We know people who are fellow writers. We read and offer comments on each other’s blogs and social media posts. We want to support them in their book writing endeavors and hope they will do the same for us. Amazon would prefer that we not post reviews of people we are friends with. Both they and Goodreads especially don’t want review trades. So we are more circumspect. We don’t really trade reviews; we just read books and offer our opinions. But here’s the predicament: Do we feel obligated by our connections to write glowing 5-star reviews, hoping for the same for our books?
Here is my opinion, I want to call them as I see them. In other words, I post honest reviews of all books I read, even those of people I know. That may mean four or even three stars along with comments about shortcomings or what I might have preferred to see done differently. Or it may mean indeed mean glowing 5-star reviews. To me, that’s the ethical thing to do. While it’s a great feeling to have wonderful reviews, it’s not reasonable to expect nothing but raves. While I might wish they would, I don’t expect everyone I know to write glowing reviews of my work either if that’s not their honest opinion. Of course I don’t have to post a critical or one/two star review. And I probably won’t if it’s one by someone I know.
What do you think? I really want to know.