Bookish Posts & Tags

Tagging Authors in Reviews- Yea or Nay?

Hello those of you who still follow me! I’m sorry I haven’t posted in awhile. I’ve been under the weather so all my energy has been focused toward that pesky day job I have. Since I’ve started to feel like I’m finally recovering, I decided over the weekend to make my re-debut back into blogging. And what a time I picked to do so!

To see what I had potentially missed from my fellow bloggers, I checked Book Twitter and goodness gracious was it on fire.

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A fairly well known author had posted a tweet stating that it is always rude to tag an author in a review. Then an even more beloved author echoed this view. This of course set the book bloggerverse into upheaval.

From the tweet conversations many of us were having, we all seemed to really be feeling like crap. Were we unintentionally insulting authors by tweeting out our reviews and tagging them? Many bloggers, myself included, felt really demoralized and embarassed, as if what we were doing was an annoyance rather than a passion we all love pursuing.

Now, before I go any further into this, I feel like I should make a few things clear. Things that were definitely more or less agreed on by all the bloggers taking part in this discussion.

  • We would never, ever tag an author in a negative review. Most of us only tag if we absolutely adored the book and rated it 5 stars.
  • None of us tag an author with any expectation of a response, it’s more to say, “Hey! This book is AMAZING and here’s who wrote it!”
  • We don’t get paid to write reviews. Some of us might make a bit of money off ad revenue or Amazon Affiliate schemes, but it seems many who do make money usually only make enough to cover their operating costs. Meaning we spend literal hours and hours of our lives and our own money for no reward other than the awesome reward of reading and connecting with other readers.
  • We are still “genuine” readers even if we’re reading books with the intention of writing a review for blogs, websites, etc.

After awhile of tweeting back and forth about how awful we felt, the attitude seemed to shift more toward us being the offended ones. I mean, we’re just spreading the love of a book and author, how is telling someone their work moved you a bad thing? Like, I get being tweeted nonstop might be annoying, but that’s kind of the deal when you’re a public figure on social media. If you don’t want your fans to bother you, there are better ways to go about it then to tell us our praise is offensive.

When several reviewers and general fans asked how giving these authors praise is an annoyance, one of the authors replied that if he wanted our views he could find them himself. I think this tweet perfectly summed up my feelings on that response:

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Eventually the authors more or less said they were only talking about negative reviews or people linking them to reviews from places like the New York Times, but by that point the authors had made so many conflicting statements over a period of several hours that it felt a bit hollow.

Luckily, several other authors spoke up to say they love fan interaction and to not let these two authors speak for them. This was especially true when it came to indie authors or those just starting out. So many of the latter thanked us whole heartedly for our time and effort spent promoting their books. That certainly softened the earlier blow we had all been recovering from!


So, I guess what I’ve really learned here is that when it comes to promoting more main-stream authors, unless I’ve been asked by the publisher or author to do so, I won’t tag them. I’ll focus more of my energy on the incredible indie authors who need our love the most.

What are your thoughts on this? Were you part of the Book Twitter storm over the weekend? Let me know in the comments!

11 thoughts on “Tagging Authors in Reviews- Yea or Nay?”

  1. Honestly, I was uncomfortable tagging authors just because I was uncertain if I should or not and this definitely did not help that self-consciousness. But these authors (and I did see the thread) stating it on such a public forum made me feel like they were “biting the hand that feeds them.” Writing is only a small portion of what makes a book sell – reviews and talking about it is the bigger part. Most readers don’t take the time to write reviews or post on social media, but book bloggers are committed to doing just that, so we are a pretty good chunk of that PR and for free. Makes me want to focus on authors from blog tours and smaller presses for sure. ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it was pretty hurtful tbh. I hardly ever tag authors unless it’s a rave review and I want everyone and their mother to know about the book and who wrote it. Most authors have thanked me or retweeted me, even big names. That always feels amazing!

      I’d recently bought some copies of one of the author’s graphic novels for my husband but now I feel kinda soured on the whole thing. Definitely wasn’t a good look for them.

      At least more authors than not came out to say that they love their fans including the bloggers! So don’t feel self-conscious, it seems to be only a small minority who want us to leave them alone.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh no!! Are you okay?? ❤

      As for the twitter firestorm, eventually the authors sort of backtracked on it, but it took a long time and a lot of mixed messages to get there. I mean, surely they must have realized pretty quickly how bloggers and fans were taking it? All they had to do was say, "No no that's not what we mean, we love our fans!" but instead they hemmed and hawed for awhile before finally saying they weren't talking about book bloggers or fans. No one really seemed to believe them by that point.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I’m home and recovering nicely. Thank you for asking :)))
        Really doesn’t sound very logical on their part to me. Surely if you are on social media in any sort of professional context re your writing then being tagged by bloggers in positive reviews is part of the deal? Social media is exactly that, social. So if someone doesn’t want to be tagged in my opinion they shouldn’t have a professional social media presence and should instead keep it to a generic social media handle and only tweet etc with family and friends? It’s a given that as bloggers we don’t tag in negative reviews but positive reviews with links/tags are great ways for our followers to check out the author and immediately follow them with more likelihood of them buying the book themselves instead of forgetting that great book they read about in a review that one time…. I really do need to look through Bookish twitter to see all the furore to see how this all began because from where I’m sitting right now it seems a bit unrealistic from their POV.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is crazy! I only have Instagram, as the other forms of social media started to make my brain leak after a while, so I completely missed all of this! It is very hurtful to hear, since like you said, we/I pay for the book, review the book, and promote the book for nothing more than the reward of having read it. You would think most authors would be thankful for this, regardless of how big or small they are, since we (readers and consumers) are the only reason they have their success. How disappointing. Now, please excuse me while I go goog what authors were involved. Hahaha! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some of the comments that arose from this was non-bloggers sticking to that oh-so-not-true opinion that we aren’t real readers. Like… I’m sure I just spent 7 hours reading this book?? Just because we then share reviews doesn’t mean we aren’t real readers. This isn’t our job. It’s a super rewarding hobby that was just made a little less rewarding from those tweets.

      To most authors’ credit, those who chimed in later on (both big names and indie) said that they definitely want us to keep interacting with them.

      Btw, kudos to you for unplugging from social media!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. …We aren’t real readers!? How does that even make sense!? Hahaha, my goodness. I don’t even understand the logic behind that? it just sounds like nonsense to me, and totally reminds me of petty high school arguments. What a shame.

        Blogging and reviewing has connected me to an entire community of really smart, kind, and interesting people I would’ve never met otherwise. I am super thankful for that, as I don’t have many friends IRL that read like I do. Additionally, we’re reading a lot of books and set goals for reading so that we can keep communicating and sharing our thoughts… How is that not a “real” reader?!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I was just telling my husband similar thoughts. That other than my mother and a friend or two, no one I really know reads or loves reading like I do. I’ve made amazing connections here and on Goodreads and FB reading groups, people I “talk” with all the time. It’s awesome!

        Plus since blogging I’ve taken part in events that have introduced me to even more people, like the Secret Santa exchange and a bookmark exchange. Honestly, it made my Christmas this year. I’m thankful for this community, too!

        Liked by 1 person

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    Liked by 1 person

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