Monday, July 11, 2011

The Other Side of the Coin

As a writer, I belong to several online groups for both readers and writers, and on both forums I've seen debates about whether or not authors should respond to reviews, or make contact with reviewers at all. And haven't we all seen recent articles about author meltdowns in regards to critique?

I love chatting with reviewers, personally. Okay, I love chatting with pretty much anybody, especially if they're talking books, so I'm one of those authors who will gush, "Thanks for your kind words," or say, "sorry you didn't like it," if someone takes time out of their busy day to comment. Hey! I'm getting free feedback that can help me grow as a writer. I won't deny that it hurts when someone doesn't like what I've poured my heart and soul into, but not everyone will. My goal is still for anyone who buys my book to think they got their money's worth.

Anyway, enough about me. What I really want to share is a very eloquent answer to the question of 'should authors reply to reviews?' from a reviewer's perspective. It's posted at Cryselle's Bookshelf, and I found it quite interesting.

See post here.


  1. Thanks for sharing that post :)

  2. I found it interesting as I haven't heard much about how reviewers feel on the subject and didn't realize the impact of a few tiny words, regardless of how well intentioned they might be.

  3. As a reviewer I like to know the author saw my review. The site I review for is one where if you take a book, you must review it unless it is so offensive you really can't do a review then you can ask another review to do it. We are also required to let the author know we've reviewed his/her work (well, only if we give a 4 or above, but I believe I should stand behind what I say and let all authors know their work has been read. We also have e-mail addresses for the site so it is private and I don't have to respond if a person wants to debate with me.) Since I choose the books I review I try to find ones I'll like but sometimes the blurb is better than the book so the best I can do is say what was missing and where I'd like to have seen the story or characters go. I will give authors two chances in case of a poor review (as long as another book is available for review) on the off chance that the first story was not an indication of their work. I always want to like a book I read. That's why I'm reading it. It sounded good and would take me away from my everyday life. So I say respond if only to acknowledge you saw the review but don't debate with the reviewer. If you like the review, fantastic. If not acknowledge that the reviewer took his/her time to read your book.

  4. Oh wow! What a fabulous perspective. Thanks so much for sharing. I like to respond to reviews, it's just with so many writing blogs saying, "Don't do it!" I worried that I might be overstepping. The last thing I want to do is make a reviewer feel pressured. Their job is hard enough as it is.

  5. No, I review because I like to read and I figure everyone's entitled to my opinion. Just kidding ;) I do like to read. I got into reviewing as a way to get free books. That's the truth. I don't know if I'm good at it or not. (I was looking at the site last night and was looking at some of old reviews and noticed one had over 800 hits--I figure the author liked it and reads it daily;D) I have to be able to identify with the characters. If I don't it makes it harder for me to review the book because I have to figure out what is there to like or be improved upon. I also beta read and that has taught me that being an author is hard work. I can honestly say I'm not creative enough to write a novel but I can tell you how to improve yours. It's weird. I let the author, as a beta reader, know what's working and what doesn't. I've worked with one author on 6 books and all have been accepted with no revisions on the story only two or three grammar and punctuation changes by the first or second publisher so I guess I do well at that.

    She (in case it posts anonomously)

  6. I frequented review sites before I published to make wise buying decisions, so some of those 800 hits might be mine! If I'd known back then I coulda got free books by reviewing....

    Yeah, I have a whole new respect for writers now since publishing my own stuff and would never attempt to write without my betas. Lord knows what I'd unleash on the world! And I still haunt review sites, looking for more good books to read.

    By the way, I remember reading an interview with you recently that really rocked.

  7. I'm posting monthly on A Gay Male insude a Female's Body. I'll also be doing the Author's Spotlights starting this month.

  8. That is awesome! *runs over to AGMIAFB for a long overdue visit*


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