Monday, January 16, 2012

Review Etiquette

Every once in a while, you hear about an author who responded nastily to a negative review. This is generally regarded as a good time to get popcorn and lurk for the lulz, because those situations never end well for the author.


So my advice to authors is ignore bad reviews. Even if it's a totally unfair opinion or you just want to correct this one little thing ----

NO.   Let it go.

Because, however sweet you think you are being, telling someone their opinion is wrong only makes you look like a jerk.

What about the other side of the coin, though? What if you get a really fantastic review that warmed your heart and made your day/week/year?

Is it okay to thank the reviewer? Tell them how much you appreciate it?

Or will that look smarmy, like you're trying to ingratiate yourself with them for future good reviews?

Would it freak the reviewer out, to hear from you, and make them self-conscious about their writing? That could lead to resentment.

What do you think?


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. stupid Blogspot deleted my reply--here's the gist again.

    I believe that an author should never reply to any review, be it bad or good. Neither should they allow their friends/fangirls to do so, because it's always obvious and just looks like you sicced them on the reviewer.

    Celebrate the good, share them with your blog readers/friends etc, but do not reply to the reviewer. The reviewer will NOT expect it, and you look like the kind of saddo that we all really are, stalking the net for reviews. With bad reviews, take something from them. If you notice that you get a theme in your not-so-good reviews (my endings are often criticised) then take that on board and perhaps do something about it.

    Lick your wounds very much in private. We rarely see best-selling authors getting pissed off about reviews in public--although when we do, it's always a train wreck.

  3. never reply to any review

    That's always been my belief, too. :) Then I got to questioning myself - maybe I'm being impolite? Maybe the reviewer would like to know?

    Self-doubt, the constant companion of authors.

  4. I completely agree. And thank you Susanne for afront sound reason to a very decisive area of blogging.

    I always add that any negative review is my opinion and may not be my readers. I would never tell anyone not to read a book. I encourage my readers to prove me wrong.

    1. Cool!! And thank you!! :) I appreciate a reviewer's opinion on this.