Is It okay for authors to write book reviews? Or is it bad idea? Do you think author’s reviews hold more weight than a reader’s review? What if an author writes a bad review?
Okay so this is something that I have definitely been struggling with lately. I really enjoy reviewing books. However, I am also an aspiring writer. I would like to publish my first book this year and therefore, I have not posted any reviews since making the decision to become an author. First, allow me to say that I have always tried to maintain honesty in all of my reviews. I do not purposely write a bad review. That being said, if there were some things in a book I reviewed that I did not like, I would not hesitate to point them out. I would always try to say something positive about the book as well. My desire as a book reviewer was to be able to recommend good books to fellow readers with similar tastes. How exciting to lead someone to their next new fave book, right? So to answer the questions, on a personal level, no I do not think I should continue to review books if I am serious about being an author. Now, do I have an opinion on other authors reviewing books? Well, my basic philosophy is this: If you have something good to say about the book, say it. Shout it. Spread the news. However, as an author’s word tends to hold weight among readers, I would think it best if the author does not say anything negative that could result in another author loosing money. Does that makes sense? In other words, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. However, as a reviewer, I say, say what you think and mean what you say, but stay away from cruelty to the author. Judge the book on its own merits. If you do not like how an author has behaved and therefore will not buy their books, that is understandable. But state your issue and let it be. Do not harass or make it your sole mission in book blogging life to torment or otherwise berate a single author. After all, isn’t this supposed to be about books we love?
This is a really delicate topic I think because I’ve seen quite a few authors reviewing books on Goodreads for example and I think it is alright. I know a few bloggers and authors who do I still see posting book reviews, but I don’t see that often. I definitely understand when an author with a contract through a publisher doesn’t review books, or can’t even, because of a conflict of interest possibility. I don’t know if this applies to indie/self-pub authors though. Sometimes posting reviews, even negative ones, can show what your book will be like. For example if an author’s review is critical of certain aspects of a writing style, then we can expect that person’s book to not have those issues. Also I can kind of see the point that authors should be supportive of each other so a negative review is counter-productive to the author community, but I also think that shows the person is honest and you can sort of trust them as an author to deliver what they say they will. So I don’t really know if it is a big deal or bad PR or something but I can see where it can be a bad idea in certain circumstances.