F.A.Q.

❤ Why is it taking so long for you to read the book I’ve submitted for review?
Aaaaah, yes…whoever you are, it is probably taking me longer then you would have liked, or planed on, unless you gave a solid reason to bump your work up on the list. I think you’ll easily get the why if you check out my Goodreads profile, specifically the Upcoming-Review shelf.  See those numbers? Trust me on this, I’m doing my utmost best to make everyone happy.

❤ Maybe you forgot about my book? Would it help if I emailed to remind you about it?
First thing you need to check is if your book is listed on Goodreads. That’s what I use to keep my records of books, TBR piles, and whatnots. If your work isn’t up there, chances are I’m gonna overlook it one or two times. Why wouldn’t your book be up there, anyways? It doesn’t make sense. Get it up there!!
If it is, and you’ve checked my Goodreads profile, and you don’t see your book up there on my upcoming-review shelf, then yes, it would help. I’m pretty good with keeping records, but I’m only human. So please do remind me, if your book isn’t showing up in the upcoming-review shelf.
If it is, however, I haven’t forgotten. I just didn’t manage to get to it yet. I’m not going to become all  if you lose your patience and ping me to hurry up, but it’s not really gonna bump your work higher on the reading order list much, either.

❤ I’ve sent you a copy of my book for review, what can I expect from you? Do you write negative reviews?
First of all, if I have read or will read your book, regardless of where I got it from, you can expect me to be really honest about my reading experience. My reviews largely touch on five different aspects: world building, characters, plot, writing and curb appeal. World building refers to the world of your book, and when I’m talking about this you can expect me to talk about the nature of creatures and their characteristics, the world’s order, the society described – and my reaction to all of these. When I’m taking about characters, I’m most likely going to focus on your main character or main couple if we’re talking a romantic arc, and some secondary or random ones that made an impression. While these latter ones I’ll talk about based on whether or not they made an impression, about the MC I will most likely talk about regardless of my reaction to them. The plot related part of my review will regard aspects like the overall effect the story had on me, the rhythm, action and the amount and pace of it, the different arcs the story develops on, things like that. Writing will address things like the point of view of the narrative, the tone of your prose, the style of it as I saw it and my reaction to it. Curb appeal is the section of my review where I comment on the book cover, blurb, the first impression if you will. I’m a bit of a compulsive book buyer and the cover does sell, aside the name of the author, genre and such, so I’ll let you know what was my first impression of it.

Wherever I’ll mention something I’ll explain it most likely, so we’re focusing on my reaction to these elements and the reasoning behind that, not your skill as writer, your person or anything of that nature. I’m not talking about you, I’m talking about my reading experience of your book. I feel it’s important I mention this. Whenever I will talk about the book, I won’t make any personal comments about the author, any reference to author will revolve around other titles I’ve read by them or such. I’m not a snarky person, I don’t think so at least, so I don’t do snark reviews. However I won’t sugar coat how I felt about things, I will be really forthcoming and honest about how I reacted to the read. I’m not going to edit my thoughts, but I’m considerate when expressing them, so unless you have a habit of taking things personally when they’re not and overreacting to what you perceive as blows to your ego, I’m pretty sure you’ll find my reviews ok even when it was a DNF or 1 star rating.

I’m not sure what you understand by negative reviews, so I’ll tell you what I understand by it. Reviews that focus on you as a person instead of the book your wrote, reviews that bash the book instead of talking about it with the due respect such work deserves, reviews that go for the shock factor and gaining attention to their writer instead of to the book itself – I don’t do these. But if by negative review you mean any review that doesn’t glorify you for writing a book or your book just for being written, then I guess I do negative reviews as well. This is not a competition between you as a writer and me as a reader or book blogger, this is all about the book and how readers react to it an more precisely how I reacted to it as I read it. Focus on that, I know for sure I do. My readers focus on that as well, I think, on the book.

Unless you have paid me to advertise you or your work, please remember I am under NO obligation whatsoever to toot your or your book’s horn. I may choose to do so because your book strikes me as fabulous, but I have no obligation to do so, none whatsoever. Nobody else does either, unless you’ve bought their services in this regard.
I’m not in the business of promoting you, indie or not, I promote reading, not any particular kind of book or writer, author, whatever you’d like to call one.

❤ Is it fair for you to review books, if you’re intending to publish something yourself?
This is a moral aspect of things that I’ve pondered on some, actually. In this each will have their own opinion, of course, as they should; let me explain why I think it is ok for me to review books.
I know the idea that some critics are failed authors, one of my Literature teachers used to say so – he’s a writer himself, so he’s biased, I think. 🙂 But I’m not talking about books as the writer wannabe, I’m talking about them as the avid reader I’ve been for a good portion of my life. I love books, that’s why I wish I could write them aside having the need to tell stories and hopefully touch people’s hearts through them. But I love books, and I love people who can and do write them, so my perspective on this is not that I’m peaking at the competition or something. I think you can tell that I regard each book with the respect I know it deserves, when you read my reviews I think it shows, perhaps even more when it’s a smaller rating or a DNF. I don’t bash.

For one, I am a reader, just like everyone else. If I write or not, it’s a whole other subject. I don’t think it should impede me to share my thoughts on others’ work, provided that I do so in a honest, considerate and polite manner, without mean or snide remarks and b!tchy bouts. I’m not prone to b!tchy bouts, so we have that settled I think.

