updated my theme hope you guys like it, I spent like all day finding one and figuring out what I was going to put on it
sidebar on the left is the cover model from Abandon by Meg Cabot, I may change that picture later on idk depends on my mood
sidebar images on the right (from top to bottom) are Zoey Deutch as Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy movie, the cover for Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell which I’m currently reading
I may use this spot to display what I’m currently reading idk but that’s what it’s doing for the moment, and Lily Collins as Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments City of Bones movie
I haven’t played with the links besides the navigation one so don’t bother trying to click on the ones that say "link *insert number here*" I plan on updating those at some point
hopefully soon but for now I am tired and I think I’m going to go watch a movie before Finding Carter comes on
keep an eye out for more updates coming soon! xoxo
p.s. if you hover over left sidebar image my description pops up
YA Meme: 9 Quotes 6/9
You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful. - Hazel Grace Lancaster, The Fault in Our Stars
whispering, “no,” at a character because you know they’re about to make a fool of themselves and kill you with second hand embarrassment
VA/Bloodlines Meme - seven characters [2/7] → Rose Hathaway
ya lit meme: 2/9 quotes, eleanor & park by rainbow rowell
“I want everyone to meet you. You’re my favorite person of all time.”
YA Lit Meme [1/2] Authors » Michael Grant, author of GONE series, BZRK, Magnificent 12 series, Eve & Adam, and more
“If I keel over dead five minutes from now, it will have been a great life. You have no fucking idea how your life will turn out. Stay for the whole ride. “
YA meme: [2/5] protagonists: Harry Potter (Harry Potter Saga)
I get a lot of questions and people coming to me for advice on book blogging and writing reviews and all that jazz. I thought I’d combine everything into one hopefully useful reference post.
Here’s a little disclaimer before I get rambling - I don’t know everything. Other bloggers might give you very different advice. The thing with blogging is everyone will have their own way of doing things - we all have our own blogs after all. There’s no ‘right’ way of having a book blog. Also, I’m constantly learning new things and getting more ideas. So basically, read this post but use it as a guide.
Starting a book blog
So you have decided that you love books enough that you want to blog about them - yay! Here are some tips for setting up your book blog:
- Think of an original URL. I’m personally more likely to check out a blog if there’s something bookish in the URL and/or icon, as I assume that means your content will be bookish too. You could think of a pun, twist a book title, combine two things you love, use a bookish nickname, etc.
- If you’d like to be active on other sites for bookish things, create accounts with your username before they are taken! This could include Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Blogger, WordPress, etc. Link those sites to your blog, particularly Goodreads. You might also want to create an email address, hosted by Microsoft, Google, Yahoo, etc.
- Find a theme to use on your blog, whether you use one Tumblr recommends or a custom one. First impressions can be important and your theme is a great way of expressing your own individuality on your blog. You can have a minimalist theme that attract more attention to your posts or a more colourful one. With themes, you also have the option to add images, links, descriptions, and more. I use theme-hunter as a resource for finding themes and pages to use. You will find help on installing them there
- Follow lots of book blogs so you have plenty of bookish content on your dashboard. You can find more book blogs through the links on this page. I’d suggest following a range of blogs, particularly ones that suit your own tastes
- Start posting, so your page doesn’t look too bare! You can reblog things from the book blogs now on your dashboard and/or create your own posts. Scroll down for more info on blog content
- Create pages. On customise, if you scroll down you will see the option to add a page. You can add links to your other blogs/accounts or create pages that your followers can view. These are a good way of listing your favourite books, what you’ve read the year, a more detailed about me, a directory for your book reviews, etc. For a simple page, all you need to do is type in the box. You could also change the layout to custom and paste codes for custom page layouts, which you can find on theme resource blogs. For example, I use ones for my virtual bookshelf and 2014 reads pages. I have a how-to post on the 2014 reads page here and the bookshelf page here
- Introduce yourself. It helps to have a mini ‘about me’ either in your description or on a separate page. You don’t just want to be The Book Blog to everyone, you want to have a name and personality. Say hi to some other bloggers and let them know who you are. You’re part of a community now!
