Thursday, January 26, 2012

Should authors review books?

I have always been a reader. Ever since I was a kid in my tiny bedroom lounging on my hot pink vinyl beanbag chair. My love of books and great stories is what encouraged me to write my own. Once I became a writer and then a published author did not mean I stopped reading.

After I started writing, but before I became published, I joined Goodreads. I thought it was great! I love organization and having this great website to keep track of the books I read and what I thought of them was so so cool! I wrote honest reviews, but was never rude or nasty. Just not my style.

But then my book was published and things shifted. I was now on the other side. Now not only was I giving reviews, I was receiving them. Luckily, I've yet to get a really bad review (knocking on wood really hard!!!) But I started to wonder if it was really appropriate for me to give negative reviews of fellow authors' work. I didn't feel it right to lie and give glowing reviews for books I did not think that of. But was it really proper to point out a book's flaws???

I still wish I had an answer to that. I ended up removing anything negative from the reviews I had written. I focused on the positives. But my star rating still reflected my true feelings.

As an author, it is extremely hard to read a book and completely turn off the editor inside my head. I am more critical than the average reader. I notice things readers might not notice. Sometimes it is really hard for me to completely lose myself in a book like I used to. I just can't...I'm too distracted. If the editing is bad, or there is head-hopping, it completely distracts me. I have to force myself through and really search out the story and I don't enjoy myself.

Also today, I am guest posting over at Flutey Words, Aubrie Dionne's blog, about my writing process! Check it out!


  1. Once i became an author, my reading changed as well. I read slower now and see a lot of things I didn't see before.

    You're on my blog today and I friended you on Goodreads!

    1. Thank so much!!! I saw the I need to go accept it! :)

  2. I have this same issue, but I'm not published. I don't think it's inappropriate for an author to give another author a bad review. I kind of think that writers are too nice. A lot of things are kind of danced around that in other professions wouldn't be.

  3. Thanks for sharing your opinion Beth! Very interesting!! In a critique group setting, we do share our honest a constructive way, of course. But once the work is published...I don't feels different. Maybe it shouldn't be...maybe we should still offer that constructive feedback?? but it isn't asked for....I don't know!! LOL

  4. I've stopped reviewing and starring on Goodreads. I would dearly love to review--I am still a reader, I adore reading--but I've realised that liking a person doesn't mean I'm going to like their book. If I ever meet that person, I wouldn't want to be the one who gave them a bad review etc.

  5. I have been nervous about giving a bad review and, when in between a 3 and a 4, I go with the 4. Why? I'm nice. But now that I've self published, it's more because I'm paranoid that someone will take my honest opinion as a personal attack and start a cyber-bullying campaign to trash my online reputation.
    My solution? If it's really that bad, I won't leave a review at all.