The Compulsive Reader: 2006

Monday, November 13, 2006

Cathy's Book

Some of you may have found Cathy's Book, an interactive book with a whole bunch of neat clues included, phone numbers to call, and websites to visit. I was asked to leave this book somewhere for others to find by Teenreads.com, a website that is dedicated to spreading the word about great reads for teens (hence the name). Please feel free to post you thoughts on this book, whether you have read it before, or found it where I left it. I personally thought it was highly entertaining and fun to read. We may have to start a petition for a sequel.

Til next time,

~The Compulsive Reader

Friday, November 10, 2006

How to Promote Your Book

Quick Links:
Author Advice

I am always more than delighted to help promote your book, whether you are an author, publisher, publicist, whichever, as long as the book is classified as Young Adult, Teen, or holds some teenage appeal. This site gets about 400 unique hits each day, and readers span from all over--North and South America, Europe, Asia, and a few from Australia and Africa!

There are a number of ways to go about advertising your book. First and foremost, you can send a copy of your book for review. Please note that due to time constraints, I do not read self-published or unpublished books, and I can only accept hard copies--no PDF files. The site is updated almost every day with book reviews, and besides posting them here on The Compulsive Reader, all reviews are posted on Amazon.com,  and some are posted on The Figment Review, ensuring that the reviews will reach as many people as possible. Reviews are posted as soon as they are written, and will not be posted until the publication date of the book unless requested.

Another favorite here at The Compulsive Reader is author interviews (over phone or e-mail). A copy of the book doesn't have to be supplied before the interview, although it is helpful.

I'm always happy to have guest bloggers, or to participate in blog tours. Readers especially love to hear what authors and publishers have to say, even if it isn't about writing. Guest blogs can be between 200-1000-ish words, and can be on any subject. It's a great way to connect with readers in a way other than through your books.

Also, for $10, you can advertise a banner or JPEG image of your book on the website for 30 days. This can link to any webpage of your choice. The image or banner will be placed along either the side of the page or the bottom, and will appear every time the website it brought up.

Finally, who doesn't love a good giveaway? They're a great way to get readers excited about a book, and even make them more likely to buy the book themselves. I love giving away books even more than I do reading and reviewing them, so if you're interested in donating copies for contest purposes, consider me! I like to try to have monthly contests, and contributions are always gratefully accepted. And it doesn't even have to be limited to books! Do you have bookmarks, postcards, flyers, or buttons that advertise your books? I'm interested in them! I'm constantly visiting libraries, bookstores, and schools, and love handing them out and mailing fun packs of promo material.

If you have any special inquiries, questions, concerns, or would like to set up any other promotional service, please email Tirzah Price at thecompulsivereader@gmail.com, and I will get back to you promptly.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Blogging Tips

If you are looking to start your own blog, great! Welcome aboard! Blogging is a really great way to get your ideas and opinions out there, and it's also really fun. You'll improve your writing skills and challenge yourself at the same time. Have I made this sound cheesy enough yet?

Okay, now for a few tips:

Be patient.
Nothing happens overnight, or in a week, or even in a month. If you want to get the word out on your blog, look to social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. When I first started The Compulsive Reader, I spent the majority of my free time on MySpace for two months connecting with authors and readers (this was before Twitter was created and Facebook wasn't as popular, now I wouldn't recommend going to MySpace). Yes, it'll take time! Don't expect to get books to review within the first month (or even two or three months) of startiong your blog. You have to establish yourself first!
Be persistent.
If you post at least three-four times per week, you’ll show readers that you’re serious, and there’s a better chance that they’ll come back. Also, consistency is something that authors and publicists look for when looking at reviewers.
Be respectful.
Not all authors or publicists appreciate being hounded for books, interviews, guest posts. Most are more than willing to help out, but you know the old adage, “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar”? It’s totally true. Be polite and professional, but know where the line is.
Be positive.
This ties in with Be Respectful—you don’t have to like everything, but think of others’ feelings before you publicly proclaim your dislike for a book. Be constructive, and make sure you point out something that an author did right along with what they did wrong. You don’t want to burn all of your bridges. There are some people who feed off the constant snarky attitude and brutal critiques, but mostly, it’s just so tacky.
Be happy.

Do this because blogging makes you happy, telling others about great books brings a smile to your face, not because you want free books. If you are passionate about what you are doing, it shows. But if you aren’t, that also shows. Blog because you know that the YA book community is a great one and because you want to be a part of making it better.

Feel free to email me any specific questions (thecompulsivereader@gmail.com) or leave them in the comments!

