How To Request (And Hopefully Receive) Physical ARCs

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I have been blogging for just a little over two years now and I decided it is FINALLY time to share some of the knowledge that I “think” I have accumulated over this time. When I first started blogging Physical ARCs were like unicorns and I read through soooo many “How To” posts just like this one and I over thought requesting them a ton. Was it necessary to worry so much about it? NO. The truth is requesting physical ARCs is not as intimidating as you may think and I’m here to help! I mean the worst they can do is say no, right?

One more thing though before we begin! Requesting e-galleys on sites such as Netgalley and Edelweiss are a lot simpler (and easier to be accepted on) so if you’re newer to blogging I suggest starting on either of those two sites before jumping right in to requesting physical ARCs!


Copy of Top Ten Tuesday(18)Basically we contact publishers and request them, pretty simple. Sometimes if you’ve worked with a publisher for long enough they’ll add you to a mailing list in which you’ll receive unsolicited ARCs (or ARCs you didn’t directly request). I personally don’t have a ton of experience with the mailing lists but it is something publishers will do!


Copy of Top Ten Tuesday(19)While I can’t say “exactly” what certain publishers are looking for there are a couple of general things you should keep in mind before you go emailing a bunch of publishers with requests.

  • You should be consistently blogging for at least 5-6 months
  • You should have a good amount of followers, 400-500
  • You post book reviews and not just book tags and memes

This is just a general idea of what you should look for in your blog since most publishers look for this as well and it can vary. For example when I received my first physical ARC I had been blogging for half a year consistently but I only had a little over 200 followers, these things can vary from publisher to publisher. Some publishers want you to have even more followers, +1,000, before they’ll send you an ARC as well. It’s also great to be very actively interacting with your followers too, after all most of us are here to chat about books too!

Also keep in mind that I said “consistently blogging for at least 5-6 months”. Publishers want to see that you take your blog and blogging seriously and that you’re not just trying to get a bunch of free books that you’ll never review. It’s a good idea to post a couple times week to show that you are active with your blog as well and that you’re not going to just disappear after getting an ARC.

Believe it or not but some publishers will go check out your blog when considering your request so it is a good idea to have some actual book reviews on your feed/home page/blog and not just a ton of tags and memes. You are after all requesting a book to review so they want to make sure you’ll actually review it! You should also review every book honestly and fairly (you can state this as a disclaimer on your review policy page if you would like!) and always be respectful. A publisher isn’t going to want to send you a book to review if you’re going to be rude and bash the author if you didn’t enjoy it. You also don’t want to sugarcoat it if you truly didn’t enjoy it, no one wants dishonesty including your readers!


Copy of Top Ten Tuesday(20)Publicity emails!

Over time you may establish contacts at each publisher but you should never share these contacts with others since it took time and trust to build these contacts up and it would be  rude and unprofessional to go around sharing a contact’s email address with others.

All of the following email addresses can be found on each publisher’s public contact page and are not my personal contacts. I will show different imprints for each publisher as well as include the general publicity email and link the page with the imprint’s publicity email address as well.

***Keep in mind most of these are the YA (children’s) imprints and publicity emails****

  • Macmillan (Imprints: Feiwel & Friends, Imprint, Farrar Straus and Giroux, Henry Holt, St. Martin’s Press, Flatiron Books, Tor/Forge, & Swoon Reads)
    • childrens.publicity@macmillanusa.com
  • Harper Collins (Imprints: HarperTeen, Balzer + Bray, Katherine Tegen, & Greenwillow)
    • Cindy.Hamilton@HARPERCOLLINS.com
  • Harlequin Teen
    • Shara.Alexander@HARPERCOLLINS.com
  • Simon & Schuster (Imprints: Simon Pulse, Simon & Schuster BFYR, Margaret K. McElderry, & Aladdin)
    • childrenspublicity@simonandschuster.com
  • Hachette (Imprints: Little Brown BFYR & Poppy)
    • publicity@lbyr.com
  • Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
    • trade.publicity@hmhco.com
  • Random House (Imprints: Delacorte & Del Rey)
    • rhkidspublicity@randomhouse.com
  • Penguin (Imprints: Dial, Dutton, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, Philomel, Puffin, Razorbill, & Viking)
    • youngreaderspublicity@us.penguingroup.com
  • Bloomsbury
    • childrenspublicityusa@bloomsbury.com
  • Scholastic
    • TradePublicity@scholastic.com

