I’m so confused. Which – granted – isn’t anything new.
As the title of this post says, I’m confused about proper author etiquette – but first, I think a little background is in order.
I’ve spent the last *mumblemumble* years working in the area of government procurement. This means writing and managing the Request for Proposals/Information/Quotations/whatever processes and dealing with vendors. The majority of my work was in the acquisition of services, so writers, developers, consultants, etc., and working with a lot of individuals as opposed to major corporations (although I dealt with my fair share of those as well).
Yeah…a thrill-a-minute, I know.
Anyway. When you’re doing government procurement, you have to maintain a very strict distance between yourself and the vendors so there is no implication of favoritism, influence or unfair practices. Which often boils down to “knowing when to shut the hell up” – which is not to say I didn’t get into my fair share of snarky e-mails – or friendly e-mails, for that matter.
So, how is this related to my confusion about author etiquette? Well, I ran a couple of giveaways on LibraryThing (one for the paperback and one for the electronic version) and reviews are beginning to be posted. Is it proper author etiquette to thank each person for their review? And I mean regardless of whether the review was good or bad (although the reviews have all been good so far (knocks on wood and crosses fingers)). Or is it more appropriate to maintain a professional distance and silence, so there’s no implication of undue influence/expectations/pressure/etc. from the author on the reviewer? Does it even matter so long as you’re polite and have a thick skin when the bad reviews arrive (because of course they will)? (My similar concerns over following blogs, especially those that review my book(s), may be a subject for another day…)
I have a couple of virtual book tours beginning in May as well (the schedule will be posted as soon as I can figure out iCalendar and/or receive confirmation of all the stops) and I know that in that context, it’s expected and appropriate for an author to comment on blog posts and reviews. Whether it’s appropriate in all cases is really the question – and I’ve seen differing opinions all over the web.
Aaarrrggghhh!!!! 😦 (And yes, some days I just worry way too much…)
So, any advice???