This week, along with Terri Long and many others, I'm celebrating bloggers.
Hurray for Bloggers!
I’m a lucky person, and here’s why:
I get to be in two fabulous groups. The first is a very talented group of writers, and they support me every day. Plus they make me laugh.
Ditto with the second group. I’m also friends with a group of book bloggers and reviewers. The people in that group are also very dedicated and talented, and they also make me laugh. A lot.
Book reviewers must be some of the hardest working people in the world. They read huge stacks of books and labor over reviews, often posting 3 – 5 blogs a week. Some of them post that many in one day.
Not only do they do reviews, they also host writers in interviews, guest blogs, and giveaways. These services are vital to Indie writers, as we try to get our names out there. The hard work of the bloggers gets our books noticed and the word out that we exist, among the other millions of authors whose books are up on Amazon and B&N.
There have been horrible stories lately about both camps. There are writers who post fake reviews, people threatening reviewers (and online stalking them) and writers threatening “retribution” for bad reviews.
Alas, in all of this the essential humanity of both groups gets lost. The book bloggers are lovely people – they are parents, pet owners, dedicated readers who don’t get paid for the hard work they do.
The writers I work with are also wonderful friends. They get married, have grandchildren, and also work for little to no recompense.
Online, in text, the personality of a person often gets lost. Face to face we can say something with a wry grin or a wink that makes a harsh statement seem funny or at least acceptable. Not so online, and emoticons don’t cut it.
Therefore, I think we have to bump up our personhood and be extra professional and human in social media. In order for our natures not to get lost in train wrecks and Authors (and sometimes bloggers) Behaving Badly, we have to be extra kind, extra tolerant, and super polite.
For example, the one main gripe I read from book bloggers is that their review policies often get ignored. If you submit something for a review, then read the policy and abide by it.
Another is to avoid mass mailings. Sending a message that begins, "From: YOUR NAME GOES HERE" is the same as a robocall, and just as deadly. A personally written email that comes with a carefully crafted review query (one that fits with the reviewer’s policy) will go far and stand out among the many people who forgot to take that extra step in their haste to get their books reviewed.