Aren’t you proud of me? Being all consistent and writing discussions regularly for the first time ever? I told you had a list of ideas a mile long – I’m just working through it now.
Anyways. Onto the discussion you came here for.
I’ve seen a handful of bloggers touch upon this topic and I wanted to give my own view of it. Arcs are, especially, a book blogger’s lifeblood – one of my most popular discussion posts is on How To Request ARCs.
And for many of us, they are a perk to our hobby – but they are also a responsibility.
Regardless of your stance on negative reviews in general, we have do decide if its okay to negatively review on ARC.
ARC, simply put, stands for Advanced Readers/Review Copy.
An ARCs entire purpose of existence is to generate prerelease reviews and hype, so that the book sells better. Obviously, positive reviews are whats going to accomplish this, not negative reviews.
But upon reviewing an ARC, we all give a statement along the lines of “I received this book for free but it doesn’t influence my opinion”. I think for most of us, thats not even a conscious thing to write, its a legal, automatic, robotic thing. Like a user agreement – you mark agree and proceed to ignore it.
Even if you don’t consciously tailor reviews because its an ARC, I think it subconsciously motivates us to try and like the book a bit more – we feel bad giving a negative review when a publisher/author went out of their way, and spent money, to have us review the book.
But we need to be honest – thats the only way book blogs function. If our readers can trust us, if our fellow book bloggers can trust us.
If you heartily dislike the book – and you don’t want to give a negative review, maybe contact the publisher and let them know. Give them your feedback.
Otherwise, be careful with what you request or accept – if you’re not sure about it, don’t take it just because its offered – you don’t want to get yourself in that position.
Now, if you are reviewing an ARC, and you didn’t like it, DON’T BASH IT.
Explain why did and why did not work for you – what made you dislike it, its it a personal/subjective reason? Could others of certain tastes like it? Is the writing objectively good? Even if its a low rating, can you mention some positives?
We want to promote books. We want ARCs to serve their intended purpose, but not at the sake of our integrity. Be honest – just don’t be harsh or cruel.
What do you think?
Do you agree with me?
Do you have a different stance?
Let me know!