Saturday, December 31, 2011

Saturday Discussions: Authors Commenting on Posts

I was browsing on an author's site recently (can't remember who) and they were talking about how they felt a little nervous to comment on post's that showcase their work--whether it's a review or a Waiting on Wednesday post or something else. It got me thinking about this and Jessica and I thought it would be a great topic for discussion.

Authors are meant to be on the internet to interact with their fanbase by writing out blogs, holding contests and being genuinely fabulous so that reader's want to read their novels. I think a huge part of that is knowing the community they are going to write for. Which means that I think it's important that authors look at book reviewing sites and interact.

I know that when I take the time to write up a post about books I'm excited about, it makes me feel super awesome when a writer leaves a quick comment or shoots me an email letting me know they saw the post and thanking me for featuring their book. Ann Redisch Stampler (author of the upcoming Where It Began) is particularly good at this. Every time I've talked about her novel, she left a comment or sent me an email with something sweet to say. And you know what? It makes me feel really, really good.

As many of you bloggers will agree, we put a lot of time and effort into reading all about the latest books and shouting from the rooftops about things we love or are excited about. I'm certainly not complaining about the work I do for this blog. I wouldn't do it if I didn't want to. And I'm not saying that every book I mention on this blog should come with a personal note thanking me for talking about it. What I am saying is that I think it's awesome when an author realizes how much work we do and takes the time to thank us. It certainly isn't a requirement but it sure does make my day.

I've been noticing that a lot more authors are doing this lately. I was just contacted by Courtney King Walker (author of On The Fringe) who talked about seeing one of my posts with her novel in it and who thanked me for an interview I did with her a while ago again even though she'd already thanked me once before. There are so many authors now that are doing these sort of things and I think it's fantastic. I love it when authors join in discussions too.

The only time I don't think it's appropriate for an author to comment is when it's a negative review. I know that, at least for me, I never want to review something badly but also that it's my responsibility as a book reviewer to give the readers an honest opinion. It doesn't mean I don't feel badly about it. Heck, I'm a writer myself so I know how much it stinks to have someone not like your work. As a reviewer, I don't want to know that an author has read my negative review, especially when they disagree with it. Likewise, even if it's a positive review I prefer to get an email about it than a comment where everyone can see. To be fair, I've never seen an author do either of these things but I just thought I'd cover it.

Pretty much every time I go to an author signing or event, I hear them express gratitude to the blogging community for all the work we do. I love how this is turning into comments on our blogs and emails in our inboxes. Am I saying that I won't love an author if they don't do this? Heck no. But I will say that I feel very fondly towards the authors that are doing this and I definitely shout a little louder about them to the people I know and love.

So I'm for authors commenting on blogs or emailing a quick thank you. It makes me feel good and anything that spreads cheer is alright by me!

What about you bloggers? How do you feel about authors commenting on blog posts?

Authors? Do you do this? Why or why not?

*Just so this is clear, I don't expect authors to comment on posts. This isn't their job. Rather, I really like it when they do and should they feel like they want to, I always appreciate it!*


  1. I think that when authors comment or email a blogger, it's completely awesome! It does make the blogger feel particularly special. :) I don't really think that they should comment on a negative review. Heck, I wouldn't even want an author reading a negative review of their work in the first place! But comments on WoW posts or interviews are pretty great. :) Awesome topic, Amber!

  2. I've had a couple of authors make a quick little 'thank you' and I felt such an honor! I feel that authors should make some attempt to thank us reviewers...but it would be a little awkward if they left a comment or email about a negative. I know when someone has something negative thing to say about one of my writing pieces I feel like crap...and I feel like crap when I give a negative review. But yes...a little nice 'thank you' is an ego-boost. Plus the good lovin' goes both ways; the author has a good review and the reviewers has had an author appreciate the work we put into the review. ^.^

    Great topic!

  3. Dear Amber,

    What an extremely nice post!

    I just wanted to reassure that if YA writers aren't getting in touch, it's not that we aren't appreciating and talking about bloggers extensively, it's probably just that some writers have more of a sense of propriety than I do. I think that there's a feeling among some writers that since YA bloggers also review their books, being friendly could be inappropriate.

    To my mind, though, reading something positive about my book or seeing a post like this one is such a powerful experience, I feel compelled to let the blogger know.

    And so (perhaps inappropriately), thank you, thank you, thank you!


  4. @Ann Stampler, that is what I was trying to say. I don't begrudge an author for not commenting. I feel completely neutral if they don't because I want them to be writing their novels and trying to live their lives.

