Book Spoilers – What Is A Spoiler? What´s Not A Spoiler?

WARNING: This article is about book spoilers. 

 

“Don´t spoil the story!”

“I don´t want to hear it!”

“Great. Now I don´t need to read the story because you spoiled it for me.” 

 

Book spoilers. There´s nothing more a reader hates. To have a story spoiled for them.

book spoiler

 

That´s a book spoiler. Pretty informative, right? You know exactly what a book spoiler is. But you don´t, really. Because book spoilers aren´t necessarily book spoilers.

Believe it or not- Readers have their own definition of a book spoiler.

But who get´s to decide what an actual book spoiler is, and what´s not? Is revealing an insignificant piece of info enough to be considered a spoiler? Is explaining a story a spoiler?

I think it´s obvious that revealing an end scene / the end of a book is considered a major spoiler. That´s just ruining it right on the spot.

But the rest? Who is the judge of what a true spoiler is or not?

If you want an answer from off the top of my head I´d say that it depends on the person / reader. Some readers don´t mind when a review reveals minor details and some go completely ballistic when a tiny bit of detail is mentioned. It´s a matter of opinion- Like everything else is.

I´ve been reading more often, than not, how readers don´t want to be spoiled. Something I completely understand and respect. But what I don´t understand is:

Why attempt to read a book review if you don´t want to be spoiled?

Has anyone ever thought of book spoilers as book teasers? Because book teasers are often included in reviews, too. Let´s see what the definition of a book teaser is:

book teaser

Oh-HO! This means a book spoiler isn´t actually any different from a book teaser. Technically- A book teaser is a spoiler. It reveals an aspect of a story others would have found out themselves, for sure.

Book teasers come in a few forms: Graphic quotes ( a line taken from said book included with a lovely fitting graphic), excerpts, or book teasers can be built in reviews ( 3 lines that are enough to tickle a reader but not enough to full spoil the story). Funnily enough- teasers ( in all their many forms) are excepted.  But it´s not okay to reveal a spoiler? I´m confused.

I´m a book blogger. That means, I read a book and then I write a review that´s hopefully helpful for those who are looking for their next read. I include the following in my reviews:

  • Title, author, special features in form of graphics ( e.g maps, book cover, gif )
  • Plot summaries ( If needed. Sometimes the synopsis, provided by the author / publisher, goes into great detail )
  • A one – liner ( One-liners can be used for quick social media posts that could hook a reader )
  • Including useful info   (Main characters. Were they credible? Which were my favorite characters. )
  • Personal experiences ( Was I able to relate to the characters? Did I experience a similar event as the characters?)
  • My opinion ( Did I like the book? What was my favorite / least favorite part/ scene?)
  • My recommendation ( Would I recommend said book? And to whom would I / would I not recommend said book?)

The above are what I try to include in all my reviews. Sometimes, a book doesn´t allow me to add all at. Sometimes emotions play a bigger role and over rule everything else. But one thing I try my best to do is: Not to reveal, what I think could be, spoilers.

That´s harder to accomplish than one would think.

When I write my reviews I take my time to think of what can be seen as a spoiler and what not. I read the book´s synopsis twice before adding a plot summary ( because who wants to repeat what´s already available, right?). I sit and wonder and ponder and break my little head over words and sentences. My biggest problem is not how to write a review- It´s about what information I can include to avoid someone telling me that my review contains spoilers.

 

These days, I feel like I should include a spoiler warning in all my reviews. You just never know who´s going to spot something they consider a spoiler. And I do add spoiling warnings.

I want my reviews to be read. I mean- That´s why I´m spending my free time writing and publishing them in the first place.

Other bloggers want the same thing- For readers to read their reviews.

How does a book blogger recommend a book without revealing a tiny, itsy bitsy piece of detail about a story? Because when I read a review where someone just repeats the synopsis and doesn´t give me something more, other than a “I really enjoyed this book / I loved this read.” then I will hop on to the next review that hopefully has something more convincing. I would rather read something I don´t already know. I need that little convincing push.

