Do You Tag Authors In Negative Reviews?

This post is dedicated to everyone in the book community.

A huge shout out goes to Drew@The Tattooed Book Geek for inspiring me with his post. If you haven´t already be sure to check his thoughts on the subject out right here.

Unfortunately, this to-tag-or-not-to-tag-authors issue has been around for some time now. It pops up on social media and vanishes just as quick as it came. It´s no secret that many authors hate being tagged in review posts on social media. Why? Well, because it´s hurtful. It´s mean. It´s degrading and humiliating. How dare someone put an author on the spot like that.

 

 

That´s what people say. On a few occasions, I´ve seen some authors post something like this on their social media.

“It´s not nice to be tagged in a negative post. Please don´t tag me. It´s rude.”

 

And even some book bloggers will join in and offer their two cents into the mix.

 

„This is NOT okay. Do NOT be cruel by tagging authors in negative reviews.“

 

And I agree to some degree. I agree that you shouldn´t be a hurtful asshat then go off and rub it under an author´s nose. That´s about it, though.

Personally, I don´t see myself siding with the people who believe negativity is harmful. Because I´m the type of person who thinks negativity is necessary. Even if it´s a tag in a post that leads to a negative review. So, to answer the question above:

Yes, I tag authors in negative review posts. And if I´m honest, I don´t really lose a night´s sleep over it, either. I´m okay with sharing my opinions, positive and negative alike, and tagging the people who wrote the books I reviewed online because that´s what I do. That´s my purpose as a book blogger. I´m confident about my work and know that nothing I upload is harmful. Maybe thought-provoking but never harmful. Some book bloggers don´t write negative reviews at all, which is also okay. But I do and I can totally live with myself.

 

Now, before anyone who´s already disagreeing with me or thinking of accusing me of being mean, rude or tactless… Please hear me out because this isn´t meant to be rude or insensitive. This is just my take on the problem. Thank you in advance.

 

After having given this topic lots of thought I´ve come to less than pleasant conclusions as to what the real issues are.

 

#1   Tags are just tags. I think tags can be compared to flies. All´s good until one of those suckers manages to get inside your house and ends up bugging the shit out of you at night when you want to sleep. But, it´s just a fly, you know? That itsy bitsy little flying insect can be dealt with. Well, it´s the same with tags. The negative ones are annoying as well when they appear. Fortunately, tags can be dealt with. Unfortunately, some authors feel the need to lash out on social media. All because of a tag. I admit- this is interesting to see but I can´t help to feel uncomfortable. Why react when you could just deal with it? There´s always time to complain after having tried to iron out the problem.

 

#2   Some authors are spoiled. I know, it sounds so awful but if you think about it, it does make sense. From what I´ve seen, some of the authors who´ve complained about being tagged in negative review posts have been carried on a silver platter for so long by book bloggers they´ve forgotten that negative opinions exist. The end result is: They´ll throw an online tantrum via social media posts and complain about how rude it is to tag their name to a negative post.

 

#3   Some authors are picky. So, it´s okay to tag them in a positive review post but not a negative one. Because that´s what their complain posts say: “Do not tag me in a negative review post. That´s rude.”  Or, am I missing something here? They´ll share/retweet a positive review post but will complain about a negative one. They´re basically rewarding good behavior online and protesting against an opinion they don´t approve of. If authors want feedback, they´ll get feedback. 

 

#4  Negative reviews aren´t always truly negative. I´m sure many can agree with me on this one. There´s a huge difference between wanting to share an opinion and being a cold-hearted bitch on a mission. What helps here is just taking some time off to find out why there was negativity in the first place. If someone has said that the book wasn´t their cup of tea or that they weren´t able to bond with the characters then that can´t be classified as negativity and should be accepted without further ado. Didn´t like what I offered? I´m sorry you feel that way. I hope you´ll find time to check out my other works. I´m sure I have a book you´d like.

 

#5   Authors aren´t the only beings wanting attention. Shocking, I know. It´s hard to believe anyone else wants to make a name for themselves. This point is so damn obvious that it hurts to think about it. There are reasons why a book blogger will tag an author in a negative post.

  1. They want the attention
  2. They want the author to see the review

I can´t fault a book blogger for wanting attention. They have goals just as any author does. What can also come across as a little shocking is: Some book bloggers aren´t working their blogs for authors. They´re doing it for themselves and their followers who rely on their opinions. When they tag an author in a negative review post they´re saying:

“Just dropping by to let you know I read your book. I ended up not liking it.”  And then they move on, allowing an author to check their review out. When this happens they don´t think about an author´s feelings just as an author won´t think about theirs. Is that terrible? I don´t think it is.

 

#6   Feelings. Some authors will not hold back and share their feelings. “Just stop and think about how this makes me feel.”   * nod *  * shaking head * Without wanting to sound like a complete bitch- Book bloggers should be mindful at all times? Book bloggers need to be considerate AND careful not to put a dent in a book´s reputation? This is asking for the impossible. Look, this whole thing is basically an exchange. Author publishes a book and book blogger/reviewer leaves a review.  Not every book blogger can puke rainbows for everyone. Many reviewers aren´t interested in walking on eggshells. 

 

#7   It´s about the book, not the author. This point can be tied with #4. Some authors fail to recognize that they´re selling a product. If someone doesn´t like the product they´re going to complain to the manufacturer. In most cases, that´s exactly what a book blogger is doing- letting the author know what they thought via social media tag.  But authors take this personally because the books they´ve written are often considered to be their “babies”.

