Jul 162012

Book Blogger Confessions is a twice a month meme hosted by Tiger’s All Consuming Media and For What It’s Worth that aims to generate conversation about some of the issues book bloggers face.

July16th: What do we owe publishers and authors? If we accept ARC’s do we “owe” anything to them or just an honest review to our follower? As book bloggers are we obligated to do more than just review books? Post covers – participate on tours – host guest posts?

I am a book review blogger by choice in my spare time. My review policy clearly states I have an enormous TBR list and cannot commit to a timeline to review a book. I definitely try my hardest to read and review all the books I accept for review.

I cannot guarantee I will love the book and write a glowing review, or even that I will finish the book. It’s just not possible to know beforehand what I will think of a book. Keeping in mind that a book review is my opinion of the book.

Reviewing is a little different when I don’t request the books. If I request and get a book, I will read and review it. If I get a book, whether it is finished or ARC, any other way, I don’t think I am obligated to read and review it. I will try to get to it if it interests me though.

My blog is just that: mine. I can do what I want with it. I am not obligated to do anything with it. I do love hosting author features and book tours, and choose to participate.

But unless and until someone pays me to do something, I will do only what I want on my blog.

  7 Responses to “Book Blogger Confessions: Obligations”

  1. I agree with you. What I am struggling with right now is that I requested a book, got it, started it and hated it. I set it aside but am feeling guilty for not reading and reviewing it. My BBC post is here.

    • I've had books like that. If it's a book an author requested me to review, and I can't find anything nice to say about it, I'll let the author know rather than posting a review. I feel the author came to me to promote their work, and I feel guilty about doing anything counter to it (including posting an unsavory review). I'll let them know what I think privately.

      You won't see a 1 or 2 star review on my blog from an author requested review. For one, I read the sample of the book before I'll even consider it. If I can't get into the sample, I decline up front. If I can't get into the book even after accepting the request and it turns into a DNF, I send out a follow-up decline. And if I make it to the end for some strange reason and still disliked the book, I follow back to the rule in the first paragraph.

      I know a lot of authors feel differently on the subject and will post a positive or negative review regardless of the source of the book. That's fine… we all have our different comfort levels.

      If it's a book that didn't really spark me… that meh book, I'll likely still post a review, but try to balance the likes with the dislikes. I feel obligated to be honest with readers, but I also think book tastes are subjective. The things I don't like may be the things other readers enjoy.

      If I purchase the book myself, it's no holds bar. Negative/positive, rave/rant. I paid for the right to give my opinion. And since paying for a book puts the 1 star on the table, it can turn down right snarky.

  2. Great post and Yes I don't like every book I get from the publisher, but I also try to review if I asked for it.

  3. It hasn't happened often but if I requested a book or accepted one from an author for review and I just can not connect with it then I tell them I won't be reviewing it.
    I changed my review policy too stating that I don't guarantee a review.
    I'm finding a lot of freedom since I stopped accepting so many books for review. My reading time now is just that – mine. I can review – not review – it doesn't matter.

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I agree with you, my blog is my blog and I write on it what I want. IF I get a book for review I do not owe an author a favorible review, only respectable one. Even if I reques a book for review and I do not like it I will say why. I do not feel guilty for this, because I clearly state in my policy that I give both positive and negative reviews. I had once an author, to whom I gave a not so favourable review, post a comment on my blog that besically my review of the book was not good and that people should look elsewhere for reviews. I thought that was extremely rude and unreasonable. You ask me to review a book and you expect me to like it and if I do not like it you expect me to give a good review. I do not think so!
    I do not feel guilty giving bad reviews, I am sorry but if I always give good reviews (which I've seen some bloggers do) than I am not a good reviewer (think I am being a bit mean here).

  6. Lots of things for thought here…i can usually find something good about the book, but i do try to temper it with letting others know if i didn't like it because it was not my genre, or whatever reason i have. Thanks…this is helpful.

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