Updated: November 11, 2020
Hi everyone! If you follow me on Twitter, then you might have already seen my announcement about a project that my partner and I have been working on for the past week.
We wanted to create a site where the entire bookish community could come together to help readers feel safer in their book choices. From this idea, booktriggerwarnings.com was born!
What is BookTriggerWarnings.com?
Book Trigger Warnings (BTW) is a wiki-based site that allows you to search books that you are interested in to see if anyone has added trigger/content warnings, tropes, representation, or controversies about it. If you feel that anything is missing (or if you can’t find the book), you can edit or add pages too!
Having this information should allow you to make a more informed decision on whether or not the book is for you.
What are trigger warnings?
Trigger warnings (TWs) are little notices that people use to indicate if they think anything potentially triggering is in their content. Many people use the terms “trigger warning” and “content warning” interchangeably, but some also argue that there are slight differences between the two.
BTW has “trigger warning” in the name, but the “trigger warning” section is for both TWs and CWs.
Why are trigger warnings and content warnings important?
Trigger/content warnings are very important when it comes to making sure reading is a safe activity. There are many readers out there who can be seriously harmed if they are forced to read a particularly triggering topic without any prior warning. Maybe their grandparent recently passed away and they don’t want to read about death right now. Maybe they love animals and reading about animal abuse is particularly hard for them. There are endless possibilities as to why a reader might request a trigger/content warning.
To bring it to something non-book related for further context, I have people in my family who are veterans with PTSD. If you were to light off a firecracker around them with no warning, they’ll completely shut down. Giving them a heads up beforehand allows them to mentally prepare themselves ahead of time (even if it means leaving the area). It’s the same idea with trigger/content warnings on books/tv shows/movies/etc.
If you’re interested in reading more about why people think TWs and CWs are important, check out our giveaway thread where we asked participants this exact question.
Why did you make BTW?
There are many book bloggers/reviewers who believe in trigger/content warnings and will put them in their reviews. There are even a few authors who push to have them in their books or on their websites.
Unfortunately, there are still a lot of publishers and authors who don’t include these warnings and it can be a very difficult conversation to have with them because the reading community is pretty split about it. Some people view trigger/content warnings as spoilers, while others argue that if a trigger warning spoils your books, it probably relies too heavily on the emotional reactions of readers.
My partner and I wanted to create a centralized place where readers could find this information without having to trudge through thousands of book reviews on Goodreads or Google. If you don’t believe in trigger warnings or think they will spoil a book for you, then okay, you can skip reading the book’s page and continue your reading as you’d like. But if you do, we’re hoping BTW will make it just that much easier to help your fellow readers.
How can I help?
Because BTW is a wiki-based site, it relies heavily on community participation. We create new book pages pretty much every day, but if you have the time and energy to help us improve, you can make an account very easily (you just need a username and password) and begin making edits!
We are also very serious about listening to our community and improving the site. In fact, we recently added a “representation” section to the site as a result of community feedback. You can now look for/add what type of rep any particular book includes. There are a few limitations that we have as a wiki, but if you have a suggestion that you want us to look into, please let us know by DMing us on Twitter.
Please help spread the word by sharing our link on your social media sites! For more information, you can visit the site or follow the BTW twitter here.