Listen up, bloggers!
Do you know how writing this post makes me angry? No, angry isn’t a good enough adjective. I am livid. There. Over the last week, I’ve seen people plagiarize bloggers in our community, then I witness bloggers go on the defensive because an author attacked them. Why? That said author hated their review.
Am I surprised? No, not in the least. I’ve watched how authors on Twitter fetishize incest and feel the need to attack their followers who questioned their Tweets. So, no, I am not taken aback by this action at all.
So even if you’re a seasoned blogger or a new one on the block, I have some advice you may want to follow.
Do Not Work with Authors Solely, unless You’ve Worked with Them in the Past
Unfortunately, I do not work with any authors. I’ve made that choice early on. I understand that self-published and traditionally published authors may reach out to me. But unless I am working with their agent or publicist, I will simply reject their requests. If you’ve worked with them or talked with other bloggers and readers who have, then go ahead and set something up. But do your research.
If you still don’t feel comfortable, then simply use NetGalley or Edelweiss.
Explain to Them That They’ll Receive an Honest Review, Whether Positive or Not
You need a solid review policy, even if you’re starting out. But more importantly, you need to explain to them that you’ll give them an honest, unbiased review that may or may not be positive. Do not be swayed that you must give a positive review if the author or publisher gives you a free book. I am a marketing and publicity assistant, and I believe that any review is good.
When Working with Authors, Keep All Emails and Conversations
I’ve given this tip before. But I believe it needs repeating. Do not delete any or all emails, even old ones. You may need to build a case against the author, show the publisher how the working relationship deteriorated, and prove how you and the author handled the issue.
If the Situation Goes Awry, Screenshots Are Your Friend
If the author is attacking you on Twitter or another social media platform, screenshoot the Tweets or posts so that if the author denies saying something, you have proof he/she did post it. Julia, Britt, and Ari from The Red Hatter Book Blog did just that, and that decision saved them.
If the Authors Refuse to Back Down, Contact the Publicist, Publisher, and Agent
I work in publicity and marketing at a publishing house. And if I had a blogger come to me with proof that our author was harassing that person, I’ll immediately take action and talk with my boss. And other publicists in small, medium, and large houses will do the same. In this case, Limitless Publishing terminated the author’s contract.
Never Believe You’re Alone
You’ll always find help in our book community. Unfortunately, some readers sided with the author. But they didn’t see all sides though. So please look for help. You’ll find it. And if you must, use your social media platforms to confront the author so others can see how he/she is treating you.
Never Stop Defending Your Blog and Your Brand
You don’t owe the publicist, publisher, or author anything. You can DNF a book. You can always offer another promotional post if you cannot review the book in time or offer to review it at a later date. But you must protect your blog and your brand. You’ve put in the hours in designing, commenting, replying, and creating. It’s not their blog; it’s yours. So defend it.