Integrity of Online Reviewers

After I posted my recurring article about how to write a book review, I received several comments regarding the integrity of online reviewers.

I'm rather certain "integrity of online reviewers" is an oxymoron phrase. (Would that make it oxymoronic phrase?) Generally speaking, there is no overall online integrity when it comes to posted reviews. Some casual online reviewers post objective reviews; others post what amounts to personal attacks.

Here's how I answered one of the commentators.


I know it's said that some authors create their own reviews or get their friends to write good ones, but I can honestly say I've never personally known this to happen. I'm sure it probably does, but fortunately most of the authors I know have enough integrity to not do this.

Now, I have known of a few authors who posted scathing reviews on another author's book. I guess they think this cuts down their competition. Well, bless their hearts. I guess they'll just get to hell faster than the other sinners.

Imho, life is too short to be so petty. Why make reviewing a nefarious business? I just don't believe any of this dishonesty is ultimately rewarded. In case you didn't know, Karma is a bitch, and she'll bite your head off when you least expect it if you keep behaving in such an underhanded way.

Be Kind; Don't Review

But back to the writers reviewing other writers. Yes, I think authors are tougher on fellow authors, not easier. We know that a book either works or it doesn't work. But, we also know that sometimes, despite having all the necessary elements, a book just doesn't come together. I tend to give an author in that situation a break by NOT posting a review.

I've been very honest about the fact that I do NOT post a review unless I can wholeheartedly give 4 or 5 stars to the book. My reviews are honest. You don't see reviews for the books I disdain because I don't post them.

I've been in the business more than 25 years, and I know too many authors. I also know how hard it is to write a book and publish it for all the world to take potshots at it. This is an incredibly hard business. It can crush your spirit, and make you weep.

I refuse to rain on another author's parade. This business is hard enough. Life is hard enough! I don't feel the need to show my superiority by trashing another author's book. Trust me, if an author wrote a crappy book, there are more than enough people who will delight in pointing that out.

Takeaway Truth

I'd rather be an uplifting force in an author's life and maybe help them to improve rather than be a destroyer or the Queen of Snark.

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