It’s been awhile since I participated in this meme. Actually, it’s been awhile since I participated in any memes. November was an extremely busy month for me, and December is looking like it will be even busier. If that were even possible. Because of that, my reading/reviewing has not been moving as swiftly as I would like it to. So, it’s either leave my blog to collect dust while I get my editing done, or participate in some memes so you guys have something to read and so I can fill in the blank spaces that are so glaringly obvious.
Hopefully this is a solution. Because it’s driving me crazy. I love my blog so much. And I also love editing. I’m finding it difficult to balance the two, but I am unwilling to give either up. So cross your fingers that this works for me.
Anyways, on to the topic of this week’s TGIF: What’s your process for writing book reviews? Any tips or suggestions you would recommend to other bloggers?
And I have to honestly say, it depends. I don’t have one format that works for me. Sometimes I wait a few days to write my review, and sometimes I do it immediately upon finishing. For me it all hinges on how I feel about the book. If I finish and the book makes me feel like writing, then I pick up the laptop and go. And sometimes I need to ponder points in my head and figure out why certain things happened and how I feel about them. Those are the times when I wait a few days.
When I do decide to write the review, I just go. Get all my thoughts out first. Then, when I feel satisfied, I go back and edit. I read through my review a couple of times making changes as necessary. But I think the most important thing is to get those thoughts out first. Because I don’t know about you, but my brain doesn’t hold on to its ideas very long. This is the reason I have learned to carry a notepad with me pretty much everywhere.
I don’t usually do a blurb of the book. I don’t like summarizing. I’ll do one if I think the blurb provided was crap for whatever reason, but usually I just jump right into the technical aspects of the book. What I liked and didn’t like. I also like talking about how the book made me feel. I like my reviews to be as personal as possible. I know that is frowned upon in certain circles, but frankly I could care less what the “pros” think.
Tips I can give to other bloggers? I’m not sure you want those. But I’ll do my best.
First of all, my situation is a little different. I edit books for my job. I read manuscripts that aren’t finished. They still need work. So when a book comes to me for review that I feel is still unfinished, I get really mad. Really, REALLY, mad. There is just no excuse for this. I don’t care why it happened. All I know is that you sent it to me for review and you should be ashamed of yourself for sending out a book that’s unedited. Yes, I am a little more lenient with indie novels. But that doesn’t mean your cat can walk on your keyboard and I will give it five stars. As a rule, if ANY novel that I read for review has more than five grammatical errors, I make a note of it. And to be honest, I think that’s extremely generous of me.
My point to writing this is: bloggers, you don’t get paid for this. If a book you are reading is making you feel like you should be getting paid, it must be horrible. Put the book down and step away. There is no rule that says you have to finish it. And if you have read the first 100 pages (which is generally where I will stop), and you are still not into it for whatever reason, don’t continue to torture yourself. Move on to something you will enjoy.
That’s the biggest piece of advice I can give to other bloggers. I know there are those of you who have a policy of finishing whatever book you start. And no offense, but I think you are crazy. I never want blogging to feel like work. I love my real job, but I also need a hobby. Blogging is my hobby. And the minute it starts to feel like a chore, I stop and ask myself, “Why?” Then I fix that problem and it becomes fun again.
This was a great topic this week. Thanks for posing the question Ginger. I really enjoyed this one.