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12 December 2013

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Brian F.

Yes, absolutely tweet at the author but only if it's positive. There's been a lot said lately about people who send the author a link to their VERY negative review. Writers don't need that. They just don't. Most spend far too much time wallowing in self-doubt anyway. Tweeting a positive review cannot hurt and might just make that person's day (because a day in the self-doubt tarpits is pretty harsh).

Maureen E

I generally don't, because mine are also set to auto-tweet. Occasionally, if it's a book I LOVED, and I already follow the author on Twitter, I will. But I've also had authors find & send me a tweet about my reviews without me @ing them (just mentioning them by name); that's their choice and doesn't bother me at all (they've also all been positive interactions, which helps). If it's an author I already interact with, then I'm already "chummy" and eh.

I think there is a divide in Twitter usage of the @ function. Some people simply use it as a conversational reference, while others use intend it as a shout-out. I tend towards the latter, but I've definitely seen the former and it's not quite as weird as Duhr is making it out to be. (I think Maud Newton's response is pretty normal and valid, for instance.) He also seems to be primarily concerned with official journalistic reviews, as opposed to bloggers, though I had a harder time parsing that from his article.

I think I also just don't agree with his bottom line when it comes to coziness. Of course lines are sometimes crossed, but I genuinely like and enjoy the authors I follow and interact with on Twitter; I also think long and hard about what I tweet them when it comes to your books. Just because the line isn't where he thinks it ought to be doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

(Caveat: I am Miss Grumpypants this morning, so this may all be a bit harsher than I really mean.)

beth

At first it seemed strange to me when people would @-tweet me a review, especially one that was lukewarm or negative, but I don't think people do it to be mean (with a few very rare exceptions). Typically, it comes from reviewers who are new to twitter and/or have forgotten that there's a person on the other end of the twitter handle. We @-tweet, for example, a company when we have a comment to make about a product--the same is true of authors. People are being "complete" with their tweets, and use @ just like a hashtag.

tl;dr--I don't think it's rude; it's the reader responding to the brand/product, not the person.

Christa @ More Than Just Magic

I think it's ok to tweet an author a positive review (only positive). I often get responses like "you made my day!" when I tweet an author a review of their book.

Stephanie

I've done it a few times, only with good reviews. It feels weird to me still. I think part of the advantage is letting your followers know if the author has a twitter presence. I do feel like it must look like I want attention so I don't normally do so.

rockinlibrarian

Beth above me makes a good point about when people tweet negative reviews "to" an author-- I think a lot of times they're just not THINKING that if they @-mention somebody, that somebody is actually a real person on the other side who's going to see that. It's more careless than outright rude.

But as for positive reviews, that's one of the things I love most about Twitter! That I can finish a book I adore and immediately tweet the author to gush at them! :D

Leila

@Brian: "The self-doubt tarpits". Ag.

@Maureen: I didn't think you came off as cranky at all! And I had a lot of feelings about his "chummy" issue, too: part of it being that the book world is not a very big world, and that reviewers and authors have interacted forever. (<--And that sometimes, authors are ALSO reviewers. Although these days (at least in the kidlit world) you don't see a lot of authors panning their peers' books.)

@Beth: I think that's a good point, about people looking at Twitter handles as brands, rather than people, and that in most cases, tweeting less-than-glowing reviews isn't done out of malice.

Lisa

I think it's okay to tweet an author either with a mention or a direct tweet like you're doing. As long as it's reasonably professional and not like 'OMG LOVED YOUR BOOK CAN I HAZ THE NEXT FOR FREE PLZ' then I think authors are down with it. I mean, I'm sure they want to know what people think about their books! And if they don't, they aren't checking their twitter anyway most likely.

Annie

I've only seen it done for very positive reviews, which feels in the spirit of "thanking someone for writing an awesome book," and usually only from book review bloggers who generally review out of love for books/reading/reviewing. If I saw it from outlets like the NY Times, I'd feel much more side-eye.

