I was going to post a review today but an email (she received an email from an author that she was afraid to open because of a negative review she posted on HER blog) I received from a fellow book blogger made my wheels start turning in my brain and I just felt the need to write about something that has been bothering me for a while......author's who don't like what you posted about their book!
I normally tend to stay far, far, away from controversial goings on in the bloggersphere. I don't like to judge other bloggers and wouldn't want them judging me. There are hundreds of book bloggers and we are so diverse that I feel there is room for everyone and every review style. Many are very in-depth and really like to dig into the meat of the books, while others are short, sweet, and to the point. But the one thing that we all have in common is that author's, agents, and/or publisher's contact us to review books. Most bloggers do NOT get paid for their reviews, but I do know that ALL of us invest a lot of time reading the books and then writing reviews for our blogs. What the author gets in return is an honest assessment from the most important person out there....THE READER! Most of us blog because of our love for the written word and to tell our friends about an amazing book that they MUST read. We also look out for each other, because our time is PRECIOUS (do you hear that?? it is PRECIOUS TOO!!) and with our honest reviews a fellow reader might avoid a real time sucker that doesn't pay off in the end.
I have only had one terrible experience with an author. She contacted me...I did NOT contact her. The book was sent, I read it and for the only time in my blogging career, I was late with the review. My dog, Bruce had just died and I could not do anything. Needless to say, she wasn't too pleased that the review didn't go up on time. So she sent me an email. I responded telling her what had happened but also informing her that my review would not be a recommendation. She then asked me NOT to post my review but to instead just highlight her book...WTF?????????????????????? At that point I didn't care, I just wanted her off my back, so I did what she asked of me. But when I responded to comments, I told all of my readers that her book read like a bad Lifetime Movie! A few days later I was looking at her reviews on Goodreads and a light bulb went on in my head. She had almost all 4 or 5 stars for every review. Hmmmmm.......now I'm not a rocket scientist but it didn't take me too long to add 2+2= unfair average review rating and misleading content to the Goodreads audience. That whole experience left a dirty taste in my mouth and with a BAD ATTITUDE towards certain review copies.
Here are my HARD LIMITS (ha! had to sneak some Fifty Shades of Grey references in here!!) on what I will or will NOT say on MY blog!
- No matter what...I will be honest!
- If I pick your book up from the library or my personal book shelves and hate it, I will write what I please. Most of the time, even if I hate it, I'm pretty decent.....most of the time.
- If I'm sent a book for review and I don't like it, I will be nice about it.Do not expect anything more.
- It's my blog, not yours.
- If you're not sure about me, then don't bother initiating contact. Trust me, I will survive.
- Don't even think about sending me a chastising email.....you might not like what I send back in return.
So in closing, the real purpose of this post is to put down in writing my philosophy about review requests and expectations. It may sound as if I have a bit of a grudge against authors. That is the furthest from the truth. I have issues with expectations from some authors, not all. There are many people that are NOT their true selves on the internet. That isn't the case with me. I am true to myself, my fellow book bloggers, publishers, and authors. I will never compromise my core beliefs and my integrity by posting a positive review of a book that I did not like.