I don't often do editorial posts because I don't think that I am very good at writing them. But, I decided to throw down and give it a try because I had such a great experience this weekend with the LIRW. This wonderful group of authors and aspiring authors welcomed me with open arms.
A few months back, Long Island based author Jeannie Moon approached me about doing a joint panel at one of the meetings. Being the extrovert I am, I wholeheartedly agreed. The wonderful thing about this panel was that it ended up being more like a chat, a give and take. The theme itself was about The Blogger/Author Relationship, which in itself has many facets. I loved this panel because I truly believe bloggers are essential when it comes to getting the word out about authors and the books they write.
Things were going easy when Jeannie brought up author etiquette, and how authors should approach and treat the bloggers who are willing to take them on. When author Pam Burford made a comment about something her husband told her about how people should treat one another. Basically, what she said came down to "Don't be a dick", laughter filled the entire room, and that phrase became one of the themes of the afternoon, making all of us at ease with one another.
"Don't be a dick" is perfect when it comes to the blogger and author relationship and it most definitely goes both ways. Life should be so easy. I am sure that both authors, as well as bloggers like myself, have had some uncomfortable dealings with each other. Hopefully not often. My love of books and authors inspired me to start a blog. I had no thoughts of notoriety or dollar signs; it was the possiblity that I could share my love of romance and maybe someone would take what I said to heart and pick up the books I was talking about. Pure and simple.
At first I posted reviews of books I had read in the past. I had no clue about how to blog or what was relevant. As time went on, authors began to email me and ask if I could possibly read their books and review them, which I happily agreed to do since inevitably the author was sending me a free advanced reader copy (ARC) and boy, how we love those freebies. I really liked to review books I enjoyed reading and I welcomed most of the requests that came my way.
Presently, it's harder to sift through the dozens of emails that I get a week and I am sure that most bloggers feel this way. This is where the manner in which an author approaches a blogger comes into play. Sending out a mass email that's stiff and all all business does not get my attention. Making it personal really helps. Doing a little research about the blog before you send that email goes a long way. For instance, I have a note at the top of my blog stating what sub-genres of romance I am interested in reviewing at this time. Also, scrolling through and seeing what the blogger has been posting about is a tell. To be quite honest, if an author sent me an really nice email stating that they really enjoyed the blog and how the reviews were written, I probably would figure out a way to help them out. It's all about how the request was done. Being nice isn't that difficult, right?
So back to this wonderful panel. Some of what I just wrote about was discussed. Some questions were asked and hopefully answered in a manner that will help these great individuals. Being able to have discussions like this one is a pleasure and there should be more of them. The romance community is such a great place to meet people and share ideas, a place to find something new and then share it. In the six or so years that I have been involved in this unique community, there have been some great experiences and some no so great experiences, but I wouldn't pass on either because both always give proper perspective. So when we think about dealing with one another, whether it's an author who needs help to promote their work, or a blogger who wants to have one of their favorite authors on their blog, "Don't be a dick" is bottom line.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING ALL AND A SPECIAL THANKS TO JEANNIE MOON AND THE LIRW FOR HAVING ME!