A book blogger not only writes a review. In that moment when a book blogger publishes their review they recommend a product. They want others to see WHY they´re recommending the product. They want you to know HOW they came to love / hate the product. They want you to find out WHAT is so special. No one wants to buy the whole cow, but everyone wants a taste of the milk first. They want to know if a product would be something they´d also like or dislike. If a review is so diplomatic and 100% neutral then I, as a reader, have no flipping clue what a book is about. In that moment, I don´t need to waste my time with a review and can stick to reading the synopsis until I turn blue and purple.

So, my question still stands: What is considered a book spoiler?

I´ve talked to alot of people and have learned that many despise any type of book spoiler. Which is fine. To each is their own, I say. But in that moment where you´re talking books with someone, face to face, who doesn´t like spoilers… you´re completely handicapped.

“Don´t spoil anything.” They say, often in a frantic, slightly louder voice. ( as if saying that in a normal tone wouldn´t work as well. Lol)

Well, if that doesn´t kill a conversation on the spot then I don´t what does. So you find other ways to try to convince your friend / family member / neighbor to buy the book that´s REALLY good.

“It´s a great book.” You say and you leave it at that because your hands are tied. Conversation = Over

On to the next subject which is usually food. * insert laugh*

Book conversations are safe when both parties have finished reading the same book. But, recommending a book is just as much fun as discussing the aftermath.

Personally, I don´t mind spoilers. I actually belong to those people who can listen to someone rave about a complete story in great detail and I´d STILL want to read the book.

I can literally hear you all holding your breath and see you shaking your heads now. But I truly don´t mind spoilers at all. Why? Because everyone perceives a story differently. Everyone explains a story differently. I might envision something entirely different.

For me, there are 3 different types of book spoilers:

  1. Minor Spoiler –  This is where a review adds a little more detail about the story than the synopsis has already revealed. A minor spoiler does not reveal the story.
  2. Random Opinion – This could be anything from quoting a piece of a dialogue to ranting about what a certain character has done to evoke stong feelings from a reader. Random opinions do not influence my book purchase.
  3. Major Spoiler- This is where something highly significant is revealed, such as: sickness/illness, plot twists / game changers, ending scene. Anything that can actually ruin a story for someone.

 

I understand the concept of spoiling. I also understand and respect others when I´m told not to spoil a book. I would never go against someone´s wishes.

There´s a fine way to avoid spoiling ANYTHING for ANYONE. It´s called “giving a spoiler warning” beforehand. Two words- that´s all it takes to make the world safe for spoiler haters. spoilers

That way, the person reviewing a book can always wash their hands in innocence. It takes a few sublte words to make a major impact on a bloggers reputation. Because no one likes to be thought of as the one who ALWAYS spoils.

So, after all that´s been said… I think it´s safe to say and to point out that whatever a reviewer does, it´s always wrong. Or always right ( depending on a person´s perspective).

This article is dedicated to those who hate spoilers and to those who spoil. You are both loved.

xxx

 

 

 

 

Authors and Social Media

Author´s and social media – One can´t really live without the other.

When an author starts out the first thing they need is to become a public figure. And what better way to become a name ( with or without a face) than on social media? There is no better way because, believe it or not… Social media is where half of the magic happens. Social media is, also, where an unimaginable amount of people spend a lot of their time.

And when an author is great at mingling with the common foot folk then social media is a blessing.

But have you ever stopped to think for a second about what exactly happens behind the scene´s? Does an author have to use all social media available for exposure? What does an author have to do in order to become known? Question after question….

The ugly truth is- Author´s cannot avoid social media. It´s nearly impossible. If they do try to avoid any social platform then there´s a high chance no one besides family and friends will ever get to read an author´s work.

Here are a few of the many places where author´s can hang out:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Tumblr

LinkedIn

Google+

Personal Blog

Pinterest

Youtube

Meetup

etc.

There isn´t really an end to the profitable social media list. With time, each social media site will celebrate their highs and suffer from lows but that still doesn´t change the fact that they´re still necessary. Author´s need to be where the crowd is, right?

But, where, exactly, is the crowd?