Copy of Top Ten Tuesday(21)When you email a publisher with a request remember to of course be polite and professional, you are making a request of them after all, but also try and give them all the information they need in ONE email. Publishers are very busy people and you don’t want to waste anyone’s time by forgetting to include important information, such as your address.

The following bullet points are in order of what I personally include in all of my ARC request emails.

What To Include:

  • Your name and the name of your blog
  • A link to your blog
  • The information (title, author, and publication date) of the book you’re requesting
  • Why you are requesting this book or why you’re excited for it (did you read the first one and love it? Did you read another book by this author and love it? Include links to other review if so!)
  • Where you will be publishing your reviews for this book if approved (Goodreads? Amazon? Barnes & Noble?Links to Facebook or Twitter?)
  • Your blog stats (follower count, when you started blogging, visitors/month, or comments and likes/month)
  • Social media links and followers
  • Your FULL shipping address

I personally believe that the more information you can give a publisher the more likely it is you’ll be sent the ARC you’ve requested, but by being professional and not just chattering away about “how much you’d really love to read this book”. Yes, you probably are really excited to read the book but you need to show the publisher that you’re worth investing a review copy in!

Do you HAVE to include everything I’ve listed? Of course not, you can include  whatever you feel is necessary! Some people prefer not to include their blog stats for example, I do because I believe it gives the publisher a better idea of how much “buzz” I can generate for the book on my blog. However, a couple things really do NEED to be included such as your blog URL and full shipping address, they’re kind of important!


Copy of Top Ten Tuesday(22)The simple answer: you wait.

As I’ve said many times already in this post, publishers are busy people! Here’s usually how it will go after you send your ARC request:

  • Sometimes the publisher will take the time to email you back and let you know they’ve sent the ARC and it’s on its way to you! Or they will let you know they don’t have any left to send.
  • Other times they won’t email you back at all (they’re busy and may not have time) and you’ll either find an ARC in the mail in a week or you won’t receive it at all.

If you got the ARC that’s fantastic! Get reading and reviewing that baby! I’d also like to just note that you should ALWAYS, ALWAYS review an ARC that you received. Didn’t read it by the release date? That’s fine, as long as you still read it and review it! You can’t be expected to cram something in ALL the time, life happens after all! DNF’d it? That’s fine, just be sure to let people know why it is you couldn’t finish it! The ARC was given to you so that you could review it so hold up your end of the bargain!

Didn’t get the ARC? You just have to be patient! Just because you haven’t gotten a reply or an ARC in the mail after a week or two doesn’t mean you won’t. Sometimes it takes them a little longer to get to your request, for example: I once requested a title in May and didn’t get a reply until August and I DID end up getting the ARC!

And if you STILL don’t get a reply or ARC then? It’s okay! Just take some time to go and try and improve your blog and hope to have better luck the next time you request an ARC! Trust me when I say we have all been there and that ARCs are a privilege not a right.

Copy of Top Ten Tuesday(23)Hopefully some of you found this post helpful or useful in some way! I tried to include EVERYTHING I could think of that someone would need to know in order to request physical ARCs!

Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions that I didn’t answer, I will try to help you out to the best of my ability!

The Sassy

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How To Beat The Dreaded Reading Slump!

Top Ten Tuesday(81)

Being either a reader or book blogger or both we all come across that dreaded reading slump from time to time, it happens! Sometimes we just burn ourselves out with reading and need a break but sometimes we WANT to get back to reading but just can’t muster our “reading strength”. So I’ve put together a little how to/tip post about things that can help you break out of that reading slump!

Before I get started though I’d just like to say that if you’re in a reading slump it’s OKAY! We all just need a break sometimes! So this post is in no way stating that you need to read all the time and if you want to take a break then take a break. This post is to help those seeking to break their slump and that is all.

Let’s get into it!

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1.) Organizing Your Books

This may sound odd but when I’m in a reading slump just touching books can get me out of it, sometimes I just like to go pick them up and re-organize my bookshelves. Staring at the gorgeous covers, the feeling of a book in your hands, smelling the books, or finding all of those books you’ve been meaning to read while re-organizing can definitely help you defeat that slump! Or maybe the accusing glares of your TBR books can be enough to guilt trip you back into reading….you never know.

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2.) Read Some Book Reviews

Remember all those new release, upcoming books, or books on your TBR that you desperately wanted to read at one point? Go read some glowing book reviews and get yourself re-hyped to read them!


3.) Take A Trip To The Bookstore or Library

What’s a better cure for a reading slump than perusing shelves filled with hundreds upon hundreds of books? The atmosphere in a place filled with books and other book lovers can definitely make you more excited to get back into reading!

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4.) Read A Graphic Novel, Comic, Novella, or Short Book

You know what they say: baby steps. I great way to ease yourself back into your reading game is by getting through a quick, easy to read book! You’ll feel more accomplished by finishing one and then move back into your usual books as well.


5.) Get Comfy and Cozy

Sometimes it’s all about your atmosphere, if you’re in a space filled with constant noise and busyness you won’t really feel like concentrating on reading while in a slump will you? So a simple solution for that is to find a quiet, comfy place to sit down and get to reading! I highly recommend putting on some PJs or comfy clothes, brewing yourself a cup of tea or coffee, and snuggling in with your favorite blanket! This definitely will put you in the mood for reading……..or napping which is also great!

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6.) Read Something By A Well Loved Author

Have a favorite author that you absolutely adore to bits and pieces then what better way to get back into reading than with a book by that author? This one’s pretty straight forward but let’s say you loved the Percy Jackson series but haven’t read Rick Riordan’s other books, there you go!


7.) The Good ‘Ol Re-Read

Have an all time favorite book that you haven’t read in years? Pull that sucker out and get to re-reading, there’s no better way to get out of that slump than by re-reading an old favorite and getting to re-experience it!


8.) Pick Out A Book You 100% Know You’ll Love

Are you a picky reader or a mood reader like me? One of the best ways to get out of that slump is to select a book that you’ve been dying to read and haven’t yet, pick one that you are certain you will enjoy and won’t be able to put down. Nothing gets you back into the swing of things than a hella good book after all!


9.) Argue With Yourself (My Personal Favorite)

Sometimes you need to just sit yourself down and tell yourself:

“You need to read. You need to read something now, you KNOW you’ll be unhappy if you continue this reading slump of yours. So go over to that shelf and pick out that book you just bought that you HAD to have and sit your butt down and READ!”

Believe it or not this is the way I get out of most of my personal reading slumps.


10.) Check Out Book Recommendations

Whether it’s from someone at your local bookstore or library, a family member or friend, or just browsing the internet; book recommendations are a good way to help you out. I mean when people recommend a book to you it’s usually a good one and if it sounds up your alley you’ll probably be excited enough to want to go read it right away!


11.) Check Out New or Upcoming Releases

Remember earlier when I said to read some reviews to get hyped? That kind of goes hand in hand with this. Go check out what’s coming up and maybe you’ll find a book you didn’t know you’re dying to read, getting excited for books is always the best way to get out of a slump.


12.) Watch BookTube or Read Book Blogs

Watching or reading about other book lovers getting excited for books whether they’re old favorites or upcoming releases can always get you hyped up and back into reading. This also kind of goes hand in hand with checking out new books or reading reviews.


13.) Watch Some Book-To-Movie Adaptations

This also applies to Book -To-TV as well of course! Personally I just watched the Miss Peregrine’s adaptation and afterwards it had me jumping in excitement to finish the series, since I only read book one. Nothing quite gets you excited to read a book or series than watching it’s adaptation because you know what they say; the book is ALWAYS better than the movie!

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Do you try any of these things when in a reading slump?

Did you find any of my tips helpful?

