• Historical Fiction
  • General Fiction and Women Writers
  • YA Fiction
  • Suspense and Thrillers
  • Memoirs and Non Fiction
  • Classics and Mashups

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Who I Review And Why...

I've recently had an encounter with a self-published author that's left me wondering about my blog and its purpose.  He was wonderful and understanding when I told him I wouldn't be reviewing his book on my blog.
I took on his book because the summary I was given sounded very good and he had some writing credentials behind him.
It turned out to be a disappointment to me, at least, and I didn't want to insult him with a review that would be basically a "non-recommendation."  It was a slap-stick of a book, poorly edited (in such a way that really set my teeth on edge), with a weak attempt at humor, and set in the 1600's with none of the historical landmarks.  All my opinion, of course.  Again, why insult the man?  Why drag my readers down a rabbit hole?
I wanted to run some things by you, those who read here and those who make decision about what books you choose to buy and read...just anyone who stops by to check out what's going on on the blog.
To tell the truth, I rarely accept self-published books anymore.  I have found most of them disappointing.  Those I have read and enjoyed, I've found still aren't up to a par that I would feel comfortable giving a rating or recommendation to you for purchasing for a read.  I'm wondering if I should change that philosophy.  Maybe I'm wrong.  Perhaps I'm a literary snob.
I'm wondering if I choose to take on a self-published book, and I don't find it a worthy book; that is, if I'd give it a 2 or below star rating...I should just go ahead and review and rate it for you.  Or, if you think it would be a waste of your and my time to do that.
My philosophy has been to choose only the books I feel are worthy of reading and reviewing.  I don't want to waste my time or yours!  I choose books I think are of high caliber and literary interest, which is why my reviews and ratings tend to be high.  My other reviews and ratings tend to happen if I've chosen a book that's been "hyped" by the publishing world that really doesn't live up to its expectation, in my humble opinion.
I'm generally not interested in bringing on a book that is blatantly not well written, or that I feel isn't worthwhile to spend time reading...even as a library take-out.
What's the point?  Am I wrong?
What would you like to see me do here?  What types of books would you like reviewed?
Would you like to have me review the occasional self-published novel even if it's a bust?
Please give me your comments below.  I'd love to hear from you.



If I finish a book, I write about it, if I don't, I skip the review. Having said all that, I rarely take any book from authors anymore.


Thanks, Kathy. That's what's been going on with me. I'm taking books from publishers and those I choose to purchase myself these days. Thanks for your valuable input.

Melissa @ Confessions of an Avid Reader

I've reviewed a few self-published books this year, some have been okay to good, while others have been great. I can only think of one instance where I really didn't like the book and my review reflected that. I don't enjoy writing reviews for books I don't enjoy, especially because what bothers me about a particular book might not bother another reader, but as a consumer I always look at the well-thought out 3-star and below reviews first when deciding to purchase a book. The way I look at it, while I participate in blog tours and review books from publishers and authors, my blog is first and foremost for other readers. All that to say, I think you should do whatever you feel comfortable with, but I do appreciate when other bloggers thoughtfully share their opinions on books that didn't work for them.


Thank you for your comments, Melissa. I agree with you about giving sound and thoughtful reviews. I'm just not sure I want to give my time to the self-published ones anymore. I'm interested that you've had such good luck with some of them! A very good representative for them, I'd say... :]

Melissa @ Confessions of an Avid Reader

I've been very lucky in the self-published books I've selected to review. While I recognize that, for the most part, they aren't of the same quality as traditionally published novels, the stories have kept me engaged and the writing has been good or, at least, good enough. I must admit that I haven't been quite as lucky with the self-published books I've tried on my own - the writing and editing (or lack thereof) have left me unable to get past more than a few chapters.

If you're interested, Elizabeth Storrs, David Blixt and Julie K. Rose are examples of excellent self-published authors. Their books are of the highest quality.


I agree with you completely about not writing a review when you don't like the book ... Anyway, in my case, if I don't like what I'm reading I won't bother wasting time to finish it- let alone reviewing it! This is a hobby- not paid work! So I read what I enjoy and if I like it enough to finish it, then I'll write about it:)


I give every book—whether it comes from a well-known, bestselling author; a self-published author; or the library—about 20 pages to impress me. If I'm not engaged by that point, I put it down. If it's a book I've agreed to review based on a premise that interested me, I email the person from which it came and explain the situation. Most authors/publishers/publicists/tour coordinators understand when you say the book just wasn't for you or you couldn't get into it or the writing was terrible. And most would prefer no review to a negative review.

When I finish a book—whether I loved it or not—I review it. I don't mind writing negative things about what I've read since I find honest reviews most helpful. I usually mix it up with complimentary things as well, since I almost always find both in the books I read.

That being said, you have to figure out what works for you. Not very helpful advice, but true nonetheless :)

This comment has been removed by the author.

Lucy and Susan, Thanks for both your comments. I let the authors/publicists know that I'll take the book "with an eye towards a possible review" often. This gives me the possibility for an out if I deem the book not worthy of a review. I do find it difficult to let them know why, though. I'm a softy and don't want to hurt feelings! My husband is a budding author and he tells me to be kind.. LOL I give every book at least 100 to 120 pages to grab me.

Share your thoughts!

Blogaholic Designs”=