Top 10 Tuesday {27}

Sponsored by the ladies at The Broke and The Bookish, check them out, they’re great.

So you want to start a book blog? Well, we may not be the most prolific or punctual or practical book blog out there, and we certainly haven’t been doing it for very long, but if you want some tips on how to get started, we are more than happy to offer the little wisdom we have to you, in exchange for your undying devotion and the chance to name your first born.  But we’re going to need that wisdom back.  We don’t have that much. (And sorry if I’m a little long winded.)

1) Determine a genre.  If you don’t like mysteries or non-fiction, don’t review those types of books.  If you limit the types of books you’re reviewing to certain genres, you’ll actually read those books and it won’t seem like homework.  Also, you won’t get requests to review the types of books that you don’t actually read, so you won’t feel so bad turning them down.

2) Don’t be an ass.  If you don’t like a book, be civil about it.  Give reasons.  Don’t insult the author and his/her family.  Or don’t review the book.  You might notice that I (Dixie) tend to review a lot of books that have 4/5 or 5/5, that’s because I live by the axiom, “If you can’t find anything nice to say…”  On the other hand, be honest.  If an author you really like wrote a mediocre book,  or you read a book that others just love but you don’t, explain why.  That is the whole reason you have a blog, right?

3) Utilize the numerous Memes out there.  We do “Top 10 Tuesday” and “TGIF”, where we link up with the blogs that sponser those memes for cross-publicity.  It’s a good way to get people to your blog that read other blogs that may have bigger readerships.  Plus, it’s fun and it helps to establish your pattern.  If I know a blog that I read takes advantage of those memes, I will make sure to visit them that day.  It also helps you to become familiar with other blogs and have opportunities to comment and make blog friends. See how that works?

4) Ask yourself this:  Are you blogging for ARCs?  That’s not a great reason to do this.  You’re not going to get a lot initially.  Once you’ve established a fanbase and your blog is well known, sure.  Not that we know too much about that.  But we do get ARCs, just not a lot and not often.  There are online services that you can utilize as a blogger to get advanced copies, like Netgalley, but you have to have some kind of established blog with actual readers.  I know, it’s a Catch 22.  In the meantime, review recently released books you can buy yourself or get from the library.  Not only will that help you establish some kind of readership, it will also show credibility.  Cause there’s nothing worse than a “what’s in it for me” attitude.

5) Utilize social networks.  Like Twitter and Facebook.  Friend authors and other bloggers and readers.  Make your presence known.  BE SOCIABLE.  Even if it kills you.

6) Establish a pattern.  You need to be consistent.  If you have casual readers, if they know when you do your reviews, they’ll make sure to stop by on those days.

7) Visit other blogs and comment.  But please, don’t be all “Hey, come check out my blog!”  Let it be organic.  If you have something interesting to say, chances are the blogess (ahem) will be all, “That’s one smart chicky.  I’d like to see what she’s all about.  I shall check out her blog.”  Or something like that.  Plus, you’ll make friends.  And who doesn’t need more friends?

8) Be yourself. That’s probably the best advice I can give.  If you write the way you speak, the writing will come easier to you.  If you review what you actually like to read, it won’t be a chore.  And embrace the fact that, if you’re blogging about books, you’re probably a tiny little bit of a geek (not that there’s anything wrong with that).  Live with it, celebrate it.  Get over it and move on.  There’s a little place in the world for all of us.

Eh, that’s all I got.  Like I said, I’m by no means an expert.  I still have loads to learn, but you don’t have to know it all before you start.  Wisdom comes with age (or so I’ve heard).  Take baby steps.  You’ll learn to run, all in good time.

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13 thoughts on “Top 10 Tuesday {27}

  1. Candice April 17, 2012 at 12:11 pm Reply

    Haha, I love how you just came out and said “don’t be an ass.” BEST advice ever! I get so turned off to some blogs because they try too hard to be snarky. I can get an occasional “mean” review; maybe that book really offended your sensibilities and you need to get it out. But when it’s bad review after bad review? My first thought is MAAAAAYBE this person is an ass.

    And yes.. baby steps… one foot in front of the other and then you’re running! I like to think I’m at speed walking right now… or at least I hope 🙂

    • Dixie April 17, 2012 at 1:02 pm Reply

      “don’t be an ass” is totally my motto. sometimes, i forget it 🙂 I love your blog, Candice. I like how you break down your reviews. totally interesting & totally you!

  2. Tanya Patrice April 17, 2012 at 12:55 pm Reply

    Love the tips – especially “establish a pattern” although I want to add don’t feel you have to follow the pattern all the time. And yes to don’t be an ass!

    • Dixie April 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm Reply

      you’re right. it’s nice to deviate once in a while, like dessert for dinner. what a nice surprise!

  3. Elizabeth April 17, 2012 at 1:09 pm Reply

    Be sociable, even if it kills you=very good advice and something I have to constantly tell myself. It gets easier the more you do it, too! (As in, twitter confused the heck out of me until I finally tried it and was like, oh, this is easy.)

    • Dixie April 17, 2012 at 1:29 pm Reply

      i have to tell myself this all the time, to be social, cause i’d rather be at home on my couch reading. so it’s doubly hard for me to do in the blogging community.

  4. Darlene April 17, 2012 at 2:45 pm Reply

    Excellent advice for new bloggers! I especially like your tip to have a pattern. That is something I never really thought of but it does make a lot of sense that if you create a pattern of what you blog, when that people would appreciate it and the consistency with it. I also like what you say about being organic. I’ve always left genuine comments when I comment, but on my blog I have received several comments from people who don’t even say anything about my post, they just beg for visits. It makes me feel even less likely to want to visit their blog! Great post!

    Darlene @ Leather Bound and Lovely

    • Gone Pecan April 17, 2012 at 4:05 pm Reply

      it kinda drives me nuts if i go back to a blog that i like and there’s no new content for weeks on end.
      also, i really hate when people comment just to get you to go to their blog. and i’m not even talking about here, i mean when i see it on other’s pages, i just shake my head. ~dixie

  5. EvilEva April 17, 2012 at 5:05 pm Reply

    Great tips! i especially liked “don’t be an ass.” 🙂

    • Gone Pecan April 17, 2012 at 5:56 pm Reply

      EvilEva!! I love your meme! Its my goal in the next month to get an actual schedule down and join more memes can’t wait. ~Maggie

    • Gone Pecan April 17, 2012 at 8:34 pm Reply

      Thanks bunches!

  6. Harley Bear (@HarleyBearBooks) April 17, 2012 at 5:18 pm Reply

    I laughed out loud at number 2. So great! It’s what I said in My Top Ten Tuesday post. I think it’s the most important advice for bloggers. I see too much drama on twitter and I like staying out of it. I agree also with not blogging soley for ARCS. I like to buy books from authors I know I like because I know they get a cut of the profit…especially if they are a not so popular or a new author. ARCs are great, but they’re not everything.

    • Gone Pecan April 17, 2012 at 8:33 pm Reply

      I agree with buying books from you would read anyway. Also, i hate unnecessary drama. I stay out of that, too.

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