Tagging the author

Here’s a post at The Bookseller: To tag or not to tag—when author feedback gets personal

The idea of directly confronting an author with negative feedback may seem ridiculous—but it’s exactly the subject of a debate raging in social media. Many will have stumbled across the Twitter thread started by American sci-fi author Elizabeth Bear last week, in which she described any author tagging as “rude”.  As with many controversial opinions on Twitter, this sparked immediate attention—was it wrong to tag authors in reviews at all?  Or just the negative ones? Do all authors hate being tagged? 

Here’s the Twitter thread.

I agree with what appears to be the majority opinion: it’s not nice to tag authors if your review is negative. It’s perfectly fine and in fact highly desirable to tag authors if your review is positive, if you happen to want to and wouldn’t mind engaging with the author.

Since readers can’t read author’s minds and have no way to intuit whether or not an author wants to be told that you loved their book, I would say it’s perfectly fair and reasonable to tag authors who have Twitter accounts. If they’re sooooo adamant that they don’t want to be tagged, then they can leave Twitter, which is, after all, a form of SOCIAL media.

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4 thoughts on “Tagging the author”

  1. I tag authors to say I like their book if I’ve interacted with them before, however briefly (like answering a tweet of theirs). Not out of the blue.

  2. Interesting, Irina. I actually tag an author to show them a review of their book whether I’ve ever heard of them before or not or interacted with them in any way — just as long as the review is positive.

  3. I tend to tag authors in positive reviews. I usually don’t say anything negative about books online. If I’m recommending gryphon books all the time, though, I tend to limit how often I tag, say… well, you =] People ask for gryphon book recommendations a lot and if it’s a quick one sentence on why they might like Lord of the Changing Winds, I don’t want to bog you down with notifications.

  4. I have to admit, I don’t mind seeing that, however often it happens! Thanks for recommending LotCW!

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