Follow Friday #4

It’s time for another Follow Friday, hosted by Parajunkee’s View and Alison Can Read! You follow me, I follow you – it’s as simple as that! You can follow me by email, Feedburner, Linky or NetworkedBlogs. Twitter follows and Facebook likes are nice, but I don’t count them unless you also follow another way. In the comments, PLEASE TELL ME HOW YOU FOLLOW ME. I always follow back as close in kind as I can. (Meaning if you follow me multiple ways, I will also follow you multiple ways.) Now onto the question!

Q. What is one thing you wish you could tell your favorite author?

A. Well, having been able to talk at length to Tamora Pierce thanks to a writing workshop called Alpha, I guess I’ll have to pick another of my close favorites…

Dear Rachel Hawkins,

No one has a right to be this funny. Seriously. I never get tired of ANY of the Hex Hall books, and I’m literally chomping at the bit to see what you write next. I live for snark, and you came up with some of the BEST SNARK EVER. Snark is great, original snark is hysterical. The best thing is, you’re even that funny on your Twitter. (@LadyHawkins) Someday I really hope I can meet you in person, because you just seem awesome all around.

Love, Gretchen

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Tips for New Book Bloggers

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

See, we have a little bit of a problem here. All things considered, I AM a pretty new book blogger. So, erm, let’s see if we can make it to ten here, shall we? I’ll be cheating and throwing in some “things I learned” while we’re here. Take it all with a grain of salt–I’m still learning too!

1. Don’t be afraid of professional looking blogs/If you need help, ASK FOR IT.

Forgive the CAPS, but some people think that people who run big blogs are scary, untouchable people. While, I’m sure, there are plenty of people who are really crotchety about being bothered, most of the people I’ve met who run big time blogs are pretty nice people. In fact, I’ve really yet to meet one blogger who was a mean, standoffish person. The blogosphere seems to be a pretty nice community full of people whose philosophy is “You help me, I help you.” If you want to ask a big time blogger how to do something, ASK. Or just check out Book Blogging 101 at Parajukee’s View.

2. Use NetGalley.

Seriously. I stayed away from this site for a long time because I thought it was for professionals only, but guess what? I’m not a big fish and I can get books from them! Sure, there ARE some guidelines you have to follow and requirements to meet, but after that it’s really the discretion of the publisher. I’ve been declined by houses I’ve never HEARD of but gotten galleys from HarlequinTeen and Flux. Go ahead a take the chance! The least they can do is say no.

3. Tags are you friends; USE THEM.

It is ridiculous some of the traffic I’ve gotten from the STRANGEST tag terms that I’ve used. If it at all relates to your post, put it in there–but don’t forget it’s the simplest ones that get the most traffic! Mentioning the newest big gossip craze in passing might garner you some extra views, but putting “books” in every tag subject will get you more in the long run.

4. Images are your secret weapon.

I’ve actually been shocked how much traffic I’ve gotten because someone was looking up a random picture I used. They are kinda annoying to upload, but totally worth it.

5. Participating in memes and features is actually pretty easy and a very good idea.

If you’re here, you probably already know this, but screw it. There is this feature, Top Ten Tuesday, and I also participate in Waiting on Wednesday by Breaking the Spine and Feature and Follow Friday by Parajunkee’s View. There are, of course, plenty of others. The first Top Ten Tuesday I did gave me my busiest day in two years!

6. But don’t overdo your participation in memes and features.

I sometimes wonder if the three that I do are too many. Places like NetGalley will look down on you if you depend too much on these things for your viewers. Try to keep your reviews-to-features ratio as even as possible.

7. Giveaways are magical things to get followers, and the easiest way to giveaway is to participate in a giveaway hop!

What is a hop, you ask? It’s basically just like a feature or meme, except for the hosting site has a linky that links to a bunch of blogs doing giveaways. I’m going to start participating in those myself next month, using hops hosted by the lovely I’m a Reader, Not a Writer.

8. Yes, your blog does a need a Twitter AND a Facebook page and yadda yadda–but it’s not as complicated as it sounds!

I just started using HootSuite to connect my Twitter and Facebook page and it’s MAGICAL. One post and it’s out to everybody. PLUS, you can schedule posts, so if you aren’t going to be around you can make sure you still get the word out! There are other platforms for this, like TweetDeck, but I’m not familiar with them.

9. Don’t sweeten up your reviews.

If a book is horrible, TELL people that. Don’t worry about offending the author or whatever. I’ve nearly fallen prey to that because of NetGalley, but it’s really important not to. A review is your opinion, and you have the freedom of speech. Just remember to always mention at least one positive thing and always try to keep a good tone. You don’t have to be mean to be constructive.

10. Be yourself.

Don’t feel like you have to talk like you sound smart or something strange like that. Your blog is your own personal property, not a school paper. Crack a joke if you want to. In fact, I recommend it. Every single thing you write should have your personal stamp on it–it’s how you stand out.

Feature and Follow #1

Hey guys, we’re trying out something new! It’s called Feature and Follow, hosted by the amazing Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. The entire point is to make new friends, get new followers and follow some amazing blogs yourself! Follow either link above to have it explained in more detail.

I’m new to this whole thing, so I hope I’m not screwing anything up. 😛 My prefered way to be followed is by email, but if you prefer RSS feeds go ahead!

Q. Do you read one book at a time or do you switch back and forth between two or more?

A. I used to only read one, because I finish fast and that’s all I have the attention span for! 😛 However, I just started getting e-galleys, so now I’ve got books on my computer and books in hard copy that I’m reading. My max is still certainly two–one e-galley and one hard copy–but that’s more than enough for me!


EDIT: There seems to be a problem affecting basically anyone who wants to comment on a Blogger website, so please forgive me! I am following the hosts and the features, but commenting seems to be beyond my powers at the moment!