Book Blogging 101: Justify Reviewing a DNF – Why Should I?

Book Blogging 101: Justify Reviewing a DNF – Why Should I?

DNF – Did Not Finish

DNF – The most dreaded classification a book can get by a reviewer.

With all the crazy Hale stuff going around the interwebs, one of the talking points that stood out was the fact that the “evil reviewer” had reviewed the book even though she did not finish it. Feedback was given that the reviewer was a mere troll because she saw fit to destroy said book by going off on it with a DNF classification. Those that take this stance are convinced that no one should review a book unless they finish the book. To do anything else…would be unethical.

I declare shenanigans on that argument.

DNF

How much of the dish must you eat before you decided that you don’t like it? Photo by Monstruo Estudio

My argument for the DNF revolves around food.  What better? A chef is considered an artist, just like a author, correct? The meals they prepare might take less time to create, but they are still that chef’s creation. So, therefor the meal that you sit down to at a nice restaurant is that chef’s creation, just like a book. Yet, must you eat the ENTIRE dish to decide if you like it or not? I understand that each part of the dish is most likely going to taste the same…unlike a book, which has nuances that can change within the scope of the novel. So, this analogy might not be as 100% fool proof as I would like, but it is comparable.

If you find that your first taste of the novel is unpalatable – why shouldn’t you be able to tell others why it was unsatisfactory? Especially if your dissatisfaction is founded within specifics.

Now for that argument that It is Unethical to review an unfinished book…

The question of ethics usually arises when a negative response comes from the author. Does this reviewer have the right to review this title? I never like negative responses from authors, especially one where the author or fan call into question rights. But I have to say, it seems to be happening a lot more lately. I believe that some authors think that if they try to nudge a reviewer to see “their side of things”, the reviewer in question might remove the negative review, or maybe change their mind. I’m only assuming, because personally I’m not an author and I’ve never had a negative review posted about my work. I do understand their perspective though, as far as their work and negative reviews. It is hard to deal with negative feedback. Especially negative feedback that seems unfounded or based within an unethical package – like say a DNF. In a perfect world everyone would love everything, we would all have dogs that crapped in toilets, instead of on our rugs and we would be able to maintain a perfectly healthy size six, while we gorged ourselves on mass amounts of cookie dough.. and everyone would love EVERY book ever written. But last time I checked, it wasn’t a perfect world and reviewers, like myself,  tend to like a wide range of books and have different tastes, which makes life not so BORING. My advice to authors is to IGNORE negative reviews. My advice to reviewers that are contacted by Authors that don’t like their reviews. Ignore them. One big ignore fest. Yet, again, it isn’t a perfect world and some authors can get out of control, just like some reviewers can get out of control. But, the basic fact is – a DNF, no matter what prompted the reader to stop reading it – can be a very insightful review. The author might not like that you reviewed it based on only 50 pages of reading…but it is not unethical. Why is ethics in question? This is a book. It is a product. And as long as you took the product for a spin – 10 minutes or 2 hours, you did give it a shot. To review a book that you didn’t read – now that is when ethics should be called into question.

So now you have to ask yourself as a Reviewer…

DNFs – To Review or Not to Review?

Pro DNF Review Points:

  • It is Your Opinion
    You are a reviewer. A person who states their opinion. You can form an opinion about anything, even a book that you’ve only read 30%. You can, if you feel so obligated state your opinion on why you stopped reading a particular book. You can not comment on the ending of the book, because you have not read it, but you can state your opinion on the part you DID read.
  • Review Just What You Read
    This was covered in the prior point, but if you review a DNF you should be able to review the part you read.
  • Got the gist of it?
    Most DNF reviewers will make sure they reach a certain point in a book before reviewing it. If they give up within 10 – 50 pages, chances are they won’t do a legitimate review of the book. Maybe make a few points on Goodreads.com, but not a drawn out review. Yet, when they reach a particular line in the sand that they just can’t cross they feel they can legitimately review that book, having gotten the basics of the novel.
  • DNFing is a Strong Statement
    If the book was that BAD to warrant a slap close and hide away, there was obviously SOMETHING that wasn’t right with the book, most of the time readers would like to know what that was.

