Thursday, November 20, 2008
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 haven't weighed in on this topic (and last week's controversy) yet, mostly because I was out of town last week and had limited internet access.
I can certainly understand all of the various stances on this topic...I'm a big believer in doing what you feel is right. Since I've been quiet through all of the debate, I figure it's time to ramble on about my approach to book blogging. Although if you've read my blog for very long, you can probably figure out where I stand. And if you know me in person, then you also know the O word (obligated) is a bad word in our household.
First, I receive very few review copies. This month is an exception, because I'm doing a few blog tours and author guest posts...but the reality is those are rare events around here. Almost all of the books I review are books I've bought. Some I've won in contests and a few have been mooched through BookMooch. But the majority are books I paid for. As I commented elsewhere today, my money, my thoughts.
Second, like many people, I started my blog for me, because I can't remember squat and I wanted a way to keep track of the books I read, and also it was a way to keep in touch with friends. That it has mutated into a book blog (but still with a bunch of other stuff thrown in) with people who regularly read and comment is still a surprise.
Third, I'm sarcastic. It's part of my personality and I want my blog to reflect my personality. I know I have readers that like that side of me. And some that don't. But we're all unique individuals with different styles. I don't want to read identical blogs with identical thoughts.
Fourth, I always feel weird when I say I've written a review. Because I don't really consider my posts to be reviews. They're my thoughts...disjointed, not very analytical, and usually indicative of my gut reaction to a book. And my mood. This week I've been especially silly, and I like to be silly. Some days the silly isn't there and I'll just write a quick synopsis of a book. And some days I get a little pissy. So you could say I offer the good, the boring, and the ugly.
Having said all that, I do try to tone down the sarcasm and be more thoughtful (not thoughtful as in considerate (although that too) but thoughtful as in a well-thought-out post) when I'm writing about a book I was asked to review. However, like I said before, I don't receive too many free books. And this leads me to something I'd already been thinking about before last week...
I'm not sure I really want the free books anymore. Books from random contests and books friends offer to send me, yes. But books I'm obliged to curtail my personality over...mmm, maybe not. Believe it or not, it's hard for me to sound intelligent and offer up review-like posts on books. It's a lot of work, and well, I already have a job.
Besides, I've got oodles of books wedged into crowded shelves. I'm sure they'd like a little attention. in 2009.