Thursday, November 20, 2008

Honesty: Booking Through Thursday

This week's Booking Through Thursday question is:

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, should point out the fact that I have never received a free book from an author for review
because I have just started blogging. Everything that I write on this subject is just be hypothetical.

That being said. I think that it is important for reviewers of books to be honest. But I also
think that if you receive the book for free you have a responsibility to the author to inform them that you are going to write a negative review and send them a copy before hand. It is a persons right to say I did not like this book and state why. Just because the book is free does not mean that you have to like it. State the truth and back it up.

Authors also have to realize that not everyone is going to like their book. It is the risk that
comes with putting something out for public consumption. I think that a author would be asking for too much if they give a book to someone and expect a good review. There will be positive and negative reviews. You have to take the good with the bad. It is part of the risk.

If (and most possibly when) I decided to put myself out their as a someone who is willing to
review books directly from the author (or publisher), I will be honest and state when I do not like a book. I will treat that book no different than any of the other books that I read.


  1. I've never received a review copy directly from an author, and I'd be very careful about accepting one. I do think reviewers have to be honest in their opinions, but that can be dangerous when dealing with something as sensitive as an author's ego!

    Here’s my answer.

  2. Any authors worth their salt would be able to accept both praises and negative comments. I buy most of my books and hardly ever receive any free copies for review. But I did receive a complimentary copy from Karen E. Olson when she guestblogged on my blog on Nov 4, and also for an interview. I do enjoy all her works. :D

  3. I agree, the reviewers responsiblity is to be honest about the book to their readers. But at the same time they should be respectful to the author.

  4. It is not the job or responsibility of the reviewer to "warn" the author that a negative review is coming. Just read it and review it.