Monday, February 27, 2006

Author visits

Sorry I have been MIA for a while. I think I had writer's block or something (or maybe it's called blog block like Cindy said).

I just got a comment from another author who found one of my reviews. I re-read the review and kind of cringed a bit at first at my snarkiness. A bit harsh but not over the top, I think. My first instinct was to apologize all over the place but really I think it was an honest review based on my own interpretation so no apologies are necessary. Here's the link in case you want to read what I said.

In the review I mentioned the positive along with the negative and I also mentioned that I enjoyed her two previous books more than the book I was reviewing. I must say that the author's comments were very gracious and not defensive at all.

Sorry to read that "Honeymoon Suite" didn't work for you, but I appreciate your honest review. Not every book is every reader's cup of tea and I know that. I've taken a few headsmacks for "HS," mostly about Chase, but that's okay. I'm a big girl, I can take it. In hindsight, I wish I'd written an author's note warning readers that Chase McKay is the most real hero I've ever written -- most real in terms of being most like a real man -- so don't be too hard on him. But I didn't so there you are. You take your lumps and move on. I do appreciate you recommending "Mother of the Bride" and "Return Engagement." That's very nice of you, thanks. My next book, "Marriage By Design," comes out in July. Hopefully, you'll like that one better. I've enjoyed reading your blog and wish you the best. -- Lynn Michaels


Wasn't that nice? Makes me want to read her next one so I'll definitely be looking for it. I checked out her new blog and left her a comment thanking her for visiting.

This reminded me of all the discussion recently about a post at RTB from an author who quit writing reviews because she didn't want to review a book she didn't like and that reviewers were becoming too mean spirited like Simon on AI. I won't rehash that whole argument but I agreed with Tara Marie, Karen Scott, Mary Stella and others who disagreed with her. It was a lively discussion. I think reviewers can be honest about books we dislike without descending into personal attacks. Our purpose is to inform and entertain readers. If a writer can't stand criticism then they should find another profession IMHO. 'Nuf said.

Has anyone ever had an author visit your blog to make a comment about a book you disliked? Were they polite? How did you feel about them before and after their visit? Did it change your view of them?

9 comments:

Kristie said...

I haven't had an author visit about a book I dislike, but I did have an author email me when I did a blog about websites that needed improving and hers was one I mentioned. She was incredibly gracious and agreed with me and was in fact planning on changing hers so she could have more control over it herself. I had loved her books before that, but once I heard from her, I was incredibly impressed by both her books and the author herself.

CindyS said...

And that is how you respond to a bad review. You said exactly what bothered you about the *book*. At no point did you slam the author and say, you suck. You made a note to the author saying adultery is not sexy. I made a note for an author saying to follow the rules of your world or your audience will notice when you don't.

That is a great response from an author and you have to respect that she could a)take the heat - not only from you by the sounds of it and b) could thank you for recommending her other books.

Classy.

Now I have to put the ones you recommended on my TBB list.

CindyS

Tara Marie said...

I've had authors leave comments about positive reviews, never a negative one.

Thank you for agreeing with me, I found myself compeletly annoyed by the whole "we should only write nice, positive reviews." To be honest, I'm not quite sure I even agreed with the example she gave as a personal attack.

"You're a horrible, terrible person." Now, that's a personal attack. "This author's best work is behind them..." isn't an attack, it's one person's opinion.

I swore I was done with this, but it's still annoys me.

Tara

Rosario said...

I've had one author comment after a negative review, and she was really classy. Didn't even defend her book at all, just said basically "sorry it didn't work out for you" and offered to send me an ebook of another of her books that didn't have what had annoyed me.

ReneeW said...

Kristie: I remember that exchange. Smart authors listen to their readers.

Cindy: Yes, very classy response and I totally respect her. I hope you try one by her. I like her humor. I'm very hard to please in that area but hers works for me.

Tara: I wanted to respond to that whole thing but you and Karen said it so much better than I could.

Rosario: She's BAAAACK! Yay!! Wow, that's a very classy way for an author to deal with a negative review. Free books! Great way to impress readers.

McVane said...

:( I did have two authors who reacted badly to one of my blog posts about a certain issue within romance genre. Both took me to task via emails, but it was resolved in the end, thankfully.
Once I had a few snarky responses to a book review I did last year or the year before, many who I never 'met' before. It took me a while to realise that someone posted a link of the review to this author's Yahoo group, so they obviously felt the need to defend the said author. I have no idea if she was aware of this, to be fair.
This is one of main reasons why I'm not that keen on doing blog reviews. I just can't be bothered to deal with this kind of hassle any more. The main reason? It's called laziness. :)

ReneeW said...

Maili: A bad reaction from an author or their fans is my greatest fear about writing reviews. I don't think I would handle it well. And it would probably put me off writing another review for a while. I love to read snarkiness but only if it's not directed at me.

Gail Faulkner said...

Hope you don't mind an Author butting in but I feel strongly about this. If you DO NOT like a book for reasons that do not include the author's family tree or bathing habits, I would hope you say so. Every book does not appeal to every person and YOU, the reviewer, are building your reputation as much as the author is. Be professional but be honest. Its why others read your reviews.

Personal attacks are wrong in any forum. Bloging is no different. But honestly, as a fan, I want to see what the reviewer dosn't like too. It helps me trust that person when they do like something.

ReneeW said...

Hi Gail,

Thanks for your input. And I very much agree. It's nice to see so many authors who have this opinion. I feel very uncomfortable too when I read personal attacks of any kind and I think they are pointless to readers. I want to know what a reviewer liked and disliked about a book and why so I can form my own opinion on whether I want to buy that book.

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