Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down — Book Trailers!

Last TUTD we had a great conversation about “extra” novellas to go along with your favorite series, this week I want to talk about book trailers!

We all know the effect that a well done movie trailer can have on movie-goers at a crowded movie. From the exhilarating ones that make your heart pound in that 30 second time frame to the ones that make you want to wet your pants because GOSH DARN IT, IT LOOKS SO FUNNY even if we know all the funny parts have probably just been shown…the effect is audible as you can hear murmurs of “I’ve got to see that” or “that looks so good.” A good trailer is key. They’ve got 30 or so seconds to woo you with carefully chosen reels that are in the perfect order to the perfect music. They’ve got to showcase their goodies to entice you and make sure you’ll be in those same seats with your oversized, overbuttered and overpriced tub o’ popcorn.

But what about for books? It seems book publishing is looking to the trailers to spice up how they are promoting books. With the amount of Youtubing and thirst for all things visual these days, it does seem to make quite a bit of sense to try to hook an audience in a different way. Find those people who don’t browse the bookshops or creep the catalogs as we do so regularly. Examine a new avenue of promotion. Find a new way to entice readers or make a book memorable.

My question(s) for you: Do you watch them? Do you like them in general? Do you find them to be effective in making you want to read certain books? Why do you think they are becoming more  popular? Which ones have you found to be done really well and most memorable? Anything else you want to add to what I’ve said?

Thumbs up if you like them/watch them; thumbs down if you don’t find them to be effective for you or don’t watch them


My Thoughts: I personally don’t watch them. It’s more of a time thing. I already watch too many things on Youtube (Jenna Marbles, beauty vloggers, musicians) and I’d rather just read a quick blurb of a book. I think it’s also that I’ve seen quite a few bad/boring ones that really turned me off to them. So to me, they haven’t been worth the extra time. I’m always on the lookout for book trailers that people say are really well done. I feel like I watched one for The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney that was really well done. I think it was that book anyways! lol. Maybe I’m not watching the right ones? But I sure am curious to hear if you guys watch them/find them to be effective for you. I’m also hoping you will link me to really well done ones! I’d be a convert perhaps if I saw really great ones!

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: “Extra” Novellas To Go With Your Fave Book Series

 

DANNNG. I haven’t done a Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down in a long time. A LONG TIME. Probably had something to do with planning a wedding and the questions would have been more like this: How do you feel about yellow and gray together? How do you feel about The Way I Am by Ingrid Michaelson for our first dance song? How do you feel about table linens? I had a single track mind, friends. ANYWAYS. The topic is about something I’ve been noticing a lot recently!

 

It seems like, as of recent, there has been this growing trend of publishers releasing novellas from the authors (seems to be mostly in e-book form) in between the most recently released and the not yet released book of a series that. They are extras — things that add to the stories, or are prequels, come from a more minor character’s perspective — stories that seem to supplement our reading and add new dimension to the story and to help satiate readers who are waiting for the next book to be released.

It seems like a ton of series have them lately. I’ve noticed a few showing up for series I’m in the middle of.

To name a few:

In between Delirium and Pandemonium there was Hana – a novella from the perspective of Hana who is Lena’s  best friend in the series.

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In between Shatter Me and Unravel Me there will be Destroy Me (out in October) — a novella that will ” bridge the gap between these two novels from the perspective of the villain we all love to hate, Warner, the ruthless leader of Sector 45.”

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In between Wither and Fever there was The Seeds Of Wither — a novella that is from the perspective of “The First Bride” before Rhine is ever in the house.

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In between Under The Never Sky and Through The Ever Night will be Roar and Liv (coming out in October) — a novella that is a prequel to the series and that is from the perspective of the much loved Roar.

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It seems as though most of these novellas do not HAVE to be read and will not effect you if you just go straight to the next book but I’ve heard rumblings from people of a few that make it seem like you will be missing out on things if you do not in fact purchase it. Most of these cost around $2.99 on Amazon (though Seeds of Wither is 99 cents) and I’ve seen some instances where they are offered as “free extras.” It seems like many people love them but it also seems like some people are getting weary of them — like they just would like to not have all these little extras floating around and want just the series as it is.

