Author Advice

Should Authors Review Books?

Reviewing books can be difficult, especially as an author. You don’t want to hinder future working relationships by one staring an author’s work, but you don’t think it’s right to dismiss the book’s pitfalls.

I’ve had my share of time as both author and reviewer, sometimes both. I’ve interviewed authors I’ve given negative reviews to. It is awkward, especially if they are the author who publicly gets all whoa is me when someone doesn’t give their book 5 stars.

That’s only the beginning of the dilemma. The one I tend to suffer from is how should I review. I’ve gone from short and snappy to 1,600 words. That isn’t even a joke. I once wrote a 500 word review on a one-word poem an author was charging $0.99 for. Surprisingly, the review went from a rant to a rave.

I’ve tried many styles and formats, different star rating systems. None of them work just right. So today I got my first review for WEREWOLF WEDDING. It was straightforward but still thorough. It didn’t require a template either.

  • Summary
  • Star Rating
  • What I Liked
  • What I Didn’t Like
  • Would I Read It Again
  • Do I Recommend It
  • Overall Thoughts

Honestly, it could’ve been even simpler; but among the complex reviews I’ve left, and ones I’ve read from others, this takes the cake. As for star rating, the review matters more. It’s probably best to just go off the meanings for that site so readers know exactly what the star means.

As an author, it might be best to have a reviewing account that isn’t attached to your name. However, you could definitely recommend your most liked books on your blog. I think this is what I’ll do. And instead of star ratings, I’ll do types of toast or other foods. For instance, mushroom is a food I don’t like, so that could be a one star, but the author would never know or have their feelings hurt by a cute mushroom.

But there is a third issue. Reviewing books is a time suck. Because of this, I’ve decided to be lazy and strategic. I’m only going to devote my time to reviewing books I really liked and that share something in common with my works of fiction. I’d much rather have a reader associate my name with good books they enjoy than books I didn’t like. The more they agree with my tastes, the more likely they’ll be to take a chance on my books. It’s a win-win for everyone.

What do you think about authors reviewing books? Do you like unique rating scales? Let me know in the comments.

2 thoughts on “Should Authors Review Books?”

  1. I usually leave reviews on books I feel strongly about or for authors who have requested a review. However, when it comes to Indie authors, I usually show them the review first, so they have the call as to whether it gets posted or not. I’m not into trashing anyone’s career, but I do like to see writers improve in their craft. And I especially love to give public praise to an author. After all, writing is a lonely business and it’s always nice to know that someone out there appreciates what we do.

    Liked by 1 person

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