Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Cup of Coffee with Reggie (8) - Getting Friendly with Authors & Negative Reviews

A Cup of Coffee with Reggie is going to be a discussion post feature in which I discuss anything book-related. They're just normal (sometimes random) discussion posts that are named A Cup of Coffee with Reggie because it's like having a cup of coffee with me and listening (or in this case reading) about my bookish opinions. It will be a random feature here at TUBL that can pop up anywhere from twice a day to twice a year.

Today's Topic:

What do you think about getting friendly with an author and then giving them a negative review?

I always wonder how it feels like to be a book reviewer who is so conflicted about whether or not to give a novel a negative review (honestly) to the author of whom they are friends with. Personally, I only have a select number of authors who I'm friends with because of this particular reason. There's a fine line between honesty and friendship in this case and I don't know how authors deal with getting a bad review from a friend or relative.

I think that if I was an author, I'd try my hardest not to get too offended by a negative review from a close friend/relative...I would welcome their constructive criticism and take it into account...of course, I don't know how it feels, so it's easy for me to say.

And as a blogger, I would try to be as honest as I possibly can but along with a lot of justification as to why their book wasn't a great read for me...But then again, I can't say anything because I've never done it to an author friend (because I'm in love with all of their books :D)...

What's your opinion? Do you guys get friendly with authors, or is this a setback for you? Authors? What do you think?


Cara August 18, 2011 at 10:06 PM  

This has happened to me only once before but it definitely wasn't easy. I'd met a local author when I first started blogging and we talked and emailed over a few weeks. I had bought her book and one to give away at the signing weeks before without having read the book. Once I read it I realized I really didn't like it but thought I had to review it before I gave the other away. Ended up basically saying it wasn't good but had promise and having the giveaway. After that the author and I didn't really talk and I haven't reviewed any more of her books. Kinda sucks, but I felt like if I didn't give an honest review no one would take my other ones seriously ya know?

Jana August 18, 2011 at 10:24 PM  

Great question! I think this is an issue. Even if I have never had direct contact with an author but did an interview through a publicist I still feel bad if I didn't love the book. But, I try and put into the review that I know kids at my school who will read this book. So far, most of the authors I have made contact with are ones that I already wrote a glowing review for.

Leigh Purtill August 18, 2011 at 11:41 PM  

One friend/blogger "loved" my book and then gave me a 3 rating on Goodreads. I asked her about that and she said she never gives 5's!'s all contextual. It hurts when a blogger you like gives you a poor review but you have to respect their honesty.

Madeleine August 19, 2011 at 1:26 AM  

I've posted about negative reviewing. It's a difficult thing to go through with even if you are barely acquainted with the author!

I have heard, however, that many authors avoid reviews of their books after a certain point. I do believe that I *have* had an author read a negative review of mine (the most negative review I've ever written). I just made it a point to explain that these were *my* peeves and that others had really liked the book. I even linked to a few positive reviews to make sure I wasn't sending the message that no one would ever like it!

But I agree - it's a difficult situation to balance.

Thanks for the post!

P.S. This is going to sound random, but how did you get that widget-like thing above your posts that cycles through previews of book reviews? It's really neat!

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