While brainstorming what my first Armchair BEA post should be I wondered. . . What could I post about. As I looked at the related topics suggested I came to the conclusion that I probably wasn't the best person to tell other bloggers how best to build their posts, or how to best get activity on their blog. (I'm quite new to all this myself).
As many of you writers and bloggers out there know the well known mantra ---Write what you know--- I am going to take some liberty here and do just that. This first Armchair BEA post is to all you fellow bloggers out there that are new. And take it from me, if there's anything I know about this whole book blogging business it's about being new. This will be a newbie posting to fellow newbies :D
Have no Fear, Friends are Near!
When I first started blogging I didn't know anything, I didn't even know what an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) was. My first book blog I ever looked at was Angie's over at Angieville. If any of you know her, you know what a doll she is----and also what a brilliant, smart woman as well. Which can be quite intimidating eh? When I first started my blog I somewhat set mine up like Angie's, being the newbie I was, I assumed that generally her blog was what all book blogs looked like. After I ran into a post from the Story Siren I nearly died of embarrassment. I emailed Angie and whaled about how sorry I was and how presumptuous I must have been to emulate my blog like hers. Sweet Angie emailed me back a heart felt email telling me not to worry and that she enjoyed my blog. To keep on blogging and that she didn't look at my blog as a "copy-cat" to hers. The thing is, Book Bloggers are generally a friendly breed of people. Talk to them! They are more than willing to help you out, answer questions, and quite frankly just be your friend. As C.S. Lewis said:
"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one."
And here my friends where we all love books I believe it is safe to say that we all share a special comradery one with another.
Most blogs you'll run in to when starting your own blog are typically well established blogs. Don't panic! Instead, learn from them! Follow them, look at their links. See what you like, see what you don't like. Get ideas that would fit you and the audience you're aiming to target. Don't know what audience you want to target yet? That's fine, just keep on blogging and you'll find it. Blogging isn't a perfect art. You can change and tweak your blog as you go, picking up new ideas and losing others.
When you find something you like and want to use it on your blog with your own spin, most often you can go ahead! The key here is to attribute credit where it is due.
Meme's are a common find on book blogs and attributing credit is always a polite given when participating in them. When I was all up in a bundle about my blog "copy-cating" Angie's I was being a bit too overzealous. I thought I was doing unjust credit when I was posting a picture of the book I was reviewing and also adding a favorite passage from time to time for the book at the end of the review. The thing is most if not all book blogs post pictures of the book they're reviewing, for things like that you don't necessarily need to credit anyone. If you like listing book blogs you follow on your sidebar but other blogs do it too and you wonder if you need to credit all the other bloggers that do as well, you don't need to---things like that it's OK not to credit anyone. A great rule of thumb is, if your questioning whether to give credit for something or not, do it.
I would say, one of the most important things when starting is to EXPLORE Look at other blogs and see what's going on. Like I said before, Book Bloggers in general are a very nice breed of people. Talk to them! Do NOT feel pressured to like a book because either a blogger you look up to likes it, or it's widely praised across the blogsphere. Bloggers might disagree with a review--They liked a book that you didn't--- But they won't demean you and call you an idiot, what more often than not happens is an agreement to disagree, a typical commenter that disagrees with a review I did usually reads like this:
"This is what I love about book reviews, there are so many angles that can be taken on a book."
"I actually liked this one, but I get what your saying."
Or something to that effect. But see, they're quite nice in their disagreement and not at all condescending or rude. So--don't be afraid to write what you feel! Chances are you aren't the only one who feels that way.
Lastly, there are so many sources out there if you're still feeling queasy about jumping in to this book blogging thing.
here's one from the Story Siren and actually many of the posts that bloggers are doing for the Armchair BEA will be great to look at as well :D so Go Check it out!
Fellow newbies, Don't be scared or intimidated! Jump in and have fun :D seriously, if books are your passion don't be afraid to share it! Join in on the fun and meet fellow chums! There are people to meet, books to read, and things to learn so what are you waiting for?!
All pictures are from Here.