Monday, December 9, 2013

Ethics, Writing, and Reality

I saw a question floating around the blogosphere several weeks ago that intrigued me.


What do you want most? Reviews or buyers. To me, it is a chicken-and-the-egg question. If you have more reviews then people might be more inclined to buy your book. But others don’t read reviews and look at the blurb only.

I’d rather folks did both, buy Wilder Mage and leave a review. But if I have to choose between the two, buying the book is okey dokey. *big smiley face*



Ethics. Have you seen this? 

So, you've written a book and you think it’s the best thing ever. But the reviews are slow to come in and you decide to post a review of your own book. And of course, it’s a five-star rating.

I was a little startled when I saw this by an author. After reading one of her books that left me nauseous, I followed my policy of not giving a review. I don’t give one or two-stars to fellow writers. It doesn’t seem right even when the book is Cee Are A Pee. 

But who has the guts to give themselves a review? Presumptuous much?

What do you want more? Reviews or buyers. And would you write a review for your own book? Do you see anything wrong with it?


17 comments:

  1. Reviews can spur sales, but I'd rather have the sales. More people enjoying my books is better.
    I don't post one and two star reviews either.
    And I feel guilty marking my own book as 'Read' on Goodreads! I can't imagine giving myself five stars. That would feel so wrong.

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    1. Cee Are a Pee... that had me thinking and then I did the oul' LOL :)

      I honestly know I wouldn't do a review on myself, but I'm also thinking I won't read any either - if I ever sell a book... It's not as if I can change the written opinion, and I *know* I won't please all the readers...

      Hmmm, interesting.... :)

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  2. Like Alex, the most I do is mark it as read on Goodreads. But I believe there's no need to feel guilty about that because, obviously, an author must read their own story. But actually giving it stars of any kind, much less five, feels ... weird? Not quite wrong, but bordering on the moral grey.
    Reviews from the author are an altogether different beast, one I don't approve of.

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    1. I felt like I was cheating when I marked Wilder as read. I deleted it. Then put it back. There is something to be said for indecision

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  3. I don't write reviews. I have a hard enough time figuring out what I think, to have to put that down in writing... I'll figure out what I want more if I ever get around to publishing anything.

    As for writing a review for my own work: never. If I can't write reviews for others, I wouldn't dream of writing one for myself. I'd be far too critical, anyway.

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    1. Writing a review is one of those duties that comes with the territory. I must follow my standards though and post only three and above star reviews. One and two stars hurt way too much.

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  4. I've seen quite a bit of my friends write reviews on their own books... to be honest, it is strange to me. I don't think I could ever do that. And I'm not sure about the review vs. sales thing... I suppose I'll have more of an opinion when I have a book out! (Though I think I would prefer sales...)

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    1. A review that isn't a review, a blurb-type post, might be okay. It simply makes me cringe to do it.

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  5. I'd rather have sales. And yes, I've seen authors (on GR) hit "Add This Book" to their own book, plus rate or review their own book. Yuck. :P

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    1. Agreed. Maybe it is personal preference but...yuck anyway.

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  6. I'd rather have readers than reviews, and yeah, publicly reviewing your own stuff is weird.

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  7. Have to admit I did give a review for my first book. I don't think I would do it again though. I don't see anything wrong as long as the author is only doing it once.

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    1. Actually I read your review and didn't see a problem with it. Kinda made me laugh even. It was more of a blurb-type review that made your book more interesting. I liked it!

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  8. In the beginning I wanted reviews. Now purchases would be preferable. :)

    As for the self reviews, I agree its very presumptuous. I make it a point on Goodreads to not mark a rating and then say I'm biased. :) That way it doesn't affect my average and people know why I didn't rate.

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    1. That's an idea. Thx. Do you hit 'yes' on good reviews at Amazon also? And 'no' for the bad ones?

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  9. I'm the same as you--I never, ever post a review under 3 stars. Instead, I send the author a private email detailing everything I think could be improved in their book and encourage them to submit it again if they choose to take my advice to heart. I've never (literally never) had an author reply in any other way except gratitude when I do this for them.

    As for writing a review of my own book? Lol. I like to assume my readers are intelligent people. That being the case, I also have to assume that if they saw something as self-serving as that under my listing they'd immediately begin searching for something else to read. I know what I wrote, and I know if I think it's good. I am my own worst critic, as I think most of us probably are.

    In the end, I feel like my book sales are my report card. I absolutely *love* reading reviews of my work --it's like getting a hug from a stranger every time ... or a slap lol -- but sales are really the be-all-end-all that tells me the book was a success or not. Not just because of the money... and let me be clear, here--I *do* like money :p ... but because if my book is selling strong, that means people are talking about it. It means I left an impression with them enough for them to tell someone else. To me, that's just as powerful, maybe even more powerful, than a review.

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  10. I don't really give reviews either. I think that's a wise course to take.

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, With Joy>

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