Thursday, November 20, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Honesty

Booking Through Thursday


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?

Well, of course this question would come up this week! And here I thought I could easily avoid the controversy! (Which started here and continued here... and then ended up in too many places for me to link to.... just in case you missed it all.)

What I think: Reviewers should NOT be obligated to give a book a positive review. They DO need to be honest with how they felt about it. However, they DO need to be nice and not scathingly obnoxious about what they didn't like. They DO need to respect the author. However, authors should respect the reviewer too. And most importantly they, the authors, should remember that any publicity is good publicity. (Bad behavior and mean remarks, on either side, is NOT good publicity, however.)

So far, I for one, don't have this problem with being specifically asked to review a book. I can count on one had the books authors have sent me. And I won't be going out my way to solicit them either. I can't. I have to read the books I WANT to read and not be obligated to read review books that I may or may not be interested in. One every now and then is fun though. And let's hope that when I do do it, I like the book and I won't have to deal with this issue at all! :)


  1. I think it is important to read things we want to read. It is supposed to be fun, not a chore.

  2. I don't like reading to feel like a chore, either. I was really excited when I got my first review offer, but of the handful of books I've been sent by publishers, I only liked two so far. I'm much more selective now.

  3. I've pretty much stopped asking for review copies of books, unless it's a book I know I'll enjoy. Like you, I just don't want to feel obligated to read anything.

    Here’s my answer.

  4. I think you are quite right. Reviewers should review the book the way they see fit and not having to be nice about it if it was a book they were sent for free. After all, not all authors out there are equally great and we all have different tastes. Of course, the review should always be kept in a decent tone. I have reviewed books that I really didn't like at all, for instance some of James Patterson's books and I have been completely honest about it. Now I don't think Patterson gives a darn about what a smalltime Danish reviewer thinks about his books and they were books I have either bought or gotten at the library so there was never a question of "having" to be nice to a publisher/author.


  5. It really is a give and take between author and reviewer.

  6. I read the links you provided, and what a heavy drama that had unfolded. I agree with you, that integrity is much more important than possible drama with hypersensitive and un-professional authors.

  7. I've received enough books from authors, publishers, and blog tours and have given a few of them less than rave reviews. I've heard back from all of the authors and the experience was positive all around. The thought doesn't scare me. You can be honest, but yet explain why the book may be better suited for somebody else.

  8. If one is polite an nice, siting reasons for not liking a particular book, authors do not mind negative reviews. That much I have found out from authors.

    Read my BTT post!

  9. Good post! I agree with much of what you have said here. I do read a lot of review books, but I try and only say yes to the ones that I would be interested in reading anyway. Reading is something I do for pleasure. I already have a job!

    And I do agree that it's important to be honest and respectful at the same time.



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