According to lots of tweets I've seen recently, many authors are advised by their publishers not to respond to book reviews.
To that I say: wuuuuuuuuuut?
I 100% agree that authors shouldn't respond to negative reviews. You only need to Google 'book reviewer hit with wine bottle' and 'book reviewer stalked by author' to know that it can get messy. And even if the author replies in a polite way, it's really awkward to find out that they know you didn't like what they put so much blood, sweat and tears into. Better than being stalked for it, but still.
I'm not into speaking for everyone, but I'm pretty sure that on this occasion, I speak for most book bloggers when I say that we hugely appreciate it when our positive review is acknowledged by the author. We've spent hours reading the book, and then spent even longer planning, writing and promoting the review. We're spreading the word, shouting about the book to everyone we know, increasing your sales, and hopefully helping you to realise that your book isn't as bad as you might self-consciously think it is.
We don't have to do it, and you don't owe us anything, not even a speedily-typed tweet of thanks. But I'm British, so... it does kinda bum me out when I excitedly tweet an author my super-positive review of their amazeballs book, and they don't seem to care... at all. It's like when you step into the road so someone can keep walking on the pavement, and they don't even give you a nod of appreciation, so you end up muttering a sarcastic little 'you're welcome' under your breath. Just let me love you, authors. Pls.
It's not a huge problem. I get that authors are busy writing their next slice of papery greatness, or talking in front of hundreds of children at a school event, or travelling across the country on tour, or doing their tax return, or making their fourth slice of toast that day. There are more important, urgent things to do than reply to a tweet. But being ignored can be disheartening, and not sharing any reviews of your book is silly in terms of self-promotion. Spread the word that other people are spreading the word about you. Tweet a link to someone's review so you don't have to send your own awkward 'buy my book' tweet. It works.
Edited to add: Of course, some bloggers send neutral tweets where it's impossible to know whether the review is nice or not. In that case, you really can't expect a reply because how is the author meant to know whether to read it or not? I actually wrote a post about that here.
Maybe instead of advising authors not to respond to any reviews, publishers should advise them not to respond to negative ones...
What do you think about authors responding to reviews?