Showing posts with label Blogger Babble. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blogger Babble. Show all posts

12 December 2015

Windows Live Writer Closed! A.K.A Explanation Of Why New Posts Look So Terrible.

By: Me My Shelf And I | 12 December 2015 at 10:24 AM | 1 Comment so far


Yesterday, with no warning and right in the middle of sending out posts - Windows Live Writer shut down. What is Windows Live Writer you ask? Well for those non-bloggy folk or those bloggy folk who don't use it, it's a second party service that I blogged through for ease of function and to ensure a professional looking outcome.

The closing of Windows Live Writer doesn't prevent me from blogging, but it does prevent me from having a professional, easy to read, and nice to look at posts. You will notice, that things aren't the same in the post before this and the ones coming after it. Bloggers platform is ancient and a test of patience if you've ever used it. Things move when you hover over them, you're allowed 3 size choices for font and images. ext jumps about when you get anywhere near it making it impossible to edit with out screaming at least 3 times a minute.

I've been told that Windows Live Writer is starting a new program to blog through for those who use Blogger called Open Writer - however, they shut down with out that new service being compatible with Blogger, and again with no notice. They have stated that "by early next year" they SHOULD have a fix that allows Blogger to work with it. I'm sure you can see how I'm not really holding my breath for that, and with no actual date set it leaves me breaking out in hives and near tears.

I ask that you forgive the appearance of the posts in the coming days/weeks as I work to find a new way to blog, and potentially swap over to Wordpress where this kind of thing never, ever happens. The trouble is, to transfer my whole blog to Wordpress or even get a new one set up where all my old posts don't follow is a time consuming and potentially expensive process. With the holidays around the corner, it's not something I have the bankroll for.

So please just hang in there with me. I'll do my best to h ave things looking as nice as possible for my wonderful readers and fantastic clients. Fixes are coming - hopefully sooner rather than later!

31 August 2015

.{Blogger Babble} A Clarification On The Banning of Sweeps Accounts

By: Me My Shelf And I | 31 August 2015 at 11:59 PM | 19 Comments so far


Since about 90% of you misread, misunderstood or just flat out twisted nearly every word in my post where I explain about the banning of sweeps accounts – I want to  offer some clarification.

Let's start with the basics:


  • I NEVER said Sweeps couldn't enter, I only said they should refrain from using their sweeps only social media accounts to do so. We have many options in our giveaways to choose from.
  • I NEVER said ALL the giveaways on this blog would be this way, only the ones hosted by me for my clients.
  • I NEVER said that if you ever, ever once ever used your Instagram or Twitter to enter a giveaway, you are a sweeps account. So  guess what, this means that the fact I have used one or both to promote a friends giveaway or enter one once every 2-3 weeks, DOESN'T make me a hypocrite.  To clarify what you so grossly twisted…I said: 75% (closer to 90% because of how I actually look at things)of the posts on an account or an account used ONLY FOR sweeps/giveaways makes a sweeps account in my definition.
  • I NEVER  said that I scroll through the winner names until I find one I like and choose it, because I'm rigging the giveaways by banning sweeps accounts according to many comments. I said I have to go though dozens to find one who's not cheating, so if you're not cheating you have nothing to worry about.


You all want, scream for, and demand fairness. Almost every comment is about that in some way shape or form. My new rule isn't fair you say. "Treat us the same, we do nothing wrong!!"

Yes, you are right MOST of you don't do anything wrong.

29 August 2015

{Blogger Babble} The Banning Of The Dreaded Sweeps/Giveaway Accounts

By: Me My Shelf And I | 29 August 2015 at 11:32 AM | | | | 99 Comments so far


Some of you have noticed an addition to the Rafflecopter forms when you enter a giveaway I am organizing and hosting. If you've missed it:

I've banned Sweeps/Giveaway Accounts


**A post clarifying the misunderstood parts of this post and touching on the most frequent complaints in the comments can be found HERE**

**EDITED**: It's come to my attention that people seem to think I am targeting ALL sweeps/giveaway accounts in this post, and I apologize that this post is worded as such.  If this is your hobby, something you do to relieve stress,  I am not judging you! This post is meant to explain how a group of rude accounts made your life more difficult, and even offers some options on how to work around it.

Please see the last 2 sections of this post to help you understand what we're watching for and how to avoid it.

This kind of change warrants an explanation and that this what this post will do. It will also give you, my readers, the opportunity to weigh in and get additional questions answered.  Understand I will not change this new policy. I may remove the entry option on the giveaway forms but the base line of them being banned will ALWAYS be in my Terms and Conditions.

The rogue sweeps/giveaway accounts have been an irritant for most bloggers for quite awhile. There's not a few days that  go by where someone isn't complaining about them in some fashion. If you check closely on things you will notice that I'm not the only one with these kinds of rules, and chances are even if they aren't listed directly, most bloggers follow similar personal rules when pulling winners.

I'm not the only one who dislikes this, I'm just the one being vocal about it at this moment.

Let's start with the definition, as Me, My Shelf and I sees it, of a Sweeps/Giveaway account.

I view them as an account that is used only or mostly for entering giveaway. Where 75% of the tweets/posts shared on a daily basis are for giveaways that that person is NOT hosting, but has entered and is hoping to win.

24 February 2015

{Blogger Babble} Your Entry To That Giveaway Didn't Count, Here's Why:

By: Me My Shelf And I | 24 February 2015 at 1:02 PM | | 15 Comments so far


Hey! You! Yea, you. C'mere!

Do you enter lots of giveaways using Raffelcopter forms and never win? There could be a reason for that, and you don't even realize it's happening. 

It seems people are having a hard time with Raffelcopter these days. More to the point, they are having trouble using the form and entering the proper way, thus making their entries null and void. Since the form doesn't actually tell you when you've done something incorrectly, you likely don't even know that you are entering improperly and that you're being disqualified. Don't worry, I'm here to help!

On any given day, I disqualify easily 15-50 entries PER GIVEAWAY for not providing the actual needed information to verify a winning entry. PER GIVEAWAY. Needless to say, I run a lot of giveaways, they appear on dozens and dozens of blogs a over a months time. Having to go through this many people to find a winner is a waste of my time and more importantly, a waste of your time, because you're entering and it's not counting…and you likely really want those things you are entering for! I mean, why else would you be entering?

Before I break things down and give you the info you need to make sure you are entering correctly please understand something: This post is factual, it's not my opinion – well my opinion is here, but it's at the end of the post.  What I'm saying is, don't slam me with comments about how this is a "stupid way to do things" – this is the ACTUAL way you're to do's a fact and I am giving you the info to help you – that's all. Lay down the pitch forks.

Below is two of the most common mishaps, offenses and incorrect entries that I see when I have to disqualify someone. Take a moment to go over them – you might be doing one and not even know it.

 - Tweet About The Giveaway-
This is a simple option that will normally get you the most entries on any given giveaway since, in a lot of cases, you can do it once a day. However, it is easily the entry the most people do incorrectly.

11 October 2014

{Blogger Babble} How NOT To Promote Your Book in 9 Easy Steps: A Sarcastic Infomercial

By: Me My Shelf And I | 11 October 2014 at 1:14 PM | 10 Comments so far


Right in the middle of my morning coffee and Twitter break a few days ago, several totally unrelated tweets left me just shaking my head. As a human being of average intelligence with what I like to think of as above average common sense – these totally serious tweets from people trying to promote their books stirred something up inside me that I couldn't control. Put that together with the irritation that's been growing within me for weeks over rude e-mails, demands and other fun stuff from a few authors and I knew I wanted to write a post…

So, I invited over my good friend Sarcasm to help me out! Together Sarcasm and I thought, if there was ever an infomercial for promoting your book, it might sound something like this... *clears throat and puts on best infomercial voice*

How (Not) To Promote Your Book In 9 Easy Steps


You've written and published a book! A feat that only a few million people before you have accomplished! You're understandably tired, and short on time and you want to see that money start rolling in, like yesterday!

