• Amy Shannon

To review or not to review ... fairly.

I saw a Facebook post earlier that made me think about reviews and authors. As a writer, I am also an observer of humans, both in person, and on social media. I often scroll

through my news feed and sometimes, it inspires a FB post, but this time, it inspired me to write an entire blog post (which I will share on my social media sites as well).

As most people know, I run the Amy's Bookshelf Reviews blog, and I review any genre, for any author. I also do not post reviews under 3 stars. Does this mean that I never think a book only deserves 1 or 2 stars? Absolutely not. Some books need a lot of work, and for whatever reason, the author may rush to get it published, or for other reasons, such as just because something is written, doesn't mean it should be read.

The post I saw was essentially an author gathering a group to read written work, but dictating that the reviews should be a 4 or higher. As an author, we cannot tell people what type of review to give, even those who are in a "group" the author is creating to review work or beta read work. Many authors use groups or ARC or BETA readers, and ask for reviews, but telling the reviewers to only post a 4 or 5 is not ethical. We should not emphasize that we are trying to "stack the deck" for reviews. Reviews are opinions. I'm not even sure why people think that a 3-star is a bad review. In my opinion it's not.

When I read a story that needs work, and cannot be read for whatever reason, or if I did read it, I would not enjoy the story as it is, I notify the author. It is not up to the author, whether or not they want it posted, but it is up to me, the reader of the story. I set a standard of reviews and ratings that I use. I don't let authors dictate my review, and as an author, I don't expect a reviewer to allow me to dictate their review.

Groups that are set up, should have guidelines and rules, but opinions cannot be guaranteed, even if teh reader is famiilar with the writing style or genre that the author writes. I have favorite authors, and just because I like their work, does not mean I will LOVE everything they ever wrote, but some times it does. I just have to read it first to make that determination.

All information in this post in MY own opinion, as an author, a blogger, a book review, and a human-being.


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