I'm a bookworm of the highest caliber! If you see me, I'll probably be reading. There's nothing I love more than finding a good book, and then sharing it with the world!
I was updating my reviews over on Goodreads today, when I saw that one of my new reviewer friends had rated a certain book 4 stars. That wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary, if I hadn't spoken to her a few days prior to that about how much she loathed that book and had to struggle to finish it. Hmmm... 4 stars to a book she didn't like? Maybe it was a mistake? I messaged her and, after some joking back and forth, realized that she rated it like that because she had gotten that book through NetGalley and was afraid to make the publisher mad. It was a book that, on Goodreads, was raved about endlessly and she didn't want to be the odd man out. She was worried they wouldn't approve her for anything else.
To anyone else out there who feels like that? I can promise you, you're allowed to be honest! I've gotten approvals from Disney, Random House, Penguin, Flux, Harper Collins, Little Brown and many more. Not once have I ever been yelled at for an unfavorable review, or been denied another book I wanted to read in their line because of one. In fact, just the other day I sent feedback letting a publisher know that I wouldn't be reviewing a book because it was simply too slow moving, and I couldn't feel invested. I thanked them for the opportunity, then went to go browse their page for another read. 20 minutes after I requested it, I was approved. I even got a note back from the publisher letting me know that they appreciated the feedback.
Honestly? The only way I've seen you can be denied on NetGalley (other than the random ones where too many people have requested the book, or it's not in your region), is that you don't review enough of the books you request. Publishers want your feedback. Good and bad. So buck up! Don't let 'em get you down. You're entitled to your opinion!
When it comes to individual authors? Well, that's all up in the air. It's why I've been going through publishers or publicity companies more and more for my review copies. Ha. Some people are just unpredictable.
Have you had a similar experience, or perhaps a different one? Please share! I want to give my reviewer friend all the info I can :). This is only my experience.