Hey, you! So, you want to give that book you just finished a five-star and only because you got it for free? Don’t. Just don’t.
Maybe you’re afraid that you won’t get any more free books? You will.
Maybe you feel that if you have nothing nice to say that it is best to say nothing at all? You can be honest without being a jerkwad. Grow a backbone and try it sometime! Okay, so maybe that was me being a jerkwad but…sheesh! Work with me, people!
Maybe you feel like you have to handle an author with kid gloves and rate their story a five simply because they wrote a book? You don’t. If an author can’t handle criticism then they certainly picked the wrong business.
Stop. Just stop.
Dishonest reviews are clogging the market. This is particularly true when it comes to Christian fiction.
Christians are so afraid of being a bad witness for Christ that they fall for another sin—lying. I hear of bloggers giving all review books a four and a five when it really should be a one.
I’ve had bloggers even admit this to me. I’ve been told by some that they’ve rated a book higher when they shouldn’t have. Worse, I’ve been told, “I didn’t like the book so I didn’t rate or review it at all.”
Here’s the thing, reviews have a point and a purpose. The point of a review is supposed to not only raise awareness about a book but also give a fair and honest opinion so that your peers can determine whether they want to invest time into reading this particular work.
I begin to question the validity of your review when every single book you read is positive. Now, I’m not talking about a difference of opinion here. I’m talking about the clear trend that you see with some reviewers that rate every single book they rate a five-star, no matter what.
Trust me, there are people out there that want to strangle reviewers when they read a five-star book that sounds like it was written by a kindergartener. People aren’t stupid. They know when this is a case of ear tickling by reviewers who are afraid they might be dumped by their review programs.
Wake up, people!
You are doing a huge disservice to your blog readers, peers and the random person reading Amazon and Goodreads when you lie through your teeth.
Let me be perfectly frank. When I see a blogger with all positive reviews or one that says in private groups, “I don’t write negative reviews.” I unfollow you. Okay, maybe I don’t. I do delete your posts from my email. I’m not going to waste my time reading your author worship. Besides, I can already guess every single one of your reviews. You’re going to say that the book is awesome. Even if it sucked.
Let me also point out that when people read a poorly written book with nothing but positive reviews, they are more likely to lash out in frustration with their own opinion.
I have seen it time and time again where some person frustrated by the lack of honest reviews is out to set things straight by being brutally cruel. I don’t know how many times I’ve read a review where an angry person points out that all the reviews must be from friends.
A book reviewer has a responsibility to be fair and honest. Yes, we should be professional and kind but we should be honest.
Do you enjoy getting books for review? Great. Stop lying and start being honest or review programs aren’t going to be effective anymore. As more and more people get fed up with dishonest reviews, the less likely that they’ll rely on them. You are invalidating our opinions and making reviews completely pointless. When the day comes that you have destroyed our voice—bye bye book review programs.
I want to hear your HONEST REVIEW. All of your blog readers want an honest review. No one is going to come back to read your blog when they’re able to guess what your review says.
Be kind. Be honest. Let your voice be heard.