et·i·quette [et-i-kit, -ket] Noun
1. Conventional requirements as to social behavior; proprieties of conduct as established in any class or community or for any occasion.
2. A prescribed or accepted code of usage in matters of ceremony, as at a court or in official or other formal observances.
3. The code of ethical behavior regarding professional practice or action among the members of a profession in their dealings with each other: medical etiquette
Etiquette of Reviewing and Blogging
I feel this has to be addressed in the only way I know how, write and post about it.
I love books; I love books so much that it is deeply embedded in every fiber of my being. I live for books and when I am lucky enough, the first thing I do when I buy a brand new book is go home settle in and upon first opening it… I cannot help but smell it. I have to do this book “Sniffing” because I really do love books that much. I really have not been at this book review or blogging thing for long but I enjoy sharing. No one else cares as much about my obsession as my wonderful amazing followers and fellow bloggers. I treasure the insight and knowledge I have gained in this adventure people call blogging.
With that being stated we can move on to the issue. The issue for me is if people love books so much how can they bash them so hard? In my mind if you love them you could not hurt them could you? Could you abuse a child in anger and still love it? Everyone in this world has very different tastes and appetites. I tend to stick with shorter reads that get a bit romantic, you could even go so far as to say I enjoy fluffy reads. One the other hand I can get into darker reads that are more geared at the amazing strength of women in crisis. I learned my lessons a very long time ago that if you do not enjoy a book why finish it? Or to go even farther; why waste the time and energy it takes to write a hateful review on blogs or even Amazon? Is it worth the time and effort, for me it is not. I would rather be reading or doing something more productive with my time.
I have accepted that many people are not going to like what I like that is just how the world is. My policy is if I do not finish, I do not review it. But if I find it was not the best read to me then I will honestly review it. I do try to highlight the positive reasons why it is that I finished it and what kept me going to the end. I almost always write my reviews immediately after finishing my read that way I stay true to my feelings on the read.
There also seems to be another trend as far as personally attacking authors. These attackers have been labeled the "literary terrorists" for many reasons. One reviewer even went as far as to call a very prolific author physically obscene names. Or better yet attack an author for their professional choice of pen name. I also find that personally criticizing any author is a very bad way to leave your mark in the review world or blogging community. This is beyond the rules of etiquette. Do we as reviewers have a right to judge an author for changing a pen name or changing a title in the reprint? I personally do not think we are entitled to go to the “no no” zone. Much of that is not up to the author but up to the publisher. I have noticed that some such individuals consider etiquette to be an unnecessary restriction of freedom or of personal expression. In reality these people are obviously unhappy with some occurrences in their lives and their blind hate seeps into the digital world for all to read. Why else would theses literary terrorist feel the need to be cyber stalking authors for a book they did not like? One that really gets me was when I discovered that one reviewer went so far with revenge that in an Amazon review posted the authors personal wedding registration with her husbands name in it; like ha ha for a good laugh go buy her something. I find that type of behavior absolutely despicable.
For me I just cannot see authors as gods because in reality they are just like you and me. Working hard, paying bills, stressing out about children and family are part of their daily lives too. They are not these all-knowing gods who are perfect human beings, they are just living their lives fulfilling their passions and we as lucky readers are able to reap the benefits of their labors of love. In being human we as a species have to accept that we make mistakes. Sometimes authors, publishers, and editors make mistakes and how can you not give a little to the fact that we are all human. I found it very disturbing to hear that a very well known author was receiving hate mail and death threats because of a clerical error on Amazon.
No matter how much I love books and how mad I would be if I got a bundle deal on the Tudors and one version was the UK one and the other US version, never would I even consider for a moment in my anger crossing the boundaries of my moral fibers to go so far as to threaten a persons life! No matter how much I love books I would choose life over them no matter whose life it was even if it was some of those nasty reviewers lives. I personally sneer at those who feel the need to purposely shock and rant readers because personally I do not like negativity and I just find it callus and the easy way out of having to write a really good review. But hey who am I, just another blogger that is an aspiring writer and just wants to experience the good things this community of bloggers really have to offer. Cheers to the positives in life because when the negative comes I cannot take it seriously.
“You will get more bees with Honey then with Vinegar”
For all my historically obsessed fans here is your etiquette tasty tidbit.
“In America, the notion of etiquette, being of French origin and arising from practices at the court of Louis XIV, is occasionally disparaged, especially by those unfamiliar with etiquette's social foundations and functions, as old-fashioned or elite, a like code concerned only with apparently remote directives such as which fork to use".