Anti DNF Review Points:

  • Your Opinion is Not INFORMED
    How can one properly give a competent opinion if they do not know ALL aspects of the book? A person that reviews a DNF is giving their opinion before seeing the whole picture.
  • Insulting to the Author
    DNFing a book and then reviewing is the ultimate insult. First you did not even take the time to finish the review and then to top it off you will review it? How low can you get?
  • Fairness
    You cross a line when you review DNFs. It isn’t fair for the author or your readers.
  • Gives the wrong impression
    You are misrepresenting your self as knowledgeable on the title and gives the impression that you’ve actually read the book. Let others who have read it review it.
  • You don’t know how it ends, so how can you review it?
    Again from the camp of you can’t review something you haven’t finished.

Bloggers – I would suggest that if you are a reviewer of DNFs to state this in your review policy. This way if you have a negative response to a DNF you can just point the author in the direction of your reviewing policy and state “Please refer to my review policy, where it states I will DNF a book…you accepted this by sending me your book etc.”

Well, I’ve stated in which camp my loyalty lies and I don’t begrudge the opposing camp, this isn’t something like Obamacare or anything BIG like that, LOL. This of course is a personal preference that we as Bloggers choose for ourselves. To call a person that reviews a book that they didn’t finish “unethical” is crossing the line though. Just like if I returned the favor and stated people that don’t review DNFs to be pandering to authors…I could understand calling out the reviewer if the blogger had written the review not having even opened a page. I’ve seen this done before, where the reviewer draws a conclusion based on not having liked the first book in the series, or the author’s online behavior (it happens) and writes a scathing review and 1 stars the book. This is unethical. I know, stop hissing. I know a bunch of you went out and marked Kathleen Hale’s book with a 1 star because of her behavior. I don’t think this is right. I marked it as “I won’t read because of behavior” but I didn’t mark a star rating. I think my shelf will be enough to state my opinion. Giving the book a review or a star rating is misleading because you didn’t read the book, so you are not judging the book, you are judging the creator of the book. If we could review her – wouldn’t that be nice? But, if the reviewer has read a certain amount of the book where they feel like they can competently discuss what they disliked or liked about that certain part of the book — why is this unethical?

I’ve taken English Lit classes where we go through books chapter by chapter, class to class and form opinions and analyze the book Chapter by Chapter. You can form an opinion about a book just by reading parts of it. Much like you can judge a movie by the first ten minutes of the show. Might it at the end redeem itself? Yes. It can happen. My dog hopefully one day will learn how to use the potty. He doesn’t even have to learn how to flush. I’ll deal.

Parajunkee's View

Questions for my Readers:

Where do you stand? Do you review DNFs? If you do or do not, why?
How would you handle a harassing email or comment from an author about your DNF review?

Parajunkee's View

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

Ask A QuestionHave a question? Fill out the form by clicking on the button to the left. This will go into a spreadsheet to be looked over at a later date and hopefully answered on this blog. This is completely anonymous, you do not have to leave your real name. Urls will not be included in your question unless it pertains to the question.
Dishing Junk: Cover Junk Edition

Dishing Junk: Cover Junk Edition

Today’s Dishing Junk is a joint venture between Jaime from Two Chicks on Books, Rachel from Fiktshun & Rachel from Parajunkee.com

It is time for…

Cover Junk Edition

COVER JUNK – because making fun of bad covers never gets old. Welcome to Dishing Junk -The art of dispensing ideas of little value in a casual or silly manner.

Bad Covers Edition, Cover Junk

The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

Parajunkee: All I can say – they tried? They tried and failed. I can’t get over that white thing in the tree – no not the girl. What is that? Oh that is the text.
Rachel: Creepy is more like. But not in a good way.
Jaime: I kinda like the tree? But the girl in it is no bueno. Also this doesn’t look like a cover from a traditional pub it looks amateurish.

