Coffee Shop Talks is a weekly feature where we each discuss a bookish topic of our choosing.
This week's topic:
Yes! I always try to do research before I accept a review request. I'm rarely comfortable jumping in to a story based on the synopsis alone. And I like to know that the author I'm potentially forming a relationship with isn't one that has had any previous drama with other reviewers.
The first place (and usually the only place) that I go to do a little research is Goodreads. I always check out the average rating that my friends are giving a story and I like to quickly skim through a couple of their 5 star reviews and a few negative ones. Seeing why a story was tagged with worst-book-of-my-life, authors-behaving-badly, so-boring-i-ate-my-own-face (yes, that's real) is just as important to me as glowing reviews.
It's interesting what information you can find by reading a few comments left on friend's reviews as well. For example, I was interested in reading Beautiful Sorrows by Mercedes Yardley after seeing a spotlight for it on a friend's blog. But a comment from GR led me to this - Willie Nealy's Amazon Review. I don't know why the drama was started or if the author was actually involved or not, but it doesn't matter. This tells me that if I give the story a negative review, it's a possibility that I may have to deal with the same drama. No thank you.