How do I set my goal for the year?
To make sure that you are fully signed up for the current year’s Cannonball Read, please make sure that you’ve updated your goal in your user profile.
Log in to this site, and click your username at top right. Scroll down in your profile to “Cannonball Read Details” and pick your goal.
How can I register for Cannonball Read 15?
Registration for CBR 15 is now open. Please visit Step 1 of the registration process.
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, you will have to post for your Junior Cannonballer on your account. Drop me a line about this. Also be forewarned that some reviews here may contain adult language and be not-safe-for-work (NSFW).
I don’t have a blog, do I need one?
No, if you don’t want to create your own blog, you may post all of your reviews to the group blog (this site) only. If that’s what you plan to do, on registration please leave the blog field blank.
I don’t have a blog, how do I start one?
If you want to have your own blog for reviews, there are number of free blog sites like WordPress.com or Blogger. Visit those sites, or any other blogging platform you know, and set up one that works for you.
I didn’t create my blog yet, how can I sign up for Cannonball Read?
If you want to have your own blog for reviews, 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 short paragraph for context) to each review you write on the group blog. Please link back to the group blog from your own post too.
How do I get access to the group blog?
At registration, you should have signed up with an email address. In the top right corner, below the search icon, is a Log in link, where you can log in to get access to the administration dashboard.
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:
- Tell us why you read the book.
- Give a short summary of the book, or use the publishers’ description.
- Tell the reader what you liked, what you did not, and why.
- Throw in a quote or two from the book.
- Finish up with whether you recommend it or not.
Voilà! You have your first review.
Do graphic novels count?
Yes, they do.
Do audiobooks count?
Yes, they do, too.
Do children’s books count?
Does Fanfiction count?
Yes, starting in 2020, participants may review Fanfiction as part of Cannonball Read.
How long does my book have to be?
Read any book, of any length, just don’t stint on the review.
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.
Can I write a review this year of a book I read at the end of last?
Go for it.
Do I have to finish the book for it to count?
You can review something you didn’t finish. Be up front in the review that you haven’t finished it, and tell us why (make sure it’s 250+ words). For CBR we trust that you’re going to write a good faith review. And honestly, telling people why you ditched it, and warning them away, can sometimes make the best reviews.
How do I include a long quote in my review so it is indented (a blockquote)?
When you are including longer quotes from books in your review, you may want to set those longer quotes off with the Blockquote button. Below is a quote that shows this format:
I used to think I was the strangest person in the world but then I thought there are so many people in the world, there must be someone just like me who feels bizarre and flawed in the same ways I do. I would imagine her, and imagine that she must be out there thinking of me, too. – Frida Kahlo
There’s no need to include any quotation marks ” , the style will show it for you.
Here is a video of how to do that:
Do I have to review every book I read?
No you don’t! If there’s a book too bad, too boring, or read too long ago, you don’t have to let it keep you from getting to the rest of your to-be-reviewed list. MsWas calls this “review amnesty,” and it is 100% ok. You might be a completist and feel the need to write something about every book, but that is not required for CBR.
If you want the book to count towards your total on the Leaderboard, however, yes—you must post a review that’s at least 250 words long.
How long does my review have to be?
Book reviews should be at least three paragraphs, a minimum of 250 words. Minimum word count in a multi-book review is 150 words per book. If you have a question about the length of your post, please contact MsWas.
How should I title my blog posts?
In addition to the field for the actual title of the book, please also enter your own, creative title for your review post. The more creative your title is, the better. Use the post title to draw in a reader and to add additional context for your review.
Can you explain the Book Information Fields?
The Book Information fields allow you to enter multiple titles and authors in each review, and will count the number of rows to calculate your book quantity. There is also a checkbox that says “This is a book review” that defaults to “yes.” Do not change this to “no” unless you are writing a post that is not a book review, such as a Book Exchange post or some other kind of post that MsWas has asked you to write. If you have more than one book in your review, click “Add Row” for each book you need to include. If you accidentally add too many rows and need to remove one, mouse over the gray area after the Author field, and click the minus sign to “remove row”.
How do you calculate my review number?
Enter the information for each book in your review, and based on the number of books entered, your total books will be automatically calculated.
What happened to the quantity field?
Beginning with CBR11, the quantity field is obsolete. Review numbers and totals are based on the number of books you entered in the Book Information field. Verify your numbers on the Leaderboard and your review number in the footer of your review.
What are the categories for?
We use WordPress Categories for our book genres. These checkboxes are located in the box below the blue “Publish/Update” button, either at the right of your screen or at the bottom on mobile. If you need a book category/genre that you don’t see here, please let MsWas know.
