On a serious note…

I’ve been meaning to post this for a little while now as I feel I need to reiterate a point from my FAQ. Over the last few weeks, I’ve been getting a bit of negative feedback from independent authors who have requested reviews from me. While I won’t name any names, the general theme of the emails is to make me feel bad for negative reviews that I have given them. In response to this, I would just like to point out the following:

1.  I am not paid to do this.  This site is my hobby but I have a full time job as well. This is why I had to shut submissions because I did not want to make people wait for a year for the review that they requested. I aim to review one to two novels a week and you can see on my Goodreads page how large my to read list is. Chasing me will not get you a review faster.

2.  I am not obliged to give 4-5 star reviews for every novel.  Some reviewers find it hard to give a poor review, especially when an author has been very nice and polite with them. I do not. My reviews are all honest and based around how I felt while reading the novel. I know I can be a harsh reviewer but I will still always tell you when I absolutely love a book.

3.  I hold no qualifications in internet reviewing.  I am not an expert, I’m just someone who has always loved reading. I do have a masters degree in English Literature and I like to think that helps but my opinions are still just my own.

4.  Every review is tarnished by personal taste.  While I do try to remain objective as possible, you may have noticed that I have some personal issues with certain literary tropes. These include cliffhanger endings, the use of deus ex machinas and female characters than always need to be rescued. As I understand that some people do actually like these things, I always say that it is not my taste within the review.

5.  You have put your work in the public eye – learn to accept critique.  Some authors are just bad at taking criticism and it does nothing more than reflect poorly on their professionalism. You and your mum may believe that your novel is perfect but there will be always someone that it does not speak to. If you get a bad review, learn from it and move on. Don’t argue with the reviewer – I won’t defend my opinions and I won’t remove the review from my site just because you only want people to post glowing praise of your book.

6.  My reviews are not a personal attack.  I merely present my opinions of a novel, I never use them to personally attack the author. I do not know any of you. You may be lovely people who have just written a flawed book or you may be utter monsters. This does not matter to me in the slightest. I’m here to look at the novel, not use it to psycho-analyse its author.

7.  If you’re not happy to receive constructive criticism, don’t ask me to review your novel.  At the end of the day, I get lots of submissions and most authors are very happy to receive criticism. If you’re looking for glowing praise, look elsewhere. I have no obligation to like your novel and I certainly will not praise something that I do not.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Laura W
    Oct 21, 2014 @ 12:58:43

    Very well said! I can’t stand it when authors just come to me to get another 4 or 5 star rating.

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks


    • Kim
      Oct 23, 2014 @ 08:27:34

      Me neither. I’m very clear in my guidelines that I will not do that. If I praised every book I received regardless of its actual quality my opinion would be worthless.


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