Earlier in the week, I saw a post in an FB group where one of the members hadn’t enjoyed the previous three books that they had read. All three had been highly praised by bloggers and that was one of the reasons why the member had read them. Due to this and the fact that the member didn’t like the books they questioned whether bloggers actually give ‘honest‘ reviews or whether because we get ‘free‘ copies of books we just give praise and glowing reviews!
So, yet again it was another example of our integrity as book bloggers being called into question.
It was also a veiled dig at bloggers getting ‘free‘ books too and I’m getting really fucking tired of that shit. Yes, a lot of us get free books but we review them honestly, it’s downright unfair to question that honesty simply because we received a copy to review.
It also makes you ask, if the person had read some ‘professional‘ reviews instead of ‘blogger‘ reviews would they then have questioned the professional reviewer’s review or not?
I personally didn’t take offence to the post I’ve mentioned above, in my opinion, the person could have worded it better, but let’s be fair, we could all word things better at times and I’m merely using the post as a catalyst to knock one out – this post people, please keep your mind out of the gutter. 😉 As sadly, this is something that seems to happen quite a lot of book bloggers and it feels that there is a sense of blogger = scum bandied around by certain people negative connotations with regards to the name ‘blogger‘ and ill repute which are all wrong.
C’mon let’s show book bloggers some love!
We don’t merely write and leave a one sentence review on Amazon stating ‘the book was good’ in exchange for our ‘free‘ copy, no! We write thorough reviews (that take time) and then format and put them on our blog, we post to Goodreads and Amazon, we share the review on various social media platforms and often our fellow bloggers also share the review for us. It’s a lot of hard work at times just for a free copy of a book, especially if you factor in the amount of time it also takes to read the book.
So, to all those out there, please realise that the ‘free‘ book we get and you bitch about takes up a lot of our ‘free‘ time, likewise having and maintaining our own blog also takes up a lot of our free time!
Also…….whispers quietly, the professionals who get paid to review don’t actually pay for the book either! The revelations today are groundbreaking next someone will tell you that the earth is round and that rain is wet! 🙂
Is it simply because I am a book ‘blogger‘ and not a ‘professional‘ that my opinion is called into question? It sure seems like it at times! How many professional reviews do you see that have their validity questioned? Hardly any! How are the thoughts of professional reviewers any more valid than mine? If I worked for a tabloid, website or zine would you feel safe with my opinion and it’s only because I run a small blog of sordid debauchery that you question me? Is it really just that name of ‘blogger‘ that makes you think that you can impugn on both the credibility and honesty of my review, yay! I can use poncy words like ‘impugn‘ just like these so-called eloquent and loquacious professionals!
Cough! Splutter! Choke! Sorry, I swallowed a dictionary there with my use of the word ‘impugn’ and needed to retch it back up, see people, swallowing is bad! 😉
Normal service is resumed, back to degenerate mode. My opinion on a book is my own, same as a professional reviewer, just because they are paid and deemed to be ‘professional‘ in syndicated publications it doesn’t make their view any more valid than mine, their opinion isn’t gospel!
Sure, the professionals have the qualifications, experience and review thousands of books but that’s what we do too, we read and then review. The differences are that they get paid, we don’t, they are professional, we just do it as a hobby and none of us claims to be professional anyway, hell, lots of us don’t even call ourselves ‘reviewers‘ and just use the term blogger as it’s what we are. Do you know what else we are? We are book lovers and sure, while we don’t have a degree, PhD or doctorate in being a pretentious reviewer, sorry, my mistake, I used the wrong word, I meant professional reviewer. The only real qualification that we need to review books is to be a bona fide and genuine book lover!
Though I’m pretty sure John Cena never had any real qualifications and yet he still used to refer to himself as the Doctor of Thuganomics……maybe I could do that and proclaim myself the Doctor of Sarcasm?!
How many professional reviews do you see that slander, bad mouth and are negative compared to all the ones offering glowing praise? Not many and does anyone question why? Do they not consider that the ‘professional’ reviewer gets paid as it’s their job and it would look bad if they were constantly negative with their reviews. So, why question the person who does it for free and because they love books, but not the person who is paid to churn out any review regardless of what they write. – I’m fully aware that professional reviewers, for the most part, are genuine book lovers too. My point is simply that if you are going to question the validity of a blogger review then you should also question the validity of a professional review too.
