For What It's Worth

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Tell Me Something Tuesday


Tell Me Something Tuesday is hosted by Rainy Day Ramblings and discusses a wide range of topics from books to blogging.


I’m late! I’m late! lol Thank you for the TMST reminder Roberta

Question: Do you tag authors in your (overall) positive reviews? How do you feel about authors not acknowledging them or opting out?

Answer: In my very early days of reviewing (10 years ago!) I used to tag authors and they almost always loved reviews and understood the process – all publicity is good publicity – if you will. But book blogs and reviewing were not a big thing back then. There weren’t arc’s or competition and I was almost contacted directly by authors. It was very difficult to get your book out there – even Twitter wasn’t too big of a thing yet so yes, I often tagged authors with my reviews. I used to even reply to their initial email request with a link. I have never had any problems.

Fast forward and this is an enormous ecosystem now and everyone has differing opinions on everything.

I’m still very much Team Honest Review but I also understand that many authors don’t want to read them. Even if they are good. Sometimes our version of a good review has something that is actually hurtful to them.

For example – I might call a book fluffy. To me, that is a high complement (the highest! I love books that make me happy) and not at all indicative or contradictory of the book having nothing important to say or it’s emotional impact. Yet I’ve seen several authors very hurt by that description. Sometimes the story is based on their personal experiences that hurt to reveal and now you’re calling it fluffy. I stand by my view but I no longer tag authors because I also get how they might not want to read it even if, to me, it’s a compliment.

There are also a lot of authors who just can’t even get into reviews without it weighing on them in some way. Even if it’s good. They are on to the next book and need to be in a different head space. Or maybe having been burned by being tagged in negative reviews – have anxiety to ANY reviews so steer clear.

I can’t keep track of who wants what so I just don’t tag them anymore. If they care enough they can get alerts lol
I try to tag more for book mail, favorites lists and general promotion type posts now. Where I’m just cheer leading something I love. They can choose to read or share without worrying either way.
As for acknowledging reviews – IMHO, I think a simple thank you goes a long way. I don’t think publishers or authors understand how much time, energy and money go into this hobby that almost all of us do for free so yeah – it stings a little that no one seems to care anymore. I get especially salty if it’s for a blog tour. That requires a lot more effort and a time line and you could acknowledge it with a thank you or simple RT since the author purposely signed up for this. And since I’m already here griping lol - I hate when they only acknowledge the big guys and not the smaller bloggers. Again. I think they underestimate our effort and the power of word of mouth.

But, for the most part, I try not to get too worried about that. There are bloggers who don’t want to hear from authors in their space at all and its difficult for ALL of us to try to navigate who wants what so I just do my thing and don’t take it too personally.

What are your thoughts on tagging authors and them acknowledging reviews?

29 comments:

  1. These are all great points. I don't usually tag authors either, for largely these same reasons, although part of it too is I'm just not on social media enough to follow up and all that. Like, I check Twitter daily but I don't do a TON of tweeting, you know? So I just never get around to chatting with authors there as much ot whatever. Occasionally though if I have a relationship with a certain author or I REALLY loved a book I'll tag 'em, just to let them know my review is up or just to sing the books' praises lol. But yeah, not much...

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    1. I don't even really follow many authors. It just gets so murky and no one knows what the rules are anymore.

      Delete
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      Delete
  2. Bookstagram reviews have gotten out of hand cuz it's gotta be such a punch in the gut for authors. "Oh what a pretty picture of my book...oh, they thought it was the worst book they've ever read."

    I only tag authors in my 5-star reads and that's only if I'm feeling particularly amped, because like you said, we never know how authors will perceive it.

    A simple thank you goes a long way! I appreciate the authors who reach out and thank me or retweet my posts, but only one publisher consistently thanks me when I send them reviews. I understand that their emails are hell, but if you have working relationship with someone, I think it's the least you can do.

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    1. Oh I hadn't even thought of bookstagram reviews. I tend to only do book mail and currently reading on there and that's the type of thing I tag.

      And yeah... they beg you to do the promotion and then go silent once you do. Be gracious and say a simple thank you.

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  3. I have stepped away a bit from social media in general, because I just can't right now. I used to enjoy tagging authors in favorable reviews. I found that debut authors and romance authors were the most receptive, and I enjoyed the interaction, but I never want to tag in something I think would offend them. I only post 4-stars and up, but some people are more sensitive than others.

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    1. What I found, is that what I consider positive doesn't always come off that way. Like they write something one way but I interpreted differently. Positively but different. So I just go my own way now.

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  4. Great points you made, I really think this is something up to the blogger. I do this if its a positive review (4star or higher) I mean in a way its promoting that author too, and helping others find them and follow them through social media. And honestly I have never seen an author give negative feedback about it at all. But I am very careful in my reviews to keep it honest but as positive as I can.

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    1. I have never had a bad interaction with an author. Knock on wood. But I get that it's murky these days so unless I've seen an author be super supportive of bloggers in general, I don't bother anymore.

