Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Should Authors Comment On Reviews?

I'd love to know anyone else's opinion on this.

This may sound incredible, but until yesterday I hadn't even noticed that you could comment on reviews.  I only did so when I noticed 3 comments on one of mine.

I skimmed past a blog posted on Twitter about this yesterday; unfortunately, something else distracted me and I forgot to read it, then later on I found myself wondering about that very thing.

My initial reaction is NO!  I make the following points:

  • It would be lovely to thank everyone for the good reviews, but then you would also have to thank people for the so-so ones, wouldn't you?  And make some reasonable sounding comment about the bad ones.
  • People are entitled to express their opinion in a public arena without having it criticised and questioned.
  • Whereas thanking someone for something can never be wrong, people should be confident enough in their own work not to have to explain or justify it.
  • You can't tell people how to read something; for instance, you can't say "But Penelope's motivation was always to have Raoul love her, not just to retrieve the diamonds!"  Maybe you should've sharpened old Raoul up a bit, I say.
  • It would be tempting to get into further discussion with someone who had bothered to write a review but is it all that productive?  I am writing this off the top of my head and it just occurred to me that maybe this could be a 'YES' argument.
  • Apart from thanking someone, it's not very cool.

Would LOVE opinions on this!


  1. I absolutely agree. It's a bit like people posting comments/videos/whatever on Facebook and then 'Liking' it - we know you like it, you posted it! Also, in the case of commenting on reviews, it reeks of insecurity and does an author no favours.

  2. I would say no, don't comment if the review is a bad one, and that's from the experience that I have had commenting on reviews. It's very tempting to comment on a bad review, our books are our babies and we want to protect them :) but some people write bad reviews for the hell of it and they love it if you comment because then they can write even more nasty things (they are known as trolls lol). As for commenting on the nice reviews, I think that's okay. I love it when someone loves my books and I think it's nice to thank them for reading the book and writing the review.

  3. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said people are entitled to their opinion without being criticised or pulled into a discussion about it. However, I have to say it is highly irritating when a reader writes a bad review because the book just is not their cup of tea. Give a bad review because you felt the book was badly written or because the plot was not well thought out but not because you downloaded something that was not to your taste. I find the reviewers vicious at times. It really is a case of if you put yourself out there you suddenly become not human any more and they can say what they like no matter how hurtful and you won't be moved by it. I have been in tears and had to have my publisher talk me back into writing. I now learn from the bad ones if I can.
    Enjoyed your post.

  4. Semolina Pilchard24 April 2012 at 03:52

    I thought Penelope's motivation for getting Raoul to love her was revenge against Raoul's mother who she thought had been so unkind to her during her years in exile but had actually been her secret benefactor all along.

  5. I wish I could say thanks for taking the time to review but I do not think it works that way. I do speak to people who approach me on facebook or twitter.

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