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.

I’ve had a few people ask me to review their books. They say they’ve read my review policies but were wondering if I could make an exception, or if there was someway to borrow something from someone so I could read their e-book. How do you politely (or even just not impolitely) tell them no. I always want to point out to them that ignoring what I’ve said I can review is no way to get me to want to review anything. But I can be rude sometimes… purely by accident. ::cough:: – Tara

I think of my review policy as Rachel’s personal menu. On my menu are items that I know I like, the tried and true genres that are within my tastes. Getting me to step off my menu is dangerous, much like if you were to ask me to taste test a flavor of ice cream I’ve never liked. Chances are I’m not going to enjoy it. Trying something new is different. But, something I know I’m not going to like — from the get-go you are toeing a line, that 9 times out of 10 will have negative results. I DO NOT UNDERSTAND why people still insist on getting me to change my policy, much like they do to many of us.
I explicitly say I review only these specific genres. Yet, I am constantly being barraged with requests that are outside of those genres. What would you guys do if I reviewed a cookbook on Parajunkee’s View? Ignore it. It would probably get 1 or two comments and probably a lot of WTFs? How about a Christian Self-Help? The only way it would get a reaction would probably be if I tore it to pieces. Not good for the author, not good for my morals. This is why I never understand when authors or publicists try to talk a reviewer to step out of their review policy. It’s like advertising for a Golf Tournament in a Football magazine. Yes – they are both sports. Good luck with a return on that though.
Personally, I just ignore them. I would like to get snarky and reply with something like the above tirade, but negative breeds negative and I don’t want to start an email battle that might spill out on twitter — and the next thing you know I’m mean old Rachel that picks on indie authors and urinates on Christian Self-Help manuals.  (These rumors are all unfounded of course!)
Best, bet. Ignore it. If they are persistent with multiple emails then suggest to them, politely that forcing you to review their book will most likely result in a negative review, much like when you force that five year old to eat the carrots he’s been pushing around with his fork. Please don’t provoke the five year old.

Would you do a post on cyber bullying? I’ve seen a lot of people singled out and talked about in a negative way instead of focusing on the more general issue.  Where do you think the line is between freedom of speech, saying what you think, and just bullying someone via social media? – Jessica @ Books: A true story

Bill Belsey is considered the guy who coined the term “cyberbullying” he defines it as such: “Cyberbullying involves the use of information and communication technologies to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behaviour by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others.”

More groups have come out about it lately and it is considered mainly a problem within the preteen and teen population. Children are using it to attack other children by using the internet. But, I can see how it spills out into other online communities. But the basics of the situation is, Cyberbullying is an attack. Saying something like “Your book review blog sucks” wouldn’t fall in the line of cyberbullying. Now if day after day you were barraged with “Your book review blog sucks” by a group of people over and over again, then you are toeing the line of bullying. I think the difference is in the word attack. By voicing your opinion on a number of things this is not cyberbullying. I know you might feel like someone hurt your feelings because they didn’t like your book, or that pretty Blog Hop graphic you created and voiced their opinion online – but when you break it down, that is their opinion not an attack on you.

Attack vs. Opinion

Put it into perspective in a “real life” situation. Say there was this girl at your school or work and she told you one day that your dress was “horrendous“. Your feelings are hurt, you might think she is a total hag, but is she a bully? No.

Now, change it up. What if for the entire week, she told you that your outfits were terrible and then mentioned in front other people that you have terrible taste in clothes? She is pretty much in the bully category there.

Again, I think it all revolves around the word attack. Voicing an opinion is not attacking someone. A repeated barrage of that opinion meant to hurt someone else — that is an attack.

XO – Happy Thursday, Talk Less, Read More.

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