What is the minimum number of categories/genres?
Please select at least one category/genre. The broadest categories are Fiction and Non-Fiction. If there is a genre/category we don’t have, please contact MsWas.
What is tagging and why should I do it?
Tags are similar to categories, but they are generally used to describe your post in more detail and help group posts together.
There are 2 ways to add tags:
- When you’re in editing or updating the post itself – “Edit Post”. Tags are on the right, below the Publish button – type in the text and click “Add” for each one. “Update,” “Save Draft,” or “Publish” as necessary. See: How to Add Tags in WordPress
- In Quick Edit mode. Posts>All Posts – and mouse over the post title and click on “Quick Edit.” Enter the tags in the field separated by comma, click “Update” at lower right. See: Using the Quick Edit feature
What is the minimum number of tags?
Now that the site will create the author tag, there is no need for you to manually create any. However, tags are a great way to organize information, so we encourage them. Start typing the tag in the tag field, and suggestions should pop up. Use any existing tags if appropriate, then create new.
How do I select the star rating for my review?
The 1-5 (worst to best) star ratings are a way for you to tell others what’s the cream of the crop or the worst of the worst. To select a rating when you are composing your post, look on the right side, below the Publish button, below Categories and Tags, and find the “Post Rating” box. You may have to scroll down. Select the number of stars for your review in the dropdown menu. The default is no stars, so if you don’t select a number, no stars will show. Then Update/Publish. To add a star category after your post is published, Go to Posts> All Posts>Edit> and follow as above. Don’t forget to click “Update”! See reviews that have been given five stars, four, three, two and the wonderful/dreaded one star.
Can I review multiple books in one post?
Yes, you may review several books within a single group blog post. This may make sense for series or related books. Minimum words per book in a multi-book review is 150. Make sure to list the book title and author title for all books in the body of your post. The Book Information fields make it easier to review multiple books. Click the Add Row button to add a new book to your review. Make sure you list all books in the Book Information fields.
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.
Make sure you list all books in the Book Information fields.
Also make sure that your reviews follow the CBR word limit: 250 words for a single book, 150 words per book in a multi-book review. If linking to mutiple single book reviews, each of those reviews should be at least 250 words. Write something intriguing enough on this site to entice users to click on your links.
Something’s wrong with the link I added to my post, it says “The page you are looking for no longer exists.” What did I do wrong?
Make sure you enter the full URL to a page – including the “http://” – into the little link pop-up field. If you still can’t get it to work, please contact MsWas.
In the body of my review, do I put the book title in quotes or italics?
Italicize book titles, movies, TV series and comic series. Put quotation marks around individual short stories, poems, episodes or issue names.
- Ex. This volume of works by Kate Chopin contains both “The Story of an Hour” and The Awakening.
Read a more extensive list of works and formatting here. Note: never use underline for titles or anything. That’s reserved for text containing a link. Also, no need to indent paragraphs.
How do I make sure my number of books on the Leaderboard is correct?
Simply enter the book information for each book in your review and the Leaderboard should calculate your total. If your total does not match the leaderboard, please contact MsWas.
How do I log in?
Click the “Log in” link under the search icon at the top right corner of the screen.
I don’t know how to use WordPress. Help!
WordPress.org has an excellent online manual. Learn how to write a post here.
I lost the gray bar at the top of the blog, how do I get that back?
Don’t worry, you’ve just been logged out of the blog. Scroll to the top of the blog and click the “Log In” link under the search icon in the top right of the header. Once you log back in, you’ll get the bar back and will now have access to the administration dashboard.
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” 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.” On your own blog, please link back to cannonballread.com so that there are more links coming TO our site.
Why can’t I log in? My IP address was locked out, and I need help
Usually security lockouts are 15 minutes long. If after that time you still can’t get in, please contact MsWas. Give her your IP address to make things go faster. Find your IP address here.
How do I hide a spoiler?
In a review post
- Go to the toolbar above where you type/paste your review.
- Select the section of text you want to hide.
- Select White as your text color, which will make the text only visible to people who highlight it [green circle below].
- If you don’t have an A over a dark line (the tool for changing text color), click on the toolbar toggle icon [red circle] and it should give you the text color tool.
- Alternatively, if you cannot find a text color option on your edit bar, you can click from visual editing to text editing [blue circle] and type <span style=”color: #ffffff;”> before your spoiler text and close the spoiler text with </span>.
In a comment
See our FAQ on the comment system to find out how to hide a spoiler in a comment.
How do I upload a photo and get the link if it’s not in a post?
Upload pictures directly to the Media Library by going to Media>Add New in the admin dashboard. Upload a file as you normally would in a post.
To get the link to the picture, stay on the screen after upload, and at the far right, click “Edit.” That brings you to the Edit Media screen> File URL (at top right). Highlight this field and copy the full URL. Paste where needed.
How do I make my image pop up into a bigger version?
To add the lightbox to any image, when you are inserting (or go back and edit) a picture, on the screen where you can pick the size and add a caption, there’s the field: “Link to”.
Select “Media File” > Publish/Update and then the image will have a double border in your post and will will pop up the full size version in a lightbox.
If your image is already in the post, click the image and then the pencil icon to edit, and select as above.
How do I post an image and make it look nice?
It’s easy to get the image on the page, and WordPress.org can tell you how. To make it look nice, make sure you align your images to right, left, or center in your post, so the text wraps around the image, or falls below it. Just mouse over the image and select the alignment. WordPress.org can tell you how to do that too.
How do I make my image clickable and link it to a website?
If you’d like to add a link to your image and make it clickable, under attachment display settings, select “Link to” > “Custom URL”. Once that option is selected, a field will appear below that menu where you can paste or type in your link. Always remember to use “http://” when linking to a site other than cannonballread.com.
What happened to my animated gif? It’s not moving!
Make sure that when you insert an animated gif, you insert it at the full size. All of the other size options are lost when WordPress creates them. Those are still.
Why do you want a picture of my book for Instagram, and what kind of photo are you looking for?
We’re making a big push on our instagram account, and when your review is going to be featured, you’ll be contacted to find out if you have (or could take) a couple of pretty pictures of the book if you still have it. If it was an e-book, feel free to send any other general reading picture you have (or take) which could be your to-be-read pile or your bookshelves, or a picture of the book pulled up on your device. If not, we’ll make do.
How do I update the picture next to my name on my posts, comments, or bio?
New! You can continue to use a Gravatar, or now you can upload your own photo for your profile picture.
To set a new profile image simply head to your profile find the section for Profile Image. Click the image, and it’ll launch a popup where you can select a profile image for inclusion.
Upload or select your preferred profile picture, then click “Set Profile Image.” You can also remove your image and only display the default blue Gravatar image by clicking “remove Profile Image.”
Profile picture update is now complete.
(Note: Any other profile edits must be saved with the “Update Profile” button at the bottom, but the profile picture edit is saved by clicking either button above. )
Why doesn’t my post have a picture next to it on the homepage?
That picture is called the Featured Image, and the field to edit it can be found in the dashboard, right below Post Ratings, under the Update/Publish button. If you haven’t picked your image, WordPress should choose from one of the images in your post. If that’s not acceptable or doesn’t work, click “Set featured image” and upload or select an image there.
I changed my email address, how do I update that information here?
Log into the website using the email address you signed up with, and at the top right, mouse over where it says “Howdy…” and select “Edit My Profile.” Change the email address that is shown under “Contact Info,” and the scroll to the bottom and click “Update Profile.” Please notify MsWas so she can update her records.
What is our Twitter hashtag and what is a hashtag anyway?
This year’s Twitter hashtag is #CBR14, and the 2023 hashtag is #CBR15. A hashtag is a way to tag tweets with a common term to aid in searching and organizing tweets. Find out more.
I want more CBR, how can I connect with more Cannonballers?
You can connect with Cannonballers on any of our social media accounts. If you’re on Facebook a lot, the group Cannonball Read Book Chat has a lot of great conversation. There’s also our Facebook Page, Twitter, Goodreads and Instagram. We also have a Discord group. If you would like to join, please use the Contact Form to request a time limited invite link.
Wasn’t there a map of all Cannonball Read participants?
This year’s participants are everywhere – check out the map and their bios!
Over the years, participants in Cannonball Reads have spanned the globe. See where participants hailed from in previous years
How does CBR fight cancer?
We fundraise for the American Cancer Society in a number of ways: through ad revenue, affiliate links, CBR gear at redbubble.com and donations. See how much we’ve donated this year.
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 RSS feed addresses in the link above into a reader like Feedly, Netvibes or other RSS reader.
How can I edit the description or name that shows on my posts and elsewhere?
This information is listed in your profile under Biographical Info. Go to your profile, and scroll down to below your email address and Contact Info. Type in the details you’d like to show, and scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Update Profile”.
I don’t see my question here, and I need help!
Please contact MsWas, and she will be happy to help you.