Discussion: Author Interactions – Do You or Don't You?

July 1, 2013 Discussion 29

This week the topic is Author interactions. Have you ever emailed an author to tell them you loved/disliked their book? As a book reviewer, do you think we should cross that line? Do you mind when authors re-tweet or comment on reviews? Does that intimidate you in any way in regards to review writing, knowing that they may be reading it? Do author interactions – both pro or con – change how you view their work?

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Author Interactions

Meeting Authors – have book will drive!

I absolutely LOVE interacting with authors! I’m sure many of you will agree that they are our Rock Stars! I will travel hours to meet an author that I love, or an author that I haven’t yet read a book by, if I’m excited about said book. Heck I just met Neil Gaiman last night – though I didn’t get to interact with him much other than saying I loved his book, got two signed and gushed over how I’m so excited to see him in the upcoming indie film BLOOD KISS!

Emailing Them – try to stop me!

I only email authors when I’m asking them for a interview or a guest post because I’d like to feature them on My Shelf Confessions. But because of that I end up emailing one or two authors each week.  I have had wonderful interactions because of this.  I almost always hear back from them and I think that for the most part they are happy to pitch in a few minutes of their time so that we can shine some spotlight on their books.  This is what I think we are all about as book bloggers, spreading the word on the books we love (and sometimes the ones we don’t) and I think authors appreciate that. As long as its done with respect and tact.  I’m so thankful for all of the kind authors that I’ve been able to interact with via email and all of their awesome guest post or interviews they’ve given us! I would not just email them if it were only to tell them I liked/disliked their book – why do that? Are there any of you that would? If so why cause I’d really like to know because that just seems strange to me.

Tweeting authors – mention I’m a junkie?

I think Twitter is there for exactly that reason – to connect with people that you may not ever do otherwise.  I love chatting with authors on Twitter or responding to the random statements they make. It just makes my day when I get tweeted back at.  It always make me happy like someone just gave me a big freaking cookie – you know? Now –  If I have a review I almost always tag the author in it when I tweet it out. If it’s favorable of course – if it isn’t, well then I doubt the Author would care to read it anyway.  That’s like sending hate mail in my opinion and that’s not what I’m all about.  So if I don’t like a book why bother tagging the author in my tweet?

These are a few Favorited tweets I have where an author has either responded to me – or tweeted at me. I have to say Soman Chainani is one of my FAVORITE authors now because of his book The School for Good and Evil – if you haven’t read my review! Hehe – I scored a hug from him at BEA 2013 too – it just made my day!

SomanTweet1

SomanTweet2

JayTweet

Authors Commenting on Reviews – Here there be possible danger

I personally love it when an author comments on my review.  Especially if I asked a question in it that I was really curious about. Jonathan Maberry responded to me once on an Amazon review I posted of V Wars.  That blew me away and was like WOW they read what we think.  It’s such an awesome thought knowing that the author might find out how much I personally valued a book they wrote.  I was floored when Chuck Wendig commented on a review of mine here on MSC. So yes, I think it’s awesome.  Of course the coin can sometimes flip the other way  – what if we didn’t like their book and they commented? I haven’t had that happen to me, and yes I’ve written a few critical reviews.  With that said I don’t know how that would make me feel.  Of course I feel bad knowing that they might someday come across what I thought about their work.  Honestly, I would think their book is like their child – it took them ages to incubate and birth that baby into existence! I would hate knowing someone might talk bad about my baby, but hey in my mind – the same goes for books as for children – sometimes you just have BAD SEEDS! I do try to make sure my thoughts are always about the book and not directed at the author.

Do Author interactions you’ve observed change how you view their books?

You’ve all heard it or seen it around the interwebbbs – the drama – the nastiness that sometimes goes back and forth between readers/reviewers and authors.  I am so lucky in that I have not experienced any of this first hand. I try to stay away from the drama.  I read a book because the book description appeals to me or because I’ve read a review that has made me want to read the book.  And you know what VERY OFTEN I read a book because I’ve read a FLAMING REVIEW! Now, why would I do that? Because sometimes I just have to know why someone hated it so much. I can’t help myself, it’s that reaction to not turn away from a nasty accident you just want to see for yourself.

The drama I hear sometimes might reflect how I view the author, but ultimately if I already had planned to read the book, I still will. Because really – I’m about the books. Take me to wonderland or the danger zone or to the stars – that is what I’m after…take me there and make me believe it. If they can do that – then well it doesn’t matter to me if they and someone else are pissing in each others Cheerios, my cereal is safe!

