Tuesday, October 27, 2009

If you don't have something nice to say...

...don't say anything at all. Just like Mom taught us, right? I find it rather amusing that my sister commented on my question about how people feel about negative reviews and used this same quote I intended using myself for this post. I'm thinking our mom must rock.

Speaking of that little question, you can check out what other writers/readers feel here in regards to posting and sharing negative reviews about other books. Good stuff, thank you all for taking the time to share those awesome opinions! And it looks like many of us writers share the same philosophy.

So now it's my turn.

While I wish every book was great to everyone who read it, I know that's impossible. Like anything in the world there will be some people who love a story and some that hate it, with every imaginable opinion in between. I have no issue with sharing those opinions. I like to read reviews to find out what people thought of a book before I buy it. My issue is with people who spread that negativity. Why? Why would anyone who loves to read want to intentionally knock someone else's story to the ground and go out of their way to stop people from reading it? I'm not talking about a review shared only on a blog. Especially a book review blog. But I've seen a few instances when they do it there and in other places. Huh? Because like I said earlier, every story will have fans and critics. Surely any book that has made it through a literary agent, an editor or editorS, and countless others, have some good qualities? Shouldn't we focus on both aspects? But like Lizzy said in the comments I hate when I spend money only a book to be disappointed. So I can definitely see why the not so nice opinions need to be shared.

Like a few of the readers who commented on my post Friday I have chosen not to talk about books I don't like and focus on the ones I do. As a writer I want to see my fellow writers succeed. I want people to buy their books. It doesn't mean I think everyone should follow this philosophy or that if you post a negative review you don't support authors. I just think it's important to think things through and know what sort of stance you want to take in the long run because as one commenter said, you never know who you might end up sitting next to a local writers group or conference. (Thank you Roni for providing the example!)

As an aspiring writer there is a lot more to think about when it comes to blogging, posting on forums, tweeting, etc. But equally important are the things we say about other books not only our own blogs but on sites like Amazon or Goodreads. Everything you put it out there is available for authors, agents and editors to see. But that's another post I'm planning...

Anyway, to wrap this up I should say also say something on the flip side of this debate. I don't know about you, but I'm guilty of not sharing my glowing reviews enough. If I'm so into supporting authors, what's my problem? Well, I can tell you I plan on changing that and making much more of an effort to spread the word on stories I fall in love with. As for the ones I don't, I'm keeping my mouth shut. Unless someone asks, of course. Thank you Lisa & Laura for inspiring me to think about this with your awesome Spread the love post!


Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

Thanks for the linkage. And I agree with your stance. We need to support each other and other writers. It's good karma if nothing else. :)

Tere Kirkland said...

Here's the thing:

If you're a blogger who writes about books, and all you do is write about and review books, I'm going to want you to be honest with me, as another reader. You owe it to other readers to be honest.

However, if you're a writer, you don't crap where you eat-- as the colloquial "they" like to say.

You are also not in a position where you can safely give your unbiased opinion, because you may have been reading like a writer, not a reader.

Just my 2 cents.

Also, email me, since I am long overdue to mail you "The Hollow". Sorry, I lost your mailing address!

ElanaJ said...

Great thoughts, Rebecca.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Well, as authors we have to be careful because it's a small world and an even smaller writing world.
And you have to remember that once you say something in cyberland you can't get it back.
(sounds like a Halloween story, eh? LOL)