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Contest Policy

  • Most contests I host are sponsored by publishers, authors, and independent publicists, and I usually do not handle the prizes. 
  • Contests are open to readers ages 13 and up. If you are under 13, please have a parent enter for you.
  • Please respect the residency restrictions as labelled on the contest form and do not enter unless your country is one that we ship to, or you have a mailing address in that country that you can send the book to.
  • I use a random number integer when choosing winners.
  • Please make sure you provide proper contact information when prompted. Read the Privacy Policy here.
  • Please be patient--it can take up to two months for your prize to reach you.
  • I am not responsible for items lost or damaged in the mail.
  • I reserve the right to disqualify entries that don't follow contest guidelines.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Monthly Commenter Contest: How It Works

What is it? 

A contest held every month on thecompulsivereader.com to reward YOU, the awesome readers!

What's being given away?

A brand-spanking new book of my choosing! If I don't already have it in my possession, I will have Amazon.com ship it to you directly.

How do I enter?

At the beginning of each month, I will post what book is being given away that month, and the winner of the previous month's contest. Then, any "significant" comment on any post in the current month will get an entry into the contest. That means you can multiple chances to win and join in the conversations!

What's a "significant" comment?

Anything that contributes to the conversation! No comments with just, "I agree!" or "I want that book, too," or "Visit my blog." Add to the conversation, share your opinion, let me know what YOU think. Every time you do that throughout the month, you get an entry!

Is there a limit to the amount of comments/entries I can post?


Who can enter?

U.S. residents, only please! And, as my Contest Policy states, you need to be 13 years old or older.

How do you pick the winners?

I use a handy Blogger tool that tells me how many comments I get on my posts, pick out the significant comments, and assign them a number. Then, I use a random integer generator at random.org to generate a number. That ones wins! So, it's to your advantage to keep coming back all month long to comment and enter!

Any other questions? Email me at thecompulsivereader@gmail.com.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

The Shade Trilogy by Jeri Smith-Ready

The Shade Trilogy by Jeri Smith-Ready consists of the books Shade (2010), Shift (2011), and Shine (2012).

About the books:


Aura is a part of the first generation born after the Shift, which gave everyone born into the world the ability to see and speak with ghosts. She's never liked her ability, but can't deny being curious about what caused the Shift to occur, and harbors hopes that one day it can be undone. But when her boyfriend Logan dies unexpectedly and Aura is beside herself. Her ability is the only thing that gives her comfort, and allows her to still communicate with Logan. Then she meets Zachary, a mysterious boy with more than a few secrets that Aura is dying to know about, and together they find that their pasts have far too many common factors to be written off as coincidence...bringing Aura closer than she can imagine to the truth about the Shift.

Click here to read my review.


Aura thought she lost her ghost boyfriend Logan forever when he turned Shade, but she is shocked to find that as the first person born since the Shift, she has the power to turn him back into a regular ghost...and more. But the discovery of her new powers holds many implications, and complicates things with Zachary. It's becoming clear that Aura needs to choose between the two of them, but she'll need them both in order to solve the mysteries her mother took to the grave.

Click here to read my review.


More info to come.

American covers:

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Summer Trilogy by Jenny Han

The Summer trilogy by Jenny Han consists of the books The Summer I Turned Pretty (2009), It's Not Summer Without You (2010), and We'll Always Have Summer (2011).

About the books:

The Summer I Turned Pretty

Every since she was born, Belly and her mother and brother spend the summer months at their mother's best friend Susannah's beach house with her and her two sons, Jeremiah and Conrad. The time they spend there is idyllic and perfect, everything Belly could want for in a summer. The summer she turns sixteen though, everything is different. Her mother and Susannah are being secretive, Conrad is extremely moody, and the boys can't seem to understand that Belly isn't a little kid anymore. As everything around her changes and Belly falls in and out of love, she’s certain of one thing: this summer will be far different than all the ones before.

Click here to read my review.

It's Not Summer Without You

Every summer, Belly, her mother, and her brother Steven head to the beach house in Cousins to stay with her mother's oldest friend, Susannah, and her boys Conrad and Jeremiah. But this summer, for the first time, Belly isn't going anywhere. Susannah is dead, leaving the beach house empty and her boys and Belly lonely and lost, unable to see past their grief and hurt. Belly passes the days idly, until Jeremiah shows up, asking for her help, and Belly is forced to confront both boys, and her sorrow.

Click here to read my review.

We'll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han

Two years have passed since Belly began dating Jeremiah. They now go to the same college and Belly is incredibly happy with him, even if she does find herself thinking about Conrad now and again. So when Jeremiah shockingly proposes to Belly at the start of the summer, she immediately says yes. Suddenly Belly's days are full of wedding preparations at the beach house while simultaneously trying to pacify her mother and get along with Conrad. Belly is certain that she loves Jeremiah, but as the summer slips by, she has to ask herself if she's really in love with him...or still in love with Conrad.

Click here to read my review.

American covers:

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Leviathan Trilogy by Scott Westerfeld

The Leviathan Trilogy, written by Scott Westerfeld, consists of the books Leviathan (2009), Behemoth (2010), and Goliath (2011).

