Blog about Blogging! End of Armchair BEA~ Rules? What rules?

It is over. The end of my posting daily.
 (And my Email subscribers rejoice worldwide!!)

The BEA 2011 is over, so we will go back to normal programming of book reviews next week. This post is not completely thought out, I am running on empty and need a triple espresso to wake up.. but here goes.

Armchair BEA 2011

Today, the Armchair BEA Panel asks us to Blog about Blogging! There is a Book Blogger Convention today in NYC (come to Dallas!!) so the theme seems right.
There were lots of writing prompts, like how to social network, how to balance reality from your online life, tips on technique, etc.

One of those prompts was “a rule list”:

Create a “rule list” of things you should and shouldn’t be doing on a book blog.

That stuck out for me.. because we blog for us. We blog because we want to. We do not get paid to blog. We do not have to cater to one particular genre if we do not want to. We do not have to post if we don’t want to. Lots of people have their own niche’s and their own set of general do’s and will not do’s for their own life. You should set your own as you see fit, and never let anyone else set boundaries for you. Barring explicit and offensive/prejudicial content, you should aim high! Or aim just as you see fit. Your blog is your creation and you should let it be a reflection of yourself, if you want it to.

My personal set of rules:
Be happy.
Enjoy the experience.
Only accept review books that I am extremely interested in.
Converse with other bloggers as time permits.
Cultivate relationships with favorite publishers.
Make my reviews informative and interesting, while using spell-check.
*Stay away from reviewing the same books that every one is reviewing. *

That last one is a toughie and I’m trying to move in that direction as the summer comes along. Even though blog tours can be fun for the authors, I have to wonder how many times we really want to see the same book over and over and over again. The plus is most of the time there are giveaways that go along with the tours, so I would think that those who do want to win that book would follow along on the tour to enter for the chances to win. So, I’m still on the fence on this one. As a blogger yourself, what do you think are the pro’s and cons of Blog Tours? Are they redundant to you?

Back to my “rules list”.. there are a lot of technical tips that I could go into such as twitter and facebook pages to help promote your blog, but all that should be a personal preference. It depends on how far you want to take your blog, and how much time you have to devote to it. Build it, and they will come.. but you can’t just let it sit there and expect people to show up. You will have to market yourself. You will have to comment on other blogs. You will have to get out there and insert yourself into that niche that you want to be in. You need to want it, you need to have a passion for it, and you need to not expect greatness if you are not. And no, I am not greatness, but someday I will get to where I want to be, though I am still working out what that is. We shall see. There was a point when I felt like I didn’t want to write one more review.. so it just depends on which way real life is blowing at any particular time.

When I started branding my blog, it became important to have a specific graphic, something identifiable as your blog, to represent you. So, @BurtonReview is my twitter handle. I signed up with Gravatar so the same image comes up when I comment on wordpress blogs. Certain little things like that go a long way.
If you are a newbie, I would definitely say to watch for the bloggiesta events that come up, as they suggest things you may have forgotten to work on which helps clean up and focus your blog in the right direction. I did participate once and got a lot of work done on my blog one weekend.

Lastly… the extra special BEA Giveaway has ended.. those 9 books are going to a very special lucky winner. One of my partners in crime for this giveaway was Historical-fiction.com and she will announce the winner on her site as soon as I and Lucy from Enchanted from Josephine tally our semi-finalists. It was grand fun, and I hope you liked the scavenger hunt we set up for you!
Hope everyone has a fabulous long weekend planned.. sun and surf and turf?? Or, sun and mowing and week-whacking.. ugh.. I will definitely get a few hours of reading by the pool. I will have to restrain myself to not pick up Lady of the English from Chadwick, or maybe I won’t. We’ll see.
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9 Comments

Filed under Armchair BEA, BEA 2011, Why I Blog

9 responses to “Blog about Blogging! End of Armchair BEA~ Rules? What rules?

  1. Great post! I'm so glad I found your blog through Armchair BEA. I love historical fiction. Thanks for stopping by To Read or Not To Read.

  2. I like your "rules". I agree the last one is tough though. I enjoy participating in blog tours and reviewing new books but I do wonder if it all gets "lost" among so many reviews/posts about the same book in such a short period of time. When I get new releases without a specific time frame for a review, I tend to hold onto them for a few months so that hopefully it's "fresh" by the time I get to it. Hope you have a nice holiday weekend!

  3. A fantastic post, Marie — I especially found your last 'rule' very interesting. Joining a blog tour as a new blogger has been huge for me — the glut of free books an enormous treat and the giveaways a fun way to connect with readers. However, I'm totally with you about seeing the same book over and over — I do find that the blogs reviewing books I don't usually see often stand out for me.To me it comes down to your first two rules — that's it, exactly.Now, as a newer blogger, I'd love to learn more about your "rule 5" — cultivate relationships with your favorite publishers. How do you do so — just 'cold call' (so to speak, 'cold email', I suppose)?

  4. I like the rules you have. The last one is one that would be tough to adhere to. Blog tours to me provide authors with a variety of reviews and exposure depending on each blogs readership. I think the tours get weary for book bloggers because we often read one another's blogs, but our other readers may only see 1-2 of those reviews. So they probably don't feel as bombarded.

  5. Very good rules. I always wonder about the blog tours and doing the same book over and over. I think that is harder with some genres than others?I am thrilled to have discovered your blog this week (and know a couple others that will want to find it too!). Thank you.

  6. Thanks so much Marie for the fun these past few days and I really enjoyed this post. I undertand the part about the book tours as being repetitive but as a historical book lover I still appreciate them. Let me explain why…I tend to follow only a select few of you fabulous bloggers because I appreciate your opinions and your huge knowledge base. Even though you may be reviewing the same book…you still all bring your own preferences and knowledge base to your personal reviews and I really like that. Hope this helps and THANKS so much for the BEA giveaway and I really like the scavenger hunts! Fondly, Roberta

  7. I couldn't agree more Marie. I think you absolutely have to let life get in the way – there are certainly things that should come before blogging and it shouldn't feel like a job (unless it actually is). If you stop enjoying it, what is the point?

  8. Hi Marie, and thanks for a thought-provoking post… I was at the BEA this week and the same question (re: rules) was asked, with no real consensus to the answer other than that bloggers tend to develop a set of internal guidelines that they should stay consistent with.I'm ambivalent about blog tours; if I see the same book reviewed more than twice on blogs I visit recently I may not read the subsequent reviews as closely. My own participation depends on the timeframe involved and whether I want to read the book in the first place. Many tours have given me notice of only a month or even just a week, which is nowhere near enough time for me to plan around. A few months' advance notice is better.One nice thing at the BBC yesterday: many of the publisher speakers provided printed lists of publicist contact names and emails for requesting review copies. They're supposed to be making them available via the convention website in the near future.

  9. This post is definitely spot on! I have not been pursuing as many books to review, since I barely have time to read them, and there are so many other books awiting me on my bookshelf. The last rule is indeed a ponderous one. There are many ways to look at it, but I guess I would say that the tours are good as long as everyon who participates has a good chunk of separate followers… It has to be new for at least one person per review, or is it really that small a world?

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