With everything that's happened since Goodreads changed their review policy, I decided it was time to share my thoughts on reviews. As an author, I depend on reviews. They sell books. But something we have to keep in mind is that reviews are not meant for the author. They're meant for other readers. When someone reviews your book, that person isn't writing the review with you in mind. They are sharing their thoughts on your book, and they are entitled to their opinion. No one, let me repeat that, NO ONE will ever write a book that every person on the face of the earth loves. It's not going to happen. You'll get great reviews, luke warm reviews, and even awful reviews. It comes with the territory. If you can't handle it, don't read the reviews. I don't. (Not unless my publisher posts them for me, because then I know they're safe.)
So what if you do come across a bad review? Do NOT comment on it. Please. While I don't think it's ever necessary for a reviewer to attack an author, I do feel people have the right to dislike your book. I haven't read the Hunger Games because the premise isn't something I can stomach, but at the same time, I give kudos to Collins for writing such a successful series. Millions of people love it. I won't even pick up the books. That's my right, and it's nothing against the author.
Now there have been some reviews on Goodreads that are downright nasty and do attack the author instead of focusing on the book. For that reason, I can see why Goodreads changed their policy. I don't think they are trying to stop people from giving their opinions. I think they are trying to end the war that's been going on on that site for a while now. But in the same token, even if I read a review that was so awful to me personally, as opposed to my book, I still wouldn't comment on it. There's no need to. It's not worth jeopardizing your reputation.
So my advice is to stay away from reviews. They weren't meant for authors anyway. We've already read our books and formed our own opinions about them. Let others have theirs.
What are your thoughts on authors commenting on reviews of their own books?