Okay, not to be overly dramatic but I just want to point out that when I write reviews for books, it’s not to disparage, hurt, smite down anyone in any way. I LOVE to read. I go through hundreds of books in a year or so. Before I even started writing and blogging, I would go through 4 to 5 books in a week, 7 on an easy week (a book a day). My Goodreads profile doesn’t even reflect all of the books I’ve ever read in my life (partly because I haven’t had time to update it, and a lot of the books I read didn’t get written down so now I don’t remember their titles.) The bottom line is, I have a pretty good sense of what kind of books works for me and what doesn’t.
Awhile back, my good writer friend J. Lea Lopez posted an HONEST REVIEW PLEDGE on her blog. So I would like to ask J. Lea’s permission to share this with you, and adopt it as well because it is a wonderful pledge.
As a writer, I pledge:
- Never to pay for fake positive reviews of my work
- Never to offer discounts, freebies, or other perks to readers in exchange for falsely positive reviews
- Never to solicit false negative reviews for other writers’ work in order to make my own look more favorable or to gain marketing advantage
As a reader/reviewer, I pledge:
- To review all works honestly and candidly
- Never to write a negative review for the purpose of revenge, spite, or personal attack
- Never to accept money, flattery, gifts, or other perks in exchange for false positive reviews
- Not to let opinions or expectations of others affect my views of the work I’m reviewing
There you have it.
I know getting reviews you don’t like hurts. I won’t dismiss that. But if you, as an AUTHOR, expect people to hand out their hard-earned money for your work (even if it’s only $0.99, it’s still money), then be prepared to accept what they may have to say. It’s only fair.