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To Thank or Not to Thank for Unexpected Reviews

Discussion in 'Marketing' started by Zero Angel, May 19, 2013.

  1. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Hi Guys,

    I was just wondering if you thought it was appropriate to send a thank you message to reviewers that reviewed your work without any query or request from you beforehand.

    I know it's not appropriate to complain about a review, but I'm going to go ahead and message a thank you and maybe offer a review copy of another work. Just curious what other people have experienced.

    Thanks!

    (sorry if this has been covered before, didn't see it anywhere)
     
  2. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    I would say, Amazon review? Only the ones that look professional. Bloggers? Absolutely. It's a great opportunity to network, just don't be pompous, or over-offer yourself in what's really an unsolicited contact.

    So it's slightly different from a typical thank you letter. From their perspective, they haven't done you a favor. They've done a favor for their readers and if they're a blogger, to help build their own platform. So say "thank you," but mostly respond from that perspective, recognizing their readers and their platform, and offer that you hope their blog will grow. They'll appreciate that sentiment much more than several sentences about how much reviews mean to you as an author.

    Then throw in the, "If you liked the book, I could also offer you a copy of ____."

    Also, I don't know that you would need to call it a "review copy" at this point. You know they're inclined to review, so it doesn't need to be said. I don't know if this sounds deceptive or not, but if they see it as you offering them the book as a favor, they'll be more inclined to review it, I would think.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2013
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  3. Sparkie

    Sparkie Auror

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    If someone likes your work well enough to write a positive review unbidden, I'd think a free look at another one of your works ought to be thanks enough whether or not they see it as a 'review copy.' Just my opinion.
     
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  4. Zero Angel

    Zero Angel Auror

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    Thanks for the thoughts here guys. I think saying "review copy" has an obligatory tone to it now that yins mention it, and that is not needed at all with people that have already reviewed some of your works. Thanks for pointing that out.

    In general, you're not able to contact Amazon reviewers, are you? I know that the "top reviewers" will sometimes post their e-mails, but they kind of cross the line into being as good as bloggers in that people follow their reviews.
     
  5. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

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    You know, I don't know. I think you can. But if not, you can comment on their review, and I'm sure that PMs them. That should be close enough.
     
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  6. The Dark One

    The Dark One Auror

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    It might be a symptom of my continuing pro-am status, but I always thank online reviewers and will continue to do so until there are so many I don't see them all.

    Why would you ever pass up an opportunity to connect with your fans?
     
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  7. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

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    Not every reviewer is a fan. What do you do with negative reviews - thank anyway? That does seem a bit excessive. But responding to an out-of-the-blue rave review is quite natural, I think. As a reviewer myself, I rarely do rave reviews, so it's always nice to know the author has seen it and is happy about it. I like to make someone's day :)
     
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  8. The Dark One

    The Dark One Auror

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    Would you believe I've never had a bad review? I've had some less than glowing reviews, but no real stinkers. The worst one I ever had (and it was still OK) was, unfortunately, in The Age - one of Australia's biggest newspapers. The reviewer clearly didn't get the book (which numerous other reviewers had praised to the hilt), and being a print review, I couldn't respond.

    Nevertheless, after stewing on the matter, I wrote an article for my blog which was, at least, cathartic...even if not entirely based on real life experience. For those who are interested, my advice on how to cope with a bad review is below:

    Advice for the Newly Published: How to Cope with a Bad Review | The Book Hammer
     
  9. The Dark One

    The Dark One Auror

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    By the way Pauline, you sound like a very nice person.
     
  10. PaulineMRoss

    PaulineMRoss Inkling

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    We're all nice people here, aren't we? :)

    By the way, I liked your blog post, and would agree with your advice on responding to negative reviews - don't!. It's very hard to do it without making things worse (factual corrections excepted).
     
  11. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    Zero,

    I've received emails/PMs from a couple of the authors whose books I've reviewed. I found it a neat experience.

    I say, "Go for it."

    Thanks.

    Brian
     
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  12. Mythopoet

    Mythopoet Auror

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    I think if you're going to thank reviewers, you should thanks ALL reviewers, even ones that leave negative reviews. Just keep it simple: "Thank you for reading my book and taking the time to review it."
     
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  13. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

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    The advice I've seen is:

    It's best not to offer public responses (such as comments to blog posts) to reviews.

    If you choose, however, to make such a response, what mythopoet says is definitely the way to go. Respond to every review that you can, positive and negative, and keep it short and simple.

    If you're responding privately via email or PM, I'm not sure it's as necessary to thank all reviewers. I think it's acceptable to choose the ones that were particularly well done.

    The thing absolutely to never do is try to address any points raised in the review. I've seen a bunch of those kinds of exchanges highlighted on blogs. The author never comes out looking good.
     

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