The Ugly Side of Book Reviews


And yes there is a very ugly side! Let me back up a second. Yesterday while I was reading all of the blogs that I follow I came across one that was offering to read your book and review it for $30. I was so appalled I un-followed him on the spot!

Later I saw a post about book reviews on FB and while a couple of things it said about reviews was helpful there were a couple of things that bothered me. One was: “You don’t even have to finish the book to leave a review!” Uh, yes, yes you do. How can you tell me about a book you haven’t even read?  The second one was ” Just say you liked it”.

I am aware of Amazon’s policies concerning reviews. If you paid or got paid, your review is coming down sooner or later. As for the guy I found, he has already been reported to Amazon.

If you are self publishing, then yes, Amazon numbers mean something. But so do your reviews. There is a right way and a wrong way to do things. An honest way and a dishonest way. Every book you read is not a 5 star book.  The star system is not one that I like, but come on, be honest.

Writers work hard to put out good books and they really do want honest feedback. And as reviewers we need to do that. And that is where the pay/get paid part comes in. If you are being paid to write a review by the author, you are probably not going to be completely honest. Have some integrity! Seriously, what kind of person has to pay someone to read their book? I read the back of cereal boxes when I’m bored. Reading someone’s new book is a privilege. And to take money or lie is an insult to both parties.

Thank you for listening to my rant for the week.  xxP

23 thoughts on “The Ugly Side of Book Reviews

  1. Ugh, I couldn’t agree more. If I know that person that’s charging to read, I need to unfollow them too. It’s like the guy that has ‘give me money’ all over his blog, because he wants to write for a living (for quite a bit money, I might add). Rather than put out books for a small price, he’s asking people to fund him without much of a product to speak of. I just don’t think that’s right. Especially when he tried to use my site to his advantage. But that’s another story.

    You have to read a book to leave a review. Otherwise it’s not honest. If you hate the book and just can’t finish, so be it. Say that, and leave an appropriate review that said you couldn’t finish. Not every writer is going to be loved. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

      1. OMG. Seriously? The guy gets fewer likes than I do and I bet that he barely gets a hundred huts a day. 25 bucks for a reblog? 30 to read a book? W.T.F. If I see him show up in my reader I’m going to block him.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You are exactly right! I write reviews on books I read, have an opinion about and want to share with others. I also write reviews when requested and sometimes they are not great reads, so they get less than stellar marks. But I do attempt to share what made me give a low score.


  3. Pingback: Friday Five
  4. Reblogged this on Inner Ramblings Boulevard: and commented:
    I’m a slow reader (thanks to a bit of dyslexia), so if I take time to read ANYTHING it has to be worth my time since my time is very limited to begin with. If I’m reading your work, it means something and 9 out of 10 times I will leave a comment just so you know I appreciate your creativity.

    Book reviews? I’ve only done one. But with the author’s permission I dissected his work, checked for errors and submitted 2 reviews:
    – one to the author with all my edit suggestions
    – one to Amazon (minus edit suggestions) highlighting what I enjoyed about the book.
    The author was very pleased that I took my time and gave a thorough review.

    I would assume that an honest book reviewer would do the same. So I was surprised to stumble upon the following post telling of shady review practices.

    If you are planning on having your work published beware of shady book review services.

    Check out the following post for more details. Enjoy 🌷

    August 21 2016

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I unfollowed the same person 🙂 i couldn’t believe he really thinks he’s worth $30. I read and review for nothing.. i take pleasure from the books.. i don’t need money. In the end i’ve started chatting to some really cool and interesting authors not to mention bloggers.. what more could a guy want 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I look for honest reviews, I’d be disappointed if I’d been ‘tricked’. I generally only publish good reviews about everything (books, make up, toiletries) because I don’t like sounding too negative (or inviting argument). This isn’t to be confused with being untruthful though, if I don’t like it, I just don’t talk about it, unless something has made me very angry or I’ve received poor customer service!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. One thing I noticed in reviews for my books, which are traditionally published, is that some of them gave a semi-paragraph to saying it is a good read, or something along those lines and then begin to itemise the editing errors they found, along with criticism of the cover, neither of which had much to do with me. In the main, I think they enjoyed exercising their pedantry more than anything and it was just depressing to read and not very informative about the book. I followed their reviews out of interest, and discovered they approached all their reviews in the same manner !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. It’s not my job to pick someone’s work apart. I get my books from publishers and I give them that sort of feedback as they ask. Just tell me at the core was it a good plot or idea. ☺


  8. That’s terrible and unethical. I like the cereal box bit! It’s so true though, I can’t handle being without something to read, but if someone offered me money for a review, I’d seriously wonder what was wrong with their book.
    I know it’s hard to get your book out there and reviews/social media are important tools, but I’m confident that every author I know, would have serious issues with the integrity of paying for or asking for false reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

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