- Use your blog as a way of expressing yourself. Don’t just robotically post about books. Talk about your favourite books and your interests, do original posts too, share your opinions, write about your thoughts, put your own individual stamp on your blog and posts. We’re all different so we all have the potential to have different blogs that are wonderful for their own reasons. Make sure that when people see your blog they think ‘oh wow it’s Bob’ or whatever. For example, people typically associate me with The Book Thief and Rapunzel. There’s other bloggers who are memorable because of their animals, others because of their personality, and so on
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you want some tips on blogging or you’re not quite sure how to do something, ask another book blogger. It doesn’t necessarily need to be me. Each blogger will have their own advice to give from their own experiences. Don’t be afraid to ask off anon either - that way people can help you while checking out your blog. I personally don’t mind promoting book blogs (and I’m sure others will feel the same) so feel free to ask
- Take baby steps. Realistically, you’re not going to get zillions of followers as soon as you create a blog or have the best blog on the internet. (If you do, share your secrets!) Blogging, like a lot of things in life, is a learning curve. The more you do it, the more you’ll come up with new ideas and it might take a while to get into things. People who have been following me from the start will notice differences in my own blog over time. It’s taken me a while to become confident. Just don’t rush things and remember one of the most important things…
- HAVE FUN. Blogging is fun at the end of the day. I’m assuming that you wanted to start a book blog for that very reason - to have fun and share your love of books with others. There is a serious side to blogging, of course, but don’t forget to have fun
The content of your blog is extremely important - obviously. I personally love blogging on Tumblr because instead of just posting long text posts, I can express my love of books in other, more creative ways and also support the creativity of others. A pretty graphic or photo sticks in my mind as much as a glowing book review. Here are some ideas for posts on your blog, both original and reblogged:
- Photography - The good thing with photos is that anyone can take them. I personally use my iPhone and then do very basic editing before posting the pictures. You can take pictures of anything you like, whether it’s a book stack, your bookshelves, a library or bookstore, the book you’re currently reading, the books you bought recently, and so on. It’s also fun to participate in books-cupcakes' book photo challenges each month
- Art - I have an entire tag just for bookish art, whether it’s sketches, paintings, illustrations, etc.
- Edits/Graphics/GIFs - There’s a lot of meme/challenges going around with bookish prompts or you can wing it and create whatever you like. I’ve seen some beautiful cover remakes, typography posters, photo sets, fancast edits, picspams and more.
- Quotes - A great way of sharing the books you read is to share the quotes you like. Post the ones that mean something to you
- Reviews - You can adopt your own style and that doesn’t necessarily need to be formal. You can do a review using GIFs or a written review. Scroll down for specific tips on writing reviews
- Rambles - I call my mini text posts ‘rambles’. Text posts are a nice, quick way of getting your opinion across on something, sharing your thoughts on a book you’re reading, posting a general update, or whatever
- Recommendations - Do posts on books you recommend to your followers, whether it’s general recs, your favourite books, books in a specific genre, etc.
- Reading Progress - Do posts on what you’re reading and what you’ve read, not limited to reviews. You might want to do posts in the read-a-thons, groups and challenges you’re participating in/hoping to complete.
Here are some general tips about posts:
- Create original posts as well as simply reblogging everything. I’ve suggested a lot of posts you could do above
- Tag your posts! This is important for original posts so people can find them. In tag searches only the first tags will appear so include the more popular tags, such as the title of the books involved, first. So you and others can keep track of your original posts, add a tag for them. Also use tags so people can easily navigate your posts, you can keep track of your own posts and people can add a tag to their blacklist if they’re not interested in seeing it on their dash
- Go ahead and post about your non-bookish interests too. However try to keep the majority of your posts book-related if you’d like to be considered a “book blog”
- Set up a queue so your blog remains active. This is especially helpful if you’re busy or have multiple blogs to manage. Experiment on the number of posts per day or if you only want to queue posts during a particular time period
- Make use of Tumblr add-ons such as XKit, which can make your life a lot easier, particularly when tagging published asks and quickly queuing posts
- If you want to post about your favourite books and the books you’re currently reading, track their tags or follow blogs that post a lot about them specifically
With book reviews, you will gradually find your own style and feel more comfortable writing them. Here are some tips that might help you:
- Take notes on the book you’re reviewing while you’re reading it, as well as after, while it’s all still fresh in your mind. It personally helps me to take notes once I finish a book and plan my review before I write it. Also use post-its, flags, little pieces of paper, highlighting or any other system to mark particular sections of the book you like or want to address in your review
- Use some kind of rating system for a simple way to assess whether you enjoyed a book. You could use stars, a number out of 10 or something more creative
- For some kind of visual, include the book’s cover or a picture of the book in your review post
- Let your followers know what the book is about. You could do so by either starting your review with a brief summary or including the book’s description in your review post. I include mine before my review
- Include links to the book’s Goodreads page and perhaps a place where your followers can buy it online
- At the start of your review, sum up your thoughts in a line or two. Try to draw your reader in!
- Try to discuss all elements of the book (as necessary), including plot, writing, characters, pacing, setting, themes, etc.
