I Think I’m Going to Stop Reviewing Books

At least, books by people I either know personally or are writing in the same genre as I am (sci-fi, fantasy, with an emphasis on pulp sensibilities).

This hasn’t been an easy decision, since I enjoy discussing the craft of writing, as well as spreading the word about good stuff I think you’d all enjoy. But as a–ahem–published author myself, it feels wrong and a little gauche to write reviews about the people in my creative space.

I liken this to being a musician or filmmaker who goes around critiquing other musicians or filmmakers while he’s out busy making the same kind of art. This was fine before I had a book out, but now that I do, and I plan on publishing more relatively soon, I don’t like it.

I’m not going to remove the book reviews I’ve already published, and I’ll continue to review works by authors in the fields of non-fiction, as well as some stuff if its by a huge author a la Stephen King or someone of that level who is on a whole other level. 

This does not mean I won’t be promoting books, or even interviewing writers. I’m just going to dial it back in the review department so I don’t get accused of trying to curry favor with other writers in exchange for good reviews.

Let me know if you think my concern is overblown, or if it’s right on the money. I’ll probably ignore your suggestions, since once I make up my mind, I do the thing! But I’ll listen regardless and maybe, just maybe, I’ll reconsider. 


Here’s my novel A Traitor to Dreams. Read, enjoy, and leave an unbiased review!

19 comments

  1. It absolutely is a concern that the reviews will look fake. It’s unfortunate, but true. Amazon will even remove reviews by authors of the same genre. It’s far better just to do a shout-out on your blog or Twitter if you like something.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. –My immediate response is what you’re saying makes sense. Sure, review Stephen King, Clive Barker or whomever too but as you note, they’re in a whole other league.

    —cheers

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Courting favors is a valid concern, but I otherwise don’t understand. Who would better critique your art than other pulp artists? Would your prefer the critiques of overeducated critics who more than likely washed out?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Alexander,
    You can always do a technical critique o.e the God and plant description characterizations on your blog. The Amazon reviews are for super big names

    xavier

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Alexander,
    Yeah a nefarious plan by grammarly.com 🙂

    Anyways, I enjoy reading your reviews so you go the technical route and even for comparative lit.
    You’ll be far more successful than English lit teachers who are trained to suck the love of reading from kids

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You’ve walked the ethical question and found your comfort zone. That’s great! Amazon reviews (and other review sites) for those that fall on one side of the decision point, and signal boosting on other platforms.

    Sky full of Win!

    Liked by 1 person

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