I am asked why I review books all the time and if it’s because I get free books. The short answer is NO, but I thought I would explain why I review books. Maybe it will inspire you to review the books you read.
I started reviewing books way before this blog because I read a book that I loved and wanted to thank the author by leaving a review for others to see. Then I started reviewing all the books that I loved even though they were short reviews. If I won a book in a giveaway I left a review as a thank you then I joined some street teams of favorite authors and learned about ARCs and started reviewing those. That is also where I learned about book blogs and fell in love with the idea.
When I started my blog It was and still is my mission to help support authors and spread the word about their books. The way I write my reviews as changed over time from short say “I loved it” to longer with more details as to why I loved it. When I started I only had the books I bought to review and it was a long time before I was asked to review a book. I turned down quite a few then and still do because I’m not after a free book. I only accept ones I’m truly interested in and know I have time to read them. I still have street teams I’m apart of because I love those authors books. I know that my reviews help those authors spread the word about their books and people that are looking for a book to read can see that others liked it.
The best feeling in the world is when an author says your review touched them or made them feel great. Another great feeling is when a reader says your review made them want to read the book.
If you love a book leave a review to let the author know so they keep writing. They don’t have to be long or detailed reviews. Even if you didn’t love it, a review can still be helpful to the author to know what people aren’t liking. Just don’t be harsh or not explain why you didn’t like it. Reviews like that also help readers avoid something that might trigger them or has something they don’t like in it like foul language or open door love scenes.
My tips for writing a review:
Say what you loved, but leave out spoilers. Look at the blurb to see what is mentioned so you don’t give away something. How you avoid spoilers is to be vague about details like say you love the twist with a certain character or that you loved the proposal scene because it was different. You want to intrigue someone to find out what happened or is different.
If you didn’ like something then explain why, but in a nice way. You don’t want to bash it or spoil something for others, but want to explain that whatever didn’t work for you. If there is something that upset you, triggered you, or could bother others include that. I always put a note in my review if the book deals with a sensitive subject (abortion, abuse, etc) as a main part of the story and not just mentioned in passing, or if there is graphic violence or rape.
Size doesn’t matter. You can do the short and sweet “I loved it” or longer ones. whichever fits the book. The only time that I think short doesn’t work is if you didn’t like it because nothing is worse for an author or even a reader is to see “I hated it” without an explanation. Sometimes those reviews are for the wrong book or just someone being mean that has never read it.