Bad Reviews Not Allowed?

I came across something on Twitter recently. A prominent author said that if you are going to tweet something negative about an author’s work, do not @ them. I thought this was a bit silly, but I know for any celebrity any thread can turn into absurdity really fast, and ultimately have nothing to do with the work. So, okay.

But then the author referenced negative reviews in general. She said negative reviews should never be written unless the work is causing real harm. And many prominent authors and critics were in agreement.

I find this troubling. We criticize the work of politicians. We criticize the work of artists. We criticize the work of athletes. We criticize the work of everyday people we work with. As humans we criticize EVERYTHING. Is the criticism always fair? No. But how does it make sense to say negative book reviews should never be written?

I understand if she’s saying as a prominent author, she won’t write something negative about another book because of her status in the publishing world. But I vehemently disagree with the notion that no one should write negative book reviews.

There are people who have very little disposable income who love books. And I know many of them use reviews to determine what to spend their money on. If we live in a world full of 5 star reviews, then there’s no point in writing reviews at all.

I still have my booktube channel, though I haven’t posted in a really long time, and I’ve been completely honest when discussing books I’ve enjoyed and books I’ve hated. Why in the world would an author encourage anything different?

I don’t understand the logic and I will continue to be honest about what I read.

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3 thoughts on “Bad Reviews Not Allowed?

  1. Totally agree. If someone doesn’t like a book and can articulate why, then they should give a negative review. If I’m booking a hotel then I want to know that there’s a downside, same with books – a great cover and a brilliant blurb do not guarantee a fabulous read. I don’t have a problem with bad reviews, not everyone is going to like everything they ever read. I do object to my only 1 star review which goes on about it not being a trilogy because only two books are out, but that’s just because book three hasn’t been published yet, not because there are only two in the series, but that really was a reviewer being an idiot, whereas the guy who said it was too confusing because there were too many characters – great! Only a couple of stars and it drags my average down, but at least it’s a learning point. If everything is positive – effectively nothing is.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. As an author, I feel that negative reviews are just as valuable as positive ones. It’s when someone posts a one star rating and doesn’t say anything that it grinds my gears!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I find negative reviews to be a valuable tool in two ways: it keeps me humble (my writing won’t always appeal to every reader), and it helps me keep my finger on the pulse of what in a story didn’t work for my readers. I can’t imagine a reason not to gather that data along with any accolades.

    Liked by 1 person

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