Monday, 31 March 2014

Should authors review books?

I have been pondering this question since publishing my first book on the 7th December.

Although I have published a book I do still consider myself more a reader than author.  I'm new and my book is self published so I'm just starting my journey.  I used to love reviewing books but have been a little more hesitate since publishing my own book for many reasons.

It first struck me after I read a book that was promoted on Twitter.  It was due to this promotion that I bought the book and whilst I enjoyed it I did not love it. Other Twitter users were praising it and on Goodreads 46% of the ratings are 5 stars.  I however would probably only award it 3. I liked the book but thought it a little unbelievable and did not like the ending. It was warm and had developed characters but did not really do it for me.
I felt reluctant to review the book following so many glowing reviews for several reasons. I didn't want to offend anyone on Twitter as the author seemed to be on friendly terms with quite a few bloggers. As I'm new to the book market I obviously want to appear professional and try to build up a good rapport with the blogging community so disagreeing with their assessment of a book may not be a good start to that relationship.  I also did not want to upset the author or appear unprofessional.  I do not think 3 stars is a bad review. However quite a few people seem too and I was worried after so many 5 stars the author may feel disappointed.

However I do feel leaving a 3 star review would give future readers an honest view. When I look at books I quite often read the 3 and 4 star reviews rather than the 5 as I think they are more honest and well rounded.  It appears this particular book had a very successful blog tour which generated many of the 5 star reviews. I think this is amazing for the author but found I disagreed with many of the comments.

Reviewing books is very individual and everyone has different likes, dislikes and preferred genres. Every book has varied reviews for this very reason.  I have decided for now after much umming and ahhing to cease to review books on Amazon and Goodreads but post a review on here from time to time to share my opinions.  Not many people read my blog so it will not greatly influence people but means I can still review and air my thoughts.

What are your thoughts? Should authors review books?


  1. I completely agree with you here and have found myself in a similar position. As a newly self-published author I am really aware of alienating other writers, bloggers etc so now I will post a rating if a book is a good 3 or 4 stars but won't leave comments or anything at all if I dont think it is up to scratch. I have just finished a book that was rated 5 stars all the way but the formating and grammar made it so hard to read I would have probably given it 2 stars max but didn't want to offend so left nothing at all which makes me wonder how many other people do that as well?

  2. Hi Bibi thanks for commenting :) its tricky isn't it. Makes you wonder how well the system works? I recently read someone gave a 5 star but in the review gave an honest assessment that would not warrant 5 stars but it was a friend and they didn't want to effect their ranking. I am very wary of alienating the blogger commmunity. Think I'll stick to the odd review on here & nowhere else for now.