"Let's talk interacting with authors IRL (in real life) or online. This is your opportunity to talk about your favorite author readings that you have attended. Or, you can feature your favorite author fan moment (i.e., an author sent you a tweet or commented on your blog). Maybe you even want to share how your interactions have changed since becoming a blogger or share your own tips that you have learned along the way when interacting with authors as a blogger."
I have a second blog where I write book reviews: A Well-Watered Garden, and it's a Christian fiction and non-fiction book blog. Often, when I write a review, an author will leave a nice comment. It happens more often on the Christian review blog, than on this blog at Impressions In Ink.
On Facebook, interaction with authors is common in several of the British history groups I'm a member of. I consider authors business acquaintances. I'm a private person and I respect their privacy. But, I'm anxious to learn from them about their knowledgeable subject. For example, I have corresponded with Amy Licence. Licence has written several non-fiction British history books published by Amberley. I requested her as a "friend" on Facebook, and we've gotten to know each other better. She has been kind and gracious to answer questions when I needed information about another book I'm reading. Maybe someday I'll travel to England again and listen to a conference Amy is giving.
I've noticed female authors are more likely to leave a comment, and more interested in interaction.
Link for list of books by Amy Licence: Amberley Publishing.
Amy's blog: His Story, Her Story.
A draw back to becoming "friendly" with an author is what if the book they've written is a stinker?
What to do then?
This is a toughy.
But, in order to be honest, and further have a reputation as an honest book reviewer, the focus must be on honesty and not hurting another person's feelings.
I believe in tact. I do not believe it is ever necessary to be snarky.
Don't write a review that states, " I don't like the book, it is bad." State why the book is not written well and give reasons.
I've read in several books on book reviewing, "do not become friendly with authors." I've not been able to abide by this.
A person of character will not be upset with a reviewer for not writing a 4 or 5 star review. If a 2 or 3 star review is written, possibly the reviewer has a point, and the author can at least give thought to what was stated.
Writing book reviews is a free service provided by common people who have a very uncommon love for reading. We are providing a free media outlet for an authors work, with of course the acceptance of a free hard copy or ebook.
Have I had negative comments left to me from authors?
Yes. I refuse to argue with them. I refuse to take it personally. Move on. But, I will not review their future books.