Writers as Reviewers
Today’s insecurity is related to reviewing. Should I review every book I read or only those I enjoyed and would therefore recommend? Should writers review other writers publicly at all?
Most writers are avid readers, and some are also reviewers. It seems logical for writers who are readers to review the books they read, but is it always a good idea?
I must admit, I never used to review the books I read on Amazon, and I’ve been a regular amazon kindle and paperback customer for years. I used to think reviewing was for experts, until I started publishing myself, and realized how useful it is for other readers and helpful for authors, so I started reviewing many of the books I read from that moment onwards. At first, I thought it was a great idea, everyone wins.
Over a year later, with over 50 reviews on Amazon.com, and at least the same number on my blog, I’m not so sure it’s a good idea any more. I’m always kind when I review, because I know what an author has gone through in order to write and publish a book, but that doesn’t mean I’m not honest. On the other hand, if I don’t like the book, or think it needs more work, I sometimes tell the author privately, if I think the information can be useful, but I normally don’t review it publicly.
I’m convinced that my opinion will always be biased and therefore unjust. Why? Because although I have a solid linguistic and literary academic background, my opinion is not valuable enough to cause a negative effect on anyone’s ratings or self-confidence, after all, I may be wrong, since part of my opinion is linked to personal tastes and preferences.
There are some interesting articles on the topic:
http://www.selfpublishingadvice.org/ethics-of-reviewing/ Discusses the ethics of reviewing books by authors we know.
http://www.selfpublishingadvice.org/why-indie-authors-should-give-honest-reviews-as-readers/ Discusses the negative results of giving negative reviews.
http://barbtaub.com/2015/05/23/should-writers-be-reviewers/ An interesting and recent discussion on the topic of negative reviews.
So, what do you think? Should writers write positive and negative reviews? Should we review at all? Or should we just write? I’m not sure any more…
This post is part of Insecure Writer’s Support Group monthly Blog Hop. Follow the link to have a look at some of the other posts and/or join in.