So, this is a not so fun post to write, but I think it's a really important thing to discuss. Over the past couple years but especially recently, I've been hearing a lot of controversy over certain books and authors and how the authors are "only in it for the money". This claim makes me honestly so sad and also confused. I've watched readers leave negative reviews on Goodreads on books that aren't even out yet just because they feel like the authors of said books are stretching a series or franchise just for the money. Which, in my opinion, is completely ridiculous.
Let us all just address something fairly important real quick. While it's totally anyone's right to leave any sort of review of a product online, I think it's particularly bad taste to leave a negative review of said product without having used or experienced it. With books, you can't give your honest opinion of it without having read it. When a book isn't coming out for months and I already see multiple low star and negative rating reviews on Goodreads, I get so angry. Why do people insist on leaving negative reviews of a book solely based on their assumptions or perceptions of the author? Like, guys, we're not rating the author here, we're rating the book. Basing your opinion on a book you haven't read on your perception of the author seems to me to be incredibly unfair and actually rather trolly. Specifically saying you're rating a book badly without having read it, just because you don't think the author should continue the series, is just plain rude, in my opinion.
Now, to get to the main part of our discussion: people looking down on authors because they believe the authors are only writing for the money. This argument, I really just can't grasp. Like . . . yeah, I'm sure many authors want to make money on their books. A lot of them write full time and their books are their only source of income. So, yeah, they're going to be concerned and thinking about making money while working on their books. But that doesn't mean that their works are any less passionate or well written, right? Someone can want to make money through writing and still be an incredibly talented writer with millions of fans. There's absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to make money with your work. In that situation, everyone is happy: the writer is able to continue writing because they are making money through that profession to support themselves and the readers are given new content from authors they like and are excited about.
If you're still not convinced and you totally believe that all the passion and greatness has been drained from an author's writing and they've been turning into a totally money hungry machine, then just stop. Stop, take a step back, and just . . . ignore it. Seriously. Just ignore it. There's really no reason to be spreading your biased and unproven negativity over a book you haven't read, just because of you perception of the author. The only thing you'll accomplish by complaining about it is upsetting the readers who are excited about the new book, which is really no fun. Why rain on someone's excitement when there's no need to?
Again, this is a really sad and weird post for me to write, mostly because I don't understand why it's bad for authors to want to make money off of their books. When they make money on their books, they get to continue putting out more books, which makes me a happy little caterpillar. And while I strongly believe in everyone's right to express their feelings and opinions about things, I also think it's unfair and not right to review and rate a book that you haven't read at least some of. But hey, I'm just one person.
What do you guys think? Is it okay for readers to post reviews and ratings of books that they haven't experienced or read? Is it a bad thing for authors to want to make money off of their books? When does someone draw the line between writing purely to make money and writing for the sake of writing, with money as an after thought? Is there a good or bad side of that? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!