Bookish ramblings part 22: I’d like my honest review with a little less honesty please.

I have been dabbling in twitter now for about a couple of months, I’m not finding it the greatest of mediums but it’s one hell of a way to soak up time.  The other day something caught my eye, which had pretty much died down when I saw it and the offending account had been deleted.  The bulk of my understanding came from #authorsriseup where an “author” had campaigned against a blogger in response to a negative review on Goodreads.  I like Goodreads, it has a lot to love about it, however, I have always said that when it comes to reviews though it can be like a no holds barred playground for negativity.  As bloggers, we have have all seen it – authors offering an ARC in return for an honest review but then not really enjoying the honesty part of it if someone has something unflattering to say.

Of course there are ways of a reader saying they didn’t like your book which are tactful and educational and there are ways which are, quite frankly, not.  I can imagine it was a review which fell into the latter category that prompted #authorsriseup to post.   I’m not sure what was to be achieved by it.  From the user name it appears that they were after some solidarity and for other authors to add their voice, unfortunately for them, bloggers banded together and the opposite happened.  If you put your book out there to the masses you’re going to have to take the rough with the smooth, treat things as a learning experience and keep you head held high.  I know an author who printed out and framed both her first 1* and 5* review as a reminder that with good comes bad and visa versa.  At the end of the day attacking someone because they didn’t enjoy something will achieve nothing, especially if they have parted with money for your book; they are under no obligation to write a good review.

Now the thing that did sting in the tail for me a little bit was when I was reading through the comments thread. One user said that they didn’t trust reviewers that never posted a bad review and that reviewers should have balance. I have balance, I just choose to not publicly stamp all over someones dreams. I did find it concerning though that perhaps, to some, my reviews may not be taken seriously because I never “balance them out” with kicking people in the teeth.  I’m always 100% clear about my policy of only sharing reviews about the books I love, but perhaps to the casual observer that may not be clear.  I don’t think that there is anything I can do about this, but I would hope that followers of this blog know what to expect from me and to not judge me on it.

I think it helps me that I don’t sign up for every arc under the sun, I am careful about what I sign up for and have only just started venturing back out there with receiving books for the sole purpose of review.  I have to love the blurb, the genre, and the feel I get for it when I look at the cover, that way I have the best chance of being able to leave a good review.  Life is to short to read books that I am not going to enjoy and it’s certainly too short to start a campaign against one person because something they said on the internet.  To any authors out there reading this, not everyone will love your book but to some readers out there it will rock their world, let those readers be your focus and who knows what will grow from it ❤

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