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Book Blogging 101 - Good Book Blogger Relations Part I

Spawned from the Big Sis, Little Blog program, Book Blogging 101 was born. Do you have a question? Leave it in the comments section or email me parajunkee at gmail dot com

There really wasn't a question for this post, this actually came up because of a few emails I received, a few comments and a few stories others have shared along the way. I also enlisted the aid of Tina from to help me out. Tina has a great blog and is one of my BBB (Best Bloggy Buddies - corny I know) so please check out her blog.


1.  Thou Shall Not Steal

Plagiarism, as defined in the 1995 Random House Compact Unabridged Dictionary, is the "use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work."[1] Within academia, plagiarism by students, professors, or researchers is considered academic dishonesty or academic fraud and offenders are subject to academic censure, up to and including expulsion. In journalism, plagiarism is considered a breach of journalistic ethics, and reporters caught plagiarizing typically face disciplinary measures ranging from suspension to termination of employment. Some individuals caught plagiarizing in academic or journalistic contexts claim that they plagiarized unintentionally, by failing to include quotations or give the appropriate citation. While plagiarism in scholarship and journalism has a centuries-old history, the development of the Internet, where articles appear as electronic text, has made the physical act of copying the work of others much easier.

Plagiarism is not the same as copyright infringement. While both terms may apply to a particular act, they are different transgressions. Copyright infringement is a violation of the rights of a copyright holder, when material protected by copyright is used without consent. On the other hand, plagiarism is concerned with the unearned increment to the plagiarizing author's reputation that is achieved through false claims of authorship.

------Taken From Wikipedia---------

Don't steal, find your own voice.
  1. It may take a while to figure out what type of blogger you are (as in writing style) whether it be funny, serious, quirky or professional. You have to find your own person to bring into your blog because that’s what will make your blog your own.
  2.  If you admire another blog and love their reviews it’s OK to quote them or ask that blogger permission to shadow their thoughts as long as you give credit back to the original blogger and their site.
  3. DON’T copy and paste a review and pass it off as your own- it really just cheats you out of becoming a better blogger and reviewer. Also it could get you into some hot trouble if you copy from a protected site. If you use a quote from a blogger or book always credit the original writer. If you use a picture created by another blogger or get it off a source on the Internet that is protected make sure you credit the source. There are tons of pictures out there and most of them are not copyrighted but if you use someone’s art or creation protect yourself and quote a source!
  4. Protect yourself as well. There are many online copyright sources were you can register your blog and get free licenses.

2. Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbors Contacts
To tell you a little about the way I run my blog, I'm the type that sits back and if they come in they come in. You know what I mean? I've made a few contacts in the publishing world, but I just let them get in touch with me. I don't like to feel that I am pestering people. Which is why when I get a random email from a follower asking me for a name or contact so they can land some ARCs, well that just throws me off. Why? I don't bother these people. They are kind enough to send me books now and again, I would think it is bad karma to hand out their email address. 

So, don't ask. And I hear it happens a lot.

3. Thou Shall Not Judge

This is the big one that gets my goat, so to speak. I find a lot of bloggers get a bit judgmental now and again. We are used to stating our opinions so we like to state them about other things - like what is good book blogging behavior right? LOL

There is really nothing right or wrong about book blogging when it comes to how you set-up your blog, the posts you make, the contests you give. Yet, on and on I read a post with a rant.
  • Rants about people that do memes
  • Rants about people that do In My Mailbox
  • Rants about people that make extra entries on their contests
  • Rants about people that require a follow to enter their contests
  • Rants about people that giveaway books they didn't like
  • Rants about people that like Twilight
  • Rants about people that don't like Twilight
  • Rants about people that "pimp" books without reading them
  • Rants about people that .... well you get my drift.
I've "unfollowed" a few bloggers who went on a rant. My favorite was a blogger who went on a long and drawn out posts about Twitards (her words) and how they are losers. Well this loser just stopped following you. Stop judging people, if you don't like what they do on their blog, don't follow them, or enter their contest. Don't judge them. People run their blogs the way they want, if they want to do a meme a be it. Just because you don't do it that way, doesn't make it wrong, just makes it different.
When I read a post that goes on an on about a certain behavior, sometime it makes me think, sometimes it angers me into an unfollow. For example, I read a post about giveaways, more precisely the "follower" giveaways - the 100 (200, 300)  follower giveaways that add more loot the higher the followers numbers reach. They called this "fishing for followers"and bloggers engaged in this should be ashamed of themselves. I happened to be running a 200 follower giveaway at the time - did I feel ashamed? Well it did make me evaluate what I was doing and you know what? I found nothing wrong with it! I'll keep on doing what I'm keep on doing what you are doing. Doesn't make my behavior right, doesn't make yours right either, though. It does make you look rather judgmental, though. Or is that just me being judgmental back? 

The ethics of this post is making my head spin...I'm stopping this now and we will revisit this soon. Any more suggestions!???


Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Great post. I have to say I do the same thing with the ARCs. I am just now starting to make a few connections. But I don't hassle them for the ARCs or books. They are kind enough to contact me and offer them. I wouldn't want to be hounded, so I done hound them. :) Thanks for the help. Its always nice to read these, makes me feel better that I might be on the right path. :)

Juju at Tales of said...

