Talk To Me: Authors and Social Media

October 21, 2014 books, discussion 2

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to ask you a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it!

Topic

AUTHOR ALERT! AUTHOR ALERT! …is what goes off in my head every time an author replies to me/favorites a tweet/comments on a post of mine. Theoretically, I knew social media give everyone a chance to connect better, but it was only when I got into this blogging thing that I really realized what that means. I’m not really someone who tends to be startstruck by anyone, but let’s be honest – it does kind of give you a kick when someone whose work you admire acknowledges your existence.

My Opinion

As with everything there are two sides to this. I think it’s amazing that writers, performers – basically anyone who has a fan or two or two million – can connect and interact with the people that love their work. This usually benefits both sides enormously. BUT, and you knew there was a but coming, it does make me think more about what I say and how I say it. That alone is not necessarily a bad thing, but there is such a thing as thinking TOO much about it. I think it’s important to remember that reviewers are criticizing the work and not the maker behind it (unless they’re jerks), but I generally believe in being respectful in my reviews. I do however make exceptions sometimes: If I really hated something, I might be tempted into a rant and, if they hit my kind of humor, I like reading bad reviews from time to time. Oops.

Naturally I don’t like everything I read or watch. Even when I really liked something there will probably be things that could have been improved. Let alone the times I DIDN’T like something. Does the fact that the person who created whatever I’m criticizing might see my review make me change the content of my post? No, I like to think it doesn’t, but sometimes I have to really force myself to leave things in. My blog is TINY in comparison with others and this has already happened a couple of times, so I can imagine this can get stressful for some people who accept review requests from authors who personally send them their books, especially if they know and like the author.

All of that doesn’t mean I don’t want authors (or whoever else) to see my posts or to connect on social media. Quite the opposite – 99.9 percent of the time it’s AMAZING. I do think this could be stressful the other 0.1 percent though, and I’m wondering how people who are under a lot more pressure due to a bigger audience or a personal relationship with the author handle this.

Your Turn!

What do you think? Is it part of the job description to deal with rants and disrespectful people when you’re a creator or should people be respectful at all times? Have you ever changed a review or a post because you didn’t want to hurt someone’s feelings? If you’re an author, how do you deal with bad reviews?

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