Most authors do not like to have their nose’s rubbed in a bad review. Some authors tolerate it, some authors despise it. Other’s have bad reactions and call the wrath of God to smite you. But, what if the author asked you to send them the link?
Option 1: You ignore that request, post the review and hope they don’t see it.
Option 2: You send the link and include a 🙁 at the end of it.
Basically, I’ve heard it broken down as how rude do you want to be? But, in my opinion it is not rude. The author requested an honest review and you delivered. The bad review is your honest opinion. You upheld your part of the bargain, how can that be depicted as rude?
But, unfortunately, it is often misconstrued as this. You email the link, the author replies back with an argument over your review. Say for instance you didn’t like the constant switch of POVs between the characters and you write this in your review. The author replies with something on the lines of, “the 3rd person omnipotent POV is considered one of the most intelligent ways to write and it is often disliked by novice readers. Authors like James Joyce employed this in their writing and it was well-received. This says something about the reader.”
Nice, right? I’ve gotten this response. Not exactly that, it was actually a little more rude. I wanted to respond back with, “you wish your ass was James Joyce, you can barely form a complete sentence much less employ a tough POV.” But, I took the high road, don’t engage with the crazy.
So, how do you battle this? How do you avoid conflict?
Many reviewers won’t even write bad reviews. The “everything I read is AWESOME approach!” Basically, if they don’t like the book, they don’t write about it. This is their choice as a blogger and a reviewer. I put this firmly in the “cop-out” category, but that is my opinion. This style of reviewing is actually becoming more popular too as many bloggers become more reliant on BLOG TOUR companies to supply them with their ARCs. Most Blog Tour organizers are requesting that reviews under 3 stars shouldn’t be posted during the tour. As an organizer of a few tours myself, I understand this request, but I feel it oversteps. I have requested that bloggers if posting a negative review, refrain from using bad language or insults. A girl can only hope.
But, the great things about Blog Tours and reviews, there is a middleman. Most of the time you aren’t emailing the author directly if you tell them you are not enjoying the book or will have a negative review to post. Blog Tour organizers will not email you back with a diatribe about their channeling James Joyce.
Is that the third option then? To eradicate the author, accepting only books from middlemen? Publicists, blog tour organizers and Author Assistants? It could be, you could make this your policy if you don’t like conflict, especially if you’ve had a few negative reactions like I’ve had.
Doing this, eradicating contact with the author, makes me sad though. Getting in touch with the author can sometimes be a rewarding experience. All I can suggest though is once you agree to emailing the author a link and find yourself not enjoying the book, craft your review with care. Just like I request for my tour stops, try to refrain from bad language or insults. Think of it as giving the author “constructive criticism.” You have plenty of opportunities to test our your sarcasm on reviews where you don’t have to email a link. Use this review to flex your literary genius. Keep it respectful, but honestly discuss what you disliked about the book. Then email the link to the author with a kind note saying your review might not be that positive, but you appreciate the opportunity to review it.
If, even after all of this, they still come back with drama – well there was nothing you could have done differently and you’ll go to sleep knowing that you tried your hardest.