Monday, February 9, 2015

Book Reviewing - Blogging for Beginners Part 2!

     Welcome to Book Reviewing - Blogging for Beginners Part 2!

     This is the second eddition of Blogging for Beginners, where we will be touching on more of the must know things of book reviewing and blogging. In the previous part, we descused the basics of starting your blog, getting ARCs (Advanced readers copies), messaging authors, staying up to date on all the book trends, interviews, reviews, and giveaways! (Link in the sidebar)

     In this part (part 2), I will be teaching you of the more minor but important parts of book blogging. I will be getting into Widgets, Fonctionaility, and Networking with Publishers.

     Here are some author quotes to get you into the mood of books and reviewing:

“So many books, so little time.”
― Frank Zappa

“A room without books is like a body without a soul.”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero

“The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.”
― Jane Austen

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one.”
― George R.R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”
― Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Networking with Publishers

   Now, we have talked in part one about contacting authors for ARCs (Advanced Readers Copies) and the importance of this in Part 1, now we will move on to contacting publishers, and the importance of that.Today, many authors are managing to self-publish quite effectively, but the majority of authors are still using companies to publish their works. These publishers usually have most if not all of the say in who gets the ARCs of their books, so it’s a really good idea to contact and get on the good sides of these publishers.

   There are many publishers out there, but make sure to contact the publishers of your genre in your general area. For example, if you are based in Canada, messaging Harlequin Australia is pretty useless and a waste of time. They will not be sending you book, because you are so far out of their market and region.
    Now, in these messages you should have something along these lines:

“Dear (Publisher),
Hello, I am a young adult, Canadian, YA reviewer; known as The Reader, author of The Not So Public Library. I am messaging you today to inform you of my existence and eagerness to review the books you are publishing. I started blogging in March of 2014 and have been growing a fan base ever since. I become aware of your organization participation in publishing Young Adult novels, and wish to tell you I would love to review ARC copies of them.
Here is the link to my blog:
Here are the links to the adjacent Twitter, Goodreads and Facebook accounts:
Feel free to message me any time you have a blog tour, giveaway, announcement, or book you want me to review. I would love to take part in them/review them. With the condition it’s on the topic of YA novels and their authors. I hope you keep me in mind for future YA things!
Sincerely and all the best,
Hannah L
Author of The Not So Public Library
      Please do not use exact wording, mix it up and make it show the publishers a little about yourself and your personality. Links to Publishers for Canada/United States on the sidebar.

Disney Publishing Worldwide:

Penguin RandomHouse Canada:

Penguin RandomHouse:

Harlequin Teen:

Widgets and Functionality

   When it comes to a blog, it is vital to have a well-oiled and functioning design. One of the biggest factors in that are things called Widgets/Gadgets (depending on the person). These nifty little things are what you would usually find on the sidebars of blogs. Their use can vary, but they can definitely make or break a blog. Without ascetic appeal and smooth functions viewers will leave your blog fast and furious, never to return again.

     What do widgets do? Widgets can be mini search engines, like buttons, images, calendars, links, videos, and so much more.

     How do I make one? To make one, you go to the blogs settings and go to “Layout”. From there you will see buttons called “Add Gadget”, click it. There, you should find countless options of widgets/gadgets to select from. For more specific site related gadgets like a “Follow me on Twitter” button or a Goodreads bookshelf feed, you must go to those sites/Google search the code for said button/feed, and use the HTML gadget option on blogger.  (It’s one of the listed options of widgets/gadgets.) These can be increasingly useful, especially in amassing a follower base for your off site accounts.

       Now, be careful with how many of these you use and their color ratio to your background. Too many or tacky widgets can ruin the ascetic appeal of a blog, which counts for a lot. Some links to special gadgets on the sidebar.

      Now go forth and put gadgets in your blog!
Twitter Follow button:

Facbook Like Button:

Pinterest Button Builder:

Google Plus One Button:

Instagram Widget:

Written by Hannah L, A.K.A The Reader, author of The Not So Public Library. All information, examples and knowledge comes from: © 2014-2015

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Book Reviewing - Blogging for Beginners

       Reviewing is a blast. Reviewing your favorite genre makes it even better; and getting your favorite books in the mail, is wonderful.
      If you’re reading this, then you probably are curious about reviewing, and want to start doing it yourself. This means you enjoy reading. If you do not enjoy your reading, leave now, this job will be a nightmare unless you love reading. I personally stumbled upon this job by accident, but have loved and grown quite knowledgeable about it, so I wish to pass on my knowledge to you, curious reader. What is a reviewer of books, and what do you do? A novel reviewer at its core is a person who reads novels, writes their thoughts about it, and publishes them on social media affiliated. (Photos on sidebar expand when selected)
Step one to being a reviewer: Start a blog, and start reading.
Links to basic/necessary social media:
     So, now you need a game plan. Your goal is to attract as many followers and viewers as possible. How do you do that? I have narrowed it down to three simple things. Up to date and current reviews, Interviews with authors viewers would be interested in, and giveaways.
   Firstly, you need to know what is coming out in your genre, so your reviews are of books readers would be interested in, wanting to know whether they should read or not, because they are so new. Once you have cemented your name as a reviewer, you can start requesting ARC's (Advanced Reader's Copies) and have your reviews out before the book is published. A good way to keep track of what is coming out, what’s up and coming and what is most popular is through (Link on the sidebar) They are great at keeping readers up to date on everything book related.
Reaching out and getting listed:
 With getting and reading these new novels, there is writing the review. There is a format to this. Firstly, you must be sure to include the cover of the novel, somewhere clearly visible. Along with that, I recommend using a gif (a moving picture, for those who don't know what that is) to help get your emotions on the novel immediately clear and to aid the visual learners out there. Somewhere in the review, below, above, or even in the center (it’s up to you); place an image of your star rating. These are the key imagery components. For the review itself, I recommend one to two paragraphs. Make your feelings on the novel, with a clear explanation of why you feel that way. (Try your best to avoid spoilers) But make sure you keep it brief. The readers have no interest in reading a novel length review, just to find out if they should read the book or not. If you can pull in some cultural references to make your feelings more relatable, do so, it will improve the review for sure. If you wish, you can add links to places a reader can buy themselves a copy, or read other reviews, like
   Most of the time, people are not just interested in reading reviews. You need something other, to keep a viewer’s attention. One of the biggest “other” you can do is interviews. Readers fangirl over authors as much as they do the books themselves sometimes. So want to use that to draw in viewers. Spend some time, research the most popular authors, choose some of your personal favorites, and send them off some emails. In those emails explain who you are, the name and address of your blog, some distinct butt kissery, some facts about your blog like “I have been growing exponentially in viewers” that sound good, and finally make sure you attach the questions you wish to have answered in the email. By doing this you make it loads easier for them to just respond and send it to you. Less in between heightens your chances of them actually doing it. If they respond, include these things along with the interview: A short bio of the author, their picture (both easily found in their websites), and a list of what they have written; using photos of the covers if possible to make the post more ascetically appealing.
 Link to
     Okay, now you have the factual part of your blog set, with reviews and interviews that attract the viewer’s eye. Now it’s time to create dedicated followers. How do you do that? Simple, give them everyone’s favorite thing, free stuff. Now these are called giveaways. You can do two different forms of giveaways. You can host a giveaway, which means an author will send you info and you post it, but you are in no way responsible for getting the prizes to the winners; and you can do a giveaway yourself. Meaning you purchase the prizes and set up the system of giveaway. It also means you have to distribute the prizes to the winners yourself. These prizes can consist of signed books, signed book marks, and book associated trinkets the viewers would actually want. There are two main ways to control a giveaway. Firstly, and mainly only done in Facebook, you give the contestants a set of instructions like “Like and share, follow here, the comment below when you’re done.” When your designated time is finished you have to manually randomly select the winner/winners.
 I find this method far less effective as using a Rafflecopter. is a website that controls your giveaway for you. Using it, you can choose what people can do to get a certain amount of “ballets”. For example, you could set it so for 5 ballets; they can share one twitter and post the link in the designated section so it can be verified. There is a limited amount of ballets per day. Once the giveaway is finished, the Rafflecopter randomly picks the winners for you and send you the needed info the contact them and the address to send the prizes to. Rafflecopter can be put in blogs with a link the site will give you. More info at (Link in the sidebar)
Link to  
    So, how do you get the elusive ARCs I mentioned earlier? Well, that requires a) Publishers/authors reaching out to you b) you reaching out to the authors. Since a) does not happen for a bit og time, at least not until you cement your name, you’ll have to do the reaching out for a while. You do this by messaging the author/publisher of the book you wish to review. (Get the email out before the publishing) You can message them on social media, or send them an email. They way to format that email is the following: Write an intro using their name, for example “Dear author,” or “Hello author”, and then proceed to give them the following information. Name, account name, author of (insert blog name here), links to blog and attached social media, what book you’re interested in, your country, and a little bit about you fan base. Don’t forget to complement their book/books (Butt kissery never hurts). End it with a cute ending like “All the best, name, link” or “Sincerely, name, link”. Don’t forget that not all authors/publishers will agree or even respond.  Just keep on working at it. Keep reviewing what you have until they finally understand you’re serious. Once they know you are legit the ARCs will start pouring in. For serious reviewers willing to review eBooks there is (Link in the sidebar)a site where reviewers can request and get sent eBook ARCs. I highly recommend using it.
Written by Hannah L, A.K.A The Reader, author of The Not So Public Library. All information, examples and knowledge comes from: © 2014-2015

Friday, June 27, 2014

Want more of my Awesomeness??

           I have another blog!! Yay! I can feel your excitement. I am a crazy reader so I have begun to             review the books I read at a crazy pace. If you want to read some of my book reviews, you
                                          can go to The Not So Public Library at:

My friends request

By request

        Well, my friend (we will call him Subject Nix) asked me to write about him in my blog. My initial thought was, but I would just be doing another likes and dislikes list. But then it dawned on me; I could tell a story!  So here we go.

The ewww factor

                It all started in grade four. You see, in grade four I was a new kid to XYZ elementary school. But luckily, I didn’t have to share the burden alone. I got to share the outcaste newbie position with a boy named (to your knowledge) Subject Nix. Nix was your stereotypical elementary boy with his cute face and bazar/rude attitude, but to my lonely and shy younger self, he was a potential best friend. Mainly because he and I had come to the school in the same year, which was more in common than I had with any of the other students.
                But with the evil and unforgiving elementary mindset, he and all the boys in my class, assumed that my younger self being kind to him (in efforts to befriend him) was all because I was deeply in love with him. And, of course, girls are gross and have diseases; therefore I “having a crush on him” (which I did not) became a subject of ridicules and bullying. Don’t get me wrong, this did not happen overnight. It was quite a small thing in grade four, but by grade six it had grown into what I like to call ‘”the ewww factor”.
The ewww factor was displayed when I would walk by Nix in the hallway, minding my own business, and he would proclaim very loudly “ewwwwww!” and lean far away from me as if I was emitting a nasty odor or contagious with an intestine melting disease. If someone were to do that to me now, it would just roll off my shoulder and I wouldn’t care or be affected by it. But in middle school I was very fragile and cared about what people thought. So when this happened for a long period of time on end, I was beginning to feel dejected and gross. Like something was wrong with me.
Then it got worse. The boys of the school started noticing Nix’s reaction to my presence and thought there was something wrong with me. Next thing I knew, I was the “gross loser girl” to most of the guys of the school. It sucked big time. With constant ridicule from a majority of the male population in the school (and some of the female too), my confidence plummeted.
This bullying regime continued strait till grade nine, where it suddenly disappeared into thin air. (I blame their hormones kicking in) But this is not a sad story. Because through this trial, I became immune to words of others. I don’t need others to reassure me to feel good and confident about myself like most (almost all) high school girls (and boys). I’m stronger because I truly realised their opinions are based on what I think of myself and what they think of themselves. Not who I really am.

The sad part is, to this day, I don’t think Nix understands what he did when he was younger. He might have even thought it was a joke. It might not have even been a blimp on him radar. He’s not a bad guy or a bully. Just a guy who, when he was younger, was trying to be funny and make friends. I don’t hold a grudge. Not in the slightest. But I was horribly confused when he asked me out this year. You have no idea how confused I was, like jaw hanging open and everything. (Again, I believe this was caused by hormones kicking in) And you know what I am still willing to see, after all that’s transpired since grade four, if we can still be the friends I wanted us to be when I was younger. Before all this happened. Because life not worth living if you’re stuck in your past. 

My first ever short story

The wolf by Hannah LeBouthillier
Wind blew across the desert, pelting Angelina with millions upon millions of grains of sand. Spiting and sputtering sand out of her mouth, she stared at the ground. “There” she grunted to herself “Almost lost ya” Indented within the sand were the tracks she was following. The tracks of a giant wolf to be exact.
Pulling the scarves to cover her mouth and nose, she trudged forward. She hated this part of the job. Tracking and trekking through ridiculous climates and conditions. Why can’t the bad guy just decide to hide from the law somewhere easily accessible for a change?? In the end, the outcome is always going to be the same. After a good butt whooping they just end up where they started from, the P.R.E.D holding cells. P.R.E.D, standing for Paranormal Research and Enforcement Division. Why can’t they just make it easy and hide somewhere easily accessible?
Sweat dripped down her neck as the scorching light of the sun threatened to make her spontaneously combust into flames. Man that would be a hilarious tomb stone! She laughed to herself. Angelina R. Tempatie, agent of P.R.E.D passed away today on a mission to find a homicidal were-wolf known as “The man eater”. From the scattered ashes that were found in the desert, we have discovered the cause of death to be spontaneous combustion. “Of course they would only publish that to the paranormal underground, not the real world. To them I would have probably just died in a house fire.” She muttered to herself.
Grrrrrrrrrrrrr! Angelina jerked to a stop so suddenly she almost got whiplash. Ooooooooowwooo! The howl ripped through the blistering hot savannah day. He was close, she realised with a jolt. And that howl hade come from somewhere behind her. Whipping around, she saw her worst fear, a bad guy that was smart enough to trick and track her. Not a mile away stood an enormous grey wolf on a tall sand dune, staring directly into Ange’s eyes with burning hatred and resolve.
        Fear instantly forgotten she acted. On instinct she whipped out her gun and took aim. Boom! Boom! Boom! Bullets shot out of the gun at lightning speed. Angelina watched as they each hit home in three closest paws of the beast. Oooooowwwwww! The terrible howl dictated pain and fury, as the monster fell onto its belly, no longer able to hold itself up. Angelina launched into a full out sprint. Tucking she gun away she pulled out the broad sword strapped to her back.  Closer she came to the wolf, more adrenaline pumped though her. Bum bumbum bumbum bum, bum bum, bum bumbum bum. She leaped over the wolf, graceful as death itself, and plunged the sword into the beast’s side. Letting go of the weapon she landed in a crouch beside her prey. Pulling out two Cursed Night daggers, she plunged them into the back of the beast. As the toxins sped through the bloodstream the wolf twitched and withered, its pain evident. Ange watched as the blood flowing from the beast turned from its deep red to a midnight purple, signalizing that the daggers have done their job. With a grunt the beast fell unconscious.
        Angelina stood and looked down at the creature. Puzzled, she was troubled by how simple it was to take down. Nothing like the savage man eating monster its file made it out to be. Definitely not like a wolf that had managed to rip apart an entire tribe of 17 Nikwalki hunters, only 6 children and 2 woman survived the massacre. Removing the weapons from the side of the beast she felt curiosity to why it didn’t bite her, and why it howled, announcing it position and giving her a chance to fight back. “Why?” she asked herself. Reaching down, she grabbed the beast’s ear and felt around. There where she had expected to see, a barcode in the fleshy part of its ear. “This is him, but he’s not rabid! Why would he attach that tribe? Maybe he was falsely accused.” She spoke to herself. Standing up, she looked around the great expanse of the desert. Not knowing what she was looking for, she looked around with a vigor.
        Yip! Angelina jumped at the unexpected sound. Jerking around, she saw nothing. Yip! There it was again! Launching into motion she followed the sound. Yip! Yip! Yip! Yip! Now running, she reached the base of the dune in record time. When there, she looked around, and to her astonishment, saw a small temple like structure hidden at the base. Cautiously, she approached the entrance, what she saw inside had her jaw dropping. There, in the corner of the room law four small pups. All laying one on top of the other, only the one at the base was awake. Yip! It barked, its bright green eyes shining with the love and trust of a child.
        Still not grasping what she was seeing, Angelina numbly walked to the pups. Slow and steady she approached, careful not to startle them. She stopped a foot away from them, with a sudden realization that she was walking up to a pack of pups, after battling a giant wolf on top of the dune. The same wolf which she had just left there bleeding out and that might wake up at any minute. “Dang it, pull it together” she whispered to herself angrily. 
        Slowly she edged out of the temple, careful not to turn her back on the pups. Once a good distance away, she rushed up the side of the dune. Gasp! There, at the top of the dune, in place of the giant wolf was a small delicate woman. She was fully conscious and sitting calmly with her legs crossed. The only thing that prevented Angelina from assuming she was from one of the local tribes was the blood stains on the side of her dress and the skin of her hands and her right foot. Midnight purple blood stains to be exact. “You get why I did what I did now, don’t you?” said the woman in a gruff voice. Angelina stared in confusion. “You’re a woman.” she stated plainly. The woman stared at her with patients. “Yes, I am.” She agreed. Then it hit Ange like a freight train. The file never referred to the wolf’s gender! She had just assumed it was a man who had killed those people! “You get why I did what I did now, don’t you?” the woman asked again, a dead yet protective look in her eye.
        Angelina thought of pups at the base of the dune, how the tribe that was attached were hunters, and that the children and women were left alone. “You were just protecting your pups, weren't you?” All she got in response was a simple nod, but what the nod meant shocked her to the core. Was it okay to kill, if it is in protection of your children? She wondered. “Please, leave us in peace.” The woman asked quietly, all expression leaving her face. Indecision raced through Ange. On one hand, she thought to herself, if I complete my task and bring her in I’ll be doing my job and life will go on, but the pups will be without a mother. On the other hand I could make up a story for my superiors and leave this family in peace. What is worth going against my superiors and potentially loosing my job? Is it worth it? Yes it is, she decided, for the sake of the innocent children.
        Decision made, she gave a simple nod and turned to leave. Walking down the dune she heard the woman call out behind her “Please understand I can’t let you just leave. Another hunter would come for my children. I must make them too scared to risk coming after us, I’m sorry. Its for the sake of my innocent children.” Before she could full turn around to voice her confusion, she heard a deep growl. Something enormous smashed into her back with the brute force of a speeding bullet and took her to the ground. Before she knew what was happening, there was a crunch and Angelina knew no more.  
        Not a day had passed when a message with placed in the news.

