#BookBloggerHop | When to Offer Direct Feedback but No Review

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Jennifer @ Crazy-For-Books in March 2010 and ended on December 31, 2012. With Jennifer’s permission, Billy @ Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer relaunched the hop on February 15, 2013. Each week the hop will start on a Friday and end the following Thursday. There will be a weekly prompt featuring a book related question. The hop’s purpose is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to their own blog.

Do you have a threshold on books where you will offer the author feedback but won’t review?

(Submitted by Heather @ MM Romance Reviewed)

My answer to this question is complex. I hope it makes sense 🤷🏻‍♀️:

Generally, any book that I read but would give only 1 or 2 stars to, I do not review. If it’s so bad of a reading experience that I would give it such a low rating, I generally do not finish it. I read the story until 20% and then DNF.

If I request a book from NetGalley or from a publicist/author who offered it, but I am having a hard time reading it, I do provide feedback as to why – to the best of my knowledge – I am having trouble with it. I try to provide constructive feedback.

If an author sends me a review request, and I tell them I will check it out on Kindle Unlimited or read a sample on Amazon, I don’t say anything about it if I don’t like it. Typically, these books, I find, are riddled with forced dialogue and overwriting, which I struggle with. I want to edit those books, not read them for enjoyment.

If an author were to ask for my feedback, I would gladly provide them with my thoughts in a more constructive manner than a review would provide. I don’t have any issue with that except for time, and I am very used to giving feedback.

Do you offer feedback to the author when you DNF or don’t like a book?

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33 Replies to “#BookBloggerHop | When to Offer Direct Feedback but No Review”

  1. I used to beta read when I was on Goodreads, I don’t use that site any more for many reasons, but some of the work I beta read hadn’t even been put through a spell and grammar checker. My writing isn’t perfect, not by any means, but it has to be readable. I’m like you, if I have read a book, and it is hard to follow, I don’t leave a review it wouldn’t be fair.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I tend to follow the same rules as you. If I DNF a book then I will leave it unrated on goodreads and leave a brief sentence or two about why I didn’t finish it. I will always be constructive though.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a great question! I gave feedback recently to an author for a book I didn’t like and felt uncomfortable doing so. Fortunately he was very gracious and confirmed that others had felt the same way, so I was quite relieved. I give feedback on NetGalley which is easy and anonymous making it less confrontational.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t DNF book in hope of it getting better but I say whatever I feel in my review. If it’s bad it’s bad. if I got book from author for review, I ask author if they are okay with me posting negative review or not.

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    1. I never used to DNF and I still don’t do it often but I have learned that for me it’s okay to chose to do that. I am in awe of your determination to see it through 🤗

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You have a very thoughtful approach, Tessa. It can be tricky.

    Years ago, I used to receive quite a few direct requests for review from Indie authors. I always felt an obligation to directly respond to them, no matter what. I always review a book if I finish it. Since to date I’ve only marked one book as DNF (long story), which I would give a 1-star rating and explain briefly why I can’t finish, that means I always review every book and have done so for years. I don’t share anything below 3 stars on social media but do post everything on Goodreads.

    I remember one author sent me her first book and it was clear she didn’t have an editor and lacked a command of grammar. However, she was a great storyteller. I advised her to hire an editor and impressed upon her that it wasn’t an option to forgo. She did so, reissued the book after having obviously hired an experienced editor and now she’s an accomplished writer with a large audience. Another author had a great story hidden behind a dreadful cover. Gave her similar feedback and she hired someone to creat new covers for her series and gained an audience.

    If I’m asked to review a book, I feel it’s my obligation to provide feedback in some form or fashion. One or two star reviews don’t need to be shared on social media but will be posted on Goodreads and my blog. My reviews are for readers and I find it helpful when other members provide me constructive feedback about books I’m considering. They don’t need to be mean spirited, just constructively state why it didn’t work for me.

    Great question.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m starting to do the same. Leaving such a low rating seems cruel, but I like to be honest; after all, negative reviews sometimes inspire me to read a book.

    Recently I read a book for someone who I chat with online, and because the book didn’t go down so well with me, I refrained from reviewing it. I should’ve given feedback but never did.

    Excellent topic, Tessa. 💜

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  7. I try to give a balanced or positive negative review (if that makes sense). There is never an excuse for being rude about a book or for ripping into an author because you didn’t like the content for some reason. If the arc was offered directly by an author I would just politely say it wasn’t for me unless they asked for specifics on what I didn’t like.

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  8. Such an interesting topic. I’m not an editor, nor do I have a degree in English, so I feel that if I don’t like a book, I’ll just not leave a review. Someone else might love it.

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  9. This was a great topic, Tessa, and I was very interested in your thoughts about it. I also don’t review books that I DNF. And I DNF a lot of books since I’m not under any obligation to finish them (usually) and read purely for my own enjoyment. Direct feedback is another ball of wax. I never give direct feedback to an author unless it’s solicited and even then I’m cautious. Fortunately, those requests for feedback don’t happen often.

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      1. It’s very dicey. Personally, I like feedback because it’s a great teacher, and because I can’t fix what I don’t see. But not everyone appreciates it.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. This is a great question. By the time a book gets to the publishing/release stage, an author should have done due diligence and have the story edited and beta read. Beta reading is important because it will identify continuity problems.
    So if a reader doesn’t like a book, it should be because of the story, not because it was poorly written.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You would think so, wouldn’t you? I did when I first started blogging and boy was I surprised. The big publishers put out well edited books but sometimes small publishers and too often independently/self published need better editing. Actually, when I have had to offer feedback directly, which has only been a couple of times, my recommendation is to find an experienced fiction editor and let them have at it.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This is an interesting question. I agree with most of the comments here. If I DNF a book, I do not rate it but will say why it wasn’t for me. I have only given direct feedback twice and it was requested after an updated book (they were both picture books). I have left feedback on NG that was not positive but constructive and actually received a rather negative response from an author. I want to be honest, but again, it is just my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t had an author respond negatively but it is something that have in the back of my mind when I write reviews and give feedback and I dread it.

      Liked by 1 person

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