Let’s Talk {1} – Book Blogger Etiquette

Posted March 2, 2012 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 23 Comments

Click here to see details about Let’s Talk!

I’m so excited that Melissa at i swim for oceans likes discussion posts because sometimes I get chatty and have things to say. Melissa has opened her Let’s Talk event up to the rest of us and I’m excited to be a part of it. Thanks, Melissa! 

According to Melissa:

Let’s Talk will feature questions or prompts, which I will answer too. Love it or hate it, weigh in or don’t, it’s my hope that Let’s Talk will at least get you thinking…and maybe even get you discussing with the rest of us!”

This week’s question
What sort of book blogger etiquette do you follow, 
or do you think bloggers, in general, should follow? 

Honestly, I think book bloggers could talk all day long about this one. 
And while we could all point fingers, we all fall outside of the bounds of good etiquette every now-and-then. That being said, there ARE good manners, folks. 
And we should keep them. It’s just that simple. 
The ARC thing

Drama surrounding ARCs makes me tired. While I understand bloggers sometimes tweeting pictures to show ARCs that we are beyond excited aboutsometimes – I don’t understand doing it every time. (I’m talking about being excessive.) And the behavior of book bloggers at events – grabbing the ARCs and such – oh my gracious,  you guys. It’s rude and embarrassing. I love this hobby so much and I don’t receive all the ARCs in the world – it’s a privilege to get the ones I get. I don’t want to see everyone else being haughty, superior, and snobby about their loot, and neither do other smaller book bloggers or non-bloggers. It’s just bad manners. 

Do be respectful!
Don’t be pretentious!

The negative review

It has to happen sometimes. But I think we’re held to a standard of being honest. I admit that I don’t have THAT many negative reviews because I’m ridiculously selective about what I choose to spend my time reading. But there are some bloggers who are just a little bit beyond what I would consider honest – I’ve seen reviews that I’m shocked, sickened, and embarrassed to read. Can you imagine being an author and reading a scathing review of your book, a book that you’d put your blood, sweat, tears, and resources into? It’s just not necessary, folks. We can be honest and still be kind. We can use our manners. 

Do be honest!
Don’t be rude to anyone, including authors! 
(They’re people too.)

The Twitter-Drama thing

It is NOT necessary to get on Twitter and berate people. It is NOT necessary to get on Twitter and let the world know you just got an email you didn’t like. It is NOT necessary to make yourself look bad in this process – yet that is what happens. AND it causes drama by generating responses, most of them negative. It all falls under the “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” rule. Once again, it’s just basic manners. It leaves a bad taste in the mouths of some people. It is one thing to generate discussion, but bloggers do not have to call anyone out by being passive aggressive or pointing out blogs/other bloggers by using identifying information-other-than-their-name. I’ve seen it happen too many times. Bad manners and generally unkind.  

Don’t start drama on Twitter!
Do stay out of it if someone else already has!

How about some positive thoughts now?!

The Comment thing

All book bloggers love comments – the ones with the bigger blogs, those of us with the smaller blogs, and those of us just starting out. I’ll admit that it is almost impossible to comment back to everyone that stops by, but I think it is nice to notice people who make the effort to repeatedly read our thoughts and comment…and then try and return the favor. It’s not hard to make someone’s day. Even if it is a few days later, try to comment back when you can! Better yet, go visit other blogs and comment THERE. 

And to go a step further, we can make our comments THOUGHTFUL. I *know* that my blog posts are longer than the books often are, but I am chatty. But the ones who are thoughtful in their comments ALWAYS make me smile and have often brightened my day when I needed it. It may sound a little corny, you guys, but sometimes it’s the small things in life that make a difference to people. Let’s be good commenters when we can. This is something we can ALL improve on, including myself. 

Do TRY to build a connection with your readers! 
Don’t take their visits to your blog and their comments for granted!

The Sharing thing

If you read something that you like, you enjoy, or you find thought-provoking, share it with other people! That’s what those little buttons on the blog are for! Tweet it, post it to facebook, Pin it, whatever. You WILL make someone’s day with this and it is ALWAYS good to pay it forward. Share good stuff with the world. 

