Sunday, May 31, 2015

[Coffee Shop Talks] Have You Ever Told an Author You Didn't Like Their Book?

This week's topic was inspired by a post from C.L. Wilson earlier in May. She wanted to know if anyone has ever written an author to let him/her know that they didn't like their book.

The idea that I should write an author and let her know that I disliked something she's written has never actually occurred to me. I've written and tweeted authors when I've fallen in love with one of their stories, but never when I've hated it. Occasionally I'll let a publicist know when I've really disliked something, but that feels less personal to me since they're not the ones who put their blood, sweat, and tears in to the story I didn't like. 
I've heard that Harris received a lot of nasty e-mails when she ended the Sookie series and that Hamilton had readers show up at signings and express their disapproval of the direction the Anita Blake series had taken. Personally, I would rather vent my frustrations through a review or on Goodreads. I don't think an author would ever apologize to me or agree to write something more to my liking, so I would just be wasting my time and theirs as well.

Have you ever told an author that you didn't like their book? Why or why not? I would love to know! ~Cat



Talk Supe said...

the power of rabid fans! I don't think I'll have the courage to tell Harris off even if I was one of those people who wasn't happy with how she ended Sookie.

I've only griped through GR & the blog. Although I've been in situations where I had to tell an author who requested I review their book that I had to DNF/disliked it and list down the reasons why. It's hard! I know some of them take it personally, there was even a time where an author responded to my review point by point, basically "correcting" me and my feelings toward the book. Major turn off but at the same time I can't blame them for feeling passionatr over their baby.

Alba said...

Great great question!! I never really thought about it but now that you mention it I've never really told an author when I've disliked his/her book.
I'm all about sharing the love but if I have nothing good to say about it I rather not say anything at all.

BUT There was this one time, I really didn't like the book AT ALL. Not the story, not the writing, not the missing plot, not a thing. (We're talking indie author here.) And I was taking part in the book tour and it was my very first time participating in such a thing I hadn't done my research and they didn't tell me that if I didn't like the book I didn't have to post my review exactly on the day of my stop. But I did it.
Then the author messaged me on facebook, asking why I hadn't like the book... I kept trying not to say anything, I had written a lot about it on my review after all, but the author was adamant that I say. Finally I caved.
After months and months the author messaged me again asking if I wanted to participate in some kind of re-launch or something like that, saying that the book had undergone some massive changes but I just couldn't.
I've felt wary of that author ever since...

Anyway. Too long a comment. Sorry >_<
Great post though!
Alba @ BookPics

fishgirl182 said...

I have definitely written negative reviews but I have never felt the need to personally write an author to tell them I did not like their book. Unless the book really offended me in some way (maybe morally) then I don't have the desire to get that personal with an author. I also know that a lot of work goes into a book, even one I don't like and I don't want to go out of my way to be negative. I feel it's sort of like walking across a room to tell someone that you their shirt is ugly. Is there a point to it besides just making someone feel bad? Also, engaging directly with an author, esp one whose book you did not like, opens the door for a negative response from them and it can just start something I am not interested in. There are so many books in the world. If I don't like one I just move on to the next.

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