About the books:


In Scott Westerfeld's latest book, an alternate world to our own is on the verge of World War I. Europe is divided into the Clankers, countries who favor advanced fighting machines and more modern technology, and the Darwinists, those who have embraced Charles Darwin's advanced scientific discoveries to engineer animals and ecosystems as fighting machines. Two teens—royal and wanted Alek who sides with the Clankers, and Deryn, disguised as a boy to join the British Air Service and is a Darwinist through and through—meet in the great airship Leviathan, and when they do, their lives and the war are forever changed.

Click here to read my review.


Alek and Deryn are nothing alike: he's the lost prince of Austria, on the run since his parents were assassinated, and she is a girl disguised as a boy in the British navy. Yet, they have formed an unlikely friendship that is put to the test when they reach Istanbul. There, Alek and Deryn are both separated from the Leviathan, and left stranded in a city crawling with Germans who are hunting them. They fall into a group of revolutionaries who wish to overthrow the sultan, and discover a powerful weapon that could be the Dawinists' undoing. As time begins to run out, Alek and Deryn must figure out how to cripple the Clankers before they can get the upper hand in the war.

Click here to read my review.


After narrowly escaping the Tesla canon in Istanbul, the Leviathan heads east with Deryn and Alek in tow, where they are expected to pick up a mysterious new passenger. The newcomer is secretive and quirky to the extreme: his eccentricities put Deryn on edge, but his claims of having a device that will end the war intrigue Alek. As secrets are revealed and the Leviathan continues east to the United States, dodging enemies along the way, Deryn will make some important choices about her future and the decisions Alek must make will affect the entire world.

Click here to read my review.

American covers:

Sunday, July 16, 2006

The Wolves of Mercy Falls by Maggie Stiefvater

The Wolves of Mercy Falls is a trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater. The first book is Shiver (2009), the second is Linger (2010), and the third is Forever (2011).

About the books:


Ever since she was attacked by wolves when she was eleven, Grace Brisbane has watched them every winter in the woods. There's one yellow-eyed wolf in particular, the one who saved her, that she can't stop herself from looking for.

Sam lives a fractured life, human in the warm months, but wolf once the weather cools...and he's been watching Grace as well. They've never spoken...until now.

Click here to read my review.


In the last weeks of winter, Sam has stayed human, much to Grace's joy, but the cold still haunts him. Grace is just happy to be with him, even though she knows that their problems are far from resolved. As spring approaches, the new wolves are changing back, even though one of them, Cole, would like nothing more than to lose himself in his wolf form, and Isabel's father is more than willing to help eradicate the wolves in the forest completely. And through it all, Grace is keeping a secret, something that could change everything.

Click here to read my review.


For months, Tom Culpeper has had it out for the wolves. And now he is finally going to do something about them. Sam has finally been "cured", and now he stays human...but now it's Grace who is unstable, and this time she is the wolf in danger in the woods. When Sam and Cole get word of the hunt that Culpeper has orchestrated to finally kill the wolves, they know there's no way to stop him. And so they're forced, with Isabel's somewhat reluctant help, to somehow find a way to not only understand the virus that makes them turn into wolves, but save the entire pack. 

Click here to read my review.

American covers:

Friday, July 14, 2006

Privacy Policy

Privacy is always something that you need to consider and be aware of. I do not generally collect any of your information. The only exception would be if I collected contact information for contest entries. When I do that, I do not share it with anyone, nor do I keep it on file, and I delete everything once a winner has been chosen.

However, please keep in mind that just because I don't collect your information, others can't. If you leave your email address in the comments, or any other identifying information, others can find it.

This is a YA book blog, and my "target audience" is readers ages 13 and older. However, I know that there are younger readers out there. Please be careful, and know that I require you to be at least 13 in order to enter contests. If you would like to enter but do not meet the age requirement, please have a parent submit their contact information.

Also be aware that I link to many different websites, and their policies are all different. I am not responsible for them.

If you have any questions, contact thecompulsivereader@gmail.com.

Saturday, July 8, 2006

The Technical Side of The Compulsive Reader

Many people looking to start a book blog often ask me how I manage the technical aspect of thecompulsivereader.com, and assume I am some sort of web genius. Uh, no. When I started this blog in 2006, I had basic computer skills, and while I could still do more with a keyboard and a mouse than my mother still can (hi, Mom! I love you!), I was far from a web genius.

There is a lot of debate out there about which blog hosting site is the best (Blogger, Livejournal, WordPress, etc.), but I think it all depends on your preferences. I use Blogger, and barring a few minor hiccups in the past year that were resolved quickly, I LOVE it! Blogger is a Google company, but you can use whatever email address you like to create a Blogger account. They allow to to create your own blog and make it as simple or as complex as you want. They also make it very easy to personalize your blog with colors, pictures, designs, etc. without having much knowledge of coding and design. This is the cheap route, as it doesn't cost anything to use Blogger's template designer. It's what I use, and while my blog isn't as flashy as others, it works and I think it looks clean-cut and professional, but also a little fun.

