Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wednesday Words: Going Negative

If you're a book blogger, chances are you have a blog policy page. What kinds of books you review. Who is eligible for contests and giveaways. How you want to be contacted.

Recently I've found that the discussion of negative reviews and what to do about books that are DNF (did not finish). To review or not to review? What's the line between being critical and being mean? Can you really trust a blog that only gives nice reviews?

I hope so because that's kind of my policy. Basically I love writing book reviews. I love reading and then sharing my thoughts on those books. But I'll be honest - I don't review every book I read. I read for fun, to relax, to challenge myself or escape and as such, my choices are varied. Sometimes it's just because I have nothing to really say. Sometimes I have nothing nice to say. And as someone who is also a writer and trying to get into this business, I don't want to also have my name out there as someone who is bringing other people down when at the same time I'm trying to get agents to take a chance on me.

My policy is this: there's enough negativity in the world and I don't want to add to that if I can help it. I'd rather recommend the books I like than name the ones I wouldn't. I've written negative reviews before - I thought I had to to be taken 'seriously' as a blogger - but it never sat well with me. If I love a book, I'll say so - you'll know it. If I only liked it, I'll say that too and I'll try to say why it didn't resonate with me as strongly for whatever reason or another. If I didn't like a book, chances are that I'll mark it as 'read' on Goodreads but won't give it a star-rating or put any comments. The only time I'll write a negative review is if I've gotten a book or ARC directly from a publisher under the condition of writing an honest review in return.

Is my policy soft? Maybe, but it's what works for me. But what about you guys? Comments welcome, and, as always, happy reading!

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