But wait, simply uploading your book to sites with millions of other books doesn't seem to be generating the buzz or profits you initially thought it would. You need some help getting the world out there! But how? *dramatically shrugs* Let's face it, individual e-mails to potential readers take to long and getting to know people on Twitter takes even longer!

You rightly deserve all the benefits of being a popular author, and if people would just read your book they would see how wonderful it is! Here's some unhelpful tips to help you on your way to becoming a Super Star Author!

1. The Twitter Feed Overflow: I don't think anything makes your followers happier than logging into their account and seeing the exact same tweet, from the same person, covering every inch of their screen. Nothing screams commitment to your novel quite like cramming a weeks worth of promo into 4 minutes. (If only programs like TweetDeck had a way for you to schedule tweets so they could go out when you aren't able to send them manually…)

2. The "Ignore/Never Read The Review Policy" Approach: A blogger, is a blogger, is a blogger. They are all the same, and they all read books. So never mind if their review policy specifically states they do not accept books of your genre, yours is different and they will see that as soon as they read it! Plus, you're totally doing them a favor by offering them a free book! It's also helpful, if they respond to politely decline, or don't respond at all, to send a curtly worded e-mail demanding answers as to why your book wasn't something they wanted to read.

typing3. The Cut and Paste: Second only to the Twitter Feed Overflow, is the Cut and Paste. Bloggers love that you see them as a heard of sheep, faceless and nameless. Don't bother taking the 8 seconds to add their name to that review request e-mail – just copy and paste using a generic opener like "Hi!" or "I know you don't normally read sci-fi, but…"!  For added fun, send one personalized e-mail and when you copy/paste forget to change the name. "Dave" for instance, is a common enough name that you're likely to find several who think that e-mail was just for them!

4. Skip The Cover Designer!: All the beauty of your book is held between it's covers, so don't bother having a professional put that finishing touch on it. Nothing they could do would properly capture the depth and mystery of your alligator porn anyway! Plus, people shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, we've been taught that since childhood! So really, professional cover designs are just useless pieces flair added to books that are clearly not well enough written to stand on their own binding and spine.
However, since you can't publish a book with out a cover (damn it anyway) go ahead and dust off that version of Paint Bucket from 1995, grab an image from the internet and slap the title in Monotype Corsiva on it and you're good to go! If the image is too small for the space you need – just stretch it! The reader will get the idea!

stop_1f05e1_28367835. Save The Money, Have Mom Edit: Mom's been correcting your grammar since you were able to speak, so who better to edit the complicated structure of a novel, than her! Her job as a nurse surely gives her the know-how to handle it. Plus it's not like editing is anything more than punctuation and spelling! Writing groups and critique partners are overrated and unnecessary, as are professional editors and their years of expertise. Who knows why publishing houses even use them.

7. The 140 Character Conundrum: Have a lot to say, but not enough characters to say it in onTwitter? Never fear, shorthand is here! Nothing screams "Take me seriously as an author" like a tweet filled with 2 and UR and B4 every other word, especially when it's the first impression of you that potential reader is getting. Plus this really brings you to the hard to reach "teen level", and will surely make you look hip, dawg.

8. Linking It Up: Bloggers basically just sit around all day in front of their computers, they clearly have more time than you! When sending a review request, don't bother giving them the information they need, like a synopsis or a book cover, just send them links to locate the info on 3rd party pages – or better yet, just tell them your books title and tell them to find you on Goodreads! They love this, it's like a scavenger hunt for them!

money-money-money_10889. The Price Is Wrong: It took you (fill in space with your time frame) to write this novel. Blood, sweat, tears, coffee and likely even whisky…it's all there on the pages. Luckily for you, pricing a book is like pricing a beloved house for sale. Who cares what the market says similar items are selling for – you sell that book for a price that reflects your attachment to it, and forget what everyone else has to say! And you totally have the right to be angry and confused when you don't sell any eBooks for $15.99 or paperbacks for $28.95.

Part of me wants to film this – ugly sweater, obnoxious voice and over exaggerated gestures and all. And maybe I will someday, because honestly…the hilarity would be epic. Or, at least I think so.

Before you dig deep and haul off on me for whatever reason…remember this post is written 100% with sarcasm. And I do apologize if you've written alligator porn, no offense intended…I was going to check to see if this was a "thing" but honestly I was scared to Google it….


08 July 2014

{Top Ten Tuesday} 10 Blogger Confessions

By: Me My Shelf And I | 08 July 2014 at 12:00 AM | | 6 Comments so far


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. It was created because of their love of lists! I myself love lists as well - so you will see it frequently popping up on MMSAI.

This Weeks Topic is

Top Ten Blogger Confessions

As always, these are in no particular order.

1. It will never stop being wicked strange to me that people know who I am because of the blog. The number of times I have heard "YOU'RE Me, My Shelf and I!?" is far greater than the zero times I expected it to happen.  So if you ever meet me in person and say that, and I get all awk…you now know why.

2. I am unashamed that I sometimes leave my business card in books when I return them to the library or sell them to a used book store. 

3. If publishers stopped sending out ARCs entirely – I wouldn't mind at all. I can still blog with out them, and any one who says their blog will fall apart if they don't get books months before they hit the shelves for review, in my opinion, is really only in this for books. Books do not cease to exist because you have to read them at the same time as the rest of the world.

4.  The first review ever posted to this blog was a very vocal, snarky review on the House of Night Series by PC and Kristen Cast. This was before I was really a book blogger and had any idea people were ever going to read the drivel I posted – but I do 100% stand by the thoughts that were in it. Least favorite books. Ever. Nuff said. (It's been removed…sooo…don't bother looking. Plus my formatting back then was…yea.)

5. If I find out you are selling ARCs or illegally sharing eBooks I will go out of my way to destroy you in the most humiliating, degrading way possible. And I will not feel bad about it – not even for a second.

05 July 2014

{Blogger Babble} We Don't Deserve ARC's

By: Me My Shelf And I | 05 July 2014 at 5:29 PM | | 17 Comments so far


1. ARCs were not created nor intended for Bloggers.

2. ARCs are a gift and a privilege NOT something you are entitled to no matter how long you have been blogging or how many books you have gotten from a publisher in the past.

Do I have your attention?

Good, because I can't begin to tell you how sick and tired I am at this horrific level of abuse that is happening to ARCs lately.

It's not even just the ARCs being abused. Horrifically enough, it's also the shit storm the publicists get when "I wasn't picked for that tour " or "I did this thing for you this one time where's my reward " type behavior is unleashed. I've heard from countless authors over the years and at least 2 different publicists from 2 different Big 6 houses, mention in passing how the rudely written e-mails and tweets they get when people don't get what they want, are actually hurtful to them.

What's wrong with you?

In an effort to help those out there guilty of this petulant child behavior, I'm here to remind the blogging world of a few things, with the help from My Super-Awesome-Anonymous-Publicist-Contact-From-One-Of-The-Big-Six-Houses.

Let's start at the beginning shall we?

1. ARCs were not created nor intended for Bloggers.

Maybe you never knew this, maybe you just needed to be reminded. Whatever the reason, now you know for sure. We are lucky to get them at all. And I mean that as a whole community – in general bloggers are lucky to get them.

