Today I want to chat a little bit about the relationship between book reviewers like myself and the authors of the books we read and review and where the boundary line between the two should fall.
I have a twitter account connected to my blog and my Goodreads. Many of you know this already as we follow each other there too. But every time I post a review to either my blog or Goodreads it automatically tweets a link.
I also manually tweet links to this blog (and other blogs I follow) from time to time as well as giving brief snippets of my thoughts on books.
The other week I tweeted a link to a negative review of a book I had read. I won’t name the book but it was one that I do not recommend as it contained a very problematic message. In my tweet I named the book and the author but did not hashtag either nor did I tag the author or their publisher.
I am a firm believer in not tagging an author or publisher in my book reviews / tweets / instagram posts unless I am expressly requested to do so (in a NetGalley or Blog Tour email etc.) and even then I will only tag them if the review is a four star rating or higher.
I thought no more about my tweet until the next day I was on my Instagram account and happened to look at who had viewed my Instagram stories. And to my surprise the verified account associated with the author of that same book I had tweeted about had viewed my two stories.
And I must confess I felt quite uneasy.
Honestly I felt somewhat stalked.
Yes all my accounts are public and there is a pinned tweet at the top of my Twitter profile from which this author could have clicked through to my Instagram…
But I wondered why?
Why do this?
Why take the time out of their day to look through my social media accounts?
What was the need to go check out my Instagram, my instagram stories (which was a cute photo of my dog I might add).
I think there needs to be a definite line between author and reviewer. When this line gets blurred it leads to a change in relationship and opens up the potential for reviews that may not be altogether impartial. I have always written very honest reviews; a number of people have often joked to me that I should call my blog the honest reviews blog because I always speak my mind. I am incapable of being any other way really. My reviews will always be honest because honesty and integrity are two of the three attributes I hold most regard for in this world. The other being kindness.
So I want to throw the floor open to debate and ask all of you if you ever have felt unsettled by an author’s activity after you have written a negative review about their book. Am I right in feeling that this author crossed a line by so overtly stalking my social media activity?
I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions in the comments below and to please share if you have had any similar experiences.