Does ‘free’ influence my opinion?
Ms Bubbles SockieP wrote: “I’m not saying that there aren’t honest reviewers of giveaways or competitions, but I’d like to see those who run blogs that depend on freebies for material, give a dozen 1/2/3 star critical reviews in a row… not going to happen.”
The thread, in which the above comment is from, prompted me to ask myself if I’m biased in my ratings for ARCs. Had I gone over to the darkside? Was I deceiving others as well as myself, all for the prospect of more freebies?
I looked at my ratings.
62% (24 out of 39) of my ARC reviews are 3 stars or lower.
Only one is rated 5 stars.
Looking back over those ratings, I checked to see if I’d perhaps inflated a rating or two.
Answer: Not exactly.
- I’ve sometimes rounded up if I’ve given a half star.
- If I read those books now they’d most likely receive lower ratings. I’ve found that the more I read, the harder I am to please.
- I’ve let ratings and reviews stand on 3 books after learning and experiencing things concerning an original draft/author/publisher which made me lose respect for both them and their books. Two of these date back to 2011, before the infamous Year of Badly Behaving Author/Publicist/Editor controversy in 2012, and the last was 4 months into that horrible year when I just wanted to avoid any extra stress. I’m not sure if I’d do things differently today.
Although I receive ARCs for free, I’m still investing my time, and my time is valuable to me. If I think reading a book is wasting it then that’ll be reflected in my subsequent rating and review.
I’ve been accused of being too critical of an ARC, and books in general, on multiple occasions, but that hasn’t stopped publishers from approving my ARC requests so my ‘overly critical’ opinion must be worth something to them. At least, for now.