Friday, October 23, 2009

What's your take on negative reviews?

I started writing a big ol' post on my thoughts on negative reviews as a writer, but I think its better to ask you all before hand what your take is before I share my little rant.

So...

As a writer how do you feel about sharing negative thoughts on other books? Do you post them on your blog? On sites like Amazon and Goodreads? Do you do share those thoughts in multiple places?

This is a free for all, so please share any thoughts you have on the topic. I'm extremely curious to see where you all stand on this one.

Thanks!

9 comments:

JennM said...

Although you know where I stand, I am going to comment and share.

If you have a blog, it is your 'place' your own little corner of the world wide web where you can express you opinions and be yourself. If your blog reviews books, then obviously there will be times when it will be necessary to post negative reviews. I don't think it's ever necessary to rip something apart (and burn the pieces lol) but that still is up to the blogger. It is, after all, their blog. I would say that the blogger does this at their own risk however, because if they are too negative, too often, I can't imagine very many people would want to follow their blog.

If someone wants to let people on Amazon & such know that they didn't like something, then imo that's fine as well. But I don't think it's really necessary to be negative about it. There are lots of ways to say that something just wasn't for you or that you didn't enjoy it without being really negative about it. I have seen reviews which are just plain mean and I don't really think they are ever justified. Reading is very subjective and what one person may hate, another may love.

I also think sometimes Mom said it best If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

Lizzy Mason said...

I recently asked the same question on my blog. It's a tough one because, as a writer, I know how much a negative review can hurt. I'm also a book publicist and have had to share bad reviews with authors many times. It's never fun.

But, OTOH, I have been burned buying books that I thought would be great and really sucked. In those instances, I really wanted to scream "Why didn't anyone warn me?!"

So, do I write bad reviews on my blog? Yes, but rarely. And I always try to say something nice too, as long as I mean it. If I'm going to give a bad review, it's because I honestly think people deserve to know that they shouldn't spend their hard earned dollars on it.

But I realize that mine is just one opinion and I always want to get a discussion started with other readers to hear what they think.

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

This is a tough topic. I did a pros and cons list about this a few weeks back:Honest Reviews v. Selective Reviews. In the end, I decided to go with selective reviewing. If a book would receive less than 3 out of 5 stars, I don't review it.

I'm happy with my decision. I recently joined the local RWA and went to my first meeting. I realized that an author I had reviewed is in the group. I had no idea she was local. The group released the info of new members, including blog addresses to everyone. The author stopped by my blog and commented. Thank goodness I loved her book and had given her a great review. Otherwise, I would have felt bad and awkward when I saw her again.

I think if you're strictly a book reviewer, giving bad reviews is fine. But if you're trying to be part of the writing world, tread carefully. It's a small world.

Natalie said...

I'm not much of a reviewer. I have a hard time writing about other books (whether I love or hate them). But if I did review I think I'd only post if it was something I really liked. Negative reviews aren't very helpful when I'm trying to find a good book. I think we can read positive reviews and still get a feeling for whether or not the book is right for us.

WindyA said...

I've seen this question come up a couple times in the last few weeks and have always found the discussions to be very interesting. Personally, I try to find something good to say about every book I read - even if I don't like it. There's too much negativity out there already, I'd rather look at the good points.

T. Anne said...

OK. I have a dreaded book review next week. The book in question is almost twenty years old and the publisher is republishing it. The book is way too over the top for me and i hated one of the contrived story lines. It's going to be an interesting review. (It's one of two I'm doing on Tuesday) We shall see....

Lisa and Laura said...

I think this is a tough topic. I don't think writers should trash other writer's books. It's sort of like peeing in your own swimming pool. Not cool. We try to only review books that we generally enjoyed. I think it's ok to be critical and honest, but not ok to just completely decimate a book.

Susan R. Mills said...

Nope! Don't do it. I think it's fine for non-writers to do it, but for us writer's a negative review could burn a much needed bridge.

~Jamie said...

I have big plans to just punch all those negative nancys in the face. IT's going to be awesome.

What? Are you looking at me? You don't like the book? Well, how about I feed you a knuckle sammy. ohhhhh yeah.