Yes, this is a rant about business book reviewers.
Or in other words…
…people like me.
Other business book reviewers
This may come as a shock, but there are other people (other than myself) promoting and reviewing business books.
There aren’t that many business book blogs or YouTube channels, but there are a lot of Instagram accounts focusing on personal development, success, and entrepreneurship books.
Although a lot of Instagram accounts ‘steal’ images from other people’s accounts and don’t actually create any of their own content.
An example of this is when I was moving house, I put a load of my books into a box, took a photo from above, and posted it on my Instagram. I later found that same image on someone else’s account and they were using the image in a ‘like, follow, and comment’ competition post claiming that one lucky person could win all of the books in the box!!!
…anyway, I’m going off on a bit of a tangent.
The real point that I wanted to make in this post is that I am frequently seeing business book reviewers (on various social media networks) who push every book as a 10/10 recommended read!! …Every. Single. Book.
I struggle to find any other reviewers giving a negative book review.
Giving negative book reviews
I understand why people don’t want to give a negative review. It’s a difficult thing to do, especially if you have been gifted the book by an author/publisher in the hopes that you’re going to love it.
As avid readers, we understand how much time, effort, blood, sweat, and tears the author must have put into creating their book – it’s not a quick and easy task.
Although I try to make my reviews as positive as possible, I need to be honest, and I’m not going to recommend a book if I didn’t enjoy it or get value out of it.
If I did recommend a poor value book, someone may spend their hard-earned money on purchasing a copy and invest several hours of their time reading it – time that they will never be able to get back.
My role as a business book reviewer is to help you choose the right books so that you’re not wasting any of your money, and more importantly, not wasting any of your time.
So, in my view, anyone giving a positive book review for a book that they didn’t think was that good is unethical.
Pluses and minuses to negative reviews
When you give honest book reviews, undoubtedly that’s got to include a few negative ones as it’s just not humanly possible to love every book.
This usually works in my favor because my followers and subscribers begin to trust that I’m not going to recommend a naff book, but sometimes you do get a bit of backlash.
By backlash, I mean the odd person expressing the fact that they do not approve of your review.
The majority of the time people are polite and share their opinion of the book and what they got out of it. These people are fine and I enjoy hearing their point of view and encourage them to share it.
But what’s not fine is the odd person that expresses their views in a dickish and rude manner, and when you give a negative book review, you’re bound to attract at least one of these.
(Although, it saying all that, I also get the odd dickish comment on my positive book reviews. I would have scored a book 8.5/10 and they would go off on a one-person protest because they feel robbed that I didn’t score it 10/10!)
You just have to take it with a pinch of salt and understand that everyone is going to have, and is entitled to, their own opinion.
My overall thoughts
I understand why book reviewers want to love every book – I want to love every book – but that’s just not possible. We are human and we are going to have to speak negatively about a book at some point, that’s just the job.
But I personally believe that it’s unethical to recommend books that you didn’t enjoy or get value from (or haven’t read!).
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you ever noticed book reviewers who seem to give every book a 10/10 and describe them all as highly recommended reads? Let me know in the comments below.