Should Authors Comment On Reviews?
This has been the big discussion on the web. There are bloggers and authors on both sides of the fence, but most are stuck in the middle completely confused. Several bloggers have tried to come up with guidelines and several more have said not to bother. So what do I think? How do I feel?
I love comments! If I have taken the time to write up a review and an author happens on the site and says something, even if its just a thank you, it makes my day :) I really don't believe I am alone in this opinion. But that is my blog. I don't think the author should defend himself/herself in a comment if its a bad review. Nor do I believe that authors should be insulting if the reviewer gave them a 3 or lower. If you don't like the review, there is no need to make a spectacle of it. There isn't a single book that everyone can agree on, so you will have good, bad, and in-between reviews. Comments in no way intimidate me or sway my opinion. If the author and I are friends, and I review his/her work? I still can't be swayed. I have made many good friends through my blog and I will tell them my honest opinion on their work. If an author has asked me to review their work and then doesn't comment on it or in any way let me know they have read it, it makes me feel as if my time was unappreciated. I'm not particularly picky about how I am contacted or how the author says thank you. I did have a thank you card emailed to me from an author once and I was completely delighted :) But Nat made some good points:
No matter the rating, as long as they reviewer was respectful, I believe a polite “thank you for your time” email is always the best approach to authors – especially those who don’t know much about the place the review had been posted. Now if you know the blog’s readership and the blogger, you can have the liberty of leaving a comment and engage a further discussion.
If you can’t contact the reviewer directly, you can always contact the website via email and tell them to please thank the reviewer for you – they will receive your kind note.
And you can always develop a relationship with the blogger for future events by contacting them. Even a simple “thank you” is good enough.
In Doubt – ask before commenting! And if you don’t have something polite to say, then stay quiet!
I can't speak for all bloggers and I was frankly shocked that some of them were said to be intimidated when they think the author is going to read the review. Most authors will read a lot of their reviews, good or bad. So if you are blogging, even if you are an unknown, you should expect at some point the author will visit you or read your review somewhere. So what's my answer to these:
Reviewers feel more pressure when they know the author will read the review? Readers get intimidated knowing that the author will read their comment? I don't agree. If I loved your book or hated it, commenting on my review will not sway my opinion on the book. But if the author is snide or rude, it may change my opinion of the author.
What is your opinion? Do you think authors should comment? And be sure to check out all the rest of these bloggers opinions: