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View Full Version : Readers Reviews: What do you do?



san_remo_ave
02-13-2011, 02:50 AM
So, this month my debut romance was published. I've been trying to prepare myself for this --bracing for the inevitable ups and downs of reader's reviews.

I know it's bad form to react to a negative review. There have certainly been enough internet kerfluffles (http://kbgbabbles.blogspot.com/2011/02/what-happened-to-art-of-taking.html) and authors-behaving-badly episodes on Amazon over the years to learn from. So, I'm prepared for that, to steer a path of avoidance when it inevitably happens. And I'm OK with it, because I know and respect that everyone's opinions and preferences are their own.

But, what about great reviews? Till today, I hadn't really considered it. Those readers who have personally reached out to me, I have responded to directly. But in this instance, it's a great review on goodreads, plus the reader tweeted the review. And it's someone who follows me/I follow though we don't directly tweet.

What's the best way to handle something like that? Retweet? Retweet with a polite 'thank you'? Respond with a personal remark on goodreads 'glad you liked it'? Do nothing? My natural inclination is to RT with a polite 'thank you', but I hesitate. And I wonder what the best practice for good reviews is. Seems impolite to just ignore it.

What do you do when you see a great review of your story/book/article?

brainstorm77
02-13-2011, 02:54 AM
I don't respond to reviews good or bad.

san_remo_ave
02-13-2011, 03:00 AM
That's what I thought was best rule of thumb, but it feels impolite to not acknowledge.

That darn raised-to-be-polite, ma'am, is wearing on me. Thanks, brainstorm.

scarletpeaches
02-13-2011, 03:02 AM
If it's a good review on a blog, I leave a brief thank you. Likewise, if they bring it to my attention on Twitter. If it's a bad review, I don't respond because it never ends well for the author. Everyone's entitled to their opinion after all, and the author trying to change theirs just looks like a fit of petulance.

ETA: I got one review that was mostly good, with some criticisms. Because I'd solicited it, I thought it only good form to acknowledge it, so I said thank you, and added words to the effect of, "Your other points have given me something to work on for the next book."

san_remo_ave
02-13-2011, 03:19 AM
That helps quite a bit. Thanks, Scarlett!

Jersey Chick
02-13-2011, 04:54 AM
I thank the reviewer for taking the time. And that's it. :)

deborahlea
02-13-2011, 05:06 AM
This is good food for thought. I'm trying to prepare for this eventuality, too, since I always feel better walking into something prepared. Now I'm armed, if not exactly ready! :)

frimble3
02-13-2011, 05:24 AM
I thank the reviewer for taking the time. And that's it. :) And the beauty of this is that it works for all reviews: good, bad and all variations. : )

kurzon
02-13-2011, 06:05 AM
I follow the philosophy that if a reader wants to engage with me, they'll come to my blog, or send some kind of direct message. If it's a review I've solicited/had some pre-review discussion with the reviewer about, I'll thank them for taking the time. If it's a very nice book-blogger review I might link to it from my site.

I haven't had any outright negative reviews yet, but I guess I'd follow the same pattern for them, except adding a "Sorry it didn't work for you".

I don't altogether know what I'd do about a review which was based on, say, a factual error. That's a toughie.

san_remo_ave
02-13-2011, 06:50 AM
So, I think I've decided not to respond if it's a review posted on an independent site like Amazon, B&N, Goodreads. However, if someone Tweets it or reaches out to me directly, I'll respond.

In this case, I decided to RT with a simple 'thank you' and the reader engaged in a bit of dialog about the book, which was a nice outcome.

I think for negative reviews or even incorrect citations, I'll practice no response. It never works out well. Best to just stay away.

I'm sure at some point I'll stop checking, but it being the first and all, it's kinda hard not to peek. I'm weak, what can I say? ;)

Thank you guys so much for your responses!

