I read a LOT of fanfiction and I also write a bit.

As a reader, I've noticed that not every writer feels a need to respond to their comments. Often, it seems that the 'bigger' the name in fandom, the more likely it is that they don't answer. (And no, this isn't referring to any one particular fandom - I read and comment in many different ones.)

ETA: One of reasons I'm curious about this is that several months ago, I read a post on a 'big' name writer's LJ where he/she stated that posting fiction is a 'gift' to the readers, and responses aren't necessary since you don't say thanks for a thank you. I don't feel this way; I write because I love it. The readers 'gift' me by reading and commenting.

As an author, I love each and every comment I get. I try to answer all of them, even if it's only with a 'thanks for reading.' I know I miss some, but I do try.

Anyway, I'm curious to see how people feel about this, so I created a poll.

As a WRITER, do you feel you "owe" the people who comment an answer, even if it's just a thank you for reading?

Yes, it's only good manners.
No, it's not necessary.
I only respond to those comments that are more than 'OMG, this is great.'
I only respond to those people that I know.
Other. (Please explain.)

As a READER, do you expect an author to respond to your comments?

Yes, it's nice to know that the author appreciates the comment.
No, it's not necessary.
I don't comment; I just lurk.
Other. (Please explain.)