    Rather, I appreciate when an author does take the time to comment. I hope this is clear. The question more or less was-- how do you feel about an author commenting on posts? I wanted to express that I encouraged it and it makes us as blogger's feel good.

  5. I love this post; it's really reassuring. As a YA author, I try to stay abreast of new reviews or "Waiting on Wednesdays" or wish lists or anything that mentions one of my books, but I'm always nervous about being "overly" familiar. I mean, sometimes I'll find something that's just been posted and think, "Holy smokes, this person will think I'm stalking them if I thank them right away!" That may just be me being insecure, but it's nice to know that it's okay for me to thanks a blogger or reviewer for the hard work they do! Thanks for the post and Happy New Year!!!

  6. I love it when Authors comment on my posts. Or even Retweet me on Twitter and thank me for my review. It makes me feel that they actually care. That there not some person who hides away from the world and actually cares about their readers. I got a reply from Karsten Knight on Twitter for my review and did a ten minute happy dance... Sure it's a little much, but it shows me that they care and are willing to take the time to read what we think about their books.
    I definatly don't want them commenting on my negative reviews, not that I give that many, I read the books I like. But when I have to I don't want the author emailing me saying something about the review, it would make me feel guilty! I'd rather they just not do anything on a negative review.
    Great topic! :)

  7. I'm not much of a YA blogger, most of my stuff is 18+ but the authors that have come on my blog and interacted with the readers on my blog are just awesome! I tend to gravitate to an author who needs more exposure than I do an author who already has enough exposure that he or she is in fear of getting a sunburn. *that was supposed to be funny* What I am trying to say is on our blog we are quirky and fun and we hope our authors are as well. If we have to give a "negative" review, my thoughts on this are there is ALWAYS something about a book that is positive. Heck, you can even say it makes an excellent door stop. (again....that's a joke) But to say that you'd rather not hear from the author publicly after you've publicly given them an unfavorable review seems to be a double standard. I realize some people aren't all grounded and might not be so polite about your negative review; however, that just shows who they are and might hurt your feelings a little bit. I think this is a forum where we should all be able to gracefully give our opinions, laugh, enjoy each other's point of view and find some new friends. There will be people along the way that we absolutely do not get along with, there always are. Nothing you can do about that.

    My point is.....If an author wants to comment on a negative review, I believe that author has the right as long as it is done professionally -- yeah, I can be long winded. Sorry about that!

    Ya'll have a Happy New Year

  8. @The Bakin_Goddesses, you bring up a good point. As long as the author is polite and not being disrespectful, there is nothing wrong with them commenting on a negative review. That being said, I think what I was getting at is giving a negative review is sometimes awkward for the blogger too. For me as a blogger, I always feel sad when I have to give a bad review (I'm a writer too so I understand what it takes to write a novel) and never aim to hurt an author's feelings. I don't even popularize that bad ones. So while an author can (and has the right to) comment on a bad review, I'm just not sure it's always right. Especially if they do it defensively.

  9. This is one of my favorite things about blogging! I know I always get a special sort of rush when an author comments on my blog about something. Elise Allen always makes me smile with her comments about my love for POPULAZZI, and Jennifer Hubbard cracks me up when we discuss k-drama. :)

  10. I always love it when an author leaves a comment on my blog, for a review I've done.

    I haven't ever had an author respond to one of my negative reviews, but I wouldn't mind if they did, especially if they handled it in a mature and respectful manner.
    For me to say that authors "shouldn't" comment on a negative review implies that I wouldn't stand by my review - if somebody wants to call me on it, I think that's okay, why not let them have their piece.

    What's not okay, are authors who leave emotional/melodramatic/whiny/crazy posts on the blogosphere. That's just sad. And unfortunately, that's the majority of what you see when authors respond to negative reviews.

  11. Knowing that authors may read my blog sometimes makes me nervous. I'm always afraid if I write a negative review I might hurt their feelings or something. Luckily I havent had to write one yet! That being said, I get super geeked when a writer responds to positive reviews I write. The first time an author commented happened shortly after I started blogging. I had a huge smile plastered to my face and I e-mailed everyone in my family! I don't ever feel disappointed when an author doesn't comment because I know they are very busy people, but on the occassion that they do it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

    - Jackie

  12. Hi Amber,
    Very belated response to your Dec. 31 comment. I think you were very clear. I didn't at all get the impression that you had negative feelings toward writers who didn't comment, and I'm so sorry if I seemed to be implying that.


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