The Compulsive Reader: August 2006

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.