Sticky Note

I'm on a blogging break, but will be checking in from time to time. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Booking Through Thursday ~ Honesty

This week's Booking Through Thursday says:

I receive a lot of review books, but I have never once told lies about the book just because I got a free copy of it. However, some authors seem to feel that if they send you a copy of their book for free, you should give it a positive review.

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?

This has been kind of a hot topic lately because of some recent communications between an author and some bloggers. I may be all wrong here, but I think that most authors are aware and are ok with the fact that they may get some negative reviews from bloggers who received their book in return for a review. We just tend to hear about the minority of them who protest.

As I mentioned on Saturday, I don't at all feel obligated to write a glowing review of a book just because it was sent to me free. I do feel obligated to be honest about what I thought. However, I don't agree with writing harsh or mean reviews, either. If I didn't care for a book I can still write something positive about it and get my thoughts across without bashing the author. I'd like for whoever reads my reviews to be able to determine whether they think they would like it, even if I didn't (or vice versa).

I do not currently have a disclaimer but I've thought about writing one. Although, I feel like my "negative" reviews still keep the author's dignity in tact. Kind of like it's not what you say but how you say it. I wouldn't tell my best friend that her craft project was crap. I might, however, tell her it could be better and why.


  1. I have seen some disclaimers, and wondered why they were there. Now I know. I like what you said about gving a negative review and yet, 'keeping the authors dignity in tact'.

  2. Right. The review should be honest, but the criticism doesn't have to be brutal.

  3. 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.

  4. I agree that something positive can be said for most books. I have no disclaimer. Please visit to see my response.