I don’t write many truly negative reviews. Usually if a book is that bad, I don’t bother to finish it. But I do review books about which I’m on the fence, or which I finished but had serious reservations about.
It’s important to me to be honest in my reviews — fair, but honest. I try to remain as objective as I can, and make it clear about when my reaction is more subjective. I also try to be respectful of the author as a person, and avoid being snarky or mean. (No personal attacks, in other words… though I will call an author out for sloppiness of research or plotting.)
I’m not about to stop writing honest reviews, and that means some of them will continue to be negative, or ambivalent.
But should I share the negative or ambivalent reviews on social media? By which I really mean Facebook and Twitter. I do try to post all my reviews to Goodreads, and most of them to Amazon also. Anyone going to one of those sites is going to see multiple reviews, though—some positive, some negative—so my review’s impact will be buffered a bit. On my blog, OTOH, the review stands alone. And I’m not sure how I feel about drawing more attention to it, by posting links on social media.
One thing I do know: I’m not comfortable tagging the author on a negative or deeply ambivalent review… it goes along with being respectful of them as a person. I’m honest in the review, because I’m reviewing for readers, not for the author. But I don’t want to draw the author’s attention to a bad review — and not because they might go postal on me, as a few infamous authors have done to bloggers who posted less-than-stellar reviews. But because tagging them just feels too “in your face,” to much like the sort of person who can’t refrain from publicly pointing all your flaws. And I don’t want to be that unkind.
So… How do you publicize or share your reviews, positive or negative? Do you treat the positive ones differently from the negative?
Thank you all for your input! After reading everyone’s comments, I’m leaning toward a share-but-don’t-tag policy for negative/ambivalent reviews. I’ll continue tagging authors on positive reviews, both for their sake and for mine — sometimes the author shares the link to my review, and the review gets seen by some people who wouldn’t have come across it otherwise.