The Dubious Art of Book Reviewing

I’ve been thinking a lot about the whole book reviewing thing lately, so was happy to see this post by JF Kaufmann, which opens up some significant issues about indie authors and book reviews.

JF Kaufmann, Author

I don’t write reviews often; it takes time and effort to come up with a meaningful retrospection. When I do write them, I have different rules for different types of books, and this customized approach is most apparent within two major publishing categories–indie books and traditionally published books.

Photo by Susan Q Yin on Unsplash

Sometimes I’m so moved with a book that I feel inspired to put down my impressions. It usually happens when I really like it and want to share my excitement (or recommend it) or, less frequently, when I’m frustrated or disappointed. The second scenario–a pissed-off review–usually occurs with a work of fiction unjustifiably praised, in my opinion, for qualities it doesn’t possess.

There are no consequences for the author as I don’t have any influence outside my limited blog space. Even if I did, such authors are fair game: they’ve been paid for their books…

View original post 782 more words


  1. I’ve been fortunate to have had many five and four star reviews for my ebooks. They are nice to receive but I’ve always said I learn much more from any constructive one and two star reviews (fortunately few and far between) as long as it details specific likes and dislikes so I can say, ‘Yeah, I get that.’ That helps me grow as a writer and produce more entertaining work.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I do not like writing reviews, but I try my best, especially for national writers (some international books too, but less often). Reviews are important, and some books are worth being known by more readers! (Also, as a writer, I appreciate others reviews, so I should better write some too!)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Despite the fact that I give glowing five-star reviews to more than half the books I read, I’m very aware, both on the blog and Goodreads, that people are far more likely to read and “like” my occasional one-star rants. So I’m more careful about giving them, reserving them either for long-dead authors of classics, where I find it quite fun to mock mercilessly, or to huge bestsellers or established authors, whose sales will not be affected by individual reviews. I would only give a strongly negative review to a new author or an indie if I found the book actually offensive or objectionable in some way. Otherwise, if I don’t like it, I just don’t review it. This is why I don’t take indie books for review. It doesn’t mean I don’t read them and even review them, but if I buy them I feel happier about abandoning them than I would if I’d taken a copy from the author.

    Liked by 2 people

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