Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Internetiquette


by Danielle


The internet is a big place—it’s literally endless. There are countless blogs, websites, webzines, etc. that are easily accessible. Book reviews are quickly making more and more headway on the internet for a variety of reasons, but mainly because it is cheap PR (often FREE) and it’s an easy way to reach a lot of people. So it makes sense that as a publicist I would do whatever I can to get the word out about many of your books on the web—quickly and furiously during the first part of your promotional periods, right?


You’ve all heard my spiels about blog tours and q&a’s and personal blogs and group blogs and reviews, and I’m sure some of you find it a little annoying that the focus is on web and not in a newspaper or a magazine. But I truly believe that this is the future of book reviews. With so many newspapers shutting down their book sections and off the page book reviewers few and far between, this is an awesome way to market your book directly to the people who want to read them the most.


So, since this is a BIG focus of our time and energy, I thought I’d give a little list of some of the best things to do on the web, because let’s face it, sometimes everyone needs some guidelines an rules. And there is such a thing as bad publicity—and on the internet IT NEVER GOES AWAY.


1. IT NEVER GOES AWAY. I’m repeating this because even when you hit delete, somehow, somewhere, there’s more than likely a record of that awful review or that anonymous comment you left telling the blogger off.


2. Please please please THINK ABOUT what you write before you write it. You never know who might have you on a Google Alert and might look a little bit deeper into that snarky comment you said about your high school sweetheart way back when or you expressed frustrations about traveling for your job or you thought your kid’s best friend was a bad influence. These are all obvious extremes, but these are things that can be brought up in jest, but someone might take it the wrong way. And as I said before IT NEVER GOES AWAY, and there’s no stopping a coworker or even a publicist (who gets paid to keep track of where you are on when it comes to your books, tee hee) might see something catty…


3. Be polite. You know in Bambi when Thumper repeats his mother’s advice sheepishly when he makes a rude remark: “If you can't say something nice... don't say nothing at all”? Take that advice when you’re posting a blog or commenting on a site. I know it is frustrating seeing a negative review posted, but rather than even leaving something anonymously, just ignore it. You probably won’t feel all that much better saying something mean back at the person who gave a negative review, and it doesn’t look good getting defensive.


4. Commenting. It’s always nice to receive comments on your blog posts, but you aren’t going to get very many if you don’t return the favor. (please note that I know I’ve broken this rule as of late…but there are these crazy authors I work with that have all decided to publish a lot of lovely books this Spring and their ARCs are arriving and taking up every minute of my day… not that I’m fishing for groveling or anything like that hahaha) It’s also nice to send a thank you comment on a site or blog post that gives you a great review. It is also important to stick around on the days you guest blog—this is an amazing way for YOU to connect with your readers. And readers get excited when they realize an author is hanging out on the blog throughout the day to respond.


5. HAVE FUN! This is my general rule for promoting in general! I know it’s a lot of work and it seems like there’s a lot of work involved that only lasts for a couple of months, but in the end, it’s all worth it. Something that we as a relatively new romance line that we have THRIVED in is making a web presence for each book. What more could you ask for than an endless forum to shout to the world “This is my book that I’ve worked hard on and now I want to share it with you”?


So, those are a few tips to “internetiquette.” I hope you will all keep them in mind when you’re writing up those guest blogs, author q&as’s and comments to one another and even to reviewers. Any questions about the polite ways of the web? Just let me know!


17 comments:

  1. Danielle what great advice I am a big reader and I am always excited when I get to "talk" to an author on line and chat with them they truly are wonderful people.

    I gotta say all of the Casablanca Authors that I have "met" (and that is most of them) are such lovely Ladies and I have read a few of their books and have a few more here on the TBR pile and am really looking forward to them their books are great reads.

    Thank You all Ladies.

    Have Fun
    Helen

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  2. Danielle,
    I hear you on the never going away thing! When you Google me, one early and quite negative review of Slave STILL comes up on the first page! I've wanted to comment a few times on negative reviews but have, so far, refrained. I keep telling myself that there are plenty of books out there that I don't like that--and that others just rave over. Guess it's true when they say you 'can't please 'em all!

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  3. You are so right, Danielle. I will follow your advice to the letter! The beauty of the Internet (it is a free and wide-open world) is also its curse (it is a free and wide-open world). I make it a point to mind my manners, but even doing so, sometimes things that you write with great intentions can still be read the wrong way . . . so it pays to be very very careful.

