'I am simply a 'book drunkard.' Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.' L.M. Montgomery

'There are no faster or firmer friendships than those formed between people who love the same books.' Irving Stone



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

False Book Reviews

This morning as I was going through my emails, drinking my coffee and eating a cranberry scone, I came across one from a friend with a link to this article @ The Age about the growing problem of false book reviews... 

Socking it to the puppets of reviewerland...

It's really disgusting. I have heard whispers of these things and I even received an email quite sometime ago inviting me to be a reviewer and saying I would be paid up to $100 for it. I didn't even finish the email and deleted it. Now I wish I had paid more attention as I can't even remember who it came from. It is really getting harder and harder to find people of integrity in this world.

It really has put a tarnish on the book blogging industry too. I've been to blogs where it seems like the writer must be a full time reader as I don't know how they get anything else done except read, by the amount of reviews 'at the request of the author' is on their site. Now I have to wonder how many of them are getting paid more than a free book! When I first started blogging I thought how cool to get the free book and review it, but I found it very hard to give a negative review even with the compensation just a free book. And it seemed as if it was going to start taking over my reading time. I just decided not to do at all. Over @ Letters From a Hill Farm, Nan always calls her reviews 'Book Notes'. I think that's probably the way to go. Nan, I'm going to borrow your idea!

I agree with author A.D. Scott. She said and I quote: "I find the loss of integrity in literature even more frightening than in say banking and financiers - at least we all knew they are scoundrels - but authors!"  Hopefully the 'false reviewers' are the minority, but I still feel for the honest authors who write for the sheer joy of it, not the adulation.

 

13 comments:

  1. Very, very interesting. My son had told me about one case of this. Hard to believe.

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    1. It's disappointing, but not really hard to believe. Its all about the almighty dollar. I'm disappointed in the bloggers that take the money to do it as much as the author's or publishers that do it too. Mom always said: Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see. That's the kind of world it is.

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  2. Anbolyn at Gudrun's Tights has a link to an article in the New York Times I think, about the book review 'industry'. I always knew that publishing was murky but I didn't realise it was so bad.

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    1. It's everywhere in this crazy world of ours though. We can't get away from it. Really its like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I might love the book and you might hate it so a bad review doesn't really matter anyway.

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  3. Wouldn't it be nice to have enough money to pay people to review my book. Sigh. I find it sad as well. None of my reviewers were forced or paid to review my books.

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    1. That being said, I did give my book away to some. That's not being paid though.

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    2. I think that is the normal practice though Clarissa isn't it? Publishers do it too don't they? I did start out taking the books but I can't bare to give a bad review then, (I did twice and felt terrible)so I started saying I'll do it but I won't write a bad review so I won't do a review at all if I don't like it. Not so sure that's right either though:) So I just decided not to do it. I'm just a softie I guess. Now the free kindle books are nice because I don't feel obligated at all then. and of course the vintage books are great cause those authors are dead!

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  4. Aren't you sweet to mention me! Actually the 'book notes' are the shorter postings. My longer, more in-depth ones I call 'book reports.' I actually did a post on this:

    http://lettersfromahillfarm.blogspot.com/2011/10/bookkeeping-book-reports-book-reviews.html

    I have only a few books that authors have sent over the years. I haven't even read some of them yet.

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    1. Oh Nan, your system is so very organized and I am impressed with your blog period!

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  5. Right after I read about this on your site my husband sent me an article about if. It is so disappointi.g to hear about these practices. Good post.

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  6. Hi Peggy Ann,

    I must admit that many of my reviews come from author requests and of course with that, comes the free book copy. I do also promote any books and authors whose work I enjoy, on the various pages of my blog.

    However, my reviews are few and far between, as like yourself, I have no real idea how many other bloggers find so much time to read and post reviews on a seemingly daily basis.

    I suspect that many of them perhaps, don't actually 'read' a book. Perhaps they just skim the pages, or even worse simply construct a review from the synopsis (I really have heard of cases like this)

    I read for pleasure, so I do read every single word on every single page of any book I agree to review, or which I am reading from my own TBR pile.

    I do not and would not, ever accept payment of any kind for a review, whether monetary or otherwise.

    My reviews are always my own personal opinion about the book and if I don't enjoy it ... it will certainly come across in my review.

    I am most definitely a reader and hobby blogger, not a professional reviewer or critique.

    I know that, if the day ever comes when anyone ever thinks there is anything dubious about the ethics I promote on Fiction Books, I shall be signing off for good ... Blogging is a hobby for me (albeit a very time consuming and addictive one) and that is definitely how it is going to stay.

    Rant over, but I do feel very strongly about the subject ... great post Peggy!

    Yvonne.

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    1. Addictive is right, Yvonne! But I've met some great people on the blogs and wouldn't trade it for the world.

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  7. I read this article when you tweeted about it, but haven't gotten around to commenting till now. I was flabbergasted! What a sneaky, dishonest thing to do. I'll never trust "reader" reviews again - I'm sticking to blogs.

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