Saturday, February 21, 2009

To Tell or Not to Tell...

I've noticed when reading reviews on various blogs that sometimes the author will post a comment. It's usually thanking the reviewer for reading and reviewing the book. It got me to wondering if reviewers email/PM the author and let them know when they post reviews. Is this common practice? Is it considered a courtesy to notify the author when you write a review? Or maybe when you only write a positive review? This is all still fairly new to me and I'm not sure what the blogsphere etiquette is. Please educate me. :)

So, for example I just reviewed Desire Unchained. It's not an ARC review and I wasn't asked by the author to review it. Should I still email Larissa Ione and let her know that I reviewed Desire Unchained and how much I enjoyed it? I can't help but think that authors have so much going on ~ the blogs, chats, online interviews all on top of actually writing the books we love. Do they really want little ol' me emailing them about a review I wrote? I could see if I was one of the real popular sites like The Book Binge or Lurv A La Mode but it's just me. Any thoughts? Would love to hear them. I've put a poll on the sidebar so vote your opinion if you desire.


  1. You are not obligated to - in my opinion.

    If I get an ARC - I'll let the author know when the review is posted, or better yet I email them the review.

    But if it's just you doing an unsolicited review, nooooo. Not obligated to tell the author. A lot of the times they'll find the reviews anyway and leave comments. I mean, I'm sure they'd appreciate a heads up, especially for a favorable review, but yeah, you don't have to email them if you don't want to.

  2. I tend to only e-mail authors when I fall insanely, head over heels in love with their book. And even then I tend to not mention my blog, or that I've posted a review. I just never have, and this practice dates back to 1999 when I was reviewing for a web site.

    I think most authors stumble upon blogger reviews because so many of them have set up Google Alerts to notify them. Heck, even I have one set up for my blog address, which notifies me every time someone posts a link to my blog. I've found a ton of newbie bloggers that way....

  3. I did accept ARC my first month of blogging, and in those cases, I was asked to notify the publicity contact, so I did.

    Since then, I have never emailed an author. I have had several comment to thank me for the review.

    I bet many authors have Google alerts set for their book titles and names -- I know I have these and I am just an academic. For newer or even midlist authors, commenting may is also more publicity for them (although they may do it for other reasons, too).

    But I also think the bigger an author is, the less she notices or cares. The best selling authors I have reviewed have not commented, nor have I seen them commenting on others' blogs. Even when Nora Roberts makes the occasional appearance on DA or SB (which I have not seen for a long time actually, now that I think about it), it's never in response to a review of one of her books.

    All this is pure speculation, of course, and I hope authors chime in to correct me if necessary!

    what a great question!

  4. (((Leslie))) You sweetheart, you can email me anytime!!!

    Someone sent me over here after reading this post, so I'm here...and I'm so sorry I didn't see your review! (It's fantastic, and I'm THRILLED that you enjoyed Desire Unchained so much!)

    As for the question...hmm...personally, I like it when someone lets me know they've posted a favorable review. I don't do Google alerts because I sort of try to stay inside my little box and away from negativity as much as I can. Unfavorable reviews happen, and I totally respect reviewer opinions...but I don't want to know about them! *g*

    So for me, email! :) And actually, I know a lot of authors who would love to hear about good reviews. So I say email -- people like you can really make our day!

    Oh, and just an amusing little aside: my word verification word below is "perv" LOL

  5. I have Google alerts, and sometimes the publicity dept. will notify my editor of a favorable review. That's a nice way to find out.

    I've never had a reviewer contact me. I don't think it's an obligation--reviews are for readers.

  6. KMont ~ Kenda, you were one of the main reasons I started this blog. I don't think you always realize how much you contribute to the online reader community. Anyway, before I get all nancy, I like the idea of giving the author a heads up on the favorable reviews. Then the ball is in their court so to speak.

    Wendy ~ I had no idea you've been reviewing for so long. I'd hear about Google Alerts but wasn't sure how often authors use it.

