#BB101 – Twitter Tips & Tricks

#BB101 – Twitter Tips & Tricks

How to utilize Twitter for maximum awesome… Twitter Tips & Tricks

Everyone should be on twitter. It is the best way to advertise your blog. Even if you just join to read other people’s tweets and make occasional comments, it is a great way to promote your blog, connect with other bloggers and keep on top of news and events. People usually look at me funny when I confess my love for twitter, but without twitter – I think I would only be half as informed. But, with every good there is a bad – so the best way to use a tool like twitter, it to know how to use it properly.

If you are a blogger, an author, or an aspiring writer, twitter can build a following like no other. It builds real time relationships and draws people to your site via the links. But, be warned, in order to build a good twitter network it has to be about 80 social 20 percent promotion. There is always a fine line between promo and spam. Go into twitter with the main goal of “connection” not “promotion.”

Ten Twitter Rules & Guides


Rule #1 -Twitter is Public Speaking

Twitter is You Speaking  + Megaphone + Crowd

Twitter is not like any other social media outlet. It is a public forum. Anyone can see it. You have one option for privacy, protect your tweets (from everyone, approving only your selected few ) or go public. Being a public figure as a blogger or author, you probably don’t want to protect your tweets. Therefor, everything you tweet will be there for everyone to see. Remember this — every single time you tweet: It is Public. It is Searchable. Dumb comments will linger forever, twitter attacks are screen-grabbed and shown on countless blogs. It doesn’t go away. Always remember this!

Do you want to be the person that is known for this wonderful tweet:

Rule #2 – Learn the Terminology.

Learn the language or you’ll get really confused. Twitter has a Glossary here but the basics are as follows:

# or hashtag - It is a keyword, always without spaces that can be searched through the twitter interface or twitter apps. Hashtags can be used to demonstrate strong emotion or emphasis. You can stick a hashtag anywhere, most users include them in the end — but you can use them in a quick sentence. For example, a common Friday hashtag is #FF (Follow Friday twitter meme), so you would tweet: Happy #FF Everyone! Check out my Friday To Do List: http://myblogrocks.com


@  or Mention – This is used, just like on Facebook, when you mention someone. When you @someone it goes in a separate stream, called the Mention stream and will go directly to the user. If you would like to get in touch with that person the easiest way is to @ them. Only people that follow both you and the person you mentioned will be able to see that tweet. If you want a public mention– place a period before the mention. See Rule #6


Direct Message – or DM is a private way to contact someone. You would type in: D username and it will DM someone. But, the person has to follow you in order to be DMd. If not you will get an error message. This is how twitter cuts down on spam. DMs are not searchable or able to be seen by other people.


Retweet or RT – You will see something like Plz RT — meaning Please Retweet. Users are asking you to spread the message for them. A retweet means you are tweeting another users tweet. A lot of users will retweet news agencies or authors to spread info to their followers.


Favorite – Favorite a tweet by clicking the star, this can either be used by showing that this tweet was awesome, or save it for later. You can choose how to use this tool.


Trending Topic – Twitter determines what everyone is talking about by using an algorithm. They will post what trends on the home page.


Rule #3 -The Shorter the Better.

Short is Sweet. A tweet is 140 characters. Once you get used to it, you won’t know how to go over 140. Using longer tweet applications doesn’t work well. Don’t bother.

Rule #4 – Spam will get your Banned…

Don’t spam. Don’t @ someone with links to your stuff. If it is relevant to the conversation, by all means. If not, they can report you for spam. When they report you for spam, your twitter account will be 86d.

2011-03-12-twitter-eggRule #5 – Be original.

If you are tweeting someone with massive amounts of followers/followees (is that a word?) they might not recognize you as @Jenny124!Yo with a avi of vampire teeth. The best thing to do is stand out. Have an original username that matches your blog and an avatar that looks different from the rest. Don’t be caught with a twitter egg…you will look like spam.

Rule #6 – Mentions can not be seen by all

If you begin your tweet with @username it will be a reply and will only be viewable to people that follow you and that person. It will show up on your profile page, but your follower stream will not be able to see it. If you want the rest of the world to see the tweet — stick a character in front. A lot of people will use a period.

Rule #7 -Use a Twitter App

Sometimes twitter.com is not the best place to use twitter. Apps like HootSuite and Tweetdeck make me happy – they might make you too. The twitter apps allow you to have all your information in one area, columns of mentions, DMs and even set up columns with your favorite lists and hashtags.

