I had a ton of questions submitted from last week, so we are doing this in two parts today. This is part I, part II will be released later today.

How long should you have been book-blogging before you start requesting ARCs and how big a following should you have? I know it doesn’t only depend on your stats, but I’m just wondering how many followers or visitors are acceptable as good stats, so I won’t waste my time contacting publishers if mine aren’t big enough…Thanks! – Hannah

A: There is really no formula. I’ve heard that it usually takes 6 months of steady blogging for you to start getting approved by publishers. Follower count has never been disclosed. But, I’ve heard publishers specifically mention the six month mark. It is never a waste of time, even if the request is to just get your blog name on their lips for two seconds.

How do you make a button for your blog? I love how you have a logo with the words embedded in it. Does it require HTML knowledge or can a layperson do it? – Dana Wright

A: Create your button, there are some great paint like programs, such as paint.net or gimp.org that you can download to create a button. All you really need is a 200 x 75 canvas, pick a background color and put a text overlay with the name of your blog and save it as a .jpg .gif or .png.

If you don’t want to go through that hassle their are online button makers:

Viola – you now have a button!

When adding pics to your blog, you have a few choices like “upload” or “use pics from this blog”. How do you clear out all those pics from “use pics from this blog”? I’m getting a lot and need to clean up.  Thanks – Jennifer @ The Book Nympho

A: Google saves these pics to your Picasa web album. You can edit and rearrange these if you login into your picasa account through the gmail attached to your blogger account. But, here is the kicker. If you delete anything it deletes them from your blog. So on that post you might have written two years ago with the pretty image of Bones Fan Art that you wanted to feature just once but are now tired of looking at in your FROM THIS BLOG image library – well if you delete it, then your post is literally just a post that says, “Check Out This Image” with no image. And unless you want to delete the post entirely, I wouldn’t recommend deleting the image. Yes, it is a pain, but your blog directly links to that images web address, so it might make things crazy on your blog if you delete and move things around for the sake of cleaning things up.

I know publishers are interested in a blog’s stats. But what consitutes good numbers? I’m sure this is subjective and hard to pin down but I honestly have no frame of reference. What’s a respectable number of followers, monthly page views, unique visitors, etc? (Nobody talks about it, but it feels like the elephant in the room.) – Thanks for all your tips! – Jen

A: There is no real answer to this. I think one follower is a good number, at least someone cares about what you have to say, right? Like I said in the answer earlier, the only specific stat that I have heard, was the six month of blogging. I reached about 500 followers at six months and I began to “take off”, meaning requests began coming in at a regular basis.

I am new to the world of reading book blogs and have really enjoyed doing so. I have been rolling around the idea of starting one hoping to express my views and generate further discussion. However, all that I see and read gives the appearance of being immensely time consuming. I greatly admire those who are putting it out there and wonder how to manage my time between husband, family, work, reading. My question is how much time does getting started and maintaining a blog take, is it daily, weekly or what? This may be dumb question, but it is the one burbling in my mind.  Denise

A: DAILY. Would you like to know a day in the life of Parajunkee? Here goes:

  • 6:10 am – Wake up
  • 6:12 am – Brush teeth and that fun stuff
  • 6:20 am – Sit down at computer, check email that came in over night and proof-read the post that is going live today
  • 6:30 am – Wake up little doodle
  • 6:45 am – back in bathroom, get dressed, make-up etc.
  • 7:00 am – kid should be dressed, make breakfast, make lunch, when kid sits down to eat breakfast, I’m back on the computer, finish checking email and making the post live.
  • 7:35 am – Out the door, dropping doodle off and to work I go
  • 8:00 am – working
  • 8:30 am checking email, opening twitter, responding to tweets
  • 10:00 am responding to comments on posts, check email again, tweet
  • 12:00 – check email again, start writing up future posts at lunch, tweet, check goodreads.com, tweet and then read while eating lunch.
  • 2:00 pm respond to more comments, email, twitter, facebook, stalk fun blog posts that came through
  • 4:00 pm respond to more comments, email, twitter, facebook
  • 5:30 pm – to home I go
  • 6:00 pm – 8:20pm – cooking dinner, family time, getting doodle to bed
  • 8:30 pm to midnight – checking email, responding to email, twitter, writing future posts, goodreads.com, stalking other blogs and then when done…read, read, read.

    Midnight – bath time (maybe j/k), bed prep, in bed and more reading until I can’t hold my eyes open anymore…and then it starts all over again.

Just a side note, my husband works late…so this does leave me with some alone time in those evening hours. We tend to have “family” time on weekends, when you do get a break from blogging a bit. It’s all about how you manage your time, but as you can tell it consumes you day in and day out, or at least me. There is nothing part-time about how I do it. And I think you can really tell the difference in the blogs that put a lot of effort and those that just “do-it” as a hobby.

This is a basic question so it has probably been covered before. I have just started writing and posting reviews for every book I read. I have been practicing and taking my time to review my work and make sure that it is good. Right now I don’t have my own blog to post on so I am using established sites like Amazon and Goodreads. Is this a good way to get started with book blogging? I have been checking out some of my favorite sites to see if they use guest bloggers but I am not sure that I am ready for that step yet. I want to polish my writing a little more first. What is a good length for a review? I don’t want to write something so long that noone will read it. Thanks! – Jen B.

A:I usually use a five paragraph go-by. First paragraph is an overall summary of the review, two paragraphs to recap “in my own words”, 4th paragraph my opinion on the book and then a final summation with a recommends in the last paragraph. I find this works for me. The main thing is that you want that review to have your opinion in it. You don’t have to put a summary of the book, you could just make it two paragraphs of your thoughts of the book. As long as it is well thought out review with concise thoughts and opinions you should be good.
I also started reviewing on amazon.com and a Facebook review app, so yes, I do think this is a good way to start out.

That’s not it folks. Check back later for part II. Talk Less. Read More. Happy Thusday.

Ask your BB101 Questions here…