    Jessica ~ This is one of those questions that's been rolling around in my head for a little while. It's funny you mention best selling authors because I'm writing up a review for Susan Elizabeth Phillips' current release. Maybe I'll email her the review :)

    Larissa ~ Thanks so much for replying. I'm so pleased that you liked the review. It was hard to write w/o spoilers because so much happened.

    I can understand not wanting to read the less than favorable reviews. Knowing that they might be out there and actually reading them are two different things. And the last thing an author needs while trying to write is negativity.

    I'll be sure to email you when I review Passion Unleashed. :)

    As for your verification word ~ makes me wondering what you've been writing lately. *g*

    Jill ~ Thanks for stopping by and giving your experience from an author's POV. I hadn't even thought of the publicity dept. but that makes sense.

  7. I've only written to an author twice to let her know I'd posted a review.

    One, was because I'd won an arc and had been asked to notify the author (Ann Aguirre) when I'd reviewed it. She left a very sweet comment. Another was because I was so impressed with the book and wrote a fangirl email letting the author (Ginn Hale) know I'd posted a review. (My first fan letter, ever.)

    I've had other authors respond to my reviews, and I've just assumed my review popped up in their googlealert. I squeed when I saw Patricia Briggs at her signing, and I told her I did a post for Moon Called for the Re-read Challenge, and she said she'd seen it, and thanked me.

    I also use googlealerts so that I can check out blogs of those who've linked to me.

  8. Oh, this is very interesting! I never let authors know, but a lot of them find their way to my site when I review them, probably from googling as they say above. I love when they visit and comment, though. I know some authors feel like they ought not to comment, even though they love a review. And I respect that, too.

  9. Thank you, Leslie! :) And yeah...perv...that was funny!

  10. I do have Google alerts set up to troll the internet for book reviews, but if a reviewer really, really enjoyed my book, I would LOVE to get an e-mail. I've had several reviewers who really liked my debut novel, "Fire at Midnight" send me wonderfully encouraging e-mails. As a new author, I'm far from being indifferent to reviews, and the positive ones are more encouraging than I can express!

  11. This is a good question Leslie. Sometimes I wonder if there is a proper protocol when I review a book that was sent to me, or even a proper way of interacting with publicists and authors.

    In the past, I haven't sent my reviews to authors. The only time I have sent a review was to a couple of publicists and that was becuse I told them I would. They didn't even ask me to, I just sort of volunteered to do it.

  12. Renee~ I’ve never read anything by Ginn Hale but now you’ve got me curious. I’ll have to look her up. And how cool to meet Patricia Briggs and her knowing about the review you wrote.

    CJ ~ “I know some authors feel like they ought not to comment, even though they love a review.” That’s interesting and I wonder why they wouldn’t comment.

    Lisa Marie ~ I would think with a debut novel that it’s got to be extremely nerve racking to check google alerts. Sending positive review vibes your way. :)

    Jill ~ I haven’t sent any reviews to authors either but I have been tempted to. But like you said I wasn’t sure what the proper protocol was or if there was any. But it sounds like if it’s a positive review there’s no harm in sending it but also no obligation either.

  13. Hi Leslie :D

    I don't notify authors when I review their books, unless I was personally given the book.

    LOL, I don't know how they stumble over reviews on blogland and I never wonder really :)

    I think it's fun to have an author stopping by your blog from time to time, but I wouldn't want to always have authors stop by... I think that would intimidate me and I wouldn't be able to be as honest as I am.

  14. I very rarely notify an author. One exception was Judith James who sent me an ARC copy to read and review. I was so blown away by Broken Wing I did email her and let her know it was up.
    So, when an author finds her way to my blog and makes a comment, I'm just tickled pink - or in fact - deep red!!

  15. Leslie, I just happened to be doing a blog raid, lol, killing some time and happened to look at this post again to see what others thoughts were on your question.

    Thank you so much for what you said. I try to contribute something worthwhile. Your words mean a lot. ((hugs))