Armchair BEA Day 5 — Ask the Experts

Today’s Armchair BEA topic is “Ask the Experts”:  An opportunity to ask any questions to fellow bloggers and to offer any of our own tips.

Well, I certainly don’t consider myself an expert, but in my blogging experience this is what has worked for me (and these are probably common practices, but just in case….):

  • Start writing a review very soon after finishing the book, ideally within a day.  I don’t write the whole thing immediately, but if I don’t put down the key things I want to talk about right away I lose the train of thought.
  • Try not to read too many other reviews of a book before writing your own.  Of course, for many of us reading a review is what gets us to pick up a book in the first place, but I’m referring to reading reviews at the same time you’re writing one.
  • Read because you want to, not because you feel you have to. This isn’t school.

My questions for fellow bloggers:

  • Is there a real benefit to paying for premium service on a blog platform like WordPress ?
  • How do you create buttons?

There are probably other questions but those are the ones I can think of right now.  I will likely find out answers to these and other questions I didn’t know I had as I visit more blogs today.

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8 Responses to Armchair BEA Day 5 — Ask the Experts

  1. Judith says:

    Good advice, Suzanne. I forget very quickly the details of what I read so if I don’t write a review within two days, I’m lost. Sometimes, I write the review but don’t post it until a few weeks later (because I have a backlog) and then people ask questions about the book… oops!

  2. I always write my thoughts down before I start another book – otherwise, things just aren’t as clear. Okay – for your questions – what do you mean by benefits i.e. what would be beneficial to you?

  3. Leslie says:

    Which premium service? WordPress has a few. My blog is hosted at but I own my domain, so I pay $12/year for their redirect service. The Custom CSS feature at $30/year isn’t worth it for the few modifications I make. I use HTML instead. There is also a No-Ads upgrade at $30/year, which I would never pay. Instead I put a disclaimer in the footer that the ads appearing are not mine. Those are the one I know about.

    If I need a quick text button I use cooltext, a free online button generator. For something more complex I’ll use photoshop elements.

  4. I can’t answer your questions but I definitely agree with your tips, especially the one about reading because you want to. I think it’s easy to get caught up in review demands and forget why you started a blog in the first place.

  5. Gwen says:

    I am horrible horrible horrible at writing the reviews soon after finishing a book. I wish that I was better, but have been trying to get into the habit of doing all of them every other Sunday or so.

    I self-host my WordPress blog and really love the freedom that it gives me. My only slight pang of regret about it is if I ever kick the bucket and don’t pay my hosting bill, …..poof, my blog will be gone forever. So, I try not to be so morbid about it:)

  6. Jillian ♣ says:

    Your first tip is one I’m realizing is important! I often forget details if I wait to long. Still, I’ve waited a month or so + to write some of my book posts, and sometimes the book improves with age. (For example, Mrs. Dalloway. That one was hard to describe up close, but after a couple months, I began to really “see” it…) 🙂

  7. Writing my thoughts down immediately after reading definitely helps although, like Jillian, I sometimes need awhile to stew and properly formulate them.

  8. Alley says:

    I’m so behind in commenting. Good tip about not reading too many reviews about a book you’re about to review. You don’t want your thoughts to be too influenced by what everyone else has said.

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