Pimping friends?

I'm suddenly realizing that by not sharing the good reads written by my pals, I'm not doing anyone any favors. But I also would feel really funky talking about what a hoot** I thought The Frog Prince was. Well, unless it was part of a contest, of course.

I still read and love Bonnie Dee's books, but now that I've sort of gotten to know her, I find I can't pimp 'em any more.

Part of it is because I figure when I pimp books (or anything that'll mean shelling out money) by people I know, my credibility is questionable with the world--and with myself.

Also I'm a mom and I'm so used to hearing "But what about MY [fill in the blank]" from everyone else when I say something nice about one of the boys. That one's plain silly. I'm no Mrs G or dearauthor, so it's not like anyone's waiting to hear the verdict.

And then there's the fact that sometimes people I love write books I don't much like, and what happens then? That's the hardest. I'm way more interested in them as people then in making sure the world knows their last book was meh. I know what a bad or even meh review feels like and I don't want to inflict one of those. (I did warn Linda)

My serious question: What do you fellow writers/painters do about your friends' (or just acquaintances') work?

Just say HEY LOOK! SUZY HAS A NEW BOOK OUT! Isn't that kewl???

Keep in mind I don't mean critiques. Hey, those are a whole other game and I'm always ready to be ruthless there. A girl has to get her sadistic kicks somewhere.


**I had written "what a fun read," but let's face it, sometimes out-of-date vocabulary nails it.


  1. I stopped reviewing romances on my site because of just this issue. But then, I have your book waiting for some pimpage :)

  2. One of my closest writing pals writes in genres I've never read or no longer read. As much as I adore her, I don't really want to read what she writes.

    I'll probably just say "So-and-so has a book out today!' and leave it at that.

  3. I pimp books I like, whether I know the author or not. It seems dishonest NOT to mention a friend's book I love just because she's a friend. Will there be people who think it's just backscratching? Maybe, but it'd be a disservice to the book not to say I liked it when I did.

  4. Kate,

    For what it's worth, I can't imagine not raving about books written by my friends. I know how hard they work. In many cases, I'm right there with them as they agonize over a scene, a character flaw, a witty retort. If I read the book and adore it, I'm going to shout it from the rooftops and hope every reader out there goes out and picks up a copy.

    Would I like my friends to do the same for me? Absolutely! But whether they do or not doesn't matter. I think there's a lot to be said for supporting other authors, and the closer they are to me, the more I want to support them.

  5. So so far, it's half and half.

    I feel like I'm supportive of my friends who write. I'll do crits, I'll email them, make snarky remarks for them about critics etc. IT would seem not such a big deal to do the reviews.

    I think I don't want to set a precedent, if I do one, maybe a friend will wonder why I don't do the others (although I can't see myself wondering that) And I might not love the book.

    And also I know there are organized groups of writers that give each other good reviews. I believe that they do appreciate and like one anothers' work but just because of that positive review of a writer by another writer thing has happened so much (and actually burned me once or twice)
    and because I refuse to do anything BUT positive reviews for friends....well, there it is.

    It's funny though, isn't it? I completely get Charlee and Lacey's point.

    Heh. I guess it's rather like public speaking, eel soup (which smells good) or Karaoke (which I want to do and just canNOT get myself to, no matter how many margaritas I've had.)

  6. But really, even though I doubt I'll be able to write The Reviews, I think I've been too over-the-top with this.

    "My Pal has a book out today, yah!"

    I don't know why I don't do that, for heaven's sake.

    It's hard enough to get attention with the gazillion books coming out these days. If I know someone's slaved hard over something, and I know I like her writing, what is the problem? Huh? Well?

    Okay then. Jeez.

  7. SandyO11:34 AM

    I used to belong to a writers group where there were several published authors. I felt that I needed support them and purchase their books. Some were good (actually great), some were horrid. Once the group dissolved, I was relieved I didn't feel responsible to purchase books out of loyalty.

    The group dissolved with quite a bit of animosity between the members. A couple of the authors I've spoken to once in 10 years (that was about 3 weeks ago). I still buy their books, because they are excellent authors, however I have always felt "odd" commenting about their books (good or bad) on line.

  8. I made it my little mission to endorse books by writers I don't know personally, especially debut authors, so there was no question of bias involved on my part. Also, blurbing in general has become so corrupt and rife with cronyism that I felt it was my civic duty. :) That worked out a little too well, and editors began flooding me with requests to blurb all their rookie books, so I shut it down.

    Now I rec the books I really love, no matter who writes them, strangers, blog pals or best friends. I've already been accused of bias by pinheads who don't know me or my standards, and I survived. If I say I love a book, I do. If someone wants to think it's more than that, that's their problem, not mine.

    I think it comes down to how much you buy into other people's paranoia. But we're authors, Miss Kate, and if someone wants to think we're scum, they're going to think it no matter what you do. :)

  9. Kate, you and I have the same approach to this. I personally think it's a minefield reviewing friends' work. If for any reason your conscience dictates that you write a less than glowing review, your friendship will never be the same after that review. Nah. Vuur.

    On the other hand, your friend coulda written a kickass book, but 99.9% of the people (& 100% of the lurkers) who know of your friendship are going to take that *review* with a large tablespoon of salt and view it with a big hairy rolling eyeball--after taking a big ole whiff of something that smells like 'if you can't say anything nice...' and sounds like solidarity.

    I prefer what Sybil does on her blog-- post the cover, the blurb, an excerpt(or link) plus links to the friend's site/blog and/or publisher/amazon page, etc. It leaves the reader/vistor to make up their own mind and leaves you in the clear in terms of possible damage to writerly friendships.


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