Showing posts with label book review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book review. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

When is it Okay to Talk About Sequel Spoilers? | Book Blogging Etiquette (#10)



Don't you just love getting your favorite book series spoiled? 

Fortunately this hasn't happened to me in a while but I'm very much not looking forward to this happening anytime soon.







Be gentle on your readers- especially on social media.

Whenever I'm talking about a sequel I always assume that someone out there who has an eye on my social media is still planning to read the first one. Even if that book came out in, say, 2005. There is no expiration date on reading and if something isn't so popular that it's pretty much general pop culture knowledge by now (for example Darth Vader being Luke Skywalker's father), you really shouldn't ruin someone's day by talking about spoilers without labeling them. Anywhere.

The thing is, I try to be as inclusive with my blog as I possibly can. I want backlist and frontlist readers to have a great time here, I want to provide as much of a variety in terms of the books that I review and the content I provide as I can. Same goes for my social media. It's only logical then to also take into consideration that there will be readers out there who are planning on reading the first book to sequel you're talking about.

Very often I hear from people who read my blog that my review made them interested in reading a specific book. And that often happens with sequels, too. I like to think that the people who read my blog also care about my opinion on things and that I to some degree am able to influence their decision whether to read a book or not. And blatantly spoilering left and right on social media and blog, knowing that there are possible readers and fans of a series or book I've already read out there is just a no no.

You're ruining everyone's online experience by doing that. Especially when we're talking about social media where you can't mark spoilers appropriately and by default end up spoilering someone if you talk about it openly.

What about reviews?

Of course, sequel reviews are completely out of the picture here. If you're purposely clicking on a review of a sequel, that's your own fault for getting spoilered. I personally find that it's nearly impossible to write a high quality review for a sequel without spoiling anything about the first book. I'm usually still trying to keep the worst spoilers to myself if no necessary, but usually it's fair game to spoil in sequel reviews in my opinion.

(It should go without saying that unlabeled spoilers have no business in a review of a standalone or first in a series, by the way, that's why I'm not even addressing this. NEVER do this.)

So how do I prevent this whole mess?

Simple. By labeling your spoilers. Don't be a meanie and mark your spoilers.



What's the last book that somebody spoiled for you?




More Book Blogging Etiquette:


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Thursday, July 14, 2016

No Comments on Book Reviews? | Book Blogging Tips (#42)




What I've noticed recently is that book reviews generally seem to get less reader interaction in form of comments. 

And I wonder why, because reviews tend to be the one thing I focus most on when I'm checking out a new blog. 


I personally read other blogs mostly for the reviews, but I figured maybe that's not what everyone seems to be interested in.

So I did a little digging, observed my own commenting habits, and tried to find out why people tend to comment less on book reviews than on other posts


1) People like to share their opinion

You'd think this would go towards the "reasons why people comment on reviews" pile, but it doesn't. Not everyone will read or even think about reading the same books as you. While I do follow many, many, and almost exclusively YA book blogs, there are maybe only two people whose tastes mesh very nicely with mine. 

If your readers haven't read the book - they can't share their opinion of it, so no comments on that!

2) Reviews are longer than most other posts

Everyone has their own way of writing reviews, but I noticed that people tend to write too much rather than too little. If I see a brick wall of a review in front of me, I sometimes just close the window and don't read it, even if I was interested in that blogger's opinion in the first place. I usually just zone out after a certain length and just skim the review. If I have skimmed the whole thing, I don't feel comfortable commenting.

3) Formatting is everything - you can lose a lot of readers over this

The only thing that's worse than having a 2500 word review is a poorly formatted 2500 word review. I do know some bloggers who do this only with their reviews but format everything nicely. If you post reviews like these, it's even less likely to get comments. 


Should we just stop writing reviews then? Nobody reads them anyways...

There are so many factors that can impact whether I read a review in the first place and whether I'll comment. Even if there's a perfectly formatted, wonderful short review of a book that I have read by someone that I trust - I don't think this would be a 100% guarantee that I'll comment. And you want to know why? Because I'm scared to disagree. 

Sometimes I don't like a book and I still keep reading reviews of it to see if I'm the only one, but I don't want a fight.

There'll always be books that people like or dislike, and there'll always be people who defend said book to their dying breath. I think maybe that might be the reason why there are usually so few comments on book reviews. People don't necessarily agree and don't want to start a fight. Maybe this, or they just don't read them.

Regardless, I'll still keep writing reviews. Will you?

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Do You Actually Review Unsolicited ARCs? | Book Blogging Tips (#38)


When I first started out, being sent ARCs by publishers seemed to be the holy grail of blogging. I mean, if you look at all those pictures on the instagram pages of the big name book bloggers and booktubers, you can't help but think like this.

What always struck me as weird is the fact that some bloggers get sent DOZENS of books every month. 

As a fairly quick reader, I read about 8 books per month (that's a good month for me!). I can hardly imagine how anyone could possibly read more than 20 books a month EVERY month. If you do, I salute you.


Let's be honest: Who even reads all those ARCs?!

One of my favorite booktubers, Abookutopia publishes book hauls every month, showing about 10+ ARCs by publishers that have been sent to her unsolicitedly. 

I get that it's a business and they're already profiting from the fact that a big name blogger like her only mentions these books briefly in her videos or shows the covers quickly. I hardly believe she read even half of these books. It's just a business transaction, nothing more and I don't blame her for doing this. It's basically impossible to read all those books, especially because she states all the time that 90% of them are unsolicited. I would have a panic attack, because I'd feel like I actually had to read all of those to be honest.

