A Book Bloggers Guide to Etiquette

I was talking with author Linda Poitevin last night, actually I was bitching (what else is new). See I logged onto Goodreads & there was a friend request with a big long comment in it, the author asking me to review her book. After clicking ignore, I went to Facebook & guess what…same author, friend request with a review request. Then I went to our FB Fan Page & an author spammed the hell out of our page!

Yep, I bitched publicly. Linda & I talked about it which led to her post: A Writer’s Guide to Book Blogger Etiquette But authors aren’t the only ones with Etiquette issues. Bloggers are just as guilty. We see it every day on Twitter & Facebook. So here is MY guide on how things should be, in a perfect world. And stop giggling, because it’s moi writing this, I can hear you!

  1. If you’ve never spoken with an author before, do not query them on Facebook, Goodreads or Twitter. Send them an email, it’s just common curtsey. You wouldn’t Facebook a potential employer would you?
  2. Do not bitch about authors/publishers/PR in public. If you’ve had an issue with an author or a publishing house, talk privately about it. I can’t count the amount of times I have seen people bashing each other all over the net. It’s not endearing and eyes are always watching.
  3. Stop bitching about everything related to book blogging. I have seen one blogger this week who is non stop complaining on Twitter, from having to write reviews to authors not being on time with their guest posts. If you don’t like doing it, stop doing it. Again, eyes are watching.
  4. If you promise a review, interview or guest post on a certain date HAVE IT POSTED ON THAT DATE.
  5. Always reply to author/publishing house emails if you’ve promised them something. If you can’t have something done by the date you promised, just explain that. It’s rude when you hide out, and it’ll always backfire on you.
  6. If you have to reschedule for any reason, send an email.
  7. If an author comments on a negative review, do not respond. Ignore it as if it wasn’t posted. This is a sure way to start a fight.
  8. If an author is rude to you, keep it to yourself and never work with the author again. Trust me.
  9. When you see another blogger chatting with an author on Twitter/FB, do not take over the conversation. I can’t stress enough how much this drives people insane. I’ve had an author offer me a book for review on Twitter, only to watch a few bloggers immediately attack the author & beg for their own copy. This is why business should not be conducted via social media.
  10. Keep your promises. Always.
  11. If you don’t like a book, that’s fine. Not everyone is going to like everything, but do not bash the author in your review. Say why you didn’t like the book, give examples but never ever make it personal!
  12. Make sure you spell the characters and authors names correctly! Double check to be sure.
  13. Include links to your website and stats in query emails! Don’t make people hunt around for info! Also have all this info on your website, along with the genres you do read and do not read!

Is there anything else you think should be added? Disagree with anything I’ve added? WLP Wants to Know!

  • Amanda @ On a Book Bender April 13, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Yes, this. All of it. It basically boils down to one simple rule: be professional. I get that blogging is a hobby, but quite frankly, people respect professionalism. You can be professional and have fun.

    • Wicked Lil Pixie April 13, 2012 at 10:03 am

      Exactly, you could have saved me a big long blog post 😉

      • Amanda @ On a Book Bender April 13, 2012 at 1:52 pm

        Except there are too many people who don’t know what professionalism is, even if it hit them over the head. You have to spell it out. 😉

  • SM Johnson April 13, 2012 at 9:48 am

    For “sometimes” reviewers, keep track of books you’ve agreed to review via a list or a collection on your Kindle. I failed to do this, so now I am trying to review everything on my TBR list, which includes many books I purchased out of personal interest.

  • KB/KT Grant April 13, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Bloggers shouldn’t go on other blogs and start drama, especially if they don’t agree with a review.

    • Wicked Lil Pixie April 13, 2012 at 10:58 am

      People actually do that? Geeze.

      • KB/KT Grant April 13, 2012 at 11:22 am

        Yup. I’ve seen it happen. More so on Goodreads than anywhere else.

        • Wicked Lil Pixie April 13, 2012 at 11:23 am

          GR’s makes me sick, it’s like the worst of the book reading/author population.