- Use headings if that helps you organise your writing and stick to specific points
- Think critically. Don’t be afraid to discuss a book’s flaws, even if you did like it. Try to provide constructive criticism and explain your reasons for liking and disliking particular aspects of the book
- A good review isn’t necessarily a long review so don’t feel like you need to ramble on unnecessarily, repeating the same things over and over
- It might help you if you read a few other reviews before you start writing. Don’t explicitly copy them but take note of their style and what they address to inspire you
- To add a personal touch to your review, you may want to add an anecdote that relates to the book. Just remember you’re writing about a book and not yourself
- Mention who you would recommend the book to. You could suggest it for fans of a particular genre, author or another book like it or (if it’s a very good book) everyone!
- Also post your review on other sites such as Goodreads and online bookstores, and then link it back to the review on your blog
If you have a book blog and write book reviews, you may be interested in reviewing books for authors and publishers. Here are a few tips, though be aware that if you did a Google search you’re likely to find much better resources on this:
- Generally, I wouldn’t suggest jumping straight into ARCs if you’re not confident with reviews or willing to take it seriously. If you’re a new blogger, don’t feel like you have to instantly start with that. There’s no rush and you should get some practice in before you start requesting books and contacting authors/publishers
- Create a ‘review policy’ page. Basically, outline what your policy is on review books and if you are open to authors/publishers contacting you. Specify what kind of books you enjoy, how they can contact you (email is best), what formats you prefer books in, etc.
- Request books for review online using sites like NetGalley. (There are more but I mostly use NetGalley so that’s the one I’m going to focus on here.) Essentially, you create an account, add a link to your blog, write a description about your preferred genres, how many followers you have, etc. and browse the books available. You can read some without having to be approved - check the ‘Read Now’ link - but the majority are ones that you need to request. Check the publishers’ requirements and if you are within the area specified as preferable. If you are approved, you will receive an email to say so and you can download the title to your e-reader in the format suitable for you. Once you’ve read the book and posted the review on your blog, click ‘send feedback’ on the book on NetGalley
- It will likely increase your chances in being approved for books to review if you have already posted book reviews, as well as have a decent amount of followers and page views
- It is highly recommended that you post your reviews as close to the release date as possible. You may read a book that is released in September in April but it does make sense to save your review so people will see it and actually be able to buy it sooner rather than later, without forgetting about it
- Include a little disclaimer in your review somewhere. It’s important to not only state that your review is honest and unbiased, but also that you received the book from the author/publisher. For example, I use ‘I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review’
- If you receive an ARC* of a book, don’t post quotes, major plot points, spoilers, etc. or post it online. Pay attention to the legal disclaimer at the start of each ARC
- Write spoiler free reviews if you want more people to read them. If I want to add spoilers, I link my review back to Goodreads, where I can hide things as spoilers
- Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get every book you want to review. It happens unfortunately but just remember: Hakuna Matata
- If you’re feeling confident, look into contacting publishers directly. Look up some publishers you like and that are based in your country and email the publicist. Provide a link to your blog, a brief description of your blog, what your reading preferences are, how many followers you have, your mailing address and contact details, and so on. They will most likely add you to their mailing list. I would only recommend this if you’ve been reviewing books for a while
- Don’t feel like you have to give every book you receive for review 5 stars. Try to think critically and write an honest and helpful review. Why didn’t you like a book? What did you like? Who do you think might like the book, if you didn’t?
- Only accept the books you are genuinely interested in reading. Don’t hesitate to ask for more information on a book if you’re unsure
- Keep an eye out for giveaways on Goodreads and other sites, as well as those run by publishers and authors on their sites and across social media. You may also be able to acquire ARCs at book events
* ARC means advanced readers copy, otherwise known as galley or proof. It means an unfinished copy of a book that has yet to be published. Not all of the books you may receive for review will be uncorrected proofs/ARCs. Authors or publishers may also send you finished copies of books
It’s difficult to try to give advice regarding followers, because really I don’t know why the majority of you follow me or how you found my blog. Remember that there’s more to blogging than how many followers you have. If that is the most important thing to you then I think you may have missed the point. However, it does help if there are people interested in your posts and reviews. Here are some things that may help you to get more followers:
- If you create original posts, ensure that you tag them. Use the most popular and relevant tags first, such as the book title and author, as they are included in searches
- Keep posting! The majority of followers will come from seeing your post somewhere, and getting curious and checking out your blog
- Pictures of your bookshelves = followers
- Book giveaway = followers
- Add links to your blog on other sites you use
- Follow plenty of book blogs and see if anyone follows you back, as people often check who is following them for similiar blogs that interest them
- Nicely ask another book blogger for a promo and/or to check out your blog
I hope this post helped!