Sunday, February 8, 2015

Hardcover Lover Confessions (3)

Hardcover Lover Confessions is a new, every-once-in-a-while feature that I'll be posting on my blog. It's a way for me to express and discuss my thoughts and opinions on news and events I come across in the book blogging world. It's also a way for me to get to know my followers better. Everyone is more than welcome to join the conversations that we start and get talking. We'd love to know what you're thinking, but if I see that you're being abusive, I will delete all of your comments, and you will be asked to never comment on HCL Confessions ever again.

I won't be posting a HCL Confession every week, but I will be posting these little discussion posts when I find that I have something to share with the book blogosphere.

HLC Confession on Author Behavior

It's no surprise that in this day and age, authors are an online presence through social media - Websites, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Goodreads. All of these websites are wonderful tools that authors can use to reach out to their readers and for readers to reach out to an author. It's like heaven for book publishing. I've met and talked to so many awesome authors through Twitter and Goodreads. It's a wonderful feeling when one of your favorite authors responds to you, and it makes you feel important in such a large world.

There is also the downside to being on social media, and please don't put words in my mouth on this because this is no way any kind of an accusation. Authors, like everyone else, need to be careful of what they put on the Internet. I might seem like a teacher for this, but whatever, I am a teacher. Once you post something on the Internet, it's there forever. Even if something is deleted, you still have to worry about it being cached or someone else re-posting it. That's why it makes me so sad to see when an author does something unprofessional on the Internet. It's one hundred percent avoidable, but when it happens, it can, and it probably will spread like wildfire.

Now I'm not going to name names in this post because I don't want to start anything with any authors, but I'm sure some of you will remember some of the crazy stuff that's happened in the book blogging world lately. Some of them have been pretty bad and illegal, and others have been just downright stupid. The sad thing is that only a few authors are posting upsetting and unprofessional things online. It's not every single author, and many authors are upset when they see their colleagues do something wrong. But those few who get angry and make a post when they are "in the moment" really make online book reviewers feel unwelcome and uncomfortable. I'm in no way saying that an author shouldn't have feelings - they are human - but they definitely need to be careful online.

The fact that authors lose their cool and do something unprofessional is just sad. So many authors are extremely savvy and they realize that online reviewers are a huge part of the publishing process, whether they read an advance copy or not. It's great to see when they support reviewers, and even a few of them reach out to people who didn't like their books to simply see why without accusing them of attacking them or starting dramatics. This is how I think it should be. Being professional will get you so far in life. I'm even more likely to read a book by someone who conducts him or herself professionally online, even if I disliked a book by them before. 

My question is actually very simple. Why aren't publicists guiding their clients to be more professional online? It's not very hard to shoot someone an email to tell them that they've crossed a line. 

Now... what can you do if you find yourself upset over author behavior? Well there are a few things. 
  • Do not retaliate - It's hard not to do this if you feel like you've been victimized, but don't do anything that can damage your reputation as a reviewer. You can try emailing the author or the publisher if you see something damaging about yourself from an author online. If it's something more general and applied to the blogging community, just learn to ignore it or mark the book or author as someone you won't read.
  • Don't make fun of an author - It just makes you look bad and very unprofessional.
  • Delete the book from your Goodreads shelves or cancel your pre-orders - It's always tough to see an author do something damaging online before his or her book is published. If it offended you enough, you can cancel any pre-orders for those books that you might have placed.
  • Try emailing the publisher - Publishers and publicists aren't always policing their clients' online accounts. There just isn't enough time, and there are so many authors. If enough people bring attention to it, something might be said to the author to warrant an apology.
  • Submit NetGalley feedback - If you had an eARC and an author has done something upsetting, send feedback on NetGalley. This can be done on the bottom of the feedback page. Keep it professional, but let the publisher know why you won't be reading the title.
  • Be careful with Goodreads reviews - When an author knows he or she made a mistake, he/she will be on the lookout for bad reviews on Goodreads. Don't attack the author in your review. Be honest and professional. If you had an ARC but are no longer interested in reading it, say something simple like "I was given an ARC but am no longer interested." It will keep you out of trouble.
So... what are your thoughts on online author behavior? Do you think there should be a way for us to reach out to authors if they've done something offensive without starting a war? Who are some of your favorite authors who conduct themselves in great ways? Have you ever seen an author post something that just makes you shake your head?



  1. This post needed to be written! Some authors can be unprofessional online, but bloggers can be just as bad. I think we all need to realize that we both need each other for our work to prosper. Without authors, there would be no books, which is not a world I want to live in. Also, without bloggers and reviewers, authors would have a harder time spreading the word about their books. It does not matter how amazing your book is if no one knows about it.
    Thanks for the tips about dealing with these incidents. Fighting fire with fire is never the best solution.
    Tessa @ Crazy for YA

    1. Thank you, Tessa! I was so scared of actually posting it, but then I was just like, "Ehhh, what the heck! I'm doing it."

      Bloggers can be just as bad. I'd have to say I've seen about five unprofessional bloggers per unprofessional author. And from what I've seen from some of the veteran book bloggers, a slew of unprofessional book bloggers have come about recently. :(

      You're welcome! I hope that they help some people. I know I'll be thinking of these tips in the future if I get mad at something that happens on the Internet.

  2. I seem to be living under the biggest rock in the entire world because I have seen SO many posts about some things going on lately in the bookish world and I have absolutely NO idea about any of it. I think I prefer to stay that way to be honest

    1. I wish I hadn't known about some of the things that have been happening. I just hope that people, both authors and reviewers, can calm down.

  3. There seems to be two kinds of authors, some who can take their reviews they receive well and others who really don't! The majority that I have come across are lovely people and for that I am grateful. I always cringe a bit when I give a bad review and the author happens to find it :/ But oh well. ><

    1. I agree. You have to be tough to be an author, even though it sucks to see your work criticized. But things need to be handled professionally. I have seen so many authors handle negative reviews well, and those are the ones that I tend to like more because of their professionalism.

      I hate writing negative reviews, but I've come to realize that it's just a part of reading. I'm not going to like everything I read, but I'm never going to go out of my way to be a heinous reviewer.


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