Rule #8 – Twitter Followers are Easy…

It’s easier to get twitter followers than it is to get blog followers. Utilize this. Say hi. Start a conversation, usually a person will follow you back by doing this. Remember though, that the “bigger” the twitter celeb is though, the harder it might be to get the follow back, since they usually have a lot of people engaged in twitter convos. Start small and work yourself up.

Rule #9 – Speak now, or Lurk later.

It’s a fact – you will start out with no one following you. Your first tweet will be seen by no-one in real-time. The key to gaining new followers is to follow people and tweet interesting things. Follow your favorite bloggers, authors or family members. (Maybe start with me @parajunkee hint hint) Say hi, tell them you are new to twitter. Join a social share event, or a twitter party, tweet using trending hashtags. All are ways to gain new followers.

Rule #10 – Blocking is sorta magic…

If you are having a nasty reaction to a certain twitter account, are they being rude, or just being so stupid you are afraid it is catching? Maybe you just don’t want this person seeing your tweets? You can block them. Just click on the account and go to the gear – and click Block @douchyuser. This isn’t an ALL POWERFUL tool though. If said user is out for blood, they can still sign out of their account and then just go to twitter with another username and follow you via that username or just stalk your profile. Pay attention to new followers. I had one idiot do this, her other twitter username was just a bit different from the first. Genius. But they are hoping that you aren’t paying attention.

If you know how to use twitter, it works so much better…

Questions for  you:

Are you active on twitter? How has it helped or hindered your blog?

Happy Thursday. Talk Less. Read More. Blog with Integrity.

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Ten Signs You Are a Book Junkee

Ten Signs You Are a Book Junkee

There are many many ways to figure out if you are a book junkee, here are ten of them for easy self-diagnosis.

1. You Rejoice When The Rain Comes


2. When you imagine your Dream House – you picture the library first.


3. Vacationing is more complicated, as far as packing all your books…

You are a book addict

4. Fictional Boys are sooo much better than real boys.

David Gandy As Jerricho Barrons

5. The ending of a book can change your entire world…


6. Book Sniffing is a guilty pleasure.



7.  If your house is burning, you go for your favorite books first…

8. Your outdoor activity is reading a book …outside

book addict

9. You wish they would invent waterproof paper, just so you could read your book in the shower

waterproof books

10. Your Favorite Princess is Belle…

#BB101 – HTML Cheat Sheet

#BB101 – HTML Cheat Sheet

Every Blogger should have a basic understanding of HTML and CSS – at least a little bit. It makes your life so much easier. Here is a quick cheat sheet for your reference. Before we get started just brush up on a few terms and rules that are great to keep in mind when you get started with code. A missed ” or a missed / will make your life miserable. Also – the biggest problem I find if you style code in your posts – is a missing </div> – it will thrown your entire blog design off kilter. Always check for missing or extra </div> as a rule of thumb when you have weird errors.

The 411 on HTML & CSS

  • Every HTML tag will start and end with < >
  • Open Tags: <TAG>
  • To close a Tag: </TAG>
  • Every Attribute will be nestled in “ATT” parentheses
  • All CSS has to be applied to an element (paragraph, span, div etc)
  • There will always be a Property and a Value in CSS – color is the property and red is the value
  • the property always comes first the value follows a colon and ends in a semi-colon: color: red;
  • An inline CSS definition must always be declared with the STYLE attribute and you can use this where ever you want, here is an example of styling a div within your post: 
This is my special div box! Create a box like this using the below code.

<div style=”border: solid 1px #000; padding: 15px; border-radius: 10px; text-align: center;”> This is my special div box! </div>



The HTML & CSS Cheats:


<a href=”URL”>YOUR TEXT</a> Link

<a href=”mailto:EMAIL”></a> Email Link

<a href=”URL”><img src=”IMAGE URL”></a> Image Link

<a href=”URL” target=”_blank”>YOUR TEXT</a> Link that opens in new window


Black: #000000

White: #FFFFFF

Yellow: #FFFF00

Magenta: #FF00FF

Orange: #FFA500

Red: #FF0000

Turquoise: #40E0D0

Royal blue: #4169E1

Medium purple: #9370D8

Green: #008000

Blue: #0000FF

Cyan: #00FFFF




<hl>HEADLINE</hl> Headlines use 1 – 6 in order of size

<b>TEXT</b> Bold Text

<strong>TEXT</strong> Bold Text

<i>TEXT</i> Italic Text

<em>TEXT</em> Emphasis Text

<tt></tt> Typerwriter Style Text

<p>TEXT</p> New Paragraph

<p align=?> TEXT </p> Align the paragraph, left, right, center

<blockquote> TEXT </blockquote>  Wraps your text and indents it

<ol>TEXT</ol> Numbered List

<li>TEXT</li> Wraps around the list item within a numbered or bulleted list

<ul>TEXT</ul> Creates a bulleted list

CSS Cheats:

