Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Accepting Criticism

I have to share this incident with you all, if you haven't heard about it already. I have mentioned Trish's blog, Hey Lady Whatcha Readin', on here before, and she experienced a rather unprofessional response from a writer who asked her to read his book. A friend of Trish's posted a little about the incident on her blog, and because of all this I've decided that I'm going to address the subject here on my blog as well.

If I am asked to read a book, the first thing I do is find out from the summary if the book sounds like something I would enjoy reading. I would never accept something that isn't "my taste." That isn't fair to the writer. If I think it would be something I would enjoy, I agree to read it, but that's the only agreement I make. Beyond that, I agree only to be fair and honest in my review. If there is something I like or don't like about the book, I try to explain WHY in my review. When I'm excited about a book, that excitement comes through in my review; that isn't something I can fake. And quite frankly, I wouldn't fake it if I could. I would lose credibility that way. And while my credibility isn't important to many folks, it is important to me. It's kind of like going out on a date. Just because a guy pays for a date doesn't mean he's entitled to whatever he wants - or vice versa! Just as my body belongs to me, so do my mind and my opinions. Giving me a book doesn't entitle you to own my opinions. If you believe that it does, please don't even ask me to read your book.

I do make an effort to find something positive about every book I read. And I would NEVER go out of my way to be vicious or cruel. On the rare occasions that I give up on a book altogether, I don't review it.

So, those are the only promises I can make in regards to my reviews. Please remember, this is JEN'S Book Thoughts, no one else's.



Corey Wilde November 12, 2008 at 11:16 PM  

I guess as long as I buy the books myself and as long as I read the entire book, I can still call my soul my own. No fear of me selling my soul for ARCs, only one author has asked to send me one and since I'm already familiar with his work, I was happy to accept.

I guess, if I'm prepared to write a harsh criticism then I should be prepared for a hostile response from the author and his/her fans, should there be any of the latter. And hope and pray that I didn't cross any legal boundaries that would result in unpleasant consequences. But an author who retaliates to harsh criticism risks having no criticism, no word of mouth (that is kind anyway), and in this troubled economy, those things are very important to the publishing industry.

Jen November 13, 2008 at 3:41 PM  

Precisely my point. I'm not willing to sell my soul. I'd rather not receive a book than make a deal with the devil!

v1rag0 November 14, 2008 at 6:50 PM  

Wow! So true. I hadn't thought of writing fake positive reviews as akin to prostitution, but it's a very strong point. Stick to your guns!

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