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Honesty is the Best Review Policy??

Okay, not to be overly dramatic but I just want to point out that when I write reviews for books, it's not to disparage, hurt, smite down anyone in any way. I LOVE to read. I go through hundreds of books in a year or so. Before I even started writing and blogging, I would go through 4 to 5 books in a week, 7 on an easy week (a book a day). My Goodreads profile doesn't even reflect all of the books I've ever read in my life (partly because I haven't had time to update it, and a lot of the books I read didn't get written down so now I don't remember their titles.) The bottom line is, I have a pretty good sense of what kind of books works for me and what doesn't.

Awhile back, my good writer friend J. Lea Lopez posted an HONEST REVIEW PLEDGE on her blog. So I would like to ask J. Lea's permission to share this with you, and adopt it as well because it is a wonderful pledge.

As a writer, I pledge: 

  • Never to pay for fake positive reviews of my work
  • Never to offer discounts, freebies, or other perks to readers in exchange for falsely positive reviews
  • Never to solicit false negative reviews for other writers' work in order to make my own look more favorable or to gain marketing advantage
As a reader/reviewer, I pledge:
  • To review all works honestly and candidly
  • Never to write a negative review for the purpose of revenge, spite, or personal attack
  • Never to accept money, flattery, gifts, or other perks in exchange for false positive reviews
  • Not to let opinions or expectations of others affect my views of the work I'm reviewing 


There you have it.

I know getting reviews you don't like hurts. I won't dismiss that. But if you, as an AUTHOR, expect people to hand out their hard-earned money for your work (even if it's only $0.99, it's still money), then be prepared to accept what they may have to say. It's only fair.

16 comments:

Sarah Pearson said...

Wise words Cherie, thank you for sticking your head above the parapet. If I know in advance that the story is good but the book could do with an edit, I'm much more forgiving, and willing to give the story a try.

Rob Adams said...

Such a great post. I often wonder, especially in these self-publishing days, how much self-reviewing goes on as well.

Also, in this age of social networking with other writers, I find there's a personal element to reviewing books, which certainly complicates things. So I appreciate your honesty, and I hereby pledge the same.

Kristin Baker Przybyla said...

Agreed on all counts. I don't review books myself, because there are plenty of other reviewers out there and I don't like upsetting people because I WILL be honest. If my book is reviewed, I want honesty because that's the only way I'm going to improve as a writer.

The Golden Eagle said...

Great post!

And I read about as many books, too. :P Though lately I've been slacking off to only a few books a week . . .

Peggy Eddleman said...

Those are fabulous rules! I totally agree that you have to be prepared to accept whatever reviews come.

Mindy McGinnis said...

Very true. My own review policy is that I don't review a book unless it's going to be a positive review. There's enough bile in the world w/out me adding to it.

Jessie Humphries said...

I hereby make my pledge!

Tara Tyler said...

yup. false reviews are worthless.
hav a grt wknd!

julie fedderson said...

Those are words to read by! Honesty and a fair critique are the best. I would much rather read a review that shows the person read and thought about the book than one that was a generic "it was great!". A negative review doesn't really deter me, anyway--taste is subjective after all. There's one reviewer that if he rates something low, I will totally read it because I know that I will think it's great. I look forward to more of your reviews.

Anonymous said...

Please read Mark Twain's "Personal Recolections of Joan of Arc" and post your review" Thank You.

Liz Fichera said...

There are honest, classy reviews and there's snark. I tend to ignore the snark.

Joyce Lansky said...

When I win free books in blog contests, I try to blog a good review of them. If I can't say something good, I don't write a review.

Joyce
http://joycelansky.blogspot.com

Anita Grace Howard said...

Cherie my dear, we love your honesty. Not every book is for everyone. Period. So much subjectivity goes into reviews, and as authors we just have to expect that. Even as some people may hate our book, another will love it.

So always be true to yourself when you give your reveiws. Even if you don't have only good things to say, from what I've seen, you always try to find at least one silver lining while still being true to your gut; and that's because you're classy. Again, what we love about you.

jennysararyan said...

Hi! I enjoy your blog very much, and, to that end, I have awarded you a "7x7" blog award. It seems to be a sort of chain-letter type way for bloggers to give "shout outs" to blogs they enjoy. You can carry on with the award-giving, or just bask in the knowledge that I really like yours.
You can see what I'm talking about over on youweregoingtobefantastic.blogspot.com.

Vyankatesh said...

Very fair indeed!!

Lori M. Lee said...

Keep at it. Honesty and professionalism ALWAYS :)

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