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?
No, a review should be true to the readers experience. It is a huge disservice to the author and the review readers to give a positive review just because it is an ARC. Reviewers owe it to those who read and trust their reviews to give them honest commentary, regardless of whether the book was a review copy sent by an author or not. Any author requesting that a reviewer read their books and share their feelings about said book on a blog, message board, in a book club, or any other review outlet--should be fully prepared for all feedback, good or bad.

As for disclaimers. In the end it is up to the individual as to whether or not they want to post a disclaimer. I don't think that it is necessary (for all of the reasons I stated above), but if they want to that's fine.

More Booking Through Thursday-ers

8 comments:

  1. Agreed! I don't use a disclaimer. Come see my answer.

    ReplyDelete
  2. >>Any author requesting that a reviewer read their books and share their feelings about said book on a blog, message board, in a book club, or any other review outlet--should be fully prepared for all feedback, good or bad.

    I agree. What good does it do an author if people fib to them to spare their feelings. I don't think people should attack an author. I want to hear what people think of the book.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I totally agree with what you said, Brie. However, there's the other side of the coin as well. Some people feel that having gotten a free copy of the book, they feel obligated to give good reviews... and as you said, it's just a disservice to the community.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Agree. Authors sending out ARCs and asking for reviews are not being realistic if they expect all reviews to be good.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hi Sally, I stopped by!

    Kathy- I don't believe in attacking an author at all. It's about the work not the author. I read a post yesterday that said to review the book not the author. I think that perfectly sums how reviews should be handled.

    Hi Ana, :)

    Nath- You're right. And I feel bad for those who feel that obligation. They are only obligated to review a book honestly.

    Leslie- They are not being realistic at all.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Another one who agrees with your assessment completely, Brie. :)

    This topic actually came up very recently for me. I just received a review copy of a book which didn't thrill me. While I didn't hate the book, I did feel a pang of guilt having to knock it down a few points because it was given to me freely. Of course, I was still completely honest (and I even included a small disclaimer at the end so people know the book was given as an ARC, but letting them know it didn't alter my review of the book in any way).

    Also, reviewing a book is not necessarily a knock at the author, though I can see how the author could take it personally. Like others have said, it should be about the book and not the author.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I totally agree with everything you said, it really sucks when you get harassed for reviews that aren't glowing.

    ReplyDelete