Saturday 12 January 2013

Reviewing My Reviews.

New Year New Start!

It's about time I did a fresh blog since it's almost a year since the last.

I don’t do many book reviews though I try to support indie writers by doing some. I try to be positive and fair in my reviews, concentrating on a book’s strengths and have erred on the side of generosity.

But I've been thinking - is this helpful to the author?  Shouldn’t I also be concentrating on a book’s weaknesses too?  Then again, a review isn’t the same as a critique.  If an author asks for private feedback about a piece where there are clear weaknesses, I wouldn’t hesitate in offering it where I felt it was warranted.

That said, I wear two hats: one as writer and one as reader.  And I also feel an obligation to the reader.

Lovely as it is to receive them, too many glowing five star reviews does little to profit anyone: neither the author whose book is being reviewed nor your own integrity as a reviewer.  It cheapens and threatens to patronise.

So from now on, I intend doing my reviews a little differently, aiming to highlight weaknesses as well as strengths if possible. I may also amend some reviews I’ve already done where weaknesses were overlooked. This may be due to too many typos or some other deficiency.  I may drop a star here and there (a 4 Star review is still very worthy) but I want to save the 5 star reviews for my absolute personal favourites. 

Well, that’s the intention anyway.  I may revert to type by next week.