Your posts always looks so pretty, with its different fonts and formatting intricacies. And uniform….so nice and uniform! When composing a post, do you work purely in the HTML portion of Blogger’s editor, or do you use some external software (Live Writer, Blogo, etc.)?  – Alisha S.

A: Alisha, I format my post in the HTML portion. I utilize the new Google Font Directory and separate things in DIVs. I can do this because I can code HTML and CSS. I recommend lynda.com, for a small $25 a month you get plenty of great tutorials and teach yourself HTML and if you are really a go-getter, CSS.

Most book bloggers have an alphabetical list for their book reviews that sorts each book review by title. Do they go into blogger and do it manually or is there some type of short cut I don’t know about?

Thank you for your help. You are awesome! – Trish

A: Trish – First, thank you so much, you are awesome too 😉 Second, I know this is crazy, but yep they pretty much do it manually. There is no short-cut that I know of that will help you out. Personally, I have begun to track my reviews in an excel sheet on Google Docs. This would be a good way to maintain your list and you can copy and paste from that.

Ever since I started getting in contact with publishers, I’ve had a few books sent to me (some solicited, others unsolicited). Most of them I plan on reading & reviewing but I do occasionally get a book that I honestly have no interest in (and don’t see myself reading anytime soon). I’ve donated some of them to my public library and I was wondering: are publishers are okay with that?  S

A: S – They would like to you to review them, that is why they sent it to you. If you said yes, to accepting that book than you really should review it. Now, if it was unsolicited, if the book doesn’t pique your interest, I wouldn’t read it.  This is why I always stress to bloggers that when you get a review request in, take a look at the synopsis of the book – if you like the sound of the book, accept it, if you don’t – turn it down!! A person that doesn’t like dystopian shouldn’t accept a dystopian book for review. You’ll end up writing a bad review. And that, my friend is what a publisher does not want.

I use a lighter text color for my posts because my blog background color is dark. But that means that my posts are not very readable on the Google Reader because of the light font. Is there any way around it? I mean is there any way I can change the font which appears on the Google Reader (make it darker) without changing the font of the posts? I hope this makes sense. – Anon

A: I would suggest changing the font color in your CSS and not in the blogger editor. If you are primarily changing your colors in your Blogger Editor, maybe think about changing your overall body font to that color. This way it will show up in black in your reader instead of that light font.


How do you feel about bloggers who insert pictures of their pets, kids, and other family members in the the sidebars of their blog?  Does this help readers trust a blogger or does it look unprofessional? 
– ArtsyBookishGal

A: Artsy – You know, your blog is yours so do what you want with it. You want to stick that picture of yourself with Tiana the Disney Princess on your sidebar, by all means have at it. Want to show off your ten billion cats, why not? Does it make you look unprofessional? Yes. Professional entertainment blogs, web pages and newspapers do not have pictures of the owners dogs and cats on it. But, is it your aspiration to be a professional looking blog? That is the main question. If the answer is you want to look professional, I would take off all the riff-raff. If you aim is to look like a sole person’s blogging outlet, then keep the pics up. It is all about your intentions as a blogger. I think family pics might inspire a family friendly environment and not give the more rigid feel of professional type blogs, but I don’t know if they inspire more trust than a more professional looking blog. I guess it is really a matter of opinion – if you trust a down-home girl, that likes cats more than a professional blogger’s opinion than you’ll like the blog with the pictures of the cats.

I’ve had a professionally designed template but my fonts for my Post titles, Sidebar titles and blog post text are standard.  How do I go about changing it to something I want? 

I’d love to have my posts changed permanently to handwritten fonts etc so do I customize this in the template html?

Thanks for the help. I love the Book Blogging 101 it’s very helpful!  – Curious Blogger

A:Hi Curious Blogger – First back up your template. Then you would go in
to your template designer, if your professionally designed template allows it (if a caution prompt comes up it is not allowed) and one in you would go to the tab that says ADVANCED. Once you click on that a series of options become available that allows you to change color and fonts. Depending on the template base that was used you can change your gadget titles, post titles and even the post font, click around in there and take a look, you might be surprised at what you can do! If your template was created before the switch over to the new Blogger Templates, you might want to contact your designer and ask for an upgrade…they might do this for you for a very small fee. I know I transitioned a few of my clients from their old templates to the new templates with very little headache and I don’t think I charged much.