 

So, what´s the real problem here? Is it the review, the reviewer/book blogger or the tag? Or perhaps it´s an author?

 

The core of this evil is a combination of all four. Without the reviewer, there wouldn´t be a negative review and without both and social media there wouldn´t be a tag. And without some authors, there wouldn´t be complaints. Sounds like we could all be living wonderfully quiet lives, huh?

 

After having been a part of the book universe for so long I´ve learned that whatever you do, things won´t ever play out the way you want them to. You, as a book blogger, will always be judged. Your blog will always be judged. Your opinions and posts will be judged. You can be as fake or as genuine as you like- your critique ( no matter how mild or diplomatic ) will not be accepted.  The same applies to authors: No matter what you write about there will always be people who´ll have strong opinions. You can´t keep away the hate. You can´t avoid a tag. You can´t prevent tags in negative review posts from happening. A post about it will not convince someone to stop.

 

Of course- all this is worthless when an author comes across a bitch on a mission. The book bloggers who are hateful and personal should rethink their blog philosophy and work on their social skills. Just as sensitive/stubborn authors who´re constantly offended by everything that´s not a praise should.

 

This is a community. We´re in it for a reason. We need each other to exist. Book bloggers depend on books to read and review and authors need readers and reviews. As annoying as negative tags are for authors, there not worth the fuss. Because in the end- It´s a tag.

So you see, there´s no win/win situation here.  * sigh *

The key is to be civilized. If we can´t act in a civilized manner then we need to step away and breathe.

 

On a friendly note: As stated above- None of this is meant to hurt someone. I´m not pointing fingers at anyone in particular. I´m only sharing my observations. I´m positive many will disagree with me on this subject and some will actually agree.

On an even friendlier note: Remember- It´s okay. If you´re a book blogger who does or doesn´t share negative reviews on social media then you´re okay. You´re not going against any rules because there aren´t any. It´s also okay to tag authors in positive and negative review posts, as long as you´re being civilized, no harm is done. Always keep in mind that just because someone doesn´t approve doesn´t mean you´re doing something wrong. Tag authors. Give them feedback. Let them know you exist.

 


 

I´m afraid to ask: What about you? Do you care enough about this topic to chat about it? Do you tag authors in negative review posts? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. 

 


 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed. And if you didn´t then that´s okay.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Take care,

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Goodreads-The Bookish Amusement Park

 

`Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Our mission is to help people find and share books they love.`

 

That´s what it says when you check out the About Goodreads page. Not too bad, huh? It sounds really promising if you haven´t spent time there before. Readers get a social cataloging website where they can search for books and reviews for specific books. With over 25 Million registered users it´s T.H.E. P.L.A.C.E to be for book people.

Unfortunately, not everyone likes Goodreads, myself included. Although, that´s not true. I would like Goodreads more if things were different. Possibly a little less aggressive?

 

 

While I do believe Goodreads is a blessing for readers, reviewers, and authors I also believe the website is not worth it anymore. Amusement parks are only amusing until you get tired, right?

 

Since I´m a dedicated member of the romance novel committee ( I just made that up. There´s no such thing as a romance novel committee ) I can only speak for how things are in the Goodreads romance, women´s fiction, contemporary romance, Young Adult, New Adult, and Paranormal romance department. I´m positive every other genre has its issues as well.

 

 

So, why am I not a fan of Goodreads? Have a seat while I unwrap 9 years worth of Goodreads experiences…


 

#1   The Overstuffed Website

 

Goodreads is filled with all kinds of fun things for readers and authors and whoever else wants to visit. Book groups, giveaways, author interviews, book quizzes, etc. The website is designed to make a book – lover´s day, week, month by fulfilling their bookish needs. You don´t need a blog or a FB group. Goodreads will keep you busy for a while should you have time to spare. I like to compare Goodreads with my smartphone. There´s no possible way I´ll ever be able to use every feature available. But hey- at least I have the options, right?

I find cluttered websites non-user friendly.

 

 

#2   5 Star Reviews From The Super Supportive Cheerleaders

 

There are major differences when it comes to reviews. Did you know that? I didn´t when I first started out. Without getting too technical I´m going to narrow the different types of reviews down to two types. There are reviews for:

  • potential readers/people looking for their next reads
  • authors

A review can´t be mistaken for anything other an opinion on a product. Personally, I´d prefer to read a review that´s aimed towards helping people pick their next reads. It´s more consumer friendly.

What I won´t do anymore is read reviews that have been written more for an author than for the reader.

You know, the ones written by super fans who want to please the author by always leaving a shining review. Yeah, those reviews don´t do anything for me aside from driving me up the wall.

How do I know if a reviewer wants to please an author? By reading their reviews. It´s easy to spot the emotionally charged cheerleaders.

Do I trust the opinions from super fans that are also close to authors? Absolutely not. If a new release by a self – published author already has 25 + 5-star reviews on Goodreads ( all neatly published close to one another )  then you can bet your ass I won´t believe whatever praises they have for said book. I´m a burnt child. I learned my lesson.

Nice try, bookish squad.

 

 

 

#3   The Option To Flag

 

In an ideal world, we´d all have civilized exchanges. We´re far from perfection and Goodreads is no exception.

What Goodreads offers is the option to flag a review or a comment.

`If you believe a review contains a spoiler, spam, or other inappropriate content, you can flag it to our attention. Our team carefully reviews flagged items on a case-by-case basis, and we take action only on any items that violate ourReview Guidelines.` Taken from the Goodreads Help page.