You can also create your template if you have those skills, or hire a designer to create and implement one for you. This can be pricey, but you may even be able to find other bloggers who are willing to design things very inexpensively, like kd-creates.com.

Just some things to consider: if you design the look of your own blog, try to choose colors that are easy on the eyes (as in, no neons!), and just keep in mind that dark backgrounds with light colored text is harder to read than light backgrounds and dark text.

Don't be afraid to play around with your blog and add widgets, pictures, lists, etc.! The Compulsive Reader is constantly evolving, and sometimes a change is really fun! Just keep in mind that readers tend to get annoyed by music players and widgets where the sound cannot be turned off. Other than that, have fun with it.

Once you have your blog up and running, your blog address (URL) will be yourblogname.blogspot.com. If you want to remove the blogspot from your URL, you will need to purchase a domain name. You can do this from a variety of sources, but I recommend doing it through Google. It costs about $10 a year, and they remind you when your subscription is about to expire so you aren't left with a blog but no URL! That is, however, just an option. You don't have to do that!

Your blog is supposed to be a fun place to express yourself. Just remember that it's also a presentation of yourself. If you want to be seen as professional, keep it more on the professional side rather than the personal side.

These are just some of my suggestions and ideas--just remember that in whatever you do, have fun!

Email me at thecompulsivereader@gmail.com if you have any questions or want clarification on anything!

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Review Policy

First off, if you have made it to this page, thank you for taking the time to read my review policy before emailing!

My Reviews

I tend to be a bit more analytical in my reviews than most book bloggers. I like to look at what works in a book and the different elements of story-telling. But, I also read for enjoyment, so I don't like to get too academic. My reviews usually consist of a summary in my own words, one to three paragraphs of my thoughts, and then my "Cover Comments", which is usually one to two sentences about the cover of the edition I am reviewing.

What I Review

I review Young Adult fiction, a limited amount of Middle Grade fiction (special preference for books by authors whose YA work I've enjoyed), and I do not review adult fiction. I am open to most any genre except nonfiction, though my favorites are listed in the About Me section here. If you approach me about a book in a series, please check to see if I have read the previous books. If I have not, I am less likely to accept the book, even if you can provide the previous books in the series.

Accepting Review Copies

I do gladly accept review copies, however at this point in time, I tend to receive more books than I can physically read, which means that I do have to be a bit more selective about what I accept. I also cannot always answer every request I receive, especially if it is evident that the person making the request did not read this review policy. 

I prefer hard copies, but I can read Kindle-compatible e-books.

Please also note that I have special consideration for review requests from publishers, independent publicists I have worked with in the past, authors I have worked with in the past, and those promoting books on my wishlist

I do not read self-published books and unpublished work.

You can email me at thecompulsivereader@gmail.com


I am happy to do, author interviews, host guest blogs, participate in blog tours, and host contests. If you require any material from me, such as author interview questions, I do ask that you give me ample time to come up with them. If you'd like to do an interview, I'd prefer to have read the author's latest book, but I will consider providing questions going off previous books that I have read in the past. I am open for creative promotions, so please don't hesitate to email me--I'm open to almost anything.

Also, I do reserve the right to not post anything I consider inappropriate for my audience (or just inappropriate in general), and the views and opinions that authors share on my site aren't necessarily endorsed by me.

I do not post articles written by unpublished authors.

Background Information and Stats

The Compulsive Reader is run by Tirzah Price, and all reviews and content are generated by me. I have been blogging and reviewing for almost 5 years, and have written over 550 reviews. The Compulsive Reader has over 1,300 posts, with an average of about 28,000 page views per month and 16,000 unique visitors per month. I have readers from all over the world, but most are from the United States, Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Germany, and Brazil. More statistical details available upon request.


Advertising space is available--click here for more details.


Each book I receive is not guaranteed a review, unfortunately. I simply don't have the time--I wish I did! There isn't a set amount of time in which you can expect a review either. I try to get to as many books as I can, but a lot of factors go into my reading decisions, and unfortunately, this isn't a full time job. If you are planning a feature and need a review by a certain date, I usually can make that date if you give me plenty of forewarning, but I cannot guarantee anything.

Books that I do not get to, or that I receive unsolicited, will go to other book bloggers, or if the book is a finished copy, are donated to a local library. 

Most books reviewed on this site are provided to me by publicists, publishers, or authors. I do not receive money from them. I am an Amazon affiliate.

You can contact me at thecompulsivereader@gmail.com for any review or promotion requests and with any questions.

Thank you,

The Compulsive reader