Also, lets put this in perspective folks….are you NOT going to watch a movie that is starring some actor/actress that has ‘showed their ass’ in a negative way, especially if you were already excited about said movie before the drama came to light – say they’ve cussed out a stage hand, or done some ugly drama to people? I really doubt the overwhelming response to that would be “No I wouldn’t watch it” be Honest folks! – I’m still going to watch or read whatever I want! But hey – if I end up HATING the book, in that instance it will be one of those reviews I don’t feel guilty about writing and would totally not be sorry if they ran across it.  *evil laughter!*

Tabitha the Pabkins

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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29 Responses to “Discussion: Author Interactions – Do You or Don't You?”

  1. Donna

    I get SO excited when an author tweets me or comments on a review. Once, an author tweeted me thanking me for the one thing I mentioned that I liked in an otherwise critical review of their book, and while it was a bit awkward, I still appreciated the acknowledgement. I will absolutely not read an author who responds negatively to a review. I feel that it is acting unprofessionally and it makes me question their intelligence in damaging their “brand” which then makes me question their ability to write a book I would enjoy.
    Like you, I have picked up plenty of books because of a scathing review. If a book can create such a strong reaction, there must be something to it. Most of the time, if I don’t like a book, I am more like “Meh” than to go rantastic at it. I picked up Stacia Kane’s incredible Downside series because of a negative review and it quickly became one of my faves!
    Donna recently posted…Cliffhangers….I Like Them NotMy Profile

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      That’s my point exactly – I feel sad that some authors don’t realize that a critical review is still Publicity for their book. There are so many of us that will read it in SPITE of the review haha. Since I don’t pay attention to the drama much I still read the book if I already have it or was really excited to read it, or if have it for review. Thanks for stopping by!!

  2. DannyBookworm

    What an amazing Discussion Post Tabitha!!!! I do love to Interact with Authors too and yes when I have an exciting review I totally @mention them on twitter. I also love when an author comments on my review!!!!! So far, I have only had super positive experiences! *knocks on wood*

    I do try however not to establish a relationship of sorts before I’ve read the book. It makes me uncomfortable when I do not like the book, so I only follow Authors on Twitter after I’ve read the book. Sometimes not easy, but that works best for me!
    DannyBookworm recently posted…Demanding Ransom by Megan Squires Blog Tour & Giveaway (New Adult Mondays)My Profile

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Thank Danny! That is such a smart way to go about it! I agree it would make me uncomfortable as well if I didn’t end up liking a book. I also try not to interact much until after I’ve read a book. Though I will follow on twitter if I’m super excited about their book. Or add them to my “Maker of Words” twitter list I keep for authors. So maybe not an actual ‘follow’. Haha.

  3. Tammy

    My absolute favorite thing is for an author to stop by and comment on my review post of his/her book (of course, positive reviews only!). In fact, and I know this is probably not right, but I feel a little slighted when I go out of my way to tweet an author whose book I’ve adored, and they don’t respond in some way to the tweet. I guess they are too busy or maybe they just don’t want to read a review and have to reply or get caught up in the drama…who knows? Lucky you for getting a response from Chuck Wendig. He’s the one I really wanted to hear from after raving about The Blue Blazes…ah well…

    And I agree, I always tweet the author with a positive review, but never if it’s a negative one.
    Tammy recently posted…What’s on My Plate – July 2013My Profile

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Chuck sounds like such a crazy busy person! I heard from his publisher that the man writes so much its like he “writes 6 books before breakfast”. I’ve noticed he gets tweeted at so crazy often that I definitely wouldn’t get offended I’m sure he misses a TON of those tweets and never even sees them. Maybe just time it next time to a time when you know he’s actively tweeting – then he’s more likely to see it.

      • Tammy

        I know I’m so silly, but right now Chuck is my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE AUTHOR!! I guess I just want him to know that:) Plus I love his blog, terribleminds.com, if you’ve never read it, you’d love it. I know what you mean about tweets, I’m the kind of person who turns on the email notifications, because I want to know if someone is tweeting me. I’m sure authors who get millions of tweets don’t want to know about them all!
        Tammy recently posted…Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop! Win a Copy of JOYLAND by Stephen KingMy Profile

        • Tabitha the Pabkins

          Definitely – I have tweet notifications turned on also but for some reason I don’t always receive emails for tweets someone has tagged me in – it’s so weird. Of COURSE I follow Chuck’s blog. I’m just as obsessed with him! I stalked him all over BEA! He is such an awesome freaking person! I pestered him about him not tweeting back at me and he said “what I swear I have” and I was like “nope I would so know if you had” and he wrote in my book “I will so talk to you on twitter” haha.

  4. Midnyte Reader

    Wow, such a great post! Thank you for taking the time to express all that. I think your author tweets are so awesome!!! I love it too when a beloved author tweets me. I get giddy. And I’m not surprised about Maberry and Wendig responding to you, as they are both so incredibly awesome and nice people. I usually tag an author in a favorable review – never in a not so favorable one.

    I’m so excited you got to meet Neil. I loooove him. I met him once in NYC and basically just mumbled at him b/c I was so star struck. I tried to get tickets to the signing in Mass this month, but there were none left. Ah well.

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      It always makes me feel so wonderful when an author tweets back or comments on a review of mine. I’m still amazed when I read a comment on any of my reviews that reflects that the personal actually READ my review lol. Same here I only tag the author in favorable reviews. If I were an author I wouldn’t want to log on in the morning to a tweet of a critical review lol. Though I think I would still read the critical ones. I like to think of the critical reviews as things maybe they could improve on in the future.

      I did tell Neil “I’m so excited to see you in the movie BLOOD KISS” and he said he was nervous about acting in it. The poor guy must be overwhelmed everytime he does a signing because the line was so crazy long! It filled a whole theater.

  5. [email protected]

    I love twitter and interacting with the authors. I haven’t had too many authors comment on my reviews and I am fine with that . I don’t tweet out negative reviews to them at all but will to the publisher lol.

    I have had an incident with a local author and a review. Since then I have changed my behavior to them. I do fangirl but want to have space so that I review them objectively over being a friend with them. I want to review their work . My fave author Gini Koch is a dear friend on twitter , but I have never met her so I can review her books objectivity, and with her last book I felt sad that I was unable to finish it but she understands 🙂
    [email protected] recently posted…Dirty Little Secret Book ReviewMy Profile

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      The word “incident” just immediately makes me think something scandalous haha. That’s too bad! I don’t consider any of the authors I tweet with regularly as friends. A friend is someone you like see something or read something or just that you think about them on a daily or weekly basis and communicate regularly with. Yeah sounds like Gini is awesome!!

      I still want some ice cream!

  6. Karen

    I really like talking with authors on Twitter. For me, it’s more than about just their books. We talk about so many things and they are often fangirling/guying other books as well which I think is awesome. I don’t think of that as a friendship though and while I might feel awful if they’re nice and I’m about to post a negative review – it doesn’t stop me.

    I’ve contacted two authors (pre-blogging days) to tell them I loved their books. They were both books that meant a lot to me personally and changed how I viewed my life. I kept both emails in draft for over a week – terrified to send them but I did and both emailed back. They were incredibly nice.

    Usually I @ them a favorable review and I love when they tweet back.

    Karen @ For What It’s Worth
    Karen recently posted…Book Blogger Confessions: Author interactionsMy Profile

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I totally get you on the interacting and having fun conversations with authors. I do that as well. But what I was saying is that I’m still going to read the book even if I’ve heard rumor of them acting poorly with others if I’ve already got the book to read.

      • Karen

        That comment was addressing general tweeting of authors – not the bad behavior part lol

        As for that topic – I guess for me it depends on what happened. A general outburst could be a bad day. I hope no one judges my entire personality on a few of my tweets! But an author treating people badly does influence me. I wouldn’t say I would ban them from my reading life or anything that drastic but it would be in the back of my mind.
        Karen recently posted…Book Blogger Confessions: Author interactionsMy Profile

  7. Roberta R.

    First off, I like how you formatted your post :).

    Respect and tact – I agree, they’re the keywords in approaching an author…well, everyone, as a matter of fact. And a negative review is different from a rant – though I tend to lose my esteem for those authors who respond harshly to any kind of negative review. It’s tasteless and potentially intimidating.
    I’m not on Facebook or Twitter – they make me uncomfortable for various reasons – but I can see the thrill of being replied to, especially when you don’t even expect it. It looks like you’ve been lucky in your interactions with authors…but more likely, you have a natural pleasantness that appeals to them, because I don’t think they have the time to reply to every nice review they get!
    I have posted comments on a couple of authors’ sites to compliment them for their books or to ask questions, but that’s just it. The only personal interaction I had was the one I recounted in my BBC post, and it was still a “professional” one. Maybe I would fangirl more if I were young – I’ve done it with a favourite singer for years – but I’m past that stage now. Well, almost ;).
    Roberta R. recently posted…Book Blogger Confessions: Author Interactions EditionMy Profile

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Haha thanks – glad you like the formatting! I like to break things up – cause what if someone doesn’t want to read the whole darn thing you know?

      You know I go to as many author events as I can, they are so fun. I don’t think I ever fangirl. I just try to be friendly and inquisitive and they almost always respond with enthusiasm. There is nothing better than having someone be genuinely interested in your work.

      I personally do not like facebook. I have one but I’m almost never on there. Now Twitter I love, I’m not on there as much as alot of people I know – but I’m definitely on there quite a bit. I LOVE goodreads – that I will check more than twitter.

