Young Adult

Armchair BEA: Ethics and Non-fiction

Wow… Ethics. This has seemed to be a hot button issue lately, so it’s good to get to talk about it today!

However, ethical blogging is simple: don’t cheat.

Granted, we all probably think of cheating as not copying someone’s test or fudging the facts to make things our way. And yes, you are right in this matter. However, with blogging, it kind of goes slightly deeper. There are SO many blogs out there and we all read them, so it’s pretty easy to copy someone else’s words. It’s also tempting to do this, especially when you can’t think of what to say. But here’s my thought on it: if you can’t think of what to say, don’t say anything. It’s so much easier to shut off your computer, walk away, write it out, whatever you need to do to think of what to say than copy someone else’s hard work and deal with the repercussions.

Now, but what about those times when you DO copy someone’s work? What if they say something SO GOOD that you cannot say it better and need those words to express yourself? Easy. GIVE THEM CREDIT! It’s not hard to add a little line “Jane says…” or (Jane @ Don’t steal my words blog) giving the original author credit. Or, better yet, ask that person if possible. Chances are, they may be flattered. Regardless, GIVE THEM CREDIT!

Blogging is meant to be a fun pastime, but often it can lead to more professional aspirations. I don’t mean professional in that we get paid to do it, but many of us take it seriously and treat it as we do our real professions. And while blogging isn’t super structured and is meant to let your creative flag fly, the minute we let it become unethical is the minute we lose credibility. Authors, publishers, agents, etc. have begun to rely heavily on bloggers and, in return, we give them honest, ethical reviews to help promote books. I’m still new to the game, but I imagine this is a new relationship that has only recently become strong. However, I imagine it’s a rather thin line we walk and I hope we, as bloggers, continue to strengthen our bond with the publishing world by continuing to remain ethical and NOT cheat!

Discussion: Non-fiction

Honestly, I steer away from non-fiction. Not my favorite thing to read, although I sometimes wish I liked it more.

That being said, I do LOVE a good biography/memoir written by funny women. Not necessarily famous women; just women with a unique story who tell it in an endearing and fun way. I’ve only read a couple, but they have been oh so cute and good! I’m always keeping an eye out for new ones, so if you know of any, suggest away!

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6 thoughts on “Armchair BEA: Ethics and Non-fiction”

  1. Blogging ethically is so important for credibility. And you’re so right about blogging leading to professional aspiration. I started my blog because I knew writing daily would help my writing skills, which is what I studied in school and hope to make my profession. Even if it’s not in the book world, that credibility when it comes to blogging and writing is SO important.

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  2. You hit the nail on the head with your thoughts on blogging ethics. I’ve never had first hand experience with ‘cheating’ blog wise but I have heard a few stories after the fact, and it just seems kind of pointless to not give credit where credit is due. I hope my blogging experiences always remain a drama free one because its just not needed, especially when blogging is just a hobby for some.

    My Book Bubble

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  3. Well said regarding ethical blogging;everyone deserves to receive credit for their work. Writers would never get away with plagiarising another’s work, so why should bloggers? It all boils down to honesty and integrity.

    As for funny biographies, try Clare Balding’s “My animals and other family”. Clare is a UK TV sports presenter and national treasure and had an extraordinary childhood. All told with tongue-in-cheek humour. A great read.

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  4. You know, you are right. Blogging has morphed so much recently and while bloggers used to be somewhat insignificant in the eyes of publishers, et al, it is a bigger community now than ever before. We are viewed as professionals if we carry ourselves that way and act respectfully towards one another.

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  5. Haha. Yes, don’t cheat. And always give credit. I couldn’t agree more.

    I don’t read a ton of nonfiction, but I do try to read a few children’s/ya nonfiction a year. I love Steve Sheinkin. He writes some seriously kickass NF.

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  6. I completely agree with that you have to say about ethics. That’s really all it boils down to in the end – don’t cheat. There’s no harm in quoting someone, as long as you give them credit! Staying ethical and respectful is the only way that this relationship between bloggers and authors/publishers/etc will keep growing and staying strong.

    About nonfiction – my favorite kind to read is travelogues! You should try those if you’re interested in travel, because it’s always fun to read about other people’s adventures.

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