As you know, I write book reviews and post them here on this blog. They’re not the most popular thing for people to read, as I think people usually don’t read them unless they’re considering buying or have already read and want to see if the reviewer agrees or disagrees. But that’s just my guess.
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As a reviewer and a writer, I have to agree with this post over on Lit World Interviews. It’s fine to be both a writer and reviewer, but it’s important to be careful. I pride myself on being a fair reviewer. If I don’t like something, I just give my opinion and state that it may appeal to certain people. I have recommended books I’ve rated 2 stars. I always recommend every book I review, but I often focus on a certain group of people who may enjoy it more than I did.
Of course, it’s also important to make sure there are no feuds or bad blood between authors. Not a good idea. So, I am never insulting in my reviews. I always try to be constructive and also state what I think is done well every book. I do want to support all authors.
It’s important not to tarnish your brand when you’re in the public eye – or to invite others to tarnish it for you. No matter how small a fish you might think you are. As an Indie author you really do have to be reading books by other Indies as well your traditionally published favourites, and leaving reviews for our peers is absolutely necessary for the good of the whole tribe. I will ask you one question though – how many times have Dan Brown or J K Rowling publicly published a bad review of their peers? They don’t, because there are reviewers out there who get to do those things, and they probably don’t want to get into barnies with other scribblers either. If you have set yourself up as a book reviewer as well as an Indie author that’s fair enough, as long as you’re prepared to take…
Religion is a touchy subject for many people. Religious books are sacred to many people, and any negativity toward them is considered blasphemous, and likely to incite anger. But as a literary subject, are they open for reviewing?
I think that those who don’t mind the backlash from either side of the fence can go ahead and review them. But for me, I’d rather avoid that. Because of one of the reading challenges I’m going to attempt, I will have to read The Bible. That’s a very long book that many people find difficult to finish. I’ll approach it from a literary and cultural point of view, as I have no interest in the spiritual side of things. However, I will not write a review. I have no need to make people angry.
I’ve seen several reviews of religious books on Goodreads, and they were usually either extremely favourable or quite negative. The positive ones are basically done by religious people who simply agree with what it has to say. The negative ones are either mocking or actual analyses of the books based on how consistent it is, readability, and more. Those people are often criticised angrily.
My question for you is this: Would you attempt a review of a religious book? Leave a comment.
It’s long overdue for me to explain my ratings. I’m sure it’s similar to other people’s standards, but I’d like to clarify what they mean for me. I use a 5 point scale, 1 is the worst, 5 is the best.
These are the best books. They are special. To get 5 stars, it has to be moving, draw me in, make me excited about reading more. They can make me laugh a lot, surprise me, or make me sad. They are highly recommended.
These books are very good. I enjoy them very much, but they don’t have that extra little bit that make them excellent. I like them a lot, but they don’t move me. I thoroughly enjoy these books, so they are definitely recommended.
These books are good. I enjoy them, but they aren’t special. They have flaws that detract from my experience and the characters and story may be predictable or cliche. However, I do recommend them.
These books are incredibly ordinary. They’re not bad, but not good, either. I can finish reading them, but I find it difficult to push myself to read them. Not recommended.
Awful books. I did not enjoy them and found them extremely difficult to finish. I want to finish them so I can move on to something better. Absolutely avoid!
If I can’t finish a book because it’s so bad, I won’t give it a rating. I want to be fair and read the entire book before I rate it. I’ll write a partial review, though.
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