June Roundtable: Author Unspoken Rules (That Everyone Should Know)

What’s cooking? I’d like some BBQ chicken, homemade baked beans and some potato salad. Guess I have July 4th on the brain … my bad.

It’s time for another roundtable.

Since June is the beginning of summer, I thought I would set off June’s Roundtable with a bit of heat. This time, I tackle Author Etiquette (or another word for it is “Author Unspoken Rules”). This will be a two part series.

1st part, which I’m detailing now, has to do with how authors deal with each other.

The 2nd part, which will be for July, will tackle how authors deal with readers who leave reviews (whether professionally or for leisure).

With that being said, here is the question I presented to the roundtable.

(a) What is an author unspoken rule that every author should know about as it pertains to interaction with each other?
(b) Have you ever been on the giving or receiving end of breaking said rule, and if so, how did you handle it?

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The first person to tackle this ray of controversy is Queen of Spades.

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(a) What is an author unspoken rule that every author should know about as it pertains to interaction with each other?

You know the old saying, “Fake it until you make it”? That does not apply to the writing game. Do not claim someone else’s writing as your own. I don’t think it needs to be stated because true authors should already know this.)

(b) Have you ever been on the giving or receiving end of breaking said rule, and if so, how did you handle it?

Before I became a published author, I did have an incident where an aspiring poet used one of my pieces and labeled it as her own. She changed a few words around here and there, but since she and I ran in the same poetry community circles, people were able to pinpoint that she was mimicking me.She claimed not to mean any harm–that she was a huge fan and thought she was honoring me. Needless to say, I didn’t find it flattering. Luckily, it only took the email correspondence back and forth in order for her to cease and desist with her flattery. I know others who have not been so fortunate.

Next to add fuel to the fire, Synful Desire.

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(a) What is an author unspoken rule that every author should know as it pertains to interaction with each other?

If a fellow author takes time to host another author on her personal blog, please take the time to say thank you. It’s one thing if a person’s blog is designed for promotional purposes, but if it is one’s own personal spot, then that person is carving out a spot for you. It only takes a few seconds to write “Thanks”, just like it only takes a few seconds to spread the link through FB, Twitter, Google+, and the like.

(b) Have you ever been on the giving or receiving end of breaking said rule, and if so, how did you handle it?

I can’t say that I have been on either side. I just know that particular thing annoys me when I see other people do it.

Next, to speak her truth, Y. Correa.

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(a) What is an author unspoken rule that every author should know as it pertains to interaction with each other? 

One unsaid author rule is when reviewing someone’s work, to not divulge the ending. As a matter of fact, you can talk about as much of the book as you want, just DON’T tell the ending. It’s one of those things where, if you give someone’s book a read & review and tell the ending, than when other potential readers think about picking up that book, they probably won’t because they’ve already been told the punch line. So it’s like, “What’s the point?”

(b) Have you ever been on the giving or receiving end of breaking said rule, and if so, how did you handle it?

Smh-o

I have. I certainly have. *shaking my head*

At first I was furious, then I thought about it and calmed myself down. Then I reached out to that person and explain the “unspoken rule”.

I suppose, that even unspoken rules sometimes have to be spoken. Even while most of them are common sense.

*shrugs*

Looks like C. Desert Rose is eager to give her thoughts.

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(a) What is an author unspoken rule that every author should know as it pertains to interaction with each other?

BE CORDIAL! I think that it’s important that authors have a sense of socialization and friendliness. Welcoming, even.

Far too often authors are so caught up in their own things that they give other authors whom can potentially help them with their writing endeavors, the cold shoulder. Authors nowadays are just blatantly rude! It’s like they think that other authors are out to steal their reading audience. It’s ridiculous.

(b) Have you ever been on the giving or receiving end of breaking said rule, and if so, how did you handle it?

I have been on the receiving and giving end of this situation. I can officially say that I’ve been as friendly and welcoming as possible. I’ve tried super hard to connect with other authors.

On the other hand, while there are (outside of the House) other authors that have been receptive and corresponding, most of them have been formidable and rude. It’s really discouraging. All I want is to make author friends. Nothing more and nothing less.

Finally, my thoughts:

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(a) What is an author unspoken rule that every author should know as it pertains to interaction with each other?

Method of inquiry and method of response must match. Here is what I mean.

If I send out something via E-mail, I expect the response to be via E-mail. Unless I send something or put something in the E-mail that indicates I can be reached via other means, the guidelines I put in place must be followed, for I have them in place for good reason.


(b) Have you ever been on the giving or receiving end of breaking said rule, and if so, how did you handle it?

I had that happen a few months back, and my response was to conduct a tutorial of sorts on the concept of reply vs. reply all, without mentioning the actual person’s name. I figured the person would put two and two together and figure out the error. Unfortunately this lesson did not sink in for long, because I was hit up in a way opposite of what was instructed in another project I have going. I have put that debacle in someone else’s hands who is ten times more professional in etiquette, for mine can be in short supply.

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So, to sum it up:

Author Unspoken Rules (That Everyone Should Know)

1. Do not plagiarize someone else’s work.
2. If another person hosts you on one’s blog, thank them.
3. Do not divulge the ending of a work that you’ve been asked to review.
4. Be open as opposed to rude when it comes to networking.
5. Method of inquiry and method of response must match.

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This concludes another roundtable. Be on the lookout for the next one towards the end of July, when we dish out on Author Etiquette, as it pertains to reviewers.

DR

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