Book Blogging 101Today our #BB101 is finally back to questions and comments asked in earlier posts. I will try my hardest to answer these to the best of my ability.

Your 101 today on Blogger Police reminds me of a similar-but-different NEW issue. It feels very spammy, but some “anonymous” is posting on one of my older posts with “tips” and “offers to write” for me – with bad grammar, no less!! Full of suggestions of how to make my posts more attractive to my audience. Blogger is shuffling the comments into a SPAM file for me to review and allow-or-delete, but is there a way to block them from posting?

They’re discouraging and irritating at 2/day:

“I mean, I don’t wish to tell you how to run your website, but suppose you added something that makes people want more?”
“Why visitors still use to read news papers when in this technological globe all is accessible on net? My site: Facial Hair Growth”
Oh… and I’m well aware that I’m asking for technical assistance AND some PJ opinion, which I find refreshing and fun!! -Burgandy Ice

Someone is doing this to me also, telling me that I have spelling errors all throughout my posts and would I like them to check it for me. I’m assuming if I contact them they’ll propose a fee or something. It is most likely spam. My askimet plugin catches it, but it is very annoying. But, I can’t see any way to stop it, besides the SPAM filters. Luckily Blogger is catching them.  No one likes to be told that they have problems in their posts. Or at least not through comments. Whether spam or a real person, the best way to handle if you see errors on someone’s blog is to email them and do it as tactfully as possible. My suggestion would be to not allow anon comments for awhile and see if that cuts them out entirely. Or just resign yourself to the fact that you’ll have to see them in a Spam folder.

Along with the Amazon affiliate thing: I signed up once and then I was discouraged by it wanting my tax id. What is that all about? Could you elaborate on what that side of it means? – Amber

You would have a Tax ID # if you were a business. If you are just doing it as a single sole proprietor and not a business, then you would just use your Social Security number. This is how Amazon would actually send in info to the IRS if you make over a certain amount. Because you are technically making income money.

If someone copies reviews from Amazon to boost their own affiliate sales, even though they are keeping my name on them, Is there anything I can do about it? What steps do I need to take? – Chandra

You can email the site and ask them to take it down. They are giving you credit so there is technically no violation of copyright and I haven’t been able to narrow down the exact Amazon TOS that states it, but I’ve heard that Amazon does allow some sites to republish their reviews and you can’t do anything. It’s what you agree to when you publish on their site. But Amazon does have a copyright violation area that you can email them about if you believe you are being violated.

Part of the book blogging world is the fun of entering contests and, if you’re lucky, winning from time to time. Lately, I have been finding that several of the items I win are never delivered/lost/never even sent (and, yes, I am responding within the window of time allotted with shipping info and such). I usually check in on items about a month after being notified of winning, if I do not receive the items. But, at what point should I just chalk it up to a loss and stop asking about it? I never want to seem rude for asking, but what is the line of proper etiquette? When I do giveaways on my site, I always ask to be notified when the item arrives, and check up on it myself if I don’t hear anything. I don’t want to be greedy, but I usually very excited to think of the awesome new book that is coming my way- only to be disappointed with an empty mailbox. Sorry for the windy message- thanks! – Twisty J

I am so guilty of this Twisty. I usually wait until I have built up a few books to send to go to the post office. So it will probably take about a month for people to get the books they win from my sight. I am never upset if someone emails me to check on it. I’ve also shipped a book and had it get lost in the mail. It was an international ship too, which made it even worse. Because I felt so helpless about the whole thing. Hindsight is always 20/20 and I probably should have gotten a tracking # — but the difference was about $25 in shipping. The whole point of this, is if the blog that ran the giveaway has honorable intentions, your emails will not be considered a nuisance. More of a reminder. Just email them privately, never call them out publicly, because that can be embarrassed and make them get POd at you.

My suggestion is I would email them, probably after a month and then if you still haven’t received it in a few weeks email again. There is no real etiquette as long as you keep it professional, if they are replying and saying they just haven’t made it to the post office, give them time…if they aren’t responding at all to the emails, I would then maybe take it to their site with a comment like “Hey, I’ve sent you a few emails regarding the giveaway I won, can you please email me back.”

