Book Blogging

What does that mean? 

I know we have all had to research different terms, and stared at the computer screen in puzzlement. What is an ARC, what is MG, and Grimdark? I put together this guide to help with some of the confusing things found in book blogging. 

How to Write a Book Review

When writing a book review, you need to ask yourself what you want to accomplish. There are many, many ways to write a bit about something. Here is the guide I utilize

(note:this is for fiction only. Graphic novels and non-fiction have a different set of rules):

  1. Firstly, think about what age range this book was written for. Books for MG have a very different set of goals than ones for adults.
  2. When reviewing fiction, analyze the author’s treatment of the characters, plot, setting, and dialogue. Specifically:

    • How interesting is the plot? Did it speak to you. 
    • Did the story keep you moving from page to page or where there lulls.
    • Are there unresolved issues in the plot? Can the author sustain the plot throughout the book? Is the plot confusing? Is the unresolved issues to be dealt with in the next book of the series or is this novel a standalone.
    • How believable are the characters? Do you care about them? Did you feel empathy for any of them?
    • How does this book compare to other books in the same genre?
    • How well does the author create mood through setting? 
    • If there is humor, is it funny?
    • Is the narration consistent throughout? If the narration switches to other characters can you tell them apart.
  3. Once you have answered these questions it is time to write, write, write.
  4. Don’t be hard on yourself. All book reviews look different. Each of us has our own voices that we express through writing. There is no write or wrong way to express that, just be passionate and confident in your own inner voice.
  5. Post the review to goodreads, your blog, amazon, etc. The more places you post, the more chances it is seen. This helps both the author and you as a reviewer. 
  6. Once you get a few reviews under your belt, go back and read some of your earlier reviews. Look at what worked and what didn’t. Don’t cringe. Deep breaths, it is ok. You are a rock star. 

Helpful Terminology

  • ISBN: International Standard Book Number.
  • Book Review – A brief or in-depth (depends on the blogger) review of your book. 
  • Book Spotlight – A feature of your book that includes your book’s information and purchase links. Excerpts and book trailers may be included.
    Author Interview – A blogger will provide you with interview questions in advance and then feature your Q&A during your tour.
  • Character Interview – A fun alternative to the author interview. Choose a character from your novel and have them go through the interview process.
  • Guest Post –  You will write a blog post dealing with your book, the writing process, publishing, marketing, etc and it will be featured on a blog during your tour.  (source)
  • ARC – Advanced reading copy.
  • eARC – Electronic advanced reading copy.
  • TBR: To-Be-Read. 
    DNF: Did not finish. 
    RTC: Review to come
    Binge-Read: Reading all the books in a row.
    Spoiler: Anything in your review/discussion that reveals plot details from a book.
  • MC: Main character.
  • POV: Point of view.
  • POC: Person of color.
  • #ownvoices: Twitter hashtag that promotes books written about or/by marginalized groups or individuals.
  • Mary Sue – An idealized version of a character that is inspires other characters. Basically too good to be true.
  • Finished Copy: The book in its final form.
  • PB: Paperback.
  • HC: Hardcover.
  • Audio: Audio release of a book for the purpose of listening instead of reading.
  • New Release: A book just made public.
  • Backlist: An older book released the year before.
  • Self-Published: Published by the author in lieu of a publishing house.
  • Traditionally Published: Published by a publishing houses.
  • Small-Press: Published by a small  publisher.
  • WIP: Work in progress
  • Blurb: Book synopsis.
I have sourced much of this information from various places. However, a fantastic resource is this blog here. She has collated a ton of terms and info for your reference.

