Did you know this Saturday marks my 100th Review?
When a reader decides to run a book blog, one of the many things they do is start writing review posts. How does one start a review? How does one get everything they need for a review? What is a review? Everyone starts pretty much the same; trying their best to find their ground and improve overtime. I started reviewing when I founded my original blog on July 19, 2016 and my first review was Wake by Lisa McMann. When I look back, I can tell that I have vastly improved over the years. What else did I learn?
Reviewing Takes Time
A normal review normally takes up an hour for me to write. One thing every blogger should be prepared for is the time it takes to write any post or reviews. They do take time for every process and to complete. Everything is put into these blog posts, so please take your time doing them and do not rush!
Find Your (Unique) Voice
Do not try to sound like someone else. Your blog is the embodiment of yourself and your personal book opinions. It should be your voice leading the opinions of a book as you review them, not someone else. People are following and reading your reviews for your voice and not someone else’s. I’ve struggled with this in the beginning. I didn’t think I was reviewing good enough. When you can write your thoughts to paper (or screen?), you’ll realize that what you’re typing is your own voice.
Write First, Review Second
Sometimes I over think when I write reviews. Lately, I have found that if I keep writing first to get my thoughts down, it is a great way to finish reviews. I have all my thoughts and opinions laid out and everything. Then I go back and make the changes and edits needed. You should always proofread your posts anyways so that it has no errors. I always forgot to do that when I first started and it showed it. It makes it much easier to publish posts when your confident your posts has little to no errors instead of worrying that it does. Everyone make mistakes, take them as lessons! If you realized you forgot a thought or two, now is the time to add them as well!
You Don’t Have to Review Every Book/Choose Your Pace
I’m sure everyone already knows this, so this is probably me telling myself to listen. I review every book I read because I feel that I have the need to in order to keep my reviews going in a steady rate. I only read about 5-7 books a month on average. I’ve seen some people put out multiple reviews a week. We have different paces as to when we review and read books. I have my reviews out every Saturday on a weekly basis. Choose a schedule in which you’re comfortable with. Don’t feel like you need to rush books just to get a review out. It takes the enjoyment out of reading and everyone should be reading for fun. There are some books that you may not want to review, and that is perfectly fine! I have read many books where I passed up reviewing mostly due to wide and successful followings. If you come across a book you don’t feel comfortable reviewing, know that you can pass it up as well. No one is going to be mad at you if you don’t review a book. When it comes to reading and reviewing, take your time because every word counts.
You should always be honest in your reviews. After all, people are reading your reviews for your thoughts and opinions. If you didn’t like a book, it is not going to mean that everyone else won’t like the book either. There is always someone who is going to disagree with you on anything. If a majority of reviews are praising a book, do not be afraid to put out that “unpopular opinion” review. Even with negative reviews, you’re still offering insights on a book others haven’t read yet and letting them choose for themselves. If you want to read honest reviews so you can choose your own books to read, then you should put out honest reviews out in return.
Don’t Be Afraid of Change
If you’re feeling like a change is needed in your reviews, try it out. If it doesn’t work, you can always go back. Opinions and voices change over time. If it happens, let it be! The voice is still yours as well as your opinions. This goes for changing formats as well. My reviews now have a new look because of a change and I love it. You do not always have to follow the latest blog/reviewing trends, but if it feels like you, try it. It won’t hurt.
I feel there are always more lessons to learn when it comes to reviewing, but it’s different for every reviewer. What lessons have you learned overtime? Is there anything you could add?