I don’t know about you, but one reason I started blogging was so I’d be able to talk with authors that I’d been admiring from afar. Since then, I’ve not only spoken to a few of my favorite authors ever, but I’ve become, at least what I’d consider, friends with a few.
But, then there’s the problem of Authors Behaving Badly, which I’ve also experienced. Authors wanting you to defend your final review, authors harassing you, etc. What’s up with that?
Being a book blogger, you can guarentee that I’ve experienced both the good and the bad of authors. I’ve met some truly amazing and generous authors, from Linsey Miller to Julia Ember. I’ve had some personal let-downs, and really *weird* emails as well. So, this isn’t really a “how-to” guide, but more like “yea, this happened, please do this/don’t do this”.
I don’t really want to name-names, ehem, but one thing I wouldn’t recommend is authors emailing/questioning reviewers to challenge them about their review. Or to clarify something stated in the review.
First, it comes off as if the author wants you to change your review, especially if the review had a low rating in the first place. Second, it just comes off as if the author doesn’t appreciate your honest opinion. If anything, negative reviews are there to learn from, not to challenge. It completely defeats the purpose of reviewing in the first place. I’ve heard from multiple authors that the only reason to read reviews it to learn. If you’re not willing to learn, then there’s no point in reading people’s honest opinions (opinions both positive AND negative) about your own book.
Also, the fact that this author legit told me that they have something set up so they’re notified whenever their name and/or book is mentioned on twitter? That’s wrong. I’m fine with them wanting to read the reviews, but the fact that they used that information to track down my contact information to challenge my review is something no author should do.
The second thing, not as bad, is something else that I have another specific example for. However, I don’t want to directly reveal who the author is, as I still greatly enjoy their novels and I don’t really think it’s something people need to avoid an author for.
When authors comment and like a person’s review. Whether it’s thanking the reviewer or doing what the author is doing in the picture to the right (which, I will say, was a sign up for a beta read-through), a lot of reviewers might not like it.
I’ve heard quite a few people say that authors liking/commenting/promoting reviews that they weren’t tagged in has made them uncomfortable. Personally, it really depends on the author, but I do feel it’s really weird for authors to find reviews and say something despite never being tagged.
That brings us to another point: tagging authors. As I do, I crosspost onto twitter to help bring in more readers. Sometimes, if the review is basically all positive, and I’m familiar with the author, then I might tag them in it. However, I wouldn’t suggest tagging authors in negative reviews, or even if you’re unfamiliar with them.
Tagging authors in negative reviews is basically a slap in the face. Why do they need to see that? What if they’re an author that doesn’t read reviews at all?
Are close author/reviewer relationships a good thing?
I feel as if there is some sort of bias there, but if they’re truly friends, then they should be honest to them anyways. Friends should be open to giving bad opinions of original content to their friends, so I really don’t think it’s a major problem.
Do you have any irks or opinions on author/reviewer behavior? Any stories of authors behaving badly?
4 thoughts on “Reviewer and Author Relationships”
I always get a bit freaked out when authors find my reviews. I’ve never had one comment on a review, but I have had authors post the review on their social media. This is weird because I never tag authors. They find the reviews on their own. It’s kinda cool when they see my reviews, but also really uncomfortable.
YES. I sometimes tag authors, only if I especially enjoy and were moved by their piece. It’s so awkward, though, when authors share the review or like the review, and you didn’t tag them. Cool, but weird.
I don’t understand why some authors feel the need to contact reviewers about reviews…don’t they know about boundaries? Your second point was enlightening; I hadn’t considered how that could be an awkward experience. Personally, I don’t mind it, but my experience has just been authors replying on Twitter “Thanks for the review!” or something to that effect. And I’m pretty sure I tagged them in all those instances anyway (definitely agree about tagging an author only if the review is positive).
I think it really depends on whether or not authors contacting me bothers me. In the instance I used, where the author commented on my review offering a beta position, I’m okay with that, and I’m frankly used to it. The author is nice, and is never over the top. However, if they come from a hostile position, like the email-sender, then it will bother me and they will probably end up on my blacklist. Thank you!
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