Author Jody Hedlund had a discussion here about what our books say about ourselves. In a world of Goodreads it's very easy to see what our favorite authors are reading. Many authors have fairly diverse reading habits and it's not likely that everything they read will fit their target audience. Should authors worry about what they post on their bookshelves? Is it possible to offend your readers, or will they too have broad reading habits? Does an author really want every book they read, and their impression of it, out there on the internet?
Another question she brings up is rating books on Goodreads. As an author is it alright to leave poor reviews on books? Is that considered unprofessional or mean? Yet, if you only leave good reviews does that make you unreliable or misleading as a reviewer?
I know people who refuse to leave less than a three star review. If they didn't like the book, they won't review it. Simple, right? Yet won't that leave false expectations on the book? I know when I read reviews I want to read the one and two star reviews to see what they didn't like about the book. That doesn't mean I won't read it. Sometimes the issues people have aren't issues for me. And sometimes they have good points and I'm warry about getting the book.
Personally I like to have a wide range of reviews so I can get the best overall look at the book. Yet I understand the worry about appearing mean or snarky for low reviews. Is it enough to leave a well though out and polite, yet honest, review, or will it still give authors bad reputations? And if so, what happens if authors only give good reviews to books? How will that change readers perceptions? Or even authors growth, since we do rely on crits for improvement.
As you can see I've got more questions than answers. Has anyone thought about this at all? What have you decided?