Is there such a thing as too honest?

I Tweet a lot. Mostly about Manchester United. And how they’re doing or not doing. Or counting down the seconds to the final whistle (believe me, it helps the nervous tension). But I also like to Tweet some personal opinions. I’m not a robot, and I believe in being honest. Someone asked me a while ago if there was a certain author I disliked because of some opinions I expressed. It’s not that I dislike the author, I just find their Tweeting to be excessive and irritating (says the girl who counts down the seconds during Manchester United matches…).

What it was about the Tweets that offended me is that this author has been campaigning to get 1000 followers and she promised that if she got to 1000 followers she would donate some money to charity. Personally, I think that’s ridiculous. You’re only going to donate money to charity if you reach 1000 followers? The author isn’t doing it for the charity, she’s doing it for herself. Because she wants 1000 followers. I think that’s the wrong way to go about collecting followers. In fact, it made me un-follow the author because it’s just wrong. If you want to donate to charity, then you’ll just go ahead and donate to charity. Don’t make a gimmick of it, just do it. That’s how I see it.

I also think excessive Tweeting about your novel is a big no-no. Yes, do publicise your novel, of course, but there’s no need to go overboard. Us fans don’t want to read continual Tweets about you climbing a chart place on Amazon, we want to get to know the author themselves. There is definitely such a thing as too much publicising an author can do. Less is more. I don’t buy books based on the ranking or what Sophie Kinsella thinks (despite the fact I do indeed adore Sophie K). I buy books based on what my friends say. By what the synopsis sounds like. From what the cover looks like. I read a post on JA Konrath’s blog, a really brilliant one, that said less is more on Twitter. It’s easy to saturate someone’s timeline with Tweets and I definitely think authors need to pace themselves a bit more with the promotion.

I’m very honest. I don’t lie about novels I read, I’ll quite happily write a bad review of a novel I didn’t like, but I find it amazing the amount of book bloggers who ‘love’ everything they read. There are two in particular that I follow and it’s getting to the point where I’m thinking of unfollowing them because their reviews just don’t vary at all. Everything is amazing, everything is well written and everything is ‘the author’s best work to date’. I think a lot of book bloggers are a bit scared to be truthful about the books they read for fear of offending someone or other in publishing. Don’t get me wrong, I read a lot of books and most of them I thoroughly enjoy, but unlike these book bloggers, my opinions vary and I do (shock horror!) read books I don’t enjoy and write up about them as well. I must admit, I do wonder why the publishers keep sending them books but obviously because they just love everything, it means a guaranteed good review. These days, I only trust the reviews of certain individuals, and previous reviewers I respected have fallen right down in my estimation because of their inability to write a bad review.

To be honest, I don’t entirely care about offending people. In my book reviews, in my blog posts, because I am allowed an opinion. If people want to be offended that’s up to them, but I’m not going to sit by and keep quiet when I think it’s wrong of an author to use charity as an excuse to get more followers. Is there such a thing as too honest? I suspect so. Last week when I reviewed It Happened In Paris I mentioned in my review that I dislike French people. It was a throwaway comment, it wasn’t meant to offend but someone commented on the site and called me up on it telling me it was wrong of me to do that. So, yes, I suppose I can be too honest. God forbid I should be allowed to insert an opinion into my book reviews…

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