What I Want To Know From You: Do you like to read these novellas — why or why not? If you have, which ones? Do you feel like these add to the story or do you feel like they are kind of annoying? Do you think they are just more of a moneymaker or do you think they truly add something to the stories and are a way to keep the reader of the series engaged? How do you feel about them when they could potentially add things for the next book that you’ll miss?

So let’s vote and then discuss in the comments!

 


My Opinion: I have never read a single one of these “extras.” When I read Delirium I didn’t even really know anything about Hana. Same with when I read Wither. I’m slightly interested in Roar and Liv but I’m just not sure that I’d actually devote some time to read it. I guess they just don’t personally appeal to me. I mean, true, I can’t get enough of the series that I love and would love to be able to “visit” the characters and the story in between books but I really guess I’m just a purist in the way that I figure if it was important it should be in the book. That being said, I do think they could be fun and really keep the reader satiated in between the long waits. But I just don’t know that they are FOR ME. I’d really hope that they don’t add TOO much that I’d miss out on something in the book because I chose not to read the “extra”…if it’s important than make it part of the series. I don’t have super strong opinions on this one as I haven’t experienced them one way or another but I know in general that their appeal is lost on me. I’m super excited to see what YOU all think of this!

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: Requiring a Follow for a Giveaway

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down is a newish feature on my blog. If you are a loyal follower of my blog, you know that I put a big emphasis on interaction and discussion and my favorite posts are the ones with a lot of interaction. I also like a good healthy debate where opinions are shared and respected. You may also know that I like talking about random bookish things. Put all of that together and you get my inspiration for this new feature. Every other week I will give a topic to be discussed. You can give your vote on whether or not it is a thumbs up or a thumbs down for you and then explain why. The topics will cover anything related to reading, blogging, the book industry, etc. etc. Basically whatever is on my mind! This feature is NOT intended to be a place to bash anybody or start a nasty fight or controversy. It is a platform for a mature discussion and sharing of opinions

Last TU/TD we discussed ARC tours and this week is all about requiring a follow for a giveaway. Next time, going along with this week’s theme, we will be discussing extra entries on giveaways.

Giveaways and contests are such a great way to promote books, share them and also bring traffic to your blog. Some blogs have giveaways almost daily and some have them sporadically for things like hitting a certain amount of followers or for blogging for a year. Some giveaways are simple to enter and some make you practically jump through hoops to even enter.  We’ll leave the extra entries talk for the next installment but what I want to talk about is when giveaways make you follow the blog to even be entered into the giveaway. So let’s talk: Have you done this before/do you currently? Why or why not.  Do you enter giveaways that require you to follow? Do you think it skews how “successful” a blog actually is to a publisher? Is it the easy way out to gain followers and traffic? Etc. Etc.  I want to discuss it all! And remember, before you post, this is meant to be a mature discussion and not a bash-fest. I won’t tolerate that. 


My Humble Opinion: I’ve been blogging for 6 months now. For our first giveaway we ever did on my other blog (The Broke and the Bookish) we made it a requirement to follow. We were only 1 month into blogging and still trying to figure out the blogosphere and I had entered contests that did that. My other rationale was that it was for reaching 100 followers so it made sense. We didn’t actually get that many entries, which I’m kind of glad about, so I don’t feel so bad for making somebody follow us. Since then, we’ve only done 1 other giveaway and we didn’t require followers. I’ve only done a few on this blog and I’ve never required followers. Extra entries are a different story that I’ll talk about next time. At the end of the day, I think,  it’s a personal preference. It’s your blog and you can do whatever you want. But my personal preference is not to do it. I believe in hard work and gaining readership by putting out quality reviews and discussions and interacting with your readers. I like doing giveaways but I can’t afford them and I don’t exactly have publishers knocking down my doors to give me free books. I’m happy with that though. I love the discussions that go one on both of my blogs and I’m sure loyal readers can attest to some good discussions. I’d rather have people be following my blog because they genuinely want to. Do I think it makes some blogs look “like a big deal” to publishers? Yes, but I also think publishers can see through some of it if they look hard enough. And really I think that follower count is kinda pointless now. It’s like follower inflation with all the crafty ways people are using to get fast followers..by giving free books and stuff. It’s like when kids in college would cheat and screw up the curve for the rest of us who didn’t take shortcuts and worked hard. And at the end of the day, I really don’t care too much. I love my readers and I will blog even if only 10 people remain with me. It all depends on your purpose for blogging and what is important to you. I sometimes do enter giveaways that require me to follow. Sometimes I stay because I actually like their content and sometimes I unfollow because I know, realistically looking at my overflowing Google Reader, that I’ll never read their blog again. Do I want people coming to my blog? Heck yes! If I have a giveaway I want them to keep coming back though..for more than just what I’m giving away. I’d like to think what I have on my blog is of value too! :)

What do you think? Rock that vote!

