Booking Through Thursday – Reviews

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Suggested by JM:

I receive a lot of review books, but I have never once told lies about the book just because I got a free copy of it. However, some authors seem to feel that if they send you a copy of their book for free, you should give it a positive review.

Do you think reviewers are obligated to put up a good review of a book, even if they don’t like it? Have we come to a point where reviewers *need* to put up disclaimers to (hopefully) save themselves from being harassed by unhappy authors who get negative reviews?



I think reviewers are doing their readers a disservice if they are not honest about the books they review.  I have seen backlash over negative comments though.  Over on Shelfari, I was reading the reviews of Breaking Dawn to see if I was the only one who was disappointed.  The shear number and harshness of replies to negative comments was shocking.  And these were replies to a very respectful and non-inflammatory negative review.  Many people said, "If you don't like it, don't read it."  How the hell would someone know ahead of time that they wouldn't like a book?

Not everyone likes everything they read.  Authors need to grow thicker skin if they can't handle negative reviews.



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2 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday – Reviews

  1. In this situation, I ask the author ahead of time what they would like me to do if I don't enjoy the book: A) Leave an honest review or B) leave no review. Most choose A. I think it's important to remember that one book is not going to please everyone – the more you get the word out the more people you reach who are going to feel one way or another – but better people get an honest idea of your work than vow never to buy one of your books ever again because of the misleading reviews the first time around!

  2. The funny thing is that to publish scientific papers you have to go through a peer-review process that can be pretty scathing. It's practically inverted from books-in-print. In science, you're reviewed harshly before you get to publish and it is expected and encouraged. For books-in-print, the review comes after and is expected to be kind.

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