I just read an interesting discourse on whether or not an author should respond to critical reviews. Of course, I read this after I’d already established the practice of trying to respond to all of my readers (well, the ones that actually read my book) and took the time to leave feedback or reached out to me through email and social media (if I’ve missed some of you, I’m sorry, it wasn’t intentional.)
While the article was informative, what I found truly fascinating were the comments responding to it. They started out politely enough, but soon devolved into personal attacks on the blogger. It seems that some people view an author responding to reviews on their work as bullying (and I suppose it could be, depending on how the author responds. A few years ago, Anne Rice went a little ballistic on some of her critics.) But until today, it never occurred to me that thanking someone for taking the time out of their busy day to leave me feedback, could be so misconstrued.
I do respond, acknowledging my readers’ concerns. Not to put them on the spot or guilt them in any way, but to thank them. I’ve only been published a couple months, their insights have already been invaluable. And, although we may not always agree, most of the time their thoughts have been well reasoned, and extremely helpful.
Okay, so some people didn’t like my book; hey, it happens. I’m still grateful for their patronage. Not only did they purchased my book, they spent hours they can never get back reading the words of some unknown indie author. So yes, after giving both my readers’ praise and criticism thoughtful consideration, I do respond to them with courtesy and respect, not to apply undo pressure, but let them know their thoughts are important to me and that I’m listening.
Because They Matter… and that’s all I have to say on this.