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text 2017-02-09 12:20
How to start a book blog



No matter whether you're a regular BookLikes visitor or a newbie, we hope you'll find these tips useful in your blogging adventure. Here's how to set up your book blog and make your first steps in the blogging community.


We're happy to see newcomers to BookLikes, the BookLikes team says warm and loud Welcome, welcome! :)


7 tips how to start a book blog


1. Choose your blogging platform and register. If you're reading this on your Dashboard, we're more than happy to see that you've chosen BookLikes as one of your blogging companion.


2. Think of a catchy blog name. Make the blog title work for you and your content, it should be compatible with the reviews and texts as well as your personality. 


3. Meet the bloggers. The blogging community is huge and very diversified. You can follow everyone but you can get in touch with those who are your favorites and to whom you look up. Make them your inspirations.


4. Make your place comfy and stylish. Your page should be your showroom. A lot depends on your computer knowledge but if your tech skills aren't your assets, don't worry. Use the free templates and remember that what really matters is the content, show your masterclass in reviewing and content writing.


5. Add a personal touch. There is a real person behind each blogging page and a blog project and readers like to know who is backstage. Take a minute to create About me and Contact page where you can add a couple of details about yourself, your reading habits, books you love and your reviewing policy.


6. It's all about networking. Make sure to add your social profiles links and other pages you're sharing your pieces on. We would also suggest creating a separate e-mail address to make it easier for the blogging community and writers to reach you.


7. Write. Write. Write. And have fun.


BookLikes tips on staring a book blog


1. BookLikes is a webpage which combines features of a blogging platform and a book cataloging site. Our aim was to create a place where creating a personal webpage with a book blog and a virtual bookshelf will be easy for everyone and won't take longer than several clicks. The intro tutorial guides you around the crucial BookLikes' features and helps to make your first steps in the book blogging community.



To take advantage of all BookLikes features make sure to open a welcome e-mail from the BookLikes team with a verification code. Once your BL account is verified, BookLikes is all yours :)


2. On BookLikes, the blog name and the username are two different things.

Your username is the nick you're choosing when registering, it will be part of your www address, e.g. yourusername.booklikes.com. You can change it anytime but keep in mind that the www address of your BookLikes webpage will be changed along with the username.


The blog name (the blog title), on the other hand, is a name you're giving to your blog page. If you won't create a separate title for your blog page, it will automatically present your username as your blog title so it's worth to add it as soon as you register, either during the intro tutorial steps or in Settings/blog.


Both the username and the blog name can be changed any time.

You can change the username in the general Settings (main menu->Settings), whereas the blog name can be altered in Settings/blog (main menu->Settings->Blog).



3. Once you're all set, go and say hi to the BookLikes community. The intro tutorial gives you the opportunity to follow several bloggers but if you missed that point or want to check out other blogs, please use the Explore page where you can search bloggers by their reading preferences and popularity. The moment you start following a given blog you'll see the blogger's reviews and bookshelf updates on your Dashboard.



Visit the Book catalog page to know what the community is reading, shelving and reviewing. Click the book cover to be moved to a book page where you can view the community reviews which lead to separate blogs that you can follow.



Once your Dashboard is boosting with your fellow bloggers activities, start a reading challenge -- a great way to show your reading life step by step, book by book.


Also, make sure to say hello in the discussion groups where you can count on BookLikes team help and the community tips and tricks.


4. Customizing your BookLikes webpage is a painless process also for those not too tech savvy. To customize the webpage go to Settings/blog and click the Customize button. You will be moved to the customization tab, where you can choose a design template for your book blog (choose Themes to view free and paid blog templates).



Click Done or Customize to add more personal touch. Remember to Save all the changes and see how it looks on your webpage live.



If you feel good with your coding abilities you can also edit HTML or upload a template of your own design.


5. To add additional pages, like About me or Contact, go to Settings/Pages and create a page where you can add more information about yourself and your blog.



6. Adding your social profiles is another gateway for your readers to find and reach you. Make sure to add your actual social profile links in the customization tab (see point 4), they will be automatically added on your webpage. Tick social network buttons to make it easier to share your content, the Facebook like, Twitter, G+1 and Pin buttons will be added to each of your blog post.



7. And now the real work starts. Read, write, meet, share, comment, stay active and enthusiastic. Show your energy and spread the book love. Write great book reviews. Make your text stand out, be honest and never stop writing about reading.


Your book blog is your place now. A perfect place to be.



And remember that the blogging community is made of awesome people. If you have any doubts or questions, ask your fellow bloggers. We're sure they will be more than happy to give you a helping hand.


As always, you can also mail the BookLikes team with any concerns. We'll do all to help and support :)

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text 2017-01-26 13:41
Bloggers write: BookLikes Librarian's tips & tricks on editing and adding books on BookLikes

We've decided to start up a brand new section on BookLikes blog where we invite our bloggers to write about important and interesting BookLikes initiatives and other bookish topics. We have a huge pleasure to welcome Jenn from Murder by Death, one of the BookLikes Librarian, who would like to share some tips and tricks concerning editing the book catalog on BookLikes. It's a must read, boys and girls :-)


P.S. If you haven't visited Murder by Death's How to BookLikes group yet, you need to catch up, just click here.



Guest post by Jenn from Murder by Death:



Help!  I can’t find my book on BookLikes!

Trying to add new books (or new-to-you) to your shelves but can’t find them in BookLikes?  Here’s what to do to find them, add them or edit them.


First try searching… again.


Like all databases of any size, BookLikes periodically indexes it’s book database.  To paraphrase Wikipedia, indexes are used to quickly locate data without having to search every row in a database every time a search is done.  An index is a copy of selected data from a database that can be searched very efficiently, but the actual process of creating that copy, or index, is no small thing; especially for large databases, so it’s only done periodically.  What does any of that mean to us?  It means that if a book you’re looking for has been added after the last indexing, it might not come up in a title search.


So, if your search yields “No books found!” when you search by title, try searching again using the ISBN.  8 out of 10 times, you’ll find the book you’re looking for. The bonus of using the ISBN (ASIN works too!) is that if it isn’t in the BookLikes database, BL will automatically query its affiliate partners, e.g. Amazon, and if they have it, BookLikes uses the information to add the book record to the database. Easy peasy, right?


Adding a new book


But what if you’ve tried searching by ISBN and you still have no book love from the database?  Then you can - and should! - add a new book.  Any BookLikes member can add a new book to the database by using either the “Add a new book” button in the search results, or by clicking “Add a new book” on any author’s page (“Add New Edition” is only used when you’re adding a new edition of an already existing work/title).



When you click the button to add a new book, you’ll go to the add new book page. Upload the book cover (or check the box for “There’s no cover yet”), and fill in the blanks: title, author, series, etc.  Please fill in as many of the fields as you can; everyone appreciates a complete book record. :)


Please note:  the Author field and the Series field are both search fields. When filling these in, wait a moment before hitting tab or return: you’ll see the spinning wheel and then a list of author or series names to choose from.  Select the correct name from that list.  If it’s a new series, hitting return will add it.


New books are sent to the librarian’s queue for checking, so remember these important tips - the librarians will thank you and think good thoughts about you!


1. Please include the ISBN/ASIN for all new books you add. These are almost always found on the publisher’s page, library page, Amazon’s page, and about half the time, the author’s website. You might have to search around a bit, but they’re there. Either ISBN 10 or 13 will do; both is great if your feeling completist.  For kindles and audible editions, the ASIN is both on the Amazon (or Audible) page and in the Amazon link to the book page.   Books without an ISBN or ASIN will either be merged with book records that do, or will be changed to match a new edition with an ISBN. That might mean a different format or cover than you wanted for that record.  


So now you’re asking “What if the book I’m adding doesn’t have an ISBN or and ASIN? What then?” Excellent question. If you’re adding a book older than the ISBN system (pre 1970’s, approximately), or if you’re adding a short story from an author’s website, or a self published piece that the author did not obtain an ISBN for, then check the box for “No ISBN/ASIN” and make sure you include a valid source link that librarians can use to verify the information. Valid sources include the publisher, the author’s website and worldcat.org.  


2. Please keep in mind that there are only two types of books that need an ASIN: kindles and audible audiobooks. If you are adding any other format (paperback, hardcover, ebook, etc.) please do not add an ASIN.  If you’re an author adding your books to BL, add a new edition for each format: one for ebook with an ISBN, one for kindle with an ASIN, etc.