 

Weeeeeell, some people take this too seriously. Which can be a good thing. I´m all for flagging the things mentioned above. It´s just that some Goodreads users have quick fingers and short tempers. And Goodreads sometimes acts like a submissive husband wanting to avoid conflict.

Reviews and/or comments sometimes get flagged because of disagreements. Some individuals ( authors, fans, fellow bloggers ) become so emotionally invested that they take great offense in the smallest things and end up clicking the flag button just because they feel attacked.

This is definitely a misuse of the flag button. Of course, there´s no ignoring the reviews that deserve to be flagged but in most cases, it´s not the reviewer who deserves to have their review removed.

I´ve had a few of my reviews taken down by Goodreads. And I wasn´t able to do anything about it, either. Goodreads punished me although I didn´t do anything wrong.

I upload reviews to help indecisive readers. I don´t upload reviews to please the fanatic fan base or authors.  Unless you see a review or comment that condones

 

  • pedophilia
  • animal abuse
  • racism
  • theft
  • any violation against humanity
  • any of the mentioned above

 

then, okay. Flag away. But otherwise, you have no right to flag a Goodreads user. Stop flagging users for stupid reasons. Learn to walk away.

Fun Fact: I was once in a book group where someone got offended by a Goodreads review and actually rallied a few other members to head on over to “bring her down” by viciously flagging `her`.  I left that group and drank a whole bottle of wine that night. To be honest- the supposed evil review was actually a genuine one. Very helpful. * sigh * *mumbling ( vicious cunts ) *

 

 

#4   The Wild Creativity

Seen and be seen.

I know I´ve been preaching about how important it is to be creative in the book universe. The best way to be seen or make an impact is by giving yourself that special something that no other book blogger has. The golden rule is- There are no rules. Just set your creativity free. Watch it grow and represent you in the best way possible.

But there´s a fine line between showcasing creativity and being the Las Vegas Strip after the sun sets.

The romance department on Goodreads is so damn colorful it often hurts to take a peak. You´re bombarded with tagline graphics, picture quotes, book blog banners, graphics for ratings, and gifs. Sometimes you see all this before you´re able to read a review. Sometimes all this is skillfully spread out throughout the review.

I remember wanting to check a book ( incl. reviews ) out and thinking:

“Where the hell is the review?!” 

Again – This is not a bad thing. I´m sure some folks like this form of creativity. Personally, I think it´s overkill and unnecessary. Less is often more.

 

 

 

#5   The Non-Review Review

 

You search for a book on Goodreads and find the book you´ve been looking for has 50 reviews. 15 out of those 50 are just comments ( sometimes with ratings ) that look a lot like this:

“So freakin´awesome the author published another book!”

Or, they´ll post a gif parade, showing how excited they are or how happy they feel for the author. THIS. IS. In. The. Review. Section.

Hey, I fully agree with these people. It IS awesome the author finally published that long-anticipated book. My only question is: What´s to gain from a comment like that in the review section?

These non – informative posts do nothing. Absolutely nada.

I have mixed feelings about these types of posts. Who the hell are they for? Certainly not for the people who´re looking for actual reviews. This is weird on so many levels.

 

 

#6   The One Place To Bash An Author

 

Just when you thought it couldn´t get worse…

This is probably the saddest point from all- When authors and their books get ripped to shreds on Goodreads. It truly breaks my heart to read a review about how an author is incapable of writing and that they should hang their dreams on a hanger.

Listen, I´m a nitpicker. Give me a book from a self-published author and I´ll find you at least 5 things that need improvement. But sometimes you gotta draw a line. I review books. I´ll mention what I liked and what I disliked. And if I come across a book that´s too chaotic for my taste then I´ll contact the author in private ( how this can pan out is a whole other bedtime story ).

Many reviewers shit on giving constructive feedback ( something that could help a writer improve their skills ) because of their anger and head straight for the bashings.

And boy, there are some vicious people out there. As a book blogger, I can understand a reviewer´s frustration. But I can also imagine what these reviews do to writers, especially to the ones who´re just starting out.

The key is to find a middle way to deal with a book you don´t like. Show respect towards the author but still, stay true to yourself and your opinion. It´s not that difficult. Breathe in. Breathe out. Eat chocolate or take a nap before going on Goodreads to ruin an author´s dreams.

For some reason, these reviews don´t get flagged. Either the author doesn´t care or he/she is too busy crying in a dark corner.

This needs to stop.

 


 

The funny part about this post is: I could have just posted this gif and you would have had a good idea of how I see Goodreads.

Goodreads – The Treasure Island of social media.

 

As always I´m not referring to everyone or every genre. Should you feel comfortable on Goodreads then… More power to you. I´m just not that into Goodreads anymore. I´ve seen enough, heard enough, and have been through enough myself.

Now that I´m an in – and – out Goodreads user I can say my life really is much easier. I ignore negative comments for my reviews. I mingle with other Goodreads users as little as possible ( unless I know they´re following my blog or I´m following theirs ).

I would like to point out that everything in this post has come from my personal observations and experiences. What I endured, or have been told about and was able to confirm, doesn´t necessarily mean Goodreads is a hopeless case. It´s not the websites fault. It´s angry, frustrated, bored, and probably unloved individuals who cause these problems. These are the people who make Goodreads look like a virtual war zone.


 

Let´s chat! Do you use Goodreads? What are your thoughts on the website? Let me know in the comments below. 


 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you enjoyed.

Much bookish love,

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Why I Don´t Join Facebook Book Groups Anymore

Facebook book groups – Oh, how I love to hate and hate to love them.