Bad Covers

The Haunted Vagina

Parajunkee: I can honestly say – this is an original cover. I have never quite seen anything like it.
Rachel: Still having trouble getting past the title.
Jaime: WTF. OMG No just no!

Very bad covers

Letting Go

 

Parajunkee: I hate to be that critical woman, but this woman’s face looks like she’s kind of – well a man – or is that the point of the book? And he just looks surprised, like we caught them frolicking on the pier. He might have a slight lisp…Or maybe one of them farted?
Rachel: Totally agree with P on this one. The square chin does her (?) in. The series title “Thatch” also led me astray. Even the characters’ names – Ben and Grey – didn’t clue me in. Though the description does say “her” it still is inconclusive. And I thought those were railroad tracks in the distance.   Hmmm…
Jaime: Those are some of the strangest eyes I’ve seen! They don’t look natural. Her pupils look white. And he is just not doing it for me.

P: Yea! It looks like she had red eye and they used a quick fix in  the camera program…

R: I think they have drops that will fix it….

Bad Covers

Going Down in Flames

 

P: Really this one just aggravates me, because it looks like a rip-off of Sophie Jordan’s FIRELIGHT – oh and the synopsis sounds kind of like FIRELIGHT. At least if you are going to rip something off – do a better job, not a crappier one. Ugh what am I talking about – no on ever copies things better.
R: Sorry can’t get past the fonts. And shouldn’t “in” be lower case?
J: Almost identical to Firelight! Except Firelight’s cover was better and so was the synopsis. I haven’t read this one but I’m figuring Firelight’s story is better too!

18980000

The Girl and the Clockwork Cat

P: Again, I understand what they were trying to do here – but at a point, they have to go by the motto – too much is well – too much. Too much photoshop, too much similarities to other steampunk titles…too much weird cat glaring at me with a girl standing over it and she looks like she’s gotta pee…
R: I’ve seen this cover before and it doesn’t get any better the more I look at it. It reads more Cyborg Cat than steampunk. And the least they could do was give the chick a really wicked cool outfit rather than some dirty little-girl tights.
J: That poor kitty is all I keep thinking! And I’m not a fan of the fonts used or the excessive photoshopping. And lol she does look like she’s doing the potty dance.

1761761715782742

Stray vs. Feral

P: When 50 people before you did the random girl lost in the woods with the single word title – don’t you think – you might go in a different direction?
R: Blurry girl wandering the woods with similarly titled story does not smack of originality. Will there be a “Wild,” “Devious,” or “Beastly” come next?
J: Sad. I just finished STRAY and I loved the book, but this cover does not do the story justice. At all. It should have been more fairy tale/fantasy and less girl in the woods. And the crown is hard to make out she looks like she just has a pointy head.

And FERAL? I doubt I’d pick that one up. Its a blurry mess and I’m not a fan. The cover says nothing about the story.

R: Wait, that’s a crown? I thought maybe she had spiky horns growing from her head.

P: I thought maybe she screwed up her hair in her flight through the woods…

10726280

Vinter Fall erm Winter Falls

P: Heeewooo little owl… you want to come out and play? Oh wait, is that an owl? Oy! It’s a white falcon with widdle hearts all over it’s cut widdle body! I can’t even read the title. Was this a mistake? Maybe they put up the half erased title.
R: Is it a Rorschach test or is that the state of California? Is there a reason the title and author name are so hard to read? Though I have to say it’s quite rare when someone can capture 1, 2 and 3 on a cover: Book ONE of the TWIN willow TRILOGY. Woot, woot! I mean, Hoot, hoot!

J: LOLOLOLOL Rachel! And too much white on white!R: Ya know, “white on white” is a painting technique… maybe that’s what they were going for?

17251354

Between

P: THEY COULDN’T EVEN CENTER THE TITLE!!!!!!!!!