I don´t have an aswer for that question. Rumor has it that it completely depends on the genre. Some say it´s better for a paranormal author to spend all their free time on Facebook, and others say Twitter is the place to be for romance writers.

Many authors swear on Instagram being fully Fantasy, Young Adult/New Adult…..

But that´s just absurd because

  1. There hasn´t been an actual study done on the topic.
  2. Social Media platforms are not bound to genres / books. They´re for everyone.

No one and nothing can support that rumor because it´s different for everyone. Every author, every reader has their own thoughts on what works where.

There´s no true formula on which social platform´s the best.

There are a few author superheroes that make us believe they have it all figured out, though. Maybe they do know a few tricks on how to work social platforms. Maybe they develop 8 arms when the moon hits it´s peak. ( Okay, okay. That was unnecessary. But I often can´t help what pops into my mind.)

Unless an author has a wonderful team of minions who´re willing to help, there´s no way an author is able to be everywhere, at the same time. Aside from the miracle worker authors- I´ve noticed not all authors use every platform available. They use what works for them the most.

Some authors focus on Facebook and Twitter. Some work the Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest mill.

Some even go through the efforts over at Youtube and upload book trailers, reading sessions, etc. Writers have become creative in alot of ways and it´s often really cool to witness.

My verdict on what social media is the best for authors is:

Everywhere! Meaning: Every platform is a good place for a writer because it doesn´t depend on where the most people are- It depends on which platform an author feels most comfortable with.

If Facebook works for an author- great.

Twitter? Sure!

Instagram? I´m on board with that.

The key isn´t to chase after the crowd. Author´s aren´t door to door salesmen. The key is getting the crowd´s attention.

Which brings me to my next point:

When a writer has their prefered social media platform where they´ve already grown roots.. It´s not wise to think all the work is done. Especially when the love gushing over a certain book has died down ( a painful fact author´s have to come to terms with ).

When the hype is gone, the fan base will cool down. Only a selected few hardcore book activists will stay. What then? Is it time for an author to move on and write something new? Perhaps it´s a better idea to stick with one book and find other ways to promote it? Maybe find more hardcore book activists?

This is where social media can be an author´s best friend.

Social-Media

 

Every platform is filled with book lovers from all corners of the book world. But what a few aren´t aware of is that Facebook and Co. are also filled with book clubs, book / author groups that offer wonderful extra´s for author´s and readers. Book people like to hide in groups where they can share their latest reads with fellow readers.

Let´s say the hype for an author´s book has died down. Comments slow down. Likes vanish. All the people who have been super supportive have disappeared into thin air. ( Don´t believe it doesn´t happen. It does. Every. Damn. Time. ) It´s a crucial moment. Even devastating because an author depends on likes, follows, shares, etc. Once the interaction slows or stops it can make authors doubt themselves and their abilities.

When that happens it´s time to take the next step. It doesn´t matter which step. It´s the action that matters. Preferably immediately.  If an author doesn´t take matters into their own hands then no one else will.

No matter how many blogs support a writer with posts and graphic quotes or honorable mentions…. Blogs and fans don´t own the author´s work, therefore, their hands are tied.

Of course, there are author´s who depend on blogs and fans to do all the dirty work promotion but that´s a different bedtime story for another night.

Author´s who want exposure and want their names to stay in people´s minds need to stay in the picture.

You cannot imagine how often I´ve seen certain books on social media. Sometimes it´s annoying when I see the same book over and over again ( especially after I´ve read it ) But that´s not the point. It´s the fact that the book is still around… even a year after publication date. Why is that?

Because author´s use their tools. They don´t fully rely on others to get the job done. They´re always on the look-out for new groups and games they can participate in so they can introduce their book to new readers. They collide with other authors.

They make it look like they never sleep.

It all ALWAYS boils down to the same point. Work the self-marketing mill as if it were your religion.

Social media is a warped place but it CAN be very useful for authors if they use their platforms well.

Get to know your social platforms. Learn to use them.

 

NOTE: This doesn´t just apply to authors. This article can be very helpful for book bloggers as well.