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Monday, August 20, 2012

What Do You Look For In A Review?

This is my first real blog hop that I have participated in.  I’ve only been posting Romance reviews for just over a year and thought this was a good way to reflect on everything that I have done in that year.  I think that I have grown and learned from others that also post reviews.  And I am interested to see what you think.
My reviews are, for the most part, reviews of all things romance.  I have been a romance fan since my grandmother introduced me to my first Harlequin.  Once I read it, I was hooked.  Now, Harlequin is not the only publisher that I read.

1.        What are you looking for in a review?  Honesty.  We all have our own opinions but I believe you have to at least be honest.  Authors are not the only ones that will be reading your review.  Fellow readers are also looking to see what you like, or don’t like, about the book.  I’m also looking for that “hook” that will make me want to pick that book up and read it from cover to cover.  I also love those people that include a book trailer if they know one is available – that’s one of those “hooks”.   You will also notice that not everyone uses “stars” for their ratings.  It is one thing that makes the reviewer more of an individual.  I would be interested to see what type of rating system you prefer.

2.        What do you think are the most important elements to include?  Who are the main characters and are they going to make me like the book?  You want to know what characters you’re going to fall in love with or that you’re going to hate.  Sometimes there are minor characters that are included.  Not too often, but on rare occasions, I have preferred reading about the author’s minor characters.  There are also times that I can’t wait to find out if they are going to have their own book.  Let the reader know if the book is a part of a series.
       Another important element is a copy of the book cover.  We want to see the cover of the book that is being reviewed.  Book covers sometimes can be very important at getting my imagination going as I read the story.  I also love to see if the book reminds you of something.  It may be a movie you have watched, a song you have heard or a childhood memory.  Has the author included a lesson in their story?  Are all of the characters perfect or is there someone not quite so perfect?  If they’re writing a historical romance, will I get a little history lesson?

3.       What would you like to see more?  I want more of a review that tells me what they felt about the book and less of a synopsis.  I want to read the book for myself.  I did my first audiobook review (you can read it at and found that I would have liked to hear more than one actor/actress reading the book.  When I read a story, I don’t hear one voice.  Each character has their own voice and audiobooks should be the same way.  When we watch a movie, one actor doesn’t play all the parts.  Is there something in my reviews that you would like to see more of?

4.        What would you like to see less?  There have been some reviewers that can get caught up in their review and end up divulging more than they should.  If you put in spoilers than some things may not be a surprise for me and then why would I go out and buy the book.  Some books are longer than others and sometimes reviews are the same.  Shorter reviews can be better because it leaves the reader wanting to get the book.  Is there something in my reviews that you would like to see less of?

5.       What is the role of a review?  To let others know if a book is good or not.  What is it about the book that will make me want to spend my money?  I would also like to know whether it is good enough to buy the paperback edition or maybe just get the e-book edition.  Or maybe it’s just ok to save my money and see if I can borrow it from my local library.  Libraries are very important to the community.  Nobody can buy every book that comes out and libraries are a great way to supplement our reading material.

6.       How important is it?  Reviews can be important to a reader trying to decide whether they want to buy this book or buy another.  In this economy, books can be considered a luxury so people can be very picky about what they want to spend their money on.  There have to be some authors that think reviews are important.  Reviews can give them some idea on how well they think their book is going to do.  I know that they can be very important for libraries.  Libraries have only a specific budget in which to spend on books.  Reviews can make the difference between a book being purchased or not.

If you would like to see what others are saying, stop over to Reading Romance

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