Some quick thoughts…
I was reading through some of the links on Parajunkee’s latest edition of Book Bloggerista News and the post over at Book Chick City resonated with me because it’s been something I’ve been thinking and talking about.
Book Chick City weighs in on whether or not authors should comment on reviews of their books, particularly negative reviews that have been posted online.
I think authors have every right to be a part of the conversation, especially since the platform for reviews has changed. The internet has made everything social and public and it’s opened up the opportunity for discussion and conversations.
I don’t like how some reviewers almost never have anything positive to say and instead seem to try to entertain with snarky put-downs and offensive language. If there are weaknesses, of course, please describe and explain them. But if almost every book in a blogger’s feed is reviewed negatively, I’ll start to wonder about his/her judgment in the books accepted for review.
It just makes me think the reviewer should put his/her money where their mouth is and try writing their own novel, and then release it to bloggers who only write negative reviews. But I digress. Reviews and criticism used to be an art form. These critics spent time reviewing, were well versed in the genre/medium, could make connections to other influences/allusions/references, and provide context for their readers. We need a little more of that type of reviewing among bloggers.
I like how much more open the internet has made everything, and I enjoy the added element of immediate feedback and community. Anyone can write a review, anyone can share their opinions. One no longer needs a job at the NYT to write a film review, or a graduate degree to analyse that latest YA novel. Fans can go ahead and gush on their blogs to other fans.
But all the mean-spirited behaviours does take a bit of the joy away.