I had a ton of questions submitted from last week, so we are doing this in two parts today. This is part II, part I was published earlier today.

As a new blogger, how important is blog design versus content? I’m currently using one of Blogger’s templates with minor tweaks. Should I invest in a more personalised template design now or once my blog is more settled? – Shelagh @ The Word Fiend

A: Content comes first. Work on that content. You could have the prettiest blog on the www and if you content sucks, no one is going to read it. They might look and admire — but like my granny always says, beauty gets old, dumb is forever. Ok, that was a little harsh…but work on the content first and then wrap it in a pretty package.

Ok, I don’t know if there is an answer for this–but why doesn’t Blogger like ampersands (the “&” symbol)–It’s not like I’m going crazy with “&” signs all over the place, but I’ve noticed that if I go to preview or publish something and come back to edit my post that when I come back my “&” sign has made some new techno-babble-jargon friends that attach themselves and I have to remember to go back and look for them and erase them each time–which can become really annoying after the umteenth time.–Does this happen to everyone? Is it just me? Do I just need to stop using the “&” sign???? Thanks!!! 😀 – nymfaux

A: HTML interprets the & symbol as &

It is a very common problem, and basically blogger’s COMPOSE mode is a WSYWYG program, “What You See Is What You Get”

That means it takes what you type and turns it into HTML. The Blogger compose mode is not as sophisticated as some advanced WYSYG program and the & symbol is where you can see that lack of sophistication. You should avoid using symbols, even the – & “” symbol in titles, because it will interpret them as the HTML symbolic code. Check out this post and you can see what are considered symbols.

There is really nothing much you can do about it, hopefully blogger will update their WYSWYG and eradicate the problem.

Is there a way to alphabetize GFC followers in Blogger? ~Thank you.  Anon

A: From what I can tell, there is now way to alphabetize you GFC followers.

What do you do if you agreed to review a book and just aren’t feeling it for whatever reason – life gets in the way, you don’t like it, your dog ate it… – Thinking Cat

A: Unfortunatly this will happen. I put in my review policy that I don’t guarantee a review even if I accepted the book. But, I try very hard to NOT let this happen. But, you can’t read them all and I don’t review books if I haven’t gotten more than halfway through it. Politeness says email the author and say I am unable to review the book. Another idea would be to give the book away in a giveaway, so maybe someone else can read it and review it.

If the book is destroyed (your dog ate it) I would email the author and let them know. They might offer to send you another one.

Why do book bloggers “squee”? It’s annoying and I kind of hate it. It reminds me of the “woo girls’ on “How I Met Your Mother.” 🙂  ArtsyBookishGal

A: SQUEE is an expression of excitment or great happiness. It is actually not a book blogger phrase – but a comic/gamer phrase. It’s origins are actually thought to come from comics. And excited comic character would have a SQUEE! to denote excitment. The origins are actually thought to come from a comic called SQUEE! but that is not verified.

And if you want to get more into it, SQUEE! has now progressed into a fangirl expression. In it’s correct usage you would SQUEE! when you find out exciting news regarding something you are a fan of, i.e. “Nake pics of Alexander Skarsgård! SQUEE!!!!”

I’m sorry that it annoys you, but since facial expressions, happy dances and voice inflections are usually barred from the internet, we must express our happiness in some way. Fangirls go for the SQUEE!

How do you handle those books you simply cannot read in their entirety? Do you mention them, review them, what? – Rie @ Mission to Read

A:I usually mark them on goodreads as DNF and I do not review them if I didn’t get considerably into the book. But, if I have read more than half I will write a quick review on why I didn’t like it.

When requesting an ARC book from the publishers, when is best time frame? (2 months before release, 3 months?) – Book Savvy Babe

A: Three to Four months is the going time period that I’ve noticed. Sometimes there will be ARCs way in advanced but, from my experience 3 to 4 months in advance.

I have seen on a few sites, even here- for example on your Dystopian Book List page, you have a box round each book and it’s description, separating each of the books. I think this looks really effective and I would like to be able to do it. How do you get that effect?
Hope this makes sense.
– Book Savvy Babe

A: I use a style div or I use a blockquote. I did a previous BB101 on blockquotes here. See question #3.

That’s it folks. Talk Less. Read More. Happy Thusday. 

Ask your BB101 Questions here…