Question – What Do You Look For In A Review?
A few weeks back, Cabin Goddess posted a question that immediately caught my attention. She asked: “What do you look for in a review?” See? Great question! When I read that I knew I had to bring it over here to see what you all had to say about it.
I know when I write my reviews, I write what feels right to me. I write what I like to read in a review.
I do not agree with bashing an author in a review. You are not there to talk about the author personally; you are supposed to write about his/her book. In fact, I don’t like bashing reviews in general. If all someone does in a review is go on and on about how terrible a book it was and fills their review with snarky remarks and too many puns, I just can’t take it seriously. When I read a review like that, I assume that the reviewer is only out to get a rise out of people and therefore isn’t offering her true opinion of the book. In that case, I ignore the review. Kriss, who wrote the original post for Cabin Goddess wrote “Have a sense of duty and professionalism when you write them” and I completely, absolutely, 100% agree with that statement. Whether you are a blogger or a reader, that is something to remember while you are writing your review.
I also do not like reviews that just say “I liked it” or “I didn’t like it”. I need to know why the reviewer felt the way she felt. That does not mean the review needs to be long, it just needs a ‘why’ here and there. It’s good to write the reasons because sometimes the one reason you didn’t like a book is the exact reason why someone might. So it’s important to tell your readers the reasons behind your rating.
I like to see a little personality in the review. Just as every author has his or her won writing voice, so does every reviewer. It’s nice to see a little bit of them shine through – it makes the review more fun and interesting to read.
As for how the reviews are posted – whether or a blog or Goodread or what have you – I like the book’s cover to be there, where the book belongs if it’s part of a series (what # it is) and I like the release date to be listed too. And I like a rating. Number or letter, don’t matter, I just like to see a rating. For me, that’s important. Don’t know why…it just is. *shrugs* Other than that, I don’t really look for other information. I know many blogs post links to other reviews for the same title but I’m just not sure if enough people actually use those links to bother doing the same with my reviews. I know myself; I rarely use them since I have my regular ‘too many blogs to count’ that I check a few times a week to see what they had to say about what they’ve been reading. And of course there is always Goodreads. I love that site.
So there you have it: what I look for in a review. Now it’s your turn to answer…
What do you look for in a review?
And just a little side question here: Do authors look for different things than readers/bloggers?