Thursday, November 20, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - Honesty

I receive a lot of review books, but I have never once told lies about the book just because I got a free copy of it. However, some authors seem to feel that if they send you a copy of their book for free, you should give it a positive review.

Do you think reviewers are obligated to put up a good review of a book, even if they don’t like it? Have we come to a point where reviewers *need* to put up disclaimers to (hopefully) save themselves from being harassed by unhappy authors who get negative reviews?


My Response:
I review books, and if you read my reviews, you will know that I am honest. I give my opinion of the work--simple as that. I will add, though, that I recognize that an author has put his time and effort into the title; no one should be treated badly, even if the job is not done well. Therefore, I do look for the good things. I state the weak points, but highlight those good points so that readers can make their own informed choices.

I have had interactions with authors, but always been on a professional level. I do not feel the need to define the job of reviewing by establishing disclaimers. My integrity cannot be bought for the price of a book!

What's your take on this question?

Check out my giveaways on my sidebar!

35 comments:

Janet said...

I agree with your thoughts...

Kathy said...

Good morning Sally. I agree with you also. I don't believe either in trashing an author.

Kit Courteney said...

A very good answer, particularly because you do actually review books.

bermudaonion said...

You're absolutely right. There's no need to be mean, but you do have an obligation to your readers to be honest.

Betty said...

I learned the hard way not to be unneccessarily harsh and mean in my reviews. =( But it was a good lesson. I like what you said about not selling your integrity for the price of a book. =)

Beth F said...

I'm in agreement, Sally. Negative reviews are important.

Booksplease said...

I like your statement - "My integrity cannot be bought for the price of a book!" If I'm reading a review I want an honest opinion - anything else is very misleading.

jlshall said...

I definitely agree. That's why I'm pretty picky about the kinds of review books I request. I just try not to waste time reading books I don't enjoy.

Mervi said...

Agreed. Nobody can like every book.

Lisa said...

I agree - just because you don't care for a book, doesn't mean you have to 'slam' the author. I haven't had any bad experiences with authors either.

Charli and me said...

Great answer Sally!

Brie said...

I totally agree.

Wendy said...

Great thoughtful answer!

shelburns said...

Great points!

Monique said...

It may not be the job of the reviewer to "warn" the author of a pending bad review. But I would do it anyways, because if I was an author I would like someone to "warn" me. I think it is polite to give a heads up that "Hey, your book sucked. Here is my review. And yes it is still going up on my blog"

Matt said...

The authors and publishers should know better than reviewers owe their readers honest opinion. There is no room for dispute. If they can't handle negative reviews, they should keep the books to themselves.

Book Lover Lisa said...

Well said!

PopinFresh said...

I'm right with you on the disclaimer. Good post, I agree with you completely.

~ Popin

Maria said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog (kiwiria.livejournal.com). I completely agree with you. There's a huge difference between leaving a negative review and leaving a mean review.

Terry said...

Excellent points. Authors pour themselves into their work ... so even if there is a book we don't like, we DO try to find something positive to say.

Lori said...

Hey Sally, my thoughts exactly!

Scobberlotcher said...

Sally, you put this very well. I am learning a lot from the reviewer perspective today - which is really just an honest readers' opinion, isn't it? I mean, if you asked your mom if she liked XX book, she's going to tell you the truth. I think that's all any author should expect. And it often makes the writer get better. There's a lot to be said for the "I'll show you!" motivation. (Unless,you are a crazy Stephen King character. Then it's just plain scary.)

McFitz said...

Thanks for the comment and for the subsequent link to your blog, which I enjoy. Not surprisingly, we agree on this question. :-) I like your 'integrity cannot be bought' phrase! I'll be back.

McFitz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
naida said...

well said! 'my integrity cannot be bought for the price of a book'

http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

Jewelz said...

I totally agree.
I want to be someone that people can trust for a good and honest review.
Thanks for sharing :)

Dayna said...

I agree completely. I'd hate to think that reviews I read on other blogs are anything less than the truth!

Holly said...

Terrific post. I think honesty is so important. I appreciate it when I read reviews and I try and give it in my own!

fajrdrako said...

Yes - good comments, and I agree!

gautami tripathy said...

As I too said, be honest but do not be rude. Trash a book but do it politely!

Read my BTT post!

Amee said...

I agree that saying something good is always a must. Sometimes authors don't see that though. I've had run-ins where the author only saw the negative and ignored the high praise I gave a certain aspect of the book. It's such a sticky situation this book reviewing business. :)

FatalisFortuna said...

Cleanly put. I definitely agree that criticism should be of the books, not the authors themselves. I might mention "The author seems to be preaching to me too directly" or something like that, but only in rare cases when it's significant.

My Two Blessings said...

Excellent points and ditto to what everyone else said. My post is up now.

Robin of mytwoblessings

dawn said...

"My integrity cannot be bought for the price of a book!" Great line!

Nicole said...

I totally agree that you can state your opinion without being mean. So far I haven't felt the need to put up a disclaimer either.