My thoughts and current direction on posting book reviews…
Off and on throughout my writing career, I’ve done book reviews and posted them on my site. And, I’ve gone to Amazon/Goodreads and posted ratings for those books and added my reviews there as well. While this may not matter as much to the big time authors, I know the ones at my level sure appreciate it.
However, I’ve never really felt comfortable doing this. Partially because there’s no way I’d put up a bad review for another author. Not only because I wouldn’t want one to do that to me, but also because I don’t really care to write one. When I go look at the reviews, I rarely read the bad ones. I always look at the good reviews to see if they mention enjoying something I mutually like. On top of that, writing is hard work, and even if I don’t necessarily like your book, that doesn’t mean someone else won’t, so I just can’t bring myself to publicly crap on other people’s work. The other problem, and perhaps more important, is that if I don't like a book I don't usually finish it. I'm too busy to waste my time on books I don't enjoy. There's too many I want to read. And I'm definitely not going to write a review on a book I didn't finish.
So, the result is that I ended up posting a lot of good reviews. That’s not great either, because it just looks like I give everyone good reviews. In a way, it invalidates my opinions.
And at other times, I’ve simply not posted reviews because I didn’t feel good about it as an author. Let me explain…
A while back in an author group on Facebook, various writers were discussing why they do, or don’t do, reviews. Someone, and I can’t remember who, made a statement that struck me. They said that they don’t put up reviews for other author’s books, because to them it’s unprofessional. I get that, and feel the same way. People in other professions don’t typically do that unless they’re sleazebags. Your proctologist doesn’t put up reviews about other butt doctors (At least I hope not).
So, I’ve decided on a new direction.
I'll still do blurbs for other authors when approached by the author or publisher in a professional capacity.
But as for general reviews, going forward, I don’t intend to do 'actual' reviews, nor will I rate other people’s work on sites like Goodreads or Amazon. That said, I do still like sharing my thoughts on books. This is my passion after all. So, here, on my personal website, I’ll continue sharing thoughts on the books I read and enjoy.
Sometimes I’ll use a little form I put together to help me gather thoughts, and other times, I’ll just free write. Basically, just whatever I want to say about the book. Sometimes full length articles, and other times, due to time constraints, maybe only a few sentences.
And yes, you'll primarily only see positive comments here. Like I said, I don't finish books I don't enjoy and I don't get off on crapping on other people's work. There's enough negativity in the world these days. I'm not inclined to add to it. My focus will remain on celebrating great books and things I loved about them.
Furthermore, it should be stated that I’m not paid to do reviews, nor am I doing them as a favor to my friends. My posts about books are my real opinions about those books. That said, this writing life has put me in the position to meet some wonderful people who are both writers and my friends, so yes, if I like their books, there is a good chance I’ll discuss their work here. That said, when I do, I’ll point out if I know them and whether or not I count them among my friends. Fair?