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Customer Discussions > Kindle Book forum

Why do some authors find the need to respond to every review?


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Showing 1-25 of 321 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 2, 2012 10:32:52 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 14, 2012 12:48:50 PM PDT
Matthew Fish says:
why

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 1:02:04 AM PDT
I think that quite possibly, the author does not want to sell any books? Self-defeating behavior, or a complete lack of professional boundaries probably does not help. Very sad.

Posted on Apr 3, 2012 1:09:33 AM PDT
The other side of the coin; Everyone, for sheer human impulse, will want react to negative judgement, in this case manifested by a poor review. That person then wants to perhaps clarify, or correct sometimes misunderstood intent. It's just an extension of life really.

I do agree it's self-defeating for authors.

Great topic!

Posted on Apr 3, 2012 4:19:48 AM PDT
Splinker says:
I think the biggest mistake an author can make, besides writing paranormal vampire books, is to respond to negative reviews. It only takes half a minute to say something that will follow you around forever. Like the time I mentioned I thought Snooki was hot.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 6:24:51 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 3, 2012 6:27:47 AM PDT
@Splinker Snooki?!.. HAHA!!.. re; responding to criticism.. but how do you resist?? :) authors are after all 'all-knowing' in their own eyes.. why write if you don't think your views paramount?? :)

Posted on Apr 3, 2012 6:25:01 AM PDT
Let me suggest a few scenarios. In each case, would it be better for the author not to leave the comment?
In each case, let's make the wild assumption that the comment is very tactful, mature, professional, etc. (Perhaps the challenge in writing the comment in this way is enough to warrant not leaving a comment at all.)
(A) The author receives feedback from a review, considers it, and actually revises the book based on that review. The author is considering whether or not to post a comment on the review to indicate this.
(B) The author appreciates the time and thoughtfulness of the reviewer, and wants to convey this with a personal touch in the form of a comment.
(C) The author is genuinely sorry that the reader wasn't happy with the purchase, and wants to reach out personally with a comment.
(X) If you can think of any other situations where the author's comment may be worth the risk.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 6:26:09 AM PDT
Splinker says:
I just think about all the flame wars I've seen where an author takes up the flag of injustice and ends up looking like Charlie Sheen on a Sunday morning.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 6:31:23 AM PDT
sorry, post was snipped.. the net in general is a cauldron of opposing views that can go on into the abyss.. still good though expressing ideas.. so why not challenge what the writer perceives as a misinterpretation of your work?.. if fear of loss of revenue is the dissuader.. then again what really is the writer's motive for writing in the first place?

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 6:31:47 AM PDT
I think it's only polite to let the reviewer (ie the reader) have the last word. After all, they are who the book is intended for. So the only one of your scenarios I think is justified is (A)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 6:34:11 AM PDT
@Chris McMullen.. I would take any of the above opportunities.. 'professionalism' being the key.. Don't we write to exchange ideas?.. I would love for any reader to communicate with me directly.. at least until they start stalking me LOL

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 6:45:17 AM PDT
Splinker says:
If you want to put your reputation on the line by engaging with a negative reviewer, that's fine. I think you might be surprised at the length of time such discussions keep their bite though.

Posted on Apr 3, 2012 6:53:01 AM PDT
HJ Leonard says:
Bottom line is that reviews are not intended for the author, but for other readers. There really is no appropriate time for an author to comment on a review.

What the author gets out of a review is incidental, and if they use it, great, but in general, a reviewer does not want a response from an author, even if it is a nice one.

In my own opinion, I feel very uncomfortable when an author responds, and I've had authors respond both ways, good and bad. My mental response to them is, 'I'm not talking to you, I'm talking to someone else.' It also makes me feel pressured to give less honest, more positive reviews on the next go 'round, or less likely to even give another review at all.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 9:53:12 AM PDT
Personal comments from authors on reviews that were written to other readers is creepy. It doesn't matter what the content of the comment is.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 9:58:43 AM PDT
A ~ Author makes comment in book description for all to see.

B ~ Author tells friends how appreciative he/she is of reviews.

