Bloggiesta Challenge: Policies

It's time for bloggiesta! If you don't know what that is, head on over here to learn more and here to see what other challenges are out there!

Today I'm challenging you to work on your policies!

Policies are a very important part of book blogging, and I'll admit that my policies right now are not very rigorous/don't exist. So I'll be doing this challenge right along with you. The bottom of this post describes the details of the challenge, including a giveaway! But first let's talk about two different types of policies:

Review Policies

This is the big kahuna. As a book blogger you need to make it very clear what authors/publishers/anyone should expect from your reviews. I've been doing some research, and I've found some questions (both essential and non-essential) that should be answered in a review policy:

Essential Questions to Answer:
  • What kind of books do you review? Are you purely YA? Adult? Audiobooks?
  • What kind of books do you explicitly NOT review? Self-published? E-books? Paranormal romance?
  • How quickly do you promise to read the book? Sometimes we have a backlog, and you don't want to get requests that say REVIEW MY BOOK NOW!! Because you just won't be able to keep up.
  • Do you guarantee a review for every book you read? Sometimes you really don't like a book, are you still going to review it? Sometimes you just don't feel like reviewing a book. That needs to be made clear.
  • How should people contact you? Be sure to make your e-mail address/physical address VERY CLEARLY VISIBLE. I hate digging for e-mails. I also personally dislike it when people do [at] and [dot]. I use the actual @ and . on my policy currently, and I haven't noticed any increase in spam.
And here are a few questions that you can answer, but I don't feel are a must.

Optional Questions to Answer:
  • Will you participate in tours/extra activities without reading the book? I won't. Because what happens if you participate in the tour and then when you eventually do read the book you hate it?
  • What are your statistics? Usually if a publisher is reading your policy then they already care enough about you to send you a message, but this could help! I suggest using Google Analytics
  • Where do you post reviews? Just on your blog? Or are you on GoodReads? Amazon? B&N?
  • Who will you take requests from? Authors? Agents? Publishers? Dealing with each is a very different experience. Which do you prefer?

Contest Policies
Contest policies are a way to cover yourself. If you make yourself very clear, then chances are you'll be able to back yourself up if anyone ever has a complaint about your contests. Always good to have support in your back-pocket. Here are some questions that you could possibly answer in a contest policy:
  • Do you have age restrictions? It can be dangerous to let those under 13 (or even 18) win something on your blog because you can’t guarantee parent permission.
  • What about location restrictions? I think sometimes it’s best to say “All contests open to US residents only unless otherwise stated”
  • What do you claim the right to do as blogger? Eliminate entries/entrants? End contest early? End contest all together?
  • Do you collect addresses or e-mails? Consider adding in a privacy policy
  • How will you contact the winners? Sometimes I'm bugged when I realize that I was supposed to go check the winners post and contact the blog author. I thought they were going to contact me!
  • How long do they have to respond with an address? And what happens if they don’t meet the deadline?


So there you go! Some coolio guidelines (not rules. I'm no expert) on how to create a privacy and contest policy. So what's my challenge to you? I bet you can guess:

My challenge to you:
Write a Review Policy for your Blog
or
Review your current Review Policy
(pun intended)


I also offer you a secondary challenge to write a contest policy. They can really be helpful! And to motivate you, I'm having a giveaway!

To those who complete my challenge you will earn entries toward winning a SIGNED hardcover of The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan, a book which I ADORE! Or if you're international, you can get a copy through TBD! You can enter using the rafflecopter, but not quite yet! Remember, Bloggiesta runs March 30th through April 1st (no joke! You just have the weekend!). It's three days of non-stop blog-awesomeness-ing!

So your challenge for the rest of today is to mull over the questions I posed, and then tomorrow get to writing your policies! I look forward to seeing what you guys come up with. Come back tomorrow to see my bloggiesta to-do list and link to yours! This is so exciting!



a Rafflecopter giveaway


All review content © Enna Isilee

28 comments:

  1. I opened up my very own book blog yesterday so this post was very helpful! This is something I need to consider in the near future so I really need to think about what my policies are and how I want to write them up. Thank you very much for your post. :)

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  2. Dang it! I literally just updated my review policy yesterday, because I completely forgot about Bloggiesta! I guess I'll just have to fix it up more!

    ~Debz @ Debz Bookshelf

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  3. This is great, thank you! I updated my review policy, it looks much better now :) I'll be adding a contest one at some point later this weekend, just need to think about what I want to put in it.
    Thanks again!

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  4. Thank you so much for this!! I feel like I'm constantly tweaking my review policy and having it listed out like this is so helpful. I also recently made a contest policy too. Thanks again!

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  5. Writing a review policy was already on my to-do list so I am glad with this challenge! Here is my policy: http://uniflamecreates.blogspot.com/p/review-policy.html

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  6. I just updated my review policy (hwhich is on my about page) by making it bold - easy since I don't accept books for review or participate in ARC tours. I think about this about once a month to see if I should change it.

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  7. I use a contact form as I don't want my email address made public for anyone to use. Don't think people are being rude if they do this, we're not trying to make life hard for people but we value the right to decide who has our email addresses. For the same reason, I never enter giveaways that make you leave an email address in the comments.

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  8. Huzzah! I did it! Thanks to your questions :) It's all one big long page and I'm wondering if I should link stuff and have a table of contents....

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  9. I had a pretty thorough review policy in place, but I had never even considered a contest policy! So it has been added. Thanks for the great tips!

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  10. Thanks for the help! I'm starting my first giveaway sunday so it was fantastic for me to finally set up my policy!
    You made creating the policy much easier! Thank You!
    Rachel

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  11. Thanks for this! I've been needing to do a review policy for some time but haven't known quite where to start!

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  12. Bookmarking this! So helpful, thank you!

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  13. I'd been procrastinating on writing a review policy, but thanks for the challenge! I have FINALLY written it and can cross it off my to-do list. :)

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  14. Thanks Enna Isilee! Been meaning to do this for ages and your post came at the perfect time.

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  15. This is incredibly helpful. I mean, I don't know, I thought my review policy was okay, and then I checked yours and was like, "... Soooo, crap. I'm lacking tons of things." I know they'll be useful in the future.

    In summary, you're awesome. Thank you so much!

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  16. Thank you so much for this post! I've had this on my blog to do list for an eternity. This has really helped me put my review and contest policy together! You rock!

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  17. This was very useful!! I updated my contest policy after realized I forgot to mention a few things!!

    Thank you!

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  18. I've been working on all my policies today. I'm having the hardest time with the privacy one.

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  19. Great post, Enna! I use to have a Book Review policy, but I decided that I didn't want one anymore. I know weird, huh? Who knows, I might add another at some point. We'll see.

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  20. I never had a policies page so this is great advice, Enna! Your questions were right on so I used those as my guide to creating my policies page. Thanks you!

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  21. Yay! Thank you for this!
    Before I even knew this challenge was here, writing policies was already a part of my Bloggiesta To-Do List! THis just helped me do it!
    Thank so much! xDD

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  22. I did it, I quadrupled the size of my policy page! Thanks for the nudge!

    I do, however, wish you would suggest that giveaways are open to US and Japan unless otherwise stated. ;) A girl can dream!

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  23. Thank you so much for this minichallenge! I had a tiny little review policy, but it needed some major work and I didn't have a contest policy. Now I have both! Also, thanks for the contest!

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  24. Thank you so much for this minichallenge! I had a tiny little review policy, but it needed some major work and I didn't have a contest policy. Now I have both! Also, thanks for the contest!

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  25. Thanks so much for reminding me that I need to update this. I have far too many emails about books I don't review, so I think my policy needs to be clearer.

    The contest policy is a fantastic idea, especially since I recently saw a blogger who stopped doing them because someone got nasty about a giveaway. Thanks for the great tips!

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  26. Thanks for some great ideas, I already had the policy but it was on my "to do" to update. I have done that now ;)

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  27. Enna, I think I might love you. I bookmarked this page during Bloggiesta but never got to it because of how hectic things were then. I just returned now!

    Anyway, I just worked on my review/book tour policy because of you. Your guidelines really, really helped, and I totally appreciate everything you added to this post. Thank you so much!

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  28. Why thank you! I love you, too!

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Thank you so much for commenting! I read each and every one.

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