 

You´d think there wouldn´t be much to tell about Facebook book groups. The truth is- There´s not enough time or space to put down every single detail about what goes on behind those invisible group walls.

From the groups themselves, how they operate, the interaction, etc. There´s a lot of ground to cover when wanting to discuss these groups. Topics I can´t possibly cram in one simple post. Because there are so many different types of Facebook book groups.  We´ve got groups for:

 

  • fans of book blogs
  • book groups for specific genres / mixed genre groups
  • author groups
  • book blogger support groups
  • book promotional groups
  • bookmarket groups
  • groups for individual books
  • Book character groups
  • groups for the smut-loving society
  • street team groups
  • beta reading groups

 

Whatever a book lover´s looking for, Facebook´s got it in spades.  You want it, you´ll find it. You´ll also find a little more ( or less ) than you bargained for. And you´ll be able to find these hangouts categorized into three different types of groups:

 

  • Open groups
  • Closed groups
  • Secret groups

 

From a neutral standpoint, I can say that Facebook book groups are truly a blessing. There are countless ways you can benefit from a Facebook book group. From meeting like-minded fans of a specific book to making new friends… Facebook book groups are a wonderful way to connect and receive book-related info.

Unfortunately- If you´ve been in the business long enough you eventually see the cursed side of these Facebook book groups. I´ve seen this side as I´m sure many others have. While some FB book groups are wonderful… some groups just aren´t great places to spend time in.

 

kind reminder

Okay. I think we´re good to go, now.

Alas! Here are my reasons why I don´t join Facebook book groups anymore.

 


#1    Dead Book Groups

 

At one point I realized I was following over 250 Facebook book groups. 250! And from 250, only a few were consistently active. There are many reasons for Facebook book groups becoming silent but I don´t feel like sticking around when there´s nothing to stick around for. Being a part of a group for no greater reason goes against the idea of a group. I don´t see a point in collecting inactive groups.

Yes, Facebook can be blamed for the deaths of many book groups, but many book groups can be blamed for their own deaths. Either way- I´m out.

 

 

#2  If You´ve Seen One…

 

Yes. I´m saying all Facebook book groups are very much alike.  Each group is more or less a copy of another. Is this a bad thing? Well, sharing the book love can never be considered an evil cause. It´s seeing the same posts, the same shared content that´s ruined it for me. Personally? Aside from the design and colors, I see no differences. Unless a Facebook book group has something that makes them stand out then I feel no need to follow anymore.

I know it´s hard to come up with a unique concept these days. It´s even harder to maintain a certain standard when so much is constantly changing. The idea is not to settle for the safe option and copy what works for others. If you want to stand out or be seen you

a) should offer something no one else offers

b) maybe sell the copied concept differently

c) invest time, sweat and love ( and money for ads )

It sounds so much easier than it actually is. Trust me – I know. But it´s possible.

 

 

#3  Dictator Admins

 

Do I need to say more? Yes, I do. Dictator admins are real. They´re also very busy people. Busy monitoring posts and comments like a crack whore, busy talking about themselves and their achievements, busy warning members and keeping them in check. Admins basically have all the power over a group, which is perfectly fine. But some like to wield that power and play King Fuck – Who doesn´t give two shits about what their members want or need because it´s only important what the admin says /does/wants.  They set the rules and it´s in everyone´s interest to follow these strict rules. Should any member fall out of line then there will always be some type of consequences. This is NOT fun.

I´ve been in many groups where the admins acted like this and I´ve always wondered what happened to make them act like glorified cunts. Do I have to continue to follow these people? Of course, not. Life is too short to follow these people.

Admins of Facebook book groups need to act as mentors and help their community feel like they´re in the best place ever. I don´t want to be in a group run by a dictator. I want to be in a group where the focus is on open communication, sharing content, helping each other, etc.

 

 

#4  Rules

 

Rules, schmules. As if book lovers need rules in a Facebook book group. It´s stated NOWHERE that a social media group needs rules, so why do many Facebook book groups have them? I have my suspicions. One of them includes a dictator admin.  Because how can you be an active member and contribute when you´re being restricted from the start?

  • Self-promotion is not allowed

So, a book blogger isn´t allowed to talk about / share their work even though the group could benefit from it. How unclever.

  • Offensive posts will be banned

First of all- Define the word `offensive`. Seems like everyone has a different definition these days. This point basically means that if the admin believes your post is offensive ( even though it isn´t ) you´ll be warned, banned, deleted, asked to leave, kicked out. Wonderful.

  • Healthy debates are welcome

No. They´re not. Don´t fool yourselves. Respectful opinions are never welcome because they´re often seen as an attack. Especially when you disagree with the admin or a golden card member. Most groups use this point to lure in debate friendly people and end up blocking them for not liking what they have to say.

These are just a few rules from MANY.

With so many rules how is someone supposed to act in a book group? Maybe not act at all? Always agree with everyone? That´s just ridiculous. I´m not in a book group to follow rules. I´m here to join in on the fun and to maybe learn a thing or two.

My personal experiences have taught me to stay far away from groups with so many rules.

 

 

#5   Secret Safe Havens For Dick Pic Haters

/ Secret Safe Havens for Dic Pic Lovers

 

There are groups and then there are secret groups. Since I mingle with the romance novel crowd ( where the smut levels range from 1 – 10  ) you can imagine what goes on in some book groups. Sometimes posts are squeaky clean and respectable ( even informative ) and sometimes you´re involuntarily rewarded with a dick pic of a firefighter on a Friday. That´s just how the romance world rolls. Am I bothered about this? No. I couldn´t care less, to be honest.

