I’m dashing out this little impromptu blog post in response to one of my own tweets that I put out there this morning.
Here it is:
I’ve just got in from a very snow filled day at work and I’m freezing my breasticles off but I think I just need to get a few thoughts out of my head and onto a blog post. (If my poor frozen icicle like digits will cooperate with my typing!).
What I consider to be a decent review (in my humble book blogger opinion) may not be what YOU consider to be a decent review. I appreciate we are all different in how we read our books and compose our reviews. Some of us write copious notes, I personally don’t.
I’m loathe to soft soap it and trot out the anodyne phrase ‘there’s no right or wrong way’ when it comes to reviewing a book even though by and large that’s correct. What I’m saying is I think there is a line of what is acceptable, (again in my opinion!) and I have seen quite a few reviews over the past few months from many and varied bloggers which, if I was an author or a publicist I would be disappointed with.
I don’t think that a copy and pasted blurb plus a sentence or two constitutes a full review. I just don’t. It’s even more galling when the book being reviewed is a high profile, much sought after book that myriad other bloggers would ADORE a copy of. Bloggers who would take the time to read it and compose a fully rounded, detailed review.
I see reviews that contain the barest of bare minimum and which could have come directly from Amazon or from snatches of other people’s reviews.
I consider this unfair on the author and a kick in the proverbials for any hard working publicist.
We all review differently and there are times we write posts which wang on and on about a book (particularly if we’ve adored it) and times we find it difficult to assimilate our thoughts or are tied down to how much we can reveal spoiler wise. I would still argue though that even in the worst possible case of ‘ALL THE WORDS HAVE DROPPED OUT OF MY HEAD ITIS’ you could still write more than 3 sentences.
I don’t think there is a direct correlation between the length of a review and the quality of a review. I don’t think there’s a line graph plotting that in any GCSE maths revision book. BUT I think if all you’ve got is literally 2 or 3 sentences then they better be the best, most stunning, erudite, learned musings worthy of some kind of philosophical prize to be acceptable as a review.
What I’m saying is there is a level.
I would say my own reviews are of average length. I personally don’t enjoy reading reviews which are too wordy so I don’t write them either. Nor do I dash off one or two sentences and think ‘that’ll do’.
I think there is a fine balance to be struck. Don’t get me wrong, there are times that I feel like I have NO DISCERNIBLE GRASP OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE and really struggle to put my thoughts down. In these cases I step away from the review and revisit it when inspiration strikes…..usually after a few too many coffees and the caffeine hit makes me feel like I could wrestle a bear.
In summing up (because my tea is nearly ready, sausage and mash, thanks for asking) my tweet this morning was not in any way shape or form a direct attack on one person. In fact, it wasn’t even an ‘attack’. If you know me AT ALL you will know I’m a lover not a fighter kids!
I think it’s an interesting subject and has prompted a few thought provoking little exchanges today.
What are your thoughts?…..what constitutes a good review in your eyes?
Should also just say I’m in no way tooting my own horn with this post. You guys know that I often post on Twitter that I can’t find the words for a review or I feel like an imposter. I think my reviews are ok. I would hope they aren’t disappointing to the reader, the author or the publisher but who knows!?
Anyway, peace out. I’m off for my bangers and mash.
See you soon.
Amanda – Bookish Chat. Xxx