Do you think reviewers are obligated to put up a good review of a book, even if they don’t like it? Have we come to a point where reviewers *need* to put up disclaimers to (hopefully) save themselves from being harassed by unhappy authors who get negative reviews?
When I started my book blog (NoBSBookReviews) this past summer, I started it for one reason: To give my opinion of books I've chosen to read.
I had no intention of being offered free books from publishers or authors and I don't solicit them and I have turned down all that have been offered. I read only books that I pick off the shelf of the bookstore. I have received 2 free books from a source not connected with either the publisher or author with the understanding that I write a review for the site that provided the book.
This is how my blog will stay.
If an author feels compelled to reply to one of my reviews, that is their right (so far, only Warren Adler has done so, and, I might add, very nicely to a book I had no hard and fast opinion on). I, however, am writing for the consumer. In time, people will decide whether or not they agree with my opinions and either continue to read my blog and take my recommendations or stop reading.
For me, it's just that simple.
Have I written negative reviews? Yes. Have a written a review for a book I didn't care for but admitted, "I may not be the intended audience"? Yes. Have I "attacked" an author? Yes. His "memoirs" truthfulness is very much in doubt. Have I agonized over the review of a book that was so over-the-top good that I couldn't figure out a way to do it justice? Yes! And I don't believe I did do it justice.
But in the end, I'm not trying to help or harm the author. I'm trying to inform the customer who will be spending their money and time on "this" book when there are sooo many others from which to choose.
Let me add: This is just me. Everybody reviews for their own reasons. Some people can accept books from the source and still remain true to themselves. I think I could, but I'm not sure.