reviews with FYI posts. Memes like the Waiting On, even though it doesn’t have to be that exact meme. Write about books that you want to buy, books that are being released soon, fun happenings on authors blogs. Once you get a little more daring, send interview questions to your favorite authors and post their answers on your blog. Ask other bloggers to do guest posts or reviews.

Personally, I like to post book trailers if they were just released, and cover art. I know All Things Urban Fantasy has a great cover feature where she discusses new covers and whether she likes them or not. It is called Cover Art Coverage. Of course don’t copy this idea, but it shows great ways of BOOK TALKING without reviewing.

Now for what I think you might want to stay away from. This is defined by stuff people don’t really want to read. The filler posts and nonsense memes are basically it. The memes that are just there to fill in the space. (I’m really trying to hold my fingers from typing up the memes that I think are a waste of bandwidth space)

As a beginner blogger I participated in a few of these types of memes. But quickly found that I really wasn’t getting any meaningful comments, except the standard… “Great pick, this is mine…URL.” or “Thanks for sharing. This is my post URL.” What it breaks down to, is that these memes are just there for generating cross blog visiting. I’ll show you mine, you show me yours type of posts. Which in essence is not bad, you want to network, meet other bloggers, etc, but for those readers that are not other bloggers or are not participating in that particular meme, they really don’t want to read that. Once again, make the decision on whether you want to participate in a particular meme based on your personal preference. I always weigh the pros and cons.

I’m pretty sure my Friday Follow blog hop probably aggravates a few people, especially when you scroll down through your Reader and it is all Blog Hop posts from book bloggers. Yep, that would aggravate me if I didn’t participate. I made the conscious decision to start it on a day that is normally a little slow on my blog. It generates a lot of traffic, but I know that it is not pulling in “real” readers. It eats at my blogger conscious. I justify it to myself, because I’ve made it a side mission of mine to be a spring board for start-up book bloggers (hence this BB101 posts) and the blog hop does help newbie bloggers gain more followers. For me the Pros outweigh the Cons. I apologize to anyone that it insipidly drives closer the threshold of insanity. I really mean no harm.

But, I did weed out other posts that I thought were just “posts to posts”. Which was one of the reason why I stopped posting “awards”. At first I thought they were great and was very touched that other bloggers thought of me in these awards, but then as more and more awards came out and the amount of bloggers increased that you had to “pass it on” to, I came to realize that these awards were really more like those chain mail emails and just a way to say, “Hey I’m here.” The awards where you passed it on to two or three bloggers that actually had a bit of thought put behind them were one thing…but then these awards started coming out where you passed it to 20 bloggers, it just got out of hand. The YOU ARE A BLOGGER AWARD pass it on to 20 people that blog, I saw no benefit in posting things like that. I don’t see anything wrong with them, just me personally, I don’t do them any more. Maybe if they became more meaningful, awards based on merit that fit a criteria that bloggers can pass on to maybe one or two other bloggers…I would probably consider participating again. Once again just my personal preference. I still think it is nice to be thought of when I receive these, I just won’t do a post on my blog and pass them on.

To wrap this up, because it is getting a little long. Make a conscious effort to post quality posts that people want to read and you should be A-OK. Don’t stress and try to read ten books a week and don’t think you are failing because you can only do 1 review a week. Shoot for a post every other day and that should be enough. But, remember. The more you post, the more you lure people in with your information. Just make sure quality precedes quantity. Three posts a day on nothing but crap doesn’t make a prolific blogger…

Ask your BB101 Questions here…