Thursday, November 20, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

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?

Well, this is certainly the topic of the week, isn't it? It's interesting that just a few days before I saw this whole kerfuffle, I had decided to formalize a sort of disclaimer to send authors when they request a review - sort of like a "what you can expect from me" type thing. I initially thought it would be a good idea so authors know their books don't just disappear into the black hole of my bookshelf. Now it's apparently necessary so I don't get threatened with a lawsuit.

I've only ever had good interactions with authors, so I consider myself lucky. I also haven't had any really stinky books to review, because before I agree to accept one I try to do as much poking around about the author as I can to see if their style of writing is something that will jive with me - so far, every author has had some sort of website, or writing sample out there that I could check out, so I've at least had some idea of what I was getting into.

Ultimately, though, I am going to write what I think. If I don't like a book, I'll say that. I don't really do snarky reviews - I think you have to have a certain talent as a writer for that to work in cyberspace, and I'm not sure I have it. So I just try to write my criticism in a way that doesn't seem cruel, but if I feel it I'll say it.

And, I put up a disclaimer - just in case!


Smilingsal said...

You've written an easily understandable disclaimer. This is not something I choose to do. It's a shame that it has become necessary for you or for others to do. I look forward to your comment on my post.

dawn said...

Elizabeth - I feel very much the same way. Before I agree to review a book I make sure the genre is one I read, and I read an excerpt. You're right ... so many authors have this available on their websites.

I haven't yet posted a review policy, but I'm considering it ...

gautami tripathy said...

I do not write disclaimers. I do state my reasons for not liking a book.

Read my BTT post!