Do share good things with the world! 
Don’t keep them for yourself! 

The Learning thing

I have learned so much from this community of book bloggers. I have improved my hobby, my skill, and the way I look at things. Be open to what other bloggers have to say and suggest. I can think of one blogger in particular that has kept me floating sometimes when I’ve been in over my head with tech stuff. (Looking at you, Jacinda!

Do be helpful to other bloggers when you can! 
Don’t overlook those who help you or their suggestions!

Well, there you have it. 
Great topic, Melissa!

What about you guys?! 
Do you have anything to add about 
Book Blogger Etiquette? 
What’s good? What’s bad? 

Comments about my own thoughts? 


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


23 responses to “Let’s Talk {1} – Book Blogger Etiquette

  1. Oh wow! This is such a neat event! I'm definitely going to try and participate next week!

    Asheley – I totally agree with all of your points on this topic! I'm trying to improve my commenting (I feel like I've been slacking lately).

    And yes, the rude Twitter thing – I've seen some conversations (er, arguments) on Twitter between book bloggers and it really shocked me! I mean, name-calling is not necessary. If you wouldn't say something to someone's face, then don't say it online either!

    Also, I absolutely agree with your thoughts on negative reviews. I do write them sometimes but I NEVER want to be rude. I always talk about what others might like in a book (even if I didn't like it) – everyone has different tastes!

    I love how you always have great discussion posts on here Asheley, chatting with bookish folks is the best!

    • I'm always working on commenting. I feel like I'm always leaving someone out even though I don't mean to, even the ones most faithful to my blog. *sigh* I'm getting better but still a work in progress.

      Oh, the drama and rudeness – I can't deal with it!

  2. Oh, girl SOOOOOO true! I love how thoughtful all your answers are, too. Frankly, if people just did it because they loved it and tried to steer clear of drama, it would be so much better. And yes…the comment thing is SO true 😉

  3. yes to the arc business. I see so much drama surrounding them. Books come from stores and libraries too. It doesn't have to all be about arcs.

    Ahhh, the negative review. I will admit, when I first started my goodreads account.. i was guilty of writing some pretty nasty reviews.. I have since deleted them. I admit to it, because well, blogging changed me and how I view the whole reading/publishing business and all that jazz. It was easy then, not to associate books with the author. Authors are real people, and since joining the community and seeing them post about normal things on twitter.. it was just kinda like an awakening. I'm still mortified at the thought one of them could have read one of the reviews I have since trashed. but we live and we learn, and I'm better for it now. :0)

    commenting, yes, I love a good comment. btw, thanks for stopping by the other day. 🙂 thoughtful comments are the best.. I can't stand the pointless one that have 2 works and a link to their own blog. those are not the kind of connections I want to make. I dont comment on as many blogs and as often as some others do.. but that's because I like to have the time to say something meaningful. No fluff here!

    I adore your long chatty posts.. <3

    • Oh my! The ARC thing: just last night I saw something on twitter – a picture – and it literally made me do a combination facepalm/headdesk. I shake my head sometimes. I admit, I have other little quirks and things, but the ARC thing – I just don't get it! I LOVE my library and would be lost without it. All the books end up there sooner or later anyway, ya know?

      Negative reviews, *sigh*…that's a tough one. I cringe at some of the things I've written before too, but isn't growth and progress awesome??? It's just that I don't understand the SCATHING (is that a real word?) and NASTY ones, and those tend to be the ones that get so many comments/likes on Goodreads. It hurts ME to see them, and I am not even the author…regardless of author/agent behavior, before it ever gets to that point, as bloggers we HAVE to remember our manners and be honest without being rude. Lately, though, I'm seeing stuff that makes me shudder. And do the facepalm/headdesk thing.

      I'm working on my commenting. Sometimes I don't realize that I'm not following back/commenting back in the appropriate places. That has happened to me a few times in the past few weeks. Thank you for your graciousness and patience with me! You're one of the best commenters EVER and I am trying to be as awesome as YOU.