Way back, before the first book blogger ever blogged, ARCs existed for publications (no, you're not a publication…you're just a blog.) such as magazines and newspapers, and TV/Media. This is still their main purpose. Just because we learned how to obtain them, does not mean that we come first.

10 April 2014

Let's Talk About The New Layout!

By: Me My Shelf And I | 10 April 2014 at 2:06 PM | 4 Comments so far


So, what do you think? I'm still getting things sorted with it, you know making sure everything lines up nicely and all that and reworking my side bar – but what do you think of the new layout?

Amazing, right?!

I have ParaJunkee to thank for the amazing design!!

Now, some of you might be wondering why I changed things, since I just did a change a few months back. Well, the first change up didn't go so well. On the surface for the most part things looked okay. But on the underside, there were many problems and they were so great that even ParaJunkee – in all her infinite design wisdom - couldn't fix a few of the things that happened.

So tell me – what do you think??


11 December 2013

{Blogger Babble} Illegal Book Sharing and What You’re Doing That’s Not Helping.

By: Me My Shelf And I | 11 December 2013 at 12:11 PM | | 7 Comments so far


So, you’ve found your favorite authors work on an illegal sharing site. Now you want to make sure that the scummy, monkey turd who put it there pays. Right? Hey, I’m right there with you, I know those feels bro.

I don’t want to see my favorite authors, my friends, your friends or any one’s work being ripped off. Dude, writing a book is HARD! I know, I have tried and tried and tried. I’ve also sat through countless phone calls with my bestie as she struggled through things for her agent so she can sell another book. I’ve heard the frustrated screams of another friend while she was on massive edits deadline with her publisher breathing down her neck trying to squeeze creativity from her like she was an orange. It’s not easy to write a book. I don’t care what you think, it’s not. And then to have it handed out for free, after a year + of brain draining, soul crippling work….can you imagine that?

Here’s the thing that you might not realize you are doing to NOT help the situation. Something you’re unintentionally doing. You the crusader. You the valiant solider fighting on behalf of the authors you love. You, the author who wants to alert your other author friends. Yes, you. You are doing something to make things worse and you don’t even know it. Want to know what it is? Let me tell you:

You’re talking about it on public forums like Twitter and Facebook and in blog posts while linking to, or naming the site so people can easily find it.

Please, don’t roll your eyes at me. (I’m a mom, I can sense these things) You have to be able to see how this isn’t helping. Come on people – Twitter alone has something like 400 patrillion people on it. When you tweet Cassie Clare to let her know her books are on {link to douche-bag-run illegal downloading site here} all your doing is telling her 271,493 followers where they can find her books for free. Then they RT maybe thinking the extra exposure will help her see it faster, but most do it  because they are interested in free books. And when they RT all those peoples followers get the link…and so on and so on. The beauty of the internet.

Contrary to popular belief, not everyone is as wonderful, caring, thoughtful and on the verge of a fists off fury throw down with whatever illegal sharing site it is you are trying to destroy this week. What you’ve just done is put a blue light special on that authors work and all others who are on that site as well. I know – you didn’t do it on purpose.

In fact, in e-mails between {this site I’m still not going to name} and authors {who also shall remain nameless} – some of which are friends of mine, they actually THANKED them for talking about them on Twitter especially. They stated that their traffic increased exponentially and the authors who were mentioned as “Hey @author @author1 @author2 your books are on this illegal site for free” were of the most popular downloads for days, sometimes weeks.

You seeing the issue here?

You’re using a public place to contact one person and in turn contacting the whole world. You are trying to do good, but in the end making things worse. No ones mad, I’m not – I’m just here to point this out and hope it might make a tiny difference.

Just do this one thing - please stop. Use e-mail, use snail mail – I don’t care but QUIT telling the world where to find books for free in an effort to stop illegal downloads. It’s counterproductive.

Every single publisher has a general e-mail you can use to contact them. You think this won’t get your voice heard fast enough – well I’m sorry but the legal battle involved in copyrighted work cases are a long, hard and expensive fight and you will never really know if your e-mail changed the world. At least doing it this way you can be happy knowing you didn’t contribute to more downloads.

And for the group of you who think that those downloads are worth you getting your voice heard and telling that author/publisher in public forum, chew on these thoughts:

  • Every time a book is downloaded for free, that’s one sale that author won’t get. When an author has poor sales, say for instance on a first book in what is set to be a trilogy, the publisher can stop the rest of the books from being written. (Read: not purchase the rest of the books)  You see, publishers do not always buy all the books in a series at once, and even if they do they can use those other already bought books for the author to write something else. Sure the author still gets to write in this case, but then you have no more in a series and that author doesn’t get to complete what they started. It’s frustrating and hard and most people don’t realize this. Illegally downloading copyrighted works is not a victimless crime. 95% of all author are not able to live off of writing alone. They are not the wealthy, worry free group you might think. They struggle and fight for every word and ever sale – we need to do all we can to help prevent any sale being taken from them. And this includes not telling the world where to find their books for free.

Take time and think about what you are doing before you share the name of places like this publically. Sure these sites are still out there and many will find them with out you sharing their links and names but I promise you it will be a fraction of what finds it when you share it all over the internet in an effort to help. Contact people privately, more importantly the publisher because the author is just going to go to them anyway.

And to all of you fighting for your favorite authors daily. THANK YOU – keep it up. Many sets of eyes are better than one and I know they appreciate it. Let’s just make sure we take these bastards down the right way, and not give them more traffic in the process.


21 November 2013

{Blogger Babble} A Day In The Life…

By: Me My Shelf And I | 21 November 2013 at 11:50 AM | 7 Comments so far


Welcome to my life.

Ever wonder what a day in the life of blogger is like? How about a mom + blogger?

Well, lately I have been feeling like I never get anything done and I’m always behind, so I thought I would track everything I accomplish so I can see it, right there and know I am in fact a success at life, if even only moderately.

So here we go – I’m letting you in on my life for one full day! The stay at home mom, blogger, book touring business co-running, swag designing, NaNo participating whirlwind that is my daily life!

This is a rather typical Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday for me on a week when I don’t have my oldest at home (she’s with her dad every other week, and those weeks are so crazy with her sports I can’t even find the time to write down what I’m doing, let alone do it all half the time.) Also note, this is during NaNoWriMo when I’m NOT doing design work.

Some time around 7 AM – 4 year old wakes me by climbing on my bed  and asking for Jake andtumblr_m6ad4mtVeK1rzgx8po1_400 the Neverland Pirates or calling for me, over and over and over and over and over and over again from her bed. That last one is in fact as annoying as it sounds, I have a thing with repetitive noise, I can’t handle it so I LOVE waking up to it. ::sarcasm::

7:30 AM – Jake is done, 4 year old has breakfast of yogurt and OJ because she absolutely refuses to eat anything else and the presentation or suggestion of another item will result in a nervous breakdown on her part leading to one on mine. I pour my coffee.

7:45 AM – I check e-mail on my phone for emergencies as well as FB and Twitter while I follow 4 around the house begging her to go to the bathroom so that when we get downstairs and I settle in to my e-mail for an 45  minutes I don’t need to get back up 8 minutes later to help her wipe.

8 AM – I’m at the computer, and 4 gets her 45 minutes of daily iPad time. I start with Book Nerd Tours E-Mail and setting up daily links to tour posts. 4 asks for a snack. I say no.

8:15 AM – Phone call with Leah about previous nights NaNo writing while I continue to set up links. 4 sighs loudly indicating my talking is interfering with her hearing the sound of the cookie making game she is playing. She asks for a snack. I say No.

9 AM – Phone call with Leah over. 4 has had the iPad for extra 15 minutes because I was caught up in my plotting and link setting up, I have to wrestle it away. It would be safer to stick my hand in the mouth of an alligator.  I bribe her with a snack. She accepts.

9:05 AM – 4 is standing in front of the pantry looking for a snack. She thinks she has a choice, isn’t that cute?

9:10 AM – I offer Kix or String Cheese. She says “cookies”. We do this until 9:15 when she finally settles on Kix. I head back to e-mails via iPad while she eats. I throw a load of laundry in.

9:30 AM – Snack has been abandoned for play doh. I continue with e-mails and every 4-7 seconds I head “Hey mom look” or “Look mom” or “Hey!” or “Look what I made” and after the 6th time it is no longer cute and slightly annoying but I love her so I smile and tell her how wonderful she is.

tumblr_lajg6boaMm1qb39uj9:40 AM – 4 asks me to make her a toilet out of play doh. iPad and e-mail pushed aside while I try to figure out how to make one. I might have to go look at my toilet to make it properly. I forget the handle How will they flush mom!?

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM – 4 plays doll house while I work. I check 2-8 tours. Pull winners for giveaways. Send e-mails. Check to make sure people have everything they need. Change the “current” and “past tours on the site. E-mail Jean and tell her I love her and a list of 5 million things we need to do for BNT. Calm 3 authors, pump up 2 authors, check in on roughly 20 bloggers. Answer e-mails regarding using Book Nerd Tours. Praise Jean for saving things in drafts so I can copy/paste the nitty gritty.

Change laundry, dumping clean stuff on the couch to fold later.

4 talks continually telling me stories while I type and she plays, about who was at school yesterday, who wasn’t, what they did. I heard all these stories 3 times since yesterday. I love her so I nod and smile and respond when appropriate.

Leah calls, niece has done something funny/something hugely important has happened I need to hear.

4 has to go potty and thinks she is in prison so she must ask before going.

11:05 AM – I start lunch prep. This does not include cooking, it includes psyching up 4 for actually eating which is pretty much least favorite thing in the world right now.

11:10 AM - 4 asks for a snack. I say no, offer lunch. She says she’s not hungry.

11:30 AM – lunch is in the oven, chicken fries because this is one of the 4 things she will currently eat and I can’t have the meltdowns today because a very important e-mail just came in I HAVE to attend to. Working from home can be a blessing and a curse!

11:45 AM – 4 is eating, I am e-mailing. 27 Review requests in Me, My Shelf and I. I sob as I have to turn most down. Pour more coffee.tumblr_inline_mk2xp9FBaI1qz4rgp

12:00 PM – realize we have to leave for school in 15 minutes and neither of us are dressed. Well, 4 is she’s done it herself and wearing a maroon sweater and neon green sweats with a skirt over it. Change her clothes, ditch my jammies. Gather my lap top and purse, brush her hair, send her to the door to put on her shoes while I eat some toothpaste. Where is my bra!?

12:10 PM – need to be in the car NOW, 4 is showing me how she can stand on her head. Messing up her hair which now needs to be fixed.

12:15 PM – IN the car, buckled in. 4 has to pee. Can you make it to school? No, of course not. Back I the house.

12:30 PM – JUST make it to school in time drop her off with a crazed smile. Teacher nods knowingly.

12:45 PM – 2:45 PM At coffee shop setting up computer for writing time. Spend half of it doing Book Nerd Tours or Me, My Shelf and I posts and e-mails. Devour 1 cup of coffee and 1 Italian soda. Exchange conversation with barista about anything and everything weird. Listen to Panic At The Disco’s new album 5 times. Remember something I have to tell Isa, tweet her.

3:00 PM – Pick up 4 who now has new stories of who was at school, what they did and what not, to tell me.

3:05 PM – 4 demands “The Night Song” (Ode to Sleep by Twenty One Pilots) hit wrong button, different song plays two notes, she looses her shit not calming down until half way through her song which I have finally located.

3:20 PM – Stop at library, beg her to pick out books. Instead she stands too close to other kids staring like a tiny stalker. Check YA section for friends, request any books I don’t see. Librarian is sick of my lists.

3:45 PM - Books chosen, movies picked, we are home and I am begging 4 to go to the bathroom, she is begging for a snack. She eats crackers on the toilet. Don’t judge me.

3:55 PM – Need to call 3 family member to share the news of her “potty success” (she’s new to the #2 thing – hey…I told you this was my FULL day….you were warned)

classy-wine4:00 PM – Husband texts to say he is on his way, I start dinner and pour a glass of wine whilst dancing around ever so happy.

4:30 PM – Husband home, quick kiss, 4 descends. I no longer exist. He’s playing Barbie's.

5:00 PM – Dinner. 4 takes one look at it and begins crying. I pour more wine.

5:45 PM – manage to get milk and yogurt and two bites of what must have been poisoned meatloaf into the toddler, based on her reaction to it any way. Husband gives her a bath, I hide in the bed room to write.

6:00 PM – 8:00 PM NaNo my ass off to catch up.

8:00 PM – Watch TV with husbandtumblr_md0xx5A3Yy1ra0fpao1_500

9:00 PM – Back to writing.

11:00 PM – Back to Book Nerd Tours and Me, My Shelf and I e-mails and things.

Midnight – See the laundry I abandoned earlier. Fold it, swap loads, fold more.

Pick up legos

Check on 4.

Bed Time.




24 June 2013

{My Indie Monday}

By: Me My Shelf And I | 24 June 2013 at 12:01 AM | | | | | 66 Comments so far

This post doesn't look much like a My Indie Monday, does it? I am sorry for that, but I can tell you there's a really good reason that the post that featured Jessica Beckwith and her book is missing. Today (7/25/13) I learned Jessica Beckwith had done something very stupid and very wrong, she plagiarized. Not from one or two authors but from some 13 of them according to sources.

You're shocked right? Well you're going to be even more shocked in a second.

It seems that my having posted this My Indie Monday about Jessica on 6/24/13 makes me basically her accomplice. (I have left all comments so you might see what I mean, the first several should help you get the gist) To no fewer than 5 writers over on, it was fishy to them I had it up all and even more so that I didn't remove it in a timely manner. There time frame listed a thread on their forum was "an hour". In this hours time I was supposed to look at 13 authors books, and Jessica's, compare them and see for myself. Of course, there was always the option of, just taking their word for it - but I had been threatened by them, shouted at, accused of supporting plagiarism and committing fraud by yea...that wasn't going to happen. Somehow no one on that site seemed to understand why I might want to see things for myself. (save for one, who was very sweet and nice about things and actually helped - know I do not mean her when I am referencing my disappointment in FictionPress) 
On top of all this, I had plans today and an hour and half after I was up I had to get two kids ready for a full days outing and be in the car - all while dealing with all this. I think they thought I was supposed to just sit around all day fixing and investigating things because I'm a blogger right - I don't really have a life?

Now, you all know me - most of you have been here before at least once. I'm not new to blogging and I have spoken out about plagiarism in the past, most recently about the Jamie McGuire/Tammara Webber plagiarism scandal.  So I am utterly and totally baffled how I can be considered a supporter of this simply for having this post up. Especially since it went up a month ago and according to their forum, where I went today to ask them to back off and was only pelted with more accusations of fishiness and such, they only found out about this YESTERDAY! (the most recenet comment to the thread was made yesterday, the actual date on when the topic was started is not listed.)

