So, today, Jim C Hines was writing about the ethics of authors reviewing other authors.
I was thinking about this the other day. I noticed almost all of my GoodReads ratings are five stars. I started reviewing my ratings and realized something about myself. If I’m not beta reading for a friend, I tend not to finish books that I don’t fall in love with.
If I am beta-reading, and I really like a piece, I assume the final form is going to be at least as good, and I’ll rate it without reading the final version. Probably the only exception to this is pieces by Dylan Moonfire and Adam Whitlatch, both of which I usually end up reading one last pass of the final version.
If I am beta-reading, and I’m lukewarm about a piece, I feel like it’s unfair to leave a rating, as often a few minor tweaks can make things come together. Then, I usually don’t bother to read the final, because I didn’t go nuts over the beta-read.
That being said, a fair review is a fair review. If another author read my work and genuinely didn’t like it. I can’t be upset if they give me a low rating.
Although, I should admit that I have held back a bad reviews. I usually do this because I liked the author and didn’t want to offend; or because I didn’t like the author, and I was afraid I would not be able to maintain my objectivity.