01 July 2013

Book Blogger Confessions: Author Interactions

Hosted by For What It's Worth and Midnyte Reader, Book Blogger Confessions is a bi-weekly feature where bloggers confess all about blogging or bookish topics.

Author interactions. Have you ever emailed an author to tell them you loved/disliked their book? As a book reviewer, do you think we should cross that line? 

Do you mind when authors re-tweet or comment on reviews? Does that intimidate you in any way in regards to review writing, knowing that they may be reading it?

Do author interactions - both pro or con - change how you view their work?

I've never emailed an author to tell them I've loved their book, but I definitely Tweet them if I have, or if I'm enjoying their book halfway through!  I think it's a nice way to open up a relationship, but I'm also a little wary that I'm creating some kind of unrealistic expectation - if I love their first book and tell them all about it, what happens if I don't like the next one?  Will they go rogue?  

I think the vast, vast majority of authors have enough common sense to thank a reviewer and leave it at that - there are a small minority that seem to think it's acceptable to 'fight back' against a negative (or even a not so negative) review, and that's what causes so many of these horrible author vs reviewer dramas that rear up from time to time.

I'm know I'm in a small minority here, but I don't mind when authors comment on my reviews, as long as it's respectful.  I know that a lot of bloggers don't feel that it's appropriate, and I understand that too - but personally I'm always a little tickled to think that the author has taken the time to comment.  And I love when they re-Tweet my reviews!   On the flip-side, it does make me nervous when I'm writing a review, but it doesn't stop me from being honest.  I always try and be as respectful as possible and always make it about the book, but it does stress me out sometimes - it's one of the few downsides of blogging.

Interacting with an author doesn't change my opinion of their work, but an author that interacts well with their readers does make me more likely to check out what their book is about, and occassionally has made me more receptive to trying their work.  

All of these things have pros and cons, and it's a very individual thing on how we approach them, and my advice to anyone is to figure out how YOU want to interact and stick with it - don't feel that you HAVE to interact with authors if you aren't comfortable with it, and don't feel that you have to be the same as everyone else in how you interact.  It's your space and you should be comfortable in how you use it.


  1. I'm kind of with you when I'm reviewing a book and I'm thinking "I wonder what the author will think when she reads this", especially if it's a negative one. I don't deny it; when I give a negative 1 or 2 star review, I can be really harsh. I can be very nitpicky and overanalytical and I'll say what I don't like with a snarky comment here and there, but I always make sure that these criticisms are from and for the book at hand only. I never cross that line where I start dissing the author. That's not cool. And whenever I write these reviews, I'm always scared of fans going to my review space and troll me, or the author questioning my arguments. But then again, at the end of the day, honesty is what matters, although I'm afraid of possible confrontations! Haha.

    That doesn't mind I don't mind authors interacting with me! I agree with you that an author that interacts well with their readers make me more inclined to check out their work more. I've had several of these instances whenever a debut author follows me on Twitter and I initiate conversations with their books. It's awesome.

    Very interesting insights! Man, and I wrote such a long review. I apologize. Haha!

    Faye @ The Social Potato Reviews

  2. "if I love their first book and tell them all about it, what happens if I don't like the next one? Will they go rogue? "

    yes! exactly! I've *met* authors via twitter because I've loved their books and then oops....I hate the next one. Oh well...it happens. I still have to be honest.

    I find that I meet more authors online just talking about pets, travel, books (not their own) etc. and forget they're authors. Then when I read and dislike their book it's awkward. lol

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

  3. You know that didn't even occur to me. I never think "what if the author reads this review" haha because I assume there are SO many reviews out there that it's so unlikely they would end up reading mine - such that when they have I'm so delighted and flabberghasted that they stumbled upon my review. Sometimes it's so hard to write reviews even positive ones because how do you really get across just how awesome ...or not awesome it was haha.

    I'm glad you don't let their behavior stop you from reading a book also - or that's what I assume from reading your take on not letting their interaction influence your opinion of their work. So does that mean you'll still read it if the author has drama surrounding them?

  4. "Interacting with an author doesn't change my opinion of their work, but an author that interacts well with their readers does make me more likely to check out what their book is about, and occassionally has made me more receptive to trying their work. "<---- I think that this a great point

  5. It's always hard writing a negative review, especially when there's the possibility an author might read it. But at the end of the day it all boils down to respect (from both the author AND the blogger). I always try to keep in mind that just because I didn't like a book, doesn't mean someone else won't. I try to view it in an objective way and certainly never will attack an author as a person. On the flip side, as an author you've gotta know that not everyone is going to appreciate/enjoy your work and even if/when there are negative reviews (even non-respectful ones), you can't take it personally. So I have absolutely NO tolerance for authors behaving badly. Attacking a person on ANY level, for ANY reason is totally unjustified.

    Now all that being said, I do love how social media and blogging makes authors more accessible. For avid readers like ourselves, THESE guys/gals are our celebrities, so being able to connect and interact with them on a personal level is like a dream come true. And while I don't ever EXPECT an author to read or respond to what I write, it definitely makes all the difference when they do. It's a wonderful feeling knowing that they've acknowledged my crazy fangirling and opinions of their work. They certainly don't have to do that so it's super cool when they do.

    And I'm sorry, but I don't see Brad Pitt or Sandra Bullock ever tweeting me back, so yeah. Authors are just awesome like that!

  6. I've always gotten excited when an author comments on my reviews, and can't imagine that not being the case. I think I've even had authors comment on somewhat negative reviews, with comments that aren't upset, but add a little something to help me understand where they were coming from better. It doesn't necessarily change my opinion of the book, but do thing it's something when you can read and respond positively to something negative.



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