Welcome to the AWW team and thank you for volunteering. Without the hardworking people behind the scenes, the AWW challenge could not have reached its fifth year (or be archived for posterity by the National Library).
First, please follow the AWW blog via email so you can see what other AWW contributors are posting (and feel free to comment or “like” their posts: it all helps to create more of a sense of an online reading and reviewing community.
If you haven’t already done so, please follow @auswomenwriters on Twitter and “like” the AWW Facebook page (if you’re on FB) and/or the Google+ Australian Women Writers page.
Next, by now you should have received an invitation both to be a contributor to this blog (initially perhaps as author, later as editor), and the Google+ AWW Admin group. (This is a private group: you’ll need to open a Google account to join, if you don’t already have one.) In time we hope to migrate to a forum to somewhere a little more user-friendly, but, for the moment, the Admin group is where we discuss general problems and news.
You should know by now the genre or category you’ve been assigned, as well as day of the month you should schedule your post(s). Currently, volunteers post either monthly or bimonthly (e.g. the first Friday of the month or the third Wednesday every two months), although with this may change as we aim to mix things up a bit for 2017. If you’d like to post shorter, more frequent posts, please let me know. It will help keep track of scheduling. You may have been sent an invitation to the AWW Google calendar. Please set yourself a reminder so you receive a notification in advance of when your post(s) are due. Keeping track of the AWW calendar (here) is also a good idea. It will enable you to see when others are posting theirs, in case you have to postpone your post for some reason. If you haven’t received an invitation, please bring this up in the Admin group and tag either me or Tsana (+ElizabethLhuede or +TsanaDolichva).
To find reviews in your category, you should use the Review Overview page: http://australianwomenwriters.com/review-overview/ Note, you need to be logged in to the AWW blog to see this page, as it’s set to Private. This page will allow you to filter the reviews for your genre/category and specify a range of dates. (If you have a problem accessing the page, please let me know.)
Once you have found the list of reviews, it’s up to you how many you discuss in your roundup. (Or, if you’re opting to write shorter, snappier posts, you’ll need to schedule for more than one a month: this is something that can be arranged via the Google+ Admin group and calendar.) If you’re following the blog, you should know which books have already been mentioned in previous posts. If not, it would be a good idea to read over the past roundups, especially if your genre overlaps with other genres (e.g. contemporary fiction or literary). You could choose to highlight books that haven’t been mentioned before, or recent releases, or simply those reviews which you think are well-written and engaging and would be of interest to our blog followers – it’s up to you. If you’re electing to mix it up, you might like to spotlight a particular author or publisher, post an interview of an author or blogger who specialises in your area. Feel free to pitch an idea in the group – the only restriction will be to make sure it hasn’t been done before. (Unless it has been years.)
To use book covers in your post, please check the Media Library (left-hand column on the Dashboard) before uploading any images. Unfortunately, you may find duplicates, as people have forgotten to check the Library in the past. You can search for the image using key words from the title/author from that Library page. If you can’t find the cover, you may have permission to upload the image (depending on what status you have with WordPress). If you don’t have the necessary permission, please contact me. When saving an image, be sure to save as author surname plus keyword(s) from title. You can leave out “the” and “and” and smaller words.
As for the formatting and tone of your posts, if you read the others’ roundups you’ll see a variation in styles and voice. As long as you’re consistent and use the “proofread” function before you post (you need to go into “Text”, rather than “Visual” mode), you should be fine. If you have doubts, please invite me or one of the other volunteers to review your post (in draft mode) before scheduling.
When you do the database search for your roundup, you will come across mistakes in the way reviews have been entered. You can edit them on two different pages (also set to Private):
1. The Review Edit page for fixing broken links: http://australianwomenwriters.com/review-edit-page/ and
2. The Book Edit page for fixing incorrect book titles, authors, etc: http://australianwomenwriters.com/book-edit-view/
If you have questions I haven’t covered here, please raise them in the Google Admin group and I’ll know what to include next time I edit this page.
Updated November 2016