This is just for inline CSS code all your CSS within a STYLE attribute of a DIV, P or Span tag – for example:

<div style=”border: solid 1px #000; padding: 15px; text-align: center;”> Start it out with the style=”INSERT CSS” within the element of your choice!</div>

text-align: center;
text-decoration: underline;
text-shadow: 1px 1px 1px #000;
font-family: fontname;
font-size: 100%;
font-weight: bold;
color: #000000;
width: 200px;
height: 200px;
background-color: #000000;
background-image: url(image.jpg);
background-position: top left;
background-repeat: no-repeat;
border-width: 1px;
border-color: #000;
border-style: solid;
alignment – left | center | right
decoration – none | underline | line-through
Dropshadow on text horizontal, vertical, blur & color
font, name of typeface – Gerogia, Verdana, serif
font size – 12px, 14pt, 100% etc
weight of font – bold, normal, 100 – 800
color of font – hex code, rgba or color name
width of element – 200px | 100% | auto
height of element – 200px | 100% | auto
background color – hex | rgba | color name
Background image, insert URL of image
Position of image vertical / horizontal – % or px or name
Background repeat – no-repeat | repeat | repeat-y | repeat-x
Width of the border in px
Color of Border Hex, Color Name, RGBA
Style of border solid | dashed | none | double | dotted

RGBA property/replace Hex#, Red, Green, Blue & Alpha Transparency

margin: 5px; margin-top: 5px; margin-bottom: 5px;
padding: 5px; padding-top: 5px; padding-bottom: 5px;


Steal This Code!

Box with a Shadow:

<div style="font-family: Baskerville, ‘Palatino Linotype’, Palatino, ‘Century Schoolbook L’, ‘Times New Roman’, serif; text-transform: uppercase; text-shadow: 1px 1px 1px rgba(0,0,0,0.55); background-color: rgba(215,215,215,1.00); color: #000; border: 1px solid #040404; box-shadow: 0px 0px 5px rgba(0,0,0,0.40); padding: 20px;"> The wonderful box with a shadow </div>

Box with Border Radius:

<div style="border-radius: 5px; text-shadow: 1px 1px 1px rgba(0,0,0,0.55); background-color: rgba(215,215,215,1.00); color: #000; border: 1px solid #040404; padding: 20px; "> Box with a Border Radius </div>

Box with Background Image:

<div style="border-radius: 15px; font-size: 26px; background-color: rgba(215,215,215,1.00); color: #FFF; border: 1px solid #040404; padding: 30px; background-image: url(https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7143/6479091913_52a21c6777_o.png); background-repeat: repeat;"> Box with a Border Radius </div>
#BB101 – Do You Inform An Author When You Write A Bad Review?

#BB101 – Do You Inform An Author When You Write A Bad Review?

The Scene: An author asks you to review his/her book, a direct request, via email or twitter. You abhor the book. You finished it, but you didn’t like it one bit.

Do you…

A. Pull up your big girl panties and email the author the link?

B. Publish the review and just hope the author doesn’t read it?

C. Don’t review the book?

What to keep in mind…

1. Authors do not like their noses rubbed in a bad review

2. Chances are they have a Google Alert set up, or follow you via social media – so they knew when your review went live

3. You might receive a follow-up email asking “when will the review go live?”

 The Question again, that comes up, after you process all of this – do you send the review?

The whole thing is a battle of rudeness. What is more rude? To ignore or to inform?  You don’t want to be rude and ignore them and never send them the link, but on the other hand you don’t want to insult them with the bad review. On top of that, they might get upset when they read the bad review and email you back with an inbox full of arguement, which you definitely don’t want to happen. What a quandary!

Some bloggers go so far as to not even pen a bad review. If the books gets under a 3 star rating they won’t write it. This of course is up to your discretion as a blogger, but personally I think that is a sort of cowardly way of doing things. But, cowardly has it’s perks. I take the cowards way out in some instances. The reason I pen bad reviews is because I started this hobby to state my opinion. Not just my positive opinion.

