Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Chuckles Chat #29 Authors Replying Back

Welcome to Chuckles Chat where great blogging minds unite to discuss the topics of the day mainly in the book and blogging world. I'll be sharing my thoughts on a topic and then inviting you all to share your thoughts. It's ok to disagree but PLEASE be respectful of each other's views! All of the comments on my blog are moderated and offensive posts ie racist, bigoted will not be published! 

This week I'm looking at an issue that divides many reviewers-whether or not authors should reply to reviewers or comment on their reviews.

When we get a book from an author or publisher, we are expected to review the book and we know that they are going to read the review. There is also a possibility that the author may make a comment on that review. Does this influence the way we write the review? In my case, no it doesn't. I write the review the same whether somebody or nobody will be reading it. I don't see the point otherwise. But does it make it a bit more awkward to be critical of the book? For me, most certainly. I don't like the idea of writing a review that an author may not like but it's all part of reviewing.

If we have purchased the books for ourselves, do we still expect the authors to actually read our reviews? I can only speak for myself but I never expect authors to read my reviews unless they asked me for one so it can be a surprise or a shock, to see they have either sent you an email or have left a comment on a Goodreads review. When you see that, it sets the nerves on edge and forms a knot in the stomach, especially if you gave a 1 or 2 star review! I've been lucky though that the few authors who contacted me over 2 star reviews thought that my feedback was at least fair and not a personal attack. I think calling the author names because you hate the book is just as bad as authors abusing reviewers.

Should an author make contact with a reviewer if they have not asked you to review your work? The general opinion is that an author should never do this, whatever they wish to say. There have been a lot of disturbing cases of authors attacking reviewers which has turned into a massive row. Other reviewers come to defend their colleague and the author gets themselves such a bad name that future book sales could suffer. I've featured a few of these on my blog over the last few years and it does shock me how angry an author can get over one reviewer not liking their book! But what if an author wants to stop by your review to say thanks for the review, whether it was a good or bad one? They are thanking you for taking the time to choose to read their book yet some reviewers don't like that. Personally I'm ok with them saying thanks and telling you that they found your comments constructive and it will help them improve as a writer. Do you mind if authors do this or would you rather not hear from them at all under any circumstance?  

Sometimes an irate author doesn't stop at bashing you for your negative review, and may ask their loyal fans to put negative comments on all your reviews and abuse you on social media. I find this particularly disgusting and they should be kicked off Goodreads for it. Of course some Goodreads members make sure to alert when authors are behaving badly and reviewers sometimes choose to blacklist the authors for it. This whole thing makes me wonder why some authors just can't accept that some people won't like their book. I doubt that Stephen King loses any sleep over people not liking his books!





26 comments:

  1. I'd like to say that knowing an author may be reading my review/waiting for it doesn't move me one way or the other but that's untrue. It is nerve-wracking and it is the reason I very rarely accept books directly from the author. That's just too stressful. I'd much rather pluck something from my tbr pile and if the author comments, well, so be it. I make it pretty clear that my reviews are only my opinion but every now and again someone takes great offense and writes something along the lines of "Your taste is atrocious and you read it all wrong and you know NOTHING". I'm pretty used to it by now and it usually makes me laugh. It's my opinion and feelings. How can I be wrong?! I really don't mind if an author checks in and says something like "thanks for the review" but if they try to sway my opinion or attempt to make me change a review I will never budge.

    As for the BBA's? Thankfully, they have seemed to calm down ever since that sorry ugly excuse for a website shutdown. Every now and again something crops up but it's nowhere near what it was a few years ago. Most writers are savvy enough by now to realize that sort of behavior is detrimental to their career. We readers have very long memories and too many books to choose from. Why buy a book from author who is nasty online? I deleted a bunch of five star reviews a few years ago because the writer was being very vocal about her approval when it came to doxxing reviewers. The funniest part about her was the fact that she writes under pseudonyms but didn't think it right that reviewers weren't using their real names. I'm glad those days are over and hope they don't return.

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    1. It is scary isn't it! I don't expe ct it when I'm reading books I bought myself but then up pops a comment! *screams* I think we forget that authors are bookfans and will appear on Goodreads and similar places! There is always someone out there who gets offended though, isn't there. I've been lucky overall. I was bitched about by Twilight fans for disliking the spinoff book that added nothing to the series though! Ugh, those Amazon examples are terrible-authors are so bitchy about the work of others or reviewers. I don't post reviews on Amazon much but I really should to help authors I've enjoyed!

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  2. I also want to say that I enjoy the back and forth with authors in reader forums but only if they're wearing their reader hats. Some writers are very good at this and I've bought many a book because an author was so down to earth and book nerdy, just like us :)

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    1. I don't really have time for these kinds of forums but they do sound fun!

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  3. I don't really expect authors to read my reviews - but I would write them the same no matter if they did or didn't. Usually if I am reading something for a blog tour they will stop by and sometime comment. I've had more authors send me a note on Twitter and have actually made more contact with them through that way than any other. I think it's horrible when authors stalk and harass reviewers. I mean come on, they wouldn't want to be treated that way right? And you are right, I'm sure our reviews don't harm authors such as Stephen King at all. And if by some chance he ever finds my blog, I stick by my statement that I can't believe he provided a cover quote for Final Girls - but I still love him!

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    1. I did a film review on the blog once-slagged off the film but praised the actor for being the only good thing about it. Was I ever shocked when he commented on the blog! Thankfully he was really nice but I nearly had a heart attack!

