Trigger Warnings?

I made a post about this on the Indie Book Network, but I know some of you don’t troll the forums all too often, so I figured I’d make a blog about it to see what the general consensus is.

Trigger Warnings – Yes or No?

I typically put trigger warnings on my books, just because they contain sex, violence, strong language… usually a combination of all of those. For the most part, it’s just a cover-my-ass move so I don’t end up traumatizing somebody and suffering the wrath of a viral rage mob. And truthfully, I want people to have a fun experience while reading my work… if it’s going to upset them, I’d rather they not read it.

So, I have the warning, but I also leave it vague.

I’m conflicted, though. As a lifelong reader, I’ve always loved the mystery of opening a book and being unaware of what kinds of twists and turns that the story may take. Trigger warnings are a new thing, and in some ways I think they’re spoilers. Especially the more specific ones. You know, stuff like:

***TRIGGER WARNING – Sexual situations, cheating, characters die, no HEA, the main character stubs her toe***

Okay, that’s a bit extreme but it sure feels like it’s heading in that direction. For me, it’s the same as if a book is advertised as an HEA. If you already know that the leads live happily ever after, where is the suspense? Doesn’t it kind of make the rest of the book feel like filler?

Sure, I’ll continue with my trigger warnings because it’s now kind of expected in the indie publishing world… but that doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it. lol

Anyway, what are your thoughts? Are these warnings a good trend?

5 thoughts on “Trigger Warnings?

  1. I didn’t know it was expected in the indie industry. I know they ask if there is any explicit sexual content and what age group you are writing for. I would think it would be listed on the front or back cover of the book. It also depends on what genre a person likes or doesn’t like. Thanks for the heads up and I’ll keep it in mind, however at my age 73 there’s not too much smut that would shock me. :o)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know some indies refuse to add them, but it seems they are becoming more and more frequent. I’ve seen a few reviews here and there where the reader docked the author for not adding a trigger warning, cliffhanger warning, no-hea warning… so I suppose some have come to expect it. I’m from the school where I want to be surprised by a story, but I guess I can see where a reader might be in the mood (or not be in the mood) for something specific.

      And I am the same when it comes to shocking stuff — not much gets to me nowadays! Honestly, the stuff people want warnings about is typically the kind of stuff I seek out in a book. lol

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think there are some instances were trigger warners should be listed. I have a couple stories were a character self harms. I plan on putting a trigger warning so someone not ready to deal with reading about that subject will know to skip this book by me. But putting them on everything is going overboard. We have to learn to deal with things that make us uncomfortable after all.


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