Book Critics Gauge Ethical Standards

backscratcher Book Critics Gauge Ethical StandardsThe National Book Critics’ Circle released the results of their "The Ethics of Book Reviewing" survey of NBCC members. Some interesting results?

According to Critical Mass, the NBCC Board of Directors’ blog, "book reviewers are largely divided between those who believe in something you might call the "objective" book review, and those who don’t — attitudes toward specific practices in the field follow almost syllogistically from one premise or the other."

40.1 percent think a reviewer shouldn’t read other reviews of a book before writing his or her own, but 17.9 per cent think that’s perfectly okay, and 33.5 per cent feel it’s complicated enough to require commentary rather than a firm answer.

Reviewers are still grappling with online issues:

"Should a literary blogger review the book of another literary blogger to whose blog she or he links?"

33.4 percent said "Yes."
23.4 percent said "No."
22.5 percent were "Not Sure."
20.7 percent retreated to "Other."

And maybe seeing more "backscratching reviews":

"Should a writer be allowed to review the book of someone who shares the same literary agent?

38.1 percent said "Yes"
37.8 percent said "No"
15.0 percent said "Not Sure"
9.0 percent said "Other"

The results of the survey can be accessed here.