Types of Characters

  • Antagonist – An antagonist is the character in a story who is against the protagonist .
  • Breaking character – breaking character occurs when an character ceases to maintain the illusion that they are identical with the character they are portraying.
  • Character actor – A character actor is a supporting character who plays unusual, interesting, or eccentric characters.The term, often contrasted with that of leading actor, is somewhat abstract and open to interpretation.
  • Character arc – A character arc is the transformation or inner journey
  • Character blogging – character blogs are a type of blog written as though a fictional character, rather than an actual person, is making the blog post. 
  • Character flaw – n the creation and criticism of fictional works, a character flaw or heroic flaw is a bias, limitation, imperfection, problem, personality disordersvicesphobiaprejudice, or deficiency present in a character who may be otherwise very functional. 
  • Characterization – Characterization or characterisation is the representation of persons (or other beings or creatures) in narrative
  • Mary Sue – A Mary Sue is an idealized and seemingly perfect fictional character.
  • Persona –persona (plural personae or personas), in the word’s everyday usage, is a social role or a character played by an actor
  • Protagonist – A protagonist is a main character of a story.
  • Virtual acto –virtual humanvirtual persona, or digital clone is the creation or re-creation of a human being in image and voice using computer-generated imagery and sound, that is often indistinguishable from the real actor.

Types of Plot Action

Exposition or Introduction

This is the beginning of the story, where characters and setting are established. 

Rising Action

Rising action which occurs when a series of events build up to the conflict. The main characters are established by the time the rising action of a plot occurs, and at the same time, events begin to get complicated. 

Climax or Denouement

In the climax, or the main point of the plot, there is a turning point of the story. This is meant to be the moment of highest interest and emotion, leaving the reader wondering what is going to happen next.

Falling Action

Falling action, or the winding up of the story, occurs when events and complications begin to resolve. The result of the actions of the main characters are put forward.


Resolution, or the conclusion, is the end of a story, which may occur with either a happy or a tragic ending.


Age Range and Difference Between Middle Grade and Adult

Middle Grade Books

Age of readers: 8–12.
Length: Generally 30,000–50,000 words (although fantasy can run longer to allow for more complex world-building).
Content restrictions: No profanity, graphic violence or sexuality (romance, if any, is limited to a crush or a first kiss).
Age of protagonist: Typically age 10 for a younger MG novel, and up to age 13 for older, more complex books.
Mind-set: Focus on friends, family and the character’s immediate world and relationship to it; characters react to what happens to them, with minimal self-reflection.

Voice: Often third person.

YA – Young Adult at a Glance

Age of readers: 13–18.
Length: Generally 50,000–75,000 words (although there’s also a length allowance for fantasy).
Content restrictions: Profanity, graphic violence, romance and sexuality (except for eroticism) are all allowable (though not required).
Age of protagonist: Ages 14–15 for a younger YA with cleaner content aimed at the middle-school crowd; for older and more edgy YA, characters can be up to 18 (but not in college).
Mind-set: YA heroes discover how they fit in the world beyond their friends and family; they spend more time reflecting on what happens and analyzing the meaning of things.

Voice: Often first person.


List of Literature Types:

Subsets of genres, known as common genres (or sub-genres), have developed from the types of genres in written expression.

