With self-publishing becoming a regular occurrence, one method Authors are using is to review each other to promote their books. It should be a good way to promote their works, but is it?
Before exchanging reviews I think it wise to ask a few questions – especially on how a person might review a genre/story they have no interest in or even dislike the topic. Some will review on the content as it pertains to the genre. Others will simply give a bad review for this simple reason – they don’t like it.
An example for me was in child-rearing subjects. As my own children are grown and I don’t always necessarily agree with how children are being raised, I could easily bash these books. I don’t. I don’t even give negative opinions if I disagree unless it was something that stretches my credibility to its’ limits. I will give a fair review of format/content/grammar and spelling. It may not be raving comments but it will be a 5 star rating if deserved.
I have exchanged books with a number of authors. Most have been fair, even though they aren’t necessarily ‘romance’ readers. But some have been so far from what the good reviews are, I question why. How can that be possible unless they are judging the book on content they dislike?
I recently read Twenty Weeks by Melisa Hamling. It was an excellent YA novel and extremely well written. It however deals with controversial subjects. Although she has received raving reviews, she has received a few reviews that are obviously on the opposite side of her opinions. But these reviewers didn’t consider this was a fiction work and Melisa in no way was preachy or ‘telling’. Her characters were believable and acted in a manner teens often do. Their choices could logically go either way and Melisa revealed that very well.
My advice is to make sure other authors will give a fair review of your work, not the content. Today’s opinions are very heated. This could lead to that terrible thing a writer would fear above all else – Freedom of Speech – if we continue to bash opposite views.