A to Z Challenge: B is for Book Reviews
The A to Z challenge is a challenge in which bloggers post every day during the entire month, and each day has a post starting with a different letter of the alphabet. The first day, the post features “A”, the second day “B”, and so on. It’s much better explained on the Blogging from A to Z website, so I’ll just refer you there.
Today I’m talking about book reviews, in particular about writing reviews while you’re also an author. There’s been a lot of controversy in the book blogging world as of late when a famous blogger (Jane Little from Dear Author) outed herself as being an author, too. Some bloggers don’t mind, others are angry because of the secrecy, or at least irritated. It seems like a general consensus people don’t mind if you’re an author and a review, at least if you’re honest about it.
Well, I am both. I’m an author, and I review on I Heart Reading. I’ve always been honest about it – my name is in the sidebar of my book review blog, and it has a page with my books. But when I started writing (I reviewed first), I did worry about it. What if I read a book, and I don’t like it, and then later on the author reviews my book and leaves a bad review, not because of the book, but because I wrote a bad review about their book? I’ve always worried about it, but it hasn’t happened yet, and I hope it doesn’t any time soon. I’m a strong believer that you should review a book, not an author.
But it’s a fine line. For example, I generally don’t review books by my publishers. But as I’ve published more and more books, it grows harder. One of my publishers releases hundreds of books a year (I think, last time I checked). It’s not always easy to see the publisher of a book before I start reading, or I don’t always pay attention to it, and then I sit down to type the review and find out…well, it’s annoying, sometimes. Just the other day, a fellow blogger wouldn’t review my book because she signed on as a proofreader for my publisher. And I get her reasoning, I mean, it’s a valid reason! But still, reviews are so scarce, and it’s a thin line between what’s acceptable and what isn’t, and sometimes it’s annoying you can’t review a certain book because your publisher published it, even if the book has nothing in common with your book.
So it’s a strange balance, being an author and a reviewer. But I make it work. Have done so for years, and I hope to do it for several more years.