The Letter R
Puppy agrees with me when I tell you that the Letter R stands for Reading, Reviews, and Royalties. All writers know how important good Reviews are. But Reviews aren't enough.
My two published novels garnered wonderful Reviews from critics and book Reviewers. But sales didn't naturally follow. People don't troll Review sites to find new authors, usually. At one site, my first novel got a better Review by half a star than Charlaine Harris's latest Sookie Stackhouse book - and yet she's a gazillionaire, and my last Royalty check was for sixty seven cents. Really.
So maybe good Reviews don't automatically translate into Royalties, but what about bad Reviews? Would you ever consider buying a book that got panned by Reviewers? Probably not. I know I wouldn't - my novel-buying funds are too limited. And you know what they say about Karma, what a bitch she can be. So I hesitate to ever post Reviews that are bad. As in, I Read the book but didn't really like it. Wouldn't Recommend it. But I'm not going to lie, either. What's the point in posting a Review that isn't true? I'm not getting paid to Review anything, so false Reviews just shoots my credibility and my Reader's opinion of my literary tastes.
What to do? So far, any time I've promised to Review a book, I've Read it. The whole thing. I'm a fast Reader, and love to Read, so no biggie there. But when I don't like the book (or hate the book) I have a problem. I've promised a Review but can't give a good one. Authors all say they want honest Reviews, but Really? I wouldn't. Every book is not going to be my cup of tea - or yours. I have no problem giving a good Review when I like a book, and if you don't agree that's up to you and we can sit down and discuss over wine, like my book club does. But I hate going negative. I'd Rather break a promise to Review Rather than break another author's heart, even a little. If I was getting paid to be a Reviewer and had an obligation to my job, that would be a different story. But I don't. So I won't.
What do you do?