Thursday, June 18, 2009

Blog Faux Pas

On Tuesday this week, when RITA Nominated romantic suspense author Colleen Thompson was here, we got a pretty good discussion going about her books and "child in jeopardy" themes. Then a commenter popped in with the equivalent of a total non sequitur: He plugged his own book (which was not a romantic suspense or a child in jeopardy story) in the comments instead of engaging in dialogue with the rest of us.

When someone leaves a pithy remark, I click on their profile. If they have a website or blog, I click over to see what they've got going on. I never click the profile of a "blog pirate." (My friend Nina asked if I made that up and I have to say I'm not sure. I don't remember reading it elsewhere. You?)

Now, to be fair, this person may be new to cyberspace. They may be feeling a little desperate to get their message out and aren't quite sure how to go about it. I freely admit I've done some doofy things online because I didn't know any better. I confess that I put out a lot of "bulletins" on MySpace when I wish I had time to do personal notes.

As far as I know, there is no cyber-equivalent to Miss Manners. So I'd really like some feedback from YOU! Do you have a petpeeve about cyber-ettiquette or lack thereof? What would you like to tell authors about how we approach you online? Is there a better way for an author to connect with his/her readers? What kind of posts do you like to read most on an author's site?

PS. I'm still at Royal Reviews. Please leave a comment over there to be entered in my daily drawing!


Penny Watson said...

Emily, this is a great blog topic! Since I do promo for 2 blogs and many authors, I have learned the hard way that some people love to hear about new links, free book give-aways and author interviews, and alas, some people do not (and will let me know in a rather hostile and unfriendly manner). What I have learned is that plugging one's own book in a completely unrelated post (as Philip did on your blog) is a BIG no-no in cyberspace. If you are a regular member of an on-line community and regularly add to discussions, you are treated fairly well. I think that Amazon should post a huge skull and cross bones at the top of their boards warning new authors not to attempt self-promotion. The "promo police" as I like to refer to them, will rip them to shreds. I find it ironic that the readers who engage in such hostile behavior seem to forget that if it weren't for the authors writing the books, then the Amazon boards would not exist. The good news is that there are also plenty of positive boards where readers, writers and reviewers are all welcome (such as AAR). And, for the record, I totally approve of how polite you were to called him on his behavior (which he may not realize is frowned upon) and treated him with respect, nonetheless. Well done! I highly approve of good manners in cyberspace!

EmilyBryan said...

I feel a bit like an intruder on reader boards (even though I am a reader as well as a writer). It's sort like a parent slipping in and checking up on what the kids are doing online (which I confess I would do if my kids were of the age where I still had to protect them!)

What do you think of invitations to blog events? I haven't done one on Facebook or GoodReads in a while because I'm not sure they are effective.

Unknown said...


I'm in complete agreement with both you ladies. I also have two review blogs, plus starting sometime next week I will be reviewing for the ladies at the Royal Review(Yay I'm so excited), now people would have thought my last bit was tacky. But in reality it's not because it flows with the theme of the comment.

From what I've seen and read on my short cyber journey is readers love Giveaways, free reads and love Book Covers. Also, we (readers) love seeing our fave authors doing a blog tour, such as the one you're doing over at RR. For me, I love author interviews. I just need to work better on my interview approach. About event invitations: I love the invite. Without the invite most of the time the reader doesn't know what's going on. Plus, it makes a reader feel special thinking their fave author or blogger personally invited them.

But I'm with you about Phillip plugging his work. There are to many good review bloggers that would love to help authors promo their book. What I think happened is that he saw two amazingly succesful authors as some one that could help him. Via he did it the wrong way and just needs right direction in the promo land.

Enough said but before I go, Emily been at RR everyday. It's been an amazing week and I always love reading what your upto. Thanks so much for an engaging week!
All the best, Christine

EmilyBryan said...

Thanks, Christine. How exciting that you'll be reviewing for the Royals!

What, pray tell, will your new title be? They already have the QUEEN OF HAPPY ENDINGS, the EMPRESS OF GOOD AND EVIL and the FUSSY PRINCESS.

