Friday, April 20, 2012

Authors on Reviews

Thanks to Reading-Romances for putting this together. 

For reasons unknown to me authors are not supposed to comment on reviews of their books. Personally I don't care. If an author wants to leave a comment on their books review go ahead. 

Sometimes when I finish a book I am left with a question. If the author sees this and answers it, yay. I recently posted a review and mentioned that I enjoy the series but am curious as to who will have the next book. The author answered this. That made me so happy. First of all it answered my curiosity and secondly it let me know that the author noticed and read my review, not just noticed the star rating. 

I have never slammed an author or their work in a review. I truly feel that if I take the time to be rude and unprofessional to an author in a review then by all means that author has every right to be defensive and come after me the reviewer. Authors spend a great deal of time putting together a book. It's just overall wrong and childish for me to completely bash it. There are nice ways in which I can say this book didn't work for me.

If I completely misunderstood something that happened in the book and the author feels like spelling it out for me, once again yay. It might change my thoughts on continuing in that series. 

I've had authors email me with a thanks, or an I'm glad you enjoyed it. This would be one of those instances where I would love to see that comment after my review. 

So overall I think is great when an author comments on their books review. I love comments from my followers. It lets me know that the review I have put out for all to see is helpful and promotes the book I read and enjoyed. If an author were to leave a comment on the review I can guarantee you that this Diva would do a happy dance all over the house. Yes it's a little selfish, maybe conceited but I would like to know that the author noticed my thoughts.

I took it upon myself to ask an author that has discussed this with me to share a few thoughts on this matter.

Jenny Lyn, author of Saving Sydney.

First, I want to thank Vanessa for having me on her blog today. While I’m at it I also want to thank her publicly for reading and reviewing my book Saving Sydney. Notice I didn’t thank her for actually “liking” my book, although I’m very glad she did. There’s a reason for that.

I reached out to her myself and asked if I could send her a copy of Saving Sydney for her to review. She explained that she was swamped with review requests and didn’t know if she could find the time, but said she’d certainly try. If nothing else, she promised to at least post her thoughts on Goodreads, and I was completely happy with that, too.

She read Saving Sydney and liked it a lot. When I saw her very kind words on Goodreads, I sent her a personal email because given the recent hullabaloo over authors commenting in reader’s review threads, I was afraid to say anything there. I simply told her thank you and how much I appreciated her taking the time out of her busy life and blogging schedule to read my work. The fact that she liked it was really just icing on the cake. Honestly, I would have thanked her if she hated it. It would have been tougher, obviously, because no one wants to hear that someone thinks their work stinks, but I feel like it’s important to at least offer my gratitude either way. I think I told her that if I didn’t, my sweet southern granny would rise from her grave and come after me with a switch, just like she did when I was ten and sassed her. There is such a thing as manners. I think that’s what got this whole mess started is some writers forgot theirs. And not knowing when to simply shut up.


  1. Really interesting opinion. I definitely enjoyed reading it.

  2. "Authors spend a great deal of time putting together a book. It's just overall wrong and childish for me to completely bash it. There are nice ways in which I can say this book didn't work for me."

    This should be the number one rule for reviewers! Thanks for sharing your opinion!

    1. I agree! One commenter at my post put it simply - If you can't say something nice, then don't say anything. It's an oldie but still true.

      I enjoy hearing from authors and I'm happy when an author notices and acknowledges a review. I get quite giddy :D

      Reading the different posts and comments has been very interesting. I'm so glad I participated in this.

  3. I completely agree with Vanessa & Jenny on this. I am new to reviewing on a blog but I was excited when on one of my recent reviews the author left a comment. She answered a question and thanked me for reviewing her book. I was excited that she read my review. I have always enjoyed reading and I also enjoy reviewing. I have no problem with authors commenting on my reviews or if they would prefer to email that is ok too.

    I feel that it is wrong to post a hateful review or comment especially with the personal attacks whether it is against an author or reviewer.

  4. There's something else I'd like to add from the "author" side, if y'all don't mind. The author's establishment probably factors heavily into whether or not they'll comment on reviews too. I doubt very seriously someone who's as multi-published and popular as Nora Roberts gives reviews of her new works much thought. She doesn't really need to. She's built her name and her following over years and multiple books. Whereas someone like me who is just getting started needs the publicity that a good review can bring. Admittedly, it's scary approaching reviewers asking for them to take a look at your work. You're taking a risk on whether they'll like it or not. Bad reviews of your very first book would be disheartening to say the least. I've been lucky in that I've gotten positive feedback because after all, everyone's tastes are different.

    Here's a question I have for reviewers: If you didn't like my work but I still sent you a polite email thanking you for taking the time to read it and offer your thought, would you be more apt to try my next work? Or would that matter?

    Even hearing the nice things all the bloggers have said about liking that the author contacted them, I still doubt I'll ever do it publicly. The topic is just too sticky. Vanessa asked me if I'd like to comment on the topic and that's when I added in my "public" thank you to her.