 I must have missed the line at BEA this year that was handing out Time Turners, because having one is the only way I could have know a month ago, that this book was plagiarized. 

So what's the deal with this post - is it about this Jessica chick, who I don't even know and never so much as exchanged an e-mail with in my life? Or is this post about the bullying and mistreatment of your fellow man?
 Info Break: Jessica Beckwith was presented to me as an option for My Indie Monday through an online promotions company that will remain nameless to save them the hassle of the girls at FictionPress descending and shouting and screaming at them. A company I have worked with and trusted for over 6 months and who supplies me most my recent My Indie Mondays authors. They are currently in the process removing her from their site for violating their terms of service, though I am sure no matter how fast or slow that company moves - it will not be fast enough for the ladies over on Fiction Press. Which brings me to this - why are they not all up in Amazons face? Are they not STILL selling this book and other books they think she ripped off?

I digress, This post if both of those things about Jessica and about how horrible people can be to others. Should Jessica have plagiarized. Hell no! Write your own book or don't write! It has been proven time and time again that you can not get away with it. Writers, Authors, Bloggers are a viscous bunch that will band together and fight against this shit. 

Well, we almost always band together - this is what brings me to themistreatement of bloggers and people in general - instead of ONE of these FictionPress writers e-mailing me a heads up about this being on my blog (which I would have taken seriously, and worked with them to find out what was going on..) - I got threats and demands in my comments. Pub-lic-ly. When I asked for proof, I got links to books and people shouting MINE! And then I got told off for not moving fast enough - so in this case..I was mistreated as a blogger and as a person. I did nothing wrong, the promotions company did nothing wrong, none of the other handful of promotions web sites Jessica Beckwith is signed up with did nothing wrong -
 the only person at fault here is Jessica Beckwith. 


*All info in this post, refers to and only to the book I had here for Jessica Beckwith. While she may still be under investigation for and have previously stolen works other than the book I shared - I only speak about the one I shared on My Indie Monday which has been removed from the web entirely as far as I know.

22 April 2013

{Blogger Babble} What’s a Book Blast?

By: Me My Shelf And I | 22 April 2013 at 5:56 PM | | | | 6 Comments so far


It’s come to my attention, that while Book Blast’s are REALLLLLLY popular – many people are confused by them. I want to help solve that because the entire purpose of a Book Blast is to be simple yet effective for every one.

So what is it? Well, I like to think of it as the Flash Mob of book promotions. Key features:

  • It’s a One Day Feature - unlike a tour which extends over multiple days/weeks with varying content, a book blast shows up on one specified day, generally at the same time, by multiple bloggers all posting the same promotional post. You BLAST the community with the info. Hence the name.
  • Only contains promo info no interviews, reviews or anything like that. Just author info & photo, book info & cover, buy links, media links and in most cases a giveaway.

Some of you are like “Well, what the hey Tuna Flavor, why would I want to participate in that? I want to read the book! What’s in it for me!” Let me break it down for you:

  • Free, pre set up content for your blog, including a giveaway! You can’t dislike that! It literally takes you 10 minutes to set up the blog post, all the info right there for you in the e-mail you get from whoever is hosting! Nothing is worse than not having content for you blog!
  • You’re helping the author in a HUGE way! And I don’t know about you, but it’s the main reason I blog – to spread the word about great authors and help them promote! You know what happens when a massive amount of blogs all post the same thing on the same day, tweet and FB it as well? They reach more people then they could have alone, their sales go up and your page hits go up. (You know, page hits…those things publishers want to see how many you have before handing out ARCs these days….yea…oh I have your attention now eh? *wink*)

So as a fast recap – free content for your blog, keeping you from having an empty post day….a giveaway is included you don’t have to set up or mail any prizes out for…you help the author….takes you 10 minutes….There’s nothing not awesome about Book Blasts!

Have questions about Book Blasts? I am more than happy to help you out! Just drop them in the comments section! Have other blogging questions? Leave them below as well, I’ll address them in future Blogger Babble features!


14 March 2013

{Blogger Babble} Buyer Beware

By: Me My Shelf And I | 14 March 2013 at 10:21 AM | 23 Comments so far


Something disturbing happened to me this week with an order I placed through Barnes & Noble online. Something that has never happened to me before, and something I think that you all should know about, in case it happens to you.

In January I pre-ordered 2 books, both of which came out on March 5th. Knowing the way of it, I knew they would ship that day, and based on the shipping option I chose, I would have possession of my shiny new books 3-6 business days later.

When March 8th (the 4th business day) passed and the weekend came, I thought I’d check my tracking info. What can I say, I’m impatient, and really isn’t this one of the benefits of tracking numbers – to know where and when something might arrive?

I learned 2 things from my tracking information provided by B&N:

1. My package was expected to arrive the 11th, which was the coming Monday, and subsequently this made it’s arrival land on the 5th business day – early in my book!

and more worrying

2. For some reason, my package was no longer in the hands of UPS but had been handed off to the United States Postal Service and was currently at a St Paul branch 8 miles from me.

This confused me, I must confess. I have ordered from B&N more times than I should admit because my husband might see this and be all like, “Hmmm, oh reallllly book hoarder”. Never once have my books arrived in any other fashion than by a happy UPS man in a brown suit driving a brown truck.

So I called B&N. Because I’m a bit out of sorts about why I paid for UPS shipping and was getting the unreliable, slow and irritatingly uninformative assistance and shipping procedure of the Post Office. This was their ONLY answer (and I might add that this is a scripted answer, I got it 3 times from 3 different customer service reps)

tumblr_mbvlu2HJeq1rqczm7The manner of which something is shipped is left up to the discretion of our shipping department” 

Yea, thanks that totally helps. And I though the manner in which it was shipped, was decided upon what shipping option I PAID FOR?

After getting no where with the Rep, I let the situation go, knowing that my books would arrive on the Monday to come, and I would wash my hands of this whole weird situation.

But then Monday came and went. As did Tuesday. I’ve now, not just passed my 3-6 day shipping promise per what I paid for, but according to my tracking info my box was STILL sitting at this office 8 miles away, waiting to go to my local branch, and then to me. So I called B&N again. They told me to call the local Post Office branch, and as predicted they were totally and absolutely not helpful.

In case you are not aware of this, even when you purchase a tracking number from the post office, they are NOT required to scan it at every stop it makes. This has always fascinated me, because what’s the damn point of the thing if when it passes through a branch no one bothers to note it was there?? Isn’t it called a TRACKING NUMBER for a reason? Sure I can prove that it left my hands and landed in yours if I send you something, but it’s the in-between bits that I would like to know about. tumblr_l90ps5ZAbL1qzkf6z

The Post office Rep had no way of knowing if my box was still in fact at this branch or if it was on it’s way THE 8 MILES to my local branch (.3 miles from my house according to Google Maps….mind you), OR if it was on it’s way to me. What she could tell me was that per this particular shipping arrangement, called Innovations, where they take UPS items and deliver them – my items were expected to have an 8-12 day delay. Minimum. Even though it was scanned in just 8 miles from my house. Apparently, they are not a priority. There is no way to rush this and no I could not go pick it up. I asked. Twice.

Understandably I am now sufficiently angry. I want my damn books and I’m pissed they shoved my shipment off on the post office. And I’ve just been told I’ll be waiting until God knows when to get them.

