aprilhenry (aprilhenry) wrote,

Is it ever ethical...

Sixty-four percent of accredited book reviewers feel that critics who write an unpaid blurb for a book should be banned from publishing a full review. And 76% of critics feel that if you haven't read a work cover to cover you shouldn't be critiquing it in print. These are just some of the findings of the National Book Critic's 2007 ethics survey, the first one the organization has done in 20 years.

Read more here.

Me? I think both of those things are wrong. But as the survey recognizes, there are a lot of gray areas. Another questions is "Should a book review editor assign a book to a casual acquaintance of the author -- e.g., someone the reviewer may have met at a writing conference, party or on a panel, but who is not a close friend?" 58 percent said yes, 10 percent said no, and the rest had some kind of "it depends." The mystery world is small. If I couldn't review people I'd ever been on a panel with or met a writing conference, there wouldn't be a lot of mysteries to review. I do discuss any potential conflict of interest carefully with my editor.

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