Bookish Posts

Discussion: Tagging Authors in Negative Reviews

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Hi everyone! I hope you’re well. Today I would like to talk about authors being tagged in negative reviews. Last year, I created Instagram and Twitter accounts for my book blog. One of the perks of these sites is that you can tag authors. So for example, if you post a link to a book review you can @ the author. Tagging an author means they receive a notification and can see your post. I think this is a great way for readers to engage with authors.

What I don’t understand is when people post a negative book review and then decide to tag the author. It’s something I’ve recently become more aware of. Writing a review is subjective and I’m not against negative reviews per se (as long as they’re constructive). But if an author has poured their heart and soul into a book, it seems unfair that they should be tagged and see a negative review.

I follow a few of my favourite authors on Twitter and have read their tweets about this issue. A few weeks ago, one author mentioned that they consider 3 stars a bad review. They also said that on bad days their heart can’t even take 4 stars. This actually made me stop and think. Whilst I would never tag an author in anything 3 stars or less, I have tagged some authors in 4 star reviews. As a result, I decided not to tag this particular author in my review because I had rated their book 4 stars. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed reading the book, but I was more mindful about the author’s feelings. Instead, I only included a hashtag of the book title. That way, if the author or a reader wanted to find the review, they would actively need to search for the hashtag.

Of course, star ratings are only one aspect of a review and some bloggers don’t include them. You can still like a book and rate it 3 stars on Goodreads. The difference is when someone writes a bad review saying how they hated a book and think it’s acceptable to let the author know about it. My personal view is that there is no need to tag authors in negative reviews. It’s unnecessary and hurtful. If you don’t like a book, that’s fine. Reviews are for readers, not for authors.

Over to you! What are your thoughts about tagging authors in negative reviews? Do you tag authors in your reviews? Let me know in the comments!

17 thoughts on “Discussion: Tagging Authors in Negative Reviews

  1. I am 100% against tagging authors in negative reviews! I post a lot of negative reviews but I would never ever want the author to read them and I would never go out of my way to make sure that they see them. The only time I ever tag an author in a review is if it’s a glowing 5-star review.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Shaz I don’t tag authors negative or positive…
    Sometimes I am a harsh reviewer so why tag anyone to make them read harsh words.
    Secondly I do not know anyone’s handle on twitter
    Thirdly, I forget to tag… I genuinely don’t remember

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That all makes sense! I guess it’s not a requisite to tag authors. The reason I tag authors in positive reviews is to let them know I liked their book! Thanks Shalini!


      1. I thought of doing that but then I forgot so… Well…
        Shaz there was a tag I was nominated for. I have completed that tag on the next day or so. I had linked your blog… Not sure if you got the ping back

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I only tag 4 or higher. Others are hashtags only if it’s 3. Otherwise my negative reviews don’t get tagged or hashtag with the author. I don’t even add the publishers. I feel bad when I don’t like I’m mindful on my social media accounts. I actually don’t think 3 is a horrible rating. It’s average. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I guess I live under a rock, because I didn’t know people actually did that. That’s so cruel!

    I also never considered a 3-star review bad. But I can get why an author might not want to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. So, as an author who is also a voracious reader and reviewer, I can speak to that a little. I do not view 3-stars as bad when I am reviewing. It means I liked the book, but either the author made some choices that didn’t make sense to me or that I could see it would be great for the perfect-fit reader and I’m just not that person. I also would never tag a an author in anything other than an entirely positive review, because it feels like an invasion of their private space. Of course I rarely review books on my blog. Mine are mostly on Goodreads and Amazon, and if the author wants to read them, they are there waiting for him or her. But as an author, I will say that even though I know this is how I review, and I think how the star system is pretty much designed to be understood, there’s definitely a little heart-pounding, stomach-sinking, automatically defensive kind of emotion going on when I read a review that is critical. I have pretty thick skin and can usually get past that initial reaction to get to the constructive bit, but I know a lot of authors really struggle with that. So personally, I don’t want to force them to look.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It’s great to have an author’s perspective on this! I was a little unsure about how authors view 3-star reviews and appreciate the clarification! I can totally understand why you wouldn’t want to tag an author in a less than favourable review. Personally, I think it is akin to walking up to someone and saying you don’t like them. Thank you for your comment, Sarah!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I just don’t understand why people think it’s okay to tag authors in anything negative… I personally only tag in 5 start reviews. After all, if I was an author, I wouldn’t want to be tagged in anything under than a perfect 5 star. Wondering why I only got 3 or 4 stars would drive my anxiety levels crazy!

    Liked by 1 person

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