What do you try and do to get out of a reading slump?

Let me know in the comments!

Hopefully some of you found this helpful!

The Sassy

Not All Fun & Games: The Pressures of Book Blogging

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This post is going to be a part of my book blogging tips series of posts (even though it’s only the 2nd one it’s still a series!) and one in which I’ve been having a lot more experience with lately. While book blogging is a super fun and wonderful hobby to have it still has its downsides and those are what I’m going to be talking about in this post.

I’m not trying to scare anyone away from starting a book blog but I thought it’d be a good idea to get some of the cons to book blogging out there in the open since they are important too! So hopefully this will either help some of you know what you’re getting into or it will remind those of you who already blog of some of the things we go through.

Here’s a link to my other Book Blogging Tips post: How to Start a Book Blog!

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The Pressure of Consistent Posting 

This one is definitely one of the bigger pressures for me because sometimes there just isn’t enough time in the day to get lots of posts done to schedule for later and then you may end up going a day or two without ANY posts getting posted! This can ultimately lead to feeling the pressure of trying to post consistently even if you get up a few posts every week you can feel that it “isn’t enough” when really YOU decide what’s enough and what’s not on your own blog.

Sometimes this can lead to a blogging slump (which I’ll discuss as well) and you won’t feel motivated to post at all let alone consistently.

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This is why it’s important to take breaks when you need them and de-stress yourself!


The Pressure to be Unique

This is actually a little more minor than some of the other topics I picked but it is definitely still a pressure. With so many other book blogs, bloggers, and weekly bookish memes it sometimes can feel hard to be 100% unique with your own blog, posts, and ideas. It’s definitely easy to do weekly memes since those post ideas are already thought up for you and as I said it can feel harder to come up with your own ideas when you have such easy access to others.

I know such things, for me, can lead to feeling like your own ideas and blog “aren’t good enough” which definitely is NOT the case. If you can’t come up with post ideas it’s 100% fine to do memes, I love memes! It may also be a good idea to take a break and try brainstorming ideas and then come back to your blog too.

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The Pressure of Blog Stats

I think this is definitely something we can ALL relate to, right? Watching our blog stats day in and day out and probably feeling at some point that they (once again) “aren’t good enough” or “why don’t I have lots of views/followers?”.  The pressure to get “better” blog stats is immense when it comes to blogging, we all feel it!

It also gets worse when you’re on hiatus or in a slump because those stats will decrease even more, the key is to not get caught up in your stats because they really aren’t that important. Your stats don’t make your blog wonderful YOU do.

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The Pressure of Gaining Followers

This one goes hand in hand with the stats thing I mentioned and once again I think this is something we can all relate to. It’s always nice to get followers it makes us feel good because someone cared enough to follow our blogs and read our posts! So of course it’s easy to get caught up in gaining more and more followers and wanting our blogs to be “big”. However, it’s important to remember followers are not everything and your blog is still amazing because of the work you put into it and not the number of followers you have!

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The Pressure of ARCs (Advanced Review Copies)

ARCs are a really big thing in the world of book blogging and they can actually add a lot of pressure though. Such as trying to get your hands on them, over-requesting and getting approved for more than you can handle, and lastly trying to get them read before their publication dates! Of course ARCs are a wonderful privilege but they can get overwhelming sometimes.

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The Pressure of Catching Up on Posts

The longer you’ve been blogging the more you’ll run into other wonderful book bloggers to chat with and follow! So of course all those bloggers add up quite a bit after a while and sometimes it’s hard to find the time to catch up on everyone’s posts which can ultimately, like with me, make you feel guilty for being behind on posts. I find it helps a lot to dedicate a certain amount of time just for browsing other posts that way you catch up without feeling too much pressure.


The Pressure of Commenting

This goes for commenting on other blogs as well as catching up on comments left on your own blog. As with catching up on posts it can be hard to find the time to give your comments the proper amount of thought and therefore it’s easy to put it off. The amount of comments and posts can get overwhelming sometimes so like I said earlier it’s a good idea to take separate time for JUST catching up with comments.