After yet another call to B&N demanding my shipping cost be refunded, (much to the extreme confusion of the Rep) I still sit here staring at an unchanging tracking info screen wondering IF my books will ever arrive. The B&N Rep offered to overnight me new books, if I agreed to take the other box, when it actually arrived, to a UPS store to have it shipped back. I was too angry to think this was a good idea at the time because all I heard was “I’ll get you your books if you do something for me”. And that is NOT good customer service. At. All. I’m busy and shop online for a reason, so I don’t have to leave my house with a potty training toddler who’s been known to announce she peed her pants AS she walks to the bathroom.

So if you are planning to buy something from B&N, and don’t want this to happen to you – I have been told if you call them to place your order (how annoying is that?) you can tell them you don’t want the Innovations shipping option and they will TRY to make sure it stays with UPS. *shakes head*

In the end, I will NOT be buying anything online from B&N. Ever. Again. And you should be careful as well.


10 March 2013

{Blogger Babble} Hey, How Do You Get Followers?

By: Me My Shelf And I | 10 March 2013 at 5:27 PM | 40 Comments so far


I’ve pondered this post for a while now. Thing of it is, I feel like to tell you about this topic makes me look like I’m some kind of know-it-all-thing-that-rhymes-with-itch. But since I not only have had some experience in this area, but am now actually getting DM’s and e-mails asking me directly, it’s time to take it to the blog.

I’ve just started a book blog, how can I get followers?

tumblr_mcveh1U5iK1qdyt3aFirst off, welcome to the wonderful world of book blogging, we really are so excited to have you in the community!!! (see dancing guys! THAT’S how happy we are!)

Now, tell me exactly why you need followers? It’s just a number. A follower is just a person that once stopped into your blog. It does not guarantee they will ever come back. It doesn’t get you page views. It’s just a number.

It’s a pretty number, I’ll give you that. One that can make you fell all warm and fuzzy inside. But putting that shoe on the other foot, if that number isn’t what you feel it should/could/would be, then you are only feeling upset and depressed and that’s not ok. Blogging should make you happy, fill you with joy, not bring you down. You are more than that number!

Thing of it is, publishers don’t even care about this number. No, I’m serious, they don’t. They used too, yes , but no longer. What a publisher is looking for, is page hits. And before you think about hitting your page and refreshing for 8 days straight, I should point out they are looking for your UNIQUE page hits.

See, ARCs are expensive to make and NO ONE makes money off them. So they want them to go where they A: have the best chance of getting reviewed and B: will actually be seen when it is reviewed.

Okay then, how do I get these Unique Page hits you speak of?

Look at you guys, always asking the good questions! *wink* The answer is simple:

Content. Content. Content.

Content every day or at minimum every other. Hey you want page hits quickly…no one’s coming back to a blog that posts once a week or less – eventually they will think you just quit blogging and not come back at all….

And if you don’t think that this is the key, do me a favor and look at the blogs with high page counts, the ones with the publisher contacts, the ones that seem to always get ARC’s and have author contacts…what do they all have in common? Yes. They all post no less than 6 days a week and in most cases, several times a day.

Well I’m SUUUUUUPER busy and don’t have time for that, what else can I do?

tumblr_me9n0q4ZrU1r2q05mThis has to be the one thing I hate hearing the most. I don’t have any more time in my day than you do. We are all super busy.

For instance my blog takes roughly 30+ hours a week of my unpaid time. I also have a family with active kids, a house to clean, I’m writing my book and let’s not forget the reading I have to do for the blog – that’s not included in the 30+ hours.

There are tricks and tips to making this work for you. Just because you should have content every day, doesn’t mean you HAVE to ACTUALLY blog every day. Heck no. Do you think ANY of us bloggers would have our heads above water if that were the case! No sir!


Pick a day of the week you’re not really busy and have a few hours to spend on your blog. Write out some posts for the week or weeks ahead and schedule them. Both WordPress and Blogger offer this option. It’s right there in the POST section. Use it. You pick a date and time you want that post live.

There are memes (Waiting on Wednesday, Teaser Tuesday….) that exist for the simple reasons of fun and filling space on blogs. People love to read them, and they are fairly fast to set up. Under the FEATURES tab on my blog are the ones we participate in, check some out. You can do these MONTHS out if you so felt the need. I know of memes that exist for nearly every day of the week – that’s content right there for nearly every day of the week. Not every day has to be a review, so cut yourself some slack.

Tip #2: Join Book Blasts, Tours…and so forth

They send you the content, and a date to post it on. It couldn't get any easier. People who want to learn about that author or book come in. You’re immediately linked up because the tour host always has a list of participants on their blog. AND nearly all of these come with giveaways that are funded by the author in question, and giveaways are never a bad thing.

Tip #3: Grab a Friendtumblr_m4t5abRLe41rp5wts

Seriously. Do you have friends that read? Ask them to blog with you.Nearly ALL the largest blogs have some kind of group effort behind it. Don’t be a hero, don’t do it all yourself – plus everything is more fun with friends.

Woah, time out…you JUST said that you blog 30+ hour’s a week and you have a group of 7 working for MMSAI. So which is it?

Nice catch! I am very lucky to have my team! What works best for us here, is one of us (me) handles all the posting. They e-mail me their content and I make sure it’s scheduled and up. This is not how you have to do it, this just works best for us right now. Aside from the posts there are tons of other things included in this time spent: updating the review lists and author lists, answering 20-30 e-mails a day, sifting through the review requests and getting them to my team, addressing and shipping books to my team and winners, coming up with ideas for new content, reaching out to authors for interviews and memes, and so on and so on.

I read somewhere that I should just tweet to people to tell them I followed them and ask for a follow back. Seems Legit? Does it work?

A lot less frequently than you might think it does.

Here, let’s break it down. So you’re spending what? An hour maybe more DAILY on this? I promise you that less than 50% of these people actually follow you back and if they do we circle right back to my first point, a follower is just someone that stops in to your blog ONCE. Your goal, the bottom line for you should be to get people to come back repeatedly! The way you do this….say it with me now…is with your CONTENT!

Not only that, but when I was inundated with tweets of this type this week, I set out to find out how others felt. I’m not alone. Many more people that you know HATE this. Aside from the simpletumblr_inline_mirwt2Eud41r9eu9m annoying factor they hold, it’s a red flag that you are not really in this blogging thing for blogging. It shows the publishers (oh yes, they are on Twitter they know and see more than you think…) and other bloggers that you just want the end game, that you are only in this for free books. Weather this is the reason you ARE doing this…this is what it looks like. Sorry.

Look at it this way: you can’t do a work out video once and expect to be in shape. You can’t go to law school for one day and expect to be a lawyer. You can’t buy a race car and expect to be considered a race car driver. And you can’t start a blog and expect to be handed the books.

In the end…..

The blogging community is one of the most welcoming communities I have ever been apart of. We never leave any one behind. Every blogger I know offers help when asked for it, many post their tricks to their blog for you to read. We are not hiding some Blogger Bible somewhere with the REAL way to do things in it, laughing at you as you fail. We tell you flat out how it worked for us, and all of us all have the same story to tell.

Yet day after day we are met with resistance from those same people who want help. They hear it takes hard work, commitment, often times money (for custom blog layouts, graphics, shipping, prizes….) and a lot of time, and they scoff at us like we are trying to hold them back. NOTHING in life is free and ANYTHING worth having is worth working for. You can not expect to be taken seriously, if you don’t act serious and the things I see a lot is just people trying to get something for free.

Why do we bother helping those who don’t want it?

Well, in the end I suppose bloggers are viewed as a whole group. If some come in and act like greedy fools (and some do) then publisher stop offering books to us as often. Fewer copies are made available. At Book Expo America a couple years back a few greedy bloggers made it almost impossible for bloggers to qualify for media passes to the event because of they they acted while there…

ARC’s are not made for bloggers. They are made for libraries, review boards, books stores, and other professionals. We are lucky to be able to get them at all. And I don’t want to lose that ability. So we help.

