20 November 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Honesty

Here's today's BTT. For the complete meme and for everyone else's answers, please click here.

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'm not going to get on a soapbox, but the short answer is this: If you make your work available to the public, then you have to brace yourself for all kinds of reactions. Here in the United States, we have the right to publish our negative opinion about anything and anyone, as long as isn't slander. Authors have no rights when it comes to receiving negative reviews.

Unless you've signed a contract guaranteeing that you'll post only positive comments, you are under no obligation to give a good review.

What's the point of posting reviews if all your reviews are glowing? Your readers will begin to lose faith in you if you never write about dud books. Of course, I don't think reviewers should be mean, but I appreciate the 1- and 0-star reviews.

Furthermore, what do authors learn if everyone tells them they are so wonderful? Surely negative reviews can be used as guides for bettering one's craft.

I'm on the side of freedom of expression. And I'm not on the self-esteem bandwagon. Hummm, when did I climb up on this box?


bermudaonion 11/20/08, 7:57 AM  

Exactly! When I read a review, I want to know the truth about the book.

Smilingsal 11/20/08, 8:01 AM  

I agree. Come see my answer.

jlshall 11/20/08, 8:07 AM  

I'm in favor of free expression, too. But I do try to be gentle with my criticism.

Here’s my answer.

Lisa 11/20/08, 8:33 AM  

I agree with you completely!

Ted 11/20/08, 9:11 AM  

Yes, I think so too. I think it is more respectful of someone's work.

Michele at Reader's Respite 11/20/08, 10:25 AM  

*making room for you on the box* I'm with you on this one, Beth.

Bogsider 11/20/08, 11:05 AM  

I am absolute with you on your soapbox Beth. I jsut wrote more or less the same in another blog-comment, but you are right. In Denmark we say, that if you "stick out your nose in public, you better get used to people wanting to dent it". This is not a proverb which means that if you write or say something publicly, you will automatically receive a severe beating, but it means that when it is out there, people have freedom of speech to say whatever they want about your work, whether it is a book, an article, a blogpost, a movie etc as long as they don't slander you. If they want to call my work a piece of sh*t, they can do that, basically.

But I agree.

Betty 11/20/08, 11:32 AM  

I completely agree. If you can't take negative opinions, then you shouldn't share your work in a public domain. I agree that we should be gentle with our criticisms also, but not everybody is, and if you put your work out for everybody to see, you've got to expect a few bad reviews.

Alice Teh 11/20/08, 11:42 AM  

"If you make your work available to the public, then you have to brace yourself for all kinds of reactions." Exactly my sentiment too, Beth. Crisp answer! :)

Matt 11/20/08, 2:57 PM  

As long as the review bears a resemblance of reasonably argued and well-supported statements, it’s a just review regardless of whether the subject being reviewed is good or bad. I stopped reading some of the book reviews in media because they turn into fluffy gasbags. I owe my readers my honest opinions to a book, regardless of whether it's free or not. A negative review can be constructive as well given the reviewer states what can be improved.

dawn 11/20/08, 3:43 PM  

Honesty is the best policy ... isn't that one of those "everything I need to know I learned in kindergarten" things ...

How big is that soapbox? Let us up there!

I say it all, the good, the bad and the ugly!

My answer is here

Yvonne 11/20/08, 8:07 PM  

ITA! Great post!

softdrink 11/20/08, 11:10 PM  

Well said...and you've got lots of good company on that soapbox!

softdrink 11/20/08, 11:11 PM  

Oh...and I meant to add I love, love, love your header. It reminds me of Europe...is it?

My Two Blessings 11/21/08, 12:57 PM  

Great answer, Beth. I agree completely. My post is finally up.

Robin of mytwoblessings

Thanks for stopping by. I read all comments and may respond here, via e-mail, or on your blog. I visit everyone who comments, but not necessarily right away.

I cannot turn off word verification, but if you are logged into Blogger you can ignore the captcha. I have set posts older than 14 days to be on moderation. I can no longer accept anonymous comments. I'm so sorry if this means you have to register or if you have trouble commenting.


All content and photos (except where noted) copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads 2008-2016. All rights reserved.



To The Blogger Guide, Blogger Buster, Tips Blogger, Our Blogger Templates, BlogU, and Exploding Boy for the code for customizing my blog. To Old Book Illustrations for my ID photo. To SEO for meta-tag analysis. To Blogger Widgets for the avatars in my comments and sidebar gadgets. To Review of the Web for more gadgets. To SuziQ from Whimpulsive for help with my comments section. To Cool Tricks N Tips for my Google +1 button.

Quick Linker



  © Blogger template Coozie by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP