Welcome to Tell Me Something Tuesday. A weekly discussion post here on Rainy Day Ramblings where I discuss a wide range of topics from books to blogging. Weigh in and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments. If you want to do your own post, grab the question and answer it on your blog.
This week's question:
Do you feel pressure to write a more flattering review or give a slightly higher rating when posting for a tour or guest post?
This is a tough question to answer, because I want to be totally honest. While on one hand, I like to think that I am always completely honest in my reviews, there are times when I have felt pressured to perhaps be a bit more complimentary or give a slightly higher rating when writing for a tour or guest post as opposed to when I am writing a straight forward review.
I think this happens because if I have booked an author for a guest post/interview on my blog, I appreciate that they are taking time out of their busy schedules to do a blog post. I don't want an author to do a post and then have me trash their book (not that I have ever completely trashed a book on my blog). I feel that I should write a positive review. Now that doesn't mean that I am not going to point out the things that I felt were weak in the book and could have used improvement, I do that with all the books I review. I feel that writing a review that covers the positives and negatives will help the author. I always try and approach my criticism in a constructive manner, and I feel more inclined to do so when I know the post is written with a guest post or tour post in mind.
Do I like that I feel pressured to perhaps be a bit kinder and gentler in my reviews? Yes and no. I like that it keeps me in check, and that I am always reminded to be sensitive in my reviews, but bottom line, when I read a book that doesn't win me over, I hate to dance that fine line. I would rather be totally honest while pointing out the faults while still highlighting the positives.
There have been a few times when I have been on a tour or had an author guest post and I found that I really did not like the book, so what did I do?
There was one case that the tour book was so bad that I asked to not write a review, and so I had to post an excerpt. I felt so icky about that. Never again!
There were other times when I had authors on my blog and I wasn't a fan of their book, so I chose not to post the star rating with the review. I did however post the rating on Goodreads, Amazon etc. I felt like that was the best way to be honest.
Most of these issues occurred when I was still new to blogging and naive. As a more seasoned blogger, I have learned to do guest posts and tours selectively. I usually invite authors whom I have worked with in the past or authors that have written books that my fellow reviewers recommend. This tactic helps me alleviate the pressure.
Tours these days are few and far between on my blog. I usually only participate in tours for books and authors I am familiar with or tours that come recommended. Again, this has helped alleviate the stress of having to write a positive review for a book that maybe wasn't such a positive experience.
I care passionately about my blog and I strive to be honest so it bothers me that there have been times when I haven't been quite as honest and forthright in my reviews as I wanted. These days, I have learned to be true to myself and write reviews for me, and I am so much happier doing so. So my advice to all of you, don't sign up for tours/ guest posts, author interviews etc. if you aren't certain. It will save you so much stress and aggravation later.
I would much rather back out of a post than have to be dishonest.
What about you all? Can you relate to this experience? Do you feel pressure to be more positive in these situations?
Next week's question:
Do you still go ahead and review a book that you have for review after reading several not so flattering reviews?