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message 1: by Jan (new)

Jan Hurst-Nicholson (janhurst-nicholson) | 44 comments Is their a protocol for authors commenting on reviews on Goodreads?
I read a thread (could have been on Amazon) where readers said they prefer to distance themselves from authors and do not like author comments on their reviews, even a 'thank you' was discouraged.
I thought it would be courtesy to thank a reviewer, but now I'm not sure what to do.


Petra X 95% hiatus, no time for play just work (petra-x) If reviewing is to be objective then there needs to be distance between the reviewer and the author. If people think an author is going to thank them (or otherwise) they might feel inhibited about writing honest reviews. For me, if I knew an author was going to read and comment on a review I wrote, especially if it was a first time author, I wouldn't write anything less than positive or perhaps I wouldn't write a review at all if I thought the book only deserved 1 or 2 stars. Other people might feel differently.


message 3: by Bren (new)

Bren Christopher (brenchristopher) | 5 comments I agree. My first book just came out and I've been reading the comments with interest, but I believe responding to them would have an inhibiting effect - that is, if the readers thought you were looking over their shoulders, they would be much more circumspect in their comments. On the other hand, if they go to my web page and post any comments, I will certainly respond to them there.


message 4: by Jan (new)

Jan Hurst-Nicholson (janhurst-nicholson) | 44 comments Thanks for your input. I will refrain from making a comment.


Petra X 95% hiatus, no time for play just work (petra-x) Bren wrote: "On the other hand, if they go to my web page and post any comments, I will certainly respond to them there. "

I think if a reader makes contact with an author, responding is absolutely the right (not to mention possibly thrilling) thing. I liked the idea on another thread of marking books with a link to any Q&As or other current online events, it encourages contact with authors.


message 6: by Patrick (new)

Patrick Brown | 276 comments It's also worth looking at the Author Guidelines, as they describe what we think is appropriate and inappropriate behavior for authors:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/guide...


message 7: by Grace (new)

Grace Elliot (httpwwwgoodreadscomgraceelliot) | 11 comments Talking of reviews - is there a way of soliciting people to review a book other than cold calling?

(My debut novel, a historical romance 'A Dead Man's Debt' is now out, and if anyone is interested in reviewing it I'd be very happy to supply a copy.)
Any advice welcome!
Grace x


message 8: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 9 comments Grace, my publisher hasn't put my book on Amazon yet (they're keeping it on their site for a while to pull in the cash), but I've been looking at review sites (Google Historical Romance Reviews) and look for some decent ones and yes, go cold calling. Make sure they take your genre, that they don't ask you for any money and that they have a large following or a respectable website. Read some of their reviews. I usually send them an email (if they say they're taking reviews) with all the info about the book, title, author, ISBN etc., and also a short blurb.
It's worked pretty well for me so far.
Sue


message 9: by Grace (new)

Grace Elliot (httpwwwgoodreadscomgraceelliot) | 11 comments Thanks Sue, I'll keep plugging away!
Grace x


message 10: by Charles (new)

Charles Keith Hardman (ckhardman) | 53 comments I am a first time author and I think that a reviewer should tell the truth. If they think something is good then say so. If they feel that they will offend the author then the author shouldn't have written the book in the first place. You can't please everybody and if you have a thin skin then get a day job.


message 11: by Lillian (new)

Lillian Grant (lilliangrant) I joined a Goodreads group for the genre I write and one of the moderators posted that she read my book, loved it and had posted a review so I thanked her. Other than that I haven't responded to reviews even though they have all been very positive.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

I've got no problem thanking someone for their review. As someone else remarked, you need a thick skin in this game and appreciation, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder - or reader.


message 13: by Charles (new)

Charles Keith Hardman (ckhardman) | 53 comments J G wrote: "I've got no problem thanking someone for their review. As someone else remarked, you need a thick skin in this game and appreciation, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder - or reader."

You are on the right path. We write because we have something to say. Not everyone will agree with you. Who cares? It is your book and your opinions. Just trust what you wrote and go from there.


message 14: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Crimmel (jeffreyrcrimmelcom) | 43 comments I always thank those who have spent the time on writing a review.. I even thanked the last few who commented on my need for re editing the book. I swallowed my ego and pride, thanked them and began re doing the book to send to a major publisher. I believe because of those few who expressed my editing needs I will have a much better product and also discovered what it really means to write a book.

More stories have been added, more pictures found and using facebook I also have re located many people in the book and know what they are doing. The new edition should be out by june of next year.

Welcome to "How to really write a book"
Jeff Crimmel Livng Beneath the Radar.


message 15: by Bren (new)

Bren Christopher (brenchristopher) | 5 comments Just had another thought - I think there is a big difference between responding to a professional review site and responding to the regular readers on Goodreads. The review sites expect that the author will be looking at the reviews and perhaps responding. But as a reader, I know I would be intimidated if every comment I made on Goodreads was responded to by the author. I would not feel I could be honest.

