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Book Reviews or Career Suicide?

The days where an author could just send in their manuscript and be done with it are gone. Now there is a certain expectation of the author marketing themselves. Any agent worth their salt will want to know what a writer’s plan is for marketing and if they have a social media platform. We have blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Google+…anything that we believe will help us sell.

My favorite of all of these is blogs. There is such a variety of directions an author can take with a blog, if done right it won’t get stale, and I enjoy reading them on the train. There is one thing however, that I sometimes see in author’s blogs, that I think is a bad idea. I don’t think that authors should be book reviewers/critics.

My reasoning is that I don’t think it’s wise to criticize your coworkers. As writers the closest thing we have to coworkers is other writers. You may hate a book but is your opinion really worth ostracizing an author and all of that author’s friends and followers? The way I see it there are only two ways a book review blog can go for an author: one they will always give at least moderately positive reviews as to not offend anyone and by the same hand make readers think that they like poor quality writing or two they will piss off other writers because they’re being honest.

Fact is writers read, a lot, and if my experience is anything to go by at least half the books I read are not ones I would give glowing reviews to. They may have not been my cup of tea, I may despise the writer’s style, whatever my reasons I still respect that other writers and readers will have different opinions and I don’t think the traffic from a book review blog would be worth the possible repercussions. So, that’s my take on it, I know my opinion might not be popular. So tell me guys, what do you think? Is a review blog a good or a bad idea?

Leave a comment


  1. Interesting question, and too true.

    Do you publicly critique your peers? Personally, I only give reviews to books I really like, or love. That may be weak, but it’s the most I feel comfortable with.

  2. I don’t mind writers reviewing, but I decided early on not to do book reviews. Not to say, I wouldn’t promote a really great book I found, but for those that didn’t quite hot my mark, I would rather not influence their possible reading audience. Every reader is different. What works for one, may not work for the next.

  3. I personally don’t have a problem writing a good review if the book is good. If it’s not so good, I leave it alone. I’m having my first book release in February, and I’m nervous about book reviews, so I can imagine others being nervous about getting not so good book reviews. I find that every writer is different, and every reader is different. Treating each other with respect is more important, I think, then criticizing someone’s book.

  4. Looks like everyone here is on the same non-confrontational page with me at the moment. Criticism is great in context, I prefer mine in my writer’s group…those bitches are mean but I know they mean well 😉


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