Authors on Reviews Blog Hop

To Be or Not To Be? Not exactly.

This is a book blog and this is a blog hop asking the question, “should authors comment on reviews?”

So perhaps better is “To Comment or Not to Comment?”

The blog hop was inspired by the recent 3 Star Ratings Event. Nat @ Reading Romances decided to create today’s event as an opportunity for us book bloggers and reviewers to say what we expect from authors when we post reviews of their books.

So it’s up to each blogger to answer that age-old question, “Should Authors Comment on Reviews?”

On the one hand, I want the author to know I’ve reviewed their book. I want the publisher to know about it too. I want it so bad that I tweet my review to both of them. Some authors reply to the tweet. Some re-tweet, especially if the review is good. Sometimes the publishers will re-tweet.

But yes, I expect the tweet to get some traffic. That’s the point. I agonize over those 140 characters, hoping to maximize their impact. I tweet my reviews because I want somebody to pay attention.

The author, and the publisher, are likely to be the two parties most interested in whatever I said about the book. It’s logical.

And the economy has changed. I don’t mean the money economy, although, let’s face it, that too. I mean the information/attention economy. It used to be that information was expensive and attention was cheap. Now it’s the other way, information is easy to get, it’s attention that hard to grab.

Reviews are attention, especially for small press/ebook-only/self-published books.

So yes, I think it’s terrific when an author comments, even when it’s just to say “thank you”. Particularly when they thank the other commenters who are saying they might read the book.

When I start with “on the one hand” I generally have another hand hidden behind my back. In this case, that other hand is Ebook Review Central.

Every week, the Monday Ebook Review Central wrap-up highlights the three most and best reviewed titles from one (or more) of the ebook publishers for the month. The featured titles are always going to be the big hits, because that’s the point. I comb through all the reviews to tally which three books got the most recognition from reviewers.

It’s totally recognition of who did well, and why. Also a recommendation that these are the books that people loved, so, if you (person reading the post) like the type of story represented, and haven’t yet read this, you might want to check out all these reviews conveniently linked here, and see if you want to read it too.

Since the ERC post emphasizes the positives (the books that don’t get reviewed a lot are in the database, I just don’t talk about them much), I would love, love, love to get more authors (and readers) commenting on the Ebook Review Central posts.

But we’ve all heard that some people feel “intimidated” if the author might comment on the review or in the comments to a post.

Please comment here! How do you feel? Do you like seeing authors comment on their reviews? Do you like seeing authors participate in book blog commentary in general?

If you want to read what others are saying on this topic, here are the links to all the participating blog hops:


What’s on my (mostly virtual) nightstand? 4-8-12

Before I say anything about any books on the nightstand, virtual or otherwise, there’s something else sitting there that needs to be acknowledged.

I have a great big pile of virtual thank you notes. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone who came to my Blogo-Birthday Giveaway April 4-5! It was great to see all of you at my party. I’m so happy that you came. Every single one of your comments and follows was a present. Thanks a bunch!

Since this was a hobbit birthday, I’m giving presents. The lucky winners of the ebook giveaways and the Amazon gift cards will get emails and be announced tomorrow, April 9.

Back to our regularly scheduled Mostly Virtual Nightstand…

Last winter (okay, it was winter everywhere else, the U.S. South doesn’t get much real winter) it seemed like everyone else was reading and raving about North of Need by Laura Kaye. I missed picking it up on NetGalley. I should have and just didn’t.

When Ms. Kaye was asking for bloggers to participate in her West of Want cover reveal and contest announcement, I jumped at the chance. It was my opportunity (read excuse) to finally read and review North of Need, and participate in a terrific event. April 10, Reading Reality will be one of the hosts for Laura’s contest announcement and excerpts of West of Want and I’ll post my review of North of Need.

This week is also the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster. Why is this relevant? I have a copy of Wreck of the Nebula Dream by Veronica Scott to review. Nebula Dream is a science fiction romance based on the Titanic disaster, so it is fitting that the review be posted close to the April 15 anniversary.

I have two books I received from Samhain. One, The Lawman’s Surrender by Debra Mullins, I almost can’t believe I asked for, because it’s part of their Retro Historical line. I reviewed the first book in the Calhoun Sisters series, Donovan’s Bed, for Library Journal and here. It was an absolutely terrific guilty pleasure, one of those books that reminded me how much fun western romances can be when they’re done right. (Also, this retro isn’t very retro, it was originally published in 2001) I just have to find out what happens to sister number 2!

My second Samhain title is Lexxie Couper’s Love’s Rhythm. Her books have done pretty well in the Ebook Review Central tallies, and I wanted to see for myself.

How many of you have mostly virtual nightstands? Would you like to share them? The magic of Mister Linky makes that possible. Just add the link to your Virtual Nightstand post below, and we can all share the books we’re reading and reviewing this week.


It’s a Blogo-Birthday!

And what’s that, you might very well ask?

On April 4, 2011 this blog was born. The first version was Escape Reality, Read Fiction! Courtesy of The Wayback Machine, here’s what it looked like, back in the early days of…last year. (My own birthday is tomorrow, so blogo-birthday)

Escape Reality, Read Fiction! is still on the masthead, but now it’s under the bar. For anyone who wonders where that phrase came from, like so much wisdom, I got it off a t-shirt–which doesn’t make it any less true. I firmly believe that you can escape reality for very large periods of time by reading fiction. And that’s a good thing!

I’m equally firmly of the opinion that you can’t judge a book by its movie. Also from a t-shirt. There’s some great stuff on t-shirts, if you look for it. Especially if you like pithy.

So, about last year. April 4 was a Monday. My first post was published that day, after a weekend of Galen and I setting things up. There was one absolutely paralyzing bit about selecting a WordPress theme from the zillion and one options I still have nightmares about.

I knew I would write about books. Not a big surprise. I expected to be writing more on the, I guess you would say meta-level, about the business of books, or the business of libraries, rather than book reviews.

I never expected it would be quite so easy to get books to review. I thought I’d be reviewing from my already large TBR stacks. Instead, the TBR stacks are getting bigger by the day, but mainly in the virtual sense. I get most of my review copies in ebook form, with the exception of conference ARCs.

A year means it’s time to reflect a little bit. That’s why there have been a few changes in the last month.  I’ve added features to bring in more traffic. I’ve discovered that writing the blog, even every day, isn’t the hardest part. Getting people to come and read it, the promotion, that’s the more difficult bit. At least for me. As the saying goes, YMMV.

So in addition to regular features like Ebook Review Central, it’s time for Reading Reality to participate in a couple of memes like In My Mailbox and On My Wishlist. On My (Mostly Virtual) Nightstand turned into a meme itself this past weekend. I’m also participating in some blog tours and blog hops, like the Where’s That Bunny? hop hosted by Reading Romances this week.  (By the way, Nat at Reading Romances designed the Blogo-Birthday graphic. Thanks, Nat!)

But I want to make sure that the loyal readers of Reading Reality keep reading. So, as I start my second year, I want to hear from you. What do you look for in a blog? What keeps you following? Comments please!

This is a Blogoversary Celebration, so of course there is a giveaway!

Here are the steps to enter the drawing for a USD$15 Amazon Gift Card. This giveaway will be open until 12:01 a.m. the morning of April 8, 2012. I will announce the winner on April 9th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway