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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just received my first review from a non friend/family member. It was a very kind 4 star review for my story "...and He answered them." that just made my day. I was wondering what the etiquette is for contacting the reviewer. I wanted to thank them and let them know that it meant a lot to me. I also wanted to suggest friending me on facebook since I post upcoming free download days for future stories there.

Is that cool? Do reviewers like to be contacted? Is it weird? Just wanted to know what the protocol is and any past experiences/advice in this matter.

Thanks!
 

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The protocol is don't contact them.

The only time I would contact a reviewer is if I submitted the book to a blog/review site and someone reviewed it. Then I would email a one sentence thank you note that I appreciated their time, without any mention of the content of the review or whether it was favorable or critical.

(ETA good luck with your book  :) )
 

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I'd say avoid the temptation. If they want to follow you on FB or twitter, they'll find you and do so.  

Everyone is different. Some are cool with being contacted, others freak out that someone tracked them down.  Best to err on the side of caution, thank them in your thoughts, and leave it be.

A good rule of thumb to remember: reviews are for other readers, not for the author.

ps: congrats on a good first review!
 

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rainvilleadam said:
I just received my first review from a non friend/family member. It was a very kind 4 star review for my story "...and He answered them." that just made my day. I was wondering what the etiquette is for contacting the reviewer. I wanted to thank them and let them know that it meant a lot to me. I also wanted to suggest friending me on facebook since I post upcoming free download days for future stories there.

Is that cool? Do reviewers like to be contacted? Is it weird? Just wanted to know what the protocol is and any past experiences/advice in this matter.

Thanks!
At least one KBer that I know of (Elle Casey) does respond to reviews, and it seems to work very well for her. If you do it, you should probably (as she does) thank the folks who leave negative reviews as well as the positive ones; never argue back with a reviewer about their opinion of your book; don't use your response to advertise your Facebook page (that seems spammy to me and might backfire); and use the review "comment" feature rather than trying to reach them in a more direct way. Reviewers can follow the comments on their reviews or not, so if they want to be left alone, they don't follow and don't get any notification about your response and will never see it. That's as it should be.

If you want to see an example of what Elle does, check out the review area on one of her book pages: http://www.amazon.com/Clash-Otherworlds-Portal-Guardians-ebook/product-reviews/B00AH2B9AG/ref=cm_cr_dp_see_all_btm?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

Personally, I'm more like Rick and HAGrant. I very rarely comment on reviews. I don't think I have Elle's touch!

A good way to promote your Fb page might be to include it on your "About the Author" page at the end of your stories. Here's what my "About the Author" page says:

About the Author

Becca Mills teaches literature and writing at a small liberal arts college in the northeastern U.S. She has loved fantasy since, at age seven, she listened to her father read Tolkien aloud.
Nolander is Becca's first book, and she'd love to hear your comments. You can find her on Facebook or through her website. If you'd like to be alerted when Becca publishes new works of fiction, you can add yourself to her mailing list, which is super-duper 100%-guaranteed spam-free (honest!).
The second novel in the Emanations series, Solatium, is forthcoming in early 2013.
I'm just starting out with a Fb author page, but the above has been successful in generating some "likes" for it, as well as in generating mailing list subscriptions, which are a lot more important to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks everyone! I'm still learning the ropes and your advice has been helpful. I certainly don't want to make any readers uncomfortable by seeming stalkery, so I'll follow the norm.

PS - If I were thanking folks for taking the time to review, I'd do just that. Not for the specifics of what they said. So yeah, I would thank a one-star reviewer for taking the time. But that's just me.  
 

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Rick Gualtieri said:
A good rule of thumb to remember: reviews are for other readers, not for the author.
This is correct, in theory. In practice, I'm not so sure. About a quarter of the reviews I've had so far address me personally at some point. I know just from reading the threads here that it's similar for others. I think those who know they're reading an indie author understand that we're looking out for the business side of our work and are still small enough to be able to interact with our readers. Others seem to look at it as unprofessional. It really depends on the person. You're not going to please everyone no matter what you do, so I say go with your gut and handle it whatever way feels right.

I personally don't respond to Amazon reviews. I MIGHT make an exception if someone addressed me with a specific question in their review. Social media is fair game. One reviewer cross posted her Amazon review to my Facebook page, and I responded there to thank her for her kind words. Obviously she wouldn't have posted it there if she didn't mean for me to see it.
 
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