Today on The Tattooed Book Geek I am pleased to be bringing to you all a guest post courtesy of the author Ann Troup on the relationship between bloggers and authors.
I’ve recently had a couple of issues with authors. I’m not going to go into any detail in this introduction over those issues as I think it would be unfair to Ann’s post to have me rambling on before it. I’ll only say that I stood up for my blog and told the authors the truth and for doing this I was made out to be the bad guy, no not Razor Ramon the cool WWF bad guy but the bad guy for being a blogger and speaking the truth.
Due to this, I found myself questioning my perception of the relationship between bloggers and authors and so, I put out a tweet asking for an author of any genre to guest post on my blog and write about their view on the relationship. Ann responded and very kindly offered to write a post and I graciously accepted her offer.
This is her post:
Bloggers and authors – the ‘rules’ of engagement.
Something happened recently that forced Drew to ask some very salient questions of authors – essentially what should the basic etiquette be between bloggers and authors, what should each expect of the other, and what, if anything is ‘fair’.
So, here’s my take on the situation. I am an author with a Digital First imprint, which means that despite belonging to a big publishing house I get very few of the promotional benefits that traditionally published authors might expect. I have to do the bulk of my own promotion, and the bulk of that is totally dependent on the goodwill of book bloggers. The same can be said for the majority of authors, independent or otherwise because let’s face it, until you’re sitting next to Dan Brown and JK Rowling at the top table no one is going to throw any serious money at publicising your books.
So, let’s thank the stars for book bloggers! The unsung heroes, enthusiasts, sharers and carers of the book world. Without them freely offering their time, dedication and attention most of us would be getting precisely nowhere with our efforts, we’d all be mindlessly blethering “buy my book” into the Twitter/Facebook/Instagram abyss with the other eleventy billion people who have written a book… (might not be precisely that many, but it sure feels like it sometimes – I swear there are more authors in the world than there are fundamentally useful people like refuse collectors or plumbers 😉 )
Consequently, we need to treat our book bloggers with the utmost respect and courtesy and this begins with the first thought an author might have of contacting a blogger. Before that thought even takes shape the absolute FIRST thing to do when you find a blogger who might be able to help you get the word out is READ THEIR REVIEW POLICY, and abide by it to the letter. To.The.Letter. Because yes, it means you – no exceptions.
The second is to contact them as per their policy, politely ASKING if they might consider reviewing your book/hosting a guest post/revealing your cover/taking part in a blog tour etc. Be clear about which one of these you are asking for. When you are asking someone to give their time to you for free, to help sell your product, the least you can do is be clear and organised about what you want from them and give them some indication of just how much of their valuable time you are expecting them to spend on helping you out. Let’s be clear here, getting a free copy of your book really isn’t ‘all that’ – most bloggers have TBR piles that would rival the leaning tower of Pisa, the last thing they need is another book (unless you’re famous, bloody good and their favourite author ever, in which case they will probably savage your arm off to get a copy, but being honest that’s not most of us!)
If, and it’s a big if, the blogger agrees to your request, send them all the information they need – this means cover, buy links, blurb, author bio, photo etc. They might not need all of it, but if it’s there you’re not going to look a div and piss them off by making them do your job for you. They are doing you the favour, so don’t make it hard for them and remember there are thousands of people like you, writing books and scrabbling for attention for them – there is no equal quantity of good bloggers! Oh, and chances are most of them know each other, communicate with each other, and will name and shame you if you screw up and take the piss. It’s a small pond, don’t be duckweed.
So, once you’ve done your bit (politely, respectfully and with immense gratitude) what can you expect from your kindly blogger? Honestly? Whatever they feel like offering. Yep, it’s up to them.
The vast majority will treat you exactly as you have treated them – they will reciprocate your treatment of them by doing what you have asked, doing it with integrity, enthusiasm and mutual respect. If you have been a dick at best they will ignore you, at worst (for you) they will share your name and your shame and you’ll be a laughing stock until the next eejit who wrote a book comes along.
To even the balance here it would be fair of me to say that the blogger pond has its share of duckweed too – there are a very few shady, so called ‘bloggers’ who are just in it for free books, who rip off other people’s blogs and reviews and who generally give everyone a bad name. I’ve been fortunate, I’ve never had dealings with one (mainly because I do my homework, get to know people and rarely ask something for nothing) – but there are a few and you’ll pretty much avoid them by becoming a part of the book community. Being a part of it means giving as well as taking, ie sharing blog posts, talking about books you didn’t write, taking part in conversations on Social Media and generally being a decent human NOT solely defined by the fact you wrote a book or two. If you do that, book bloggers just might believe you’re someone they’d like to support, someone whose books they’d like to champion. Someone they’re happy to call a friend.
So, that’s my take – sorry it’s longwinded, I write novels, of course I’m longwinded! I could have just said this:
Don’t be a dick and you won’t get treated like one – and you might even sell some books!
I have to say that I agree with everything that Ann wrote. She echoes many of my own points and sentiments only far more politely written and deserves a round of applause for her views. Massive thanks to her once again for bothering to guest post after reading tweet. 🙂
Thoughts?? As a blogger do you agree?? As a blogger do you disagree?? As an author do you agree?? As an author do you disagree?? If you are an author and want to voice your own opinion on the relationship and requirements between authors and bloggers then please feel free to get in touch.
Ann didn’t include any additional information when she sent me the guest post, she said that she didn’t write the post for any recognition only to offer her opinion. Below I’ve included her info and the blurb for her upcoming book (it’s released tomorrow by HQ Digital) as I believe that she deserves to be known as the writer of the post so that as bloggers we can all applaud and say thank you to her.
About Ann Troup
(picture and information taken from Amazon UK)
Ann lives in Devon in a small house just a pebble’s throw from the beach. She shares her home with her husband and a small white dog, both occasionally allow her to be inattentive to them so that she can write.
Ann can be found on:
The Forgotten Room
Can the past ever be forgotten?
As soon as nurse Maura Lyle sets foot inside the foreboding Essen Grange, she feels shivers ripple down her spine. And the sense of unease only increases when she meets her new patient, Gordon Henderson.
Drawn into the Henderson family’s tangled web of secrets and betrayals, Maura can ignore the danger lurking behind every door no longer. Even the door she has been forbidden from opening…
Essen Grange is a house with dark and cruel intentions. But now that darkness has turned on her, can Maura escape before it’s too late?
The chilling new novel from the bestselling author of The Lost Child and The Silent Girls. Perfect for fans of Erin Kelly, Claire Mackintosh and Tracy Buchanan.
Pre-order The Forgotten Room (released October 25th).
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