No, author, you do not review your own books.

No, this is not another sockpuppeteer causing embarrassment to indie authors. I don’t know whether it’s an indie author, but someone doesn’t even have the sense to set up a sockpuppet account.

This came from a fellow author on Facebook today:

Wow, just got this in a review request from an author, talk about unethical…

“I will even write the review for you (so that you can then edit and post) or give you some bullet points to work off or ‘completely in your words, without any help or hindrance’, the choice is yours.”

Oh, for the love of Pete, authors, does this really need to be said?

BOOK REVIEWING DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY.

First, you read the blogger’s guidelines. Look at the types of books she will accept for reviewing, and the types of post she will run on her blog. She might be open to your type of work, and she might be interested in guest posts. If so, you can offer her a guest post about your work! Here is an example of a guest post, and notice that it does not say anything about how much you will like the book. The blogger might also do author interviews, with or without having read the book. If that’s in her guidelines, you can offer yourself up for an interview! Here is an interview I did with someone who had clearly read my book, and here is one I did with someone who hadn’t.

There are acceptable ways to create your own content for other people to post on their blogs in order to promote your work. Offering to write a review of your own book for someone else to “edit and post” is not one of them. Offering a set of “bullet points” is equally dishonest. You’re not being helpful by telling someone else what to say about your book. You’re being incredibly arrogant.

Think of your own rational self-interest here. If readers keep seeing your book get reviewed with the same set of talking points in each post, someone is going to notice, and the reviews will not seem credible. Furthermore, book blogging is an inherently social activity; bloggers are not interchangeable and they do not march in perfect lockstep on any issue, but neither do they blog in isolation. If you offer your self-written review to ten different bloggers, who actually read your type of work, chances are very good that two or more of them know one another, and they will communicate. There are people with “will never read” lists on Goodreads precisely because the authors show zero respect for the people whom they expect to help promote their work. There actually is such a thing as bad publicity for an indie author self-promoting through social media. Don’t be that author.

7 thoughts on “No, author, you do not review your own books.

  1. I was supposed to do a review for a book, but had a medical emergency, which involved my vision. I sent emails out to everyone that I was scheduled to review for in the near future. I explained that I have MS, and that I was receiving IV steroids to try and improve my vision. I offered to run promos, and do a review at a later date. I had one author who kept asking if I was going I do my review that day, or the next day. I posted a promo & I told the tour company that it would be in the author’s best interest if I didn’t post my review,. You see, by that time I would’ve written that she was self absorbed and uncaring, and that I wouldn’t be reading any more of her books.

  2. She had the audacity to send me an email offering her book as a giveaway, when I felt up to posting my review. Umm, that’s a big hell no.

    • Let me see if I have this straight: this person offered you, as a reward for posting a review of her book, a hard copy for yourself? OR, did she wait until you felt better, and THEN offer to let you do a giveaway of her book on your blog?

Comments are closed.