In these Hardcover Lover Confessions posts, I confess bookish habits, thoughts, or other random things with my readers, and then I encourage everyone to start discussing the issue with everyone else. It's a really fun way to get some bookish confessions off your chest, but it's also a great way to get to know other people in the blogosphere by commenting and interacting.
There really isn't an order as to when I post my Confessions - I kind of come up with them when an issue arises or a thought pops into my head. Sometimes, an issue just eats away at me until I finally decide to write a post. Ergo, there could be one a month or there could be a few a month. There could even be a month when I don't post a Hardcover Lovers Confessions at all. It just all depends on what's going on in the book community or how I feel.
I'm sure that many of you who are reading this are familiar with how the blogging community works. Many of us have our own blogs where we review books, post features and memes, and have our own discussion posts. That's how I operate; The Hardcover Lover is a one woman job. However, many of us also choose to collaborate, whether that collaboration is in the form of a co-blogger or by participating in different features that are hosted by different bloggers in the community.
While many of the people hosting the features are honest and trustworthy, sadly, a few aren't. It's important to know right from wrong as a blogger. It's also important to make sure that you're only hosting events that are important to you. As a blogger, it's always important to be yourself, especially because there are so many of us! Who wants to just float by in a sea of sameness, right?
So today, I'm just sharing a few tips that might help you make a few decisions if you decide to collaborate with other bloggers in the future.
Your Integrity as a Blogger is Important to You!
Trust me on this one, folks! Your integrity is, hands down, the most important thing you'll have as a book blogger.
So what exactly does this mean? Well it means that you need to have morals. This means being honest. Be honest in your reviews. Be honest in the ways that you approach other bloggers, authors, publicists, publishing houses, etc. Don't just think that you're entitled to something because you have a blog. Don't act like you're more important than other bloggers. Bloggers can see right through that act, and so can others in the community.
Just like you want to make sure that you're as honest as you can be with your own posts and reviews, you want to make sure that the people you host for as honest as well. It's a small thing to do, but honesty is one of the most important things in this community.
If You Think It's a Scam, Feel Free to Say No!
This is going to be different for everyone, so the best advice I can give you here is, "Trust your gut."
Sadly, there are scam artists among the many brilliant people in the book community, and if you've been paying attention, you've heard of the most recent one - an author pretending to work for Penguin Random House so that people would read and review her book. This is unacceptable and inexcusable, but Jon broke this story to help others avoid this scam!
If an event invitation or a proposal doesn't sit well with you or if it seems like a scam, you can turn it down. I've actually done this because I was invited to a reviewing company that just seemed so wrong. They were offering to pay me for my reviews, as long as I signed over my rights as a reviewer to them! Umm, no thank you! I'll keep my words for myself.
No one is going to judge you if you don't participate in something, and if it did turn out to be a scam, you saved yourself a lot of embarrassment.
Popularity Isn't Everything!
I think that wanting your blog to be known is a common thing across the blogosphere. It's completely normal to want people to come to your blog first, but sometimes, it just doesn't happen. What you need to realize is that popularity, or even recognition, doesn't come overnight! Doing something because you think it will help your blog take off might not be the best choice.
My best advice for you is to do what feels right. If you want to participate in blog tours, participate in the ones for books you really want to read. If you want to do events, make sure that they are something that you can take pride in. Believe me... your blog will gain followers in time, and those followers will be following you because they like you and your original content, and having followers who actually like what you post is more important than having more followers than anyone else.
Don't Share Your Ideas With People Unless You Absolutely Trust Them!
This might seem obvious, but even this one can backfire if you trust the wrong people. You might think that you know and trust someone, so you share something, and then poof! It's gone! (I've had this happen to me, and believe me, it sucks, but it's partly my fault because I put my faith in the wrong person.) It's sad that people in the community lack creativity and steal ideas and posts, so keeping your ideas a secret is the only safe way to guarantee that someone won't walk off with them.
If you have a brilliant idea, and you want to share it, make sure you can absolutely trust the person on the other side of the conversation. There's no guarantee that someone won't walk off with your idea, but hey... blogging is risky business, right?
Don't Be Afraid to Unfollow People Who Have Proven to Be Untrustworthy!
As we grow with our blogs, we're more likely to know of people who haven't been following their moral compass. It's okay to unfollow them, especially if you know of something terrible they've done.
This could mean unfollowing a proven plagiarist. (We all know how many of them have been busted in the past year.) This could also mean unfollowing a sketchy author. If you're comfortable leaving these people in the past, do it! It's your blog, your computer, your news feeds, and you need to do what makes you a happier blogger. It's really okay to not be connected with these types of people. There aren't rules telling you who to follow!
I realize that these are just some generalized tips and pieces of advice, and I purposefully crafted them that way because I truly hate drama. I do realize that some people are trusting and might get mixed up with the wrong people, and I hope that this might be able to help someone.
Now I'm letting you take over! Feel free to share any advice that you have for people who are interested in collaborative posts.
Please note that any name-calling or references to specific events will get your comment deleted. I don't want to be a Negative Nancy, but my blog is a drama-free zone.