Since I’ve been running my forum, I’ve tried to write short reviews of some of my books, especially if I’ve enjoyed them. I encourage other members to do the same, and some of those people now also contribute to the forum’s review blog.
I’m now reaching a point where authors are asking me to take a look at their book, plus Headline publishers have been sending us quite a selection to review. This is something I really like doing, but it’s making me look seriously at how I do it.
I have been in contact with quite a few writers and authors over the past couple of years, and have gotten to know a few quite well. I know how passionate they are about what they do, and how much their books mean to them.. and hence also the reviews that those books receive. I’ve realised that every single book has a person behind it, someone who could be hurt by a negative comment.
However, if I’m reviewing books, then surely I owe it to the potential reader to be honest with my thoughts too. Right? If I enjoy a book, then I also take pleasure from helping to promote it, and it’s author.. but that isn’t my main role.
But.. neither is my role to provide purely my opinion on the book. I might really dislike it, whereas the next person to read it might love it. We all have different tastes, after all, which is what makes this world so interesting.
I also believe that my reviews do need to have honesty behind them.. if I tell you that every book I review is great, how am I going to point out the ones that I really do feel are great?
So, I’ve come to the conclusion (I think! I ramble, I know!) that I need to develop a style whereas I can describe the book, discuss it’s good and bad points, but do so in a way that lets the reader make up their own mind whether to try it or not. This isn’t all about my reading experience, but also allowing others to decide if it will be a good one for them.
I know a few writers pop by my blog every now and again, and also some readers.. I would really LOVE to know what your feelings are on this. Authors.. would you rather always get nice reviews.. would you ask someone to look at your book if there was a chance the review wouldn’t be glowing? Readers.. what do you want to get out of a review.. are you looking for the reviewer’s personal opinions, or a general feeling about the book? Please do share. 🙂