When I first started blogging I got some requests to review some indie authors books and I excitedly obliged as I was new to the whole book blogging business. However, some of these were published by small publishing companies and/or were indie authors. Let me just say I have nothing against indie authors, I just have never found an indie book I have LOVED, but I guess I haven’t been looking hard enough. Anyway, I quickly found out that I hated writing the negative reviews and then emailing the authors personally. They had worked so hard on something they love, I know that. But I would never destroy the integrity of my blog by lying or being too nice in a review.
However, what annoyed me the most was when I specifically told them the review was going to honest, and when I didn’t like their book they raged at me! Some in private messaging, some via email, and frankly, it was disgusting. I get it, you think I’m totally wrong and I completely missed something or I didn’t pay enough attention. Didn’t I understand that this will be explored later?? Well this pissed me off. I am a book blogger and I have a right to express my views. It is unprofessional and rude to message me telling me why I’m wrong. I never understood what this was meant to achieve. Was I supposed to say, ‘oh sorry, no you’re right, I’ll just go change all of my opinions and my review’. No. It just makes you come across badly and will guarantee whenever I hear your name I will shake my head in disgust and not go near any of your other books.
It makes me sad because it gives authors a bad name, when so many are the nicest. I know it’s so hard taking criticism, but I don’t have to like your book and I will not be bullied into it.
I don’t often write scathing reviews–the only reason I do is because it probably has something like misogyny, rape done badly, or tough issues that I have to be completely honest in my opinion. I don’t think I have ever given a review without some good points in and tried to be as nice as I could–most authors were accepting.
However, there was this one book, where I hated it. So freaking much. I don’t want to link to it and out the author, but if you go right to the beginning of my reviews, you will most certainly find it. I will say that to this day it is the worst book I have ever read. Most readers will agree that that is an impressive feat. When I emailed the author my review he messaged me guilt tripping me and saying his wife helped him write it and she cried reading the review. Feeling awful, I replied saying not to worry, there will be good reviews, and I was only one! Then he replied and told me how all my opinions were wrong and why. He proceeded to patronise me because I was 15 when I read and reviewed it! How dare he imply that my views aren’t as valid because I happen to be under the age of 18. I’m a teenager–not an idiot. I guess I just shouldn’t have replied and that’s not something I will be doing in the future.
However, some authors have been great, like Aurelia B Rowl author of Popping the Cherry, Shannon Eckrich author of Other Side of Forever, Kelly Van Hull author of Tent City (actually asked if I could beta read her next book, really took my opinions in). It’s not like I didn’t enjoy their books, but I had some problems with all of those and they were incredibly nice about it.
They were so professional and lovely–it’s not like I enjoy giving out bad reviews!
Sorry about the rant! Tried to keep this short…haha. Have any of you guys had this experience before, or something similar? Are you an author who regrets doing this or does it for a particular reason?
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