Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Author Policy

Disclaimer: This post is, largely, for fun. They're my honest views, but I'm also being a bit silly by posting this at all. These aren't based on any specific incident, but just general observations and responses to concerns I've seen, so don't worry about having done something to offend me. These are also MY views, not Lanna's (unless she adds her own later).

Every blogger's different. The things we expect from publishers and the things publishers should expect from us differ, so almost everyone has a review policy. The things we expect from authors and the things authors should expect from us also differ. I've also seen how unsure some authors are about dealing with bloggers. So, I decided to put together an author policy.

These are strictly my opinions, my stances, and my policies, so don't use what I say for every blogger

What You Can Expect From Me:

  • I review, in some form, every book I finish. Sometimes they just get a mention on the posts for books I'm not reviewing with a sentence or two about them. If I don't finish the book, I don't write a review (though that may change). And books that I don't read right away still get mentioned in Book Hauls. If I have your book, it will get some kind of mention on this blog. Promise.
  • My reviews are honest. Lately I've been a bit nicer, but a lot of that's just because I felt very blah towards a book and can't identify what was wrong with it or it's been so long since I read it, I don't remember what was wrong with it. But all my gushing is honest. If I don't like something, I genuinely didn't like it. You can trust what my reviews and any other mention of your book is saying.
  • I will never include your twitter in a review that's less than fantastic. If I point out anything other than a very small irritation, I won't direct you to my review. I'm still going to tweet the link, but it's pretty likely you won't see it. And if I didn't include your name, you may not want to see it so don't worry about it.
  • I won't rate your book on goodreads unless I think it's worth 5-stars or I loved it too much to care if it's actually a 5-star book (which sounds weird, I'm sure, but my brain works this way). Anything less than 5 just gets too complicated for me to decide and I'd rather not do it. 

What's Okay For You to Do:

I love authors. I seriously do. You're largely a talented, kind, and wonderful group to work with. That said:
  • I love interacting. RTs, @s, emails, comments, linking to my blog, whatever it is. I'm often kind of hesitant to reach out first if I've never talked to you and I'm not fangirling your books. I don't want to make you guys feel awkward or make the wrong first impression. So, it's okay to make the first move.
  • I love getting some kind of response to my gushing, full of love reviews. A comment, an email, a tweet, and RT, linking, etc. However, if it's less than absolutely positive, I'd rather you not acknowledge it. I know you guys have tough skins and you won't hate me forever because I wasn't crazy about this character or that story line. But I still feel bad. I'm one of those people who feels guilty about the stupidest things and things that I shouldn't feel bad about. General rule: if I don't include your twitter in a review, that's a sign I don't want you to acknowledge it.
  • It's okay for you to ask me for an interview/guest post/cover reveal/whatever. I don't like reaching out because I don't like asking you to take the time out of your day to do something for me and I'm not really sure that those are the best ways to promote you and your book. But if you want to work with me to do something like that on the blog, let me know because I'm not going to ask you.
  • If you want me to review your book, that's fine too. Send me an email. But I still need you to follow my review policy. And as I'm a student (and will be for several more years), don't ask me to buy your book to review it. Either have some way for me to get a copy or don't ask me to review it. 
  • It's also okay just to email me and introduce yourself and make sure your book's on my radar. You don't need to offer something or have something else to talk to me about. Introductions are fine. I don't mind having email buddies.
  • If you think I spoiled some major point in your book without fair warning, you can tell me. I try to be super careful about spoilers, but I'm human. I make mistakes. I'm okay with it.
  • I'm also okay with you emailing me if I said something negative in a review and it's because I didn't understand or if you just want to clarify something. As long as you're not attacking me or telling me I'm wrong, it's not a huge deal. I'll feel bad for a bit that you read it, because that's what I do, but it's important for me to be informed.
What's Not Okay:
  • It's never okay for ANYONE to send me a goodreads event invite. I hate them. LOATHE them. Sending me one kind of makes me not want to read your book out of spite. And this is one point where I can tell you most bloggers I know also hate event invites. Just. Don't. Do it.
  • Despite what you may believe, my inbox is not a busy place 99% of the time. I'm not a super popular person/blogger/whatever. If I didn't respond to your email about a guest post, interview, or review request, it wasn't an accident. Please don't keep emailing me asking if I've thought over what you asked or if I changed my mind. I'm not changing my mind. I wasn't interested and don't want to say that or you didn't follow my review policy. It's also not an invitation for you to email me about your OTHER books. If I was interested in your other books, I would've responded and told you so.
  • It's not okay for you to add me to your newsletter mailing. If I was interested, I would sign up. But my email's here on the blog for people who want to work with me as a blogger or talk/ask about books. And for my friends who don't want to ask me for my email.
  • Calling me anything other than Julie isn't okay. If I know you pretty well and you have a nickname for me, that's one thing. But my name is not Blogger, Reviewer, Hello, Person, Bloggers[heart]Books, Lanna etc. My name is Julie. This isn't hidden information. We even made sure to match an email with a name. I don't call you Author, so I think it's fair you call me Julie. 
So, this is a basic list. I may update it if other things come to mind, but after several hours, this is what I got.

Bloggers/readers: Anything you'd add or change?
Authors: How do you feel about this? Honesty is totally okay.

--Julie

8 comments:

  1. I don't know if this bugs you but with me I don't like an author's initial review request to come with the book already attached in the email before I have accepted it for review. Also no books in word document file format or any other editable file format, I find that very unprofessional and odd.

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    Replies
    1. It does bug me, but it doesn't happen too often. It also falls under the review policy thing because mine says I don't accept ebooks for review almost every time. I haven't updated that part since getting my Kindle, but I still wouldn't accept them because I've got enough to read already.

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  2. I agree with pretty much everything you said. And can I give an Amen to the Goodreads invites?! They're a sure way to make sure I WON'T read your book.

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  3. I think I need to do one of these, too. (Also I hate anything on Goodreads that isn't a friend request. I want to kill people.)

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  4. Ultimately it doesn't matter what you write in a policy; you're going to end up with assholes that don't read it and solicit you anyway. In my Goodreads profile I specifically say don't solicit your book to my via this medium. Visit my site for proper information. of course people try to whore their books to me. My review policy specifically says if I've never worked with you before don't contact me because I'm too bogged down. Also I don't review self-pubbed books. That's in big, bold red letters. Who do I get emailing me trying to shill their books? All of those messages get deleted unanswered. I'm about a hair's width away from railing on people and I'm really trying not to. You'd think people in the publishing industry would know how to read. Not so much.

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    Replies
    1. I completely understand this frustration - I have it, too. But I think having a policy in place gives me the right to be less than polite if you ignore it. Unfortunately there are always people who think they are the exception to the rule.

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  5. I totally relate to this post!

    You would think that people would know my name is Marie, hence the blog URL *AND* the blog title, but nope. I've been super picky lately about who I respond to and who I don't just based on if they say my name or not lol.

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  6. I love this post! It reminds me I shouldn't feel guilty when I don't bother responding to every request like I used to try to do. It is surely amazing how many people just don't read/comprehend review policies!

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