The funny thing, though, is that some of these Facebook romance book group members have created side groups for people who are offended by aesthetic pictures of respectable men * cough * And at the same time there  have been secret groups created for dic pic lovers where members can secretly share porn all day long in any shape, color or form.

 

” This group is a safe place for romance lovers. “

“This is a safe place for readers who like it dirty.”

 

 

At one point these secret groups were growing like weeds in the Facebook book community. So, I became a safe place member and a member of the dirty gang. My experience in safe places was short lived. I eventually removed myself – Wordlessly. Then I came to this bright conclusion:

It´s a picture. You always have the option to ignore oiled abs and a thrusting crotch. You may allow yourselves to look away and return at another, less sexual time.

If you read romance then you are familiar with the often raunchy sex that can often be compared to porn. You have no reason to feel offended by a picture of a firefighter stroking the one-eyed snake. I guarantee you, you´ve read worse.

This makes the romance book community look like a circus. I mean- There´s humor in everything but this is beyond ridiculous.

 

 

 

#6   The “This isn´t book related but….” Posts

 

Listen- I get it. A Facebook book group is a community and in a community members should support each other during good and bad times. But sometimes private posts are uncalled for, especially when a book group is focused on book promotion ONLY ( or any other specific book group ). There´s a place for private posts and that´s on the person´s private Facebook timeline. I´m not saying it´s terrible if a group member posts about their uncaring neighbor who mows his lawn when the baby´s trying to take a nap. I´m saying the topic isn´t necessarily appropriate for a book group.

Like I said- It isn´t world shattering. I just don´t understand why this needs to be in a book group.

 

 

#7  Questionable Members

 

From what I´ve seen there are a few types of FB book group members:

 

  • The actively supportive members 
  • The Like & Leave members 
  • The cliques/squads/ best of best group buddies members
  • The hypersensitive bunch
  • The Alpha members with their platinum membership cards

 

Three out of the five group member types are most likely to also fall into the questionable member’s category.

What exactly is a questionable FB book group member, you ask? Well, these people make it their mission to make anything their problem. It´s possible that you can become their focus, their target. They will try to discuss you to the ground and tell you what a shitty person you are and how disgusting your opinion is. They will tell you how you hurt THEIR feelings even though you never knew they existed before.

They´re basically the FB book group mafia.

In the beginning, you hardly realize they´re there. But once triggered they´ll reveal themselves and they become very vocal and extremely illogical. What triggers these people? Anything can trigger the mob or a mobster. As soon as they don´t like whatever is posted or said in a group then that´s it – They get their shit lists out. They won´t hesitate to act as if a crime has been committed.

I´ve come to learn that these questionable members are scattered all over the place. Some aren´t as vicious as others. Some come in smaller groups and some are lonesome mobsters. It really depends on the person. Maybe they´re dealing with an offline private issue. Maybe they´re just frustrated and bored.

What I´ve also learned is: You gotta let special be special. And Facebook has way too much special going on. You can´t help the mob understand that you´re not a disgrace to mankind. You´re not a disgrace. They´re just angry people eating chips in front of their laptops. You don´t have to teach these people what the difference between an offensive comment and a diplomatic one is. They´ll only refuse to listen.

But you can remove yourself from a group and never have to deal with questionable members any further. Everything is always just a few clicks away, am I right?


 

Mind you- These weren´t the only experiences I´ve had during my active Facebook book group days. I´ve had the pleasure of being a member of some fabulous Facebook book groups in the past where the admins understood what it meant to be a leader and where the members understood the importance of online kindness.

Despite the positive sides, Facebook book groups have I don´t think I can overlook the fact that many of these groups are just playgrounds for people who have nothing better to do than to wait until they can explode.



 

If you so happen to be a member of an active and well functioning Facebook book group then I´m truly happy for you. It´s always a great feeling to know you´re surrounded by a positive community. As long as the FB book group works for you then all´s good. Keep being a FB book group supporter. ❤


 

What about you? Are you a member of a Facebook book group? Do you agree with my list? Do you disagree? Care to agree to disagree? Let me know your thoughts or share your own personal experiences. Let´s chat! ❤


 

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.

Don´t forget to be kind, stay kind and share the book love.

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What Does A Book Blogger Do?

“So, basically, you read a book and type up a review.”

A statement made by non – book friends, neighbors, my husband and even by my own mother. Actually, that´s what everyone, who isn´t involved in the book business, says to me.

My instinct tells me to take a book and hit the people I love with it. But physical education is illegal, so… It suddenly dawned on me that others have no clue as to what a book blogger actually does.

 

No. Sadly enough, 6 trillion other book bloggers, including myself, do NOT only read and review books. Reading and reviewing is just one aspect of the deal. Just one of many!

There are a few book bloggers who stick to the book blogger basics ( uploading reviews only ) but, they eventually get sucked into trying new things out, too.

Sooner or later – We all get to that special point where we want to become a part of the ever evolving book blogging community and end up doing so much more.

As fun as book blogging sounds, and IS, it´s  TIME CONSUMING! I felt the need to put that in caps to get my point across.

We´re not taking about food or makeup blogging, here. We´re talking about the stuff that not only entertains a person but also educates people. Book blogging is about expressing one´s self. It´s about sharing news on what´s hot and not. Book blogging also is satisfying for one´s own needs in form of discovering new books / authors and helping others with what to read next.

That´s pretty much the glory side of the business, all wrapped up in a nice package. In reality, though, book blogging goes deeper. Much deeper than any outsider could imagine.

Book blogging is intense. It all about hard work with little or no pay. You sometimes need to dig out those big girl panties and thick skins to survive!

It´s time to put an end to the thought of book bloggers “just reading and reviewing”. It´s time to educate the poor souls who think us book bloggers do nothing but hide and read. Book blogging is serious business and it takes tough cookies to master the craft of handling books and blogs from the ass crack of dawn until stupid o´clock.

Let´s start with WHAT IT IS BOOK BLOGGERS ACTUALLY DO.

 

#1

Yes. Book bloggers read alot.

 Probably too much, if you ask anyone who´s not a book blogger. The ugly truth is – Some book bloggers read 3 – 4 books a week. And when ARCs ( Advanced Readers Copies ) are thrown in the mix then bloggers have to step up their reading game to make the deadline. Standard reading for a book blogger would be 1-2 books a week, which is still more than any mortal would do. Book bloggers have to be up to date with new releases, etc. 

It´s also not uncommon for a book blogger to read more than 1 book at a time. I have books in my bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, livingroom…. Lots of unfinished gems.

 

“Reading is always fun.” – said no one, ever.

Not completely true. Reading is, most of the time, fantabulous. But once in a while a book blogger receives an ARC and those aren´t always fun. If a review is requested then there´s no beating around the reading bush. We have to read, page for page, in order to give our full opinion on the book ( skimming´s not allowed ). Our brains have to fully concentrate on the book at hand. It´s a different kind of concentration we have to maintain. And that, my dear friends, can be exhausting. If we read ARCs twice a week then some of us are just pooped beyond words.

It´s worse  when the ARC received is not really our cup of tea. It´s then a “pulling teeth” situation that can have us taking a reading break or make us re-read our favorite novels just to wipe our brains clean.

That might sound mean but it´s a fact.

 

#2

Golden Rule #1 – There are no rules.

 Thank all that´s pink and fluffy for the million outlets that are at our disposal! Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, oh my! A blog isn´t the only place to spread the word. Book bloggers are magicians when it comes to social media. 3 hours and 20 clicks, 6 post saves, 5 scheduled posts later and a book blogger has covered all book bases, making sure EVERYONE in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD sees the book they´re promoting.  But we´re not just excellent at promoting books and authors…. we excell at promoting ourselves, as well! We do that by…

  • doing Facebook posts
  • Coming up with catchy lines for Twitter
  • Being fabulous on Instagram
  • Interacting other people 
  • Creating promo  worthy fan art or graphics
  • using our children / pets ( because they´re cute…and stuff )
  • making videos

We know how the ball rolls and how to work the book mill and we use all we have to get the word spread. 

We´re the invisible cheerleaders.

 

#3

 Our creativity has no end and will never find one!

Our creativity is not narrowed down to writing reviews and thinking of smart and halfway intelligent FB / Twitter posts. Our creativity goes a step further than that.

We´re creative with our blog, too. Did you know that we´re also designers? That´s right, my little Padawans. Us book blog folk spend just as much time with designing our beloved blog as we would with re-decorating our livingroom ( well, probably not. Since there´s hardly time for that..LOL ). We pick a theme, change colors, create logos, move things up and down, left and right until we´re satisfied with how everything looks.

Don´t be fooled. Coming up with ideas is hard work. It involves a night with only one bathroom break.

And guess what? The design is never final. Us book bloggers are constantly changing things over time. Why? Because we have so many ideas and constantly think of ways to improve our appearance. That´s what moody artists do, right? We change things all the time.

* throws pencil across table and aggressively bites in chocolate crossaint while glaring holes in the air *

Life vs. Book Blogging.

Book bloggers often don´t like having to slip back into reality. Real life just has too many challenges. Reading is much easier.

But, we have to eat at some point. We have to sleep, answer the phone, let the dog out…. Life gives us endless chores. No wonder we like to read!

Let me tell you a secret. I don´t really have time to blog. I don´t have time to read, either. Between having kids, an attention seaking husband, my social life outside the house, work, household chores and school…. I don´t really have time to do anything besides drop dead on the sofa after the kids hit the sack. I´m not a soccer mom. Far from it, actually. But life itself is demanding at times.

So, I´m basically 13 hours on my feet then hop on the internet until the ass crack of dawn to get some book blogger stuff done. Same goes for reading.  That is – if I don´t manage to fall asleep before.

My days need more than 24 hours.

But somehow I still manage to find some hours in my impossible schedule. I really can´t tell you how I do it. I just do. And I pay a high price, too. Result: Chonic exhaustion.

 

Sleep is highly overrated.

Who needs sleep? I sure don´t. Many book bloggers don´t, either.

A book blogger quickly learns how to function during the day after having only 4 or 5 hours of sleep. It´s a fact.

Personally, I´ve earned my stripes. It took me years of practice to find the right toothbrush in the a.m. or to not bump my shoulder against the doorframe. Mixing up salt and sugar was yesterday. Now, I can read a book until 4 a.m and still wake up at 7 a.m ( like, once a month ). I might not look like a Disney princess but that´s not important. Important was the chapter I shoved in before I passed out from exhaustion! YAY for ME!

And if I´m not reading until stupid o´clock I´m hanging out at my favorite playground – The internet!

Here´s a small list of things book bloggers try to get done while not sleeping.

  • Come up with something to post on Facebook and Co.
  • Take pics for Instagram and work on them
  • reply to comments
  • visit other blogs ( another aspect that takes TIME )
  • getting back with people you accidentally ditched
  • write reviews
  • Procastinating and unleashing the creative beast within
  • Read 1 – 5 books.

