Bookish Discussion: My Love/Hate Relationship with Author Interactions on Social Media

Posted January 23, 2017 by Zeee in Discussions10 Comments

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Let’s talk about anything bookish!

It has been over four years since I started interacting with my favorite authors on social media. Some more often than others. Lately, though, I have been more active that normal.

Let me tell you a secret. I have a love/hate relationship with author interaction on social media. Let’s not even start with the issue with authors behaving badly. I think I am pretty lucky to have avoided that part personally.

Despite all the horror stories that pop up about author-reader interactions, I have a few reasons why I love interacting with my favorite authors.

ONE. The Author Street Team

I am a member of about 5 author street teams. Some are more active than others but I have enjoyed my time interacting with these authors. Author Street Teams have now gone “out of style” and all of the street teams I belong to aren’t functioning as real street teams. It is still a perfect way to interact with my favorite authors at a personal level.

TWO. Tagging Authors on Social Media

The best thing about interacting with my favorite authors is when I tag them in my reviews! Mind you, I only tag them when I am reviewing their book positively. This does not mean that I ALWAYS give positive reviews. Only that I don’t tag them when my reviews are negative. I think that is common courtesy.

THREE. Sneak Peaks and Insider Info

I follow quite a few authors on multiple social media platforms. The best thing about that is when I get to see sneak peaks, upcoming info, and even a few insider info (usually via street teams or newsletters)! This is especially exciting when I am impatiently waiting for their next book!

But what about my hate relationship with author interaction? Yeah, I know HATE is such a strong work, but let’s just say I have feelings of dislike with some authors.

ONE. Drama.

Some authors love to stir up drama. These include incidences of authors behaving badly. This is really quite upsetting, especially if it is done by a favorite author. Thankfully, I haven’t seen one of my favorites act really crazy, so there is that.

TWO. Do Not Engage!

This is related to number one. Basically, this is when an author actually engages in a Twitter war with critics or even fans. By this, I mean engaging in a negative way. I understand that authors need to respond at certain times, but what I mean is when they engage and go waaaay beyond what is deemed an acceptable response. When this happens, I usually unfollow the author. Thankfully, I haven’t seen a lot of these, well, not the authors that I follow, thank goodness!

THREE. To Review or NOT to Review.

As much as I love tagging authors in my reviews, there is also that dilemma about reviews. Sure, I personally DO NOT tag authors if it is a negative review. BUT when I have interacted with an author on social media and said author “knows” me, I find it a little hard to write a negative review. There was a time where I had to forgo writing a review (only gave star reviews on Goodreads) because I wasn’t comfortable with it. I have become comfortable writing negative reviews, though. But I used to really hate writing them.

All in all, I have had a very positive experience with author interaction on social media. I’m pretty sure I won’t stop interacting with my favorite authors, but I am one of those people that also do not tweet or post about anything controversial. I try to keep myself as drama free as possible.

Do you have any problems with author interaction on social media? Do you have any horror stories?

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10 responses to “Bookish Discussion: My Love/Hate Relationship with Author Interactions on Social Media

  1. As a non-professional, I do feel a bit weird about blasting someone’s book. I never thought about it at all before I started blogging, and I’m sure I have a fair number of grumpy negative reviews on Goodreads, but it honestly never occurred to me that an author would hang out online checking reviews from random people. I just thought of it as tracking my thinking for my own sake, and possibly for others who were considering reading the book or had read it. Reviewing is still not a major part of my blog, and I have never done any “street team” stuff, so I’m not very knowledgeable about the issues here, but I have mentioned authors in tweets a few times, and been delighted if they respond.

    • That’s true, Wendy. I do tag authors when I give positive reviews, and NOT negative reviews. I also retweet and interact with them on social media. But I ALWAYS make sure to create drama and also be respectful to the author by not tagging them in a negative review.

  2. I agree with you so much- on all counts! Like the good stuff IS really good, and I LOVE getting to know authors! But then the bad stuff… it’s so hard. I just wrote a negative review for an author whose first book I loved, and who I have been friendly with on social media. And it wasn’t just a not great review, it was a BAD one. I obviously didn’t tag her anywhere, and I hoped she wouldn’t see it, but let’s face it, there’s a chance that she will. And I mean… I can’t be NOT honest, you know? So hopefully she will not take it personally, because I tried my best to make it as objective as possible, but.. what can you do? That is the peril, I suppose.

    I am extra sad that two people have had bad experiences (or are in the middle of having them). It’s so unfortunate- being part of a street team does NOT mean that you will automatically LOVE every word that comes out of the author’s imagination. It’s unfair of them to use street team members as auto-five stars. Le sigh. It is never easy! Love this post though 😀
    Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight recently posted…Reviews in a Minute: More Winter TalesMy Profile

    • That is true, Shannon. I don’t like lying in my reviews so I don’t. Even if I’m in the author street team. I don’t love all books written by my favorite authors and that’s okay. That also hasn’t stopped me from not reading their next book.

  3. Lauren

    I’ve gotten myself into kind of an awkward situation like what you describe; could you offer some advice? I’m in an author ‘street-team’ type group for a debut author, and I was provided with a free copy of their book via their newsletter, with the understanding that I would leave a review like other people in the group. They all seem to agree that they loved it, they couldn’t put it down, and the ending really took them by surprise.

    However, I don’t like the book. Based on the length, I should have been able to finish it in an afternoon, but I’ve dragged it out for weeks and still not finished it. The main character really rubs me the wrong way- s/he seems very immature, and it feels like they are constantly being led around by other characters rather than making decisions for themself. Granted, it’s a YA book and it could just be that the book is intended for the younger end of the YA audience.

    What’s the etiquette in this situation? Do I post my negative review, saying basically what I just said here? Do I contact the author and explain why I’m not reviewing it? Should I do nothing? Or something else?

    • So this is what I did in the case where I didn’t like a book written by one of my favorite authors, and I also am a part of her street team, I posted a very nice negative review, pointing out how much I love the author but the story did not work for me. I included the reasons why. This may be a great time for you to include that you really tried to finish it but you just couldn’t… I will also post it on Goodreads, Amazon, etc. BUT I will not link to it on the street team page, or even tag the author. In my case, this worked out for me. The author did not ask me to send her links to reviews so I opted not to. The others, I simply did not review but I rated on Goodreads. This is just what I did. Others may have other ways to go about it. I just make sure that I don’t offend the author.

  4. This is a great post, as it totally ties into what I’m afraid might be some drama coming to me in the near future with an author. The author is someone I was friends with before she ever self-published her books. I have read all her books, and written reviews on my blog, as well as on sites like Goodreads and Amazon. But for the last book, she told me she just noticed my review and that she wanted to thank me, but was having trouble with that. She hasn’t elaborated, but my guess is that it has to do with the fact that I did talk about the issues I had with her book. I may have to only leave starred reviews for her from now on, as I don’t think she likes criticism, even when I end the review by saying even with the problems I had it was a great book over all. So, yeah. Very interesting and perfect discussion!
    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted…Cover Reveal Alex: Perfect Opposite Book 1 by Zoya TessiMy Profile

    • Yeah, I think that is the safest thing to do. I mean, I think as an author, you should welcome constructive criticism and honest reviews from your friends and family. But that’s just me. I know some authors just can’t take criticism, which is tough. So, I do understand your dilemma.