I was wondering if I can limit access to just one Tab/page on my blog in blogger. Cause I have a book blog where everything is suitable to all ages, but I have started a new tab/page on my Blog called “Naughty Goddess : After Hours” where I can post book reviews for the adults only. I know blogger has a thing where you can show a warning before you even see the blog, and I fear that will put off my younger readers but I still want to add a warning post for safe keeping when readers click the “Naughty Goddess : After Hours” tab/page. – Natasha @ Paranoral Goddess Blog

A:Hi Natasha – I have a feature just like that called Parajunkee After Hours. I just put a image on the post and a warning that says for mature audiences only. There is no way to limit a section of your blog without limiting the whole thing.

This is probably a common sense question, but… is it inappropriate to let a little of the fangirl out when replying to a review request from an author you absolutely love? If so, where do you draw the line? I’ve stayed completely professional but, really wanted to “Squee!” Which I did only in my head.  – Aimee

A:Hi Aimee, it is ok to let that author know that you are a fan, but maybe keep it a bit low key. Like what do you think is more professional:

Girl walks into an author signing. It is her turn at the table. She looks at the author and says, “Thank you for coming to my town, Ms. Author. I really enjoy your books, especially BOOK WONDERFUL, which had me up late at night reading until I finished. I really appreciate your craft.”

or

Girl walks into an author signing. She is dress like the author’s main character, right down to the gold Lamé shorts that the character sports. When it is the girls turn at the table to get her book signed she begins jumping up and down excitedly. “OMG OMG I am sooo excited to meet you!! You are the bestest author on the planet. That one scene where Markolla and Vanesalita hook up in the space ship with the Mongo Demon was just like EPIC and I had to stay up all night to get through to the end to find out if Vanesalita was really related to Markolla…and then when I finished it I couldn’t sleep because all I was thinking about what that cliffhanger and how I had to read your next book. And here it is. And I’m freaking out because I have to read it. LIke right now. SO you rock!!!”

I’m sure that the author will be thrilled with either response, in face a fangirl response might make their day. But if your aim is a certain professionalism…save the Squee!! for your buds. But, between you and me, I totally fangirled out on a few authors that got in touch with me, oh yeah and a certain publicists that thinks I’m a little off my rocker.

Is there a trick to getting blogger to allow comments from Anonymous users to show up? I had all my setting set so that anyone could post without moderations. However, none of the comments from Anonymous users are showing up at all. They come to me in an email. But they don’t show up in the post they were made on and they don’t show up on my comments page. I’m confuzled.  – Aimee

A:Hi again Aimee! You are trying to stump me! I think it has to do with comment moderation. Give this a try, go to you DASHBOARD > SETTINGS > COMMENTS

What do you have for, WHO CAN COMMENT? It should be Anyone.

Also, scroll down under Comment Moderation. If you want moderate them, click ALWAYS. I have mine set that posts older than 3 days have to be moderated, just so I give them special attention. If you don’t want to moderate click NEVER.

Then there is this next section: Email Address.
We will email you at this address when a non-member leaves a comment on your blog. Leave blank if you don’t want to receive these emails.
Keep it blank and you won’t be emailed, I think this might be the section you are worried about. Take your email out if it is in there, and maybe you won’t have the anon problem anymore.

With BEA around the corner I know all the In My Mailboxes are going to start pouring in with all the books that everyone managed to get from the conference. I don’t like In My Mailboxes`, I think it is just a way for book bloggers to brag about all the books they got fot review, their ARCs and things like that. Don’t you think it’s rude? I don’t know why everyone does these posts, it’s a very ego-boosting meme. The Book Blogging world would be better without it.  – Not Going to BEA

A:Hey Not Going to BEA – Personally, no I don’t think it is rude. I think the IMM meme is an outlet. A genius idea by the fab Story Siren. It is a promotional tool that bloggers use. We all know that we can’t get to all the books that come in. So we do a promo post with the book listed. A quick way of saying, check it out, look at what I’m interested in, without actually reviewing the books. 

Look, I know where you are coming from. Just put that grumpiness in check. I’m going to look at those IMM lists of all the BEA attendees and literally froth at the mouth. And I remember last year how much a few blogger “brag” posts pissed a tiny bit of the blogger population off. But, intrinsically it is just that nasty little book blogger jealousy rearing it’s ugly head again. Stomp down that jealousy! Be happy for those BEA attendees – they paid for those books by purchasing attendance badges, plane tickets
and hotel rooms…they deserve those books. Not to mention, most of those blogger come back and give away a TON of the books they get. Win. Win. In my book.

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

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