Should we even consider a bad review – as a personal rudeness?

I say this, because, the book is a product. The book is not living. Insulting the book is not going to hurt the book’s feelings. But, it does insult the person that created that book. Because it’s art and the artist thinks of his or her creation as just that – a creation. A little birth. Or at least the authors that have spoken out against negative reviews – have sad this. When most of thing that it’s just a product, like anything else we review on Amazon. If you reviewed a stroller – would you have any “stop and think about it” moments if Graco happened to read the really scathing review? No, you would hope your thoughts would help them in the future make a better stroller.

I understand warring factors go through your mind. It just recently happened with my The Young World by Chris Weitz review. The book came from a media contact that I had just made contact with. She had sent me two books, once of which was The Young World and asked for the review links. The first book was fine, I liked it I sent the review link. I could barely finish The Young World. I didn’t want to anger my new contact, but then again I didn’t like the book. I actually wrote her in advance of writing the review and told her that the review would not be favorable, but I hadn’t written it yet. She simply replied with a thank you and did not ask for the “bad review” link. I might have had a different reaction from the actual author of the book, which is why they have publicists! I like accepting books from publicists. That makes me happy. Middle men make me happy.

In the beginnings of my blog bad reviews weighed more heavily on me, I was just making contacts, getting my feelers out and really just trying to make friends. I didn’t want anyone pissed at me, especially not people in the publishing industry and authors. It happens though. I can think of a few reviews where the authors were very angry with me after sending the links, but they had asked for them, so I sent them. I got scathing emails in return, some correcting me about “my thoughts” and I did reply, simply stating that my review is my opinion and I wish them luck with their book. I usually don’t reply anymore. But, because of these angry responses and my own guilt, I do tend to make sure I handle things a certain way. No one wants to be mean. Or at least I don’t.

How do I handle them? I take very little direct requests from authors. I have a form that gives automated responses. I DNF titles very quickly. If I get past 40% I will review the title, but anything under that, I don’t review it. This last book I read, I couldn’t get past 10 pages, the author was already jumping heads and had at least ten grammatical “WHOAS!”  that I just couldn’t go on anymore. Do I say that in a review? I might put that on Goodreads.com & Booklikes – but I don’t do that on the blog. Weak and cowardly? Maybe. If I do make it past 40%, I’ll review the title and only send the link if the author emails me and directly requests the link.

I will never tweet them with a negative review. I’m pretty sure, most of them see it. At the Book Blogger Con, even the publishers stated that they really don’t want negative review links – that they have Google Alerts set up for their books and they will see the links at some point.  Here’s hoping that your author is that savvy. Because emailing the link – is like poking a bear with a stick. Maybe it is a teddy bear, maybe it’s a Grizzly.

How do you handle emailing negative reviews?

Dishing Junk: Have you or someone you love been injured by a Book Blogger?

Dishing Junk: Have you or someone you love been injured by a Book Blogger?

Dishing Junk: The act of dispensing information in a silly or frivolous manner.

The joys of living in a democratic nation are many. The land of the free and home of the brave. Where justice prevails and those that are wronged have the right to stand up before a judge and jury and ask for recompense. Usually, with a few zeros attached to the end of them. A large law suit, with you as the victor can mean big bucks, maybe even enough cash in your pocket to retire to a not so democratic country that has a lot of beaches. And what better target, then a book blogger, who is just rolling in the dough? Getting paid all types of money, because he or she, blogs about books – which of course – translates to big revenue. If you do find yourself able to target a book blogger in a “guaranteed to win” law suit, might I suggest a few reasons to file suit?

Have You or a Loved One Been Injured by a Book Blogger? Sue!

Granted, I’m not a lawyer, I’ve only played one on tv, but what could go wrong if you follow my directives?

Medline-Large-Wheel-Rollator-Walker-P118771471. Book Blogger Negligence

Say a book blogger recommended a title to you and you went out that day and bought the book. While reading the book you were so caught up in the pages that you forgot that you were driving and ran into a light pole. You injured your right femur and are now walk with a limp. Of course, this is the book blogger’s fault. They told you it was a Must Read! I do believe you’ll have a win here.

