As the new resident reader here, I figured I could blog about something that’s pretty important to readers and authors- reviewing. I had been distantly following a recent blowup in which an author stalked a blogger who left a one star review of her book and then blogged about it. This incident led to a blogger blackout. For one week, many book blogs refused to showcase new reviews in a demonstration against this sort of author behavior, as well as the publisher, who confirmed the address of the blogger in question and didn't acknowledge the author’s wrongdoing in any way. Of course, this blackout had a backlash of its own, with bloggers pitting against other bloggers and any author who spoke out against the protest.
Even with incidents like this, book reviews are important, especially to new authors. Negative book reviews, too. Although painful, they help give credibility to all reviews (really, who else thinks it’s fishy when every single person gives a book five-stars?). And while the Kathleen Hale debacle wasn't the first of its kind (remember the UK author who attacked a reviewer?), she’s more the exception than the rule when it comes to authors and their appreciation--or lack thereof--toward reviewers.
For reviewing, I know we've all heard of Goodreads. I’ll be one to admit that Goodreads can be frustrating for reviews. People include spoilers without checking the spoiler box, just so their review will be more visible. Others use it as a forum to rip a book or author apart. And Goodreads has a policy for authors. The author can flag a review for attacking an author, but the policy states it doesn't mean the review will be removed or modified. Personally, Goodreads is my least favorite place to review (and I’m sure you’ll notice I star my ‘read’ list without always elaborating with a written review). I find it more helpful to review on Amazon. Since I read with the Kindle app, there’s a handy prompt when you reach the end of a book that asks you to take a moment to post your review. Also, I just joined BookLikes, thanks to Kimberly for mentioning it! Once I figure it out, I’ll blog about that.
So, what about you? Where do you review? What do you think of incidents like the above mentioned that stir up the book blogosphere?