Amen girl!

Diana (Book of Secrets) said...

This is a great post! I have un-followed blogs due to too many rants as well. I love hearing other people's opinions (that's why I blog hop!), but sometimes they take it too far if they start offending their own followers.

My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

good topic and so true with all those things about rants.

jackie b central texas said...

Rachel, once again apparently the ethics of blogging are nicely broken down and if I ever get asked by more than the one or two authors that I have contact with to read and review an ARC you can bet the contact info will be guarded like gold and diamonds!
Anyway, everything above is common sense but some people do not have it!
Other people's opinions are just that, their opinions. Does not mean any of us need to listen, the important thing is to remember that we are all different people with different likes and dislikes.

Jessica @ Confessions of a Bookaholic said...

Woohoo!! Very well put :) I agree with you 100%.

Tara (The Bodacious Pen) said...

If I'm desperate to read an ARC-I try to sign up for it on one of the ARC tours I belong to. If not, I guess I'll have to do the old fashioned thing and wait until the book comes out. I wouldn't dream of harassing another blogger to get their contacts!

As for the contests that require you to follow to enter-I see no problem with it. I generally won't follow a blog that posts outside the genre I read, or is otherwise uninteresting to me to enter a contest. But if I like the blog, I don't mind following to enter, and I have found a lot of great blogs this way.

Patti (Book Addict) said...

Good Post.

1.I know it happens, but I can't believe people steal other people's reviews. It boggles the mind.
2. Have some thoughts but too many for comments :)
3. I hate rants! I've unfollowed bloggers for that reason - I'm here to talk about books, not listen to you bitch about other bloggers.

Tanya said...

Thank you Rachel, for another great post! Sometimes it makes me sad that adults often forget the 'golden rule'.

As for posts, there's been a couple of things I've found that actually made me feel bad while reading because I just knew it had to hurt people's feelings. Don't get me wrong, I love to read a variety of people's opinions on books and topics - I think that's what makes each blog unique and fun, but sometimes a line can get crossed. In my quest of just starting out and finding new enjoyable blogs, I've started to skim through a blog before becoming a follower just to make sure I know what will often come across my Google Reader!

Sparklybearsy said...

I just wanted to say great post, i agree with everything you said =)

The rants post from blogger do get tedious and will get unfollowed, I like people dancing to their own drum beat and if that shows in their different style of book blogs then all the better. Im here to network with other readers who love books as much as i do not to be told im wrong for liking X.

Ps. Love your blog. =)

Jenny said...

Thanks for this post:) What makes blogging fun is that everyone has a different opinion, and those differing opinions should be treated as just that. Something different. Not wrong.

Looking forward to your continuing book blogging 101 posts!

ErotRomReader (Janna) said...

Just dropping by to let you know I love your book blogging 101 posts. This one is another great post. I'm so with you on the rants! Live and let live is my motto. :)

Enbrethiliel said...


Hmmmmm. I can't remember the last rant I ran across, but judging by reader response, there must be quite a few!

There was one time I thought of putting up a post with the working title "Top Ten Most Overrated Authors". Which, of course, would be totally based on my opinions, all of which I am supposed to be entitled to. Right? Well, a friend talked me out of publishing it by asking, "Do you really want to be known for insulting ten authors (and all your readers who love those authors) on your blog?"

Now, in fairness to me, I don't think my post would have been that insulting. =P Think ten negative reviews (with textual justification!) in one long post. But I'm glad my friend let me know how it might have looked, because I don't actually want to insult half the world on my blog! There are better ways to give negative feedback without coming off as rude. =)

Amanda said...

Fantastic post! Couldn't have said it better myself!

StephTheBookworm said...

Definitely an awesome post. The rants are the worst, and the judging. Why the cattiness from people? Why can't we just talk about our love of books without getting crap from others? That's what book blogging is supposed to be all about. NOT drama.

Thanks for speaking out.

Sabrina @ about happy books said...

Thank you for this awesome post.

Especially the Thou shall not judge is driving me crazy.
I also unfollowed some blogs because of their rants about what they don't like about other blogs. I concentrate on my blog and what I like and don't want to hear rants that remind me of highschool.

Blog and let blog!

Sarah (My World of Books) said...

I try not to be judgmental about other blogs. Everyone has their own style. Rants can be okay, but too many can be bad. I like Jenny's comment: "What makes blogging fun is that everyone has a different opinion, and those differing opinions should be treated as just that. Something different. Not wrong." I completely agree!

I am guilty, and only slightly ashamed, of a recent bash on a blogger who posted that netgalley is great for getting free books and you don't have to do the reviews. That really annoyed me and I couldn't keep quiet, but other then that I follow your Good Book Commandments to the best of my ability.

This is a great post!

Missie said...

This is the best BB101 post ever! Thank you! I've seen all kinds of rants, esp those that pertain to memes, and they are so disheartening, especially to new bloggers who think participating in memes is fun. Why the need to be so harsh on something you dont have to participate in?

Anonymous said...

