November 13, 2015 at 7:55 pm #1873
Being a book reviewer is a lot of fun. However, it’s important that you take some measures to protect yourself. The literary adventure you’ve begun will bring you into contact with all sorts of people. First off, keep in mind that you are providing authors with feedback on work that is very personal to them. Many of them have poured their hearts and souls into their writing, which also means they may have very high expectations of praise. As such, some of these people might take offense to your feedback, even if you are making valid points and well-supported arguments. You should always provide honest and fair feedback, but you should never criticize the author on a personal level. This constitutes a personal attack on the author and violates our Terms of Service.
Since blogging is a public activity and you, as a blogger are publicly putting yourself out there, it’s important to look over the below checklist to ensure that you are protecting your privacy and keeping you and your family safe out there on the world wide web.
1) Don’t give out your full name. Use a pseudonym.
Consider creating a fun pen name for your reviews. You can also use this for your social media accounts (see below). If you use your real name, avoid placing your full name on your blog, your FB profile and page etc. Some places like LinkedIn, which is a professional platform, requires you to have a last name.
2) Create an impersonal email account.
Create a new email account that does not have any personally identifiable information in it. If your website were Travel Novels, a good email address might be firstname.lastname@example.org.
3) Be vague about your location.
When you post about yourself, whether its on your “About me” page or your social profiles, its best to be vague about your location. If you live in a suburb, try listing the nearest city as your location. If you live in a rural area, I recommend you avoid naming a location at all. Simply stick to your state or province.
4) Keep social media accounts separate from your personal accounts.
When you start marketing and promoting, consider creating a new FB profile instead of using your own private FB to connect with readers and authors. Similarly, when you set up a LinkedIn account, it might be best to make your current employment information private, or leave it off all together. You don’t want anyone knowing the location where you work. Having separate accounts for blogging and for your personal life ensures that you can keep having privacy.
5) Shut off location services on your phone and other devices when posting online.
When you share links to your blog, or upload photos etc, make sure that your device does not automatically post your location. Each device is different, so please look over your privacy settings and shut them off for when you use your device for blogging purposes.
6) Be weary of sharing personal information with those you connect with online.
Don’t give out your full name, your phone number, address, place of employment etc. When you connect with an author, they DO NOT need any of this information to get a review. If you need to be mailed a copy of a book, it might be worth looking into getting a PO BOX just for this purpose. Otherwise, you might consider buying your own copy or requesting an electronic version. This way the only info you exchange with an author is your impersonal email address.
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