I couldn’t help to join the Negative/Positive Review banter! I have OF COURSE.. some opinions..here we go.
1-Your Blog, Your Rules.
As Drew said here in his fab post many times, if you’re on your blog, it’s your rules, your world, your post, no one really can argue why you’re posting a positive or negative review. It’s pointless. A blog is a personal thing!
I will still, never, ever delete someone’s comment on my blog, even if they don’t like my opinion, or the book I reviewed/featured, as I think if I am accepting comments under my post, I should be respectful to anyone who was kind enough to visit my blog and read my post.
2- To review negative…Is Cultural! Really.
I am born Turkish and been living in the UK last 8 years. One thing that’s very hard not to notice is the pressure to be polite- not saying it’s a bad thing to be polite, but I have seen many people, from friends to colleagues, feeling or being treated miserable just because they were too polite and the other party they were dealing with was terribly wile. British people are incredibly nice, so I totally understand the stress of saying something bad- out loud. The fear of offending is so dominating in Britain. It’s everywhere. Even at work, facing with something truly awful, people say “it’s not their favourite”. Turkish people moan and complain so much with a lack of empathy- I can’t tell you how different the office climate is in Turkey. If you’ve done something awfully bad- you will be told in Turkey. No one will care how you feel. I lost the count how many times in my school life, I have heard a teacher asking a student if they are stupid. But here, you won’t hear things like this from your manager or teacher. However other people might hear about you. (The truth, irony and sarcasm about a person in Britain starts only when they leave the room)
On Bookstagram I see American, German, Turkish reviewers, very openly telling they’ve disliked a book. But I think it’s the culture here that kind of doesn’t let the bad review out. And what’s wrong with not wanting to say something negative? It’s not like they’re protecting a murderer, come on people. And honestly, I prefer British politeness over any other nation’s loudness.
If I am free to say I didn’t like something then anyone is also equally free to NOT TO SAY it.
3- A Negative Review might trigger a purchase too!
I don’t necessarily believe negative reviews block book sales. There had been times, when I was tempted to buy the book(and I did, it was a Tasmina Perry book) after reading an exaggerated negative review and one time, after seeing one person HATED the book and I HATED their 5* reviews, so I thought it might work the opposite, and it did.
Not everyone will like same books!
And I always suspect when a book has JUST 5 star reviews. I love reading negative reviews, guys!
4. What’s important is being honest: you owe that to the readers
Everyone talks about the author and the publisher, but what about the reader?
You owe the honest review to the reader who looks at reviews to decide and buy. Not every book we read could be 5 star, or perfect, right? I totally understand and respect people who don’t publish a negative review as they don’t like doing so. But one should never compromise the real opinion about the book just because they received a free copy from the publisher. It’s just not fair to the readers who’ll pay money to buy it. I will never publish a 5 star review for a book I don’t like – and it doesn’t matter who sent me the book.
5. Being Respectful is the key.
Please don’t tag authors in negative reviews. Just don’t. And never forget you review the book, not the author. I mean, it’s FINE to criticise the writing or the plot, but I have seen some people calling author’s names, and even slurs, it’s just not nice and makes one look really evil!
Also why would you tag an author in a negative review? Just imagine, if you were an author, would you want someone to do that? It’s like mocking them, really unfair and mean.
6. Posting Negative reviews doesn’t make you a HATER
Never denying, that I can’t stop myself writing a review for a book I truly disliked.
It’s a tingle in my fingers, mingle in my brain. Funny the most passionate posts for me are either 1 star or 5 stars. The disappointment vs. The joy of reading. How very ridiculous of me.
But honestly, some people out there are saying, things like, “I will never post negative review and spread the hate” really? You claim to be positive, but you’ve just accused negative reviewers to be haters, or people who spread hate?
No, everyone is free to say what they want, I am a book lover and I am free to tell the world about the books I didn’t like, because, I can’t like every book I read. Period.
7. Positive or Negative- I love reading reviews… BUT
Well, confession time. I LOVE reading reviews of bloggers and bookstagrammers, and the influencers on Goodreads, definitely effect my book purchases, however when I see only positive reviews from someone, it’s kind of a kill joy for reading a review. I love reading different opinions and if you know person A only posts positive reviews, then if they post about Book A- you know they loved Book A- and you won’t necessarily read the review. you know it’s only going to be positive. It’s fun only if I loved the same book too, I am a sucker for reading the reviews for the books I LOVED.
8. Publishers will not ban you for not liking a book.
No one will hunt you down for not liking a book. They’re not gonna hang you! I promise.
There had been times, I got physical or e-copies from publishers or authors and posted unfavourable reviews, but I have never been denied another book. I am lucky that every single publicist that has been in touch with me, was kind enough to respect my opinions.
I will not deny the pressure of “not liking” especially if they’re taking the trouble to send me a copy- however what can you do? If you don’t like it, you don’t like it, right?
And let me tell you this: I have more NEGATIVE reviews on Netgalley than positive reviews. But I rarely get declined for a book. I’ve just calculated my numbers and I’ve been approved for 91% of the books I requested. (I’ll be posting a my year in Netgalley post to give tips to new bloggers, if I pull myself together on that!)
Well, in conclusion I think book blogging is hard. It’s not paying anyone any money, and people do it as a hobby, so as long as everyone is HONEST, who cares, just post what you want!