See? There´s absolutely no time for sleep. None.

 

Book Blogging Is Dangerous Business.

There´s a golden rule when it comes to uploading reviews: Hide afterwards. Especially when you publish your not so nice opinion on a highly popular book that has a large, passionate fanbase.

Hence the need for the big girl panties because some fans can be vicious little turds who will stop at nothing to bring you down and make sure you end up in social media jail just because you shared your opinion. An opinion they don´t agree with. There´s always that one special person, a leader of the book troll army who waits for an opportunity to bash a reviewer.

Besides being hunted down by the fan mob, us book bloggers tend to be highly opinionated. We will express, both, our love and hate   dislike for a book in a very passionate and, sometimes, clever way.

We create posts using our large vocabulary all while experiencing our own Battle of the Bastards.

Book Bloggers know how to survive!

* picking up pitch fork / baseball bat / heavy hardcover *

 

Blogger Statistics: Acting like we know what we´re doing – 60%

Actually knowing what we´re doing- 40%.

Sad, right? * snorts * It´s not sad at all. The reality is – Most of us are winging the book blog world as it comes. It´s not our fault people assume we take 2 minutes, tops (!!), for a clever constructed Facebook post. Hey, most of us are happy our fat finger syndrome doesn´t screw things up for us.

When it comes to doing new stuff…. Well, we just act like we know what we´re doing because it would look unprofessional if we didn´t.

We´re the silent assassins, lurking in the corners of the internet.

A special part of our job is to be alert. We have to have our eyes in a lot of places at the same time just so we don´t miss out on something new. A nice side effect of being a silent book assassin is the ability to see more than we want and end up benifiting from the stuff we learn.

In 7 years I´ve learned that:

  • Appearance is half the rent! It´s actually crucial for a book blogger. Graphics, logos, banners, fonts, formatting, colors, selfies, Instagram pictures, and even emojis are important. Don´t have or use any of the above then you need to step up your game.
  • Email structure is mandatory. Although, I have to admit that I don´t care about typing up a professional email. Life is too short. Be wild. Write crappy emails and include 6 hundred hearts before sending the email off to a publishing house! ( and hope for the best)
  • Having a calendar. Because you want to know when books release, blog tours start, etc. You don´t want to be like me, wondering WHEN, HOW and WHY you´ve missed ANOTHER important release dispite having a calendar. Use the damn thing!
  • How to network. It´s all about making friends or connecting with others.
  • How to not make the same mistakes other blogs made. The more you look the more you see and the more you understand. The end result: The more you can do better from the get – go.

 

How much time the world thinks book bloggers need for a review / blog post: 20 minutes.

How long I actually take to write, polish and upload a review or blog post: 2 hours – 4 days.

That! The big secret revealed at last! Blog posts aren´t always a walk in the park. Sometimes it takes a book blogger an hour, if everything goes smooth, to publish a post and sometimes it takes days to come up with the right words before hitting that publish button. What´s taking so long, you ask? Ha! I´m glad you asked. Have a drink while I unroll my book blogger scroll:

  • Sorting out thoughts. Seriously, this is something that takes up a lot of time. You can´t just write ” I enjoyed the book.” and call it a day ( and a review, for that matter). That´s not a book review. You have to craft the post. Mold it and give it your personal touch. You also have to find the right timing.
  • Finding the right graphics takes up time, as well. If you like to be creative with images and gifs then be prepared to sit until your ass becomes numb.
  • Searching for links. It doesn´t matter if you need purchase links or social media links; There´s nothing remotely “quick” about collecting links for a blog post. You think it takes 5 minutes when in reality, you´ve spent 30 minutes searching for 2 links.
  • Polishing a blog post before you upload it. This one I love and hate the most. Before anything goes out I double, triple check everything, such as: Spelling, formatting and images. Sometimes you think you finally got it but then end up re-writing the whole blog post because something seemed wrong, unfitting or you re-write the blog post simply because the whole thing was…. shit.
  • Coming up with brilliant ideas for a blog post and end up forgetting about them. I have this problem. It´s like opening the fridge but forgetting what you wanted to get out. You stare at the yoghurts and cheese like a fool, trying to remember what it was you wanted. It´s the same with ideas for blog posts.

It doesn´t matter if a book blogger wants to write about a serious topic or if the book blogger wants to do a simple and fun post… Both demand time and love.

PS – I´m on day #4 with this blog post. And right now, it´s 2:45 a.m. ( just thought that might interest you. If not, carry on as if nothing had happened )

YES! WE CAN DO MAGIC! We make the impossible possible!

“Can you beta read for me?” SURE!

“Can you share my post?” OF COURSE!

“Do you want to be apart of the cover reveal?” ABSOLUTELY!

No matter how stuffed a book blogger schedule is- There´s always time for an author in need.

We enjoy the little things in life.

There comes a time when a book blogger is rewarded for their hard work. And that reward comes in form of a simple act of appreciation.

“Thank you.”

That´s usually all a blogger needs to read / hear in order to feel the need to keep going.

You see, book blogging… as wonderful as it often is… hardly gets recognition. Many authors or readers take us and our work for granted.

Book bloggers don´t fish for compliments. Quite the opposite, actually. Most, if not all, of us post reviews and bookish stuff just because we want to. Not because we have to. I sure as Hell don´t have to spend my nights with toothpicks holding my eyeslids open but I do it because I find a certain kind of joy in book blogging.

