I tag authors when:
- It's a positive review. It might have a couple of negative bits but, mostly, it's very positive.
- I've been interviewed by someone else and have mentioned the author in a nice way.
- I've written a post recommending lots of books, in which theirs is included.
- Someone has written a guest post for me and mentioned the author in a positive light.
- Basically, I tag them whenever something nice is written about them on this blog.
Here's why I don't tag authors in negative reviews:
- If you tag an author in your negative review of their book, you're effectively saying, "Hey! Read my blog post, I ranted about your book in it. It was horrible. Never write again."
- If you see a negative review someone else has written and they haven't tagged the author, going ahead and tagging the author yourself is just insensitive. They don't need to see the review, hence why the other blogger didn't tag them in the first place. You're making both the blogger and the author feel crap.
- I don't write my reviews for authors. I write reviews for readers. I'll tag authors in positive reviews because it's always nice to compliment people but I'm not going to tell them what they could have done better in their book. That's someone's job, sure, but it's not mine.
- By tagging authors in negative reviews, most likely all you're doing is making them feel bad. And then they might avoid reviews/mentions, no matter how nice. Or a blogger might let them know they've written something about them on their blog and they'll respond with, "Is it nice? Or do I need to hide from the Internet for a while?"
I had that response once and it made me so sad because, firstly, if I wrote anything negative about an author/their book, I would never shove it in their face. And I don't like to think that people might think I would just because I'm a blogger. We're not all bad. And, secondly, it made me sad because it brought home just how badly this kind of thing must have affected them before that they even have to ask at all.
When an author does something actually bad and word gets out - like, they write a racist comment somewhere or go on a homophobic rant - I don't have an opinion on whether you should tag them in your thoughts or not, so this isn't about that. You do you. But when you've simply not enjoyed an author's book and you're warning other people not to buy it, I don't think the author needs to see that.
My opinion? I'll happily write negative reviews - my blog is a place where I write about books I've read whether I've enjoyed them or not, after all - but I won't tag the author. The review is there online and if the author stumbles across it by searching for reviews then that's their problem but I'm never going to make them look at it by tweeting them the link and making them think it's something positive when it isn't. That's just rude and unnecessary.
What do you think? Do you tag authors in negative reviews?