Lately I’ve been considering my professional image as an author. In doing this, it’s brought me to decide to delete the poor reviews I’ve left of books (2.5/5 and lower) in the past. I will also avoiding writing poor reviews in the future.
Thing is, I don’t want to be seen as an author that “trashes” other peoples’ work. And yet, I also don’t want to be seen as someone who sugarcoats sucky books because I want favorable treatment in return, (which is not at all what I’m trying to do).
However, one of the huge values of negative book reviews is that people read them and see what does and doesn’t work in stories. Many times, I’ve read a book only to be overwhelmingly disappointed, and had to really think on what it was that didn’t work for me. Nothing seemed wrong, but it just didn’t feel right.
You figure out that crucial part that ruined what would’ve been a great story, or what was wrong from the outset, or x, y & z. Negative reviews can be valuable for writers to educate themselves with.
However, that doesn’t mean I have to leave bad reviews. At the end of the year, I may just write up a summary post of things I’ve found over the year that worked or didn’t work, leaving the names of the specific books out.
I’m a reader, and I like to have my opinions heard. But on the other hand, I’m a writer. A virtually unknown writer who’s trying to break into the business. Reviewing fellow authors’ works poorly could come back to bite me in bad ways, and as long as I’m reviewing books under my pen name, those reviews will forever be attached to me.
How do you feel about these changes?