August 8, 2012

A Question for the Reviewers: To Comment or Not To Comment

As I immerse myself more and more into the book blogging, book reviewing, and Goodreads world, I find myself asking the same question over and over...

Should an author comment on the reviews readers post about their books?

I recall seeing a huge blow up about this on GR earlier in the year  (with an author commenting on negative reviews) and a subsequent change in policy at GR, but I'm still left wondering what the readers think.

I, for one, have chosen to distance myself from the reviews on GR in the hopes that will help maintain objectivity and honesty.  No author wants to read a bad review, but a not so great review with comments as to what didn't work, is just as valuable as a critique buddy.  However, I'm finding that quite a few authors do comment (mostly on the good reviews) and it's made me ask this question again.

I will thank the bloggers who are participating in a blog tour or who have agreed to accept a copy (regardless of their review) because I want them to know how much I appreciate them taking the time to review my book.  They are helping me market my product and I feel that it's the least I can do.

So I'm curious...especially for you book bloggers who post reviews on a regular basis...are you comfortable reading an author's comment on your review or is it better left unsaid?

11 comments:

  1. I don't always use GR but for blog reviews at least for tours anyway I think it is great when the author stops by and reads it and comments. Especially for questions the reviewer might have had. In a review I posted for a blog tour I stated how I loved the book but not the ending and the author was able to comment and tell me there were 2 other books to come out which would resolve that problem for me! I guess it could be good or bad based on the review.

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  2. Thanks for your insight Dana! I'm glad to see comments from a tour our appreciated. :)

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  3. I just nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Head over to my blog to get the details! www.readbetweenthecovers.blogspot.com

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  4. Actually, I get really excited when I see a comment or reply to my review, especially from the author themself! I appreciate that my thoughts were even acknowleged and that the author cares about my heartfelt babble. You royals just have to get off your thrones and mingle with the common folk lol Goodreads and blogs have made it possible for people like me to contact our favorite authors and show we are their biggest fan...I mean i'm sure people did this before with the whole picking up a pencil, writing words, stamping an envelope, and addressing it as "Fan Mail" but I didn't belive anyone would actually read it. Online, the authors comments on the reviews proves that they did read what you wrote and thus rewards your efforts in doing so. So don't stop commenting!

    Oh and personally, I choose to not post reviews of books that I don't enjoy...unless you are being constructive, it is just a waste of time and there really is no need to be negative.

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    1. Thanks so much for your thoughts Candy! I think you make an excellent point about being able to communicate with fans/authors/readers, etc. :)

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  5. As long as anyone who is commenting (author, reader, random person who just comments randomly) is civil about their comments, they are more than welcomed. I try very, very hard to contructively criticism a problem I had with a book in a review, and I hope anyone commenting would give me the same decency. The website that I have been reviewing for for ages now (8 years, I think) does not have a spot for comments, but I have received a number of emails then form the authors on both good and bad reviews; all have been very nice, and only one has explained something I had a critique on.

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    1. Thanks Ricki! It has been very interesting getting the feedback from all of you. I am glad to see that comments are welcomed. :) Thank you for adding to this post.

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  6. On my blog we only review the books we ended up liking, so I love when authors comment on the reviews- or on the interviews. I think our readers like to see their comments, too. On a negative review the author would have to be very open in order to comment. I don't think anyone wants to see an attack. Great post! Lots to think about. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Thanks Jess! I've seen some not-so-nice reviews (of other books) posted on sites and it terrifies me that I might have to read something like that about one of my books. So I think that's actually a nice policy to have on your site. Thank you for your comment and you're right...lots to think about! :)

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  7. I don't think there is anything wrong with an author commenting on a review, even a bad review. As long as it is not attacking the reviewer. I think if you can't handle bad reviews of your work, then you should definitely stray away from them. I know it may be hard to read a bad review, but there will always be people that like your work and people that don't.
    But I agree with what others have said. I think it's fun to see that an author has taken the time to check out a review and leave a comment :)

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    1. Thanks Jammie! I appreciate your comments!

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