Thursday, November 20, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - Honesty

Suggested by JM:

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?

I could see this question coming from a mile away! After all the controversy from last week I think it's a valid question. But I have to say my answer is a resounding NO. I don't think a blogger is "required" to give a positive review just because an author sends a book.

As I've stated numerous times, when I started this blog I really didn't think anyone else would actually READ it. It was a place for me to log my reading. Kind of like an online journal. Then something weird happened. People did start reading it. I'm very honest with my reviews. If I don't like something, I state the reasons why I don't like it. But I always try to balance out the negatives with the positives. Because there are usually good things with every book I read.

Just because an author chooses to send me a book should not mean I have to be dishonest. I haven't really encountered this problem though. I tend to be pretty selective in choosing books from the numerous requests that I receive. I tend to pick books that I think I would like. Maybe that's a cop out. But if it's a subject matter that interests me, I'm already a step ahead. And I always let any author know that I will give an honest opinion. I always forward a link to the review as well.

For what it's worth, I tend to rely pretty heavily on the word of bloggers. I don't read a lot of professional reviews anymore. I follow word of mouth from the people that I know and respect. That's all of you. If we start trading our values for free books, what does that make us?? I can think of a few choice adjectives, but I don't think I'll put them in print!

Keep up the good work! I know I'm counting on all of you!!

Happy Thursday and Happy Reading!!


Debi said...

Well said, Stephanie! I know if I found out someone was lying in their reviews just because they didn't want to upset the author, I'd just stop reading their reviews. How can lying help me judge if a book is for me or not? And I've certainly picked up books that I've read negative reviews of, because I could tell the things that bothered the reviewer wouldn't necessarily be things that would bother me. Honesty is the ONLY way to go!

Smilingsal said...

Of course any reviewer should be honest and at the same time fair. I look forward to having you visit my blog to read my answer.

Amy(The Sleepy Reader) said...

I totally agree with you. I get my recommendations exclusively from my blogging friends!

DesLily said...

word of mouth is the best recommendation! It's the people that get paid for it that I don't trust! ..those are the ones that very well may lie to keep their job!

samantha.1020 said...

I'm constantly adding to my TBR list from blogs like these. I think that it can be hard to write a negative review but honesty is more important. Great post!

Melody said...

Totally agree with you! I rely on fellow bookbloggers on the book recommendations... I rarely read professional reviews so if we don't trust reviews from our blogging friends, then who should we trust?!

Book Calendar said...

No the job of the reviewer is to do an honest job. You aren't making money off of the book like in a review magazine which often sells advertising space and can't be too negative.

Reviewers in trade magazine tend to pick books which they can give good reviews on because they lose money when they give bad reviews.

Trish said...

I definitely don't think that being choosey about your books is a cop out! With ALL of the books out there (how will we ever read all the ones we want to!!), why shouldn't you be choosey? Great answer, Stephanie!