Nothing over the top and accusatory.

If you still haven’t heard back, I would bet they aren’t honoring their giveaway. Then I would probably stop entering giveaways on their site and probably stop following them all together. But, the best bet is to email…you never know what has happened.

It’s really funky to think that people will hosts giveaways with no intention of honoring their winner. But, I’m sure it happens. It’s happened about four times to me actually.

Hi Rachel,

I was wondering if you have any suggestions for software that can be used to pimp up vlogs? I just recently decided that I want to show my readers the person hiding behind the blog name. The only thing is that my vlogs are a bit lifeless(well obviously I’m alive but you get my point ;)), I want to spruce them up a bit. I know some styling can be done with the YouTube editor, but the editor has it’s limitations.

Before I say au revoir I want to thank you for all your excellent posts, both reviews, discussion posts and your WONDERFUL 101 posts. I have learned so much about blogging from Parajunkee’s View and I reckon I will continue to do so in the future as well 🙂 – Mari – Escape In A Book

I use iMovie for my vlogs – and the Windows version is the Windows Movie Maker, I believe. Adobe software also has a few great ones that are relatively affordable. I would recommend just going into your local electronics store and asking a clerk, they probably know the best one that will work with your camera or built in webcam – that is the best way to do the research, because you don’t want to purchase software that can not import the kind of video your camera puts out.

Thank you for the compliments – I still haven’t figured out why these are so popular. LOL

How is the new follow linky working out? Is it the new GFC? – Jennifer

Any “social” program is only as good as its popularity. While I have noticed a lot of people using it, it is not GFC yet, but maybe give it time. The GFC widget is failing on a lot of blogs, I have a feeling Google will either bring it up to speed or just slowly faze it out. Only time will tell.

On blogger where do you find the unique visits in your stats? – Melissa @Harley Bear Book Blog

Melissa you have to install Google Analytics into your Blogger blog in order to check your unique visits. It is just installing a string of code into your template if you go to the site they have a walk through.

Um, you say it’s cheating or plagarism or whatever to take a Meme without permission, yet you have done this yourself, have you not?

Your ‘Desperately Wanting Wednesday’, may include old books as well as new, but it is clearly a poor disguise of ‘Waiting on Wednesday’. So your whole post is utterly pointless if you do not follow what you preach.

Are you really that daft or just trying to find new ways to gain followers, by making cheap memes??

Good day!

Kelly’ – Kelly Brookes

Nice fake url there Kelly. I usually don’t post ignorance like this, but I thought the DWW thing should probably be brought up. First things first, I never said um…”it’s cheating or plagarism or whatever to take a Meme without permission”

I said: “If others were coming up with memes like My Mailbox or similar titles, with a similar graphic, yes I would claim that as plagiarism…but if they have original graphics, original titles…the claim of plagiarism is only to distract from the real issues. The real issue being it’s a matter of etiquette.”

Creating a similar meme is NOT cheating or plagiarism (notice spelling) it is bad etiquette.  Am I at fault for this?

Maybe. Probably.

My ‘Desperately Wanting Wednesday’ is because I loved to do the WOWs but I wanted to feature books that weren’t necessarily going to be released. I’m not trying to disguise it as anything, especially not an original idea; the WOW is like a staple of the blogging world. I’m still lost to figure out how I’m not following what I preach. If I was doing a meme called Waiting on Wednesday and claiming that I created it, then I would be cheating or plagiarizing. Once again, I guess I’m just a perpetrator of Bad Etiquette, even though I did email ‘Breaking the Spine’ when I started it – just didn’t get a response.  Granted I probably should create a DWW main page and credit the original meme inspiration. So, thanks for prodding me into it. But, calling me daft and saying my meme is cheap and a way to grub followers – well that is just being ugly, incendiary and again just trying to detract from the whole point of the post. NOT TO CONFUSE PLAGIARISM with BAD ETIQUETTE. Which obviously flew right by you…along with spell check. And out of the three memes I run — that one is definitely not a follower grubber LMAO — Have a good day.

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