If you have any blogging questions, fee free to leave them in the comments! I, or another blogger will respond. Like I said – we are here to help.


02 March 2013

{Blogger Babble} Hey, How Do I Get A Review From You?

By: Me My Shelf And I | 02 March 2013 at 6:52 PM | 13 Comments so far


You might recall, if you are a frequent “Shelfer” (Shelfer: person who visits Me, My Shelf and I frequently) I started a series of informational posts about different topics pertaining to blogging back in 2011.

My first, written quite a long time ago and which could use some updating if I am being honest, was called, Hey How Did You Get That ARC. I followed months later with Hey, How Do You Review? And now I bring you my next installment, geared toward anyone hoping for a review from Me, My Shelf and I:

Hey, How Do I Get A Review From You?

Over the past several months I have noticed a pattern in the review requests MMSno_wayAI gets. Many are impersonal, have little to no information, and in some cases are flat out tricks to get responses.

We get 15-30 review requests a day. 85% of which are from independent authors or small house published authors. You might imagine that going through these requests can be time consuming, especially since I don’t get around to the e-mail every single day. And while am I very grateful to be considered on any level, for review of any novel, the lack of base line politeness in some of these e-mails is staggering.

Since I also realize that maybe some people don’t know proper review request etiquette (even though every blog has some kind of info listed about this very thing) I figure that I can help everyone out a little by laying down a few tips. These are mine, I in no way am saying ALL blogs are like this, though I would imagine to some extent more than most are. But please refer to the title of this blog, How DO I Get a Review From YOU – for help making sure you meet any specific requirements of a particular blog, stop in and take the 30 seconds to look at the Review Request Policy they took time to write out for you.

First some background on MMSAI and how we choose what to review:
MMSAI consists of 8 reviewers. 5 Full time, 3 part time. When a request comes in, it is passed on to the team for their consideration*

Each member decides two things when they get a review request:
1) Does this book look like something I might enjoy (because really, we might be a review site but we don’t review books that don’t interest us..that would be silly)
2) Can I get this review done, in the next ___ months or so. (We do not take what we do not think we can review in a timely manner. ARC’s especially of the printed variety are expensive and for promotional use. We do not want to waste the money and resources of any author or publisher, any where. Ever. Period. )

*considering it has the needed information, to be explained in the next portion of this blog post.

Now that you are up to speed on that – here are some helpful tips for getting your review request noticed by Team MMSAI:


Me, My Shelf and I | Team MMSAI | MMSAI | Shelfers | Amber | Melissa | Rosmelie | Katie | Yvette | Ashley | Sarah | Charlie | Amanda


I have just listed more than 12 appropriate ways for you to start an e-mail to us. Yet some how we constantly get e-mails addressed to a name of someone we don’t know . Today alone I got e-mails addressed to Scott, Mandy, Hey You!, Val and Blogger.

Blogger? Really. I don’t e-mail people and call them by their profession “Hey Astronaut”, “Dear Podiatrist”, “Excuse me Homicidal Maniac”. Um no. I use peoples names, especially when I’m asking them for something. And if I don’t know THEIR name, I at least address thri business

Hey now Amber, promotional work for an author is tough and time consuming. Mass e-mails that are not personalized are needed sometimes.

You are totally right! Mass e-mails are needed sometimes. I am guilty of needing to use them from time to time as well. But, mass e-mails are no bueno in this instance.

When you send us a review request, you are asking us to give you, and your novel our time. To read it, critically review it, share that review on Twitter, facebook, Goodreads, Amazon and any number of other places we post things. It is unreal to me that you can expect all of that from us, and yet can not simply address the e-mail to the blog you are sending it too?

Not to mention, it’s just plain bad manners and remember this is your first impression! Don’t blow it on something simple.



This is a big one. I mean really, how can we decide if we want to read your novel if you provide us little to no information about it?

And PLEASE don’t link me to 400 pages, no one has time for that, and I’m really not going to go hunting and gathering for the info to pass on to my team. It’s like inviting someone over to dinner then asking them to cook it when they get there. Honestly.

I need all the info, in the e-mail – I’m talking synopsis, book cover, genre. Well, really hmmm that’s about all. How do people constantly not give me this info?

Really now what I’m typing this one out it seems eve more ridiculous that I don’t get this info a lot of the time….

What happens to your e-mail if you don’t give me any info? I delete it. I’m sorry, but if I e-mailed back every singe review request to tell them what I needed in order to properly consider their book, I would do nothing but this. Also, not only is providing the basic info on your book common sense when asking for a review, this info is in my Review Policy. Yes I know – no one reads those. But still…it’s there.



We hate saying no. We do. Who want’s to turn down books? Crazy people, that’s who!

But even with so many reviewers, we can not, despite our best effort, review every book we get a request for. This is a big reason our amazing Yvette came up with My Indie Monday. A way to feature the independent authors we can’t get a review in for. And even those non independent authors we can’t review, we tend to offer a spotlight or guest post or giveaway of some sort, whatever they want. We try very hard to promote and be accommodating.

Sometimes, though even when we do offer these things we get pleading e-mails that can only be described as begging. It’s hard to be put in that position. Especially since we’ve already said no, and in many cases offered another option.

It is never personal. And it’s not us saying we don’t like the idea of your book. But between those two things listed above, those things we take into consideration for reviewing, and add in the fact that maybe we have read our weight in Dystopian novels lately and yours also happens to be one – sometimes we just have to say no. So please, when we e-mail back with a decline for review, whether we offer something else along with it, know that it’s not easy for us either.



I organize 8 people including myself. I handle all the e-mails, scheduling and posting of content my team sends me. I am also the mom of two very active kids, writing my own novel, who has a house to run a family to feed and don’t forget books to read and review.

So when I get emails thanking me for signing up for a tour and agreeing to a review that’s due in 3 weeks, that I don’t remember, I’m going to panic flail and maybe cry as I hurriedly try to respond asking questions, sobbing and apologizing that I don’t know what they heck they are talking about.

When I then find out this was just someone’s twisted idea of a good marketing ploy to get me to respond, thus starting a conversation where they can then back me into a corner and ask me to participate. I’m going to go freaking irate and with hold screaming profanities. Because I’m human.

This happened to me 3 times in a month, I spent hours devoted to this instances, scrolling e-mail, sending e-mails, emerged in conversation with said Tricker sorting it out.

All I can say is, who does this? How is lying ever a good thing?


Be nice. Be Informational. Treat us how you want you and your book treated. Remember we are human. You need us and we need you, and this can only work if we treat each other with respect.



So authors, weigh in – what can blogs do to make your life easier?

And Blogger Friends, what are your complaints, if any about requests?


02 February 2013

{Blogger Babble} Things That Are Awesome

By: Me My Shelf And I | 02 February 2013 at 11:53 AM | | | 2 Comments so far

It might come as no surprise to you that my sister Ashley is wildly talented, just like I am. Okay, so I’m not quite as talented as she is, but I say these things so I don’t feel so left out… *wink*

My sister is a fantastic artist and has recently started making journals, sketch pads, book covers and covers for your iPads and eReaders – working with leather in amazing ways!

Right at this moment she is working on an iPad cover for my mother-in-law who loved not only the book ANGELFALL by Susan Ee, but also the wings on the cover.
Her request: to have the wings on her iPad cover, and my sister in all her awesome glory – freehanded that sonofa – IN LEATHER - and here’s how far she is:

photo 1 (6)photo 2 (6)photo 3 (3)

For reference here’s the book cover:


I hear you, you’re saying “HOLYOMGTHATSAMAZING” and you want one of your own?

