Thanks or no thanks

Tonight, Steve Weddle and Chris F. Holm lit up the Twittersphere discussing an interesting question:

Should authors thank reviewers for positive reviews?

The responses were mixed, although I think the consensus was “Sure.” There were concerns about authors trying to curry favour in exchange for future positive reviews and about reviewers being creeped out or having difficulty remaining unbiased. The entire discussion made me realize just how lucky I am. This is not a “Professional Review Site.” This is a place for me to write what I want to write.

So I do.

It would, however, be prudent for me to formalize my position, lest anybody confuse my reviews for the professional, dispassionate or unbiased kind. With this clarification, I represent only myself and do not impugn the motives, opinions or work of others.

For immediate release.

CheffoJeffo’s Official Policy On Books, Reviews, Publishers and Authors

I hereby decree that, effective immediately and forever:

  • I will be honest in what I write about your book, regardless of how I came to read it. Free is good, but only great is great.
  • I don’t have time to write about every book I love, but I will at least try to @ you some love on Twitter. BTW, 4 means your book is totally wowsome!
  • If you enjoyed something I wrote about your book and want to say so, then please do. I will gratefully accept all the thanks.
  • If you are engaging and nice and it makes me love your books more, that is fucking awesome and I will tell all the people.
  • If I write about your book, I promise that I will be neither dispassionate nor unbiased. Life is too short not to take sides.

Now that we have that out of the way, get back to work — I’m waiting for your next book!

ADDENDUM: Go read sj’s thoughts on the matter over at BookSnobbery. They are, as promised, both spiteful and awesome.


  1. That makes perfect sense. And thanks for taking the time to spread the word about books you love. As a reader, I buy/read many, many books based on what reviewers/bloggers have to say.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and congrats on the reception you are getting with COUNTRY HARDBALL!

      Thank you for asking the question in the first place.

      Pro reviewers have to work harder than I do and have to deal with considerations that I don’t. I am grateful for them and for the fact that I am not one of them.

      Appropriate that the timing coincides with the time to give #ReaderThanks.

  2. What Steve said. And since it never occurred to me before yesterday a thank-you might be misconstrued, I’m glad to find it’s welcomed by most.

    1. Thanks Chris.

      I am fortunate enough to live in a city with some great small presses and I run into those folks (publishers and authors) at local book events. Getting a personal thanks is great, but even better are the conversations we have about other people’s work. We can put aside our author/reviewer/fan hats and just be passionate folks talking about awesome books. That couldn’t happen if they “had” to maintain a professional distance.

  3. We have some similar thoughts, which I would expound on here, but then there’d be no point in me writing my own post, would there?

    1. Are they spiteful, awesome or (hopefully) both?

    2. True to your word! Thanks for the signal boost.

      1. No problem!

  4. […] and go see what CheffoJeffo had to say on this subject, […]

  5. CheffoJeffo’s frank take on his review motivation is refreshing, honest, and speaks volumes about the man. In this age of prickly hypersensitivity, when everybody treads around other people’s opinions as if they were ice-skating on nitroglycerine, he’s a breath of fresh air in a locker room full of urinal mints. Go like hell, CheffoJeffo!

    1. Thanks Sean. (is this post tagged for Crime Writers or something?)

      You may be giving me too much credit, but I am fine with that and will just say thank you.

  6. […] Last week bunches of people had discussions (some even with each other) about the appropriateness of authors thanking reviewers. I said “Hell, yes! Please do.” along with some other stuff about why I am entirely unsuited to delivering a professional or unbiased review. […]

  7. […] I don’t disagree. I recently reevaluated  my own position and decided that I will only review books when I have something that I simply must say and I expect that those instances will be limited to books that I really love. […]

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