 

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: ARC Tours

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down is a newish feature on my blog. If you are a loyal follower of my blog, you know that I put a big emphasis on interaction and discussion and my favorite posts are the ones with a lot of interaction. I also like a good healthy debate where opinions are shared and respected. You may also know that I like talking about random bookish things. Put all of that together and you get my inspiration for this new feature. Every other week I will give a topic to be discussed. You can give your vote on whether or not it is a thumbs up or a thumbs down for you and then explain why. The topics will cover anything related to reading, blogging, the book industry, etc. etc. Basically whatever is on my mind!

Last week we discussed self-published novels. The majority of people voted thumbs down but there were quite a few advocates of self-published novels sharing compelling arguments. This week is all about ARC tours. 

If you aren’t familiar with ARC tours I’ll brief you on them real quick. Basically ARCs (Advance Reader Copies) are donated by either another blogger, an author or a publisher and then bloggers sign up to be part of a chain of bloggers that  pass the ARC on. There is a certain time frame in which the book needs to be read by and then you are required to write a review.  So are you a fan of ARC tours or do you find them annoying? Do you participate in them or have you in the past? Tell me your experiences and opinions!

My Opinion: I can’t really give a thumbs up or a thumbs down yet. I’ve been blogging about 5-ish months and I just signed up for my first ARC tour so I feel like I haven’t really formed an opinion about them one way or another. Sometimes I get a little weary of seeing so many reviews on one book because of ARC tours but in general I think it’s probably a good way to get coveted ARCs in the hands of many bloggers. I think the one downside is that if you LOVE the book you aren’t able to keep it. The other downside is the amount of time you have to keep it (about  a week in most cases). You don’t get any control over WHEN it comes so if you recieve the book during a crazy or inconvenient week, then you are just out of luck! 

Check out Melanie’s list of ARC tours. I was too lazy to write out a list for you all. Why reinvent the wheel when somebody else did the work :P 

Let’s take it to a vote!

Blogging Etiquette

Everyone now and again, since I started blogging in June of this year, I’ll hear talk about blogging etiquette–unwritten rules that most bloggers seem to be guided by. “Somebody did this..that’s just bad blogging etiquette” or “I should probably just not post that. It would be bad etiquette.”

There are the obvious things–like not bashing another blogger specifically on your blog or not stealing somebody else’s content. On occasion these rules have been broken and bloggers have rallied around one another and have spoken up about this breach in etiquette. Sometimes it doesn’t seem that clear cut though. Sometimes it does. Is there even such a thing as blogger etiquette? Here are a few that I was thinking about when I was just observing the blogosphere:

- NASTY negative reviews: For the most part bloggers agree that being nasty in a review is bad etiquette yet I’ve seen many a nasty review. How far is too far? Where do you draw the line? I’m not talking about negative reviews in general. I think negative reviews are helpful but I personally do not like when a reviewer is just mean and nasty and can’t back up what they are saying or I can’t figure out why they didn’t like it.

- Following: When I first started blogging, it seemed like all the new blogs were giving each other a follow for a follow. When you are first starting out you just want the number on there so I get that but once I really started following blogs (by that I mean reading all their updates on my reader and sometimes commenting) I would get annoyed by how many blogs were clogging up my reader. Is it rude not to follow somebody back? Even if you aren’t really interested in the types of books they read? Do you just suck it up and delete their updates just so they can have you as a follower?

- Commenting: This is perhaps the biggest one in my eyes. If somebody comments on your blog, is it bad etiquette not to stop by their blog and genuinely leave a comment?  When I first started, I was meticulous about this. If you stopped by my blog, that guaranteed you a comment back. But then I noticed that I would make a genuine and contributing comment almost every day on blogs and never get a comment back. Is that bad etiquette? I think I changed my expectations a little bit but I do try to check out people’s blogs if they make a comment. I’ve slacked as of recently but, for me, I still think that maybe rather than being good etiquette maybe it’s just being part of the community. I guess that’s up to the blogger to determine how  much apart of the community they want to be.

