So here’s my question: should reviewers post bad reviews?
You’ve read a book, you’ve either finished it an thought to yourself ‘the f* did I just read?!’ or maybe you melodramatically shredded it an fed it to your pet gerbil, Gerald. What next?
Personally, I can’t bring myself to write a bad review – I won’t fib and write a dishonest review, but if I’ve received a review copy of a title I will thank the publisher, offer a few constructive comments and explain that I won’t be publishing a review.
I can’t imagine anything crueller than tearing apart an author’s work just because you didn’t enjoy their writing.
Sometimes a book has a great story but it grammatically shocking (I’ve come across a few self published books like this), I can completely ignore bad writing as long as the story is good but on occasion you’ll read a book and you simply can’t stand the story.
That doesn’t mean the story was bad, it just means that you didn’t like it – I’m always mindful of this because writing a book is a labour of love for pretty much all authors, writing a negative review which may actively put off new readers is just wrong.
However, on the reverse side of the coin – does your integrity as a reviewer rely on you dishing the dirt on the books you didn’t like, however constructive, as well as praising the ones that you did? I know that writing a review, no matter how positive or negative it is will up the visibility of the book so it could potentially be better than not writing anything at all.
I did find this interesting list for authors, advising them on how to deal with a negative review and lest we forget, the authors aren’t always the only victims following a negative review:
So go on, please tell me what you think – I honestly don’t know what the accepted rules are for negative reviews. I hate to say anything negative about anyone’s book out of consideration for their hard work and feelings, but perhaps it’s just a necessary evil of being a book blogger and being true to your own writing?
“Every year I tell myself that I’m not going to read any reviews and then I do. We’re all human and when I read something negative it hurts. I think when you write it’s part of the game, you’re going to get some good reviews and some bad reviews and that’s how it goes. I don’t write for the reviews.”