Today I have a question for my readers and my author friends.
This has been weighing on me for some time. I feel as though I've been walking a very fine line. Before I was a writer, I was and still am a reader, and I was voracious! Four books a week. For the last seven years I have posted my honest thoughts on Amazon, LibraryThing, Goodreads, and Blogger.
I don't want that to change. I LOVE reading. I LOVE posting my two cents about a book. I LOVE helping authors I feel have wrote a good book and I love sharing that book.
But occasionally, I read a book I don't enjoy so much. I post those too!
Here is my question/dilemma:
I don't do fake reviews. If I read a book in its entirety and I don't like it, I say so. Sometimes I'll realize in advance a book is not for me and I won't finish it. I normally just mark the book DNF then. Really, life is too short and there are too many other good books to read to waste my time. But again, if I read it, I say what I thought.
I have even gone so far as to email friends of mine and say, "I don't like your book. Are you sure you want me to review this? At the moment, I think it's best that I don't finish, because if I finish, I'm not giving it a good review."
It's a tad awkward, sending this email, but I do it.
In the last seven years, I've earned a following on my honest book reviews.
But since I've become a writer, I've noticed a change in attitude. I feel as though both sides are watching me with hawk eyes.
The readers expect honest reviews, and I deliver that. BUT then there are those few that eye my less-than-glowing reviews and say, "Oh yeah? You think you could write this better?"
The curse of being writer and reviewer.
When is okay for an author to write a bad review? Is it always construed as something personal? Is it okay for a romance writer to not like another romance writer's book?
To not write honest reviews would lose the respect of my followers. To write honest reviews often earns me scorn from other authors.