Monday, May 26, 2014

What is Good Online Author Etiquette When it Comes to Blogging, Twitter, Comments, etc.?

If we’re online, no matter how much we try to hide, we are in the public eye. Our words are forever and there for all the world to see. One wrong move and we’ll become one of THOSE people – Authors Behaving Badly.

Before you run and hide, afraid you will say the wrong thing, maintaining proper author etiquette online isn’t difficult. If you exercise proper manners, a positive attitude, and a generous and thankful heart, you’ll be fine. Really!


Here are some tips that will help you avoid becoming one of THOSE authors:

  • Don’t respond to bad reviews. It’s a war you can’t win.
  • Interact with fans and commenters. If you’re doing a guest post or interview online, interact with those who leave comments. If someone sends a Tweet, leaves a comment, or sends an email, respond. Those people took time out of their day to contact you – be thankful and return the favor.
  • Spread the word when someone features you. Send out Tweets and post it on your social sites.
  • Don’t run down others, especially other authors. Never leave a negative comment.
  • Don’t be a constant ad for your book. Don’t send out endless Tweets with links to purchase your books. Don’t fill your blog with nothing but sales rankings. Be a real person and talk about other things besides your book.
  • Don’t spam. Don’t spam with emails, Tweets, or comments.
  • You’re not the king and everyone else your follower – return follows on social sites.
  • Give back to others. Share in the success of others and pay it forward. Find a way you can show support – highlighting others’ books, buying books, reviewing books, etc.
  • Have a thankful heart. Be gracious in your responses. Send a word of thanks for reviews, blog features, guest posts, etc.

See, that’s not so difficult, is it?

Hot Tamales for everyone!

46 comments:

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

These are great tips, Alex. And a good reminder to treat others as we'd like to be treated, both online and in the "real world." :)

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

Suzanne Furness said...

Agree with all these tips. Building relationships, whether they are on line or not, is a two way thing.

Christine Rains said...

Fantastic post! It's so easy to be nice with so many great bloggers out there.

Pat Hatt said...

Yeah you will never win with the bad reviews or any flame war, avoid those. But the cat will only behave himself so far lol

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Pat, you mean the cat who likes to bury authors in litter boxes? Yeah, he's trouble...

Lori L MacLaughlin said...

Thanks for the great tips! Sometimes dealing with all the social media can be a bit overwhelming. This makes it sound a little less complicated.

Medeia Sharif said...

Awesome list. I love the authors who interact, are supportive, and who seem like genuine people. I've witnessed authors who do the don'ts and they turn me off.

Carrie-Anne said...

I've followed at least one author on Twitter who almost-constantly promoted herself and her book. "Just a reminder that my contest is still going strong!" "Click here for a chance to win my book!" "Look at this awesome review!" "My book is only 99 cents this weekend!" It was very annoying, and actually made me NOT want to read her book.

Michelle Wallace said...

Great tips, Alex!
Common courtesy, respect, a positive outlook, a gracious and generous attitude... we should always remember that the energy we send out into the world comes back to meet us.

Annalisa Crawford said...

Great advice, Alex. I still come across the odd blogger or Tweeter who do nothing but promote themselves... but I think more and more people are realising the right way to use social media, and it makes it a much better place to hang out :-)

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Woohoo, Hot Tamales all around. Thanks, Alex. You're the best...*trying to find chocolate*.

Thanks for telling authors to be real people, not constantly barraging us with book promotions.

Karen Lange said...

This is great advice, Alex! We do need to think of how our words and actions come off in this respect. Sowing and reaping - it all goes together. You are a great example for us to follow. Thanks for all you do for the writing community.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Carrie-Anne, and that's sad. No one wants a steady stream of commercials.

Robyn, real is so much easier.

Thank you, Karen.

Arlee Bird said...

I'm not the king? So I guess that's why I can't find my crown. I'll stop looking for it.

Good advice here.

Lee
Tossing It Out

kaykuala said...

Great advice Alex! In our enthusiasm one might just inadvertently let loose that one remark and spoil the show. Once lost it's forever.Thanks Alex!

Hank

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

It so easy to be kind and have good manners. I think I'm more polite online than I am in person. Thanks for the reminders.

G. B. Miller said...

I treat everyone like I want to be treated online, 'cause quite frankly, I've seen more than my fair share of flame wars.

Right now, I'm battling (very politely) FB because apparently someone complained about my book blog, so now I have to use the CAPCHA whenever I post a link to it, 'cause they say the link is suspicious.

Father Nature's Corner

Lynda R Young said...

Great tips!! It's so true that our words are forever. It's something worth remembering.

Terri Rochenski said...

