Bloggy dilemma of the day!

I find myself in the midst of a dilemma and I’d love to hear some thoughts from other bloggers!

What do you do when you make a commitment and then can’t figure out how to keep it and maintain integrity?

Perhaps I’m overthinking this…

I write honest reviews, always. If I love a book, I say so. If I don’t, it can go a few different ways. If I was simply bored and find myself with nothing to say, I just won’t bother with a review. If I actively hated a book, chances are I’ll write about it and say why. Or, if I didn’t enjoy a book that I thought would be good, or liked the premise but not the execution, or disliked a book in a way that stayed in my mind, I’ll write about it too.

The dilemma is — what to do when a blog tour is involved?

I rarely sign up for blog tours, mostly because I don’t take well to reading and writing exactly on a fixed schedule. I participate sparingly, and only for books that really catch my eye.

My current problem is, I just finished reading my next blog tour book… and had to force myself to do it. I almost abandoned it midway several times, but because I’d committed to the tour, I kept going. The main promos for the tour list my blog and the date, and I’d made a point of requesting a giveaway copy too.


I can see three main choices here:

1) Participate in the blog tour as scheduled, featuring the book cover, synopsis, and giveaway, but leaving out a review and keeping my post promotional only.

2) Do the blog tour, but include my honest thoughts, which won’t be very positive. Somehow, this seems like the worst choice — it’s a mixed message (I’m promoting a book I didn’t like?), and not very considerate of the tour host or the author.

3) Back out of the blog tour, and then either not post at all about the book or write a review that expresses my actual feelings.

I hate to break a commitment, but at the same time, I don’t want to give the impression that I liked a book or that I’m encouraging my blog readers to read a book that I didn’t enjoy.

Has this happened to you? How did you handle it?

I’d appreciate any words of advice!

23 thoughts on “Bloggy dilemma of the day!

  1. i’ve had that happen before with blog tours – normally, i contact the organizer and explain my issues – if I didn’t finish the book; or my overall opinion and ask what they would like to see – most of the time, they like the promo post and nothing else – and I’ll hold my review until well past the time of the blog tour and repost if its going to be negative

    • Thanks for the input! Wise approach — and I think it makes sense to hold my review (if I write one at all) until a good amount of time has gone by.

      • its always a hard decision – sometimes these tours will be like, no reviews if they are less than 4/5 stars (which like never happens for me); most of mine have been 3 stars – i figure as long as you are up-front with the organizer

  2. Oh this sounds like a tough dilemma. While my honesty would lean me towards option #2, I seriously doubt if that is what the author has in mind for their book tour. Understanding that not every book is a fit for every person, that leaves option #1 or #3. How many people are part of the book tour? If there are a lot, I would probably lean towards option #3, as there will be others to continue on without you. If there are not many, than maybe you need to stick to your commitment but just not review.

    This is a tough dilemma, I am interested to see the direction you end up going…

    • Thanks for your comment — you really capture the choices well! I decided to go ahead and contact the tour organizer and get her take on what the preferred approach is. (It’s crazy — I have about 15 pages left in the book, and I’m just not feeling an curiosity about how it wraps up. Bummer.)

  3. I would be honest with the tour host. The ones I am involved with specifically state if you can’t give it a certain rate some 3 some 4 then let them know. Contact them. That’s would be most considerate for all involved… In fact I just had to do this, this morning. Not fun but its got to be done.

    • You’re right, this makes the most sense. After reading your comment, I went back to the blog tour website to see if they give guidelines about about the rating, but they don’t. I’m going to check in with the organizer to figure out what to do. I appreciate the input!

  4. I agree with others that the best thing to do is contacting the tour host and explain. It seems, from comments above me, that this happenes quite often. They’ll probably know what to do and how to handle the situation.

    I understand you may still be required to promote a book you didn’t like, but that may be part of the commitment.

    I’m sorry for this situation. I imagine it isn’t nice.

