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How NOT to Be a Book Blogger

Being a book blogger is great, and we love them. But if you're going to be one, don't tag authors with your negative reviews.

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There I was last night, scrolling through social media when I stumbled on a post by @msmonicamurphy aka the New York Times Bestselling Author, Monica Murphy. Not just a phenomenal author, but a prolific one at that. Her post was about a book blogger who apparently has no clue about book blogging etiquette.

And here it was:

So of course, I had to go look at who tagged her. A foreign “book blogger” who had taken an incredible picture of Monica’s books, tagged her, and in the comments put the following (translated from German).

What. The. Fuck.

Now, first of all, I understand the importance and value of book bloggers. They share their insight and give books exposure. Good things. When done properly. What’s ok? What’s NOT ok?

What’s OK

Book bloggers are entitled to their opinion. They’re more than welcome to publish reviews of any star rating and provide an explanation of the reasons behind their rank. That’s fine. A book blogger should be able to read and evaluate a book free of bias at any time for any reason. They should be able to write a review and post it. If it’s a good review, or 3 stars and above, sharing it on social media is great. If it’s 2 stars or less, it’s generally considered appropriate not to spread it all over social media. All of that is ok.

What’s NOT Ok for Book Blogging

What’s NOT fine, in my opinion, is to use a social media platform with the intent to bash, humiliate, disrepute, disrespect, and hurt an author. I am very much against tagging in this regard. It attaches an image the author would NOT want affiliated with their social media profile.

It strikes me as someone as trying a little to hard to get their 15 minutes of fame. The mean girl on the playground. The clique leader. The person that could have just left a 1-star review on a blog and left well enough alone, but just couldn’t suppress the inner mean girl and had to try to make an extra point of it.

If you have an opinion and are a book blogger throwing out 1-star reviews, leave it on your blog. You don’t need to make a public spectacle of your opinion with the intent to hurt the author or the book.

What’s the Actual Intent?

And you have to ask… what was the true intent here? Look at the amount of effort this book blogger went through to publish a nasty post. They could have just left their bad review on their website. But, no. This one (bookcahontas), felt it necessary to tag and humiliate. Why on earth would any book blogger think they an author would want this associated with their profile? It’s insane. Or just intentionally mean.

I’m not the only one who feels like this is rude. Check out some of these other responses.

So I’m going to go with the consensus here. Bad form. Bad etiquette. Bad intent. Bad post. If you want to call yourself a book blogger, don’t do this. Your opinion is your opinion – but it needs to stop there. There’s enough negativity and hate in this world. Leave well enough alone with your negative review. You don’t need to go the extra mile to humiliate an author with tagging and creating a special post about it. Move on.

Easy test to apply to decide if you’re being an asshole book blogger – the Golden Rule: “Would what I’m about to do make me feel bad if someone did the same thing to me?”

Now, Monica Murphy is a NYT Bestselling Author for a reason. I’ve read most of her books. They’re wonderful. So if you want to do some good today and grab a great book, check out her most recent release, “You Promised Me Forever“.

Also published on Medium.

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