There are a few more tips for adding books that make everyone happy, but these are the two biggies. For a more complete list, or to ask questions, see this thread: http://booklikes.com/thread/2822/dos-and-don-ts-for-adding-new-books



Handy tip for Amazon and BookDepository users - with a caveat:

You can add books to BL directly from the Amazon or BookDepository websites AND get them on the right shelf at the same time. BookLikes offers a handy little widget-thing called “Shelve It!” and you can find it on your BL bookshelves. In the upper(ish) right area of your book shelves you’ll see a small black book icon. Drag that to your browser’s bookmark bar, and the next time you’re on Amazon or BD and see a book you want to shelve, click that button and voila!



PLEASE NOTE:  The Shelve It function is currently part of the BookLikes coding review, so if you try to use it right now, your results may vary.  Amazon and BookDepository have changed their website functionality and this widget needs to be adjusted accordingly.  If the widget doesn’t work for you now, at least you know about for the future!  ;)


Editing book records


So what if you find your book, but it’s missing the cover, or series information or it’s marked as a Young Adult and it most certainly IS NOT YA?  Edit that record!  Fix it and help BookLikes towards perfection!  


Hyperbole aside, BookLikes allows anyone to edit a record to fix incorrect data for that edition. There are two ways to do this: either via the “edit” button, which allows you to make the edits yourself, or the “report” button which allows you to notify the librarians of the issues so they can fix it for you.  Both of these are on every book edition page.



Good things to know and remember:


1. If you do the edits yourself, you won’t see your changes instantly; your edits go into the librarian queue and can be rejected if they don’t meet the BL guidelines.  Currently there’s no communication method in place between librarians and users submitting edits, so if you don’t see your edits in, say, 48 hours, (it can be longer - they’re volunteers!) one or more of them likely got rejected.


2. If you’re changing the cover, either via edit or report, include a source link that verifies that edition has that cover.  Because cover wars are not an urban myth, and as a rule, librarians are picky.  Rejections happen without a valid source link.


3. DO NOT CHANGE or REMOVE AN ISBN.  Just don’t do it!  It almost never ends well; gnashing of teeth and rejection will almost surely be the result.  If you can’t find your edition, add it.  Don’t change someone else’s to suit yours.  There are RARE cases when an ISBN is invalid - it happens but not often.  When you know the ISBN is wrong, then do let BL know - use the report button and the comments box to explain why you think the ISBN is invalid.  Also: BookLikes does not remove out-of-print editions.  If it ever existed and had an ISBN, it stays and keeps the information that was valid for that edition at the time it was released (i.e. covers and titles and author pseudonyms).


4. If you see records that have both an ISBN and ASIN, and are listed as a “Kindle Edition” (note the uppercase K and the word “Edition”), this is a quirk of the imports and until it can be fixed, librarians need to split those records apart to form the correct ebook and kindle editions.  If you want to let the librarians know about the ones you come across, use the Report button and choose “other” from the pull down menu and include a request to split them in the comments field.


Those are the highlights, if you want more details about how to edit like a BL pro, you can find more, or ask questions on this thread:


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text 2017-01-20 19:37
Update: Explore BookLikes when works are on

You've probably already noticed that the book search and the dashboard load don't function as they should. For the couple of days some of the BookLikes features came to a halt. The interruptions are temporary and all the functions will be tuned on again as soon as possible. We've also noticed that the problems are inconsistent and vary depending on the browsers. If you can, please do check your BookLikes on your other devices and retry on other browsers.


The repair works will be continued for the next several days and this means that BookLikes will have limited options during the upcoming weekend. We're really sorry for the inconvenience. We'll do all to make your BookLikes experience pleasant and valuable, regardless of the temporary obstacles. And, we cannot thank you enough for your support and contribution. This means a lot to all of us.


We are people of bright minds and happy hearts and we believe the solution will come quickly. What's more, we think something good can come out of this situation.


Yes, it's a good time to grab a book. Yes, it's a good time to go for a walk. But it's also a good time to explore BookLikes. People are full of habits and you probably have the same drill for BookLikes every time you visit the page. Now it's the opportunity to visit the BookLikes pages that maybe haven't been visited by you for a while.


Please note that the book pop up and +Post and +Shelf buttons are active. This means you can add and review the books when you click on the book cover. For reviewing books, please do check our recent post where we share review writing tips and seven BookLikes places where you can add a book to your shelf and write a review.


It's good time to go over your list of Followers and Followings (menu->Friends) and visit their blogs. You can look through your BookLikes friends, follow the ones who you've missed, find and invite new ones.