And as an author, I'm not talking about responding to negative comments. In fact, I find it is a lot harder to resist thanking someone than it is to resist responding to negative comments. We all know that getting that constructive criticism and learning from it is just part of the process.

Anyway, to reiterate Patrick's point above - The Goodreads guidelines specifically state that an author should not respond to every comment made by a Goodreads user. It sounds like it is okay to do once in a while, but not every single time. Like most things, it is a matter judgement and moderation.
Just my two cents - Bren


message 16: by Charles (new)

Charles Keith Hardman (ckhardman) | 53 comments Bren wrote: "Just had another thought - I think there is a big difference between responding to a professional review site and responding to the regular readers on Goodreads. The review sites expect that the au..."

Well, I am almost done writing my second book and now it will be time do some rewrites and editing. I think it gets easier each time you actually finish a book. I am sending copies to friends and family for criticism and may even post parts of it on other websites for comments. Reviews are just a part of the progress of completing a book.


Petra X 95% hiatus, no time for play just work (petra-x) I think if an author comments on reviews its a bit like the 'do I look fat in that?' question. If asked the question directly one responds 'no' or if one knows the person very well, 'well, maybe the fit isn't quite right' or similar. But, when discussing what someone looked like in a dress and when the wearer is unlikely to get wind of the conversation, there might be a great deal more to say, not necessarily positive.

Like the lady asking, the author who makes their presence known in a review thread might get to hear a lot of nice things, but they aren't necessarily true.


message 18: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Crimmel (jeffreyrcrimmelcom) | 43 comments How in the hell did this conversation get from book reviews to how someone looks like in a dress? It is an individual choice as to if you want to respond to a review or not. There is no set rules and we are all individuals, even if I want to wear a dress on weekends.

Lighten up people.


message 19: by Petra X 95% hiatus, no time for play just work (last edited Dec 19, 2010 04:52PM) (new)

Petra X 95% hiatus, no time for play just work (petra-x) Conversations evolve online as much as in real life, Jeffrey.


message 20: by Charles (new)

Charles Keith Hardman (ckhardman) | 53 comments Petra X wrote: "Conversations evolve online as much as in real life, Jeffrey."

I have a problem with cross dressing. I live in the Bay area and have seen it all. Flammers and who knows what you would call them, but If they have talent then forgive them.


message 21: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Crimmel (jeffreyrcrimmelcom) | 43 comments Does anyone realize that the dress comment was meant to be a joke? I do not have a problem with cross dressers I just do not live in their world and "to each his own" is how I feel about most people who live life styles different than mine.

My problem lies with people who try to put their values on others in the name of morality, religion, race or anything that they hold as the only way. Do you want an evolved conversation first one has to evolve. San Francisco is a melting pot of different life styles and values. I love that town. Lived in Santa Rosa for 15 years so I went to SF a lot and one daughter lives in Oakland.

What this has to to with being an author is any bodies guess.


message 22: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Cotterill (rachelcotterill) If someone messages me or adds me as a friend, I'm very happy to talk to them. I read all my reviews (obviously!) but I tend to stay quiet unless it's someone I already have a relationship with.

Also - Grace, try bloggers, we're a friendly bunch :)

Rachel


message 23: by Mark (new)

Mark Johansen | 44 comments In general, I'd think any sort of reply to a review other than "thanks" would be a bad idea. What are you going to say? If the review is positive and you agree with positive statements about yourself, you're just going to sound egotistical. If the review is negative and you argue with the reviewer, you're going to look petty.

I think even the most reasoned defense of a criticism would sound petty. Like if a reviewer said, for example, "In the author's analysis of the Battle of Waterloo he failed to consider the impact of the English soldier's superior footwear", there might well be a reasoned rebuttal why this was unimportant. (Obviously I'm using a silly example, but I hope you get the point.) But it would be hard to make it without sounding defensive.

Maybe there are specific cases where a comment would actually have value.


message 24: by Mark (new)

Mark Johansen | 44 comments Jeffrey wrote: ""to each his own" is how I feel about most people who live life styles different than mine. My problem lies with people who try to put their values on others in the name of morality, religion, race or anything that they hold as the only way"

Wow, sounds like you're being awfully judgmental of people who DON'T believe "to each his own". If you don't believe in putting your values on others, that's fine. But don't try to put that value on me! :-)


message 25: by Charles (new)

Charles Keith Hardman (ckhardman) | 53 comments What if I gave anyone who sent me an email at ckhardman@yahoo.com a download of my next novel "The Curse" for free for a limited time. It is not published yet but it is copyrighted and protected. It is my way of saying this is a good book and I hope you buy my first book "No Lullaby for Tommy" which is still on sale on line. Just google No Lullaby for Tommy for the best price. This is a test.


message 26: by Rowena (last edited Jul 20, 2011 02:55AM) (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 86 comments Charles, by now you will probably have given away "The Curse" if that was your plan, but you should realize that once you give away an e-book, "limited time" does not apply and nor does copyright protection.