I'll look forward to hearing your new rank and what level of veneration you'll expect!

Penelope said...

Emily - I think invitations to blog events are a great idea...and you can check the effectiveness by using Google Analytics on your website/blog to see if traffic increased following this promotion, and also where the traffic is coming from (did readers link from Facebook or Goodreads?). Also, Christine's signature line is a great form of free, subtle and effective promotion without ruffling anyone's feathers! Sign your name with your url and anyone who is interested can follow the link, without you cramming your info down their throats. Maybe I should teach a class about this stuff? Hmm....

Genella deGrey said...

I have a new book out . . . LOL! JK! Yeah, that's not so cool.

And yes, Penelope, there should be some sort of class on cyber manners + how to spot and ignore a Blog Pirate. (Nice phrase, EM!)

Even email has its own set of 'unspoken' rules. I've recently had to hint to a relative of mine to put a dang subject in the subject like of her emails. When it's blank it seems like they are saying, "I'm so important you don't need to know what I want. Just open the email." Now I understand forgetting once in a while . . . but dude.

>End rant. ;)

Christine - Congrats on snagging the review position!


EmilyBryan said...

Aw, Penelope, you're so schmart! You really should teach a class and I mean seriously. I think it's a grand idea!

Genella--I had to tell my former boss (yay for writing full time!) that all caps was the same as raising your voice. She always left her caps on, so every email had the force of a rant. She was surprised and a little offended that we were upset over being cyber-yelled at. (See what a quick study I am, Penelope!)

Unknown said...

Thanks ladies for the congrats. Everything has happened so unexpectedly that I am completely floored.

As far as a name, I'm shooting for "Christine--Celtic Goddess of Second Chances". I'm a sucker for second chances and unrequitted love. But I'll be sure to drop you a line with my elevated

All the best!

EmilyBryan said...

Goddess of Second Chances . . . I like it!

Adele Dubois said...


Alas, good manners seems to be a thing of the past in both the physical and cyber worlds.

As much as I hated to do it, I put my blog comments on moderation to stop the spammers and those who are just plain creepy. This solution has worked well for my site, and my visitors chat without being interrupted by unwanted "noise."

Best--Adele Dubois

EmilyBryan said...

Hi again, Adele! Welcome back!

I haven't been bothered often enough to warrant moderating comments, I guess. I hate to do it. One of the treats for me when I visit is the surprise of seeing who's been here and what they said!

Teddyree said...

Hi Em, what a super topic. I also like the surprise of seeing who has commented without moderation & I figure as the blog owner I've always got the option of hitting the big delete button, if a comment is offensive etc.

While Philip's comment was lacking in manners, I think you're handling of the faux pas was very tactful.

Classes in cyber etiquette would be cool. Most of us with a modicum of manners do 'get' the basics but I'm sure there has probably been a time when I have inadvertantly overstepped a boundary.

Genella ~ LMAO (oops is that the 'done' thing to have that capitalised... I am laughing really loud)

I personally love invitations to blog events, they are informative without being intrusive. If I'm not interested, I decline, how easy!

Last day on Royal Reviews, tomorrow Em. Had so much fun but Sunday I go back to my own blog, The Eclectic Reader it's in need of some love. (was that subtle? I'm a fast learner too lol)

EmilyBryan said...

Teddy, Thanks for having me at Royal Reviews for EMILY BRYAN WEEK. (Still shaking my Midwestern head over that one!) But I thoroughly enjoyed the royal treatment!

Colleen Thompson said...

My big faux pas... posting a bad like to that particular blog post far and wide. Groan! :)

Nobody loves a hit-and-run promoter, that's for sure. And I love readers but avoid popping in on reader discussions on various websites. I've seen them go badly for people far too often. :( Readers should be able to discuss a product freely withouth having the author pop in and get all angry or defensive!

EmilyBryan said...

Guess that's why we authors have blogs--so readers can talk to us if they want.

And for us to leave them alone if they don't.