Monday, September 27, 2010

Play Nicely With The Other Children: 7 Rules of Etiquette for Book Bloggers

First let me say that I'm not a big rule gal. Especially about book blogging. None of us are "professional" reviewers, so our blogs should be conducted in any way we want. I love the fact that some blogs are more formal, some more relaxed, some mix it up, and some have special themes. Every blog has a distinct personality, and that's why they're so cool.

Having said that, there are a few things book bloggers should keep in mind that fall under the heading "common courtesy".....

1) Give a heads-up about spoilers. I have a sweeping statement on my sidebar...that all reviews are chock full of spoilers. Readers can decide if they want to proceed.

2) Give a heads-up about ARC reviews. If you are lucky enough to read an ARC, please put "ARC Review" in the title of your post and make sure you include the release date in the review. For the same reason as a spoiler alert. It lets readers decide if they want to proceed.

3) It's a nice idea to respond to comments. If a reader takes the time to visit your blog and leave a comment, give a shout-out. A simple "Thanks for stopping by" or a longer response. It shows you appreciate their visit.

4) It's nice to summarize with a grade. It could be stars, tombstones, smooches, letter grades, etc. Long winded reviews are fine, too....but a grade helps to wrap up your feeling about the book.

5) A lot of author/bloggers only recommend their own books on Goodreads. This pisses off a lot of folks. (It personally doesn't bother me....I just delete the message). However, it might be a good idea to scrap that form of promotion. Authors don't want to irritate the reviewing community.

6) If you have a twitter account, and followers re-tweet your posts, say thanks! It's nice to have good manners. (And re-tweet their posts for the day, too. Reciprocate, reciprocate!)

7) Leave the bad-ass attitude at the door, please. For the love of God, we're book bloggers. Not astrophysicists.

Any other rules of etiquette you want to add onto the list? Let me know!


Scorpio M. said...

I agree with all your points. I don't have a blog yet but I will keep this list handy. There's a reason why your blog is one of my favorites! =)

Penny Watson said...

Hi Scorpio! I'm so glad I'm one of your favorites...thanks! :)

Julia Rachel Barrett said...

Oh my gosh, Penelope - what an amazing post! I was just thinking about how snarky blogging can get - for no other reason than to revel in the snark!
I never have an issue with a reviewer/book blogger who doesn't like something and tells his/her readers why they don't like it. I do take issue, and not just for my sake, with reviews that skewer the author. Yes, some books are just plain bad or poorly edited/written, but then stick to the facts. Discuss the problems, don't make fun of the author or the cover - we have very little say in our covers.
I think there is a lot to be said for common courtesy. A little goes a long way!

Penny Watson said...

Never underestimate the power of good manners. Bloggers who consider their author-crushing tirades good entertainment are not helping to promote good will in the blogging community. And I totally agree about the cover drives me nuts when reviewers give low scores bec. the cover is bad! Oy!