Ah yes...the author spammer. I've deleted more than one of those from my Twitter & FB acct. I've often been told that networking is about people getting to know YOU. If they like YOU they're more apt to check out that book you DON'T spam about.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hank, yes it is.

GB, sorry about that!

Terri, I discovered that first hand - people want to know and trust you.

Elsie Amata said...

What great words of wisdom, Alex. Especially about helping out other authors. We are all in the same boat.

cleemckenzie said...

This is list that all of us should have memorized, but so far I've been fortunate and found that most blogger/writers I interact with do. I'm impressed by this large and growing community.

Stephsco said...

I witnessed an author's bad behavior on twitter and Goodreads that became very public and heated a few years ago. I still remember the author's name, what they said, and it still influences my choice to not read their book. It definitely leaves a lasting impression.

Toinette Thomas said...

These are great tips. Many seem like common sense, but even I can understand how easy it can be to caught up in particular role and losing a bit relatability. Thanks for sharing.

klahanie said...

Hi Alex,

My good friend, I completely echo your wise thoughts. In my own way, I'm discreetly in the background do my best to maintain respectful etiquette.

Interaction and reciprocation is something I've always embraced.

Thank you for this.

Gary

E.E. Giorgi said...

thanks for the reminders, Alex, it's so easy to forget that everything we post online is public ... !!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Awesome post, Alex, and totally easy to follow. Yay for us!

Jennifer Lane said...

I'm not the king? *pouts* Love what you said about not being a constant ad for our books. How off-putting! Great post.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

Thanks for the hot tamales :)

Ella said...

Wise words from the King I mean Captain of Cinnamon-Hot Tamales~

I do hope to change my ways-those teens held me captive and made me shop, create and cook for them-augh!

Thank you Alex!

Stephanie Faris said...

Great tips! It's not just authors, either. I write for several marketing firms and we're constantly writing "how to promote your business" articles geared toward SMBs. It's all about content. An occasional marketing tweet or blog is great, but what authors (and businesses) MUST focus on is creating good content that leads readers and other social media users to say, "What is it she's selling?" and look for more information about it. If it's all marketing, people will likely just tune it out. Nobody likes being blatantly marketed to.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex .. great thoughts and I couldn't agree more - thanks for reminding us all .. and definitely share in everyone's success and be supportive to one and all ..

Cheers Hilary

Jennifer Chandler said...

Great tips! Commonsense really does prevail, even in an online setting. It's good to have the reminder though. Sometimes, the online world gets a bit overwhelming! We can forget it's just another way to connect with human beings who are, in more ways than not, just like ourselves!

Jen

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Excellent advice! I must do better with my tweets. I am a shabby tweeter.

Deniz Bevan said...

Great tips, Alex! I know some writers simply post, and don't usually reply to comments. I guess I can live with that. What bugs me is when they'll reply to a few of the comments and not even acknowledge the others - that selective replying is frustrating to see!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Stephsco, I don't blame you for not wanting to read that person's books.

Gary, you do a fine job!

Jennifer, that made me chuckle.

Ella, I'll take that title.

Stephanie, that is excellent.

Deniz, I don't reply to all, but I try to reply to most.

Deniz Bevan said...

Oh, I wasn't thinking of you, Alex! You reply to plenty! I was thinking more of authors who only get a handful of comments per post anyway. So not replying to everyone, but only to one or two commenters, becomes really obvious.

Julie Musil said...

Excellent advice, Alex! Like Mom always said, "Be kind to others..."

Donna Hole said...

Well, that comment was a negative Nelly! I'll cut it to: Seems blogs now are inundated with nothing but advertising for self/indie pubbed novels, and "how to" for self publishing. Its all getting too much for me as I can't buy every book out there for sale from my author friends, and I don't have the time to read/review everything I buy.

I do try to be kind - when I post or comment though. The writing world is not an easy place to navigate.

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hey, Alex,

Great tips....

These are the ones I certainly try to follow. Paying it forward it totally the way to go. It make you feel great, and our blogger friends really appreciate it!

Nigel G. Mitchell said...

Interesting perspective

Shockgrubz said...

I am very grateful to have you on my blogroll so I can adhere to these etiquette guidelines. Thank you for being here and being so positive!

Anne R. Allen said...

Great tips, Alex. I agree 100%. I wish more authors would read these!

Anna Nordeman said...

June 3rd, 2014
Wise words!
I'm back after missing May's edition of IWSG.
Best wishes,
Anna

J.L. Campbell said...

Wonderful and useful advice, Alex.

Gossip_Grl said...

I like to think that I have good blogging etiquette. I have spotlighted others great achievements many times in the past. I don't belong to any blog cliques like I often see and have gotten over when I see falling stats, or that no one mentions me because that sounds so third grade. I am happy where I am at right now as a hobby writer.