C ~ Author keeps sorrow to self and realizes her/his comments aren't appropriate.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 10:00:23 AM PDT
"Don't we write to exchange ideas?.. I would love for any reader to communicate with me directly.. "

Then provide a place online, like a free blog, where readers are invited to communicate with you. But do not insert yourself into a reader's space and force your communication upon them. They did not invite you there.

Posted on Apr 3, 2012 1:40:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 3, 2012 1:41:32 PM PDT
AmeliaAT says:
I always wonder if the author hasn't written either fanfiction or free fiction on an archive where reviews really are meant as much for the author as for the readers, perhaps even more so, and the author doesn't understand the very different arena they're now in and that it is inappropriate in the vast majority of cases to comment on a review. Even when the review gets a fact wrong. Even when the review from a total stranger makes you want to sing and dance and you'd love to thank them profusely. Even when the review makes you want to tear your hair out or lie on your bed and bawl like a baby.

There are very, very, very few times when I think it's acceptable for an author to comment on a review left on Amazon or another vendor site.

I have to say, I even found it a bit creepy when an author contacted me out of the blue to thank me for putting his book on my to-read list on Shelfari (or it may have been Good Reads, I forget which it was now). I mean, all I did was buy the book and put it on my TBR list.

I don't mind if an author contacts me via email or PM or whatever on a site that's not associated with Amazon about something that is relevant in some way -- even if it's to thank me for a review or to comment on an upcoming book I might like or to ask advice about something (in an intelligent way and for a reason that makes sense, not just completely out of the blue). But hands off the Amazon reviews. (I recently saw one book where the author thanked each reviewer for the review in a comment; this may not have been the hugest "no-no," but it still struck me as strange and not good policy.)

ETC typo

Posted on Apr 3, 2012 1:54:38 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 15, 2012 10:32:27 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 2:08:28 PM PDT
"I always wonder if the author hasn't written either fanfiction or free fiction on an archive where reviews really are meant as much for the author as for the readers, perhaps even more so, and the author doesn't understand the very different arena they're now in and that it is inappropriate in the vast majority of cases to comment on a review."

That's an excellent question, Amelia. I wouldn't be a bit surprised to find out that does apply in a lot of cases.

Posted on Apr 3, 2012 7:17:09 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 3, 2012 8:03:02 PM PDT
Brent Butler says:
I didn't see anything wrong with the comments in the OP's link, but I agree that in general it is poor practice for an author to engage reviewers. Putting out a book is not an activity for the thin-skinned. I've seen quite a few examples of "author's behaving badly", and been subjected to one author's desire to argue with my review of his book over an almost two year period of time. LOL That's Narcissism with a capital "N". At one point he seemed to realize his mistake and one day deleted several pages worth of comments under my review. Then a few months later he started it all up again. Unbelievable.

Posted on Apr 3, 2012 7:42:34 PM PDT
Matthew Fish says:
What I find most sickening is the fact that she has rallied all of her friends from the ABNA's to attack my review and opinion of her book.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 7:55:25 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 15, 2012 10:32:40 PM PDT]

Posted on Apr 3, 2012 7:58:38 PM PDT
In the author's defense... a friendly comment shows the author cares about the community.

Above me, I see the post "the author doesn't understand the very different arena they're now in" and other posts suggesting it's an intrusion of the reader's space (I, personally, think it's a little creepy to get a thank-you-for-buying note). But I ask... does there really need to be a wall? Brooke McEldowney (Pibgorn) had commenting-capacity removed from his work because he didn't feel it should be a community thing. Seems he believes in the days when communication only ran one direction.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 3, 2012 9:20:54 PM PDT
Yes, there needs to be a wall. Reviews are reader space. Product description is author space. We don't want to chill reviewers from giving honest opinions.

Posted on Apr 3, 2012 9:39:16 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Apr 3, 2012 9:45:28 PM PDT]

Posted on Apr 3, 2012 9:45:00 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 15, 2012 10:33:00 PM PDT]
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Discussion in:  Kindle Book forum
Participants:  81
Total posts:  321
Initial post:  Apr 2, 2012
Latest post:  Oct 17, 2012

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