The Pressure of Reading/Blogging Slumps

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Slumps come around when you burn yourself out on something from doing too much all at once. Reading and blogging slumps go hand in hand too, you either can’t read and don’t have enough material for posts or you can’t post and then you have nowhere to discuss the books you’ve been reading! Sometimes you just need a break and it’s 100% okay to take that break, come back when you want to everyone will still be here for you!


The Pressure of Blog/ARC Envy

You know that tiny little inkling of jealousy you may get when you see someone’s gorgeous blog design? Or someone whose blog has thousands of followers? Or a blogger who has that ARC of a book you’ve been really looking forward to? Yeah we all get a little blog/ARC envy every now and then and sometimes that will make you feel some pressure because you’re thinking your blog isn’t “good enough” for all of that.

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The important thing is to remember to keep your blog fun and know that eventually you WILL get that many followers and you WILL get that ARC you’ve really wanted just keep working for it!


The Pressure of Review Requests

This isn’t as big of a pressure as these other points I’ve brought up but it does still show up every now and then for me. When you’ve been blogging for a bit you will be approached by self-published and Indie authors to review their books now this can go along with ARCs and the pressures that come with those or it can be a different kind of pressures, such as feeling guilty if you do not want to review the book. You are, however, never obligated to accept a review request if you don’t want to!

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Sidenote: another thing that can get pretty annoying about review requests is if you state which kinds of books you read in your review policy and people STILL send you the requests. Or if you state you are NOT accepting review requests and STILL get them. I always feel you are 100% in your right to not only say no but also ignore requests from people who did not take the proper amount of time to properly read your review policy.

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What do you think are some of pressures of book blogging?

Do you experience any of the ones I listed?

How do you deal with some of these pressures? 

Let me know in the comments! 

The Sassy

How To Start A Book Blog: Steps, Advice, & Tips All In One!

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I’ve decided to start doing some How To posts here on The Sassy Book Geek about book blogging and all of the wonderful things that come with it! When I was thinking of starting a book blog and when I finally did, these types of posts were super helpful and I’d like to try and provide that for others as well.

I’ll be making this into a kind of series of Book Blogging Tips so you guys will definitely be seeing more posts like this that will hopefully help you out if you’re a beginner or even if you’ve been blogging for a while!

This post (as you can see) will be all about starting a book blog and then some tips and advice about what to do once you have it up and running!

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Picking Your Genre/ Focus Of Your Blog

1.) A big step you need to take before doing anything is deciding what kind of blog you want to run.

Do you want to focus on romance novels?
Young Adult books?
Sci-Fi and Fantasy?
Or maybe you want to do a little of everything?

This is all about what YOU want to talk about and share with everyone on your blog! It’s also helpful for other bloggers to find your blog if you have a set focus or genre of books, being a YA blogger myself there’s nothing more off-putting than checking out a blog that says it’s YA and then see nothing but reviews for adult romance novels.

2.) Another HUGE step is picking out your blog name, of course! Try coming up with something catchy and creative, your blog name reflects you after all. I suggest trying to come up with a name that involves something that means a lot to you or something that mirrors your personality. I definitely don’t claim to be great with coming up with names and I’m actually pretty bad at it. The Sassy Book Geek comes from my love of books of course and all things “geeky” and my friends are constantly berating me for my “sass” so tada The Sassy Book Geek!

Here’s a few blogs I follow to give you some inspiration!

copy-of-top-ten-tuesday2Picking A Blogging Platform

First things first you need to decide whether you want a free blog or a self hosted blog, which you pay for. There are pros and cons to both of course some being that with a self hosted blog your website will be http://www.yourblogname.com while with free blogs it will look like http://www.yourblogname.wordpress.com. So of course having your own domain name has a nicer ring to it than the free blog one but free is free, right? Then sometimes (as with WordPress) paying for your blog opens up the right for you to have 100% customization options so you can do a lot more with your blog design.

Personally I think everyone should start out with a free blog that way you don’t waste any money before you know you’ll stick with it! Here area few ideas for free blogging platforms:

  • WordPress
  • Blogspot
  • Blogger
  • Tumblr
  • Weebly

Of course I will direct everyone to WordPress because that’s what I use and I find it to be quite user friendly!

Designing Your Blog

This, like your blog name, should reflect upon your personality and well….your blog name as well. So if you and your blog name are fun and spunky go for some more bright and vibrant colors in your blog design!

I’d also like to note that if you go with WordPress your blog design is kind of limited because you are only allowed to choose from a few free templates that you can’t customize 100% without paying. However, this does not mean you can’t take a free template and totally rock it by adding your own designed headers and graphics! I highly suggest using Canva to design said headers and graphics.

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Important Blog Pages To Have

Of course there as many options for pages on your blog as you want there to be but there are a few that are essential for your readers to easily navigate your blog. These pages should be up and running before you start posting.

1.) About Page

I think it’s absolutely essential to include an About page on your blog I find it annoying personally when I want to know more about the blogger and there’s no information to be found! Having an About page also makes linking your blog to tags etc. a lot easier.

2.) Contact Page

Including a contact page will make it infinitely easier for other bloggers, publishers, or authors to get a hold of you. This may be for any number of reasons from asking you to participate in something to promote your blog or review requests. So be sure to include your email address or any other ways people can contact you.

3.) Review Policy

This almost goes hand in hand with your contact page, if any publisher or author wants to send you a request to review a book it’s a good idea to have a page like this explaining what you will and won’t review that way no one’s time is wasted.

Be sure to include:

  • Whether you are or are not currently accepting review requests
  • How long it will take you to read/review the book
  • Genres you will review and genres you will not review
  • Your preferred format for reading (print copies or e-copy formats)

4.) Review Index Page

This is not a page you necessarily need up and running right away but it’s definitely a good idea to add this page once you start posting book reviews. I find it pretty frustrating when I go to a blog and want to browse through all of their reviews and there’s nothing there!

Picking Your Rating System

Most people go by the 1 to 5 star rating system or occasionally 1 to 10 star rating and you definitely don’t have to do stars either you can pick whatever you like! I’ve seen people use skulls, Tardises, teacups, and an assortment of cute animals too. I find it nice to know how other bloggers rate their books and so it’s nice to have a page or something in the sidebar explaining your rating system.

Your Blog’s Sidebar

There are a few things you should be sure to include in your sidebar that will make it easier for readers to navigate your blog.

1.) Search Bar

It’s quite annoying to go onto another’s blog and be looking for a specific post and not be able to search for it at all. Do your readers a favor and make sure you have a search bar on your sidebar!

2.) Ways To Follow Your Blog

Of course you want to make it as easy as possible for readers to follow your blog, right? If someone can’t find any easy way to subscribe to your blog they will more than likely leave and then you miss out on a potential reader/follower. So be sure to include your blog platforms widgets and an email subscription widget as well so people can follow you!

3.) Social Media Links

You can of course just include these on your Contact Page but it’s far easier for readers to see these links on your sidebar and follow you!

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Do An Introductory Post

Say hello to all of us out here in the book blogging community by doing up a post to introduce yourself!

Promote Your Blog

This can be done by promoting your blog on your social media or by blog hopping! I find that blog hopping is very helpful in finding not only new bloggers to chat with but also to gain new followers. Please do not spam other people’s blogs constantly with links back to your own blog, instead try to leave thoughtful comments and hopefully they’ll come check your blog out!

Start Posting

The best way to start giving your blog a start and gaining followers is to generate content so to do this get reading and do up some book reviews. One of the other best things to do is join in weekly memes which can be Top Ten Tuesday, Top 5 Wednesday, or many other bookish memes out there. Not only are they a lot of fun to do but this will also help get your blog out there and start chatting with other bloggers!

And remember the rule: quality over quantity when it comes to doing up your first posts.

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Hopefully some of you found this post to be helpful whether you are wanting to start a book blog or have already started but need some direction!

Do you agree with my tips? 

Do you disagree with any of my tips?

Are there any tips you find to be helpful when starting out?

Are there things you wish you knew when first starting your own blog?

Please let me know in the comments!

The Sassy