Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Public Service Announcement for Romance Community

Yes, I know I was going to blog about the numbers behind books today but alas, that will have to wait until next week. Today is all about Dear Author doing the romance community a favor (aka blogging about things that irritate Jane). Today’s post is brought to you by author doing the last thing on the list.

  1. If you are an author and you want to vent, you should do so privately or, at least, don’t include so many facts that people can “out” you. Part of me cries “hijinks” on the latest post at the Vent Club, but the other part of me says “lets try to guess the poster’s identity.” I’m thinking that one of the factors below is a lie, if this is not a hoax and #2 and #5 would be my guesses for a lie.
    • Romance writer with one of the big publishers.
    • Not a bestseller but paperbacks sell in the 200K range
    • Won a few awards; have name recognition.
    • Repped by a male agent.
    • Historical.
  2. No matter how high of a rating your book gets from RT, you should not, as an author, go from blog to blog, making a comment about your newest book, your last book, because even if your book did receive 4 stars at RT or 10 stars at iloveyourbooks.com or 18 coffee mugs at readerslovecoffee.com, the seemingly non stop self promotion only serves to turn readers off. Blog comments aren’t a place to advertise your wares. The comments are a place to participate in conversation and if you add smart comments, readers will be interested. If not, you appear like a spammer. And spammers, well, they get deleted. Of course, on this blog, if you are BevBB or Sarah McCarty, the spam filter thinks you are spammers too. I haven’t figured that one out. Sorry guys.
  3. If you have a guest column on Romancing the Blog, please do not write about how to deal with negative reviews. It is as if authors have nothing else to say despite the fact that you weave stories for a living. There seems to be a panoply of topics such as why you dress your heroine in high heels if she is in an action book; why urban fantasy seems to encompass any first person female fantasy story regardless of whether the setting is urban or fantasy; or why jelly bellies are the world’s best source of inspiration. Complaints about negative reviews makes me want to poke my eyes out and my eyes are already sore from poking them during a book I read over the weekend.
  4. If you have a guest column at Romancing the Blog, please do not write about topics which make fun of readers, even your stupid, crazy ones, because it makes readers wonder if you are mocking them as well. (This post has since been deleted but was at this link and called “The Beast in the Machine.”). You probably are mocking alot of your readers and probably alot of readers deserve it, but don’t make it so evident.
  5. If you have a secret blog which no one else can be a part of, it doesn’t really make sense to blog about your secret blog and how no one else can be a part of it and how no one else should talk about it to avoid the flaunt factor under the guise of telling others how to set up a secret blog. Even if the secret blog could be super helpful, which I am sure it is. Doesn’t blogging about it kind of fly in the face of the don’t talk about it instruction? I mean, the first rule of Fight Club is “you do not talk about Fight Club.” (and also the second rule. And if you haven’t seen the penis song sung by Brad Pitt and Ed Norton, you haven’t seen troo magic.)

  6. Please do not sign your online posts and amazon blogs with references to animals or intimate physical contact. I.e., Hugs and Kitties or SWAK. I think it does something to your credibility, or your standing as an adult woman. It simply conjures up gum snapping and gel pens instead of serious emotional writing. (Note, I have nothing against gel pens or hugs or kitties. Well, okay, I admit to not being much of a hugger. More of one armed, pat you on the back sort of uncomfortable ha ha nice to see you again you sort of hugger.).
  7. Please don’t get excited if Brad Pitt or Josh Holloway “friend” you on Myspace because that is not the real Brad Pitt or Josh Holloway. It’s someone posing as a famous person or just an homage. I am sure that if Brad Pitt had read your books and had time to maintain a myspace page and friend a random erotic romance author, he totally would. But alas, I think in between fathering his many children and acting out his own erotic romance scenes with Angelina Jolie, he probably isn’t out on the internet friending people. I could be totally wrong about this.
  8. If you have a sucky cover, you should own it like Suzanne Brockmann rather than squeeing about it because then readers start wondering at your taste level and if the author thinks this is a really good cover, what cheesetastic offerings are inside?
  9. If you have a blog and a website and don’t keep the website updated, you will have readers cursing you. Some of you authors still have really bad websites with no future information (I know this because the bloggers inputting at Romantic Advances are having a hard time finding blurbs). Julie Garwood, I doubt you read here, but yours is virtually unusable. It’s like trying to navigate a circus fun house which is great if you are at the circus and don’t mind getting lost and seeing distorted images, but not so great if you are a reader trying to find out which books are interrelated. Or whether you even have books. I spent a good ten minutes clicking around the cover page trying to figure out where the “backlist” link might be.
  10. Do not, under any circumstances, pretend to be a reader and recommend your own books. We blog owners might be slow but we aren’t stupid. If you come onto my blog and do it again, I’ll out you. I can’t say anything even remotely funny about this because it isn’t funny and it is the cause of this whole PSA but I felt like it would be a very short article if I included just one item.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

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