Once your book is out there for the world to enjoy, some of your readers are going to express their opinions via online reviews. Their comments might be glowing, savaging, or somewhere in between. Read them if you want (I don’t recommend this), but tempting as it may be, do not comment on them.
I repeat: do NOT comment on reviews. Why? Because no matter how you slice it, it doesn’t make you look good.
- Responding to a negative review looks petty. If a reader doesn’t like your book, he doesn’t like your book. Period. Nothing you can say is going to convince him otherwise. Nothing. If anything, discounting his opinion is only going to make him badmouth your book – and maybe even you – in the real world as well as the virtual one.
- Thanking a reader for a positive review on another website looks amateur. It can also look like you’ve got way too much time on your hands. You want your fans to think you’re hard at work on your next book, not sitting at home in your pajamas reading your own reviews. (Disclaimer: If someone leaves a nice comment on your personal website, I think it’s fine to reply with a thank you. And if someone emails you directly, you should certainly reply. I’m talking about more public forums.)
Once you add the “author” title to your résumé, people are going to look up to you, which is great. Let them! You’ve accomplished something that many people dream of but few actually do. Avoid tainting that hard-earned respect by responding to reviews. Remember, you deserve it!
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2012 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.