Friday, January 21, 2011

To disclose or not disclose?

The HelpLike Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies The Poisonwood Bible: A Novel (P.S.)by Betty Smith (Author)A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Paperback)   

Off the top of my head, my all-time favorite books are The Help, Like Water for Chocolate, The Poisonwood Bible and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I don't like one more than the other, but I wanted everyone to know that. Sometimes I buy more books than I should, I just wanted everyone to know that. I think the DVR is one of the greatest inventions since sliced bread. With all the books I read, I would miss out on a lot of my favorite shows (The Good Wife, CSI and the 10,000 versions of Law & Order) without it. I just wanted everyone to know that. It took me two weeks, including several hours of lost sleep, to decide on my blog design and name, I just wanted everyone to know that. Barring disaster, in April my blog will be getting a complete facelift, I just wanted everyone to know that.

My name is Jael. And this is what I look like:

I don't normally look that made up, in fact 97 percent of the time I don't look like that. Right now my hair is still pinned up! I could probably frighten small children right now. I'm in need of a relaxer and a haircut, but that will have to wait a few more days. At the time of this picture, the wedding called for all the makeup and fuss. But I wanted everyone to know that.

What's with the sudden need to talk? Just yesterday I took a Learning Annex class on blogging. In fact it was advertised as ways to make money fast blogging. I'm a blogger and I figured why not? There could be some useful tips in the class. After 20 minutes, I got the sense that wasn't what this class was about. It was more about using blogging to grow your business. I don't own a business, but there were a lot of good tips that did apply to me.

One of those tips was about disclosure.

"Disclosure:. 1.The act or process of revealing or uncovering.; 2.Something uncovered; a revelation." --

There was a lengthy discussion on the topic. How much you should. Why you should. The main reasons for disclosure? Honesty. Transparency. Integrity.

With every review I write, I do say at the end, "A received a copy of the book from author, publicist and/or publisher in exchange for an honest review." But I don't always give the specific publisher or publicist. Why I don't know. Didn't really seem necessary when I started, but I will from now on. I always do my best to blog with integrity, and there's no reason not to tell everything. If you're not going to blog with integrity, why bother at all?

I'm also an Amazon affiliate. Which means if you click the cover images I post with my reviews and buy a copy, I get a small percentage. My issues with and their policies began after I started blogging, which is partly why I ignore their e-mails. I've received messages from them asking what type of payment I want and where to send it. I just click delete for two reasons: 1. I set my account up so long ago, I don't even remember my password, 2. I'm not interested in profiting from a company that was willing to sell a book by a pedophile. The cover images I get from Amazon are purely to provide picture of the book.

Also in the interest of disclosure, I do hope to make a career in publishing/and or blogging. The books are a very, very, very, nice perk, but I do not make a dime off of this blog. My blog is merely a tool to help me reach my career goals and to express myself creatively. A tool to break the monotony everyday life can bring. A tool to improve my writing and a tool to help me get the word out about some of the great books and writers out there.

If you're a blogger, and it doesn't matter what you write about, think back to why you started doing it. I bet it wasn't to make money. If it happens, I'm sure that's a nice feeling. But a blog is basically an online diary. It isn't about perfection because it's going to take a while to get where you are going. It's going to take a while to find your voice and niche, something I'm still learning. A blog is place to vent your frustration, a place to be creative, a place to have fun, a place to be silly, a place to be funny, a place to tell people about your life, a place to tell about the things you love, a place to tell about the things you hate. Above all, it's your space to let people know about you and what makes you you.

After reading this I hope you know a little bit more about me, and why I have this blog. But in case you forgot, some of my all-time favorite books are The Help, Like Water for Chocolate, The Poisonwood Bible and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I just wanted everyone to know that!



  1. Wonderful blog, Jael. Your writing flows easily and naturally. You're an interesting person. I'm now following you.

  2. Thank you Sharon. I'm still learning how to improve. Thanks for the follow.