Melody

Booking Through ThursdayCheck Spelling

Suggested by JM:

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?


I do not think a reviewer is obligated to put up a good review of a book if he/she does not like it, no matter if it is a free copy or not. If the reviewers are always giving good reviews, then what is the point of writing reviews in the first place? A good reviewer writes in a constructive manner, but this does not mean he/she is slamming the author in a negative way. Reading is a subjective matter and anyway, readers are entitled to their own opinions.

At this point, I do not feel a need to put up a disclaimer since I always try to make an effort to write reviews in a constructive manner. Most of the times, I will ask the authors to send me a synopsis of their books (or I visit their websites to check on them, if any) so that I can make a decision whether or not if I want to review them.

24 Responses
  1. BooksPlease Says:

    I agree, well said.


  2. Alice Teh Says:

    I'm with you in this. I think we share almost the same answer again, Melody. :)


  3. mariel Says:

    Ditto! I used to review books and films for my student magazine at university, but I was always honest, even if that meant a bad review. Noone seemed to mind though I can see some authors/publishers expecting good reviews. Its a shame that people might feel pressured to write something good, as I for one go on other peoples reviews when choosing books.


  4. Smilingsal Says:

    Spot on! Come see my answer.


  5. Kathy Says:

    >>>A good reviewer writes in a constructive manner, but this does not mean he/she is slamming the author in a negative way. Reading is a subjective matter and anyway, readers are entitled to their own opinions.

    I agree 100%


  6. Debi Says:

    "If the reviewers are always giving good reviews, then what is the point of writing reviews in the first place?"...Exactly! If I found out someone was being dishonest in their reviews simply because they received the book for free, I'd stop reading their reviews. And like you said, there's a way to write a review about a book that simply was up your alley, without being mean and ugly about it.


  7. Bluestocking Says:

    It's definitely a credibility issue. No one will trust you if you aren't honest in your reviews.


  8. Violet Says:

    I agree with everything you have said. If we ask for a synopsis before hand, it will save us so much trouble . At least we wont say we don't like the book coz it's not the genre I read.


  9. Jeane Says:

    I agree exactly. If all reviews were good,what would be the point of reading (or writing) them?


  10. Melody Says:

    Margaret - I'm sure most of us share the same thoughts!

    Alice - Ahem. Great minds think alike. ;P

    Mariel - I know a lot of us bookbloggers are relying on one another's reviews for the recommendations so it's like a breach of trust if we don't give honest reviews.

    Sally - Will check out your answer in a moment. :)

    Kathy - Thanks! :D

    Debi - Yep! I definitely rely on fellow bookbloggers for book recommendations. I don't think I'll trust their opinions anymore if they're dishonest.

    Bluestocking - I agree!

    Violet - Since I've too many books to catch up with, I thought it is appropriate that I only read something which is of my interest. ;)

    Jeane - I'm sure the readers will feel bored if all reviews are positive, LOL.


  11. Janet Says:

    I agree with your thoughts.

    I also find that my responses to books are usually more complex than all-liking or all-disliking. Most of my reviews end up discussing both aspects.


  12. softdrink Says:

    I don't have a disclaimer, either. But then I don't review too many on request. Almost all of my reviews are for books I've purchased...my money, my thoughts, you know?


  13. Matt Says:

    The authors and publishers should know better than reviewers owe their readers honest opinion. There is no room for dispute. If they can't handle negative reviews, they should keep the books to themselves.


  14. Nymeth Says:

    Well said, Melody!


  15. naida Says:

    well said Melody. The point of writing reviews is to give an honest opinion of the book.

    http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/


  16. When authors contact me if I would read and review their book, I do let them know if that particular genre interests me or not. It saves both of us trouble. Money for the author and time for me!

    Read my BTT post!


  17. Melody Says:

    Janet - I think it's great to discuss our likes and dislikes of the books so that the readers will judge themselves whether or not they'll want to read the books.

    Softdrink - I get what you mean. Most of my books are bought from my own money instead of reviewer copies. :D

    Matt - Exactly my thoughts! :D

    Nymeth - Aww...thanks!

    Naida - Honesty is the best policy, hehe.

    Gautami - That's the best option, isn't it?


  18. Trish Says:

    Yes--I completely agree, especially with the idea that we all have different opinions and just because a person doesn't like a book doesn't mean another won't like it also.


  19. Melody Says:

    Right on, Trish! ;)


  20. Good points.

    my post is up now.

    Robin of mytwoblessings


  21. Melody Says:

    Two Blessings - Thanks! Will be heading to your blog to read your answer in a moment. :)


  22. Very well said, Melody!


  23. NoBS Says:

    Whole-hearted agreement. My response is here:

    http://imemeit.blogspot.com/2008/11/booking-through-thursday-honesty.html

    Internet connection down Thurs. ARGH!


  24. Melody Says:

    Wendy - Aww...thanks!

    NoBS - I'll heading over to your blog to read your answer in a moment. Thanks for commenting! :)