Reviewers – Are you honest?

I heard a story this week about a reader at Goodreads getting harassed by an author there. That is bad news. It got me to thinking.

I’m an author. In a perfect world, I would get ALL five-star reviews for ALL my books. A girl can dream, can’t she? Too bad this isn’t a perfect world, right?

The truth is I’m not going to like all the reviews of my books. That’s the way it goes in this diverse world of ours. I can accept that. It’s okay to have differences of opinion. That’s what makes chatting about books fun, true? Or, is it all fun? The reader on Goodreads was probably not having fun.

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard author friends begging for reviews, then complaining about those reviews. And honestly, it’s tough to pour your hear and soul into something, then have someone rip it apart. I get that.

But, it’s not just authors complaining. I’ve had a reviewer contact me after I reposted her review of my book. The review wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. She got in touch with me because she wanted to know if she had upset me. The answer is irrelevant. I didn’t repost the review to make her uncomfortable. All reviews should be a source of promotion for me. Good or bad, I want people talking about my books. So, I guess I was confused by her reaction. Should I not have reposted the review? Reviewers, would you rather authors not look at reviews?

Authors need reviews. They want them and reviewers want free books. Why does it feel like everyone is of the opinion that reviews can only be posted if they are good? I know a review site that will only post the good ones. Obviously, not everyone feels this way. Some people just enjoy criticizing. I don’t mean that in a bad way. They read the books with the intent of telling you everything that’s wrong with it. I have friends that do the same things with food at restaurants. That’s just the way they are, you know?

So, reviewers, do some of you feel pressured to only put good reviews out there? Do you feel like you can write honest reviews? Would you prefer authors not see the reviews at all?

Admittedly, I’ve done a few reviews, and that is the way I feel. One time, I had an author contact me and ask that I take the review down. Personally, I found that to be very unprofessional of them, but I did it anyway. I do feel pressured to write only good things. I’m not afraid for them to see it. For me, it’s more like I just want to be nice and not feel guilty about saying anything mean. What are your thoughts?

Published in: on October 21, 2014 at 7:35 am  Leave a Comment  
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