Tag: negative reviews

Catfishing, Negative Reviews and Fear of Blogging

Posted November 6, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Literature / 29 Comments

There have been a few news stories about authors behaving badly; that is not to say that some bloggers are probably doing the same. What I am referring to is the article about catfishing and dog poo in the mailbox. This has lead to some bloggers being involved in a review blackout and others too scared to blog at all. It is a sad day when a small group of people ruin it for the rest of us. I am not standing on the side of the bloggers or the author; these articles are one sided and until I have both sides I cannot justify picking a side.

I am a book blogger and therefore I am more likely to side with the bloggers. We do not owe an author anything; we are first and foremost readers and we are allowed to love or hate a book. As bloggers we are just passionate readers that love books so much that we wish to share it. For the most part we review books, some of will offer literary criticism but for the mostly it is just a personal opinion.

My biggest concern is that people are scared to blog and share their passion because of fear. Writing is a passion and I get that authors can get overly protective of their work but by doing this they are trying to squash someone else’s passion. If I was to ever to write a book, I don’t think I would ever want to read the reviews; book tastes vary and not everyone is going to like it.

I have even wondered if my reviews are going to set an author off. I have had some negative reviews (see The Steadfast Reader’s great post on The Necessary Evil of Negative Reviews) and I am not afraid to express my opinion but I am not going to censor myself. For one thing, my opinion is not the typical norm, I’m a small fish in the blogging world and finally my average rating on Goodreads is 3.5. So that means I love most of the books I read and it isn’t too often that I have to write a negative review.

What it all comes down to acceptance of others people’s opinions. I am a big believer of negative reviews, it allows our readers to know what we like and don’t like. As a blogger we don’t owe anything to authors; our readers expect honesty. However I want to remind book bloggers to be respectful and constructive. I would love to know what others think about the current articles going around.

ArmchairBEA 2014: Topic of Choice & Middle Grade/Young Adult

Posted May 30, 2014 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in ArmchairBEA / 35 Comments


 Armchair BEA is starting to come to an end; it has been a fun experience and I hope you enjoyed visiting all the blogs. Today’s topic is Middle Grade and Young Adult fiction, plus a free choice. I’m not actually sure what to say about Young Adult fiction, it seems like a popular choice and I think the book blogging community have a strong handle on this genre. I’m old and cranky, so I would say there are too many blogs about young adult fiction. However Middle Grade literature doesn’t seem to get the same amount of attention. I am trying to read more children’s classics, I think my blog only has Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and now The Secret Garden on it. I know it is a genre I should put a little more focus on, so I’m hoping people will leave me recommendations in the comments below.

For the free topic, I had to think about what to talk about, the concept of ‘honest’ reviews. As a book blogger we are often sent books in exchange for an honest review but I very rarely see negative reviews. As book bloggers, are we giving honest reviews if we only share the books we like? I know we tend to abandon books that were not working but do we talk about these books on our blogs as well? I’m not accusing people of anything here; I just want the book blogging community to think about the topic. I enjoy negative reviews, I think they are fun to read and write but I still think we need to be constructive and non-aggressive about them.

If there is nothing else, consider this; your book blog is a reflection of your taste in books. How can people truly understand what your tastes are really like if they don’t know why a book doesn’t work for you. I’m hoping to get plenty of response from people telling me they do write negative reviews. I hope we all do, we can’t love every book and we sometimes need to discuss why we don’t like a book. If you don’t write negative reviews, try it, it can be fun. If you still don’t like to write them, let me know why.

ArmchairBEA is a virtual convention for book blogger who can’t attend Book Expo America and the Book Blogger Convention. Button by Sarah of Puss Reboots