  • Classic – fiction that has become part of an accepted literary canon, widely taught in schools
  • Comics/graphic novel – comic magazine or book based on a sequence of pictures (often hand-drawn) and words
  • Contemporary – living or occurring at the same time
  • Crime/detective – fiction about a crime, how the criminal gets caught and serve time, and the repercussions of the crime
  • Fable – legendary, supernatural tale demonstrating a useful truth
  • Fairy tale – story about fairies or other magical creatures
  • Fan fiction – fiction written by a fan of, and featuring characters from, a particular TV series, movie, or book. 
  • Fantasy – fiction in an unreal setting that often includes magic, magical creatures, or the supernatural
    • Epic / high fantasy
        • Hard fantasy
        • Historical fantasy
          • Prehistoric fantasy
          • Medieval fantasy
          • Wuxia
        • Low fantasy
        • Urban fantasy
          • Paranormal romance
      • By theme
        • Comic fantasy
        • Contemporary fantasy
        • Dark fantasy
        • Fantasy of manners
        • Heroic fantasy
        • Magic realism
        • Mythic
        • Paranormal fantasy
        • Shenmo fantasy
        • Superhero fantasy
        • Sword and sorcery
  • Folktale – the songs, stories, myths, and proverbs of a people or “folk” as handed down by word of mouth
  • Historical fiction – story with fictional characters and events in a historical setting
  • Horror – fiction in which events evoke a feeling of dread and sometimes fear in both the characters and the reader
  • Humor – usually a fiction full of fun, fancy, and excitement, meant to entertain and sometimes cause intended laughter; but can be contained in all genres
  • Legend – story, sometimes of a national or folk hero, that has a basis in fact but also includes imaginative material
  • Magical realism – story where magical or unreal elements play a natural part in an otherwise realistic environment
  • Meta fiction (also known as romantic irony in the context of Romantic works of literature) – uses self-reference to draw attention to itself as a work of art while exposing the “truth” of a story
  • Mystery – fiction dealing with the solution of a crime or the revealing of secrets
  • Mythology – legend or traditional narrative, often based in part on historical events, that reveals human behavior and natural phenomena by its symbolism; often pertaining to the actions of the gods
  • Mythopoeia – fiction in which characters from religious mythology, traditional myths, folklore and/or history are recast into a re-imagined realm created by the author
  • Picture book – picture storybook is a book with very little words and a lot of pictures; picture stories are usually for children
  • Realistic fiction – story that is true to life
  • Romance  – genre which, place their primary focus on the relationship and romantic love between two people, and must have an “emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending”.
  • Science fiction – story based on the impact of actual, imagined, or potential science, often set in the future or on other planets
    • Alien invasion
    • Post-apocalyptic
    • Cyberpunk derivatives, aka punk
      • Cyberpunk
        • Biopunk
        • Nanopunk
        • Postcyberpunk
      • Steampunk
        • Atompunk
        • Clockpunk
        • Dieselpunk
    • Dystopian
    • Hard science fiction
    • Military science fiction
    • Parallel universe, aka alternative universe
      • Alternative history
    • Scientific romance
    • Soft science fiction
    • Space opera
  • Speculative cross-genre fiction
    • Bizarro fiction
    • Climate fiction (cli-fi)
    • Dying Earth
    • Science fantasy
      • Planetary romance
        • Sword and planet
    • Slipstream
    • Weird fiction
      • New Weird
  • Short story – fiction of great brevity, usually supports no subplots
  • Suspense/thriller – fiction about harm about to befall a person or group and the attempts made to evade the harm
  • Swashbuckler – story based on a time of pirates and ships and other related ideas, usually full of action
  • Tall tale – humorous story with blatant exaggerations, such as swaggering heroes who do the impossible with nonchalance
  • Western  – fiction set in the American Old West frontier and typically in the late nineteenth to early twentieth century
There are many more subgenres in each main heading.
There are Middle Grade and Young Adult varieties of the above genres. 
Most of the above information has been collated from Wikipedia
  1. French, Christy Tillery. “Literary Fiction vs Genre Fiction”. AuthorsDen. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  2. Nancy Pearl, Now Read This: A Guide to Mainstream Fiction Archived 2012-09-14 at the Library of Congress Web Archives, Libraries Unlimited, 1999, 432 pp. (1-56308-659-X)
  3. Saricks, J. (2001). The Readers’ Advisory Guide to Genre Fiction. Chicago and London: American Library Association.

Book Tags

#AmReading — Duh! Of course we’ll put this one first! #AmReading is “this is what I’m reading.”
#BookLovers – Used by authors, publishers, and anyone who wants to discuss or sell a book.
#Bibliophile — Just dive into everything books.
#FreeBooks – Free. Books. That is all. (it changes from day to day)
#BookAddict — Exactly what it says.
#EBooks – Looking for something to download? This hashtag is for you! It’s kind of a mixed bag, however, and you may need to wade through a bit of spammy stuff to get to the good stuff.
#Books – Self explanatory.  Books, books, books.
#Bookshelves or #Bookshelf — Want bookshelf porn? We’ve got it.
#BookPhotography — Just photos of books. Good photos of books.
#BookstoreBingo – Amusing hashtag featuring anecdotes from bookstores.
#KindleBargains or #KindleBargain – Featuring Kindle book deals.
#BookChat – Book discussion hashtag.
#LitFict – Discussion and sharing of literary fiction books.
#GoodReads — Connect with others in the Good Reads community, the most active group of book lovers online.
#IReadEverywhere — For we who read in weird places. Bathtub, in a tree, at a basketball game? Take a photo and upload it with the tweet.
#Fiction and #Nonfiction – Discusses and shares books.
#WomensFiction – Featuring fiction choices for women.
#GreatReads – People sharing great reads on Twitter.
#Kindle – Items of interest to Kindle users and lovers of Kindle books. (can sometimes be polluted with too many ads from Amazon, though…)
#WhatToRead – Book recommendations from other book lovers on Twitter (or Instagram, same hashtag)
#Suspense – Featuring discussion and recommendations for Thrillers, Action Adventure, and Suspense titles.
#BookWorld —  Other book obsessed people.
#ChickLit – Discussion and recommendations of ChickLit topics.
#PopBooks — Popular books.

