Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Honesty

From 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?


All bloggers have a different reason for why they blog. Some only review books they like, which is great that's their choice. When I asked a similar question last week for Faith 'n Fiction Saturday, Rel said she reviews to encourage so if she doesn't like a book she doesn't review it. I think that's wonderful. Another respondent said they review books...they didn't know what a dishonest review was. I LOVED that. Some share their reading journey no matter what, some offer literary or critical reviews, I mean the list goes on. In short, there's no one size fits all for book blogs.

So I think an author should have a look at the blog they're asking to review their book to see if it's a good fit. And, yes, I do think bloggers should have a review policy either posted or shared with the author upon request. I don't (though I'm working on it) and didn't think about it before, but the more book blogging rises in prominence as a way to market and promote books I think the clearer the expectations--the better.

I think as a book community--we should all value honesty above sales and ego stroking. The fine art of reading a novel is going by the wayside due to a variety of things and lying about whether or not we like books is not going to sustain our favorite hobby. If we can't even share what we like honestly with one another, what do we have? I do think we owe it to authors to be respectful of their work, but we owe it to the community as a whole to be honest.

So those are my thoughts at present.

14 comments:

Melody said...

Good points, Amy! :)
I'm totally with you on the book community stuff.

Smilingsal said...

I sure wish I knew what took place last week. I feel as if I've missed a BUNCH! Come see my answer.

S. Krishna said...

I think being respectful is key!

Mervi said...

Well said! I agree.

Kristen said...

Good point about the authors and/or publishers checking out the blogs they contact!

This way, they will know if they will get more of a "softball" review...

On the other hand, I love reviewing books and would be so disappointed if I stopped receiving requests due to my veracity...

Great topic, isn't it!?

Toni said...

Honesty is key. Our blog is our space and it shouldn't be compromised. I just don't think we should ever feel that we can't say, "I really didn't enjoy this book for reasons a, b, c." I think most blog authors have a knack for putting in in a respectful manner.(such as, this is my opinion, or my point of view). All that being said I do enjoy writing reviews and featuring books that I like. I could easily pass on those that I didn't enjoy or couldn't finish. But if I have committed to a review I feel above all I need to be honest.

On another side note. I had someone post a comment on my blog that had a different opinion of a book that I am reading. AND I LOVED that this happened. I think that it is good literary conversation to have comments and chit chat about the books. I love to see a comment that says.."really, I didn't think that about the book, I thought this.."

Just some thoughts. I hadn't ever given it much thought until this past week.

Charli and me said...

I agree with you. Honesty is the best policy.

Natasha @ Maw Books said...

Going through these BTT posts I've noticed a lot of people saying they will not "succumb" to posting a review policy on their blog. I've had one for a while and have seen a huge difference in the emails I receive from authors and publishers. They do read it. It's there mainly as a statement of my reading likes and dislikes so they can see if I'm a good fit. I think it's a good idea so there are correct assumptions on both sides of the line.

kalea_kane said...

Perfect answer. I think that above all, you have to be honest, and I really think that there is a way to express yourself honestly at all times without it being hurtful. I wrote in Jewelz blog that I prefer to read why a person did not like a book, because I will know if it is something for me or not. I may like the book for the very reasons someone else doesn't. It is all about taste.

I also think it is a great idea for authors to check out the blogs that they are considering for a book review. You definitely get an idea on the flavor of both the blog and the taste of the blogger.

Scobberlotcher said...

Bravo! You put it all very well.

Holly said...

Well said! I agree completely.

My Two Blessings said...

Good points, Amy. Honesty is the best policy.
My post is up now.

Robin of mytwoblessings

Amy said...

It seems we all feel similarly. And I already told you, but I agree Natasha. It just wasn't something I had really thought much about before b/c the blog didn't start out as a book review blog. Thanks for sharing your thoughts everyone!

Nicole said...

Excellent and eloquent response. My is here:

http://imemeit.blogspot.com/2008/11/booking-through-thursday-honesty.html

I was having connection problems Thurs. so I'm quite late to the party.

Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to comment! I appreciate hearing your thoughts.