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  5. I used to tag authors for every review, good or bad. This is my eighth year of blogging, and I definitely agree that the entire system has gotten so much more complex. I remember having email correspondence with authors about their books, some of who still send me copies of their latest releases. Now with twitter and instagram and the likes, it is not as easy to keep track of every author's preferences. I still try to tag authors in positive reviews, but I refrain from doing so on negative ones. I even hesitate to tag positive reviews that might be deemed as controversial or negative.

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    1. Good point on the controversial ones. It's just so confusing as to the rules now for everyone! Even authors don't know how to respond.

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  6. Totally agree here! I did tag authors when I knew they wanted the publicity (like you said, way back in the day!) but I never do now (unless I have been asked specifically by a publisher or something). Because exactly as you said, some authors just don't like it, and I'd rather err on the side of caution (and plenty of them DO have those alerts hahaha).

    I do think publishing in general sometimes forgets how much time goes into reading and reviewing, tbh. And we're doing it for free, so I feel like a RT isn't that hard? 🤷‍♀️

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    1. I've read that they're confused too. Do we want authors in our space? So I think we're all paranoid at this point lol

      Yes! A simple RT or Thank you would be so nice. This is SO much work. And instead I feel like they're asking even more from us while not helping to amplify. But that's more on the publishing side.

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  7. I never tag authors in reviews on my blog or any other site-it's just not something I do. I will put a link to my blog review on Twitter and link to the author if it's a good review but to be honest I'm not bothered if I don't get any response.

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    1. I think I've been doing this so long that I don't care anymore and everyone has different opinions so I don't bother.

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  8. I love when an author acknowledges a review or post, but it's not something I really expect, since I know not all authors pay attention to reviews or don't want to read them. I don't tag authors though either because I don't want to offend anyone, unless they want to be tagged or something. I try to avoid that because I know if it was my work, I'd be wary of any review I was tagged in. hah

    -Lauren
    www.shootingstarsmag.net

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    1. So many don't read reviews anymore so I just try to stay away from it all lol

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  9. "I can’t keep track of who wants what so I just don’t tag them anymore. If they care enough they can get alerts lol"
    I know there are authors who actively research their books and keep up-to-date with the latest reviews, but they're mostly indie/small pub authors who don't get a ton of them. Ideally, I like to give any author the chance to know that someone liked their book, but I realised that sometimes you can inadvertently hurt them (like in your "fluffy" example), so I've started to be more selective about when to tag.

    "it stings a little that no one seems to care anymore. I get especially salty if it’s for a blog tour."
    I always enjoy your tales from your early blogging years - boy, have things changed (and I was already blogging 7 and a half years ago, but it sounds like some things predate my very beginnings!). I suppose you're right - there are authors who have been burned by negative reviews or can't wrap their head around reviews of their previous books while they're writing a new one. But yeah, a simple thank-you or even a like would mean a lot for us, after the agonising hours most of us spend crafting and/or formatting a review. And those who don't even acknowledge them during a blog tour have no excuses (though I don't think it ever happened to me, but then again, I do next to none LOL).

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    1. That's why I don't bother with tours unless I really like a book. It's a lot of effort for very little reward.
      It seems like everyone is begging you to help out, then leave you hanging.
      It would really help all involved if they supported our posts too.

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  10. You are so right! I still remember this only positive review I wrote and the shit I got from an author and her friend cos I had rated it a 3 on GR *eyeroll* And I hadn't even tagged the author. So if I had tagged then it would have been WW3

    We do seem to be dated and booktubers and instagrammers are in.

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    1. Exactly. What I consider good isn't how they look at it.

      And everyone has different rules (both authors and bloggers) and it's hard for us all to navigate.

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  11. It's weird, some authors love it but I hate to make them feel obligated to look, especially when you don't know how they feel about reviews. Some authors hate it, no matter how glowing the review, probably because we can be our own worst critic. Like you say, they may interpret a comment you make very differently. I might see an author like my review and that's great, I know there are authors I follow who will probably appreciate seeing these glowing reviews to boost their books on social media and help them promote it but it's an awkward one isn't it?

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    1. You can't tell now. Even some bloggers don't want the crossover of spaces. So I just don't and assume they can put alerts on if they want to look.

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  12. Yep... I only tag on FB the publisher if they sent it to me for review. I've pretty much stopped tagging authors at all.

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    1. I occasionally do the publisher if they specifically asked me to review the book or something.

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  13. I never tag an author in a review and the only time I send the review links is if they've sent me an ARC and ask me to forward links. Even then, they only tend to care about what review sites (GR, Amazon, BookBub) you've posted it on and don't really care about blog links... In my experience anyway. *shrug*

    I do tag authors if I do promotional blitzes or cover reveals etc though. I figure they're paying for that (well, not me but the tour organisers) so it's appropriate to do so and blitzes/reveals have little to none of my personal opinions wrapped up in the post so can't offend, lol.

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    1. Agree with all of that.

      I forward review links to publishers too if they' specifically contact me to review something or for a tour. They rarely respond.

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  14. I really just email them the links to let them know the reviews are up, if they specifically request it but I don't really tag them.

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  15. I have a handful of author "friends", that I have been reading their books forever, and I am pretty confident I will at least like the book, and they don't mind getting three stars. I tag them. There are about six or seven of them I think. Other than that only if it's requested by a blog tour. Random author taggings are too scary. 😯

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