Thursday, August 11, 2011

When authors review their own works... a discussion.

Please leave me some comments with your thoughts!

Let's take a break from our frantic reading and reviewing to have a discussion about authors and their reviews... of their own work.  I can't be the only one out there who gets irritated when an author reviews their own work on Goodreads.  At least now Goodreads will tell you when it's an author's review of their own work, but still, their five star review can skew the overall rating, especially when it's a self-published work with under a couple dozen ratings.  I personally would prefer if authors refrain from giving their books a star rating on Goodreads or any other site, for that matter.  I would like to see an honest representation of what real readers thought of the book, not what the author thinks or what they have solicited their friends to rate, which brings me to another point...

Suspicious reviews on Amazon.  I'm contacted every so often by self-published writers looking for reviews of their book to show up on my blog.  I'm usually flattered that they've chosen me out of the thousands of blogs out there, but I always look into the book before I accept or decline.  I look at the material they e-mail me, their Goodreads page(s), etc.  One of the stops I make is to see what other people have rated the book, but a few times these reviews have raised flags in my eyes.  For example, one such book (I will not name titles ;) ) had a dozen or so reviews of the book.  All the reviews were five stars and not very detailed about the plot or what they thought of the book, just that it was "AMAZING!  THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER READ!!!1!."  More than one gave a personal shout-out to the author, which I thought was suspicious.  When I clicked the link after each reviews username that said "see all my reviews" the book was the only item they had reviewed.  That is suspicious to me as well.

I wanted to believe people are honest, however...

What do you think?  Do these things bother you?  Am I overreacting?  Should I refuse to review books whose reviews appear to have been tampered with?  It's something I've been contemplating.

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