Sunday, August 6, 2017

Shelf Candy Saturday No. 221: Questions and a Possible Giveaway!!

Welcome to Shelf Candy Saturday!

*Late Edition*
This is my weekly feature
showcasing beautiful covers!
It also provides information, 
if available, on their 
very talented creators!

This week, things are a little
bit different....
TEN commenters who
answer at least TWO of
the questions below, will add an
to this post!!

Some Questions About This Meme
I need to 'fess up, folks: I've really gotten behind on my blog posting. Sometimes I honestly consider just not blogging anymore.... There are several reasons for this, but the main one is that I really don't have enough time for reading. Since I'm a slow reader,this can get to be a real issue at times. However, there's ONE specific  component of my blog that's REALLY bothering me right now, and that's my cover meme, "Shelf Candy Saturday".

Last week, I did not publish an SCS post, and here I am, after midnight on Sunday morning, with nothing ready for this week..... So instead, I just decided to bare my soul, in a way.

For a long time now, I've been wondering why more people don't comment on this meme. I've been feeling very discouraged about this, too, especially since I work so hard on it. I not only feature a beautiful book cover every week, but I analyze the reasons why I love it, and add information about the cover artist, if I can find it. I do quite a bit of Googling in search of this information, too.

Sometimes, I do get several comments on these posts, but, for the most part, it's usually no more than 3 or 4. The only time I do get LOTS of comments is when I host a giveaway through this meme. But then, the week following the end of the giveaway, the comments drop again.... 

I've been publishing these posts for quite some time now. It all started with a blogger named Stephanie, who used to blog @ Five Alarm Book Reviews. This blog is now no longer on the Internet, BTW, as she deleted it. Yes, that's right: she actually DELETED it. "Shelf Candy Saturday" was originally Stephanie's meme. And I eagerly looked forward to linking up and participating every single Saturday! Then, one day, the sad news came....Stephanie, whom I had gotten to know a little through emails, told me she wasn't going to blog anymore, and asked if I wanted to take over the meme. (And again, she DELETED her blog, because it was self-hosted, on Wordpress. She should have at least left it up for people to check out her blog posts from time to time. But then she would have had to move the blog over to Blogger again...Oh, well....) Of course I said "Yes!" when she asked me if I wanted to take over the meme! And the rest, as they say, is history, but things haven't been going that well....

I created a new button for the meme, with my blog's name on it. As Stephanie had done, I not only analyzed and gave my opinions on each cover, but also included information on the cover artist, and provided a Linky widget so that people could link up after creating their own beautiful cover posts. But, as time went by, I saw fewer and fewer people participating. Eventually, I ended up doing away with the Linky widget, as NO ONE was linking up. I wondered if this was because I wasn't consistently publishing my own post at the same time every single week. BUT I've seen other blog hops whose hosts post inconsistently, and they STILL get a healthy dose of participants, as well as comments.

So here I am, with over 200 SCS posts to my credit, and now I have some questions for you, my readers.  I would honestly like to have your honest answers. Why? Because I don't want this meme to go the way of the dinosaurs. I want to continue publishing posts for this meme. But again, it can get VERY discouraging when hardly anybody posts comments. 

I guess I'll have to promise a giveaway. That's about the only thing that gets people motivated enough to leave comments on this meme. Okay, so here goes: if at least TEN people reply to at least TWO of these questions each, I will update this post with an INTERNATIONAL  giveaway!!

Here are the questions:

1.) Do you enjoy reading this meme every Saturday, or sometimes, on Sundays? Why or why not?

2.) For the most part, do you like the covers I feature? Why or why not?

3.) Would you be interested in making this meme a blog hop again, creating your own SCS posts, and then linking up here?

4.) Stephanie always included information about the cover artists in her posts, and I have followed that tradition. Do you like this part of the post? Is it interesting to you?

5.) Do you have any suggestions on how to get more people interested in this meme? Please leave these suggestions in your comments.

6.) I can't be holding giveaways through this meme EVERY  single week. I never ask for donations for my giveaways, either, as other blogs do, because I feel that then prizes would not really be FREE. But maybe I could hold the giveaways on a monthly basis. If I were to do this, though, the prize would not be more than $10.00, or perhaps an ebook. Do you think this is a good idea?

7.) Instead of writing a detailed analysis of a cover, should I write a brief analysis, and then post questions for the readers to answer?

8.) Since this is mostly a YA blog, would people be more interested if I ONLY featured YA covers? I've been trying to do so, but occasionally I do feature book covers for adult books. So what do you think about this?

Thank you so much for your feedback! I GREATLY appreciate it!  Again, if I get at least TEN comments, with answers to at least two of these questions from EACH commenter, I will DEFINITELY come back and add an INTERNATIONAL giveaway to this post. THANKS AGAIN!!  : )  

What do you think of 
this week's post?
Do you agree or disagree with me?
Please leave a comment
and let me know!



  1. Hey Maria.

    As you know I love this meme and look forward to it. Book covers and art are so interesting. Your posts have actually gotten me more interested in the subject.

    I tend to really like your cover choices. I think that information on the artist is a logical and interesting part of your posts. I like your style for these posts. I think that adding questions are a good idea but I would otherwise keep the current format. I also think that you should continue to feature the covers of all kinds of books.

    Giveaways are great but they are not the reason that I read posts and comment so others may be able to give better advice then I can.

    I have actually thought of participating in this meme. But for me the issue is time. I am also a slow reader, and a slow writer, I struggle to get posts up and I am always scrambling to do so.

    I understand considering giving up blogging. It really is time consuming and time is so short.

    Of course I would like to see your blogs continue. I also love this meme and hope to see you keep it up.

    Have a great Sunday Maria!

    1. Hey, Brian!

      I've always had a thing for book covers, but never really delved into the subject until I came across Steph's meme, on her blog, Five Alarm Book Reviews. I LOVED participating in this meme every Saturday! I still miss Steph and her blog....

      I'm so glad you've become more interested in this subject through reading my posts!! :) It is indeed a fascinating topic!

      Thanks for your support regarding the meme's current format! I do like featuring adult as well as YA covers. And I do enjoy including information on each cover artist(s), if I can find it. Sometimes, as you know, this information is not available through a Google search.

      I might decide on a shorter analysis of future book covers, and include at least a couple of questions for readers. I need to think about that. But at the same time, I'm thinking that the length of each post might actually be intimidating for some readers.

      Another concern of mine is that, although this is mostly a YA blog, I still do feature other types of books. I think this is really basically an eclectic blog. Not all readers might like this type of blog, but gee, I can't help it! I LOVE to read so many different types of books (with the exception of horror and erotica, and I'm not much into mysteries and thrillers, either).

      Going back to the writing, I also think people can tell that I'm not a young adult myself. My writing style is really not similar to that of other YA bloggers. And I never include GIFs in my posts. Although I do think they're cute and funny, I also think they're much too distracting. Maybe my YA readers would prefer to see some, but I really don't see myself including any, at any future time.

      I know you are genuinely interested in my posts, and are not just here for the giveaways. Sadly, not everyone feels the same way. Some people actually go from blog to blog, only looking for giveaways. That's all they really care about. And, if they ever leave a comment, it's usually "a one-liner". Then they move on ot the next blog giveaway. This is why I consider you, Wendy (Literary Feline @ Musings of a Bookish Kitty), Greg (Book Haven), Michele (A Belle's Tales), Elizabeth (Silver's Reviews), and a few other bloggers as REAL fans of my blog, and friends, as well. Thanks to you all!!!! <3 >3 <3

      I'm happy to hear that you've thought of participating in this meme. I can understand, though, that you, as well as many people, are strapped for time. However, I would NEVER expect any participants to write detailed analyses of book covers, as I do. Nor would I expect them to do any Googling in order to get information about cover artists. So, if you ever do want to participate, just let me know!

      I have been struggling with the idea of not blogging anymore for the longest time now.... The reason I haven't stopped is that I do enjoy writing about books!! This is really my only creative outlet, too, and I enjoy it so much!! I also LOVE interacting with bloggers such as yourself, who are REALLY interested in such interactions with their fellow book bloggers.

      I might take a "sabbatical" of say, two months or so. I'm considering it. That way, I could read some books, and have several reviews ready to post. Then I'd be ahead on my reviews. I think more people might comment on ALL of my posts if I published more reviews.

      I need to do some soul-searching....

      Thank you for always being a loyal reader & commenter, too!! And your comments are also always interesting and thought-provoking! Thanks as well for your support of this meme!! <3 :)

      If I do decide to take that two-month break, I will be sure to announce it in a blog post. I don't want to leave my loyal readers hanging, that's for sure!!

      Thanks again for everything!! <3 :)

  2. Hi, Maria. I am just coming back from my break and thought I would see what you are up to. I'm still not completely sure I'm ready to dive into blogging again. I find my motivation is lacking. :-(

    I read a lot of blog posts I do not comment on. I read most on the go and commenting on my phone is a big pain. I don't always have access to a computer where I can comment easily.

    I've only ever seen this meme on your blog, and I do enjoy the depth you go into about the artists who do the covers. I'm always amazed at the details you uncover (no pun intended)! I'd hate to see you get rid of it.

    Just the same, I know that I would have a hard time replicating a post like yours. I tend to gravitate more towards participating in memes in which I don't have to do a lot of research and can just sort of slap together quickly. I do prep all my posts ahead of time--I have to or else nothing goes up--but even then, I need time to write the posts, which is a whole other issue. I barely manage to get in what I do do. Especially since I also need to actually read books.

