I feel pretty weird about doing this, but I also think it has to be done. This year I was a beta reader for two books that are currently published (a few more that have upcoming publication dates). I have struggled a little bit with how to approach these novels. While I feel obligated to review them (and I want to review them), I feel like being a beta reader for them takes my objectivity out of it, which is a problem for me. Is it really a review if I can’t objectively judge it?
Am I pondering my navel?
The thing is, I read both of these books during the beta phase of things, and I re-read both of them since they’ve been published. But I was a beta reader, and that was pretty effing cool, and I liked both of these novels a lot at the get-go so there really isn’t anything new to say here. But I haven’t really said anything about them yet, at least not to you guys.
I need to review them, because I want all of you to know how awesome they are, too. Therefore, I’m going to write two book bites, one for each book. And because I wrote this and warned you first, you’ll know the next two book bites that go up on my website are books I beta read, and therefore I lack objectivity, so take them for what they’re worth.
You have been warned.
P.S. I will probably copy and paste this verbatim every time I review a book I’ve beta read, just so you guys know where I stand on things.
I think it makes sense to still review them. Beta reading doesn’t mean you can’t have opinions or thoughts to share about the book 🙂 A little disclaimer at the top would cover your bases if you are worried it might impact your objectivity.
I think (1) you have to disclose and (2) you should label it as something other than a review, e.g., as a “discussion.” I do look forward to the perspective.
I mention “beta read” or “backed on Kickstarter” even “know author” or “worked with author in the past” or most recently an upcoming review will include “I’m tuckerized as well as backed on Kickstarter it was a complete surprise but may bias me”. I treat it like the FCC regs “received book in exchange for honest review”. Short, sweet, to the point. Disclosure let’s people know you might be biased and prevents someone coming after you claiming “fake review because X”.
I figure making a sweeping declaration like this means in the future all my lazy self has to do is link back here, rather than retype the whole thing…
Edited due to a baby bumping me…
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