Let's Talk: Book Blogger Etiquette

Friday, March 2, 2012





Let's Talk is a new weekly feature here at i swim for oceans. I think it's important that we all have our say, and there's something to be said for raising our voices. Simply put, here on the little old blog, I like to host some of my very own discussion posts because, well, I like to converse with you all.

And so, Let's Talk will feature questions or prompts, which I will answer, too. Love it or hate it, weigh in or don't, it's my hope that Let's Talk will at least get you thinking...and maybe even get you discussing with the rest of us!

Question: What sort of book blogger etiquette do you follow, or do you think bloggers, in general, should follow?

Let's be honest, kids. There's no Miss Manners guide to blogging, and a lot of us simply learn by doing, but here's what I learned really quickly. You're going to catch more flies with honey, or, better said, you're going to make more contacts, have more fun and forge friendships if you're willing and ready to do so. Did I know what to do when I first started book blogging? Heck no, but I learned pretty dang fast. So, I've compiled some of the important do's and don'ts for book bloggers everywhere.


Do use your own opinions and stay true to them. That's what separates you from the others!

Don't let your personal opinion morph into snarky, rude and demeaning reviews/content towards authors. Nobody likes an a%$. I'm jussayin'.

Do actually read the books. If you're not going to read it, why review it?

Don't try and influence everyone else's opinions on the books. Let them make that choice for themselves.

Do write your reviews in whatever manner you wish...words, pictures, short, or long, they're yours, so run with it.

Don't be mean. If you don't like a book, fine...but why attack it? Shock value? That's dumb.

Do be yourself! People read your blog because it's different than others...put a little of yourself into that blog, and people will get invested in it.

Don't simply request books ad-nauseum for no reason. Limited ARCs are available - if you receive one, that's awesome! Use it wisely, and consider yourself lucky. :)

Do have patience. It takes time to build a following. The more you engage with others, the more they will engage with you.

Are there more things to do? Of course! And remember, these are my personal guidelines for book blogging which, frankly, could apply to all if others want. Ultimately, blogging is up to you to do what you want. Please bear in mind that these are my personal opinions, and they are in no way meant to degrade other bloggers or their blogs!

Want to weigh in? Feel free to link up!

31 comments:

  1. Very, very awesome post, Melissa! I totally agree with all of the etiquette rules you compiled. :) I think it's important for bloggers to be polite, but individual.

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  2. Great advice, Melissa! I think the best thing is to just be yourself and remember what you mom always told you... if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. :)

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  3. Great tips :) I would say "DO comment." I think community is one of the best parts of blogging, and I often stop following bloggers when I realize that they never take the time to comment on other people's blogs. I want to be in two-way-conversation with the bloggers I follow! 

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  4. I completely agree with you!
    ~I'll read reviews of books that have such strong opinions, and in a written form, it can sound *very* snarky. I'll even read reviews of books people have ranted about how much they hated, but I loved it! So I think, as a book blogger, it's important to be honest about what you thought of the book (in a professional manner) without being rude. That author put a lot of time into that book and not everyone will agree with you! 
    ~Also, I work at bookstore where we work with sales reps and need to have ARCs to know what to buy at the store, but, I never take them for granted! I don't know how people can not read it but review it. That defeats the purpose in my opinion! If you don't like it, stopping reading it and just don't review it. If someone asks you what you thought, just say you couldn't really get into it. Or something.
    ~Lastly, great advice! I try to be original but I also have to stick to the guidelines of the store. Hopefully our little blog can grow since it's only a few months old! Thanks, Melissa! From this, one thing I'm going to try to be better at is going around to all blogs and not just limiting myself to ones I know I like!Best,Rachel

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  5. Good call haha I slack on comments sometimes, and I feel so bad - and it reflects so badly! :)

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  6. Thanks for weighing in, Rachel! I totally agree with what you're saying...we're privileged to see and read any ARCs. I treasure them all :)

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  7. Thanks for weighing in, Rachel! I totally agree with what you're saying...we're privileged to see and read any ARCs. I treasure them all :)

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  8. Thanks for weighing in, Rachel! I totally agree with what you're saying...we're privileged to see and read any ARCs. I treasure them all :)

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  9. Yay! I love the link up.

    And I completely agree with all of you tips. :D

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  10. I'm so glad to hear it! I'm hoping this will be a fun meme, and people will enjoy partaking/raising their voices! Thanks for linking up! :)

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  11. GREAT list! All of us started out pretty clueless but as long as you're willing to learn and follow the basic golden rules, I think you're all set. 

    The only thing I think I'd add is socialize! Comment on comments and/or other posts, interact in some way. It's a lot more fun when you have people to chat with books about rather than just posting your opinion day after day with no feedback.

    After I'm done with the Hounded read along, I'm so joining your Let's Talk meme! :)

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  12. Definitely a great addition! I think that, had I never socialized, I probably wouldn't still be blogging. It's that element that makes us such a great niche community!

    Can't wait to have you link up, Mary! :)

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  13. I'm with you on all of them, but number 4 hits a button. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, so no matter what it is, don't try to convince them otherwise. The world would be such a boring place if everyone thought the same thing. Uniqueness is what makes everything more interesting, anyway! I love this post Melissa! 

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  14. I'm glad you agree, Jen! Thanks for weighing in :)))

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  15. Ah, patience. How I wish I had some:) You know how I am better than anyone (other than hubs) so you know that patience is not one of my strong suits. Couldn't agree more with all that was said:)

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  16. I agree with the ARC's. If you are going to request, read them and review om time. It bugs me when blogger request and get all of these books and then have no review!

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  17. Good points!  Thank you for sharing.  I like number 6.  I have been frustrated by books, to the point of being pretty snarky about about them, but I try to obey the rule that if I wouldn't say something to someone's face, why would I post it on my blog.  Thank you for the wonderful post.

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  18. You go girl. This is awesome. I think I'm going to link to this post in my Policies >> Tips for New Bloggers

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  19. hahaha and you know me...open book and all that. patience is something that I lack severely ;)

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  20. Awww thanks, Juju! You're the best :) xoxo

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  21. SO true, Savy! Or all they do is brag, and just pass it off, you know? Do the normal thing and review it!

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  22. I hear you, too. Sometimes I don't love a book, but I can't be rude about it because others love it :)

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  23. Fantastic advice, Melissa! It can be hard to get a handle on things sometimes, ESPECIALLY when you're new to the book blogosphere, but this is definitely a great place to start! :)

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  24. I do like that lat one cos these days, I see a lot of blogs popping up and just after a week people ask why they do not have more followers and how they want arcs. It takes time

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  25. I agree with you about no being mean if you don't like a book. And not attacking an author!
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  26. Love, love, LOVE the points you make!  I think people sometimes forget that you can be honest but be nice at the same time.

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