Sunday, November 30, 2008
Sunday Salon: Book Blogging
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!
There is something that I have been meaning to address on the blog, so I'm going to take TSS to do so. There has been lots of buzz recently in the book blogging community over the issue of Advance Review Copies and whether the acceptance of them obligates one to a positive review (my brief opinion: it doesn't).
I have never gotten into the ARC process, simply because my reading list is full enough as it is, and I didn't want the responsibility of moving these to the top of my list to ensure a timely review. I was concerned that it could be a Pandora's Box for me...that once I opened that door, it would dominate my TBR list.
That said, with my experience in the book publishing industry, I completely understand the importance of ARCs in the reviewing process. I just have chosen to stay out of this particular arena.
This brings up another point. You will notice that my site features predominantly positive reviews. That is by design. When I launched this site, it was primarily as a means to provide recommendations to friends. I was reading so many books that they were starting to run together, so I started the blog to keep up with the great fiction I was reading and pass it along.
I quickly found that when I finished a book I didn't like, when I sat down to write the review, I questioned myself. If this is a book that I wouldn't recommend, why am I spending time writing a less-than-favorable review? (And, because I don't accept ARCs, I'm under no pressure to review every book I read, favorably or not.)
I address this because I have realized that the positive reviews could potentially discredit the site in a reader's mind...as in, "She couldn't possibly enjoy every book she's reading." I'm not...there are many books that I read and don't like, and many that I don't even finish. I'm just posting about the ones I want to recommend to others.
This is purely a personal decision, and I don't fault blogs with a mix of good and bad reviews at all. That is what makes this community so vibrant and diverse, that we have the freedom to craft our blogs as we choose to reflect our own personalities and objectives.
I'd love to hear the thoughts of other bloggers out there...good or bad! :)