Are book bloggers bias?
Ok, let me elaborate on this. Recently I’ve had a number of different conversations about book blogging with people who did not know what a book blogger was. It’s bought up some interesting questions about how a lot of book bloggers know authors. How does is effect what we do in reviews.
I’d say there are number of book blogger and author friendships. I know I have these. Some were my friends way before the blogging thing took hold, others I’ve gained because of blogging. Then you also have authors you know well. You meet at events. You talk on twitter, etc. These are people (or friends) you like. You want to support them.
So when one of their books lands in your hand you are emotional invested in that book. Aren’t you? Is there a bias for that book from the beginning? Are those reviews truly impartial? Do we read those books like all the others we have or critique them differently?
I’ve spend a few weeks thinking about this.
Honestly I can’t answer for anyone else. And being even more truthful I can’t say that the statement about me being emotionally invested in that book from the start is untrue. I am. If it’s a friend or an author I’ve come to know or support I will prioritise their work.
But the reviews…
Here is where I think being my friend is your downfall.
If I don’t know an author or have only had a fleeting interaction with them then I have no emotional connection to making sure there is no bias. That means I just read the book. I don’t have to spend extra effort on being critical.
If you’re my friend I’m going to be critical because I’m worried about exactly that bias that other people might wonder about. So I’ll be looking for things to critique. Because if someone challenges the potential of bias then I can say it wasn’t there because of this, this and this.
My friends know this. They’ve been on the receiving end of critiques, as in 1 page emails worth of… or got “lovely” DMs with me basically going “Why?” They’ve also ended up with 4* reviews when probably, if it had been someone I didn’t know, it would have been 5*. It’s honest. Brutally honest. But, weirdly it’s appreciated.
So I guess the answer for me is yes there is bias, just not in the way you’d expect. I’m more likely to be critical if you’re my friend. Sucks if you think about it.
What are your thoughts on the subject?