“Angelina R. Tempatie, local artist passed away today in a house fire.”

Beautiful Words

 Beautiful Words by Hannah LeBouthillier (Free style Poetry)

Beautiful words fall from her lips like drops cascading from waterfalls. But no one listens. She is silenced to the ears of those who are too centered in them-self to give a damn. Those who look away from her in disinterest, ripping her apart piece by piece with the worst of punishments. Why do they not listen? Why can they not see? The beauty in her mind that is so vast and bright. The beauty in her mind unravels into the wings of a dove, the souls of every dreamer ever to exist, and the breath of every newborn. Her words powered by her passion to be heard, she gets louder. Louder to the point the universe shatters, but only to be forced into silence by the very souls she wanted to touch and speak to. Chained to the jail of oppression she looked for other ways to be heard. She would mumble quietly and wrote passages on the walls of her cage, praying someone would by chance get her message and see what she knows. All to no avail as she crumples to the rock bottom of depression and evil. In an effort to stave away the pain she bloodedly murders her true self, ripping and tearing away at all that is good and beautiful about her. Seeing this, her captors unlock the chains of silence, content she is now one of them, but for her it is too late. Her freedom is useless for she no longer has anything to say, now just a shell of herself with bloodstains on her hands.  She wanders around the desert plains of the numb, feeling only longing for something more. Something she once hade but lost. Something she cannot remember. A spark. Gone. Tired of her constant searching, she laid down to rest in the ocean, drifting with the waves.
 In the night her mind salvaged a part of her seemingly long gone, and healed what she had lost. Her gasp made the stars flair and the sky turn bright and lively, the earth cried with joy from the east to the west. The wind scooped the girl up with the arms of a loving mother and into the stars of the universe. Her hearts pumped love throughout her entire being, healing the wounds that she had received from her time of wondering in darkness. All that remained was small thin scares, left by the love to remind her of the dangers of darkness. As she was carried to the center of all things good she wondered about all the souls left in the darkness. What about them? The universe stopped, and seemed to hold its breath. If you go back, it said to her, you can save many, but at the price of millions more not listening to you, and the continuation of the pain you had always lived with and loathed. Transcended in love she chose that the few others she would save would be worth it. The planets and stars themselves seemed to cry out for the pain she was to endure as it spit her out in the world again. Standing up in the love that now filled her, beautiful words fall from her lips like drops cascading from waterfalls. And seeing her scares, someone stopped, and listened.

Adam Cree

Adam Cree by Hannah LeBouthillier

Cruel was the boy named Adam Cree
Who would lie and deceive defying angel’s pleas
He stole the hearts of many and made them stone
And then at night, he roamed alone

To many years he ruined lives
Blatantly ignoring their agonized cries
Many said he could never atone
Because at night, he roamed alone

One day he met the mate of his soul
Opening his heart, paying the toll
Freeing his love, making him new
His professions of love, easy to chew

But the angels in heaven were angry, you see
So in vengeance they declared a decree
“For he has caused beautiful hearts to stone
Therefore, he must walk eternally alone”

That is the reason, you see
That the mate of his soul left the man named Adam Cree
Being the way he would eternally atone

By having to roam the nights alone.