Armchair BEA: Author interaction and More than just words.

Author Interaction:


Interacting with other authors is something I have had to do a lot of, not just because of the blogging but because I am also an author. So I have two sides to the story. The first being as a blogger.

It isn’t often that I go out of my way to find authors to talk to, because I (normally) have the review requests page. That way they contact me and I get to look through and decide whether it is something I want to review or not.

Most of the time at the moment, however, I find free or paid short stories online and I read and review them that way. This doesn’t always work out so well. The main factor is that there are a lot of free short stories that really needed a professional hand before being published. And on that note, if something has been in serious need of an editor, then I will say so in my review. Honest reviews are what keep readers informed.

This approach, however, has led to a couple of less than savoury interactions. Nothing directly from the authors, as I think a lot of them are learning to let it go and not interact, but from author’s families. I’ve posted 1 and 2 star reviews in the past and then, a day or two later, several reviews from people with the same last name as the author have come along and ripped my review to shreds in their own glowing 5 star review.

For that, I take the ideal author approach: let it go. There is no point feeding the trolls, and if people are reading the reviews, then they will notice the same things that I do.


Now for the opposite side of things. As an author I LOVE to be contacted. Whether it be for an authorgaph or just a review, any and all are welcome. If anyone ever wants to tweet me, they are more than welcome. I will happily chat half the day away with someone about my books. But if you leave me a review, then I will read it, and leave it at that, because once you get into the habit of replying to them it is all too easy to feed the trolls.


More than just words:


Today we are also talking about multi-media books. Graphic novels, audio books, picture books, ect. And here is my more than likely unpopular opinion on these things.


Graphic novels are not something I read, because I spend too much time trying to work out who says what when and looking at the pictures, and for me, graphic novels provide a very spoiler rich environment. If someone dies on the next page, you can see it, loud and clear, and for me, that doesn’t work.


Picture books work, however, especially when it comes to books for children and those kids between children and young adult. And I love the idea of illustrated chapter headings, but again, but ‘adult’ books, I’m not sure I want my reading interrupted by pictures.


And here is where the really unpopular opinion comes in: audio books. I hate them. I’ve been around audio books since long before they became popular, as I grew up with a couple of partially sighted friends. For them, I thought they were great. I thought it was fantastic that people who couldn’t read were still able to read books.

But for me: no. I tried it once, and I forgot half the book before it was even half way through. I get that people find them easy and convenient, but nothing will ever beat an actual book for me. In part because I forget everything that is said to me, and in part because with a voice in my head reading to me it’s harder to make the pictures myself.



Filed under Michelle Birbeck

11 responses to “Armchair BEA: Author interaction and More than just words.

  1. Great post about author interaction! Let it go and don’t feed the trolls are great advice.

    I don’t do audiobooks. I’ve tried once, but I couldn’t pay attention. My mind kept going elsewhere. I can read a book and do a thousand different things and remember what I’m reading and be engrossed. But listening, doesn’t work for me.

  2. I love being able to connect with authors via Twitter. It is wonderful to be able to tell them how much you enjoyed their book. Most will respond too! It means so much when they will connect with their readers.

  3. I had an author who didn’t like my review and sent me corrections that he thought I should make to it. So I hear ya on the less than perfect interactions.

  4. Authors and reviewers have this weird symbiotic love hate thing going. I do get that not all authors can take criticism well but also not all reviewers can critique well either. it is a hard balance.

    • It is, yes. I tend to call it as I see it from fangirling about something to hating it, I like to say what made me love/hate it without giving away too many spoilers, and then give my opinion on whether I recommend it for reading or not. It certainly is a balance.

  5. I’m so glad you posted that an author should let the bad reviews go. It’s never a good thing for an author to react to any reviews. When I started my writing career years ago I made the same mistake. It only backfired on me. It’s hard not to react strongly when your baby has received bad reviews. But authors need to develop a thick skin. This career is not for everyone.

    • Letting it go can be harder said than done for most, though. However, I find not reacting in public, recordable situations like the Internet much easier than not reacting at home with my husband where no one else can see or hear. At least that way I get to vent without making a fool of myself!

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