Conundrum: Should Authors Wear the ‘Reviewer’ Hat? (Part 1)

And should they do so at their author blogs?

Welcome, friends! Warmer temperatures are hinting at spring–Yay!–and we’ve sprung our clocks forward. (I’ll get over the loss of an hour’s sleep. More sun and light, please!)

So the other day fellow author and online friend Carrie Rubin referenced a blog post by social media guru Kristen Lamb. The question: should authors write reviews for books they’ve read and/or publish them on their blogs?

Of course, both articles got me thinking, enough to get into one of my long-winded comments. (The kind that has blog-post-of-my-own potential—all as I happened to be trudging through a book whose characters caught my interest, but had me tangling big-time with issues relative to the prose.)

As per Carrie Rubin’s post: “One of the things (Kristen Lamb) recommends is never writing a bad book review. In fact, Kristen suggests writers should not publish book reviews on their blogs at all: ‘“Our BRAND is AUTHOR, not ‘book reviewer.’ My opinion is we can’t do both.”’

Carrie tends to agree and ponders the notion that an author writing reviews could be a conflict of interest. She also supplied valid arguments for both sides of doing so—more so for NOT writing a bad review—with support noted for the benefit and/or need for reviews by indie authors.

I don’t disagree with Kristen Lamb on “Our BRAND is AUTHOR, not ‘book reviewer.’” At the risk of sounding full of myself (which I pray I am not), and as a reader—a.k.a., consumer-of-books—AND writer/author, I hope I bring an expanded (?) set of skills to the ‘review’ table.

In the interest of brevity, I’ll get into those a little later this week. What are your thoughts so far?

Have a great day,

Joanna

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10 thoughts on “Conundrum: Should Authors Wear the ‘Reviewer’ Hat? (Part 1)

  1. Interesting post. I agree about not posting bad reviews. If I can’t find something I like about a book, then I don’t review it all. But my blog is for readers. I want to write things that will interest them. And I write about a LOT of different things, but one of my posts from time to time will be about a book that I liked. I would think that other readers might be interested.

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    1. I guess what you’ve written here is pretty much why I ‘review’ too–to share a book I liked. Occasionally, I will do so b/c someone asked for help as part of his/her release. I’m okay with that too, as long as I liked the book enough to be honest in the thoughts I share about it.
      I will be touching on this more in Part 2. 🙂

      Thanks, Marji!

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  2. I would never write a bad review. It’s better not to write one at all.
    Writers are readers too and I agree with no posting reviews on their blogs. Would posting reviews change the established feel / environment / flavor of your blog?
    I’ve been approached (yes asked) to write reviews on my blog. After some bad experiences of not being able to write a ‘good’ review, I decided not to start. Bad writing, grammatical errors etc. is not something I can overlook. Anyway, who has time to read specific books when we all have tons of books of our choice waiting to be read?

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    1. I think Marji put it best for me: most times I express my thoughts on a book, it’s to share about having liked it, and some of the particulars that stood out to me. Occasionally, I’ve done ‘reviews’–usually in response to someone who asked directly, or maybe put out a mass request on Facebook or other social media venue. And like you, Tess, if I find I really can’t say nuthin’ nice, then I opt to ‘not say nuthin’ at all’ (at least about the book directly). I’ve got a post all about one of those coming up later this month. It all tied in swimmingly to Carrie’s post. She started all this, lol. 😉

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  3. I actually haven’t decided where I fall yet. I tried to make the case for both in my blog post. As of now, I still review most every book I read on Amazon and Goodreads, although I don’t post negative reviews unless it’s on a traditionally published book I didn’t care for (that already has lots of reviews), and even then my review is respectful. For a less well known indie book, if I didn’t care for it, I won’t leave a review. I don’t want to tarnish the book just because it may not have been my cup of tea. But I don’t post reviews on my blog (except on rare occasion), but that’s mostly because I don’t post often enough, and I don’t want to change the tone of my blog.

    Thanks for the mention! Glad the article gave you some food for thought.

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    1. Your article gave me close to a month’s worth of fodder, Carrie. (I’m always thankful for that. 😉 ) I get what you mean about the tone of your blog. Not sure my blog has a ‘tone’ beyond Forrest’s box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get! Thanks!

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      1. I just worry if I post too many reviews, I’ll look like a book-review blog, and then I’ll start getting requests. I’m far enough behind in my reading list as it is!

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