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WordPress and Blogging


Sign-up Answers

How can I register for Cannonball Read V?

Registration for Cannonball Read V is closed. Announcements about Cannonball Read VI will be coming soon.

How old do you have to be to participate?

There is no age requirement. We have several Junior Cannonballers participating already who are under 18. (Parents, please note in the signup form that you are enrolling a Junior Cannonballer.)

I don’t have a blog, can I just post everything to the group blog?

Yes, if you wish, you may post your full review to the group blog only. When you sign up, please list cannonballread5.wordpress.com as your review blog.

I don’t have a blog, how do I start one?

There are number of free blog sites like WordPress, Blogger, and Tumblr. Visit those sites, or any other blogging platform you know, and choose one that works for you.

I didn’t create my blog yet, how can I sign up for CBR5?

Please create your blog prior to signing up so that you can submit your blog address. It doesn’t have to have any reviews yet, or a finished design, just go ahead and acquire the address you’ll use.

I have my own blog already, can I post my reviews there?

Yes, if you have a blog, you may post your review there. However, you must also post at least a link (and hopefully a sentence or two for context) to each review you write on the group blog.

How do I get access to the group blog?

Sign up for CBR5 and I will give you an author account on the group blog. You will receive notifications at the email address you provide on signup.

How do I sign up for WordPress

Find out about becoming an author on this blog.

Book Answers

Do graphic novels count?

Yes, they do.

Do audiobooks count?

Yes, they do, too.

How long does my book have to be?

At least 100 pages.  If this is an issue, please contact me.

Can’t I just read the books and tell you how many?

No, you must write a review and post it on the internet for the book to count.

How many books do I have to read?

You can sign up for a whole (52), half (26), or quarter (13) Cannonball. You have one year to read and review whichever amount you choose.

WordPress and Blogging Answers

How long does my review have to be?

Because all of the reviews written will have the potential to be posted on Pajiba, they must be at least three paragraphs long.

I don’t know how to use WordPress. Help!

WordPress.com has a lot of great help pages. Learn how to write a post here.

What do I do with the WordPress invitation you sent me?
If you’re not sure what to do with the WordPress invite you receive, check this page.

I have my first review ready to post. How do I do that?

If you do not have your own blog, you’ll post the whole review here on the group blog. Mouse over “Cannonball Read IV” in the gray band at the top left, and then select New > Post.

If you have your own blog, post the review there in entirety, and then create a new post on this blog. Write a short blurb about your review that’s posted on your site, or maybe copy and paste the first paragraph or sentence, something to entice the reader to click through to your blog. Highlight the text that you want people to be able to click on to get to your blog, and then click the button that looks like a little chain. (When you mouse over that button, it says “Insert/Edit link”.) Add the link to the review post on your site, and then click “Add Link.” (Note: you only need to follow the title syntax and tagging conventions on the group blog. You may title and tag your own blog as you prefer.)

How should I title my blog posts?

Please follow this syntax:

YourPajibaName’s #CBR5 Review #XX: Book Title by Book Author (Adding the # symbol, the hashtag, before the letters “CBR5,” will make it easier to tweet, as our hashtag is #CBR5 this year. )

What is tagging and why should I do it?

Tagging is a way to organize the posts. Make sure to tag all of your posts with your PajibaName and the author’s name (2 words: FirstName LastName).   You can also tag the post with the genre, fiction, non-fiction, and any other tags you think are relevant. Below the tag field, you can click to “choose from the most used tags” to use tags already defined by others.  Learn more about tags from wordpress.com.

How do I get my post into the star categories?
The 1-5 star categories are a way for you to rate your book. This is not as critical as tagging, but it’s a great way to easily rate your book, and tell others what’s the cream of the crop. To select a star category when you are composing your post, looj on the right side, below the Publish and Tags boxes, for the Categories box. You may have to scroll down. Only check one star category. Then Update/Publish. To add a star category after your post is published, Go to Posts> All Posts>Quick Edit> select category>Update. Remember to deselect “Uncategorized”!

I’ve never written a review before, where do I start?

Mswas’ strategy for writing reviews, if you’re really not sure where to begin: start with what the book is about. Tell the reader if you liked it or not, and why. Throw in a quote or two from the book, and finish up with whether you recommend it or not. Voilà! You have your first review.

Help! I lost the gray bar at the top of the screen where I can get to the WordPress dashboard! What next?

If you do not see the dark gray bar at the top of your screen with the circled “W” WordPress logo, you may have gotten logged out of WordPress. Click “Blog at WordPress” at the bottom of this page, go to wordpress.com, and at the top left, you should see the gray bar, but with a field for “Email or Username” and “Password.” Log in there, and then come back to this blog. You should see the gray bar back at the top of your screen.

My eloquently written, detailed, lengthy blog post is so long that it is hogging up the blog homepage, how can I shorten it?

You can shorten what shows on the homepage by adding a Read More link in your post. Then when it appears on the homepage, users only see up to the “Read More” link, and then have to click to go to your post to read the whole thing.

To add the Read More link, when you are writingh the post, first make sure you are on the “Visual” Tab. Then put your cursor where you want the Read More link to go, and then click the button that looks like a page breaking. The “read more” link will only show on the homepage or if your post comes up in a search, not in the post itself.

Can I link to multiple posts from my own blog in a single post here?

Yes, you can link to multiple posts from your blog in a single group blog post. Just make sure that your group blog post title indicates the number of the reviews therein. Ex. YourPajibaName’s #CBR5 Review #10-12. Just be sure to do all of the tagging that apply to all the posts you’re linking to.

How do I post an image?

It’s easy, and WordPress.org can tell you how.

I can’t seem to accept the WordPress invitation, I get stuck in an endless login loop. Help!

First make sure you have a WordPress account and you are signed in at http://wordpress.com. Then go to the email and click “Accept Invitation.” If this still does not work, try doing it in a different browser. Sometimes Internet Explorer can be glitchy, so try Firefox or Chrome. If you still can’t get in, contact me for troubleshooting.

Other Answers

What is our Twitter hashtag and what is a hashtag anyway?

This year’s Twitter hashtag is #CBR5. A hashtag is a way to tag tweets with a common term to aid in searching and organizing tweets. Find out more.

What are our RSS feeds and can you explain RSS?

Our RSS feeds are:

And RSS itself?

RSS is an acronym for “really simple syndication.”…The idea behind syndication is pretty straightforward. It’s a pain to check a whole bunch of websites to see which has updated. If you want to keep up with [our blog] every day, it’s no good to have to check back periodically and scroll down the page until you can figure out where you left off. Syndication brings those blog entries to you, notifying you whenever there’s something new to read on one of those websites.

Syndication doesn’t just tell you when a site has been updated, but actually provides you with the new material. From waldo.jaquith.org

Paste one or both of the feed addresses in the link above into a reader like Google Reader, Sage, Netvibes or other.

Why does my review Pajba link me to amazon.com?

In 2012, we started up an amazon.com affiliate account. Reviews that make it to Pajiba will have the affiliate link to the book on Amazon.. 100% of any money received through these links will go directly to the American Cancer Society – “proud sponsor of birthdays.”

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