Most people who get the same amount of ARCs hardly are able to read those unless they have some kind of super power. To me, it just defeats the purpose of ARCs to just hoard them and show them off. For the publishers this might be still a good way to advertise, to just have their books appear on instagrammers' pages and in booktuber's videos. Of course the exposure on a big name's page is much bigger than the exposure they'd get from my blog for example.

Technically, you're under no obligation to review them

You didn't agree to reviewing ARCs that were sent to you unsolicitedly, it's only a matter of politeness if you do. In Germany things works a little differently and you hardly ever get sent anything that you didn't request, so I didn't have to deal with that problem personally, but it seems very stressful.

Personally, I would never let a single book that is sent to me go without a review, but if you're getting sent dozens of books every month, it's pretty understandable that you can't review them all. Let alone read them all.


Do you get unsolicited ARCs? Do you write reviews for them/ have the time to read them?

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

How to Deal With DNFs | Book Blogging Tips (#29)


We've all had it and we all dread it. DNF-ing a book is probably one of the worst things to happen to a book blogger. 

But sometimes you just don't want to finish a book and that's perfectly okay. 

What is a DNF?
A DNF is a book you did not finish for what reason ever.



Why It's Okay
Not all books are for everyone. 
You have to think like this: If you're forcing yourself to finish every single book you start, you'll miss out on a lot of great books while you're stuck reading the shitty ones. Life is too short to torture yourself with bad literature. Don't feel bad because your taste doesn't match with every single thing you read.

I've even DNF-ed books and afterwards went on to ask a friend who read it about what happened next. If you simply don't feel like the writing clicks with you - don't read it. You're under no obligation to finish any book.

When to DNF
  • You don't have any enthusiasm left for the book, you're dreading every page you have to read. When is it over again?
  • You dislike the characters so much that you've just stopped caring about their journey
  • The author pulls an unforgiveable faux-pas
  • The plot is too graphic, too emotional, too violent etc. for your taste
  • Poor langugae makes you have to guess what the author is trying to tell you
  • Copy cats: Haven't you seen this somewhere else? 

As you see, there are millions of reasons to DNF a book. If yours is not on this list I'm not even surprised. You can DNF for thousands of reasons and every single one is a justified and perfectly okay reason to.

What if it's an ARC?

Actually, most publishers I've worked with state in a the package leaflet that it's okay if you dislike a book. You don't even have to DNF it- if you flat out change your mind about wanting to read a review copy , you should send your contact an email. 

Most publishers are very considerate. You can even send the copy to another blogger for review and inform your industry contact. You don't even have to be specific as to why you didn't want to read the review copy after all. Just be respectful and state that the book wasn't for you.

With review copies though I have a minimum of 50 pages for every book to get me hooked. Don't DNF if you've only read ten pages, especially not with review copies, that's just disrespectful. 


How do you handle DNFs?

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Thursday, October 8, 2015

9 Methods to Write A Sucky Book Review | Book Blogging Tips (#20)


I've let you in on the secrets of writing good reviews already, now it's time to show you what NOT to do. Reviewing may be a matter of style and personal preference but there are at least nine surefire ways to mess up. Avoid those.


1. Synopsis > Review

Make sure that you have a review in the first place! If your review is 90% synopsis and one sentence of opinion, you're doing something wrong

2. Where's the Opinion?

Your review should make clear what you thought of the novel. There has to be a rating and you HAVE to state what you think. You don't necessarily need to sum up at the end, but your reader has to know what you think about the book after they read the review

3. Review ≠ Summary

Don't narrate the plot. Your readers don't only want to hear what the book is about three times, they want to know what you thought of it

4. Unlabeled Spoilers

If you want to get insulted in your comments, that's the way to do it! Posting hardcore spoilers is a no-go and seriously, why. You're just ruining other people's days and possibly attracting their fury. 

5. War and Peace #2

It's nice to write out your opinion and sometimes you just have to post a very long review. I understand that it's not easy to get it all in, but that's why reviewing is a craft. 

If your reviews are always more than 1000-1500 words long you should really learn to shorten them. Occasionally it's fine, but don't do it every time.

6. "Mini-Reviews"

I don't know why this is a thing and I don't want to know. So-called mini reviews are super short reviews, I've seen people post 5 sentence long ones. I personally think that you shouldn't do things halfheartedly

If you don't have the time to write a proper review, wait and do it when you do have the time. It's extremely disrespectful to the author to do this instead of a full review when you've received a review copy. I've seen it all.

7. GIFs

It's some people's style to add some reaction GIFs and that's perfectly okay. But if you need fifteen GIFs or more and then add about a sentence each for your review, that's a little unsettling. I wonder what your review would look like without all those GIFs. 

Maybe try and state your opinion verbally and cut out two or three of them, I'm sure you'll be able to convey the same message easily.

8. Quotes, Quotes, Quotes

If I wanted to read quotes, I'd actually bother to buy the book instead of reading your review. Did you know that it's against the copyright for most publishers to use a quote that's longer than 25 words? 

You actually have to pay for the right to be able to use quotes of that length. I'm sure you didn't contact the publisher and acquire rights for that, so stop it right there. 
A quote here and there is fine, but when you're copying an actual paragraph it's not only illegal, but also super annoying to read. Scratch out the quote and just describe what it says. 

9. No Formatting

It makes it 299% easier for your readers to read longer texts if you format. There's italic, bold and underline set in your blogging plat form as default script editing for a reason. Use bigger and smaller fonts, use colors, go nuts! If you don't, people won't bother reading your longer posts.


What are your reviewing NO-GOs?



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