Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down is feature on my blog to promote discussion and the sharing of opinions because I’m curious what other readers/bloggers think about the topics I bring up. Every other week I will give a topic to be discussed. You can give your vote on whether or not it is a thumbs up or a thumbs down for you and then explain why. The topics will cover anything related to reading, blogging, the book industry, etc. etc. Basically whatever is on my mind! This feature is NOT intended to be a place to bash anybody or start a nasty fight or controversy. It is a platform for a mature discussion and sharing of opinions. It is also NOT a feature in order to TELL you how you should blog or act or think. Just a discussion of ideas.
After observing something that happened recently in the blogging world (an author getting quite nasty on some comments and attacking a blogger who didn’t like the book) I started thinking about author interactions and how social media has really changed the dynamic in which authors and readers interact. Before blogs and Twitter it seems as the interactions were less personal (maybe at a signing or an event or by email) and there was this space that wasn’t breached where readers and authors just didn’t converse (about their books and other things) to the extent that they do now. If you didn’t like a book, you might have thrown a hissy fit and vented about what a pile of doody it was to a friend or sat down over coffee with a fellow reader and discussed the merits of the book and what you didn’t like about. Either way, you didn’t have to worry about the author walking up, mid rant, tapping you on the shoulder and trying to debate your opinion of their book with you. Conversely, social media has made authors and readers come together in a positive way where authors can become our friends and we can get excited with them about their books and share feedback.
What I want to know: That being said– what I want to talk about is how you feel about authors commenting on your review of their book (or Goodreads/LibraryThing review). Do you feel comfortable with this? Do you enjoy when an author gives feedback about your review (good or bad) or do you think an author should just email you privately to talk about it? What experiences have you had with authors interacting with your review? As an additional question, what do you think about interaction with authors in general? Do you feel pressure if you become friends with an author and then review their book? Authors–do you like interacting on reviews of your books? Publishers– do you encourage your authors to interact or stay away? Let’s discuss!
So..take it to a vote!
I’ve only really had one or two experiences with an author interacting and they have been all positive. I do interact with quite a few authors and sometimes I do feel the pressure when I review their book. I’m honest. I have to be because I don’t want to falsely advertise something just because I didn’t want an author to yell at me. I think that social media CAN make these situations sticky because it makes everything so accessible and feelings can get hurt. These situations get sticky when authors get overly emotional about it and decide to fight back and these types seem to be few and far between (the same goes for bloggers who write really nasty reviews making fun of authors and petty stuff..not a lot of them around). But I’m going to say thumbs up for this–despite the complications. I’ve seen so many instances where authors and readers can have a really great dialogue even if a reader didn’t LOVE their book. I think most authors understand that a book can’t be everything to all people. I think the positive has far outweighed the good, in my experience, as I love when I get a nice comment from an author about a book I truly enjoyed, but I think authors do need to walk away from a negative reviews if it’s going to be disrespectful of a blogger’s opinion when they took the time to engage with the text and form the opinion.
* For past Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down click here.