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  4. Hi Danielle~

    Thanks for the great advice.

    Cheryl, I have one of those reviews too. It's not bad so much as it's not great but it's always in the top 3 when you google Romeo, Romeo. Ain't that always the way?

    Robin :)

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  5. Excellent advice, Danielle! And I would agree that the "It never goes away" thing should be always printed in bold and in caps, and probably pasted to computers across the country (writers or not!). It stinks, though, because like Christina said, even innocuous things can be easily misconstrued without the visual and auditory cues that you'd get in normal conversation. I've put a virtual foot in it a time or two. No questions from me...you covered them all! Also, that picture is too cute. Love it!

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  6. Hi Helen-

    Thanks for stopping by! It's always nice to hear from readers, and to know that you've "talked" with a bunch of the authors.

    Danielle

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  7. To my lovely Casa ladies-

    I know I don't have to worry about any of you being too catty or snarky on the blogs, but I just wanted to share the info. I've seen many blogs where an "anonymous" commenter is clearly the author getting defensive. But like I said, I have nothing to worry about with you guys!

    Thanks for reading!
    Danielle

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  8. Kendra--

    Pin Ups, as everyone has come to find out, are a favorite artform of mine! I generally spend more time trying to find a pin up to post on my blog than it takes me to write the thing!

    Talk to you soon,
    Danielle

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  9. I definitely had the "It Never Goes Away" lesson clearly shown to me. One of the first times I googled myself, up popped a letter I'd written and had disseminated to all the county directors of social services in 1998!

    Yes, I worked for the state department of Social Services then, but for this letter to show up ten years later with my name in it (and an ancient telephone number for contact) was a lesson I'll never forget! The internet IS forever!

    AC

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  10. You are so right, Danielle!

    Once it's said it's out there.

    And it's sad there's those out there who feel it's fun to be cruel and vicious when it really doesn't accomplish anything.

    Linda

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  11. Danielle, this is the best advise for everyone that I have seen. The blog is free so why not take advantage. Yes you do have to watch what you say or it will come back and bite you later and I think we have all had the experience of "open mouth, insert foot", in our earlier days learning the in's and out's of the beloved web. My problem is I tend to have to large a mouth and a foot that just hasn't made it all the way in yet but keeps trying. It's stupid moments when I'm upset or extremely tired that I have to learn to stay away from here. Darn!!!

    I started Yankee Romance Reviewers with the new little author in mind and will continue to persue the budding authors until they disappear from the face of the earth which I know won't be anytime soon. Free pr is free pr and there are so many good budding authors out there. Go Casa Sisters!

    So needless to say, unless something evil happens to me or the world blows itself up I will be here for all the new and old authors. I'm not looking for glory or a pat on the back but am looking to connect author and reader on a level that will touch both.
    huggs,
    Terra

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  12. AC--that is crazy! But proves my point :)

    Linda--yes, I think we've found there are certain people who seem to find it a fun hobby to do whatever they can to say something negative. And a lot of times, they basically like the books! They just feel the need to discuss what they didn't...

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  13. Terra-

    I know I speak for all of the authors when I say THANK YOU for being a huge supporter of the Casablanca Authors! It seems like you've found something special in each book, and it is nice to work with someone who can read literally to have fun no matter what!

    Danielle

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  14. It's true. There's nothing resembling privacy or anonymity any more. But really there never was. Many years ago I had a teacher who used to say, "Never say anything you wouldn't want repeated." Richard Nixon could have used her advice.
    If she were alive to read Danielle's blog, she'd say, "See, I told you so."

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  15. I am glad you got back to the internetiquette topic. One would think it is simple common sense, but unfortunately too many folks seem to have forgotten just being polite and thinking before saying something mean. It is a bit irking that we have to be so careful about every last word we use while others show no compunction! But then I would rather take the high road and know my conscience is clear. Thanks for the reminder Danielle!

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  16. In a little side-note, I see that a woman has gone on trial for cyber-bullying. She's accused of using the internet to deliberately cause emotional harm to a young girl.

    "Oh strange new world that has such creatures in it!"

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  17. In a little side-note, I see that a woman has gone on trial for cyber-bullying. She's accused of using the internet to deliberately cause emotional harm to a young girl.

    "Oh strange new world that has such creatures in it!"

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