Wednesday, August 21, 2013
Writing Wednesday: A Gentle Word About a Rough Subject - Reviews
What? Can't a person review everything they read?
Well, yes and no.
Some people do post reviews of everything, both positive and negative. Especially if you're a paid reviewer and someone tells you "Review This." Then you have little choice. You need to say what you think.
But for those of us who aren't paid for our efforts, there's more leeway. I read a lot of books by authors who are just starting out, and not all of them are good. I understand there's a learning curve involved as well as the fact that not every book is my cup of tea.
If the author is a newbie, I'm not going to post a bad review. Heck, if I don't think it's worth recommending, I'm not going to post any review at all. As my grandmother always said, if you can't say something nice, don't say anything." So there are books that I read, both beta and published, that no one else ever hears about. At least, not from me.
If, however, the book I read and don't like is published by one of the Big Publishers, and the author is an established author, then I kind of feel free to express my opinion if the book disappoints. In that case, my review is not going to make or break an established career arc, and I feel I want to warn my friends not to waste their reading time or book money.
Does that make sense?
In general, most of my reviews are positive because I'd much rather share my good experiences than the bad ones. But sometimes I just need to complain. And even then, I think my complaints are rather tame compared to some of the things you read on Goodreads. Just sayin'.
How about you? Do you have a personal review policy? What does it take for you to pen a bad review? Or do you always keep it positive?