Hosted by Reading Romances, in the Authors on Reviews: To Comment or Not to Comment? event bloggers discuss whether or not they think authors should comment on their reviews. You can read more about this event on their site, where you can also find other bloggers participating in this hop.
As most of you know, there have been quite some kerfuffles the last few months where authors left aggressive comments on reviews of their book - sometimes even their agents joined the discussion. In some extreme cases authors even called upon their author friends on Twitter, mobilizing them to systematically upvote only good reviews on Goodreads, making sure the lesser-star reviews disappear from the front pages.
Because of all this, the question arises what the proper etiquette reviewer/author is - should an author comment on a review or not?
First things first: never ever should an author make a negative comment on a review. Not in public. Not online. They can complain about it to their friends, their family. But never on the internet, where a tiny rumour spreads like wildfire. Don't even try to talk in code or try not mentioning names, most people know what you're talking about regardless.
If you want to clarify something, do so in a personal email. For example, if the reviewer is confused by some part of your book, you can explain why you wrote it that way. I've got a few of those messages, and I very much appreciated them. They won't change my review, but it helps understanding the author's choices. There are a few things you'll have to pay attention to when sending such an email:
- It must be an email. Don't send a message on Facebook, Goodreads, Twitter or another social networking site. Most bloggers have their contact info on their blogs; take a moment to find it there
- Always, always be polite in your commentary
- The blogger took the time to read your book. A little bit of appreciation goes a very long way
All of the bookish drama lately has put author commenting in a very bad light, but the thing is that we bloggers still like to get a little compliment. Who doesn't. Therefore I think authors should be careful, but if you stay polite there should be no problem if you comment on a blog. Try to stay away from bloggers that have caused drama before. Otherwise, go for it (:
I'd love to hear your opinion on this! If you're an author, do you comment on reviews? If so, where and how? And if you're a blogger, do you like to get a comment from an author on one of your reviews?