R: OMG that drives me crazy too. The title and the graphic being off-center only make me want to photoshop it straight. At least the dude looks like he’s lost something in the blood red wood. The chick just looks like’s posing for the JC Penney catalog.
J: Yeah that non centered title is annoying. I like the bottom half it’s really pretty with all the red and the guy who looks like he may be good looking at least he looks cute at this distance but, the top is a hot mess! Why’s the girl always have to be grabbing her arm like that? It not a natural pose and I cringe every time I see it on a book cover. And are those trees floating on the left? Why are there floating trees???

PSI.jpg

Psi Another Day

J: UGH this is just so not pretty! The book is paranormal I believe from the blurb which is as ridiculous as the cover. PSI ANOTHER DAY? Not loving the title either but whatevs. But this cover makes it look like a contemporary book. I can’t stand the font and those sunglasses are horrible! This looks like they grabbed a stock image and just slapped a title and the authors name on it. Also I’m so over the covers with half of a face on them.
P: Unfortunately this one just screams those Ally Carter type of novels covers – except this one isn’t as cute as those. It doesn’t tell me anything – but this is a teen novel. I don’t get Psi – or anything. It is a cute play on words Psi another day…but I don’t feel James Bondish or want to buy the novel. Plus the half face thing is not working here, she’s cropped too hard along the glasses, it almost looks like a mistake. Especially since the right is a white bleed.

J: YES Ally Carter! I totally couldn’t think of her name but they totally do look like her books and they’re contemporary. This just doesn’t fit for the paranormal genre it’s supposed to be in.

R: Bad play on the Bond title. Saying it out loud to anyone would be “SIGH another day” which sounds totally lame. Agree, this screams Ally Carter’s books’ uglier, poorly composed cover art. A stock model and bad fonts do not a good cover make. Plus, not to harp on the model, but that kink in her bangs and her yellow/brown teeth bother me. Photoshop is the next Crest Whitestrips for covers.

Lux Opposition

J: I know I might get a lot of hate about this one but let me explain why I think this one belongs on this list.

This one makes me really sad. I love Jennifer Armentrout and her amazing stories. What ticks me off about this is I have the set of the LUX books except for the last one, and I refuse to buy this because it doesn’t match the others. AT. ALL! They should have finished out the series with the pretty covers (because seriously this is horrible) and then if they wanted to reprint them all with these new ugly ones then do that. I have a huge pet peeve about cover redesign mid-series and this wasn’t even mid-series it was the last flipping book! So I have 4 of the LUX books but will never own the last one because I refuse to put this on my shelves! And I won’t buy the omnibus editions because they have the same ugly covers!

P: They are running out of stock images of the guy on the pretty covers – the problem with stock and not “thinking out” the entire series as a whole – instead of doing it cover by cover. But what do I know?  *snicker* I actually thought that this was from a different series.

R: I loved the original covers. Well, the second original covers. Though I kind of liked the first original covers. These are just bizarre. And he looks very sickly in this one. I want to give him vitamins and chicken noodle soup and tuck him into bed. The coloring, at least in jpg, of the backgrounds and the fonts doesn’t work either. And the split-faced covers with the girl are even worse. They don’t line up. The tone isn’t the same. And it just reminds me of this: IMAGE much like the mid-series redo of a certain other series I shall not name.

J: But Rachel I love Xanadu lol!

 

Thanks for playing!!!!

#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.

Parajunkee's View

Ask A QuestionHave a question? Fill out the form by clicking on the button to the left. This will go into a spreadsheet to be looked over at a later date and hopefully answered on this blog. This is completely anonymous, you do not have to leave your real name. Urls will not be included in your question unless it pertains to the question.
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

IMG_0095

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

BOOK ADDICT

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…

DONTTALK

6. Book Sniffing is a guilty pleasure.

booksniffer

 

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:


HTML LINKS



<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

COLORS



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

 

 


Formatting




<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;
rgab(0,0,0,0.7);
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:

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#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?

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