What Do I Include in My Review and What Do Publishers Like to See?!?
What things should I include in my review post?
First and foremost, regardless of how you structure your reviews, you want to add a little bit of yourself. As you grow and find your niche this will become second nature. What you ultimately want to achieve is to share your feelings and thoughts to help others decide if they will like or dislike the book. How you do this is entirely up to you! Some like to be snarky, some like to break things out into likes and dislikes and some like to add images, exclamation points and humor.
FTC Guidelines: If you received a book/arc you must clearly state this in plain sight on your review post. Any buy links? Be sure readers know they are supporting your blog when they make a purchase. Read the rules: HERE
The following are a list of suggestions based on questions I posed to readers:
The basic things readers like to see in a good review:
1. Why you bought book or decided to review it
2. A brief, spoiler free synopsis in your own words
3. Character analyses
a. personality (alpha, kick-ass, brat, whiny? we want to know)
you connect with them? why or why not?
c. character growth
you like or dislike them? Give reason why.
It's so important to back up your statement when analyzing a character. To simply state you like or dislike a character doesn't really help the reader determine if they will. For example I love snarky, bad-ass, headstrong characters and you may prefer soft spoken, moody, flawed characters. By sharing the why, you enable readers to decide for themselves.
it insta-love or a triangle?
it feel real to you?
d. is it the main focus or a subplot?
it feel plausible?
c. was it show or tell?
Was it an information dump, or slowly revealed? Did the author paint the world for you or smother you with details about chairs and wallpaper? Was it believable? Is it the same old troupe or did the author add their own voice to it? What worked? What didn't.
5. Flow, Author’s writing style
where you jarred from the story by anything?
it slow, fast paced, did the middle suffer?
the author make you connect with the characters & setting?
d. point of view (multiple?)
Hmm, how do I know what POV the book is from? Here is a simple guideline:
First Person: told from future, present or past tense, the author uses terms like I climbed the hill, we climbed the hill.
Second Person: generally found in non-fiction, like manuals the author uses terms like you lose or you all lose.
Third Person: this is the easiest to identify as the narrator isn't present in the tale and the author uses terms such as He climbed the hill, she climbed the hill, they climbed the hill.
6. Would you recommend it?
a. why or why not
7. Honest opinion, be trustworthy and state your true assessment.
Honesty is what people crave more than anything. They want to discern your tastes and know how theirs align with yours. Remember not everyone is going to love or loathe the same book, so if you loved it say so. If you wanted to smack it against the wall and scream; tell us why.
Things Readers Do Not Want to see:
1. Spoilers – readers want to experience the
book for themselves
2. Dishonesty, Plagiarism etc
3. No synopsis by publisher or recap by
4. Author Bashing - maintain professionalism and don't make it personal
5. No cover
6. A recap with no real opinion
Spoiler? A spoiler to me is any information regarding the plot that is not revealed in the synopsis. If you want to talk about something specific by all means do so but either give fair warning or be vague.
A vague example: The author brought up social issues regarding racism and made me reflect on my own opinion.
Readers said after they have read the book they love spoilers, but before they want clear warning if you have them.
Extras that Readers love to see added to the post:
1. Links to Goodreads
2. Buy links
3. Book trailers
4. Series- yes? no? What book is it?
5. information on next book or previous book
Things Publishers and Authors Like to see:
6. If you like (insert author or book) then you will like this.
7. Genre and age group
I emailed a few authors and publishers to find out what they like to see in a review and here are a few items:
1. General book info: cover, title, synopsis, publisher info, release date, genre
2. Honest and spoiler free review
3. author links/publisher links
4. Goodreads button
5. Buy links
6. A review posted within 2 weeks of release date before or after (for ARCS)
Again these are suggestions! Mold your reviews to fit your personality. Find your own voice and format.
Do you have a question or tip you'd like me to discuss?
Please email me or leave the question in the comments below.