Well, hit up her facebook page ASHENFIRE ORIGINALS, give it a like – share it with your friends too! Her journals are all custom made with beautiful detail!

You can let her know you like something she’s already done, ask for something unique to you, or just see what inventory she has on hand. Journals start around $40.00. Be sure to tell her that her big sister sent you – and oh tell her HAPPY BIRTHDAY – she’s a Groundhogs Day baby!


06 December 2012

{Blogger Babble} One Card To Rule Them All…

By: Me My Shelf And I | 06 December 2012 at 6:59 PM | | | | 6 Comments so far

Did you know that on some planes of existence it is illegal for more than one person in a family to use the same library card? Oh it is, it has to be. If not I can not explain why I get treated the way I do at my local branch.

You see, I have 4 people in my family. My husband, myself, and our two kids. My kids are 8 and 3 and we all use the same library card. Now, I’m willing to bet a shiny new penny that none of you gasped in horror like I said we all used the same toothbrush or something. Well the staff at my local library sees no difference between sharing a library card, and sharing oral hygiene products.


Now I hear ya, you don’t think it’s weird, or disgusting but there’s the question of “Why” hanging around. You’re saying, Why this lifestyle choice Amber?.  I am happy to answer that question for you! It’s not to drive the library workers mad with insanity. No, no, it’s just easier.

One card is easier to keep track of. How many cards do you already have in your purse/wallet? I don’t want to have to log in and out, and in and out of multiple accounts to track what’s where and due when.

One card is easier at check out. I don’t have to sort the books and movies into piles of who is going to use them, then locate and produce the coordinating card.

One card is simpler for paying fees: Some of the rentals have a .50 a day fee on them. I don’t need, nor want to have to look up and pay 4 flipping accounts when I can just have the one.

So we employ the ONE CARD lifestyle in our household. Our card happens to be in my husbands name, and in most worlds this wouldn’t be a big issue. Notice I said “most worlds”. In my world however; big issue for the library.

Let me tell you of the frustrating, yet simultaneously funny things (now that they are over) that have happened to me and my family because of  our one card lifestyle.

FIRST SOTRY – The Case Of The Lost PIN

Several months back I needed to request a book and couldn't remember my PIN number, which the web site requires for all account use. Figuring they had it in my info, I went up to ask the  counter to ask the woman for help. The following is our conversation:

ME: I want to request a book, but I forgot my PIN number, is that something that you can give to me?
HER: Sure, let me see your card
ME: Thanks <hands over card>
HER: Are you Alex?
ME: No
HER: then I can’t give you the number, I’m sorry. <hands card back>
ME: Alex is my husband, can you call him?
HER: No, I’m sorry. I have no way to prove it’s him on the phone.
ME: <confused look> I can call the bank and get my balance and checking account number over the phone?
HER: We’re not the bank.
ME: Alright. Well, how can he get the number since I’m sure he doesn’t remember it either.
HER: He needs to come in with photo ID
ME: <areyoueffingseriousrightnow> Ooooh-kay.
HER: <artificial smile>
ME: Can you request the book for me, with out the PIN?
HER: No.
ME: Okay so I can’t request books until my husband comes in to get the PIN number.
HER: You could get your own library card <stern look>
ME: We just need the one for our family, thanks
HER: <daggersshootingfromeyes>
ME: okay well thank you. <turns to walk away>
HER: If you want to request a book with out the PIN number, the Reference Desk can do that for you
ME: <fights urge to turn around and scream “Why didn’t you just tell me that in the first place!?”>


Two Weeks Later

My husband and I have returned to Gringots the library together in order to retrieve the PIN number. Keep in mind that we decide to get the PIN number AFTER, for an entirely different reason the (different than last time) woman helping us just looked at and wrote down the info on my husbands ID, and talked to my husband who has now returned to the kids section – maybe 30 feet away to pull a toddler off the wall. The toddler may have been ours.

ME: Oh, and we need our PIN
HER: I’ll need to see your husbands ID.
ME: You just looked at it and wrote all the info down?
HER: Sorry, I really have to see his ID
ME: <storms back to my husband for ID, wonders how hard you would have to throw a library card to cause pain as I storm back to counter and hand over card>
HER: <type type type click click click> Okay I have the PIN number.
ME: Great! What is it?
HER: I can’t give it to you?
ME: You’re kidding me <laughs> He’s standing right there <she’s really not kidding>
HER: I can only give it to him, YOU are not the card holder.
ME: <Storms over to collect husband>
HIM You know you could have given her the number, she’s my wife.
HER: Sorry sir, I can only give it to the card holder for security reasons.
HIM: Okay, well. What is it?
HER: <dumbfounded> you just want me to tell it to you?
HIM: Is it long?
HER: No.
HIM: Than I can’t imagine it needs to be written down.
HER: Okay then <eyeballs me as if to say “with her here and everything?Then leans in on the counter real close turning her back to me as much as possible and says as quietly as possible to my husband:> 0379
HIM: Thanks


Every word of that is the honest to God’s truth. And that’s the real PIN number to our library card. I am absolutely mystified why it’s so important to them. The accounts retain no information unless you want to know when the copy of Everybody Poops is due. You can’t buy anything on the site, you can’t even find my address in there.

If you hack into my library account and want to pay off my fees or renew Season 4 of Buffy The Vampire Slayer for me GO RIGHT AHEAD. But be warned, breaking into library accounts is just a gateway to the hard stuff. Soon you’ll be hacking Cub Food points cards just to look at them or stealing wallets to hold the punch cards from Baskin Robins!

I figured this would be the very last incident I would encounter sharing a card with my family. But it turns out it’s not just requesting the books that get ya, it’s also returning them. I give you

Story 2 The Case of Just Take The Book Back!

Now that I had my PIN number, I could request books, and request I did. On this day I had a book ready for my daughter to pick up, but it was something I bought her for Christmas and didn’t want her to read it now and ruin it. I had to have the book sent from another library in our county so I took it to the counter and handed it to the man working, this is the I KID YOU NOT conversation we had.

ME: Hey, I requested this book for my daughter but ended up buying it for her for x-mas so I’m not going to check it out after all. Thought I would bring it up so you could get it off to the next person in line a little faster. <smiles at my good deed>
HIM: What’s your daughter’s name?
ME: <confused> Why?
HIM So I can make sure it was in fact on hold for her
ME: It wasn’t on hold for her, I requested it.
HIM: You just said it was on hold for her?
ME: No I said I requested it for her.
HIM: I just need her name <annoyed sigh>
ME: It’s not under her name, it’s under mine, I requested it. For her. <is he slow? Am I speaking Korean? Should I start singing Gangam Style?>
HIM: What’s your name then?
ME: <realizing that the card is actually in my husbands name, needs to explain> Well,
HIM: <cuts me off> Your name?
ME: Amber.
HIM: <click click click type type type then in snobby tone of voice says> Um, yea this book is NOT on hold for you. It’s on hold for someone else so you need to go put it back.
ME: <eyeroll> Is the name it’s under Alex, per chance?
HIM: <is she magic?> Yes.
ME: See what I was trying to tell you is we have one card for our family, it’s in my husbands name. Alex
HIM: Well Alex isn't Amber, now is it? <look of death for one card comment>



I…I just can’t understand it. If anyone has information leading to any of this making sense for me I will reward you heavily with kind words and unicorn hugs. The library acts like they are handling Social Security!


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