Showing posts with label writers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writers. Show all posts

Monday, December 19, 2016

When Authors Reply to Reviews and Why This is a Problem | #AuthorsBehavingBadly

I've talked about #AuthorsBehavingBadly on Social Media in general before, but replying to reviews is a whole different matter that absolutely deserves its own post in my opinion.
Many authors who have just had their first book published and are slowly getting their first reviews or are simply not very active and well-versed in book community etiquette, will probably end up doing this.

Not all authors who comment on reviews have a malicious intention and I'm going to start of talking about those authors that really -just didn't know- they aren't supposed to comment.


Scenario 1: You wrote a good review and the author is commenting to say something nice

Why it's not cool
While this is clearly just a nice gesture of the author, or at least meant as such, this is an invasion of safe space. Reviewers sort-of exist in this bubble universe of the book industry. Iit's absolutely okay to share a positive review of your book that you liked, that's what they're for after all - but oh boy, please, please don't comment. Not even to say thanks. Just don't. Tweet the review if you like, share the link if you like, we appreciate it, but please don't comment.

When it's okay
Should you have gotten tagged in the review, this is a whole other story.

See, it all comes down to consent. Reviewers aren't interested in discussions with authors unless they are actively seeking those out. I wouldn't be reviewing if any and every author commented on my reviews. It just doesn't feel safe, you're feeling obligated to be nicer than you usually would have, you're not really able to express your opinion without cringing at the thought of the author reading it - it's just a mess.

So unless you have been sent the review, your comment isn't wanted.

Scenario 2: You wrote a negative review and the author is going "um, actually" on you


Why it's not cool
This is probably the nightmare of every reviewer. Having to justify yourself to the artist. - I get it, your books are your babies and you poured your heart and soul into this, but welcome to the real world. People will dislike your work and it will happen frequently and this is a thing you have to be able to deal with professionally, else, you're probably not in the right industry. 

I'm sorry but this is just making thing unnecessarily hard for everyone. The reviewer's irritated, the author's probably angry, the possible readers are weirded out. Why would you want that?

When it's okay
No matter what the reviewer said and no matter how much you think they're wrong, doing this is never ever ever ever ever okay. Even if you are sent a review, bashing reviewers is a no no. 


"Okay, so you say this isn't good, but I'm still going to comment, I don't care. They're wrong, I'm going to call them out."

The thing is, I'm addressing this in the first place because it is a problem. Recently a dear friend of mine has quit blogging after an author with a medium-sized following decided to unleash their fury on them. 

  • Completely ignoring that this is cyberbullying - is that really the message you want to convey?
  • To have bloggers be scared to be scalded whenever they leave a negative review?
  • To make bloggers want to quit reviewing?
Time and time again I have to say that reviewers deserve respect, that we are a vital part of the publishing industry and that without us, many NYT-bestselling authors wouldn't be where they are right now.


So what have we learned?
  • Reviewers want their safe space and deserve their safe space
  • Respecting boundaries also includes biting your tongue when encountering negative reviews
  • Putting negativity into the world will probably come to bite you in the butt eventually. (RE: the stories of the cyberstalking/cyberbullying authors who aren't selling books anymore now, you know the ones)


How do you feel about authors replying to your reviews? 

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Sunday, August 7, 2016

Why Book Bloggers Don't Reply To Your Review Requests and How to Fix It





Again, it is time for another "I'm so upset about the sheer volume of ridiculous emails in my inbox that I write a post about it".

This time in the only form people seeking reviews seem to be able to read: Bullet points.

Again, this is mostly directed at inexperienced authors. Please, if you're reading this, take my advice. it works wonders.

I don't know how often I've said it, but the #1 remedy is always reading a review policy. I have specific instructions in mine, and if you're not following them, I'm not even opening your email. Be respectful.


Addressing

OKAY
  • "Hi/Hey/Howdy/(greeting of choice)/ Dear [Name]"
  • "Hi/Hey/Howdy/(greeting of choice)/ Dear [Blog Name]"

NOT OKAY
  • "Hi/Hey/Howdy/(greeting of choice)"

Why: If you're not even bothering to write my name, pretty sure it's a mass email. Delete.

First Line

OKAY
  • [jumps right to pitch]
  • Personalization
  • Tell me why *I* am the right blog for this

Why: I like a good personalization. If you show me you read my blog, reference one of my tweets/interests, you've already got a foot in the door. Even if your book isn't for me, chances are I might give you some helpful feedback. Make me feel special and I'll be nice to you. It's okay if you jump right to the pitch as well if you can't think of anything.

NOT OKAY
  • "I know you don't like this genre"
  • [pitch for a genre I don't read]
  • "I know you don't read this, but"
  • "I know you receive many submissions/are you so busy, but"
  • I'm a big fan of your blog (Note: almost always a lie, I react allergic to it at this point)

Why: Lies are never good. Just say nothing instead of lying. Don't try to guilt-trip me into reading something, and don't try to talk me into trying a genre that I don't want to read. You'll fail.

Negotiating

OKAY
  • I'm offering you a free copy for review

NOT OKAY
  • I'm offering you a free copy for review on the following sites:
  • I'm offering you a free copy, if
  • If you're not interested, can you promote my book anyway

Why: Book bloggers know what they're doing. You come across as patronizing. We're not going to change our habits because of you. Who do you think you are to even suggest that? Delete.


After You Sent the Book

OKAY
  • asking whether I received the book

NOT OKAY
  • reminding me of the launch date
  • giving me a deadline à la "have you read it yet, if not read it by"
  • asking me how much I read
  • asking me when I'll post the review
  • following up in any form whatsoever

Why: Chill out. Your book will be read if I said that it would be. The only thing you'll achieve is that I won't ever work with you again. Maybe decide to not even read the book and cancel our whole arrangement because you're annoying to work with.


Tips:
  • Don't listen to any tips you get from people who aren't bloggers and reviewers
  • Don't listen to any tips you get from people who have successfully spammed their way into getting a lot of reviews
  • Read review policies (!!!!)
  • Personalize your requests and pick the bloggers you target carefully
  • Read review policies


Authors: If you have any more questions, there's an option to submit a comment anonymously. 

Bloggers: Any pet peeves to add?

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