Here comes my biweekly listicle about blogging, reading and reviewing.
This week topic has been spurred by some latest bad behaviors I heard of while surfing on Facebook, chatting with friends or reading posts.
Maybe this is related to me being a mom and having to raise kids (nearly adults now) but I’m sometimes appalled witnessing others behavior once they’re on social media.
No I’m not an old bat yet!
But I was raised following some grounding principles. You could say I’m a Southern Belle except I’m not Southern. As for the Belle it varies from day to day (first morning look in the mirror can sometimes be challenging, thank you Make-Up God).
If you want a real Southern Belle with manners and all, just try Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre. I promise you your etiquette’s lesson 😉
Anyway respect is the one thing I hope my kids will remember from all the lessons I tried sometimes painfully to force on them. That and kindness.
I remember when they were six and I went to school to drive them home. I was the mom in the playground scolding a poor kid as he threw his rubbish on the ground. I was also urging my kid to stand up in a crowded bus when a pregnant or old woman boarded.
I sometimes wonder how people can be so disrespectful once they’re on Facebook, Goodreads or any other social media.Maybe hiding behind a screen is lifting all barriers and frustrations come forth???? Whatever the reason I will never condone a lack of respect. Shocking news maybe but you don’t have to be invited to the Queen’s table to show some manners!
So here comes my two cents about what etiquette I expect from the book world members.
Basic of basics: answer!
Nothing is more frustrating and demeaning than reaching for an author, a blogger or anyone in general just to be ignored.
I love interviewing authors and from time to time send them a request. Either on Facebook, either on their blog either…
I get that they are super busy people and don’t expect an immediate answer of course. Weeks can totally be acceptable.
I’m not the Seventh World Wonder (even if my mom tried countless time to persuade me that yes I was) and know that you don’t have to let everything drop just to please me. But please just give a reply!
You don’t have to agree with me. You don’t have to grant my wish and you don’t have to answer yourself. Your PR or secretary is perfectly fine! Or answer by “no time now”.
This lack of answer I can understand from authors barely active on social media. It’s a challenge reaching them as they’re never “on line”. I can also understand a late answer because they’re in the writing cave and have more urgent and interesting matters to tend to.
What I can’t accept is this behavior coming from authors claiming they love interacting with readers and bloggers! Don’t say this if you won’t even answer back!
And if you’re overflowed and can’t keep up with readers or bloggers request anymore just publish on your site or page. It will avoid ranting posts like this one.
Second principle: follow through on your promises
I’ve had authors claiming they would love to answer my questions but never following through.
Again if you need time I’m a sensible person even if I’m ranting right now. I will be happy to grant you all the time you need. It’s the least I can do as you’re kind enough to answer my questions!
But please: send the interview back! It takes time to build what I hope are meaningful and interesting questions. I always re read the reviews I made about your books, your bio and other information to build a taylor-made interview.
The same applies to writers organizing giveaways and never sending the prize. It’s happened on some friends of mine.
If you’re not able to honor your promise anymore whatever the reason just send an explanation and tell it how it is! Bad things happen in life and it’s totally believable you would not be able to meet your commitment.
Third principle: respect others taste and never bash people.
Everyone has his/her own taste and it’s perfectly fine. Life would be so boring if we all shared the same likes and dislikes. Nothing is better or more interesting than a good debate about a book. We are all different and that’s what make lif so fun and interesting!
You love this book and think it’s the best book in the world? Don’t attack people who have a different opinion.
On the contrary you could not stand the book? Well admit others can love it. I remember being aggressed by another reader simply because I loved a book filled with a huge taboo. I get why others would not like it so don’t bite me because I did please.
The same goes for authors. Don’t bash them if they did a proper job just because you don’t like their book. Or worse give a bad rating without reading the book. Bentley @BookBastion has recently written a very interesting post featuring this particular topic. Go read it it’s very well done!
Now on the “bashing” topic some authors have also violently attacked readers who did not love their books. Fortunately this is unusual and this will lead to another topic I want to feature in another listicle “Do author’s personal behavior deter you from reading their books?”.
Remember this is only books we’re speaking of! Not the end of the world, not starvation…
It’s meant to be a hobby. Playful, light and fun!
Fourth step to your etiquette award: don’t take others for fools!
What I mean here is either readers or reviewers giving many stars to books they did not really like. Again I broached this topic in another listicle. Don’t lie! It won’t help neither the author nor your fellow readers. Maybe the author will sell more books right away if you are an “influencer” in the book world but people aren’t fool and if it was bad they won’t come back for a second taste. The author won’t be able to hone his skill either as he/she gets only praiseful reviews.
So write respectful and honest reviews as a reader.
Now Dear Authors show the same courtesy to your readers. Do a proper editing of your book. Few things are more annoying than books filled with mistakes. Worse if the beta reading is skipped or done wrong you can have tons of inconsistencies in your book seriously disturbing your readers. Some months ago I read a book where the heroine changed names in the same scene! Or was naked just before going out of the house (no it was not intentional. The author simply forgot she had no clothes on) and it went on and on.
If you have deadlines to meet better delay publishing date than have something poorly done.
Worse: don’t write books just to make money and pour so little work in it that you repeat whole passages (each and every word the same) several times in your book. It happened and I was really mad at the author!
As far as bloggers are concerned: don’t steal other’s hard work!
No you can’t take other’s post content and publish as it was you own. That’s called stealing!
What you can do is refer to their posts and link with it. It will generally be appreciated as it sends new readers or followers to the owner of the blog.
Same goes with pics: don’t steal them! If you want to use pics on your blog either buy them, either download from sites offering royalty free pictures (Pixabay, Pexels, Unsplash, etc.) either ask their creator if you can use them. Citing the picture’s source isn’t enough!
As far as GIFs are concerned it’s still a debate right now as they’ve been so generally used that it’s often admitted their use is free. Maybe it will change one day…
Now after all this rant I want to end on a positive note as there are many respectful and kind people in the book world!
I’ve been helped several times by geeks whan I had problems with my blog (go read my post “When my blogging adventures siddenly looked like some Disney movies … The Wonders and traps of blogging“). These guys were my personal knights in shining armor!
I can’t count the tips and advices freely given by fellow bloggers about making gorgeous bookstagrams, opening a Twitter account, creating a “ping back” etc.
Other bloggers offer incredible graphic material for free! Visit Flylef blog she has gorgeous graphics that you can use freely.
Bloggers do like to play with each other and create memes and tags every week. Collaborative posts are also an incredible way of associating other bloggers and help them to get more coverage and followers. I helped my friend Ramona from Ramonareadswith loveblog to write a post about book boyfriends and several other bloggers helped me write a post about badass heroines in PNR and Fantasy .
Last parting word: if I’ve complained about authors neglecting their readers I’ve also been incredible fortunate to meet tons of fantastic authors giving their time and care to help a newbie blogger. I’ll be eternally grateful to these incredible and talented ladies!
Some of them even offered signed paperback to let me organize a giveaway in the hope of helping me gather more followers.
To all these bloggers and authors I want to send a big THANK YOU! You give me the energy to go on reading, reviewing and blogging! You are wonderful persons.
So etiquette is not dead yet! It only has to be reminded from time to time. Hey, kids have to be reminded countless time about courtesy before it sinks in!
Now let’s chat. What is your idea about etiquette? What can’t you stand as behavior? What are you grateful for? Have you won your etiquette award?