Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Does Knowing an Author Affect My Reviews?

A few months ago, I briefly answered a formspring question (you should totally ask me formspring questions, by the way- find me here) about whether or not my decision of a book is changed if I know the author. After the question was answered, CJ Omololu tweeted to me and asked me to expand on my answer. So, here is my expanded answer-

When a question like that comes up, my initial reaction is something along the lines of…


With a little of this mixed in…


Ok, but in all seriousness- I’ve never really thought about it. So when CJ asked me to expand on the topic, I was so confused that I didn’t write the post until now, months after the initial question happened.

After a few months of thinking, I think I’ve finally formed my answer.

No, my personal relationship with an author doesn't affect my opinion/review of a book. However, knowing an author does affect whether or not I read their book. Normally,  if I know an author I try my hardest to read their book- I want to support them after all. There is the occasional exception to that.

This happens when an author I know well (either in person or online) publishes a book in a genre that I know I don’t like. This has (sadly) actually happened before, though I won’t name the author. One of the nicest authors I’ve ever spoken to had a debut novel coming out, and it was a fantasy/historical novel. Because I knew I generally don’t like either of those genre’s, I didn’t read the novel. At the time, I didn’t read it because I knew there were very slim chances of me liking it. In all honesty, if I didn’t know the author- I still wouldn’t have picked it up. However, looking back on it (a few years later), there was probably a part of me that worried about giving the book a bad review.

It has happened where I read a book by an author I knew (either online or in person) and I didn’t like it. I still gave the book a review with my honest opinion. Even though I know book bloggers aren’t really taken seriously in the book blogging world, I still like to keep a certain level of professionalism. I believe that it’s my duty as the owner of this blog to tell you all my honest opinion about the books I read. Therefor, even if I know an author and don’t like their book- I’m still going to give the book a negative review.

This hasn’t happened yet (thank gosh). But even if my favorite author of all time* wrote a book that I really didn’t like, I would tell you all. Giving an unhonest review defeats the purpose of having a place where I share my opinions of books.I know it sounds kind of cheesy and predictable, but I’m telling the truth. 

*David Levithan, if you didn’t already know.

1 comment:

We Heart YA said...

It sounds like you really prioritize integrity, which is fantastic!

Since we don't review books on our blog, we have the advantage of not having to worry as much about that. We buy books to support authors we know or like, but we only gush about them if we really and truly like the book.