I’m Drew, book ‘blogger‘ – there’s that dirty and tainted word again! at The Tattooed Book Geek does that mean my thoughts on a book are irrelevant as I’m just a blogger? Really? Really? Really?
So, if I became a ‘professional‘ reviewer in a syndicated publication, let’s say I had a feature in Playboy where I reviewed books and I called it ‘Bosoms and Books‘ would that then make my opinion valid and genuine? Because newsflash Sherlock it would be the same damn opinion as I’m the exact same person!
Side note – before anyone gets their PC brigade standard issue drab grey granny bloomers in a twist over my use of Playboy and the name ‘Bosoms and Books’ it is meant as fun! OK, F – U – N! No offence is intended so please don’t take any, or pull the sexist card on me about the objectification of women. Otherwise, we will have to debate how none of you has an issue with all these smut books that use the glistening torso of rock hard oiled granite male abs to sell them and the obvious blatant objectification of men on those covers, as that my dear followers is the epitome of sex sells!
Any complaints to Bosoms and Books?! Nope, good! After I’ve finished writing this I’m off to go and email Hugh Hefner about my feature idea!
Right, I’m back on track after that little tangent. Not everyone likes the same thing and what one person might have loved about a book, another will hate, the opposite is also true and what one person hated another might like. We are all different, we can’t like all the same books or even the same things in life. There is no guarantee that you will like a book as much as us, hell, it works both ways you know and you might love a book that we hated.
If you don’t like a book that we liked, it’s not because we gave it a decent review, praising it merely to make us look good in the eyes of the author and publisher. Or, as it’s implied, lied about our thoughts! No, it’s simply because we all have varying tastes and anyway, I’d ask how is your opinion that the book wasn’t ‘good‘ any more valid and substantiated than mine which thought it was? It isn’t and do you know why? Well, let me tell you why with this little pearl of worldly wisdom, we are all allowed our own opinion.
At the end of the day, whether we are professionals or bloggers what we offer you in a review is our own personal thoughts and view on a book, that is all. After you’ve read the book you might agree with us and what we wrote in our review wholeheartedly or you might disagree. But it’s irrelevant if we are a blogger, if it was a free copy, a book we bought or even if it’s a professional review as it is our honest, sincere and truthful opinion on the book.
I’ve read enough fantasy books to know both what I like and don’t like in a book from that genre, for other fantasy fans the criteria might well be different (we all like different things) but we all know what we want and don’t want to see in books and what for us personally makes a great book, this applies to every genre out there and the readers of it too, remember bloggers are also readers which I think some people seem to forget!
When we review it is an informed decision from reading hundreds of books that help us decide if we liked or disliked the book. If I like a book then I will praise it, if I don’t then I will offer my reasons why I didn’t enjoy it, there is no devious ploy or nefarious plot at hand with our reviews so please stop looking for something that isn’t there!
If you don’t believe that bloggers review honestly and you put that much stock, faith and truth in the words and opinions of professional reviewers, then perhaps you shouldn’t be reading reviews written by bloggers.
This post isn’t just about the integrity of blogger reviews but also that it seems to be the cool thing to do to bad mouth bloggers, are we really that bad? It’s bully the little person all the time, it was ‘real‘ readers and it also ties into author harassment too, only a very small number but they tarnish the good name of authors by showing their disdain for and how they have used and treated bloggers as a free service and not as real people.
People think it’s OK to insinuate about our reviews and pick on bloggers as we are just the little people, easy targets and prey and nothing will happen, there are no consequences to be faced. It’s sad that this happens and unfortunately, it’s no surprise that some bloggers stop for a while or even quit blogging altogether due to the bad experiences and negativity that often surrounds being a blogger.
Please stop disrespecting us and questioning our morality on reviews just for being ‘bloggers‘ and let me tell you something. Regardless of the genres that we read – fantasy bay bay! You would be missing out on some of the best, unique, thoughtful, fun and individual book reviews out there by forsaking bloggers. Not to mention that we are all a bunch of damn fine decent people too!
I’ll shout it loud, I’m ‘just’ a book blogger and proud!
Follow me on: