Should Authors Respond to Reviews – 30 Days of April #24

Today’s post was inspired by Drew (@SarcasticEnigma, also known as The Tattooed Book Geek). A tweet caught my eye this morning where he was talking about how he wrote a 2000 word review. He was very pleased with it, thought it did the book justice and generally couldn’t have done it any better. A response from the publicist was less positive and they wanted him to add few bits about a book in the series he had not even read yet. Now, I’m shocked to hear this! Maybe I’m naive, but please, that’s shocking. I read the review, it’s very well written; goes right into the book, tells us how he felt about it and why we should read it too. Hopefully all publicist have made themselves familiar with my review policy, as well as the previous reviews so they know what to expect. I hardly go so deep, as Drew did with his, in my reviews. On a slightly different note, but still related, I ran a poll on Twitter the other day. Check me out, huh! Although an underwhelming response, 19 people did participate and voiced their opinions about if authors should respond to reviews or not. A whopping 42% of those said they should never respond to comments. Yvonne commented by saying that if they respond to one, they have to respond to the next one. Be it positive or negative. However, responding to a negative review generally doesn’t make the author look good and could make the situation worse. I half agree with Yvonne, because at the end of the day it would be author’s prerogative to choose which ones to respond to or not. I have however had not such a great response to one of my less positive reviews. The author did not appreciate it and instead told me how the book had actually just won an award insinuating that I didn’t understand what I was reading etc. Not that great but I guess tastes are different. What I don’t like, some might love. It’s like this with everything. 37% thought they should, but only to the positive reviews. I’m in this group. The reason I’m in this group really is because I agree with Yvonne’s above comment – responding to a negative review generally doesn’t make the author look good. Responding to a positive review builds relationship between the reading community and the author; and I think it will make everyone involved feel good about their hard work, too. Out of the 19 people only 16% agreed that they should; and 5% chose other.   Sadly they did not explain why they chose their answers. I, personally, don’t think authors should respond to all reviews. What do you think? Should authors/publicists respond to reviews or not? Related