    I'm curious about #7. What sorts of questions would you ask? As for #8, as someone who does not read YA regularly, I would prefer you include everything, but that's just me.

    Like Brian, giveaways are not a draw for me. In my early years of blogging, I used to run giveaways now and then and so I know what you mean about them driving your numbers and comments up.

    I tried my hand at hosting a reading challenge years ago and had less than a handful of participants. I also tried to start a couple memes on my own but they never took off and I eventually let them fade into oblivion. So, I am not the best person to offer advice.

    I hope you will continue to blogging, Maria! Have a great week!

    1. Hi, Wendy!

      Welcome back!! I hope you had a nice break! I will be checking out your blog soon. I can relate to not being motivated to do any I've been thinking of taking a break myself. Perhaps a two-month "sabbatical" Lol.

      Not that I'm trying to pressure you or anything, but you could try to get motivated by remembering that you gets LOTS of comments on your posts! I kinda envy you, there, I must admit.... :)

      Well, sometimes I do read blog posts and don't comment, But this is very rare for me. Usually I do comment, unless the post is just not interesting. Then I prefer to say nothing at all. What burns me up, though, is when I leave a nice comment on someone's blog, and they don't comment back, ESPECIALLY if I have praised their blog design, or otherwise given them a compliment.

      I participate in the Book Blogger Hop every Friday, as you know. Well, not that long ago, I decided to go ahead and try to visit as many of those blogs as possible. I commented on ELEVEN blogs participating that week. You know how many comments back I got? FIVE. So now I just wait for nice people like you to comment on my post first. Then I go and comment back on those blogs. I just don't have the time to waste, you know?

      I would NEVER expect any participants in this meme to write posts as detailed as mine! That would not be fair. Nor would I expect them to do any Googling in order to include information about the cover artist(s). That's just me. All they would have to do would be to post a book cover, and briefly explain why they like it.

      As for question #7, I would have to think of what questions to ask....two possible ones would be, "Have you ever heard of this artist before?", and "Would you buy a book that had a cover created by this artist? Why or why not?

      I'm SO glad for REAL blogging buddies like you, Brian, and Greg!! You guys ROCK. You're not here for the giveaways; you're actually REALLY interested in my posts!! There are a couple of other blogging buddies whom I know are genuine. KUDOS TO ALL OF YOU!!!! <3 <3 <3

      Before I's too bad you can't see any of Steph's SCS posts, but, as I stated in this post, she deleted her blog. I still miss it.....

      It's too bad you didn't have much luck with your reading challenge or memes. I still don't know why some memes are popular, and others just fall by the wayside....But again, remember the TONS of comments you get on your WONDERFUL blog, Wendy!!

      I hope to be able to continue blogging, as well. If and when I do decide to take that break, I will DEFINITELY publish a post notifying everyone. I won't leave my readers and loyal buddies hanging, that's for sure!!

      Thanks for this lovely comment, and for all of your support!! HUGS TO YOU & MOUSE!! <3 <3 <3 :) :) :)

  3. I don't feel like you need to include a giveaway just for more participation, just speaking for myself. And I haven't seen enough of these posts to really comment on individual ones, but I will say I love cover posts in general and would definitely be intersted in seeing more. I participate in Cover Characteristics semi- regularly, which is a similar concept, but we just showcase 5 covers based on a different theme every week- there's not a lot of anaylsis.

    You could maybe still do the posts but just do less anaylsis (so you're saving yourself time) and I like your idea of maybe asking questions for the reader? So I guess my answer to #7 would be yes? Also do you promote the post on Twitter? And I always like a mix of YA and adult covers myself, I say go with what you like.

    1. Hi, Breg!

      Yeah, I really shouldn't have to do that! I totally agree! But I've noticed that, unless there's a giveaway in the picture, many people won't comment. (And even when there is, they won't comment if the giveaway rules don't offer commenting as an option.) And they might not want to link up, either. But I totally agree with you -- a giveaway should NOT be necessary.

      You can check out my most recent SCS posts by clicking on the links in my Archive, in the sidebar. And I, too, LOVE cover posts!!

      Oh, I need to check out that meme! I might want to participate! Thanks for letting me know! :) :)

      You know, I might just do a briefer analysis, and throw in a couple of questions for readers. You and Wendy agree on this! Cool!! <3

      As for promoting my posts on Twitter, I DEFINITELY do! But you know what? I might get a couple of RTs and likes, and that's about it. Does Twitter promotion mean that people will visit and leave comments? In my experience, I have not found that to be true.... :(

      I'm glad that you also agree with Brian and Wendy on featuring covers for all kinds of books, and not just YA!! And thanks for the support!! <3

      Thanks so much for the WONDERFUL comment!! Hope you're having a GREAT week!! <3 :)

    2. You are welcome, and good luck with what you decide! I love cover posts so I hope you continue. And Twitter- I think Twitter helps me get views a little bit, but not a ton, because I only tweet occasionally, I'm not like a power user lol . Like sometimes I'll notice someone I know comments right after I tweet, so maybe they saw it? But it's usually someone who would comment anyway (which is fine), rather than someone new, which makes sense I guess.

