Bad Blogger Confession: I almost never read reviews.
I’m gonna be honest with you – unless the the book itself stands out to me, I’m no more likely to click on your review overloaded with GIFs than I am if it’s 6 paragraphs. Book reviews are tough because they’re only fun if you are:
- Looking to add books to your TBR.
- Have already read the book and OMG SQUEE LET US DISCUSS!
At least, that’s how I see them. And at the end of the day, if we’re not discussing the book, we’re just advertising it. We’re not blogging, we’re free marketing! Which is why we gets ARCs, yes, but it’s also a nice thing that we do for free. And that’s okay! It’s part of the book blogging thing.
Writing reviews, tho? It’s hard sometimes.
I used to be a blogger that put all the bells and whistles on my reviews. I threw in trailers and recommendations and alternate covers and a slew of quotes and made it all real shiny.
It wasn’t working. And it took so much time. I would spend an hour, maybe two, writing a book review. It took forever and made it frustrating. I like finding the quotes, I like looking at the alternate covers, but compiling it all was an eternal task and my reviews got almost no hits.
Okay, I get it. I freely admit I don’t read many reviews and I’m not so unique a person that I naively believe I am the only one.
Reviews are really subjective.
Who reads your reviews depends on the person. It depends on what they are looking for. Like I mentioned above, I’m more likely to read the review if I want to know more about the book, and there’s nothing more you can do to draw me in. Promises of chocolate covered pineapple will do nothing to further your cause. Nada. Zilch. Sorry?
But what you can do is make sure your reviews are knowledgable, enthusiastic, and concise. Long reviews are the worst. And I should know – I’ve written some of them! “Meh” is your worst enemy. Make sure you have something to say about the book! There are a couple things I do to make sure mine are raw and immediate and interesting should someone choose to read it:
- take notes as I read (Goodreads status updates FTW).
- Write a review as soon as possible after finishing the book.
- Set up an outline for my review so I stick to my topics.
- Summarise the book, but only in a few short sentences for context.
This seems to be working for me because while my reviews don’t explode, people seem to be reading them now! I posted a review for Rejected Princesses last month and it was the most popular post that week.
(Also the book is truly fabulous – read it.)
Reviews are difficult to comment on.
Don’t be discouraged if you see a review got zero comments. Honestly, if you hadn’t heard of the book before, even if the review was interesting, there’s not a lot to say. “Hi, thanks for reading this book and writing the review, I’ll add it to my TBR!” At best, you’ll get an “oh, I hate books that include panda bears!” but there’s still not much to say. The best comments will be “I READ THIS TOO AND IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER!”
With reviews, it’s okay not to get 50 comments. If you check your stats, you can see how many people are reading the post. And if they’re not reading it today, they may read it next week. Next year. Books are timeless!
Reviews are also the backbone of the book blogger’s life.
If you scroll through my feed, you’ll see I review 2-3 books weekly (sometimes more). I’ve actually got so many reviews that in order to keep to my posting schedule, I’ve got them pre-scheduled to January and a little beyond.
How does this happen?!
It’s pretty basic, really.
We love our books and we want to share them.
Books are beautiful. Lets talk about them more.
This week’s Book Blogger Hop asked:
What is your favorite part of blogging? Is there a least favorite part of blogging?
Short answer: I like talking about my passions, which largely comes down to the books themselves. I really like reviewing them, even though I don’t read the reviews on blogs and my own are out of control.
Do you read reviews? And, if so, do you find the on blogs, Goodreads, or somewhere else? Share you review habits in the comments!