Have you ever interviewed yourself? It is quite possibly the most boring task that one can undertake. Even worse, I wrote a series of questions for this series that I wanted to hear the answers from bloggers I admire...not me. Just choosing questions to answer was a tough task.
So here's hoping I haven't bored you as much as I bored myself.
Blogging can be unbelievably supportive and sometimes catty environment – what three guidelines do you find to be good rules to live by in the blogging world?
I am really not one to teach as I take things personally. But there are a few things that I am trying to do to make my life less stressful.Characterise yourself as a blog reader – monogamous, flirty or slutty? Lurker or commenter?
Three guidelines –
- Write your own reviews. Devise your own interview questions. Own your content...literally.
- Don’t respond to something hard or hurtful right away. Think about it. Usually there is something you can learn from it once you get past the hurt and anger. Allow yourself the opportunity to process it before reacting. This happened to me last week – it really made me think about what I am writing and the lack of thought I put into some of the most basic things I write.
- Blog for the right reasons and the bitching towards you will lessen. Bloggers can smell out a book hoarder from twenty paces. If you are blogging for the “free stuff” don’t. You disrespect the authors, the publishers and the bloggers that work their tails off on their blogs for hours every day.
Lurker. The shadows are my friend. I read mostly the same blogs, sometimes diversifying if a twitter link grabs my fancy. I rarely comment as I don’t want to write something immaterial. BBAW is fantastic as I usually find new blogs with quality content. I am very choosy as my blog roll shows I only list blogs I read frequently.What are some of the best and worst incidents of an author contacting you after a review?
As for commenting, I only make the effort if I have something I really want to add....which isn’t probably the best way to go about it. But I am hardly the ‘awesome haul’ kinda gal. I am much more inclined to write an email saying well done than doing so in a comment section for some weird reason.
Best would have to be in my first month of blogging (it really set a precedent) when I reviewed If I Stay. I had no idea how these situations went but I loved the book, wrote a review through my tears and then emailed Gayle Forman to share my thoughts on the book. She wrote back and mentioned FNL and then I was a goner. She showed that authors can be really approachable and sweet and made me much braver in my communications.How aware (and/or supportive) are people in your everyday life of your blogging?
In terms of an author contacting me after reviewing their work.....hmmm. Beth Fantaskey was hilarious. She said she’d seen my review pop up on the Google alerts but seeing the name of the blog scared her. She shouldn’t have worried, I LOVED Jessica’s Guide for Dating on the Dark Side.
Worst. Hmmm. One author’s mother emailed me to say that I obviously didn’t understand the book because I was critical of one tiny aspect of the book (it received a good review). I am not sure if the author knows her mother does that but it was a little bizarre. I’ve also had an author try and shame me for not liking her book because of her life’s challenges. It made me sad but her home circumstances had nothing to do with the book and there was no reason she should have shared them with me. Even more bizarre.
Everyone knows that I do it from friends, family to co-workers. Reading (and blogging) are so much of a part of my life that it’s impossible to keep quiet. That being said, my family don’t read the blog. I don’t even think my mother knows the html address. I tested it earlier in the year by writing a really personal post on my siblings and nothing. Crickets ever.What word is most overused on your blog?
My sister does know some of the lingo now. She used YA in an email the other day and I was so proud :P She was reading a lot of the books that would come to me for review and she’s a harder critic that I. Her normal response....meh. But she would keep reading. My brother and father don’t read. The latter hasn’t read a book since grade 10 which was 1968 – yeah, it horrifies me too. My mother is the queen of hippy dippy self-guided journey books and trashy romances...my brother is named after a kilt wearing hero. I wish I were kidding.
I’ve had a few things that should have sparked more response but didn’t. Being a member of the Inkys judging panel last year, having a quote used on the back cover of a book and meeting Melina Marchetta received a smile and that’s it. It’s been a wonderful way to keep it all in perspective and realise blogging isn’t as big as we sometimes make it in our minds.
It would be the phrase....”that being said.” Or awesome.For the life of me I cannot find it within myself to like Ann Brashares work. Is there an author whose work you find yourself irrationally disliking?
Ann Brashares. I was lukewarm on the Sisterhood series (which got progressively worse). Then I read and loathed The Last Summer....so much so that it actually hurt me. I read 3 Willows for review and declared myself done. My dislike is irrational as she does write well but I think it is a case of not liking the author’s voice. Purely subjective.Publishers do a great deal for the YA community but what could they be doing to increase the effectiveness of the blogger/publisher relationship?
Target bloggers specifically for their interests. Stop sending out gratuitous amounts of ARCS. Be targeted, be specific. Send fantasy books to fantasy fan or focused bloggers, send contemporary to those that dig contemporary etc. Getting stacks of ARCs doesn’t make you a good blogger or better review writer. You improve when you make the time to deconstruct the book and you are not going to do that when the book isn’t your thing and you have stacks of books gathering dust around you. Rhiannon gave some great advice about how to direct your blog. Don’t do everything. Give your blog a specific stance and cater it to what you are passionate about. Don’t be afraid to tell publicists that you would rather only receive a certain genre – you are saving their money and your time.Book tours – effective marketing or blog flooding?
Publishers also need to realise that by canvassing the blogosphere isn’t going to sell their book more. They are better off cherry picking a number of bloggers and letting them sell the book on opinion alone. Being hit by marketing spam from publishers and authors on three different fronts of social networking doesn’t make me want the book – it makes me predetermined to NOT like it. If the book is a strong read, it will sell itself to bloggers. Proof in that is Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side. It didn’t hit the bloggerdom hard but over six months word of blog grew and it made most Top 10 lists of 2009.
I don’t like them. I don’t find that they make me want to buy a book. They certainly don’t make pull me in with their content. Their saturated presence annoys me as in most cases it is the perfect example of lazy interviewing. Some of the guest posts make me wonder what the author was thinking....you’re trying to sell your book and writing with that piece?What is something that makes you immediately groan when looking at another blog?
I’ve even stopped interviewing on the blog for the last few months because I am sick of my own lazy interviewing. This interview series has taught me that the questions are important as are the people you interview....book blog tours have the same principle.
GIVEAWAYS plastered everywhere. I really don’t care. I suspect that they don’t either. Seeing bloggers giveaway books they probably don’t care for annoys me. Giveaways or promotions for products completely unrelated to books also make me feel icky.Thanks for reading! You can catch me here or as SnarkyWench on twitter :)
Also rainbow fonts....posting in alternating colours *shivers*
And crappy interviews...I used to sicken myself with the same expected questions so I just stopped. If you can’t be inventive and draw interesting or entertaining answers then that’s on you.