You're probably used to read the majority of posts on your Dash but with the limited Dash load it's hardly possible now (one more time sorry!). You can still view the writings, reviews and other posts on the public blogs where you can like, reblog and comment the articles. Just click the blog title. When you spot a book you like, click the cover and you'll be moved to a book page where you can add it to your shelf, add a text and view the BL community reviews.


It's also a great ideal to review the bloggers' shelves. Many bloggers use the thematic shelves to keep their library well organized so it's really easy to find the reads perfect for you, the book series you love or written by authors you appreciate.



If you still don't know whether to follow a new blogger or not, you can also compare the books. Click the stats icon on the blog page to view your books in common.

Note: If you're missing some graphs on the compare page they will get back once the works are done.


Instead of Dashboard, use the Explore page and Book catalog.

Explore (main menu->Explore) is a shortcut for the recent BookLikes activity. You can look over the Meet BookLikers sections, select language filter or the genre. To visit the blog or read full post click the blurb. 



Book catalog (main menu->Book Catalog), on the other hand, will show you an overview of the bookish picks by the BookLikes community. We're sure that once you look through the reviewed, bookshelved, wishlisted, read and rated books your TBR pile will just grow up high. Remember that you can +Shelf and +Post any book, just click the cover. 



If you crave for more books, visit the Giveaways page (main menu->Giveaways) and enter to win some brand new titles. Or add one of your own.



Other bookish places worth visiting include Discussion rooms, where you can join or create a group. You can also join one of the Book clubs, pick a Daily Deals and shelve a collection of books from the Reading lists.



We sincerely apologize for the ongoing situation and the reappearing interruptions. All updates regarding the issues will be posted in the comment section below and in the Bug report thread


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text 2017-01-19 12:42
7 tips how to write a book review

Book blogs are different but they do have one thing is common, they share book reviews. And this means you're letting us, the readers, enter into your heads. Which is great, we get to know your thoughts without the superpowers! Sometimes, though, some extra powers are needed to write a good book review.  We are curious what are your writing tips. Below we share several of ours plus several places on BookLikes to visit to add your reviews on BL.


The following tips may be useful for regular BookLikers and BL newbies - welcome welcome :).


Writing a book review tips:


1. Read the book. You need to be reliable, writing about the book without actually reading it, isn't a review.

2. Think. Digest. Mull over. Sure you can write a second after you've finished the book but that extra time will bring new thought and a new perspective.

3. Focus on things that made you happy/unhappy, really touched you, shocked, made you ponder. Don't post the book's synopsis, the review is about your subjective point of view, all the plot twists can be read.

4. Connect. Relate. Refer. If a book, an author or a writing style reminds you of a different piece of writing, brings up a metaphor or a past memory write about that. This will add an extra value to your review.

5. Trust yourself. Sometimes you're not sure how you feel about the book and it seems that all the people around don't follow your doubts? So what? Remember, it's all about You here, be honest, be bold. You are the reader, so the review is yours and doesn't have to follow the trend.

6. Write. Close the document. Leave it for a while. Go back and check if it's OK. Sometimes the perspective can change multiple times.

7. Share. Post on BookLikes and your other websites and profiles.


BookLikes tips:


If you had any doubts about writing a review on BookLikes, we do hope these tips will solve them all. Visit these places to add your texts. Can't wait to read them on!


1. Writing a book review from a book pop up window

Whenever you click on the book cover on BookLikes (like, anyplace), the pop up will appear. To add a review click +Post and Text.



This will move you to the editor window ready to be filled up with your words. To mark your text as a review, please remember to tick the review on the right side bar and select the star rating (you can also add half stars). Otherwise, the system won't recognize the text as a review and your article won't show up on the book page or a Dashboard review view.


The book cover visible on the upper wooden bar will be added to your review automatically on the left side of your text so you don't need to add the cover image. You can add any other images or gifs inside the text to complement your text and show your emotions towards the book.



2. Writing a book review from a Currently reading spot

All you currently reading books are visible on the right side of your Dashboard so it's a really easy access to publishing your next review. The moment you finish up your read, go to your Dash and click Finished!, add the reading details (dates, starts, shelves, emoji) and click Save and write a review .



You will be moved to the editor window where you can add the text. The stars and emoji will be transferred and the cover will be added automatically inside your review. If you're happy with the outcome, make it online.


3. Writing a book review from your Shelf

If the book is already marked as a Read one and waits to be reviewed, go to your Shelf and (now you have 2 options):

a) find the book on your Read shelf, click it and follow the procedure from point 1. Writing a book review from a book pop up window


b) with only one click switch to table view and press add a review. Then follow the procedure from point 1. Writing a book review from a book pop up window. The review box on the right will be ticked, remember to add the rating stars.



