Friday, 22 March 2013

Is it OK for authors to comment on reviews?

The answer is no! And also... yes, sometimes.

It's a terrible idea to get into a fight with someone who has left a 1* review for your book on Amazon or Goodreads. Just don't do it. It can also look a bit creepy to leave a comment on a good review, however well-intentioned, so very few people do that. I have never done it and don't intend to start.

But?

But my book, Invitation to Die, has just gone live as a Kindle Serial on Amazon in the US. Readers are encouraged to leave comments in a special discussion forum set up on the book's page by the people at Amazon who publish the Kindle Serials. It's an opportunity for readers to interact with each other and with the author. Since the author in this case is me, I have just left two comments on two reviews and chatted with a reader who left a comment in the discussion forum.Whoa! Feels good. And also scary enough to come straight here and write a blog post about it.

I'm excited to be publishing my book in serial format and to have an opportunity to interact with readers. It's also quite nerve-wracking. I always hope that people will enjoy my books. Some do, some don't. I'm not going to comment on reviews of Invitation to Die in the hope of changing anyone's mind if they don't like the book. But I'm happy to discuss the book without revealing any spoilers. It's always good to hear from readers. I have exchanged emails and Facebook comments as well as chatting on Twitter with people who have read my books. This is a more public way of continuing the discussion. I'm going to embrace it!

If you're reading Invitation to Die in serial format (currently only available to readers who buy their ebooks from the US Kindle store) please come and join in the discussion.

If you'd like to read the book but you don't have an ereader or you don't buy your books from Amazon.com, you'll be able to get hold of a copy of Invitation to Die in paperback or as a complete ebook from 14th May in the US, UK, Canada and Germany. I'll say more about that as we get close to publication day.

2 comments:

Barbara Silkstone said...

Helen,

I am so happy you brought up this topic. Prior to yesterday I would have said absolutely NO. I wouldn't think of responding. And then one of my Morph books received a 3 star. The reader enjoyed it, but gave only 3 stars as she had no idea what a Morph was. I was relying on my written description of the Morphsuits in the book. It's a tough visual to imagine.

For the very first time I commented on a review. The reader thanked me with great enthusiasm. She went to the Morphsuit FB page, understood what they are, and raised her 3 star to a 4 and bought my other Morph book.

I am a huge fan of your writing. I adore your books. With your marvelous, contemporary Lewis Carroll wit, readers must ache to chat with you. This is a great idea. I look forward to hearing how things progress.

Helen Smith said...

Thanks, Barbara. I'm glad it worked out for you.

I'll let you know how it goes. Good luck with your Morphs!