Secondly, my writing is a process that may go on for years before I actually get something done. I’m that sort of writer; so it’s not like I’m only throwing in a review or two to get some more attention to my own books, is it? Not saying that would be a bad thing to do, just saying I’m not doing that. I’ve been committed to book blogging for more then a year at this point (summer 2012), so I think you can tell that this is not a passing fancy.

Thirdly, I have some knowledge about literature; true, Romanian literature more then others, since that’s what I’ve studied, but a good thing is universal. My studies give me an interesting perspective on things, so as long as my criticism is on the respectfully constructive side, I don’t see how that could do anyone any harm, do you?

I actually started doing this with a sustained effort because I didn’t come upon a whole lotta blogs that were self-pub friendly. A lot of the blogs I ran into were also of the paperback-only policy, which is cool, if you live in the U.S. or Canada. But what if you’re, you know, a part of the rest of the world? I support ebooks because just like the Internet did 10 years ago, they make physical distances unimportant; they don’t cancel cultural differences, or distances, but they help diminish the differences and underline the common aspects of being human beings. Anyways… The main reason why I keep up with this blog is I don’t like double standards. Traditionally published books are not better then self-pub books just because they were traditionally published, the gender of the people in the main pair shouldn’t really make any difference, and being a half-world away from the writers and/or publishers you enjoy reading shouldn’t make it any more difficult to have access to their works.

So I think my blogging about your book is a good thing, because I’m all about the content and diversity, I’ll give you honest constructive feedback on your book as a “product”, and as much as I am aware I’m not in the double standards crowd. I know for sure lots of good reads would have never happened for me were it not for some blogger pointing out the titles, there’s such an enormous amount of books out there there can never be too much talking about them, pointing them out, even if not giving them raving reviews.

❤ There’s all kinds of links in your reviews, leading to all sorts of sites; are they safe places to visit?
Well, the sites owners are responsible for the safety of their websites, but I’ll give you a guide of the sorts of links I provide, so you’ll make an informed decision when clicking them.

The title of the book is a Goodreads link to that ebook/paperback. I’m all about diversity in all things, so my first line in a review is a link to what others think about the same title. 😀

Underneath the book title, the writer’s name is a link as well. That leads you to the author’s website, or if they don’t have one of their own, a relevant page/profile of theirs. It can be a Goodreads author page, or Facebook profile/fan-page, whatever I can find or have been provided. The publisher‘s website may or may not be a link, as well. It’s their official website, if a link is there.

Underneath the review, you’ll find a “Get it from…” section, that’s the “store” part of the review. It’ll feature Amazon links, Barnes&Noble links, The Book Depository links if it’s available for purchase there (and I don’t forget to check for it when writing my review – *sigh*). Yes, I’m an affiliate with these sites. You’ll also find links to the Lulu purchase page for the book, if it was published there, and no, they don’t have any affiliate program.
These links are provided regardless of my thoughts on the book.

❤ Why do some of your posts end with ttyl? What does that mean, is it your nickname or something?
Some have thought so, and addressed their emails with “Dear ttyl”, in fact, which is sort of funny. “ttyl” stands for “talk to you later”, actually. Not my name, my nickname, or anything like that, just my way of saying “buh-buy, but not for long”. Because I’m cool like that. 

❤ OH MY GOD!! These uber-cute big-headed-guys populating your reviews, who are they? Where do they come from?
You are of course referring to the Onion Heads, one of my personal addictions. They’re totally adorable, and I love them to no ends. I mean, just look at them, who wouldn’t?  They’re what you could call emoticons, I guess, but I call them awesome guys, it feels off to think of them as inanimate things when they’re so full of spirit, don’t you think so?

In addition to them, there’s Bomy, my blog mascot. The little guy in this upper-right corner of my blockquote, and his face also shows on the sidebar title stickers.
He’s my own creation, in Onion Head style. He’s mine, all mine, and I love him to bits. I mean, just look at him!!
And if you’re calling him anything but uber-freakin’-awesome&win, you’re gonna meet his evil side. And it’s gonna be very scary, you can tell just by looking into his chilling eyes!! 

❤ What’s up with the Butterfly-o-Meter aStore?
Well, that’s my Affiliate Amazon Store. In there you’ll find all the books I’ve reviewed, organized by the rating I gave them, and probably in the chronological order I’ve read them in each category. I feel it’s a good way of organizing them, since if you’re checking my blog, you’re curious about what I think of x book. So there you have it, a quick way to access books I liked more or less. And that’s the only criteria for organizing them, because it’s the only relevant criteria for me.

Of course, if the book isn’t up for sale on Amazon, it’s not gonna show up there. But I’ll have provided you with links to other places so you can easily get it if you want to. 

❤ There are quite a few ads up on your blog; don’t you feel like apologizing for their presence?
It is my blog, isn’t it? Is it a crime to get some profit out of it, if it were to ever happen? They’re unobtrusive, no annoying pop-ups, no insufferable in-between-pages ads; just tame, good little book-promoting ads, that you can click if you want, or not, and that’ll change nothing of your fabulous Butterfly-o-Meter experience. 
If you ever read one of my reviews, I think you already know I don’t rave about books just so you’d buy them, possibly even from my own links, and make me some cents.
So the ads take nothing away from your navigation of my blog, and don’t impede it any; they’re up there because I choose so. It’s a really good reason, I’d say.

[Shall add more Q&A’s as I come upon them]