2. Joblessness

Is your favorite book blogger recommending way to many books? Maybe their book barrage is keeping you from actively searching for a job – you have too many books to read! Or maybe your intense reading because of “book recommendations” got you fired. Blame the book blogger and claim your loss of salary.

3. Emotional Suffering

Are you the Paranormal Junkie? Are you sick of being mistaken for the Para Junkee? Is being constantly reminded of similarities as a book blogger causing you stress and trauma? This isn’t a trademark issue, your names are different. You wish people will just get it right – but they don’t. This can’t be avoided, thus the emotional suffering. Sue.

4. Satisfaction Not Guaranteed

Were you recommend a really bad book? You can’t get your money back from the book store – so go after the book blogger that pointed you in that bad books direction, you are out like $10, you can sue them for  thousands. Time is money and you wasted a lot of time on that book.

5. Psychological Ego Strain

Got a bad review from a book blogger, why not sue them? Their review caused you psychological distress? You are a complete mess since that bad review. Have you begun drinking heavily? Are you now doing drugs because of the pain that review caused you? People don’t understand what mental trauma can do to a person. You have rights!

Sue a Book Blogger

Dramatization. Not an actual client.


6. Pain and Suffering

Have you read something really terrible on a book blog lately? Did it cause you pain and suffering? Maybe what you read caused you to have severe gastrointestinal reactions, vomiting, diarrhea? It happens, especially when your blood pressure goes up after seeing a Honey-Boo-Book animated gif. You can claim these injuries and point blame where blame is due!

7. Unlawful Parenting

Does your teen like book blogs? Have you caught them participating in questionable activities? Maybe they read a romance novel, recommended by a book blogger and then decided to give oral sex a try. Holy Mackerel! Again we know who to blame for this one! The book blogger!

Let Justice Be Served – Call Junkee Law Associates Today!

If you or a loved one has suffered severe injury, or emotional trauma, psychological damage, irreparable nerve reparations, lack of sex drive, low-T, brain palpitations or a burning itch which is the result of reading a book blog, please contact the Junkee Law Associates at 1-800-Bad-Blog to get in touch with a law professional who can help. Let Justice Be Served! We’ll fight for you against these book bloggers!

#BB101 – Free Blogging Tools That You Should Be Using

#BB101 – Free Blogging Tools That You Should Be Using

1. Google Docs & Calendar

A great way to share content or access content from any computer. Google Docs is an awesome tool for any busy blogger. Use it for spreadsheets, word documents and much more. Google Calendar is also a great tool for all-around access, you can even sync it with your apps and programs. I have Google Calendar synced up to my iCal and editorial programs.

2. Google Analytics

Google again! In fact Google offers so many free tools for bloggers that I could probably just do a post called “Free Google Tools for Bloggers” – but Google Analytics is also another great tool for Bloggers. Easy to install, it measures your traffic, even in real-time. Google Analytics is also one of the most reliable traffic measuring tools on the market.

3. Evernote

A free software that let’s you capture, write and record a ton of fun stuff. It is ag rest way to get organized and can also be synced over a few devices.

4. Dropbox

The best way to back up your data, off-site. It is also a wonderful way to share information with other bloggers, it makes it easy to just grab a link and share it, without sending via email, where attachments can get flagged or kicked back

5. Tweetdeck

Schedule tweets, organize your lists, show your mentions, DMs and timeline in side-by-side views that make conquering your twitter feed easy. I love Tweetdeck and use it everyday.

6. plagium.com

Check for plagiarism, monitor the Guest Posts that are going live on your blog – make sure that your content remains your content with a quick search or a really deep search.

7. Pocket

Ever see a great blog post that you want to “save for later” put it in your pocket! I love this app and you can add it right in your toolbar via Firefox or Chrome and with a quick button push, that url is in your pocket, you can even tag it, with search features for later.

8. photopin.com

Stock photos are a must for bloggers, you want to make your posts visually stimulating, but stock photos can also be very very expensive. Check out Photo Pin – where you can search creative commons images and see fancy little previews when you scroll over them. Nice, right?

9. gtmetrix.com

Interested in how bad your site takes to load? Don’t be scared, well okay – be scared. I hope it doesn’t suck as bad as mine – I got a big Fat D. But, at least you can see where you can make the changes.

10. WordPress

While the hosting might not be free, WordPress is a free download that you install on your server. It is by far the best blogging platform to use, in my estimation. If you find a very affordable host, you can have a mega-blogging tool that you can tailor just for your blog.

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