30 days of april

Should Authors Respond to Reviews | 30 Days of April #24

Today’s post was inspired by Drew (@SarcasticEnigma, also known as The Tattooed Book Geek). A tweet caught my eye this morning where he was talking about how he wrote a 2000 word review. He was very pleased with it, thought it did the book justice and generally couldn’t have done it any better. A response from the publicist was less positive and they wanted him to add few bits about a book in the series he had not even read yet.

Now, I’m shocked to hear this! Maybe I’m naive, but please, that’s shocking. I read the review, it’s very well written; goes right into the book, tells us how he felt about it and why we should read it too.

Hopefully all publicist have made themselves familiar with my review policy, as well as the previous reviews so they know what to expect. I hardly go so deep, as Drew did with his, in my reviews.

Twitter Poll - Should Authors Respond to Reviews

On a slightly different note, but still related, I ran a poll on Twitter the other day. Check me out, huh! Although an underwhelming response, 19 people did participate and voiced their opinions about if authors should respond to reviews or not.

A whopping 42% of those said they should never respond to comments.

Yvonne commented by saying that if they respond to one, they have to respond to the next one. Be it positive or negative. However, responding to a negative review generally doesn’t make the author look good and could make the situation worse.

I half agree with Yvonne, because at the end of the day it would be author’s prerogative to choose which ones to respond to or not. I have however had not such a great response to one of my less positive reviews. The author did not appreciate it and instead told me how the book had actually just won an award insinuating that I didn’t understand what I was reading etc. Not that great but I guess tastes are different. What I don’t like, some might love. It’s like this with everything.

37% thought they should, but only to the positive reviews.

I’m in this group. The reason I’m in this group really is because I agree with Yvonne’s above comment – responding to a negative review generally doesn’t make the author look good.

Responding to a positive review builds relationship between the reading community and the author; and I think it will make everyone involved feel good about their hard work, too.

Out of the 19 people only 16% agreed that they should; and 5% chose other.


Sadly they did not explain why they chose their answers. I, personally, don’t think authors should respond to all reviews.

What do you think? Should authors/publicists respond to reviews or not?


  • Stephanie

    I’ve been quite happy in the past when authors notice and respond (positively!) to my positive reviews. It always feels kind of validating to have them show up in the comments or on Twitter (I had an author like my tweet about his book the other day, a book I had positively GUSHED over, so that felt nice!). Responding to negative reviews…that feels awkward, and I agree, it doesn’t necessarily look good for the author (plus, there have been some VERY public meltdowns of authors who do this, including an author whose writing I really enjoy, and that never, ever looks good). I’ve had authors respond to negative reviews in the past and it just seems unnecessary. Not everyone will like everything, and though it’s hard to walk away from a review that stings, I think that’s what should be done.

    But positive attention? Heck yeah! 🙂 And I feel like authors can pick and choose to whom they respond. It’s their own personal time they’re granting us by responding; it’s not birthday treats for a classroom of children. Not everyone needs to receive the same thing. 😉

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