Should Authors Comment On Reviews?

This post is part of a blog hop; check out some other blogger responses after you read my answer. Or, at least come back if you choose to read the others first. (Links at the bottom of this post)

There seems to be some confusion about the answer to this question. I think it’s fairly simple and straightforward. Use comments to thank the reviewer and interact with their readers. Remember, though, your reputation. Rants do not help you; they simply bring attention to the negative review.

Here at the crew we try to be both fair and honest. That does mean we will have negative reviews, but I doubt you could find anything that would be described by the average person as harsh or mean-spirited. For that reason, we’ve yet to score anything with 1 star, which doesn’t mean we won’t find something worthy of a goose egg (no zero stars).

Yes, there are reviewers out there that are mean-spirited and downright hateful. It’s best to just leave them alone—no comments whatsoever. You won’t change the rating no matter how hard you scream or how many capital letters you use. In fact, you may even be validating their review. This goes for any correspondence, for what you say in a private email does not necessarily stay private. (Unless you type it in Las Vegas—NOT!)

What Authors Say

I asked my followers on Twitter about this subject. Here’s a few of their responses:


As an author, I always respect the reviewers opinion (whether positive or negative), but I have posted respectful feedback.


my feeling is the best response an author to give to a review is 'thank you for your time'.


Why not? Surely the point of the internet is interaction. It might help reviewers/readers to get where a writer is coming from.

I do think that a comment has a much bigger “positive” impact on your rep if it is personal, customized for each review. Saying thank you is nice, but it isn’t something I’ll remember. If I know that my review helped the author in some way, that’s much more appreciated.

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