Presumably you are self published, or you possibly wouldn't have the necessary rights to give away the option book.

If you did hope to sell "The Curse" to a publisher, you might have a hard time of it, because publishers have been known to check out the pirate sites and make contract decisions based on how extensively the work has already been "shared".


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Rowena, good advice! My publisher closed; I now own copyright for my book and can sell it to another publisher. Anyone have experience/ideas on best way to pursue that option? Liam www.terminalpolicy.com


message 28: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Crimmel (jeffreyrcrimmelcom) | 43 comments Let me know too


message 29: by Rowena (new)

Rowena (rowenacherry) | 86 comments Liam, do you belong to Publishers' Market Place? It costs $20 a month, so is expensive, but you can advertise what rights you have to sell on your page on the site.

(I really ought to update my own page!)

Another possibility would be to join some of the LinkedIn.com groups where editors and agents hang out, and ask there.


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks, Rowena...love the help I get from this group.. will move ahead with both of these ideas! Liam www.terminalpolicy.com


message 31: by Charles (new)

Charles Keith Hardman (ckhardman) | 53 comments I own the copyright for The Curse and really only want to publish it as an e-book. There are plenty of publishers who do that sort of publishing. It was my intention to get some response from fellow authors and readers to promote my future books.


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

And I have really moved ahead since my March posting.. am doing a digital version of my thriller novel with Digi-Tall Media and turning it into five eBooks! They're making it VERY easy and hopefully profitable. Book I should be released this month when current website www.terminalpolicy.com gets re-designed so we can sell them there!


message 33: by Jim (new)

Jim Gilliam (seadoc) | 31 comments Now that my book Point Deception is out I am faced with the daunting task of garnering as many reviews as possible. Some review sites spell out the rules of contact between author and reviewer. Most of these agree that a short "thank you for reviewing my book" is okay, but anything else is not. These are usually relayed to the reviewer by the site administrator. Some sites like Kirkus maintain the anonymity of their reviewers. Taste in literature is an individual matter and I would tend to suspect the validity of any title with nothing but five star reviews. Even Dan Brown's books have received one and two star reviews on occasion.

Jim Gilliam


message 34: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (larrymoniz) Catherine, I guess we're both remedial? I also am unable to find reviews even though I supposedly have 10. I'm also stumped. :-(


message 35: by Katie (new)

Katie Stewart (katiewstewart) Catherine and Larry. If you go to your book page, the reviews should be listed below, along with the people who've added your book to their shelves. I generally go to my author page and then click on the book from there.


message 36: by Larry (new)

Larry Moniz (larrymoniz) Catherine. I'm still unable to locate anything. Maybe too tired. About to turn in for the night. Sorry Katie, I'm sure it's not you. My aged brain is numb. :-)


message 37: by rivka (new)

rivka | 562 comments http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11...

It probably wasn't visible on the page 2 days ago. Book pages are cached, and the public reviews (as opposed to friends') can take a couple days to show up.


message 38: by Murray (new)

Murray Gunn (murraygunn) | 17 comments Mark wrote: "In general, I'd think any sort of reply to a review other than "thanks" would be a bad idea. What are you going to say? If the review is positive and you agree with positive statements about yourse..."

I disagree. When people go on a forum to comment on / complain about a product, you'll often see the manufacturer / distributor responding and no one gets upset about that. In fact, often the discussion leads to a satisfied customer, a better product or more respect for the company.

I've had a comment on another site where the reader didn't like the book, but her comments showed that she read it with the wrong expectations. I added my own 'review' explaining what the book was about, hoping to discourage future buyers who would be disappointed and to set expectations for others who might appreciate it. Her response was to complain about the author's right to 'review' their own book.

I would love to have a dialogue with my readers, as I would with authors of books I read, and for me that's the power of a site like Goodreads. It would be a shame to block that avenue of discussion because a few readers would feel uncomfortable about giving honest reviews.


message 39: by John (new)

John Hickman Bren wrote: "I agree. My first book just came out and I've been reading the comments with interest, but I believe responding to them would have an inhibiting effect - that is, if the readers thought you were lo..."

Hello Bren, you've done well to get comments. My book 'Reluctant Hero' was published in April and I'm still trying to get comments - good or bad - you must be doing something right! What's your secret?
Best, John (Brisbane)


message 40: by Noor (new)

Noor Jahangir | 17 comments I'm on the fence with this one. If someone writes me an honest, unbiased good review, I feel obliged to gush out a thank you. Although, I understand the point being made about maintaining distance too. Personally, I wouldn't mind other authors contacting me to say thank you for a good, fair review.


message 41: by Jeffrey (new)

Jeffrey Crimmel (jeffreyrcrimmelcom) | 43 comments John wrote: "Bren wrote: "I agree. My first book just came out and I've been reading the comments with interest, but I believe responding to them would have an inhibiting effect - that is, if the readers though..."

give away 5 copies and they will give you a review and a comment.


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