Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Writers and Reviews

I'm willing to bet most of you have heard the raging debates over whether or not writers should be critically reviewing books by now. 

A couple of really excellent articles on the whole matter are Stacia Kane's and Susan's guest post over at Regan Leigh's blog.
You decide.

I don't want to get into any debating on here, but I thought it was an important enough discussion to be pointed out.  I think all of us here are working toward that future goal of publication, and not a single one of us want anything we do online to jeopardize that.

Have you all seen this topic flying around?  It has certainly opened my eyes and made me think.  Either way, it's something we each have to decide for ourselves, but it needs to be an informed decision just like anything else.


Erinn said...

As a general rule I don't bash books on my blog-- although there was one book I hated last year. But I didn't did a whole blog post on it, I think I mentioned it wasn't for me. I like focusing on books I love-- mostly because I don't want to see someone out there bashing my books if one is ever published. The blogger world is VERY small. So is the publishing world. But it brings up an interesting debate.

Angela Felsted said...

I suppose there are advantages to not being published.

KO: The Insect Collector said...

This is so tough for me, Holly. I read Susan's post and it made a lot of sense.
At the same time, I'm still really shocked that the consensus seems to be "never review a book".
I think of myself as someone who doesn't bash, but tries to be honest about what I read. I have held back many times, focusing on the strength of books and not nit-picking. Sometimes I gloss over a book i'm not crazy about, and only rave about the ones I adore.
I thought it was ok to say "not for me", as my mockingjay post does. But what I hear from people is that it's not ok. That's tough for me.
I don't know how to make sense of it.

Holly Dodson said...

KO, I know what you mean. It's a hard pill to swallow that says you can't even say, "It just wasn't for me."

I get it though. And I'll continue sharing books on the blog, but it will be done carefully.

Carrie said...

Thanks for posting this. I had no idea there was such a debate about book reviews.
I post about books I like. I don't think I've ever posted a negative review of a book. I work in theater and work closely with actors so I see firsthand the effects that reviews have on people.

Alicia Gregoire said...

I try not to bash books. The closest I came to it was my comments on The Book Thief on my blog and my review of a book on Goodreads.

We should be allowed to review books as we see it. As long as we're polite on what we say, it shouldn't matter. Everyone has an opinion and not saying it on a body of work is sort of like censorship.

We shouldn't be told we can't say what we think for fear of it coming back to bite us on our ass.

Yahong said...

Flying? This topic is RAMPAGING LIKE ELEPHANTS, trampling over my archives (which I'm currently wading through, converting all my positive reviews to 'Book recommendations' [à la Sooz] and delete all my negative ones...). I kind of understand why no negative reviews should be posted. I don't completely agree with it, but I'll do it.

Holly Dodson said...

lol Yahong, it has certainly gotten a lot of people riled up, hasn't it? Twitter pretty much exploded from it.

Krista said...

I had no idea this was happening. Thanks for the heads up! It is difficult to wrap my mind around the concept, but I guess it does make sense in some ways.

Logan E. Turner said...

That makes sense, but if I don't write reviews, don't write about writing, and am not published already, what the heck do I write about? I'm not 100% convinced that you can't say a book wasn't for you without it being done in a professional way. On my reviews I always point out and link to reviews that were incredibly positive. It's just an opinion, and if we all can't recognize that, then what are we doing in this industry?

Pam Harris said...

I'm more careful now when I talk about books. I make sure to just mention the ones I really enjoyed. I think it's okay to talk to your friends and other writers about books you don't enjoy, but I would never want my thoughts written online--where ANYone could pull it up.