Why some books don’t get reviewed

Posted on Oct 5 2016 - 12:00pm by Claire Herbaux
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So I have been asked why there are only positive reviews on this page. Surely there are bad books? Where do they go?

The answer is simple. First of all, let me tell you I don’t have a special gift which lets me pick only good books. I come across the bad ones just as much as anyone else. Sometimes I have a good streak, and I think I may have a gift, and then, like now, I don’t seem to find the great ones.

I won’t go around naming the ones I don’t enjoy. I’d like to think there needs to be something for all tastes out there and maybe the ones I dislike are a perfect fit for someone else. (If you are very keen to find a not-to-read list though, compare my Goodreads “read” shelf with recent reviews. The ones I haven’t reviewed are either by authors I have written about in the past, or I didn’t feel right promoting.)

This is the key point: Promotion. Each review is a promotion for a book. You’ve heard the phrase “even bad press is good press”? It is true. I remember years ago having been told “Sometimes you need to ask yourself if something is worth a review. Maybe the lack of it is a statement (or review) in itself?” This is, in essence, the flip side of bad press. If bad press is good press, then the lack of press is better?

I could review every book I read, but out of the millions of books available to you (and while your local book shop may store a few thousand, with the internet you really do have millions to choose from) it seems unnecessary to pick one out to say “don’t buy this one”. It is much more useful to say “buy this one”, which is what I am to do.

Why some don’t get reviewed…

Recent examples of books which I chose not to feature were the ones I struggled to get through. The story may have been good in the end, but it took a lot of effort and commitment to get to this point. This is the case of my current book. The story could be interesting, but I spent 200 pages wondering what one police case had to do with this little boy who claims his parents aren’t his parents.

Another one – which ironically, I was looking forward to a lot, and ordered as a present to myself – turned out to be a disappointment. While the story could have been great, it was spun into a background of witches and ghosts, turning a book which was labelled as fiction, into fantasy. (Let’s not get into whether it is right to label books as anything.)

So there we go. The positive reviews are on purpose, they don’t accurately reflect what I read, but they are meant to point you towards good books rather than bad ones. After all, it is not about pointing fingers and shaming, but about enjoying a good read!

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