The Story is About + TIME

What do you think about... (Part Two)

I had such a great response to my post and there were something that I wanted to touch on personally, so I decided to do a follow up post. I wanted to thank everyone, bloggers and authors, who took the time to leave a comment, I really enjoyed reading everyone’s perspectives on the topic.

You can see my original post, here.

Shortly after my post, a few other bloggers also posted about this topic.

I think the main consensus is that regardless of whether is a good or bad thing, there are going to be relationships between authors and reviewers. The type of relationship seems to be the bigger debate.

Most of my author/reviewer relationships would fall in the professional/colleague category. This usually consists of correspondence about their novel, correspondence for an interview. Nothing personal about it. And these relationships are fine with me. I’m the worst person to stay in touch with my offline friends, it’s almost impossible for me to obtain and keep online ones.

Adele had this to say and I couldn’t agree with her more:

I make an effort not to boast or take advantage of these relationships. It's not advertised on twitter or on my site. I dislike book bragging and I heartily dislike author scalping(so to speak). I have seen how some bloggers will shower authors with attention and then drop them once they've gotten a book too - one of the downsides of Twitter is that we all witness it. If I have taken anything away from this blogging biz, it’s the friendships with bloggers and authors I've made. We all have books in common but I have made friends with people that have big hearts and an awesome sense of humour. If there wasn't something else there that I gelled with (besides the books) we wouldn't have time for one another.

But on the other hand there are authors and other bloggers that I’ve really had a connection with. And I enjoy having those relationships too.

For me, the authors that I’ve shared correspondence with are far outnumbered by the authors that I haven’t. And I don’t spend any less time reviewing one novel over another. I don’t rate a novel higher just because the author has emailed me. Overall, I think I keep my reviews unbiased, of course I’m only human.

Author Lisa Mantchev had this to say about book reviews:

On the other hand, reviewers should strive to be as balanced as possible when writing the reviews, remembering that opinions are just that... opinions... and that taste will vary according to the reader. If you believe something stunk (the characters, the language, the ending) then please say that, but _explain why_.

I’m not known for my snarky reviews but that doesn’t mean that I love every book that I review. I don’t. I do however try to find something positive about every book I read. If there’s something I don’t like about a book I say why, because things that I may have found lacking, may not be the same for anther person. And that only reminds me that reviews will always be subjective because they are one person’s opinion.

Amongst many of the comments that I agreed with, there was one particular comments that I found disturbing. I think what bothers me the most isn’t that this author is wrong, but that this author feels this way.

YA Author had this to say:

Honestly, half the time I feel like I'm back in high school with the bloggers being the "cool kids" and the authors being the "wannabes" constantly sucking up. I'm not saying there aren't real and genuine relationships out there... I'm just saying that I always find it so strange that these relationships really gain speed right around the time the author is looking to be reviewed. And quite honestly, even though I'm sure that many bloggers can write an "unbiased" review of a friend's book, I just don't trust those reviews. If I see a blogger chatting with an author all the time, I'm going to look for bias in the review.

There was also a lot of discussion on who reviews are really for. Are they for the authors, or are they for the readers. It is “politically” correct for an author to post a comment on a review of their novel?

Author Melissa Walker has this to say:

I'm actually really curious as to whether bloggers would rather an author comment on their post... or not. Whenever I find a review, I try to say hi, just to let the blogger know I was there. But is that annoying? I'll probably keep doing it either way, to be honest, because it's just my instinct. But I'd love to know what people think!

For me, I’m thrilled when an author leaves a comment or sends an email about my review of their novel. To me it’s almost like a thank you! Not that I think the authors that don’t comment don’t appreciate my review, but it’s just nice to be acknowledged. And almost all of the bloggers I know feel the same. The majority of the time, as a blogger, you wonder if authors even know you exist. It’s nice to know that they do.

In summary, I think having relationships professional or personal with authors is fine. I like that I have access to authors, I would have love to have had that growing up.

And to answer Alea's question "what DO you do when an author you are friendly with has written a book that maybe is just ok."

I don't think I'd have a problem posting a "just okay" review of a book. However, if I was giving say a one star review = I didn't like it, and I was friendly with the author. I'd probably let the author know ahead of time, maybe even send them the review. I might even go as far as letting the author decide if they'd want me to post the review or not. I don't think there is anything wrong with not wanting to post negative reviews on your site. I know of some reviewers who won't review books the didn't like. Hopefully, the author would respect my opinion.

discussion post, novel, and more:

What do you think about... (Part Two) + TIME