One of the most important things to a self-published author is reviews. I keep track of mine on goodreads, but reviewing directly on the book distributor’s website (like Amazon) is important as well to let potential buyers know how you felt about the book. There is also Bookbub, but I don’t see that utilized as much, unfortunately.
I write a practical book report every time I do reviews, but I do this because I think it’s very important for a reader to know how I feel about specific parts of their work. The first thing I do is explain how I felt about the work overall, and then I get into spoilers territory, which I notate very clearly on my review. There’s a clear example on this for my review for From Chaos Comes Order: Book One: Chaos. When I do that, I focus on characters more than anything, and my feelings on them. I’ll mention whether or not I connected well and why.
I think it’s important in a review to point out that you have different preferences than other readers, as everyone is unique. That should be a given, but many people forget that nowadays. Therefore, I will point out tropes I see in the work that I dislike, but remind people that it might not bother them if they read it. This way, you are being honest, but also reminding those looking into the reviews to be mindful of that fact.
Tropes I will not hesitate to point out I dislike are: “All members of [x] race are evil”, “Only people special or born with it can use magic”, and “who’re they gonna pick love triangle”. I really don’t like any of those tropes, and will point out that I rated lower due to them more often than not. I stick to my guns with that sort of thing, I will admit, while understanding that people have different tastes.
I will also point out the tropes I saw that I enjoy, of course. I enjoy “Enemies to lovers” done right, for example, and that are not depicting a toxic relationship. If I see someone doing a good job with it, therefore, I will not hesitate to tell them.
My long and complex reviews are not the rule of thumb, and more often than not, I’ve wondered if I should just become a book blogger. The thing is, I don’t really read enough books a month in order to do that, and have so many projects going on already. It’s not entirely off the table, though, with how large my reviews are.
All in all, any sort of feedback, even a “I really loved this book!” or “This book just wasn’t for me” in terms of reviews is greatly appreciated by authors. Remember, if you read a book or consume any sort of media, please be sure to leave your thoughts!
3 thoughts on “How I Write Reviews”
Definitely solid points. I myself leave some fairly detailed reviews on books I read, even in genres I normally don’t read and focus on what makes the book work and what doesn’t make the book work.
I also agree I would be a book blogger if I did not have a number of projects and real life stuff on my plate. Reviews seem very rare with indie authors. I would preview a bad review of my work than no review at all.
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This is so insanely helpful, particularly including a disclaimer on your own reading preferences. Stories are so subjective, and what may work for some or even most, might not work for others.
I’ve been wanting to write book reviews for a while and will definitely keep this post in mind!
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Aw thanks, I’m glad it’s helpful! I was hoping my insight on what I do would help folks 🙂 It’s a similar concept to what I do with beta reading too. I should do a beta reading article sometime!