      There have been some shocking author stalking revieewers stories haven't there? I know I featured a couple on the blog before. You won't ever forgive Stephen King for that cover rec will you! *grins*

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  4. A tough topic for discussion. I write my reviews for me. I don't mind if an author that requested the review comments to me about it. And I do get surprised when I review one of my own books and the author responds nicely. I've only had one author come at me about a 2 star review. I finally stopped responding to the emails after explaining my points over and over. Yeah, I don't think Mr. King loses any sleep. LOL

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    1. You don't think an author will find a review you write that is a non read and review book! We foreget they hang out on Goodreads too! I've been lucky for the most part but you always get the one who ruins things.

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  5. I have had a few authors thank me for a review but that has been it really. I did have a negative review on amazon get a lot of downvotes in a short amount of time that always seemed suspicious to me but I didn't really stress about it. I am very glad that I haven't had to deal with more than that. I have seen some really terrible situations play out online.

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    1. That does sound suspicious doesn't it? Weird. I've seen shocking things online which I have mostly been able to avoid!

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  6. Some people are hugely against authors replying to their reviews, whether it's positively or negatively, and I can see why - nothing is more obnoxious than an author chiming in trying to tell you why you are wrong and this is how you're supposed to interpret their book, blah blah blah.

    Thankfully I haven't had bad experiences like that. Most authors who have reached out to me are those that just want to thank me for a positive review, or to discuss aspects of the book in a friendly manner. I take no issue with that kind of interaction and in fact I love it and am flattered that an author took their time to say hi. As long as it's civil I see no reason why we all can't get along. But nothing excuses an author bashing or harrassing a reviewer just because they don't agree or like the review. That's just disgusting.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

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    1. I'm ok on authors thanking me for a review-just not arguing if they think I'm wrong! I do get entertained in a twisted way to see the authors getting served for being bitchy to reviewers! Authors just give themselves a bad name by acting like idiots online-and damaging their future sales!

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  7. I always try to be kind in my reviews, but it freaks me out when authors read them. Probably because I’m writing the review with fellow readers in mind, not authors. I guess I’m in the “don’t reply to reviews” camp. It opens up the reviewer to abuse by the author's fans.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. Yes the author's fans can be a problem. They get rabid over reviews even when not prompted to do it by the author. I hate people like that!

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  8. I don't mind either way, but I do not want an author trying to influence my opinion. Good or bad, take it like I wrote it. :-) I write my reviews to tell other readers what I thought of the book, trying to help them decide whether it's for them or not. I let my feelings about the book dictate my message. If it's a negative review, I do my best to be nice about it and include the things I did like. After all, not all books are going to hit the mark for all readers. It's no help to the writer if everyone says...oh, it's all good. Great topic to write about.
    sherry @ fundinmental

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    1. I think authors need to restrain themselves from questioning the content of reviews even if they are polite about it. Their fans can be worse as I've found out!

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  9. I totally agree. I would imagine 9 out of 10 the situation would be uncomfortable if it is a bad review! If you gave the book a favorable review "maybe a quite thank you for your good review" would be appropriate.

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    1. Yeah I'm ok with a polite thank you for reading my book kind of thing. Just no abuse please!

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  10. It's definitely more awkward, but I tend to write all my reviews with the thought in my head that the author could read it (not that I expect it, just that they potentially could), whether it's a review copy or not. And by that I mean, I'm not dishonest, it just reminds me to not be a jerk with how I write the negative stuff.

    Oh gosh, yeah, I've had my nerves set on edge too by messages from authors on negative reviews. But like you, so far all my interactions have been positive, authors thanking me for the honest and helpful feedback. I don't mind if an author wants to contact me if they're just thanking me or asking for more honest feedback or something.

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    1. I do try not to be unpleasant about it now. When I first started reviewing, I went for cheap laughs and stuff and I cringe to read those reviews now. I'm more mature now!

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  11. I may have been uniquely lucky, but I've now written and posted over 700 reviews online and I've only had one author be a bit of a jerk about one of the comments I made when I was being nice. Other than that, I've regularly had authors get in touch to thank me for taking the time to write a thorough review, which is just fine by me. But like you, I've been open-mouthed at some of the bullying behaviour I've heard about. All I can say is that with that one exception - and I think he was trying to passive-aggressively point out he'd had a good review - all the authors I've dealt with have been universally gracious.

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    1. It's frustrating when you get that one author that wants to be an idiot about it. Yeah I'm ok with them thanking me for a review but I don't want to get into a full debate about the finer points after the review is posted! Lets hope we only find the good authors from now on!

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  12. I've had some great interactions with authors, but I have to admit I have an "EEEEK" moment when I see they've commented, even if I wrote a positive review.

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    1. I see the comment or email and I just think 'oh crap!' You just never know if they were happy with the review even if you think you wrote a good one!

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  13. I never expect an author to read or comment on my reviews. But I am also not really interested in the authors themselves... that sounds horrible! :D I mean, I am interested in what they write and that's mostly it. Apart from my favourites. If I read every book you ever published, I am very interested^^

    A couple of months ago, one of my faves linked to one of my reviews and that absolutely made my day. It's a cool feeling to know that one of your 'heroes' is aware of you and appreciates your opinion. It's a nice treat! But I don't expect it :)

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    1. I get what you mean. I don't pay much attention to things like the private life of the author and what they are doing this weekend unless I have a sort of blogging relationship with them. It's the books I want to grab! It is great to get a thank you from someone whose book you loved!

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