B O O K L U S T: TSS: Commenting Etiquette.
How do you respond to comments left on your blog? Do you respond on your own blog? On the commenter’s blog? Via email?
As a blog reader, do you go back and check for responses to your comments? Do you have a preferred contact method?
When I first started blogging, I used LiveJournal which provides a threading function for comments and lets the commenter know of any responses to their comment. So the question of how to respond to comments didn’t really arise – one simply hit ‘Reply’ and away you went. Then I moved to Blogger which doesn’t have this facility and I went through the whole read comment, go to commenter’s blog, read blog, make comment palaver. Now, with WordPress, I can respond directly to the comment on my blog and the commenter will be emailed. I think this makes so much more sense – the whole conversation is visible with the blog post that started it.
I do comment on the blogs of others but I never go back to see if there’s a reply – life’s too short and, if there’s something important to be said, I assume that someone will come and tell me. The sites take enough information for the blogger to be able to do so.
How about you?
Over on Facebook, there’s a group called ‘No, I do NOT have too many books’. I don’t remember which of my friends found it but, when I saw it, I knew it was one I had to join. Even though I do (kind of) know that I DO have too many books. But there’s always room for one more. And I am trying to release them through BookMooch. Incidentally, I’m OldFashionedGirl over there. If I’ve reviewed a book recently which you would like to read then it’s worth checking my inventory as it may be available for Mooching. But I digress.
The owner of the ‘too many books’ group asked:
So tell me, if a book is popular, do you find yourself having slightly different expectations of it?
It’s an interesting question and rather ties in with the current debates about bloggers accepting review copies of books from publishing houses which I wrote about recently. As we now know that some of the hype surrounding books is artificially managed by the marketing people, what expectations do we have when (or if) we finally read it for ourselves?
In all honesty, I’m not sure that hype really affects me as a reader. It’s true that I acquire books under influence of reviews – whether in blogland, magazines, or wherever – but it’s usually so long before they reach the top of Mt ToBeRead and I start reading that I’ve long forgotten what the reviewers said. All I know is that I heard about the book, wanted to read it and now so shall do.
There are a few exceptions – if a book is part of a series (think Harry Potter) then the hype is so much more and much more long-lasting. People may be talking about the fourth volume when I pick up the first. And I guess that does alter my expectations. I may be sick of hearing about it and skip the reading altogether. Or I may expect ‘great things’ from the volume in my hand and, perhaps, be disappointed.
But, really, we’re all individuals. Someone else liking or not liking a book doesn’t mean you will or you won’t. A reviewer may flag up something you feel strongly about and that will influence whether or not you read the book. But, at the end of the day, you’re going to have to make up your own mind. And you’ve got the pleasure of reading while you do.
B O O K L U S T: Sunday Salon: Do you fall for the hype?.
A friend drew my attention to the aforementioned blog recently, so I thought it appropriate to write about some of the issues raised. This is not, however, a bid to raise controversy or heated debate!
Aarti discusses the growing number of books provided free to bloggers by publishing houses in exchange for a review published to said bloggers’ blogs. S/he concludes by asking:
Does this system bother you, or am I just a drama queen? Do you also feel that sometimes blogs are manipulated to create artificial hype? Do you like the blog tour system? Do you feel it’s unfair to the smaller presses?
Let me say firstly that I don’t read many book blogs. I used to but found that it left me less time for reading while creating an enormous desire to purchase new books which my finances had no hope of ever satisfying. This didn’t lead to a content mind-set so I stopped. Yes, sometimes I make mature decisions. At other times, I behave like a brat! Because I don’t read the blogs, I haven’t experienced the situation Aarti describes of reading many reviews of the same (free) book. But I can see how this would get old very quickly. And, yes, it does create a hype which the book may or may not deserve. Unfortunately, this is the world in which we live – money buys advertising, advertising results in more sales, more sales generate more money … and round we go again. And it is unfair to those who start the cycle with less. Books and blogs are not the only example – how many times have you heard a song ‘played to death’ on the radio?
I’m selfish. I love books and have limited funds. I also enjoy reviewing and blogging. So I do accept books from publishers – sometimes they approach me and sometimes I approach them – and I’m not going to stop anytime soon. In this respect, I’m a biased reviewer – I don’t accept books I don’t fancy reading, based on the information I have available. But I am honest – if I hate a book or can’t finish it then I say so. And I also go out and buy many, many more books than I am offered in return for a review. So the smaller presses also have a chance.
My reviews here will always state it if I book was given to me in exchange for the review. No one has to accept a book from a publisher and no one has to read the resulting review.
I’m reading a lot at the moment. And I’m also blogging. Both of which are good. But I’m beginning to think about the way I marry the two activities.
At the moment, I provide three types of bookish posts:
- Incoming Books: Whether new or just newly entered on the site, I keep a list of books and post it when I’ve done ten.
- Book Reviews: I review as I read and then post a list of the books reviewed at the end of each month.
- Books out of Seven: I like planning my reading and having a list of titles to work on but I’ve been really bad at posting it.
Meantime, I’ve rejoined BookMooch in an effort to rehome books I’m finished with while replacing them with new-to-me books so there are a fair few volumes coming and going each week.
All of the above requires me to spend a portion of time on what I refer to as ‘book admin.’ I’d like to move towards having one or two large sessions each week rather than working piecemeal as I am at the moment and my preference would be to confine my book admin to weekends. So here’s what I propose:
- A list of Incoming Books will be posted once a week. This post will contain however many books received or put onto the site in the past seven days.
- A list of Book Reviews will also be posted once a week.
- I’ll restart posting for Books out of Seven and do it as part of my book admin in the hope that it will actually happen.
My hope is that these changes will make me a more efficient and reliable blogger. They are, of course, subject to review and change without notice.
When I first read Little House in the Big Woods as a child, I was very taken with Laura’s description of their weekly routine. It went something like:
Wash on Monday
Iron on Tuesday
Clean on Wednesday … etc.
although I don’t claim to remember it exactly.
As an adult, I still love routines – be they daily, weekly or whatever. In fact, they’ve become one of the most important tools for managing my illness.
I mentioned last night that I really wished I had a Posting Schedule for this site. Today I realised that it would be really easy to set up. And now I’m going to do it.
Monday – Slimming
Tuesday – Thrift
Wednesday – Crafts
Thursday – ???
Friday – Studying
Saturday – Reading
Sunday – Religion
Thursday doesn’t have anything allocated and I don’t have immediate plans to add another area of interest. But who knows what will happen in the future? I don’t promise to stick faithfully to this schedule – it’s more a guide than a rule – but hopefully it will help me be a bit more regular in my writing here.