Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge!

Welcome to Chick Loves Lit for a Mini Bloggiesta Mini Challenge!

Not sure what Bloggiesta is? It’s a specific time period where lots of bloggers get together to make improvements to their blogs. Sometimes the improvements are things you haven’t done in awhile – updating archives, scheduling posts – and sometimes they are things you learn, like how to post a giveaway widget. Check out their website for lots more information (and for more challenges)!

Today I am here to talk about posting your reviews in multiple places. It is immensely helpful for you to cross post reviews to places that consumers may seem them, such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads. In my opinion, if you’re receiving advanced copies and working with publishers, you should already be doing this. But I know how hard it can be to keep track of what you’ve posted where.

I am going to show you how I keep track so you can come up with a system that works for you.

Screen shot 2013-02-01 at 5.06.11 PM

The easiest thing for me to do is use a color coded system in Google Calendar. I used to write my schedule in a planner and use highlighters, so you could do that as well, but I like the accessibility of having my Google Calendar anywhere I may be on a computer.

I use four colors as to not make it so complicated I don’t want to keep up with it.

Red: Content to be written/received
This is for reviews I have not yet written, interview questions I haven’t received back, and the like

Yellow: Content Ready
If I have a review written but not posted, I use yellow. I also always use yellow for Waiting on Wednesday posts since all of that information is ready to be grabbed from Amazon or Goodreads

Green: Posted
This one’s simple – the post is finished and scheduled!

Blue: Archived
Blue is the color I like to see most on my calendar! Blue means a review has been completely archived.

What does archived mean? 

Archived can mean different things to different people. To me, it means the following:

-The review has been posted to Goodreads
-The review has been posted to Amazon
-The post has been appropriately added to my blog’s archive

Because there are times I post reviews before a book’s release date, this system is especially important because you cannot post reviews to Amazon and other consumer websites before the release date. By keeping these posts “green” in my calendar, I know to go back and take the steps to make them “blue” once the book has released.

So what’s the challenge?

You have two options for this challenge. You can either:

Come up with an organizational way to keep track of where your posts are


Use your current organizational system and post at least TEN reviews to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or another website of your choice

It’s so beneficial for publishers and authors for you to put these reviews in each of the places someone buying the book may see them! I strongly feel that you should make this part of your normal blog routine.

Leave a comment below and let me know what you’re doing for this challenge! Do you have a different way you organize things? Do you already post to Amazon? Have you managed to get your ten reviews on IndieBound? Let me know!


Bloggiesta Mini-Challenge! — 47 Comments

  1. This is a wonderful idea, Shanyn. I cross post my reviews but I always forget and have to go back and post a ton at once. I love the color coded system you use and that’s totally what I’m going to do from now on.

  2. Neat way to to organize! I color code in iCal based on book source (so if it’s an e-book that expires, I’ll know to get to it sooner) but it might be a good idea to use google calendar or some other program to track which reviews I’ve posted on Amazon and goodreads and which ones I haven’t. I’m very behind on posting anyway and need to catch up on that.

  3. I’ve just created an online calender and all I can say is that I wish I’d done it far sooner! I can see this being incredibly helpful in the future, especially as everything is colour-coded. I’m really bad at remembering to regularly cross-post, so this will definitely help with that. Thank you for hosting!

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  5. Hi Shanyn, this is my first time participating in Bloggiesta and I am a relatively new book blogger (I blog about other things too but books is definitely becoming my favorite topic to write about). So I don’t deal with ARC’s, affiliates and publishers yet, but I did adapt some of your ideas and incorporate them into my Google Doc content calendar that I got in Momcomm’s Content Brew Class. Mine is more of a color-coded checklist of the books I’ve read and have a column with book title, columns for each of the 4 challenges for 2013, a column for review posted to blog, posted to Goodreads/Amazon/B&N and then done. Anyway it is very helpful to look at it at a glimpse and seeing where each review stands. I typically only post to Goodreads and my blog so I need to do better at posting to Amazon (although Amazon doesn’t accept affiliates from my state, boo). Any advice for a new book blogger on how to sign up for affiliates and what I need to do to my site to get it ready for that next step? I greatly enjoyed this challenge and thanks for the great ideas.

    • Hi Tanya! I’d be glad to help you however I can! Do you mean affiliates like advertisements? The ads on my blog go through, which makes it really simple – you sign up and put the code in your sidebar, and they take care of making sure the ads are the right size and take payments etc. If you mean affiliates like places your visitors can buy books, Book Depository has an affiliate program you might be able to use in your state (I’m not sure the restrictions for them). Bummer you can’t use Amazon affiliate links! Let me know what else I can give you more specific details on :)

  6. Your blog is so streamlined – very easy to read and navigate around. I previously colour coded using my iCal but it just stopped happening I think I need to step up my game and get organised! Great post :D

    • Thanks Fay! I’ve gone back and forth with organization – at once point I was just trying to do TOO much! It’s all about finding a balance (and this method has stuck around for a year so it looks like it will be the winner :) )

  7. I like your idea of the color-coded calendar, though I’m not sure I have enough colors left since I already use color to code work projects (I freelance) and appointments for various family members. To keep track of blogging tasks, I’ve been using a simple to-do list, basically just a Word document, with minimal color-coding (red for “important – get this done soon”, black for less urgent tasks, and blue for “done”.) But I like the idea of having it all in one place, since I have to work in the blogging around my jobs of freelance indexer and household manager (i.e., Mom!) I think I’ll try adapting my current Outlook calendar to include the blog tasks.

    I currently post reviews on my blog, then on Goodreads a few days later. I also pin my reviews on my Pinterest boards. I’ve posted a few reviews to Amazon, but need to be more consistent there — especially since I’d like to be an affiliate some day.

    • Oh man! I tried to combine my life in my iCal and found I just can’t do it, so I use that solely for my blog. Maybe you could try using two different calendar programs and that could be easier (and less overwhelming)!

  8. I don’t really put my reviews on Amazon, but I do use the Google calendar to know when everything is scheduled, and I have a notebook to keep track of when other things need to get done by :)

  9. I went for the cross posting ten reviews option. I do already have a kind of system which also uses ical. I label review books and when they are due with purple, blog posts due with red, other reading to review with orange , events with pink. Its not quite as detailed as your system but does the job most of the time :-) I used to cross post then for some reason I stopped so I really need to get in the habit of doing it again. I might set aside one day a week to go through and cross post all that week’s review. Thanks for the challenge :-)

    • I’ve found if a system is too detailed you won’t use it, so what you’ve got sounds perfect for you! Hope you can get into the habit of cross posting :)

  10. I’ve recently made a spreadsheet to keep track of ARCs that I’ve committed to read. And also lately I’ve been using an old fashioned little pocket paper calendar to keep track of when I plan to review things. So far I’m loving it! Thanks again for doing this awesome challenge. (I need to put more of my reviews on Amazon!)

  11. I use google calendar for everything, but hadn’t thought of changing the color based on the status of the review. I have about a million calendars in there, so I don’t think that will work for me. I’m going to try it out this month and see what happens.

    I haven’t been diligent about posting everywhere else, but I did add the books to a spreadsheet and have a real schedule to get caught up by March 1. Thanks for the motivation!

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  13. I love your organisational plans! It’s weird that I’m so in-organised with my blog when I’m normally all about organisation and order!

    I think I may just put your plan into action on my own blog :)

    • As far as I know, Google is smart about ignoring certain instances of duplicate content. In fact, there are people that exclusively yank Amazon reviews (that they did not write) to put on webpages in hopes that they will sell money through their affiliate links (which is against Amazon TOS). If you are concerned about duplicate content you absolutely can rewrite parts of your review to make it unique for the place you are posting – whichever way you do it, I strongly feel that if you are receiving books for review you should be as useful in distributing your review as you can, whether you spend a few minutes rewriting to post it on major consumer sites or repost your original content. With Google’s constantly changing SEO rules it’s hard to keep up with what they index and what they like for top search results, so it’s your decision how to use the information I’ve provided.

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  16. One of the tasks on my list for this weekend is to catch up on my Goodreads and Amazon reviews. I don’t post every review everywhere but I do like to keep up a nice presence on both of those sites :) I have a question for you about Indiebound. I have an affiliate relationship with them but I don’t know how to review on that site. Can you point me in the right direction? I’d be forever grateful :)

    Thanks for the tips about being more organized. I definitely need help with that!

    • Great question, as I have never actually tried to post on IndieBound! I’m poking around right now and am not seeing an option to post, so maybe it’s not something they offer there… does anyone else have any insight?

  17. Sounds like a good way to be organised. I have a similar system, but then in Excel, where I use color codes to indicate the status of a book.

    I think it’s almost essential that bloggers who review more than a few books per month for others, keep track of their books and reviews in a similar way.

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  19. I just wanted to check in and see what I can do better…I already post my reviews to Amazon, Goodreads, one of my blogs (I have 11!), and sometimes B & N.

    But I like your color-coding system. I will set something up, because leaving bits of notes around, even on my spindle, could be problematic…lol.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    I don't belong to Indie Bound. I'll check it out!


  21. Great mini challenges. I am updating my spreadsheet with your great ideas.
    Question: Where do you find the pages of book. I ask because if I read it on my reading app the pages sometimes differ from Goodreads.

    • I use either Goodreads or Amazon for page count! I hardly ever use my Kindle for pages, especially because I normally read advanced copies on there and I try to find final copy page count for my posts :)

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  23. I have read somewhere that publishing your review in several places makes you lose ranking in google search. so I only post them on my blog; I just post the first few lines on my goodreads, and leave the link to my full review. the only place I post it is on netgalley and edelweiss, if i got the book to review through them. just my thought

    • Someone commented on this earlier – Google has changed what their guidelines are re: duplicate content and SEO rankings several times, so if you are concerned about this I encourage you to rewrite parts of your reviews so you can still post them on Amazon or Barnes and Noble or another consumer heavy website.

  24. I handwrite my posts in a planner that I use. I color coordinate personal and blog stuff so I know which is which. I used to use a monthly calendar, but once I got the hang of planning ahead like that, the weekly one I use for personal use, too, works well.

    I post all my reviews to Amazon, Goodreads, and B&N. I think B&N is a site that people forget about, but I’m sure SOMEONE reads reviews there sometimes! Also, sometimes I am the only reviewer on B&N, while on Amazon the same book has 2,048 reviews (or something like that).

    Thanks for the post! I actually probably need to figure out how to use Google Calendar!

    • About B&N: exactly! Think of how many people you’ve helped make a decision about ordering the book there if you’re one of only a few reviews! Now that’s truly using your reviewer power.

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  26. Awesome idea for organizing your reviews! I currently have a column in my excel sheet for cross posting, but I love using my Google Calender to put which reviews I have scheduled. I can’t participate in the challenge though because I have everything already cross posted. Wonderful challenge :)

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  28. Shanyn this is an awesome challenge. To cross-ref between my blog, Goodreads, Amazon and Netgalley was one of the items on my to do list but I didn’t do it until I read your challenge LOL so far all the reviews on my blog has been added to Goodreads, Amazon and Netgalley (if applicable). I’m yet to add to Barnes & Noble, Shelfari and LibraryThing if I decide to do those.

    It’s quite a tedious process so make sure you all keep on top of it once you have updated it people!

    • Woohoo! I think getting a system in place is the hardest part – it’s a lot easier for me to catch up on cross posting now that I have the color coding… before I had to hunt down where I left off and look for duplicates etc etc. Great job getting all caught up!

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