I don´t necessarily like reading until 4 a.m. but I do it because my love for a story is sometimes greater than knowing which kid is standing infront of me at 7 a.m. ( okay. That´s not true. I always know which kid is talking to me. I have a chatty, morning person kid and an evil beast who needs 2 hours alone time before anything happens. I think I´ve just outed myself as a terrible mother. Oh, Lord. I´m definitely going to Hell now. Let´s just forget this part and move on. Remember: I love my kids )

File:Facepalm.gif

We want to be apart of the fun and mingle, even if we´re shy and have no idea what we´re doing. We´re a humble bunch with sharp minds.

Without those likes, follows and comments, we have no other way to feel any kind of appreciation.

Sure, it would be nice if some of us got paid for our hard work. But we know that´s not going to happen. No book blogger has ever become a millionaire through writing. We´re aware of that and we accept that.

That´s why we´re over the moon with joy when we receive a simple THANK YOU or any other single word praise. That just shows us that our creativity paid off. Someone actually liked what we put out there. No matter if the kindness was aimed towards a review or a bookish post… it´s always wonderful when someone recognizes a book bloggers work for what it´s worth.

It´s a silent moment of happiness ( because we haven´t found a way to hop through the computer screen and hug the person who was kind. Yet. )

Related image

 

All in all, we´re moody, over exhausted, loveable book loving creatures who fight the clock every day of our lives. And….

WE DO NOT JUST READ AND REVIEW! ( again, the caps to get the point across )

Do you hear me, Mom? I do NOT just read a book and spend 5 minutes typing a review then spend the rest of my hours watching Johnny Depp clips on Youtube.

 

Do you hear me, Husband? I do NOT just stare at Johnny Depp clips on Youtube. I actually blog… If you´d look at my blog you´d notice.

 

To my bestie, Lindsey Clarke ( author from the glorious The Whitechapel Chronicles): I found new Johnny Depp clips where he doesn´t look so chewed up!

 

I think this is your cue!  If you liked this post then feel free to leave a like and / or comment.  If not then I still appreciate you taking your time to read. I hope you enjoyed!

 

Much Love,

Morgana ❤

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Social Media – Like & Follow

And so it begins…. My social media is not really anything special but it´s a necessity. Not even I can get around my social media. As with authors- Bloggers can´t avoid social media, even if we try. Life without my social media just doesn´t flow as smooth as it should.

Why am I telling you all this? I´ll get to the point in a second….

The job of a book blogger comes close to one of an author´s. We both write and we´re both trying to “sell” a product. With an author it´s all about writing a great story and putting it out on the market for people to read. A book blogger doesn´t really do much differently. We write posts / articles / nonsense ( depending on the content ) and we want to share our published work with the world. Book bloggers “sell” their opinions on books and book related topics. Both need readers. Both depend on readers. Both can´t really survive without readers.

As with books and authors, book bloggers are a matter of taste. You purchase what you find interesting and you follow what you like. It´s as simple as that.

BUT….

Book bloggers depend a little more on social media. Besides the personal blog ( where a blogger keeps everything well-organized and safe) there are other places many readers/followers like to hang out, or hang out instead.

We´ve got the Facebook people, the Tweeters, Instagrammers, Pin-ners, etc. These people like to stick to their neck of the woods and that´s perfectly okay.

Personally, I see my Morgana´s Book Blox like this:

pyramin

This is a simplified visual from my point of view on how book blogging works for me.

  • The Blog is the home of my book universe. The place where everything happens. I´m my own boss. I´m the creator and I swing the Power Sword there. My WordPress blog for people who want the details instead of having to read short key points.
  • Social Media ( Facebook & Co.) is not less important than a blog. In fact- Social medias are blogs only in a different format. Personally, I treat social media platforms as the cool aunts of book blogging. They´re apart of the family. You hear from them on occasion and when you see each other you get excited and start feeling all kinds of love. And although you know no one can reach the level of awesomeness your aunt has- you still know there´s no place like home ( your personal blog).
  • Social Gatherings ( Book Signings, Book Events, Book Conventions) are by far the equivalent to Grandma´s new boyfriend. You´re not sure about the new partner. You´re questioning Granny´s sanity but when the time comes you come to accept Granny´s choice and even start liking the new guy. Same with book events. Most book people are introverts. They´re shy. Unless there´s some special author appearing at an event you´ll hardly get a reader to those over-stuffed gatherings. Of course, there are those who unfold completely at book events, like a butterfly spreading it´s wings, but those folks aren´t in the majority. 

 

Back to the point: Social media is, next to the blog, where all the magic for us book bloggers, happens.

It´s all about sharing the book love, book news, latest book findings. If a reader hangs around social media then it´s wise for a book blogger to do the same.

Book bloggers have so much to offer besides reviews. We share our thoughts and sometimes our secrets. We pour our hearts out after we´ve read a phenominal book. We give the ugly and the pretty sides of our world and share everything through our blog and social media.

If you´re a fan of a blog or a blog that has social media then make sure you follow and like. Never forget to comment and interact. Socializing is important for us book bloggers. We´re here to make the lives of book people easier.

I used to believe that pointing out the obvious was rude. Not anymore. Not in 2018. Support is needed everywhere! Be a book blog follower. Be a facebook page liker. Follow a book activist on Twitter. Comment and like reviews on Goodreads. No matter what you do- do it and support the mother blog and it´s cool aunts!

Speaking of- Be sure to follow me on my own social media platforms ( if you haven´t already). Just pop in and give a few clicks and maybe even a hello.

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