Amydieg

I think it seems like too much to do it with a negative review, but other than that I say it's fine, if not directly a part of Twitter's purpose.

The main problem with the phone analogy is that authors don't put their phone number online. They don't openly use it to promote their work and connect with readers/authors in a place anyone can see and participate in.

Using a twitter handle for a positive review serves two main purposes to me: 1. To let the author know about your review/that you read and/or enjoyed their book. 2. To let others who trust your reviews or are interested in the book find the author Twitter.

Jen Robinson

I've been including author Twitter handles when I share my reviews on Twitter, though this post may convince me to stop. I never thought of it as chummy or whatever. To me, it seemed courteous and thorough. Like, if I'm going to mention someone by name on Twitter, I should take the time to include their Twitter handle. I don't ever post particularly negative reviews - mixed reviews at worst - so I'm not calling people's attention to something mean or anything. But I can certainly stop - it's extra work to look it up, for people with whom I'm not regular Twitter friends... Food for thought.

Colleen

Well, I've been doing this for years and have never received a complaint. I always tweet publishers and authors when I post a new Bookslut column as a form of notification. (It's usually 3 tweets to contact everyone.) My column is always positive just because I don't like using the space to complain about a book and would rather use it as a recommend space. (I'm not against saying I dislike a book at my blog, but the column is valuable space for readers and I see no reason to talk about what I hate when I can share what I enjoy.)

Anyway, I just tweet like this: "New column up at Bookslut. ATTN:....." and then include the link & twitter handles. It allows authors to know right away they are in there and it's easy for them to tweet the column link to their followers. It also lets publishers know that yeah, I got the book and yeah, I reviewed it.

I just...sometimes I think people really over think stuff on the internet. I'm an author, I'm a reviewer, I'm a journalist, I'm a small publisher. Getting a short notice via twitter that something I'm involved in and/or wrote is getting attention somewhere is a nice thing to know. And really, just lock your twitter feed if you don't want folks reaching out to you that you don't know. Or just get off twitter. (Lots of authors aren't on there.) It's an easy fix.

Am I being grumpy? Maybe I need to go write some more Christmas cards or something....

R.J. Anderson

As an author, I really appreciate it when people @-mention me when giving a link to a review of my books -- especially since in the vast majority of cases, those reviews are positive. I do agree it's rude or at least careless for a reviewer to @-mention an author if the review is lukewarm or negative, but most people seem to have figured this out for themselves already.

Still, even being @-mentioned on a less-than-enthusiastic review isn't all bad, because it draws attention to the fact that I'm on Twitter. So at least I might get a couple of new followers out of it.

Diana Peterfreund

I've been @-ed for positive and negative reviews. I dislike the practice for negative reviews for sure -- it kind of kills the idea that you are not writing the review "for" the author. If you loved our book and want to tell us, fine, but if you hated the book, I don't think I need to know and in most cases, I don't think the reviewer wants us to know. It's not like calling us on the phone. It's like posting your bad review on our website or facebook page. It comes TO US. You wouldn't email us your bad review, would you? No? Then don't tweet it to us. I think in most cases, people who @ you in negative reviews think it's like using a hyperlink in a website, which provides info to the audience your writing is meant for. @-ing sends the review into our stream. Don't talk to us unless you want to talk to us. I don't think the people who @ you bad stuff, by and large, are out to pee in your tea.

On the other hand, someone created a twitter profile yesterday and used their second ever tweet to tell me to stop writing, so YMMV.

Leila

@Diana: SERIOUSLY? That happened? I shouldn't be surprised, but wow.

Rachel Neumeier

Let me assure you all that I LOVE having someone @-tweet me when they post a glowing review of one of my books. It does not seem the least bit out of place to me; I think it's really nice of a reviewer to let me know. I would definitely have missed a couple of recent reviews without @-tweets. Which is why it never occurred to me that any author might mind if *I* @-tweeted them if I love their books.

I sure don't see any need to @-tweet anything negative, though. @Diana: unbelievable.

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