4. Writing a book review from a book page

So you've been searching the book catalog and you've came across the book you want to review? No problem. Just click +Post and Text and then follow the procedure from point 1. Writing a book review from a book pop up window



5. Writing a book review from a blog page

Did you know that you can add a review from the public blog pages? Yes, you can! Now whenever you end up on the blog's page hover over the book cover and click +Post and then follow the drill from point 4. Writing a book review from a book page.



6. Writing a book review from the reading lists

When you explore the reading lists (main menu -> Apps -> Reading lists) and you spot a book from your review to do list, click +Post and Text and follow the steps from point 1.



7. Writing a book review from the book club

Visiting the book club (main menu->Apps_>Book clubs) doesn't need leaving it to write a review. Hover the pointer over the book cover and you'll see the book pop up. Then press +Post and Text and follow the drill from point 1.


 Additional review attributes


Your book review on BookLikes may also receive some special features, like:

- review box and rating stars - tick and select your rating;

- spoiler - add a spoiler alert to warn your readers that some extra information may be revealed in your review; 

- post date -- you can schedule it ahead, use the post date spot to choose the date and time;

- source -- if you cross post from your other websites, add the source link, it will be added in the reviews' footnote;

- custom URL -- the address of your reviews have the same words as your post title but if you wish to change what's appearing in the link, go ahead;

- tags -- add those to categorize your texts and let other people find more of the reviews alike;

- cross post -- you can post to your social profiles and other blogs; before doing that, please check if you've connected the pages in your settings and click the icons to make them green=active when publishing online.


You can also save the text as Draft. It will be saved in your draft space (Blog-> Drafts) and won't be published until you edit the post and update the post date.



Writing a review can be tricky, it requires practice, practice, practice. So don't hold your horses - read& write! What is your book review writing drill? Share your writing tips in the comment section below.


Curious how others are doing? To view recently reviewed books on BookLikes, go to the book catalog page (menu->Book catalog) and click the book cover to be moved to the book page with the BookLikes community review list.


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text 2017-01-12 12:25
Communty support always at hand

We always knew that BookLikes community is special. It's not different now. BookLikes blogger Murder by Death has created a support group to help newbies and regular BookLikes bloggers take the best advantage of BookLikes. The group is called How to BookLikes and it's very open waiting to be explored. We would also like to draw your attention to several other discussion rooms which may come in handy when hanging on BookLikes.


To be part of the following groups click the button, join and say hello.


How to BookLikes Group by Murder by Death

Intro: This is a group created to help BookLikers get the most out of BookLikes. Tips on adding books and editing books, using your shelves efficiently and customising your blogs will be gathered here for easy reference. Threads will be available to ask questions and get answers from the wider community...


Several more groups to join:


Book club: Bookish Box Swaps by Jessica (HDB)

The home of the bookish box swap! Send a box filled with book related goodies, and receive one in return!


Find New Booklikes Blogs To Follow

Find new people to follow, let new people to find you. This group is dedicated to finding new people to interact on Booklikes. Let's keep the discussion sections in minim, clean and readable. Ideas, suggestions should be directed to Think Thank- discussion. This is a group for everyone and anyone. This is a result of good community and great teamwork. Let's connect.

Booklikes Bookish Bingo Club by Moonlight Blizzard

A place for Booklikes Bingo updates and other outreach to the wider booklikes community!


BookLikes Librarians Official Group

A place where BookLikes Librarians can work together, talk, discuss, share ideas how to improve BookLikes and the BookLikes book catalog. Welcome BookLikes Librarians! :-)

If you wish join BookLikes Librarians team, request a membership.


This group is created to gather BookLikes community together and provide its members with the support. If you wish to let the BL team know that something is not working right, please use the Bug reports thread.
Recently we've also added a directory with all BookLikes blog posts which present the insights into BookLikes features and some tutorials.
BookLikes tips


  • To grab more BL tips & trick, please visit BookLikes FAQ webpage.
  • To look through community tips and previous BookLikes posts, search tutorials in the search box and click tags, or simply click here and here
  • If the following posts and groups won't answer all your questions, feel free to drop us a line. Please use the Need help tab or mail us directly (send your Qs to Kate at kate@booklikes.com). As always, we'll be happy to help and support.
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