Category Archives: The Dear Series

Dear Blogger: Twitter

Dear Blogger,

After a long semi-hiatus, I’m back! I’ve finally caught up with all the updates and cross-posting I’ve been procrastinating, and let me tell you this, it feels good to have everything spick and span again. I have an idea of why I lost interest in blogging for awhile, but that’s a topic for another day.

For today, I’ve decided to write a new topic for The Dear Series. In January last year, someone requested that I write a “Dear Author” post about the misuse of DMs in Twitter. I don’t plan to write a post based on that topic since I don’t have enough encounters or experiences with that issue, but I’m going to write about Twitter and its advantages and disadvantages. (NOTE: if you’re well-versed with social media, skip this post!)

As a beginning blogger, you were probably told many times that social networking is important in building your blog reach. That is true. After all, if you do not network with other bloggers, you can’t “get your name out there” and bloggers do not want to see zero hits in their blogs’ stats!

Twitter is a popular social networking tool. It’s probably somewhere on par with Facebook or even more, because Twitter is limitless. There is no “friend” system. Random strangers can and will follow you, unless you privatize your account. Most people have public accounts and if you have a public account, your tweets can be read by the millions of Twitter users out there. So here’s the advantages and disadvantages of this powerful tool.

Advantages

1. Many authors and publishers have Twitter accounts. If you have a Twitter account, you can follow them and get their updates instantly. This also means that you can follow any of their announcements about books. What better place to discover about the latest book in your favorite series?

2. Twitter is a great place to find out about good new books! If you’re following book bloggers, chances are you’ll read their tweets about the latest interesting book they’d read. And being the book lover that you are, your interest will definitely be piqued.

3. An enjoyable advantage is that you can use Twitter as an extra giveaway/contest entry. You’ve probably seen giveaways that require you to follow or tweet for the “extra” entry. Of course, since every entry counts, and if you’re as desperate as I’ve been to win a book, Twitter would probably be your favorite social networking tool when you’re doing that “extra” entry.

dear blogger twitter

That extra entry could go a long way.

4. Twitter is a great place to interact with authors! Sometimes, authors don’t have the time to reply to every fan email. Tweets have a maximum limit of 140 characters in length. It wouldn’t take long for an author to read and reply your message. And you don’t even have to fill in a “Contact” form or hunt for the author’s email address.

Disadvantages

1. Like I said earlier, there’s basically no boundaries in your Twitter account. Unlike Facebook where you can privatize certain statuses and publicize others, in Twitter, all your tweets are either private or public. There is no in between. Of course, if you wish to have a wider reach, you would not privatize your account. After all, why make it harder for others to follow you? But the “danger” is that people could find certain of your tweets offensive. You are more susceptible to troll attacks. In short, it’s easier to get “in trouble” in Twitter than in Facebook.

2. Ever heard the quote “With greater power comes greater responsibility”? I’m going to tweak it a little here – with greater influence comes greater responsibility. Twitter has long been a base for fabricated news and bullying. It’s so easy to type something, hit the “tweet” button and publicize your tweet to everyone, whether they are using Twitter or not. It’s easier to “bash” someone for their opinions and name-calling isn’t an unusual sight. If you’re the type of person who is strongly protective and defensive of your comments/opinions/work, don’t create a Twitter.

There! That is my list of advantages and disadvantages of Twitter. Do you have anything to add to the list? Comment and let me know. If you don’t have a Twitter account, here’s my question for you: To tweet, or not to tweet?

In the meantime, I’m off to my Twitter feed!

Twittering,
Evangeline
@EvangelineHan

The Dear Series is a series of posts addressed to either authors or bloggers. If you have any topics you’d like to see me address, please let me know in the comment section below. As always, I welcome your opinions. If you read something you like or do not like, let me know! I hope you enjoy this series as much as I enjoy writing them.

Dear Blogger: Comment Etiquette

Dear Blogger,

Posts about etiquette when commenting on blog posts exist all over the Internet. But, I want to bring up two points, or two don’ts, that I consider important in today’s post.

The first don’t is, don’t leave comments in an author’s blog asking for a review copy. I can give you my 100% assurance that doing that is one sure way of getting in the wrong books on the author. Politeness is a big rule in etiquette and requesting for review copies in public comments is rude. When you do that, you’re telling the author that all you want is to snag a review book. You don’t even want to bother sending an email to the author’s email address or through a contact form.

I’ve seen such comments again and again. The first time I read a review request in a comment, I was surprised. If the blogger isn’t embarrass with their behavior, I am. I still cringe inwardly each time I read such comments. If you want a review copy, you will have to prove to the author that you will appreciate the review copy. Review copies cost money and the chances of authors sending you review copies is higher when you are polite and take the time to email them. It doesn’t take 5 minutes to write a query letter to an author.

So, please, if you have been leaving review requests in the author’s blog posts, stop.

The second don’t is, don’t leave spam comments in blog posts. It is fine if you leave a link to your blog when commenting on meme posts such as Waiting on Wednesday, Booking Through Thursday, and In My Mailbox posts. After all, one aim of such meme posts is to generate blog readership. It is also fine to leave a link to your blog if the blogger asks for a link.

To a better blogging future,
Evangeline

The Dear Series is a series of posts addressed to either authors or bloggers. If you have any topics you’d like to see me address, please let me know in the comment section below. As always, I welcome your opinions. If you read something you like or do not like, let me know! I hope you enjoy this series as much as I enjoy writing them.

Dear Author: Review Policy

Dear Author,

It’s all about review policies today. Review policies are those policies where info is given about the book blogger’s guidelines regarding books sent for reviews. They exist for a reason.

I cannot overstress the importance of reading review policies. Some review policies are just one or two paragraphs long. Others are even longer. But the length doesn’t matter. What matters most is the content in the review policies.

You see, review policies are not just bytes in the web-space. They serve a greater purpose than just to take up bytes. Review policies tell you the book genres bloggers prefer and their preferred book formats. The concise ones also include information about their reviews and important information about author interviews and book giveaways.

You’ve probably heard that it’s never safe to assume or make presumptions. This works the same in book blogging. Never assume that you know what the book blogger wants. Always read their review policy.

After all, why should we spend three hours (or more) to read your book when you cannot even spare five minutes reading our review policy?

Not only that, you will save yourself and us time (time is precious, you know) by reading our review policies. For example, if you read my review policy, you would know that I don’t accept eBooks. If you have read it instead of immediately clicking the email icon on the right, you wouldn’t be emailing me PDFs of your book in the hope that I’ll read them. And no, I am not that easily tempted to read your book no matter how good it sounds. (I am not easily tempted by free books, in case you are wondering.)

To a better bookish future,
Evangeline

This is my first post for the Dear series I’m starting. Each Dear post will either be addressed to authors or book bloggers. This is a monthly series. If you have any topics you’d like to see me address, please let me know in the comment section below. As always, I welcome your opinions. If you read something you like or do not like, let me know! I hope you enjoy this series as much as I enjoy writing them.