- Link-dropping: I will flat out say that I believe this to be bad blogging etiquette although I know that some people will disagree with me because I’ve gotten quite the number of flybys. It typically happens with memes. You know what I’m talking about–a person says “Nice review” and then leaves their link. One time I actually had a person who didn’t even say anything on a Blog Hop and literally just left their link. But what do you think? Do you disagree about this being bad blogging etiquette? EDIT: I’m not talking about leaving your link with a nice, meaningful comment. I’m just talking about when people clearly didn’t read anything and are just trying to drop their link.

- Copying content: This was brought up by S. Krishna’s Books in the comments and I thought it was a good topic to discuss. “Pretty much everyone agrees that it is not okay to copy and paste someone else’s review and pass it off as your own. That’s stealing. But what about copying ideas? Or “being inspired” by something you see at someone else’s blog and making a feature out of it or writing a post on it? It’s an interesting thing to think about, where that line is, and it’s something that’s been happening lately. My rule of thumb is you should talk to the person who inspired the idea prior to doing or saying anything about it on your blog. If you have their permission, it isn’t copying/stealing!” I would have to agree with this. On my other blog (The Broke and the Bookish), I came up with the Top Ten Tuesday idea without any inspiration from anybody else. Ok, I guess I could credit watching Lettermen. Then I did a search throughout blogs after we had started it and found that somebody else did something similar. I went and emailed her and told her that I didn’t realize that anybody else did something similar and if it was ok. Being straightforward is definitely the way to go! Misunderstandings can’t happen that way! I do think it is hard to know everything in the blogosphere so I think that sometimes it happens unintentional and people do need to remember that and not assume that you stole it from them!

I mean, I think, in the end it comes down to want you want to do and have time to do but I do think that there IS some sort of blogging etiquette.  Not blogging RULES but just general guidelines that a community deems as appropriate or inappropriate to some degree. Whether or not you follow it is up to you. I’ve never had a major breach of etiquette before but I’m sure I’ve slacked in some ways before. Heck, I don’t even know if half of these things fall along the lines of bad etiquette so this should be a fun discussion.


I’m sure I could have come up with more but I just wanted to give us a platform to talk about blogging etiquette in general. So what do you think about the things I’ve listed?  What are some other good or bad blogging etiquette “rules” can you think of? IS there even some notion of blogging etiquette?

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down: Self Published Books

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down is a newish feature on my blog. If you are a loyal follower of my blog, you know that I put a big emphasis on interaction and discussion and my favorite posts are the ones with a lot of interaction. I also like a good healthy debate where opinions are shared and respected. You may also know that I like talking about random bookish things. Put all of that together and you get my inspiration for this new feature. Every other week I will give a topic to be discussed. You can give your vote on whether or not it is a thumbs up or a thumbs down for you and then explain why. The topics will cover anything related to reading, blogging, the book industry, etc. etc. Basically whatever is on my mind!

Last we discussed re-reading books and the majority voted a big thumbs up to re-reading! This week the topic is all about self-published books. This seems like a topic that new bloggers especially grapple with…I know I did. So, I want to know. Do you read self-published books or do you avoid them? Why? Do you get lots of requests for self-published books? Share any really good self-published books you’ve read. Do you think self-published = lesser quality? Let’s discuss!

My opinion:

I’m going to go with a thumbs down. I tend to not accept self-published books. I feel like most of the self-published books I’ve encountered were just horrible–horribly written, in need of a proofread, etc. I always feel like a snob by not accepting them but life is too short for me to try and take a chance with self-published books. I mean, if I saw one that sounded great and something I’d totally like if it was published by an actual publishing house then I might give it a try. I think self-publishing is great in that it gives authors a chance to write and publish a book without the backing of a publishing house but I think they have a hard road ahead of them in doing so. I’m sure it’s helped people actually get hooked up with a publishing house. In that aspect, I’m all for it. However, pretty much anyone could self-publish a book so it’s hard to be able to know what is going to be good or what seems like my 3rd grade journal. I wish there was a better way to weed through the crap and find the gems!

Vote now!

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