Amy's Saturday question is: The past couple of days there has been a big flare-up in the broader book blogging community regarding review policies and a blogger's obligation to an author once they've received a review copy. For those of you who belong to the blogging alliance FIRST, we've also discussed this issue a little bit.
Do you receive review copies of Christian books? If so, do you review them honestly? How do you handle it when you don't like a book but are obligated to provide a review? Who do you see your first commitment being to in book reviewing (besides God)? Yourself? The author? Your readers? Does your review change based on the spiritual content of the book or is it solely based on technical or artistic merit? Have you ever had a negative experience with an author after giving them a negative review? (please don't name names)
Well, this seems very appropriate for what's been happening on FIRST Wild Card! Most of you know that I had to put about 100 memberships on hold until they can get their blogs to be unique...have them stand on their own without FIRST and other blog tours. One of the points brought up is that people just weren't reviewing the books they ordered.
Yes, I receive Christian books to review...I actually receive all the books we do on FIRST so that I can moderate them.
Do I post honest reviews? Yes. If I loved it, I let you know. If I don't, I try to say it in a way that I point out the good stuff then add what I didn't like...then I ask you to decide by reading the first chapter. Some authors like it when FIRST members just put up the FIRST post with their bio and first chapter without the blogger's opinions. Some authors only want to see wonderful reviews. Some want to see what you thought no matter what. I hope that when my book comes around to tour, people will be honest. I want to be able to improve my skills through honest critiques.
On my blog, I am commited to my readers. They want to know what I thought, or they wouldn't visit me.
I base my critique on how I liked it overall. If there is a great story inside a poorly edited novel, I tell the reader so.
Yes, I've had an author or two be upset at what I said. Sometimes my mouth gets away from me...I try to curb that as much as possible.
Thanks, Amy...great questions!