      Cover Characteristics is run by sugar and Snark if you ever want to jump in. They're fun.

      And I hear you on the giveaway thing. It is so hard to get a meme off the ground, or to get comments sometimes, the big memes seem to gobble everything up sometimes. Anyway- hope you're having a great week!!

    3. Hi, again!

      I love this meme too much to discontinue it, so yes, I will go on publishing SCS posts!

      As for Twitter, I do use it, but not every single day. And lately, I've been posting mostly political tweets. But I do use it. However, as I mentioned above, if I tweet one of my blog posts, it doesn't mean I will get lots of views and/or comments. I do get some RTs and likes of the tweet, but nothing more..... In fact, when I tweet my "Can't Wait Wednesday" and "Shelf Candy Saturday" posts, I always tag the book's author and/or the cover artist. Sometimes these people only give me a like. And they might come over and read the post. But will they comment? Usually not....

      As for "Cover Characteristics", maybe I'll join in, and maybe not, since I already have my own cover meme. Oh, well....

      Yes, the giveaway thing has me feeling VERY disappointed. People just come out of the woodwork whenever there's a giveaway, and not just on this blog, but on many others. Then, once the giveaway is over, they don't come back, at least not until the NEXT giveaway! And giveaway participants RARELY, if EVER, congratulate the winner. NOPE!

      You know, there are people who actually go from blog to blog, looking for giveaways. That's ALL they do! Many of these people don't even have their own blog. I know, because I've checked them out. AND, they don't comment unless the Rafflecopter includes a comment option. Many times, not even then. Most of them don't even thank the blogger hosting the giveaway, either! It's SO discouraging.....

      It is indeed hard to keep a meme going. I don't know how Steph did it with this one. She always had at least 10- 12 participating blogs every Saturday....Oh, well.....

      Thanks for coming back and leaving such a TERRIFIC comment!! <3 :)

  4. Hi Maria !
    It's rare to see a blogger respond to every comment and I really enjoy that fact (that I know I'll get an answer back later ^^) but it must take so much time to do so ! But thanks ! It means a lot you know. Especially for someone like me (it takes a lot of time to write a comment since, as I said before, English is not my mother language XD)

    To be honest... I don't follow a lot of blogs (because i'm a student, I don't have a lot of time and when I do have time.. I spend it reading or on social media or on animes XD) but I try to read all of your posts and.. the reason why I stick to your blog is because of your SCS and your opinions on book covers. Usually, people comment on the story of a book (a review) and.. I don't read that a lot (unless I want to read a book and check it on Goodread...). But I really enjoy seeing beautiful covers (even if I don't read that book afterwards) and reading your opinions about them, especially when you do research and give us extra information !
    So yeah.. I hope you'll continue to write your SCS !

    Now.. For your question :

    1) I enjoy the SCS a lot and.. I don't really care if it's on Saturday, Sunday or Monday or another day ^^ (since I usually see them later...). I don't even care if it's every week ! If you don't have time, it's totally okay. I'd totally be okay with once a month (I just reallllyyyy don't want you to drop it xD)

    2) Yes ! My eyes are satisfied =) Sometimes, I'm not fond of them but I always enjoy your analysis ^^

    3) I don't really understand this question, I'm sorry >.< If you mean that we could take part in and show a cover, why not, but I'm not sure I'll have the courage to do such accurate analysis like yours. Usually, I try to tell you if another book cover comes into my mind while seing your featured book cover.

    4) Yes, I don't ask for a full biography at all but knowing if the artist has done another cover for what book is quite interesting (because I might know the other books =p)

    5) I have but it's going to be quite harsh (sorry again) so I'd prefer to suggest it to you in a mail or in Twitter (I actually thougt about you and your blog not a long time ago and it goes with your question XD)

    6)A giveaway every single week is way tooo much ! You should do it when you feel like it (not necessarily every month !) xD Like, on a special ocassion for example ? Or, if you really enjoy a book or something ? To be honest again, if it's a giveaway about beautiful covers, i'd rather have a paperback version =p (so that I can put it in display in my bedroom XD). Ebook are handy.. But... They can't be .. "showed"

    7) I like your detailed analysis ^^' I also enjoy your questions ^^ (they give me ideas to write about)

    8) I enjoy NA too and it's notl ike your put on display "strange" adult cover... (like steamy cover =p) so i don't mind at all !


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