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Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday Mullings

Wow.  Has it really been almost a month since I last posted?  Life sure has been interesting at Clan Souders.  Between revisions, sicknesses, ARCs, and my TBR pile, I haven't really had much time for this here blog. But since things are calming down a little, I've decided to get back into blogging.  And I figured I'd start with something that has recently become quite controversial:  whether or not authors (aspiring and otherwise) should write book reviews.

As you know, or should know, I do write book reviews, but only for the books I really, really enjoyed.  But others have told me, that I shouldn't do that.  I should post reviews of all the books I read.  Whether or not I enjoyed them.  However, last week on twitter, agents and authors were talking about how authors shouldn't post bad reviews because it could lead to professional problems in the future.

Which, as I thought about it, made sense.  Say I write a bad review for a book.  Let's use Across the Universe because it's HUGE right now and will emphasize my point better (No, I have NOT read it yet, but it's sitting on my dresser waiting to be read, and I LOVED the 1st chapter, so I'm not saying that I didn't like the book).  Now, my agent is going to be subbing MY story out there soon, and it's in a similar vein.  The editors go and research my name and then stumble upon my review of ATU.  They LOVED that book.  Do you think they're going to want to read mine now?  Especially since I've basically told them we don't have the same taste in books by my review?  Nope, probably not.  They're going to send a polite rejection and move to the next on the list.

Let's go even further and say I get lucky and an editor purchases my story. Now I need blurbs, right?  So, since ATU is so big and is similar, I ask Beth Revis to read and blurb my story.  Do you really think she's going to want to read my story and do me any favors after I just trashed her book to all my blog readers, essentially telling them not to read it?  Nope.  I wouldn't if I was her.  Not because I'm vindictive, but because, well, I'm probably just not that nice.

So, that leaves me with what I'm doing.  Writing reviews on books I really enjoy.  Some people say this is dishonest reviewing.  That I'm not really providing my audience with the full spectrum.  That I HAVE to review the good books along with the bad (IMO), so my readers can trust my opinion.

I can see their point, too.  So, that leaves me with NOT reviewing books I'm extremely passionate about.  That I can't write reviews for books I've read and pass along the word that I think my readers will enjoy them, too.  To share how excited I am about these books,  all because it's not honest.  But by putting honest reviews of all the books I read up, I could be stabbing myself in the foot. And that brings me to the crux of my problem.

Do I continue what I'm doing and keep reviewing books I enjoy, even though some consider it dishonest?  Or do I throw the baby out with the bathwater and do away with reviews all together?

So...what do you think?  Should authors also be book reviewers?  Or just be authors?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Contest winner announced

Just a quick note before I go to my conference, but the winner of my last contest of last year is JPMsull with Lament by Maggie Steifvater.  Congrats!  Email me your address and I'll send that off ASAP.  :D