Of course the organizer wasn't happy, nor do I think was the author, and I received a request to delete my review from the post since it was not three stars or above. I refused. I couldn't in good conscience have a promo piece for a book appear on this blog that I felt was, quite frankly, one of the most difficult (and unpleasant) books I've ever read. After several interchanges - at one point my noting that it is essentially censorship to say that I can't post my review - I was told to "do what is best for yourself." Hmm, does that make me appear selfish and self-serving here? I hope not. At no time did I agree to rate this book with three stars or above. I do not agree with that practice. If this is a common practice, I have to say, please don't ask me to participate. There are no guarantees. How on earth can you agree to a rating when you haven't read the material?
The reason I feel so strongly about this is, even if there is only one person reading these posts and reviews, they then may use the opinions expressed here (among many others I'm sure) to influence their decision whether or not to read a book. Hey, I want them to be honestly informed. Had I just deleted my review and let that post stand with only promotional materials, I would, implicitly be saying "Fab Fantasy Fiction readers, this is a GREAT book." No, it wasn't. And no, I would not do that.
Not to belabor the point, but if you are a tour organizer, I welcome you, but don't ask or expect me to rate a book with three stars or above simply because I'm hosting an author here. In fact, I prefer not to include my review (except as a link) with any of the author features that are posted. However, this tour organizer insisted on reviews as part of the author stop - and subsequently received a review they were unhappy with. As my mother (who was also a fairly well known critic used to say), "them's the breaks."
I don't accept payment for reviews, for guest posts, nor indeed for author spotlights or interviews. Nor would I expect any. If at any point in the future advertising is added as an option to this blog it will be clear that there is no tie between editorial content and advertising. Sorry, no advertorials here.
If I'm provided a book to review. I'll review the book. By providing said book there is no guarantee anyone is going to get x number of stars. The value of an advance reader copy is $0.00. There is no monetary value in this exchange. What is received from me? Simply put, a fair and honest review.
My review will be posted not only on the blog, but on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Goodreads, and submitted to The Best Reviews and Paperblog. My blog is also available on Amazon's Kindle blogs. So, it could be said that an author is receiving exposure for their work. Again, monetary value exchanged is $0.00.
However, what is gained is beyond value: an appreciation of new authors, wonderful books, and fabulous interchanges that have enlivened my life the past few months since I restarted this blog following an absence of two years. I can't tell you how much I appreciate the feedback I've received as well as the support. Everyone has been absolutely outstanding - except for today's blip on the radar.
As Polonius declared in William Shakespeare's Hamlet:
This above all- to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.
Words and sentiments to live by.