Read, Read, Read! Review?

With the first Mud Show Monday complete, this post is also all about book reviews.

I’m assuming if you’re reading this then you probably love to read (not just my blog, but I do thank you).

So you read a book and you LOVED it? What do you do? Do you tell your neighbor? A friend? Your dog? Anyone?

You could tell everyone. How, you ask? ¬†Just write a review! ūüôā

Why Write Reviews?

Reviews encourage the author.

“Someone read my book and liked it!”¬†Shouts every author everywhere.

Every writer (published or not) wants to know that people are reading what they write (and hopefully enjoying it).

When I worked for the circus, I loved watching the crowd. I loved the kids that bounced in their seats and squealed with joy. Families cheering and clapping always made me smile. The performers loved it too. They couldn’t watch the crowd like I could, but they could hear the applause and feel the energy. Some crowds were great, and some sat there like bumps on a log.

No cheering, no clapping, no laughing. The show was the same, but sometimes crowds didn’t like to show their enjoyment. Perhaps it was too much effort to clap and hoot and holler. Perhaps they were quiet in general.

My point is, energetic crowds made a three show Saturday far more fun than quiet crowds. The circus is full of entertainers. They want to know their crowd is being entertained. Everyone loves to know they (and their work) are appreciated.

So spread that circus love and let your favorite entertainer author know you loved their work.

What if an author doesn’t read my review?

Just because you write a review doesn’t guarantee the author will ever see it. They might, and that would be fun, but what if they don’t? Some authors might not even¬†read reviews of their books. Ever.

So what’s the point then?

Your review might be read by a publisher or it could be read by your fellow readers. Maybe someone reads your review and decides they share your tastes so they read the book too. Reviews are a great way to help publicize a book you love.

What if the book is bad?

Hmm…now that is a conundrum. But what defines a bad book?

Poor grammar? Shoddy story line? Gaping plot holes? Rotten characters?

All of the above? None of the above?

Ok, well if you really and truly can’t find a single nice thing to say, then it probably is best to say nothing at all.

Oh, but you have to write a review for the publisher or a project or your blog or your 8th grade English Literature class?

Well in that case, here are some tips to make your review a bit more constructive as opposed to¬†simply saying “I hated it”.

  1. Find one thing (even if it’s tiny) that you liked about the book. I have faith that you can find one little thing, but if not, then find something you sort of liked and embellish a little.
  2. Define specifically what didn’t work for you. Do you not like toads and it was “All About Toads”? Too spooky? Boring¬†characters? If it was less about the content and more about the grammar or story construct, talk about that instead. If an author can understand what wasn’t working for you, it makes the hit to the ego a little less harsh. We all have different tastes and any reasonable person/author will understand. Not liking something and expressing why, is not the same as writing a hateful review.
  3. Try to think of someone who would like the book. Even if it’s your¬†weird neighbor down the street who never wears pants, someone is bound to think this book is the greatest book ever written. Instead of focusing your review on why you don’t like the book, focus on who would maybe like it instead.

Something of a Club

Becoming active among the book reviewers circle can feel like you’re part of a club. A massive, amazing book club!

Have a book you want to discuss but none of your friends have read it? Write a review or comment on someone else’s review. Checking out book review blogs is a great way to find reviews of books you’ve read and bloggers LOVE comments.

Advance Reading Copies

If you decide you love, love, love to write reviews, there are a few sites you can join to get advanced reading copies for free. Even if you only like reviewing a little bit, it can still be fun. These reviews help publicize the book prior to its release and give the author and publisher some feedback.

How it works

In exchange for a free print or digital copy, you agree to leave an honest review of the book. Requirements vary by site, and some require that you have an active blog and post the review there. Others are happy with a review posted on Amazon or GoodReads. Selection varies by site and not all books are available for immediate download. Many books must be requested, and then your request may or may not be approved by the publisher.

There are many sites available, but here are a few I use:

Net Galley

Edelweiss

Story Cartel

Blogging for Books

Use these sites as you will, I’m not paid to endorse them and I can offer no more assistance than to say I’ve registered with each of them and was able to read books for free and leave reviews.

Now, go forth my little circus fans, and read, read, read! Then Review! 

The entertainers will love you for it ūüôā

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Cue the applause ūüėČ