Should authors review other authors’ books?

I am not an author in the strict sense, as I have no paperbacks published yet. All my work is digitally published.

But I am a reader. I haven’t read thousands of books, but I read. Of late, after discovering the world of Goodreads, I am reading happily because I can read and write a review. It is like a game for me – obsessively keeping the GR updated.

What brings up this question?

There was a short story I read and reviewed. The review was termed harsh by a random GR user and it was accompanied with a rather snide comment on myself as an author.

I should have ignored it, but I couldn’t. I failed to notice what the problem was. Since my review mentions ‘beautifully written’, ‘need to read more from this author….

So I googled the same question.

Google brings up a post where authors review in circle and praise each other. This is not the same case.

Should I, as a reader, not give my honest opinion on the books, for fear that people will treat my books the same way?

I know the answer, but would like to hear from others.

Shabana Mukhtar


  1. You’re so right. How do you that? ;-). I don’t care either. But I thought I would bring it up with fellow readers anyway.

  2. Sara Saif says:

    Okay so the answer to the question you were actually asking is this: people will criticize you is you’re an author reviewing a book because how dare you say bad things about someone’s work while you yourself are in the same position and how will you feel if someone did that to you. AND people will critcize you if you are a non-author reader reviewing a book because how dare you dare to evaluate something you aren’t capable of writing, stick to what you know, kid.
    Conclusion: people are A-holes, you will be criticized either way. Let it go. They can get their books reviewed from the devils in hell.

  3. Sara Saif says:

    Wait, did I just answer the wrong question?

  4. Sara Saif says:

    Expecting every reader to be an author is idiocy, since there is no strict rule anywhere that only readers who are authors are allowed to review and hence readers who are and aren’t authors both review. The existence of a website like Goodreads is proof of that. Isn’t this a basic human right or something? The infamous “expressing your opinions” ( heavy sarcasm )? You can write and you do write and if you’re being criticized then a people like me should be banned from reviewing, eh? Authors today won’t have half the advantages they have today if there was a law somewhere that only other authors were allowed to review their work. The book community today is massive and influential and not all the people in it are authors and yet they are a huge reason why books sell.
    So what I’m saying is, let it go. That person is most likely the author/related to the author/biased.

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