Differences of Opinion

Yeesh, I seem to be having one of those days–or evenings, depending on your perspective. I have not set out to deliberately cross swords with, or offend anyone today, but so far I can count three distinct incidences where it seems I have done so.

Might be best if I just shut my mouth and write for the remaining few hours and avoid anymore flying bullets or snapping teeth that clash together an inch away from the end of my nose. O_O

Actually, one of the incidences was more of a debate than a disagreement, and I thought I would share it here.

One of my author pals and I had a lively debate earlier this evening on the subject of reviewing books.

My friend is of the opinion that writers ought not to review other writer’s works and I think that it is fine for any reader (writer or otherwise) to offer their opinion of a book, that’s what a review is, basically and whilst I don’t call myself a ‘professional’ reviewer, I don’t see anything wrong with reviewing or giving an opinion about another writer’s work

I don’t think that anything I say could really influence sales of a book, but my friend thinks that it is unfair for a writer–unless they have won the nobel prize for literature, to criticise a work and possibly cause a decrease in sales with their opinion.

Q4U: What do you think? Can anyone review a book, or should it be left to ‘professional, qualified’ reviewers?

About megleigh

When not busy writing, Meg Leigh spends her time tending to the most pampered flock of chickens on Australia’s east coast. She would really like to have dragons, but has settled for chickens because they come pretty close. If you need proof of this, try offering a flock of chickens raw meat! (Meg would like to advise she accepts no liability for loss of fingers!) Meg also enjoys reading, keeping fit with her bunch of madcap mates at the local park, and spending time with her adult offspring whenever their schedules allow.
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4 Responses to Differences of Opinion

  1. tcblue says:

    I think any opinion ~aka review~ is valid, as long as it’s presented with some sort of reasoning. Not just “I hated this” or “I loved this” but “I hated this because blah-blah-blah” and the same for the opposing view.

    An opinion is an opinion. An opinion presented with reasons and examples of what did or didn’t work for the reader (no matter their profession) is a review.

    I read reviews and while they don’t necessarily influence my buying deciion, they’re handy. What one person writes about hating in a review might be something I love. Or the reverse.

    I don’t care if a reviewer is a professional reviewer or not. As long as they offer their opinions in a clear manner that is well thought out, I’m fine with whatever that opinion might be.

    ~Tis

  2. megleigh says:

    I don’t think I have ever used the words “I hated this…” in any review I wrote. I might have, just don’t remember ever doing so.

    I’ve definitely said that something didn’t work for me, or gel for me in stories and also explained why I felt that way.

    As an author myself who has received some very nasty reviews, I try to remember that there is a human being with feelings on the other side of the book and ‘speak’ accordingly. I don’t read, or like “reviews” that spend more time haranguing the author than they do talking about the book. No one likes to be on the receiving end of that. Sadly, I have been. I guess it makes me more acutely aware.

    • tcblue says:

      That wasn’t directed at you, hon’. It was just a statement about reviews (and reviewers) in general. 🙂

      I have no doubt at all that your reviews, when you write them, are fair and clear about what does and doesn’t work for you. That’s exactly the kind of reviewing that I’m in support of.

      ~Tis

      • megleigh says:

        Yes, I try to be fair. Even when I am annoyed to blazes by a book. There have been times, too, when all I was able to say was “This story is not my cup of tea,” and not review it beyond that. I’d rather say that, than just sit there and tear it apart for the sake of making myself feel better. That kind of feels like bullying, to me.

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