So I have something I really need to get off my chest. *Inhales deeply*. Here goes.
We’re all aware of the controversy that’s been going on lately with bloggers vs. authors… or maybe it’s authors vs. bloggers… I’m not really sure anymore. There’s the whole “bullying” thing, the “paying for good reviews” thing, the attacking of authors by bloggers and bloggers by authors thing. And quite frankly, it stinks. Like really, really stinks.
I don’t know about other book bloggers, but I started my blog for fun. Because I needed a space to talk about a subject I’m passionate about: books. I didn’t get into it for the free books, the recognition, whatever other perks come with being a book blogger. Honestly, I didn’t even realize those perks CAME with it all! It’s still extremely surprising and humbling to know that people not only read my blog, but they actively take part in following it, in helping me to promote it, and supporting me!
So when authors started requesting I review their books, needless to say I became ecstatic. Like I had really made it as a blogger and a legitimate reviewer! At first my requests to review books came from self-published authors looking to promote their book and I gladly welcomed them. I gave their books the old college try and was pleasantly pleased with some of the titles I got to read.
But then I started getting this little gem attached to most requests: “I understand if you don’t like the book, but if you don’t, please don’t review it. I’ve had some bashing done already.”
I TOTALLY get that you don’t want your book, your baby, bashed. I understand that you don’t want to hear that someone didn’t like something you worked so hard on, put time and money into, etc. If that’s the case though… why are you seeking out reviewers to discuss your book? Once you put a piece of work out there to the public, it’s going to be criticized. It’s going to be picked apart and discussed, whether negatively or positively. And if you’ve put out a good product, what do you have to be worried about?
While I’m still relatively new to the book blogging world, I feel that I’ve been part of it enough to make this bold statement: Authors, it’s insulting to be approached and asked to review a book but not to post a review if I don’t like the book. You’re cheating me, you’re cheating your readers, and you’re cheating yourself if all you want is someone to say “This book is the best book ever!” If that’s the case, I’m sure your grandmother will be happy to tell you that.
So authors who are considering me to review your book, I ask you to first take a look at my blog. See other reviews I’ve written. I do not believe in bashing a book, saying it’s the worst piece of garbage I’ve ever read, telling my readers to never touch this book… that’s grossly unfair and not a good review. I believe in being honest, in telling my opinion in a non-detrimental way. Out of all the reviews I’ve written I think I’ve written maybe 3 negative ones, and even then I pointed out some positives about the book. To me, that’s a fair review. That’s what having a book blog is to me – not turning people off to books, but talking about what I think about them.
I don’t want to tell authors that I won’t review their books when I’m approached to do so; I appreciate you thinking I would enjoy your book. I appreciate all the effort you put into writing it and for self-published authors all the work you put into publishing it. I want to love your book just like you love your book and for the most part I’m going to give it the old college try.
But as of right now, if you tell me to not review it if I don’t like it, I’m gonna tell you to find a new reviewer because this girl sticks to her ethical guns.