Contest question: If you give winners 48/72 (whatever it is) hours to respond, and they don’t, should you send a follow-up email telling them they missed out on their chance? If so, what should you say that’ll keep it polite?

What if they respond after 48/72 hours, and you haven’t yet chosen a new winner (and you were planning on choosing a new one), should you still give them another chance?

And last one: If you don’t specify a “respond by” time in the email, and you haven’t received a response from the winner after a week or so, can you pick a new winner? Or do they have an indefinite amount of time to reply because you didn’t specify?
– Riv Re

A: No. If you stated that they have 48/72 hours to respond to the email that is the extent of all you have to do. If you want to make nice and send that email, I would simply state.

“Sorry but your 48 hours have expired. A new winner will be chosen in your place. Please feel free to enter my other contests going on at right now! Just remember to answer that email!”

Follow your rules if you fee it is necessary. If you stated 48 hours stick to it. If you don’t want to go through the hassle though of picking a new winner and emailing them…why not just let your first winner have the book?? It can go either way. If I haven’t picked a winner yet, I usually give them the book. But I have had it where they have come back after I’ve already picked a winner – then you have to say, I’m sorry I’ve already picked a new winner.

If you didn’t name a response time, I would wait a week and then email again. If you haven’t heard back after the second email (48 hours) then pick another winner and email AGAIN saying that because you didn’t hear back from the first winner a new winner will be picked. This way you’ve covered all your bases.

In all my reviews, I include the genre of the book (age group like YA is included separately) but I have a hard time separating Urban Fantasy and Paranormal. Any clues? – Anon

A: Urban Fantasy and Paranormal can be the exact same thing. Yet, Paranormal can be a generalized descriptor that can be labeled with a lot of other genres, like Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction, Horror etc. So you can literally label an Urban Fantasy as a Paranormal book also.

What generalizes an Urban Fantasy? An Urban Fantasy is usually a fantasy set in the modern age in an urban setting. It is a sub-genre of the FANTASY genre, it is just it’s contemporary counterpart, because most fantasy genre novels take place in alternate historical realities. For example books like Lord of the Rings. It is said that the primary requirement is that the setting must be in a city. Yet, even now they are bending these rules by publishing rural Urban Fantasy novels where the settings are in country, back-water towns, yet these are usually modern novels. I hope this helps!

Where could we find a list of publishers that are supporters of book bloggers and help with ARC requests for reviews.  – Anon

A: I think I might have answered this question in a million different ways. Publisher lists don’t come easy, most book bloggers have been amassing contacts and that information is like gold to them, or at least for me. It’s like a salesperson’s contacts. Do you think a salesperson is just going to post a list of all their contacts on the web somewhere for other sales people to check out? Not very likely. UNLESS you find a really really nice book blogger that posted their own list…I really doubt they have something like this out there.

But, to explain more most publishers are very open in their support of book  blogs. Turn over any ARC and check out their Marketing list – it usually says Book Blog Tour as one of their bullet points.

Suggestion: Put in some time and do this yourself, it’s not easy and it takes time so start researching publishers and begin stalking their web sites. There is always a Contact Us section which will have an email that you can request ARCs through. There you go, this will be your first contact email.

What is the best way to advertise your blog? Simple question but I’m a newbie book blogger so any tips would help!  – Meg @ A Bookish Affair

A: Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Sign up for book blogging forums, like Ning sites and directories
  2. Comment on other blogs like yours and introduce yourself, always leave your URL
  3. Comment on author’s sites with meaningful comments and leave your URL
  4. Get on twitter and start making friends. Start by following other book bloggers and strike up conversations with them, soon you’ll have a following and then you can carry on meaningful twitter conversations and tweet out your reviews
  5. Get on facebook and friend all your book bloggers that are like you
  6. Network, network, network
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 d
ownloads, 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 posts…so 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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