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Sunday, August 19, 2012

What Do You Look For in a Review?






It seems that the subject of reviews comes up at least every couple of months. How much is too much, too little, spoilers, ratings, whether or not an author should comment on a review, how to handle bad reviews, and whether or not authors should review other authors.

First, I'd like to thank all the Bloggers out there, your support to authors is better than any paid advertising out there. Without you, I'd never know what book to read next, LOL. And you do it for FREE! I repeat, bloggers DO NOT get paid for reviewing books. They do it out of the goodness of their heart and for the love of the written word. They are taking their time to read and write their opinion, and most times helping authors, like me, succeed. So I love my fellow bloggers and shout out a huge THANK YOU to all of you.

Now on to the topic of Reviews

Reviews, IMHO, should not be too long and not give every detail of a book away. I will stop reading a review if it starts out giving me a synopsis. That’s what the description on Goodreads, Amazon, or whichever site I see the book on, is for. I don’t read reviews to find out what the book is about; I read them to see if the reviewer liked it or not and what they did or didn’t like about it, sometimes. Sometimes I don't even want to know that and I don’t want to read a book report. Sorry, I like to make my own judgments. I look at ratings, and sales rankings.

I review other authors if I like their book. If you see a review on my blog, it is because I liked the book. If I didn’t like the book, I won’t review it unless the author really wants me to after I’ve talked to them about it. I will tell an author privately, if they’ve asked me to review it, what I didn’t like and why. I believe constructive criticism is helpful and I would want the same treatment. I do not post a review on my blog of every single book I read. I do post them on Goodreads and recently have started to post on Amazon—now that I know how important it is to the ratings.

Should I comment on a review of my own book? I will comment with a thank you if I know the blogger, and say what a wonderful review, if it was in deed a good one. If not, a simple thank you is enough. Respect is very important. No one is obligated or guaranteed to love your book. I also believe that reviewers should respect the author and if they were given a free copy of the book to review, they should thank the author for it.

As for my own blog, I love comments so if an author wants to leave a comment on a review I've done for them, then I'm all for it—a respectful one. ♥

I think it is in very bad form for any reviewer to blatantly attack an author. It is very difficult to write a book. I'm sure most good reviewers realize that but I’m not sure about all of them. I think most of the ones I’ve come into contact with, do. A reviewer can give constructive criticism and still be kind and respectful. Respect is the magic word. I don't understand the need to slammed a book, and please, don't ever say how glad your were that you hadn't spent any money to purchase it. Very bad.

Those are my two cents. Have a great week everyone!

Be sure to visit the rest of the terrific bloggers on this tour and see what they have to say.








Thanks for reading.

Susan
        aka Regan Walsh



21 comments:

  1. I find it funny that i write long reviews, but rarely read a review before purchasing a book. Like you, I prefer to form my own opinions, and open a new book with an open mind. If its an author I like, I sometimes don't even bother reading the synopsis.

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    1. Me too, Lanie, if I know the author and have read their work before, I don't read the synopsis either. Come to think, I don't read too many synopsis. I might read the first couple of sentences but not much beyond that.

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  2. I love this. I prefer reviews to be a bit more detailed - but without spoilers, which is hard to do.

    And ABSOLUTELY on the respect. Common courtesy is a must.

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    1. I know. I it really hard to write a good review giving details without spoilers. Maybe that's why I don't do it. Something to think about.

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  3. I agree... I like short reviews, I don't want to read the book in a review!! I also agree about the respecting the authors and not attacking them!! Respect and Honesty are great points for a review!!

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    1. I find it amusing, especially on GR and Amazon where the book description is already right there to have to read it again in someone's review. Thanks for visiting.

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  4. I like a succinct review - I don't want to read pages and pages. I do (very quickly) summarise the book in my review - but only because I want the reader to see what I perceive the story of the book to be, which might not necessarily come across the same as the blurb! Honesty for me is the most important thing.

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    1. Succinct and tidy. LOL I wish I could give some more information in my reviews, but I find it very hard to do without telling something I think might be too revealing. I usually state how the book made me feel while reading. Thanks for visiting, Donna.

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  5. VERY well put - hate when bloggers try to personally attack the author. You may not like it but don't hate on the author for something they strongly believed in!

    The Brunette Librarian Blog

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    1. I haven't really seen this too much, but every once in a while. It is just as bad when an author attacks the reviewer. Thanks for sharing.

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  6. I like short reviews. I appreciate it when reviewers tell me about formatting issues in the electronic editions. That's my pet peeve! I'm following you, thanks!

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  7. Haha! Love the shout out.
    I hope my reviews don't sounds like a book report...
    Huh. I never thought of not reviewing books I didn't like. Maybe somebody sees my review or anybody else's and are on the fence about it. If it's really bad isn't it better to warn them?
    Did this blog hop too so hope you can check it out too.

    http://shesgotbooksonhermind.blogspot.com/

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  8. Hi Adriana, thanks for stopping by. I just think that reading is so subjective and if I give a really bad review because I didn't like it, than that really isn't fair because someone else might. And if it is written so horribly, then I think it is better to just let the author know in private and maybe they can fix it. But then, sometimes it is a good thing to get a good mix of both good and bad reviews. I'll off now to visit your site as well as some others. A few at a time.

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  9. R-E-S-P-E-C-T You got it right, Susan. That's what it's about. Good point you make, bloggers take their time and write reviews for free. Bless them!

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  10. Hi Susan, I like that you mention respect for both authors and book bloggers. Reviews take time, and time is money, so it's good for people to understand the investment that reviewer has put into both reading and reviewing the book. I agree with you that I don't like a repeat of the synopsis, but like Donna, I do tend to at least very quickly summarize the book so readers have an idea of what I thought it was about vs. what they blurb might say.

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  11. nice post and respect is always so important. I write short reviews because when a review is to long it often gives spoilers and I am not one that gives spoilers I want to entice them to go and get the book not tell them the whole book. So my reviews are short and sweet with just enough tease to send my readers to the store to purchase the book hopefully.

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    1. I love your reviews, Anna Banana. Thanks for commenting.

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  12. Great post! I agree that a reviewer should never attack an author. If the reviewer didn't enjoy the book, I like a clear, balanced explanation of why it didn't work for her. Not only does this come across as professional and respectful, but it enables me to decide for myself whether I'd like to read that book, despite the flaws the reviewer pointed out.

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    1. Thanks Stephanie. Professionalism and respect are number one.

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I love hearing from you and always look forward to your comments!