Thursday, November 3, 2011

Interview with a Reviewer

I want to thank Tina for having me on her blog today.  It’s really an honor.  Most people don’t want a reviewer on their blog much less having them talk about reviews.

Okay, right to it…a little background on myself.  I live in East Texas, raised in Dallas, married with one son in 1st grade and work an EDJ.  I review for CBLS Reviews, The Romance Studio and The Forbidden Bookshelf.  I also have a review blog that I update semi-regularly.  Why the information about me?  To let you know, that I’m a real person, with a real life and real everyday issues.  I’m not a god, a fairy, or an ogre.  I bleed just like you do.  Why the dramatics about me?  I have some things that I want to talk to you about reviewing and what goes through my mind when I’m reading a book for review.

1. I get to pick the books that I review.  Bet you didn’t know that?  Well, I do and I choose books/authors/publishers that I normally don’t read or know much about.  I pick books that are way out of my comfort zone.  When I decided to review, I decided that I wouldn’t read books or authors that I was comfortable with.  In the year that I began reviewing, I have found authors, genres and publishers that I seek out on a regular basis.  I have been given books to review from authors for my blog and again, I follow the same guidelines if I was reviewing it for one of the sites that I review for.

2. When I review a book, I look for the following:  plot (does it hold my interest), characters (do I even like them), flow (am I having to start and stop all the time) and lastly, did the characters connect emotionally and was it believable?

3. When writing a review, I don’t give out spoilers, the ending, the conflict, nor do I give out plot points.  I will however, talk about what I did like about the book and what I didn’t.  I hate when book review blogs from individuals give you a dissertation on the book.  I mean, why buy the book in the first place?  The blog already told you everything that you needed to now and more.  This is becoming more and more commonplace with so many people reviewing books on their blogs and it really pisses me off.  I have books on my Nook that I bought that sadly, I’ll probably never read because of it.  Grrr…

4. Also, if you get a bad review, just remember, its only ONE reviewer’s opinion.  Some people are going to love your stuff and some won’t love it.  Reviewing is subjective and therefore, should be taken with a grain of salt.  That said if the review is snarky and/or down right rude and mean, please, please let the review coordinator/owner know.  That should not be tolerated at all.  That does happen and it puts all reviewers in a bad light.

5. Lastly, why do I review?  I review because I love to read.  Period.  Some reviewers crave the power they have over an author but for me that’s the wrong reason to review.  I review for the simple pleasure of reading and then telling people why I liked it.

If you’re an author, tell me some of your experiences good or bad with reviewers.  No names, please.  If you’re a reader, what do you look for in a review?  I’ve listed below links to where I review to check me out.  I look forward to hearing from you. - personal review blog - Marika is my review name - Kate is my review name

 And you thought reviewers were stuffy and not human?

Thanks Marika for sharing with us.



KarennaC said...

Great information. Thanks for sharing!

Andrea said...

I'm a reader and agree with the way you review. It's disappointing when a review tells the whole story.

C. Zampa said...

The only thing I demand from a reviewer is respect.

There is a tactful way to deliver a less-than-stellar review.

The reviewer who handles my review with snark and demeans me not only insults me personally but my work which I've entrusted to them for their opinion.

I know for a fact you are a considerate, fair reviewer and I respect your for that!

Keep up the good work!

Casea Major said...

Yea! for Dallas. Great post, Marika!

flchen1 said...

Very good post, Marika--as a reader, while I sometimes appreciate a "blurb" like intro for the book, what I really want in a review is why the reviewer liked or didn't like the book. If the reviewer is articulate, that helps me decide whether the book is one I would enjoy, whether or not my tastes completely align with the reviewer's. Reviews that say, "LOVED it!" or "It was the worst book I have ever read!" but don't say why are completely unhelpful.

And truly, reviewing well is a gift--it's hard to summarize one's feelings about a book in a way that makes sense for someone else to read. It's why I *don't* review--it's hard! :)

Z said...

I do the same when I review, I don't give spoilers and I like to talk about what appealed to me. Haven't met but 2 books I didn't really care for. Those were pre-review days.