You may have already answered this question, but I was wondering how you say no to an author if you simply don’t want to read the book because it doesn’t interest you.

Thanks for your answer. Your Book Blogging 101 is sooo helpful!  – Anon

This is shameful. But a lot of the time I don’t respond. I feel really horrible writing this and people are going to be all gaspy, but you can’t review them all and if I took the time to write a “thank you but no” email to every review request I would never get anything done. Now that just sounds egotistical. But it is the truth. I spend literally 4-6 hours a day doing this, if I answered every email I would have to add another 2 hours to that. Then on top of that, the authors that I have replied “thank you but no” to, sometimes will not take no for an answer. Because sometimes I’m nice – like if it is a 3rd in a series, I’ll say – “I can’t possible read it out of order”. So what do they do? Send me all three books. Or I’ll reply “This book doesn’t seem to go well with my blog’s theme.” And they’ll respond with “couldn’t you make an exception?”

So, I stopped responding to about 80% of the request. For those 20% that I do respond to, I usually just say, something to the effect of:

“Thank you so much for your interest in my blog! Right now I can not guarantee a review because of time constraints and the amount of review copies that I have currently in my queue.” More or less ‘I’m waaay too busy‘, but it is the truth. Too many books, too little time, right?

To even rant more about this subject, because I do feel terrible for ignoring emails, but you want to review every book. Or at least I do. I would love to. Self-pubs, off genre, 3rd in series…but if you accept every book for review, you’ll literally drown in review copies. Then on top of it, if you accept a copy that you are unsure about. Something that just might not be up your alley, but the author is SOOO nice and she needs the publicity…well chances are you aren’t going to like that book and then you’ll be stressing yourself out because you have to write a BAD review and the author is SOOO nice.

True story. I was talked into reviewing a 2nd in series. Because you know, it could be treated as a stand alone. On reading it, it wasn’t a stand-alone, there was tons of back-story that could have helped me enjoy this book better. I wrote a so-so review. The author got mad at me and wrote me an email saying that I didn’t do her book justice and I should have “looked a little deeper.” Then guess what? She asked if I wanted to review the first book. *face palm*

Moral of this story. Be nice, but be firm and if you really don’t want to, don’t say anything.

Thanks for the great information as always. I went to a QR code session at one of the co-located conferences at BEA I think it was IDPF . Chuck Martin has a book out on QR and Snap codes. Becurious is a good site.
QR codes can send someone somewhere- basically to any URL. What happens at that URL is up to the person who has that site.  Heineken  has one on their beer cases that helps you find a cab when you might be tipsy after a drink. Authors may have them on bookmarks that take you to something interactive, or a movie poster may take you to a trailer.  If you see the poster and click the code it will take you there.
I have yet to find a good use. – Steph, fangswandsandfairydust

Business Cards! Advertisements. Posters, bookmarks, book covers. Target marketing is some of the best uses for it that I can tell. You throw up a QR code for a promotion that you are running, like say a “Midsummer Blog Giveaway” and it takes you directly to that post. I’ve seen QR codes in the signature of emails. Just some suggestions.

How do you add a “subscribe via e-mail” or RSS thing if you use blogger? – Patti (Book Addict)

It is a Blogger Gadget now. New! Just go to gadget and it is the first one on the list now.

In talking about the FTC you said: “You have to disclose that you received that book in exchange for a review.”

Does that mean that if I get a book or E-book from a author/publisher to review –and get nothing in return for the review– that I have to put somewhere on the review that I received it to review from the publisher/author? – Holly

Yes. You have to declare it.  I write something like “review copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review”. Because technically you have gotten something for that review. A FREE BOOK.

How do you add a link into comments? Such as if I am wanting to put my blog link into a signature? Right now it only lists the actual URL, without it being a link. Thanks so much! – Ariel @ The Librarian’s Bookshelf

HTML. You have to do some HTML.


http://www.parajunkee.com“> – this tag tells the browser that it is a link and the http://www.parajunkee.com is the link that you want the URL to go to.

parajunkee.com is the text that will show up in the browser as the link

tells the browser that you are closing the link

I watched the screencast of adding pages to blogger, I’m pretty familiar with that aspect, but I am not sure how to turn the pages into mouse-over dropdown menus (i.e Features -> Book Blogger 101 mouseover).

I feel like I get asked this question every week. Sorry I know you didn’t know. But drop down navigation is very complicated and is not a standard in blogger. You would actually have to hire someone who knows code. Or work with a program like this free one here: http://www.cssmenumaker.com/drop_down_css_menu.php

Or learn to code CSS and HTML. I recommend:

CSS tutorials

So I just started blogging and it happened to a week that everyone was buzzing about BEA.  Being new I know it’s a conference with a lot of writers and bloggers, and that it’s in NYC which isn’t all that far of a drive.  But here’s the impression I’m getting and I’d like to know if I’m wrong or not.  It sounds like a big conference where you pay for a hotel and a ticket or pass then go into to stand in massive lines and then buy books you want which will hopefully be signed by the author.  Then you come home and give all said books away.  It sounds like an extremely expensive way to buy books that I could order on amazon that just wouldn’t have the benefit of being signed.  Signatures are cool but the difference between a few hundred a book (when you count in the cost of the hotel travel and tickets) versus $20 doesn’t really make them worth it especially if you have to then give them away.  Am I getting the wrong impression when I read these posts people have about BEA.  What exactly occur?  What is the average cost of all of this? Why should someone want to do it? Is it something you have to be invited to? Is it something that if you want to make this book blogging thing work you should strive to attend? Thank you very much for taking the time to answer questions like this.  I really appreciate your time and wealth of information.


Welcome to Book Blogging Jenn. Let’s clear up a few things. For one BEA is huge for bloggers. One of the PROS is that you get to meet your favorite authors. Our fave authors are our ROCK STARS! There is a reason why I paid $50 bucks for books and stood in line (behind a bookshelf) for three hours to meet Sherrilyn Kenyon for 2 minutes. It doesn’t make sense logically, but it made sense to me at the time. It rocked.

So on top of being able to mingle with your favorite authors, you also get to meet and get acquainted with publisher contacts.  This is also a HUGE deal for book bloggers, because publisher contacts are usually who send you those review copies, sponsor contests and set up author interviews.

Then, at BEA you don’t buy most of the books. You buy the finished copies, (usually at discounted prices though) but all ARCs and galleys are given to you by those publisher contacts that you are meeting. On top of that, a lot of the publishers offer coupons that you can print out and bring to their booth to receive finished copies of books. That is fun!

BEA is an experience that I have yet to tackle. Mainly because NYC is rather far and cost of hotel accommodations and flights, well, over my budget. I would love to go though. I was actually planning on attending this year, until I found out ALA 2011 would be in my backyard one month later. Don’t need hotel accommodations for that one 😉 So I chose to sit this one out.

You do not have to be invited. It is open for anyone that wants to buy a ticket to attend.

You also do not have to give books away. BEA attendees are giving away extra copies because they ROCK and are just that generous. XOXO Guys!

Maybe one of my readers that attended BEA can chime in and give us an estimate as to how much it costs.

As to why you would want to do this. I guess if you have to ask, it’s probably not for you. For me, like I said earlier it is about making contacts, meeting authors, other bloggers, getting some hot ARCs, meeting authors…I mentioned that, right? Do you understand the high I will be on when I get to meet Orson Scott Card this Saturday???!!! I’m going to be a nervous wreck. Complete lunatic. Patti is going to have smelling salts and prozac waiting for me. LOL

Little TMI. Sorry.

And finally. No you do not have to attend any of these conferences to make book blogging work for you.

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

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