Welcome to Book Blogging 101, a weekly feature on Parajunkee’s View that answers your questions and strives to share great book blogging tips and some helpful hints to help you on your way.

How do you get blogger button URL’s when using picasa, or any other type of illustration makers? – Anon

 

A: A lot of them differ, but in Picasa you would go to your web album, click on image, once it is in the viewer, right click and scroll to view image. It will show up alone in the browser. The URL in the browser is the URL to the image.

Im sad….Someone copied a feature of mine, one that Ive had established now for a year and Im really proud of. Basically they took it, renamed it and are doing it on a different day. I know I cant prove anything because Memes and features are a dime a dozen, but it still kinda makes me want to cry. So my question: How do I make mine better? Or can you recommend a good chocolate or a strong drink to numb the pain???? – A Very Sad Blogger

A: Yeah I would be sad too, especially if the blogger knows of you and your blog. Memes and feature *are* a dime a dozen and there are tons out there. There are also a lot of very similar ones. For some, the people come up with them naturally, that global consciousness or whatever new age thought it is attributed to. But, also, ideas are like snowballs. You might start it and as it rolls downhill others are sucked in. They might not even realize where they got the idea, they just chomp onto it. Because, really there are so many book blogs out there, it might be hard to discern who is what and which one does this and that, unless it specifically stands out. On top of that there really are no new ideas, we’ve been copying, modifying and jacking each other since this whole blogiverse started. If this person knowingly jacked it — shame on them – may their blog slowly fizzle and fade into internet oblivion. But, it could be an honest mistake, or their own generated idea that they didn’t realize was already in use. Unless they specifically jack the name — the concept/idea can’t be packaged as yours — they can’t really get in trouble. If this was the case we would only have one hamburger fast food restaurant (the person that has the most money to copyright a hamburger). This is where trademark stuff comes into play. Just know you did if first and take pride in that.

My suggestion is to make your stuff shine. Better than ever baby. Grab that meme by the horns and shake it until a golden cow pops out. Usually brainstorming over margaritas works the best, so ditch the chocolate. There is just something about tequila that gets the juices pumping. I usually ditch the sour mix also and just go straight for tequila shots, depending on the label.

And ruminate on this, you did it first, you did it so well someone had to emulate it – you know where it came from, anything else is just a sad imitation right?

We know who came first in this “idea war” and who did it much better…when an idea gets attention and does well, there is always someone licking at the boot heels trying to recreate the success.

Seems global consciousness also comes in question form:

How much should a book blogger charge for ad space? – Cathy K.

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I’m curious to know at what point in a blog’s life would it be okay to start looking for advertisers? Do you go to them or do publishers come to you? And how much does someone charge to have an ad placed on a blog? Thanks for your help, – Ellie

A: Let me state this from the get-go, it is all about traffic. People will not pay you cash money in advertising for a blog that has very little traffic. What is very little traffic? Your advertisers will be judging you on your daily visits, the number of comments you are getting – those sort of things. If you are generally only getting a few comments per post, have under 100 visits daily, jump rates of over 60%, than really you are just starting out. You could always put that you are interested in accepting advertisers, but don’t expect a lot of bites.

Now once your blog gets jumping, your are getting 250+ blog hits daily, numerous comments, things like that, then expect that people will want to advertise on your blog.

Think of it as a storefront. You open for business – but if you are in the middle of no where will you sell anything??

What to charge? That is based on the demand. Start out low, maybe $20 or so a month. If you get hits and fill up those spots in a couple of months charge $30. Supply and demand baby. Smaller ad space is going to be less of course, the higher on the page is going to be more. A rotating ad as opposed to a static ad – the rotator (refreshing brings up another advertiser) is going to be cheaper.

Generally they will come to you, from visiting your blog. You can send out a general PR, tweet it, post it, even send out a PR email. But, most likely your advertisers will be visitors to your blog that stop by, like what they see and want you to pimp them out.

What should you do if you win a giveaway on someone’s blog, but never receive the winnings? – Bekka

A: You email them. Look, I’m at fault – takes my butt forever to get to the post office to mail out books. Not because of any fail on my part – just because it’s a chore and just another thing to remember. Also, it might not be from the blogger, it could be from the publisher or the author and they get their lines of communication crossed all the time. It happens. I’ve had publishers drop the ball – BIG TIME. I’ve had publishers send out a copy of the book 10 x 10 meaning 10 people got 10 copies of the book. Mistakes happen. Emailing them nicely will do it. If they ignore the email, email them again. If they still don’t respond, don’t enter their giveaways any more. Unfortunately there isn’t a giveaway police. I’m sure you could report them to the FTC if that is how you want to handle things. But, that might be a bit harsh. BTW thanks for the heads up about my <title> XOXO

Oh, and on a side-note regarding something that happened to me yesterday – unless you plan on really sticking it to the blogger, do not TWEET it out. I really suggest keeping things private if you hope to resolve the issue – because once you go on twitter you go public. A public call-out that the person is slacking on their giveaway responsibilities will tarnish the blogger’s street cred and embarrass them. So, if that is your intention then by all means, that is your karma. But, if you are just trying to inquire – I might DM them, or if they don’t follow you – @ them and ask them to DM you because you have a question. Always remember twitter is a public forum and even if you only have 2 followers, people can still Google your tweets, they show up in searches, they show up in my Google Alerts – public forum that lasts forever. So, think before you tweet, because even though you can delete tweets – they don’t always go away.

How do I get more people to leave a response?  I tend to keep my posts really short and don’t like to be verbose.  Is there something I am doing wrong in keeping my posts short? – Melissa

A: I don’t think it is short as opposed to long, it’s probably content. That sounds harsh. But, in all honesty, your blog is a discussion or conversation. Who are you? Are you the person in the conversation that says inane thoughts that people ignore or do you generate quality conversational topics that get people talking? Think on it. If a blog post doesn’t push me to respond I’m not going to comment and I think others might agree with me. Engage your readers and then they will be compelled to comment. And then of course, traffic. Make sure you have people coming to your blog. I think the ratio is 1% of viewers comment. If you have only a few people viewing the site, chances are low for comments. So, you might want to concentrate on pulling readers in also.

Now for the Big Weiner of the day…

{Deleted Blogger’s Name to protect the innocent}’s blog is so much better and she has a meme like this. I think you just want to be like her. – Anon

We can only aspire can’t we? But, really, this is to the Anon directly – the blogger you named, that is the **farthest** from the truth. That actually made me giggle, because really there are blogs that I would love to emulate — great bloggers that have their sh*t together and awe me all the time, that blog, is not one of them, nothing personal, well maybe a little personal, but it is just not a blog I even like, much less want to be when I grow up. Now, the ones I previously mentioned, oh pinnacles of blogging perfection, I could only hope to be as great as these ladies/gentleman. Do I want to be just like them? Nah. I’m my own person. It’s why in Catholic School they called me a heretic (really my religion teacher used that word) and in grown up life, adjectives like, artistic, unorthodox, unusual, different…oh and bitch (I think I’ve cursed more in this BB101 post than ever before on the blog). I’ve always liked to do thing my own way. It might be similar to other people, because really, I’m not a maverick and a great idea person, but I do like to be unique and while, I might have similar postings – or features (because this is not a meme, get the terminology correct) I’m not trying to copy anyone. If you don’t like the feature, don’t read it, I’m sorry if it offended you so much that you felt the need to get nasty anonymously. – XOXO PJ

I can’t get to all the questions, but please ask your BB101 Questions here…bring it on.