Should I Review Other People's Books?
I thought it might be fun to do some book reviews, so I asked around if anyone wanted to send me a book.
Not because nobody did, but because that made me indebted to the authors who had sent them. All of a sudden, I found myself questioning every word I wrote. Was I being honest, or over-critical? Was I being over-generous because this person had done me a favour?
So I vowed not to ask for books to review again. Instead, I would let people ask me to review, so I could be honest with my views. Surely that would be ok, right?
Looking around at other book review blogs, All the reviews seemed to be unerringly positive. I couldn’t understand where all the negative reviews were. Surely someone out there has written a stinker? However, after embarking on this particular journey, I can understand why. It is very hard to be critical of another artist’s work, and the general sentiment in the community seems to be this is a big no-no.
By way of illustration, I saw a recent Twitter thread discussing a situation where a blogger had given a negative review of a writer friend’s book. The Twitterati were shocked! Writers should be supportive of each other. If you don’t have anything good to say, say nothing, and so on.
Ok, so positive reviews only. Got it.
But then I received the book to review, and I genuinely struggled to find any positives to bring out.
So, do I create an honest, but negative review, and risk upsetting a fellow author (and the writing community at large), or should I lie, and risk deceiving people into purchasing it?
Please help, before I am forced to fake my own death to escape this dilemma.
Worried of Melton