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Are writers and book reviewers all just desperate attention-mongers?

Some writers aren’t happy with simply writing books for attention, but also write reviews.

Some who write for publications will get paid to do so, and their author name will be associated with the review, plus overseen by the publication. Many agree this is perfectly legitimate, a way for an author to earn a living, and not chickenshit at all.

Some authors, however, will post reviews online anonymously or using a different name. Is that okay? What do you think?

From some author blogs:

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Do authors give up some rights when it comes to reviews?

While there’s a great and long tradition of writers penning thoughtful negative reviews that demonstrate respect for the subject at hand … I do believe writers give up the right to write casually bitchy reviews.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying authors can’t write reviews. But writers should require themselves to write thoughtful reviews. They should elevate the discourse, not lower it. And they should treat their fellow writerly comrades at arms with the respect they deserve.

Author Nathan Bransford (former literary agent) – read full post

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I have, in fact, written a few snarky book reviews myself (under my dayname, of course). One of them was a disappointed and shamefully bitter response to a book I had certain expectations of, that turned out to be something different than I thought.

Author Olivia Waite – read full post (in which she bravely requests merciless reviews of her book!)

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4 comments on “Are writers and book reviewers all just desperate attention-mongers?

  1. Olivia
    March 11, 2012

    Hello,

    Olivia here — I just wanted to clarify something it turns out I’d left rather muddled in my post. (My books have editors — my blog posts, sadly, just have me.) The snarky reviews I’ve written were penned years ago, long before I became an author. I was working in a bookstore at the time, and reading/reviewing books was highly encouraged.

    Since I started writing, and especially since I started publishing, any snark of mine goes toward industry shenanigans, quirky Wikipedia lists, and, of course, myself.

    I realize that by commenting here I’m only adding evidence for the thesis that writers are — what was the phrase — “desperate attention-mongers,” but hey, we do what we must to keep doing what we love.

    • Starry 1 Star Reviews
      March 11, 2012

      We’ll remove the quote from this page, as we realize one paragraph from your blog post may feel unfair on a page with such titling.

      • Olivia
        March 12, 2012

        Oh no, you can totally keep the quote — I put it on the internet, so it’s public and up for comment. 🙂

        • Starry 1 Star Reviews
          March 13, 2012

          Thanks for being a good sport! We’ve included a shorter version of the quote from your post. Good luck with your writing and reviews!

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This entry was posted on March 10, 2012 by in book reviews, writing.

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