Bookstagram sets in motion a nerve-wracking trend | MarketingwithAnoy

In early July, Daisy Buchanan enjoyed a sunny Saturday morning potting around her home – then she reached out for her phone. She opened Instagram and saw the words “review”, “mediocre” and “annoying”; she immediately felt warm. “My body started processing it before my brain did it,” Buchanan says. Tears welled up in her eyes. Buchanan, a 37-year-old author based in Kent, England, read a negative review of one of her books. But she had not sought it out with an ill-considered name or title search – the reader had actually sent it directly to her. They had tagged her in their post.

Around the same time, a few miles away in London, Lex Croucher was already having a bad day when their phone buzzed. It was a two-section, one-star review of one of the 30-year-old’s books, and it essentially said there was “nothing to like” about Croucher’s work. In the past, both Buchanan and Croucher have done so located pleas on social media: Say what you like about my work, but please do not @ me when you do.

Readers and reviewers have never been better able to get their voice heard. The advent of Bookstagram and more recently BookTok has enabled bibliophiles to share recommendations, point out plot holes, and discuss fantasy theories on an unprecedented scale. Yet authors will have you to know that it is one thing to tell the world that one does not like a book, and another thing to completely tell its author.

Or is it? After all, is this not our brave new world? Sometimes writers need to hear the critique of their work, especially if readers find it problematic. And shouldn’t writers soak it up and accept that tagging is part of the job – and isn’t it actually really helpful to read constructive criticism? In that sense, tagging is not nearly a friendly thing to do? Buchanan, author of novel novels Insatiable and Careersays absolutely not.

“I’m more than aware that there is valid criticism of my work,” she says, “but at the moment I’m trying to write a book a year. I’m in the middle of a pretty painful third draft, so when I read an angry one review of the book I finished two years ago throws me really creatively. ” Although she says she is “embarrassed” to admit it, Buchanan has now used various security and privacy settings to minimize how noticeable she is on Instagram.

Anna James, 35-year-old London-based author of the children’s series Pages & Co, saying tagged reviews can also be bad for readers. “Whether a review is positive or negative, it really shuts down any conversation if an author is tagged,” she says, arguing that tagging removes focus from readers and places it on the author. “An online conversation about a book may not be open and useful to readers if an author observes it all,” she says. (She clarifies that she means when readers discuss reviews and ratings, not when trying to chat with an author about their work.)

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