    • No, it doesn’t make me feel great — but I think you’re right, tour organizer are probably used to dealing with this type of issue and feel much more comfortable with it than I do! I’ll see what they have to say before deciding on my course of action. Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!

  5. I had this problem too! The book I signed on for tour was so bad I DREADED finishing it. I didn’t care at all about the characters or plot. So I went to the tour host and said (in more professional terms) “Hey, I hate this book. I can still write a review for it, but it won’t be good because honesty is an important aspect in my reviews. Do you still want me to participate?” She gave me an easy way out, saying no, and thanking me for informing her. Actually, she was completely cool with it, and even though it was my first tour with her, she completely welcomed me back to participate again! I am sure your tour host will completely understand. Tell us how it goes!

    • I will! Thanks for sharing your experience. It feels like such a sticky situation, but I’m sure you’re right and that the organizer will be fine with it.

      • I hope so too! I felt so much dread before I wrote mine, but when she replied I was thinking “oh, that was easy.” Most people are pretty understanding.

  6. This is one of the reason I don’t participate in blog tours anymore. I don’t like having to promote a book before I read it or if I didn’t enjoy it. If I were in your shoes, I’d probably contact whomever is in charge and explain your review isn’t a positive one and tell them you would like to withdraw your participation. It’s up to you to then post a review separately. If it makes you uncomfortable to do the tour when you can’t in good conscience promote a book you didn’t enjoy, then I say don’t do it.

    • Thanks for your input! I really do these so rarely, and usually I’m pretty good at picking books that will appeal to me. I’m going to go ahead and contact the tour organizer and see what she prefers. I suppose I don’t mind featuring the book — I’m sure there are people who will enjoy it! — so long as I’m not put into a position of appearing to recommend a book that I didn’t really enjoy.

  7. This is exactly why I am afraid to review books for a book tour, so I always just sign up for the promo and excerpt part.
    But if I were in your place, I would let the host know my opinion. They normally give you an easy way out. Hope it works out for you.

  8. Well, it looks like you’ve found your answer already–and hey, isn’t communication always the answer?

    But I did want to add that negative thoughts about a book aren’t always going to result in books not being sold. I can think of a couple of times where my readers have been like, “I am totally buying this because you didn’t like it.” HA. That sounds weird put like that. But my reasons for not liking it where things they recognized as reasons that they would like it. At the end of the day, it is often the discussion that is most important, something that a negative review can also further. I personally would love to see a blog on a blog tour say something negative just because it would make its authenticity and honestly very obvious. I tend to not even read posts that are part of blog tours because they come across too promotion-y for me.

    So, there are my few cents! Best of luck figuring it out.

    • Very true — I can see how something I didn’t like about a book (usually, a plot element that irritates me) might really appeal to someone else. Thanks for your input. It really helps!

  9. I’ve participated in a few blog tours. Some specify that you shouldn’t post a review if it’s below 3 stars, but I’ve had some where I’ve contacted the tour organiser with my worries and they’ve discussed it with the author and let me post based on my previous reviews which they felt were honest but constructive 🙂

    It all depends on the tour organiser and author, I would say. I understand what you’re saying about not wanting to promote a book that you didn’t enjoy, but I see it as posting your views on a book that you didn’t like but that others might 🙂

    I hope you find an answer soon!

    • Good perspective! I normally don’t have a problem with posting a negative review if I feel it’s fair, and sometimes when I do a blog tour (which is seldom), my reviews will be mixed — but in the case where I really can’t recommend the book, it’s a harder situation. At this point, I’m waiting to hear back from the tour organizer and then will figure it out. Thanks for sharing your input!

  10. If I were in your shoes, I would maybe talk with the tour host and explain your dilemma. They may agree that backing out is the best thing to do. I also hate backing out of commitments, but I also would hate promoting a book I didn’t enjoy. If all else fails, maybe #1 would be the best solution. I am so sorry you didn’t enjoy this one more!

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