Instagram hashtags for book lovers:
#bookstagram — Bookshelf porn, screenshots of what people are reading, photos of cool books, and reading/book memes.
#EpicReads — This is mostly jphotos of beautiful books and book culture.
#Books — Exactly what you’d think it is.
#BookAddict — More of the same.
#BookClub — Still more, but tends toward intellectualism.
#BookNerd — One of the more eclectic Instagram book tags.
#BookPorn — Warm and fuzzy pics of books and people reading.


Book Blogger Tags


Sample Request Letter

This is from the mighty  She is such a good resource for blogging info

To whom it may concern,

My name is XX and I’m the book blogger at XX (LINK HERE) where I review primarily XX books. I post at least three book reviews per week. {{One of my biggest guilty pleasures is period piece dramas, and _____ mixes that with time travel? Sign me up!}} <- for this section I like to include a brief reason, around 3-4 sentences about why I am choosing this book in particular. I also like to put this in bold. Basically only the essentials about why I think I’m the best pick go into bold.
I realize this is super early, I’m just THAT excited and if you don’t have arcs yet, could you please put me on your list? <- This was just something I put into the email because my email was really early and so I wanted to offer this as a possibility. But make sure you don’t offer something you’re not 100% okay with happening. For example, sometimes I’ll say I’ll accept an e-arc of the title, which can be easier to approve since it doesn’t require postage.

I would like to request:
-XX by XX

As of May 19th, 2018 I have XX combined followers (just add all your followers from the blog and different social media into one number here) (I’d prefer physical so I can showcase it on Instagram, but would also accept an e-galley):

– XX blog followers through Email and Bloglovin’/Wordpress (LINK HERE)
– XX Goodreads Reviews and 328 friends and followers (LINK HERE)
– XX Twitter followers (LINK HERE)
– XX Instagram (bookstagram) followers (LINK HERE)
This creates a total of XX followers. On my blog, I have an average number of XXk visitors and over XXk visitors in the last month. For all books I review, I also cross post a review on Goodreads and Amazon.

Here are some of my latest reviews:

<- A note about reviews, I only choose reviews which are similar. This could be the same genre, or a similar author, or a topic that is similar to the book you are requesting.

If you consider me for this opportunity, my mailing address is:

Thank you for your consideration

Source – Go Visit Her Site!

Get Books and ARC (Advanced Reader Copies) for review:

Firstly, being a book blogger is a lot of responsibility. If you develop a working relationship with authors and publishing houses you need to follow through with your review commitments. Books are expensive, to create, time wise, and mail. Being a book blogger is not about getting free books, it is about spreading the good word on your favorite stories. You have quite a few resources:

  • Local Library – I am a huge fan of supporting our local libraries. If you are in an area with good resources for public use, this is a fantastic resource. 
  • NetGalley –Connects you with ebooks from authors and publishing houses. I know it is exciting seeing all these books available for review, but be careful. Do not fall into the trap of having a huge amount of review commitments at one time. Believe me. 
  • Eidelweiss+  – Another reviewing resource for requesting books. The interface is tricky, but there are youtube videos that help explain two use it.
  • Twitter – Follow publishing house feeds for book giveaways. You never know!
  • Publishing Houses – There are a lot of great publicists that recognize the value of bloggers and want to work with you. 

How Blog Tours Work

What is a blog tour?

A blog tour is a set amount of time, usually a week or two, in which your book will be promoted across various websites and blogs. The dates are set in advance; each blog knows what material it will be posting, and the content should be unique to each blog.

This can be confused with a “blog blitz,” which features various blogs all posting the exact same content at the same time. A blog tour should consist of original content, with a focus on higher trafficked sites.(source)


This is a work in progress. If you think I am missing something in this post, let me know!


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