      See, I'm even chatty in my replies. *shakes my head*

    • you usually always rely to your comments though, which is awesome. I'm more of a commenter and reader, then a blogger. I'm trying to find a balance. I should be working on my blog, but i'm too busy reading awesome reviews. 🙂 I need to work on replying to my comments. It's a new feature to blogger, and I often forget that I can now! 🙂

      btw, I think Scathing is a real word.. but I'm to lazy to google it right now. lol. but I know what your saying! haha. 🙂

      have a great weekend!

    • reply. I should proof read before hitting publish. lol

      Oh and I agree on some of the reviews lately. Now it almost seems like a contest, who can write the nastiest one and cause a buzz. It's sad. I feel some people read a book they don't like, just so they can write a bad review. I'm like you, very selective in what I read, and If I don't like it. I usually just put it down. Not worth my time reading something I don't enjoy.

      See, I'm chatty too. We could probably spend 24 hours in a coffee shop and not shut up the whole time. lol

  4. "I admit that I don't have THAT many negative reviews because I'm ridiculously selective about what I choose to spend my time reading."

    I love that statement because I too am ridiculously selective about the books I read. If it's not working out for me for one reason or another then I'm all about putting it down and moving on (too many books, too little time, right?) If only more people could follow this advice and move forward without getting bogged down in a whole bunch of worthless negativity. Well said Asheley:)

    • Thanks Heather! If people hate a book enough to give it a one-star rating, WHY FINISH IT? You're only hurting the author and wasting your time. There are always, of course, instances where there are commitments to a review, but even then, I'm super selective and if I think I'm going to be anywhere near THAT opposed to the book, why on earth would I have chosen to read/review it? I WOULDN'T. I'd have politely turned it down.

      But that's just me. Obviously a bazillion other people feel differently!

      Too many books, too little time is EXACTLY right! 😉

  5. You are so spot on about the ARC thing and the Twitter-drama thing. Sometimes I do write less than positive reviews but I would like to think they are professional. Additionally, no matter how bad a book is, there are usually positive elements to it as well and I highlight those as well.

    I know a lot of bloggers DNF books they don't like so they never have negative reviews but sometimes books have certain content that I think other readers would appreciate knowing about and so my review can be useful to them. At the end of the day, I review for readers but like you said, there a difference between being honest and being cruel.

    I would never put nasty, snarky reviews on my blog, just not my style. However, there is a big audience for snark and just like a train wreck, snark attracks unlookers.
    Truly Bookish

    • Your reviews are great! I think most of us want to see an honest report of how a blogger/reader feels, even the things they didn't particularly care for in the book. A good, honest review is so helpful for me – for most of us, really – in determining what we want to read. I just find that people say stuff in print that they would probably NEVER say to an author's face or in a direct email to them.

      Snarky reviews DO attract a following, though, you're absolutely right. I've noticed that.

  6. I so agree with all of the things.

    Don't rub in the faces of every day when you get an arc in the mail. Yes, be excited but still be cool about it.

    Don't be a jerkface in your reviews. Be honest, thoughtful, and respectful. You can not like something and still be those things when discussing it.

    Comments really are the best. You're so right.

    SUCH good thoughts, my friend!


  7. I agree with you 100% on all of these things.

    There are bloggers out there who don't ever comment I think. Or who rarely do…that's sad to me.

    Drama on Twitter gives me a headache.

    You're welcome Asheley for the help! If you ever need it, all you have to do is ask!

    • About the commenting, I know of a couple that I literally make it a point to comment on pretty much everything (well, almost everything) they do to just be supportive – and thoughtful too – and have never gotten one single comment. Which is fine and I am not griping, I'm just saying I wonder how much MORE support they'd get on their blogs if they'd return the favors or pay it forward, ya know? Or maybe that stuff is more important to me and not so much to them…to be fair, though, some of them are very interactive with me on twitter or email or whatever so I guess it balances out? I don't know. The comment thing was just a thought and I know how important it is to newer bloggers and to me, and I know I'm not the only one.

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