I loved those thoughts on judging!! Ive unfollwed (you what Im talking about) blogs with those rant fests. Ive been tempted to even post a rant fest on the rant festers...but thought that may be hypocritical...:D Thank goodness for blogging 101 where we can get the facts...!!!

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy your Book Blogging 101 posts. They are always so helpful and to the point. This is another good one. Of course you now have me thinking 'crap do I do that?'

Stephanie G
Paranormal Haven

April (BooksandWine) said...

I really think it depends on what the rant fest is about. Now, if someone is ranting about whitewashing, you better believe I will follow them, because I love when a blogger is passionate and believes in a cause. I also found a great blog through a rant on rape culture in YA lit, as I found the rant to be well written and backed up with scholarly research.

Now, if a rant is a thinly veiled criticism on another blogger then, yeah that isn't cool at all. But if it's something in general, I don't mind, because a lot of the time, I agree with it and it is nice to know that someone else agrees.

As for plagiarism, I think it sucks, however, the plagiarist (remember that whole controversy)was never really punished and never made a public apology or anything and it seems that she still profits off of her plagiarism via followers and ARCs and such. Rock on for pointing out how wrong it is to steal other people's work.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the awesome post!

And I agree with April ( Booksandwine ) It really depends on the rant. If the person starts to offend their followers by some things, then I'd unfollow. But if the rant is something else ( racism, etc ) then I'd support them.

As for the rest- plagiarism, copyright infringement (when the person intentionally doesn't want to credit, not accidentally), they suck. So it's nice of you to point that out.

Tara SG (25 Hour Books) said...

Another fantastic Blogging 101 post!

I actually read one of those rants about followers contests while I was hosting one and for a brief second felt ashamed :/

Added to my favorite of the month spreadsheet :)

Take It From Me Girls said...

Love your blog, and enjoy you sharing it with us on Welcome Wednesday! We hope you come by each week so our readers can enjoy your blog too :)

Jaime & Kristin

Mrs. DeRaps said...

Great points, all.

I have no idea why anyone would want to plagiarize. Why do this id it's not because you can't help but write about books and bookish topics?

I, too, have stayed clear of those who rant about bloggers (not book issues)(I like discussions about whitewashing and feminism and such). It's just unproductive to complain about people who meme and host giveaways. Don't read if you don't like it. Don't enter the contest. Plain and simple.

Love your comments and ideas and posts. Thanks for spurring on productive discussions!

Steph said...

Love what you are doing here!
I have found bloggers to be some of the nicest people I have ever "met." Why steal when so much help is freely given? People, including you, have been HUGELY generous to me in the past three months. See you on the PJV Follow Friday. Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust

Larissa said...

Awesome post rachy!!! I agree with everything you said!

Everyone has their personality and their style, it does not make anyone better than anyone else =)


Jamie said...

Great topic! As I was reading this post I realized I was guilty of a couple of the thou shalt nots....Mainly rants. LOVE Book Blogging 101!

Alyssa Kirk @ Teens Read and Write said...

Great post! I hate it when negativity makes it's way into the book blogging world. Share the love, people, not the nasty!

Always enjoy your posts!

Emily said...

Two things-

1. I think it's important to remember that when you link to someone else's work, you're directing attention and traffic to that page or site. If your goal is to be mean or critical or inappropriate, you may just be helping that person out anyway. Sometimes ignoring things you find distasteful is the best way to deal with things, and only link to sources you'd want to be affiliated with.

2. With regards to plagiarism, it's really, reeeally important to have a concrete idea of how you want other people to interact with your work and what you want them to be able to do with it. I have all of my content on my site licensed under a Creative Commons license- I'm totally okay with people remixing my content and attributing it. It's definitely a personal decision, some people don't want their work showing up anywhere without their express and advance permission, but personally I'd rather have someone be so moved by something I wrote that they want to post a link and a blurb without clearing it with me than to hang back because they're afraid I'd freak out.

NotNessie @ Today's Adventure said...

Wait, was that just a rant about bloggers who rant?

Just kidding- I totally agree with you. Live and let live! Great post.

The Norwegian BookGirl said...

Thank you for doing book blogging 101! I have learnt så much from this column.

I always like to say: what comes around, comes around, so stay positive and forget about those who doesn't have anything better to do than rant about other bloggers.

Amanda said...

Thank you so much for doing these book blogging 101 posts! They really help little three month old blogs (like mine.) I'm now following you and can't wait to see what you do for book blogging 101 next!

- Amanda at The Mortal's Library

BookLuvr Mindy said...

This post about your Book Blogging 101 is my favorite. I have been plagerized on a review and the was quite upsetting but the one thing that has been really bothering me these days are the rants about other bloggers.

I want to say, "If you have a problem with it, stop following the, remove them as a friend, then don't enter their giveaway!" And "Get over it and do your blog the way you would prefer...I might not like the way you do it!"

(Diane) bookchickdi said...

I'm not a paranormal reader, but I am a blogger and I wanted to congratulate you on your BBAW win, and tell you how much I enjoyed and learned so much from your Book Blogging 101 posts. Excellent work; I will definitely return.

Diane at bookchickdi

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