I’m a member of quite a few author groups, genre groups, avid reader groups and blogging groups on Facebook. It’s where my inner fangirl gets to let loose, and share her squee’s and plausible twists with other fans. And I love it. There’s nothing like discussing how I think a plot twist might play out, or who’s the character behind the initials, who’s going to open the door, and find out if other readers also thinks a certain character is behaving dodgy. Seriously, I can spend hours doing it without realising it’s time for bed.
Recently I have noticed something new happening, well I suppose it’s not really new. But it’s new to me.
So please just give me that one, lol. Anyway, a lot of people have voiced their opinion saying, that they find it rude to write negative book reviews. Some have even gone so far, to call it “hating on the author”. And I’m honestly stunned! At first it only crept into author groups, where fans were defending authors books and stuff like that. Let me just clarify right away: I haven’t noticed any authors making such comments. I’ve only heard them maybe say they’ve been saddened by a negative review, but never seen them ask not to receive them.
But as a book blogger who reviews books, I’m honestly puzzled by this idea that only positive reviews should be written. I mean if you’ve read my The Pawn (Endgame #1) review, you’ll know that I found this book through a negative review. Sure, when I decided to read it my intentions and expectations were far from pure. I’ll admit, I picked it up and figured I’d get a good laugh from it.
But the joke was on me! Because I actually enjoyed the series. If Sara hadn’t posted her review, just because it was negative, I might never have heard about it.
This is not the first time this happens to me. I’ve also had people tell me that books I’ve disliked, have ended up being their favourites. And this is not even weird to me, because just as every writer is different, same goes for every reader.
Another argument I want to explore is this: If you only write or allow positive reviews, you’re manipulating the system!
Yes, I firmly believe that. Without going into different websites algorithms, it is obvious that if only positive reviews were posted you’d not get an accurate idea of how well a book actually does. While it may boost authors confidence, it would also remove the authors option of learning from mistakes – which we all know can be quite handy. Sometimes you’ll see that a book is doing poorly on the rating scale, if there’s too many mistakes/errors. I’d think that would be something the author would really want to know.
I have previously talked about, and even interviewed INDIE authors about, how reviews impact them in my Let’s talk about the importance of reviews. I have also received a message from an author, asking me not to tag them on Twitter if the review was negative. This I can completely understand and when she kindly asked me, I couldn’t even understand I hadn’t thought about that myself. Newbie mistake that’s since been corrected! But note this: she never asked me not to post negative reviews!!
How do you feel about writing negative reviews? Do you shy away from it? Or do you feel like it’s a fair part of the cycle of publishing and reviewing? Let’s chat in the comments.