Recently I read a post by The Bookavid, where they talked about all the reasons why authors shouldn’t comment on reviews of their own books. They talked about authors attacking people who wrote negative reviews, and obviously I’m completely against that. This is the bit that got me thinking, though, about commenting on positive reviews:
This is an invasion of safe space. Reviewers sort-of exist in this bubble universe of the book industry. It’s absolutely okay to share a positive review of your book that you liked, that’s what they’re for after all – but oh boy, please, please don’t comment. Not even to say thanks. Just don’t.
I just can’t decide if I agree with this or not. I commented to say that I don’t think I’d mind if an author commented on my positive review, and they argued that we need those safe spaces. And besides, if we say positive is okay, where do we draw the line? Is three stars good or bad? Really, I see both sides to this, and I’m pretty conflicted.
A lot of the reviews I write are done in a particular way where I address the authors – I call them out for things they did wrong, I ask them to fix the thing in book 2, etc, especially if it was a book that was good but with flaws. I hope that they will read it, because I know they have the potential to be better. But I’ve only really just started becoming more twitter savvy over the last little while, so I often forget to tag the author in my review. Then it’s good if they find it on their own, and comment their thoughts! On the flip side, I would hate for them to think I’m criticising them, and get angry or offended about it. So, we go back to saying that maybe it is safer for them to not comment on any at all?
But then I think of them reading the posts, or sharing them, but not commenting on them themselves. This is where it gets even trickier. Imagine if your favourite author regularly stalked your blog, reading all your five star reviews, but never. Said. A. Word. Scary, right? But then, imagine if they did say something on every review, but book 4 fell really flat for you, and let down the series, and was a one or two star read. Could you go and rip it apart knowing that your fav was most likely going to read it? But for those positive reviews that are going to really make their day… It’s like I want to pick and choose what they read, and sometimes tagging them in a tweet isn’t going to do that!
What are we summarising in this post? Nothing, is the answer. I can see both sides, really. Maybe we all need big disclaimers on our blogs, letting authors know what’s acceptable and what’s not? Maybe we all need author’s private email addresses so we can send them the links? Let me know your thoughts, because I think it’s a really interesting topic!