Bookish Listopia: 3 things to do when you review

Three Things to Make Sure You Do When You Review

Posted August 24, 2018 by Amber in Bookish Things, Memes / 11 Comments


When I finish reading a book, one of the first things I do is run back here and write a book review.  Why?  I want to talk about the book when it is still fresh in my mind.  A lot of bloggers will take notes about the technical strengths and weaknesses as they’re reading, but I’m not like that.  You better believe you’re getting an anguished Goodreads update when a character does something stupid, but when if comes to the themes and techniques, I’m very much an emotion-driven reviewer.

The books I love will be scattered and blabbering and rambling and happy.

The books I detest will be unabashedly filled with sarcastic side comments and ranting about the fragility of the story and poor writing choices and generally just bleeding my pain on to the page.

But the way I feel about a book is only part of the reviewing process.  There’s some technical things it’s good to remember when it comes to reviewing books – and those things ought to be done whether you write the review immediately or in a couple days; whether you love or hate the book; whether you’re a technical reviewer or an emotional one.

Actually write the review.

This seems like a given, but there are a lot of book bloggers who are notorious for typing the good old RTC on Goodreads and never coming back to it.  Sure, sometimes there’s a lot of emotions and you need it to settle in, but a lot of times, if you don’t have a set time to write that review, life will happen, and the review will be forgotten.

Make a plan – find a time that works for you.  A review doesn’t have to be this long, deep thing.  While reviewers like Emily May are fantastic if you want a really in-depth view of the book, a lot of people won’t stop and read a whole long review like that. A short list, or a brief paragraph of what did/didn’t work for you is sufficient!  It’s important you stick to what works for you – if that’s a long review, great!  If it’s just a couple sentences… also great!

After all – you read the book, and your opinion matters.  Maybe your review will be the one that gets the book on someone’s TBR… or off it.

Cross-post your review.

While posting on just Goodreads or just your blog is good to keep the information for yourself or maybe a couple others, authors rely on you posting that review on the purchase sites.  Many people rely on reviews or Amazon or Barnes & Noble to build their reputation and inspire others to buy the book, not just read it.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to Barnes & Noble in particular to post a review, only to find there’s less than 10 reviews there.  Classics and older books get a lot of reviews, but the new releases are just barely hanging on.  And debuts?  Indie authors?  They really need readers to get over to those sites and post.

It only takes a second to jump over and copy/paste your Goodreads review, easy as pie!  And the authors really appreciate it.

To add one more point to this one, also make sure you’re posting to social media?  This’ll drive traffic to your reviews.  This will also spread the word for the authors, doubly important when you love the book and want everyone to read it.

Know when (and when not) to tag the author.

Authors genuinely love hearing when you love a book.  At least, that’s my experience.  I’ve had author engagement on review-related social media from what I’ve written for Reign of the Fallen, Tess of the Road, and Not the Girls You’re Looking For – and that’s just off the top of my head.

However, if you’re writing a raging review, no matter how wronged you feel you’ve been, do not tag the author.

Seriously, I cannot emphasize this enough.  It’s just plain rude?  How would you like it if someone walked up to you at work, trapped you in a corner and started telling you all the things they hated about the way you did your job?  In an office, that can actually be called harassment.  Do not do it.

But, if you loved the book….

If you loved the book, feel free to tag the author so they can read all about it!  Nothing feels better when you’ve put a lot of time and effort into something to hear from a client, customer, or peer that you made their day.

Today’s Book Blogger Hop asks:

Where do you post your reviews besides your blog? Please list them all so perhaps we can find some new sites.


Short answer: YES. I post to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, LibraryThing, Goodreads, and NetGalley (if applicable)


Where do you post your reviews?

Do you like writing reviews?

Has an author ever commented/retweeted/linked your review?

Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | Bloglovin’ | LibraryThing | The StoryGraph | BookTube


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11 responses to “Three Things to Make Sure You Do When You Review

  1. I love these tips! I especially think tagging the author when writing a good review is such a good way of saying “I appreciate what you do. Writing isn’t easy and its a lot of work, so they deserve to know when we love their work.

    • Amber

      I can’t tell you how many happy review retweets I’ve seen from authors – especially DEBUT authors who have just gone through their first stress year as a new writer – all excited that not only are people reading their book, but liking it! I try to always tag authors in 4 and 5 star reviews, even if the book is old. 🙂

  2. Great advice!!! I do full reviews when I can but I always end up with a backlog of reviews I need to write so I try to do mini reviews to clear out my list! That was I actually post a review! And Cross posting is super important!

    Brittany recently posted: Friday Face-Off: Legend
    • Amber

      Mini reviews are definitely better than no review at all! Plus, I think more people prefer to read mini-reviews on blogs because they’re less wordy. 🙂

    • Amber

      I totally agree with writing a review before starting a new book – if for no other reason than to make sure you aren’t projecting your current feelings on to the old book! 🙂

  3. I can’t understand how people tag authors in a negative review – it must upset the author so much. An author once found my negative review and commented on it (he was very polite), but I was so mortified! *shudders*

    • Amber

      Totally agree – it’s so rude and I just don’t understand how some people’s minds work. It’s nice that he was polite (brownie points to him!) but yeah that can be so awkward.

  4. You’re so right about tagging authors – there is no need to unless you have positive things to say! Not to say that you shouldn’t write negative reviews, just be considerate.

    I write my reviews on my blog and goodreads. I’m trying to write them more on Amazon because that helps with algorithms too!