Stacia Kane
02-13-2011, 08:41 AM
If they @ me on Twitter with the link, I say thanks, I'm glad they liked it and RT the link as a courtesy/thanks, because reviewers work hard on their reviews and I think they should be acknowledged for that. I don't reply directly to any reviews anywhere, not anymore.

mscelina
02-13-2011, 09:01 AM
Me either. I did get slammed once by a commenter on a site where I'd done an interview. The person went to my website and pulled out an excerpt, then publicly dogged the writing in the comments of this interview I'd just done. At first, I was pretty hot under the collar about it. In the end, though, I thanked the guy for his input and said something pretty banal about the subjectivity of fiction, but was as polite as I could be considering the words I was muttering at the computer screen while I typed.

That was several years ago, and it was the last time I ever responded publicly to a review good or bad. I'll post the links to my reviews and drop an email to the reviewer, thanking them for their time, but no more. Safer that way. It doesn't take a hell of a lot to create a nasty reputation for yourself because of online behavior. All you have to do to realize that is to take a walk through the B&BC section here on AW when some *publisher* or *agent* shows up to try and get pissy about the listings of author complaints against their company.

Amadan
02-13-2011, 09:07 AM
I love it when authors get upset over reviews, and links to their response explode across the book blogs, LiveJournal, and Fandom_Wank. Great way to turn a nasty review read by dozens into endless mockery read by thousands.

Jamesaritchie
02-13-2011, 10:24 AM
I don't read reviews, good or bad. As someone once said, if you believe the good ones, you;re duty bound to also believe the bad ones.

There isn't one blessed thing I can do about what any reviewer says, good or bad, so I simply don't read them, and don't care in the least. The readers I'm after don't usually write reviews, anyway. If they like the book, they write to me.

shaldna
02-13-2011, 02:02 PM
So, I think I've decided not to respond if it's a review posted on an independent site like Amazon, B&N, Goodreads. However, if someone Tweets it or reaches out to me directly, I'll respond.


likewise if someone takes time out to post something on my blog or website, it's always polite to acknowledge them. a thank you goes a long way.

san_remo_ave
02-14-2011, 12:01 AM
Me either. I did get slammed once by a commenter on a site where I'd done an interview. The person went to my website and pulled out an excerpt, then publicly dogged the writing in the comments of this interview I'd just done. At first, I was pretty hot under the collar about it. In the end, though, I thanked the guy for his input and said something pretty banal about the subjectivity of fiction, but was as polite as I could be considering the words I was muttering at the computer screen while I typed.

Ugh. People can be so ugly, esp with the anonymity of the internet.

Great advise. Thank you.

TrixieLox
02-14-2011, 05:07 PM
My book just came out in Germany and I plan to read all reviews and respond to any who directly engage with me. I know they say not to take bad reviews too seriously but I have pretty thick skin (ha, that'll change) and think it might be useful to learn where people think I'm going wrong. But so far, it's all good so yay!

Jess Haines
02-15-2011, 12:56 AM
I have a tendency to tweet/FB/blog good reviews, and usually stop by the originator's blog to offer them a "thank you" as I, too, feel it is impolite to ignore them. Most are not expecting author interraction and usually seem quite happy to have me stop by. Certainly hasn't hurt anything by doing so, either. :)

scarletpeaches
02-15-2011, 12:58 AM
If building up a rapport with readers and reviewers interests them in one's backlist, well...it's all to the good, right? ;)

fireluxlou
02-15-2011, 01:12 AM
Sylvia Massare - I read all that. I always cringe when I see authors retaliate especially on Amazon, if you don't completely love their work. People have their dislikes, you see or attempt to see if there's anything of merit from their critic and if there is not, you move on. If there is, you try and apply it to your work if you want too.

MissMacchiato
02-15-2011, 02:35 AM
I think not reading good or bad reviews is the most diplomatic and sensible thing to do, but I know I wouldn't be able to help myself. I'd have to try really hard not to engage, lol