      You’ve got to be honest and tactful – thats great that you were and glad you didn’t make the author feel alienated. I know I always second guess what I’ve written after I send an email to someone for the first time. I have a very goofy friendly style…but then I figure – if they don’t immediately like me for myself then it’s probably best we don’t have a relationship. So glad you dropped by, hope you’ll come again!

  8. Bookworm1858

    I tend to not want any interaction with the author-I need that boundary up! Still I don’t mind retweeting one of my reviews and I have had positive interactions with authors. I just never seek them out.
    Bookworm1858 recently posted…On Sal Mal LaneMy Profile

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      I think that’s a totally understandable way to go about things. I usually interact after I’ve read a book by them. I do add them to my “makers of words” twitter list if I’m planning on reading a book because I feel like you can tell some interesting things about a person and their style if you peek their tweets.

  9. Jaime Lester

    I am shy, so contacting authors in any way scares the poo out of me. I have talked to a couple though. I have tweeted a couple just to tell them that I loved their book, because I LOVED it. Like, blew me the heck away and I had to tell them. I don’t do it with all of the great books, just the special ones. And I am weird anyway, so it is ok if you think that was weird of me! As far aa authors commenting on reviews, I believe that it is fully their decision to do so. I DO think that they should try to keep the nasty out if it was a negative review. But in the end, it is their choice to make. I am not going to look at them negatively for commenting, unless they attack someone for not loving their story. I do understand them standing up for their books, though. I have always thought of it the same way that you have. Books are authors BABIES. They work their butts off on it, and I can imagine how hard it is to have to sit back and let someone bash your baby. And last but not least, I stay away from the drama, so most of the time I have no idea that there has been controversy unless I run across a shelf on Goodreads or something. So I definitely don’t let it keep me from reading a book that sounds Yummy!!

    • Tabitha the Pabkins

      Exactly! Finally someone that agrees with me! I knew there were so many more reasons why I loved you! haha. I agree, why can’t they respond as long as it’s civil? I would say they would best be served not responding on the reviewers review or site but perhaps doing it on their own blog you know? One of my favorite authors Chuck Wendig did that recently on his terribleminds.com blog. He got a critical review of his new book coming out the end of this month and he posted a big chunk of the review and was like “lets talk about this”. He in no way bashed the reviewer he just stated his reasonings for putting the content in there. he even said to his fans do NOT go search out this reviewer and harass them. Unfortunately sometimes it does turn into drama.

      I don’t usually know about the drama either because I really don’t care if someone shows their ass to someone else. That’s between them. It’s not going to keep me from reading a book I’m interested in. Did you know they even had a list on Goodreads called “Badly Behaving Authors” or some crap like that – where you put authors on there that you feel have done drama. It’s just silly to me to recommend someone NOT read a book because of them being rude to someone else.

      Thats like saying, Oh you shouldn’t read Poe because he was a loon and an alcoholic. Come on really?

      • Jaime Lester

        Yep, love ya! No doubts about it now. I have seen those shelves, and it is just silly. Sometimes the reviews that people write are incredibly harsh, and it can’t be easy to sit back and just ignore it. And what Chuck Wendig did was in no way disrespectful to the reviewer. If I write a review with questions about why an author wrote something some way, I would love for the author to start a discussion about it. And he couldn’t help it if his fans didn’t respect what he asked of them. That is on THEM.
        Other than the time issues, the whole Authors Behaving Badly and the other mess that I hear about on occasion is the reason that I haven’t gotten a blog going, and why I don’t post a lot of reviews. Although most of my reviews are positive, even for books I didn’t enjoy, I just worry that someone is going to attack me for something that I say and I don’t want to deal with. Seems like people are too quick to start the drama, and I want no part in it. And again, lunging across the interwebs to give ye a hug!

        • Tabitha the Pabkins

          Huggles! #hugtackleslam!
          As far as the critical aka negative reviews. I writes what I want! I have a pretty thick skin that I don’t think I would care much if someone didn’t like my review. Luckily no one has made any stink about any of the ones I’ve written thus far. There is one that I wrote that I think wasn’t very nice to the book at all but even that didn’t get any sort of response. So I’m not worried about it. I just have to be honest. Plus whoever would respond isn’t “in my real life” anyway so what they said to me wouldn’t bug me too much. But luckily I usually know what I like so 1 stars reviews are rare for me usually maybe 1 or 2 max if even that. I remember i HATED Red Rain by R.L. Stine and it made me swear him off completely haha.

          I haven’t seen you around much *cries!* So tell me since you don’t have a blog – what do you think about what we’ve been doing lately? We’ve been doing at least 2 posts a day. I figure that way if someone doesn’t find one interesting maybe they’ll be interested in the other.