  • Jennifer Armintrout April 13, 2012 at 10:34 am

    Amen to getting the characters and author’s name correct. Get the title right, too! Out there somewhere is a review of my first book, Blood Ties Book One: The Turning, where the review names my book worst of 2006, but calls it just “Blood Fires”. Okay, you hated the book, I get it. But at least do me the courtesy of getting the title right, dick.
    Another one I’ve run into? Don’t give one review on your blog and a completely opposite review on your goodreads account, because whaaaaaaaaat is that about?
    Also, I recently did a blog feature with six other authors who were in an anthology with me. It was a multi-blogger blog, so they each took one author to review for the week. It was really nice of them, but one the reviewers didn’t read the genre. So, her review started out, “I don’t usually read this kind of story, but I thought this would be a good time to give it a try.” Turns out she hated the entire genre, and she let it out on this story, so five people got good publicity from doing the feature, the sixth got humiliated by a really nasty review, and she still had to participate the rest of the week. I’m all for honesty in reviews, but if someone doesn’t like a certain genre, maybe that’s not the best time for them to take it for a whirl? Tres bizarre.

    • Wicked Lil Pixie April 13, 2012 at 11:10 am

      I absolutely HATE when people review a genre they don’t like!

    • Wicked Lil Pixie April 13, 2012 at 11:34 am

      BTW your first series is still one of my all time favourites, even before I knew you were my American twin 😉

  • Felicia April 13, 2012 at 10:36 am

    EXACTLY! I have always treated my blog like a hobby but one that I share with people. That means there is a certain amount of common sense, community playing well, and respectful interaction included. Live by the rule: Don’t do anything your great-great-grandmother will need to rise out of her grave to beat you over the head with a rolling pin for 🙂 (My grandmother used to say that)!

  • The Book Nympho April 13, 2012 at 11:02 am

    Great post. Good rules to live by.

  • Wicked Lil Pixie April 13, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Anon Author email:

    If a blogger has invited someone as a guest to their blog or if an author is stopping at their blog as part of a tour, it’s not cool to slam their book the day before or even a couple days before they stop by. If you don’t like the book, whatever, it’s all subjective and that’s not the point. Why not wait a week or two after to post the review? It leaves a bad taste in the writer’s mouth in my humble opinion.

  • Jackie April 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I’d like to add maybe one more thing: be realistic about what you can accomplish by specific dates. This is my own personal fail, for the most part, where I accept too many books then get ulcer-like pains from guilt when I can’t get it all done in the appropriate time. I’m hangin’ my head in shame now, with that confession…

    • Wicked Lil Pixie April 13, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      OMG I was guilty of that the first 2 years, I forgot that I could use the word NO.

  • Julie April 13, 2012 at 2:21 pm

    Great post Natasha and very well said. Be professional and be courteous and treat others as you would want to be treated. That’s the best way of putting it. Remember that it’s a cycle – if we didn’t have authors we wouldn’t have anything to blog about but if there weren’t readers there would be no authors so treat each other with respect and all will be roses and rainbows in the world. 😉

  • Lulu Belle April 13, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    Might I suggest that this list could be extrapolated and expanded to apply to any sort of blogging? Nay, any sort of social interaction? Act like civilized grown ups. You will never be sorry you behaved well and usually be humiliated when you throw a tantrum or generally behave like a harpy with a yeast infection.

  • Mary @ Book Swarm April 15, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Amen! Great post. I’ve seen way too many unprofessional interactions in the wide-open social media realm (esp. Twitter and GoodReads) and, for some reason, am always shocked. How can people–who are supposedly mature–act like that? Or treat each other like that? Just because it’s online doesn’t give people the right to act like douches.

    Even though this is a hobby, BE PROFESSIONAL! Your post should be required reading for all bloggers.

  • Midnyte Reader April 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm

    Great advice. Thank you!

  • Kristin @myparahangover April 15, 2012 at 10:26 pm

    I think you should just re-post this every month for all the newbies who come on and missed your post the first time around! Please?!?! How about running a seminar… How not to piss off Wicked ‘Lil Pixie.

    You can leave out any references to yeast infections, tho (ewwwww)

    ps. thanks for the reminder, seriously!

  • Very nice post. I enjoyed reading it. I can’t say that I don’t occasionally vent in public places, but then again it’s usually nothing to do with a specific author or publisher and probably something more personal. Of course I kind of blog for my own enjoyment not because I ever expect to have some giant following hanging on to my every word. For the most part your etiquette is common courtesy and it really shouldn’t need to be stated, it’s kind of sad that it is stated because it’s like those warnings on McDonalds Coffee Cups that say Caution Hot you know they’re there because someone somewhere didn’t understand that and raised a big ruckus when their hot coffee spilled on their hand. Anyway nice post. 🙂

  • Dalya April 27, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Great to have everything spelled out point by point! When I was just starting out, at anything, I didn’t know what the specific rules were, and sometimes “be professional” is so vague as to be meaningless. Thanks for posting.

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