Wednesday, 5 October 2011

I have a special treat today - Inside the Reviewer's!

I am so excited to invite a real-life romance reviewer to my blog today...her name of course, is confidential information....

When my guest offered to write this blog for me I was thrilled - as writers we often get far too involved in the whole process of review and its purpose. No review is personal and should always be viewed as subjectively as the reviewer views our books when reading them. Anyway, enough from me, over to....Miss X!

One Reviewer’s Take

I want to thank Rachel for having me on her blog today. It’s really an honor. Most people don’t want a reviewer on their blog much less having them talk about reviews.

Okay, right to it…a little background on myself. I live in East Texas, raised in Dallas, married with one son in 1st grade and work an EDJ. I review for Night Owl Reviews, The Romance Studio and The Forbidden Bookshelf. I also have a review blog that I update semi-regularly. Why the information about me? To let you know, that I’m a real person, with a real life and real everyday issues. I’m not a god, a fairy, or an ogre. I bleed just like you do. Why the dramatics about me? I have some things that I want to talk to you about reviewing and what goes through my mind when I’m reading a book for review.

1. I get to pick the books that I review. Bet you didn’t know that? Well, I do and I choose books/authors/publishers that I normally don’t read or know much about. I pick books that are way out of my comfort zone. When I decided to review, I decided that I wouldn’t read books or authors that I was comfortable with. In the year that I began reviewing, I have found authors, genres and publishers that I seek out on a regular basis. I have been given books to review from authors for my blog and again, I follow the same guidelines if I was reviewing it for one of the sites that I review for.

  1. 2. When I review a book, I look for the following: plot (does it hold my interest), characters (do I even like them), flow (am I having to start and stop all the time) and lastly, did the characters connect emotionally and was it believable?
  2. 3. When writing a review, I don’t give out spoilers, the ending, the conflict, nor do I give out plot points. I will however, talk about what I did like about the book and what I didn’t. I hate when book review blogs from individuals give you a dissertation on the book. I mean, why buy the book in the first place? The blog already told you everything that you needed to know and more. This is becoming more and more commonplace with so many people reviewing books on their blogs and it really pisses me off. I have books on my Nook that I bought that sadly, I’ll probably never read because of it. Grrr…
  3. 4. Also, if you get a bad review, just remember, its only ONE reviewer’s opinion. Some people are going to love your stuff and some won’t love it. Reviewing is subjective and therefore, should be taken with a grain of salt. That said if the review is snarky and/or down right rude and mean, please, please let the review coordinator/owner know. That should not be tolerated at all. That does happen and it puts all reviewers in a bad light.
  4. 5. Lastly, why do I review? I review because I love to read. Period. Some reviewers crave the power they have over an author but for me that’s the wrong reason to review. I review for the simple pleasure of reading and then telling people why I liked it.

If you’re an author, tell me some of your experiences good or bad with reviewers. No names, please. If you’re a reader, what do you look for in a review? I’ve listed below links to where I review to check me out. I look forward to hearing from you. - personal review blog - Marika is my review name - Marika is my review name - Kate is my review name

One last thing, contest…to one commentator a GC of $10 to either B&N or Amazon. And you thought reviewers were stuffy and not human?

LOL! Love it - thank you SO much for being here today, Marika. Really appreciate you sharing your 'reviewer' thoughts with us. I am sure there will be lots of questions/comments!


  1. Thank you Rachel for having me today. I hope that authors will take heart to my post today. Not all of us are ogres.

  2. Very nice post! As a reader I look for descriptions of how well the author developed the plot, how well the story is paced, if the dialogue between the characters is good, if the characters grow throughout the story and how well the issues in the plot are resolved by the end.


  3. Great post. I too review at times and am an author. For the most part most of my reviews have ranged from okay to great. Not everyone is going to like a book. That's a given. I like getting positive and constructive feedback. I had one review that I didn't care for. I realize that reviews are subjective but to get one that states there are numeral grammatical errors throughout the document is something no author wants to hear, especially when just one reviewer has this claim.
    A reviewer's words hold a lot of power. I hope reviewers realize that with their words, especially with all the review sites out there, a good review can make a writer's day but a bad one has the ability to ruin a person's confidence.

  4. Great post. Gives me a new respect for you as a reviewer.

  5. Thank you yall so much for coming out and supporting Rachel and I. rock, ya know.
    Hales...I think that when they are nickpicking on the story, they are looking for something NOT to like. That totally burns me up.
    Desiree...thank you and I really do appreciate your comment. I really am a person...

  6. Okay...wait...what are we talking about again? That guy is one of the most beautiful human beings I have ever seen. Evah!
    (Collecting thoughts now)...
    As an author, I hate it when a reviewer gives spoilers or an entire synopsis of the book, so thank you for addressing that!
    I was the managing editor for book reviews at Romance Divas back when we were still doing them, so I have some insight into the review process, which has been helpful to me in handling being reviewed now. It can be excruciating for us, especially early in our careers, before we've developed a tough skin. And we must, because, as you said, reading is a subjective thing. Not everyone is going to love my work-but that's a good thing! It means there are people with all different tastes and desires, so there's demand for more than one author's writing style.
    What I love in a review: when it's well-written and has a line in it I can quote on my website.
    What I hate: when a negative reviewer attacks me personally. (Oh yes-this has happened!).
    Thanks for your thoughtful ,well-written article!
    Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin :)

  7. I know! Isn't he pretty? I told Rachel to pick. She did pick a winner.

    I agree, not everyone is going to love you but that's okay. Plus, some authors have hit and misses, too. I've seen that in reviewing. See...I can't stand it when a reviewer attacks the author. There is no need for that AT ALL! Grrr..

    **big kiss** for coming over and commenting.

  8. You're totally right-not every book we write is going to be a gem (as much as we'd love for it to be!). Some books are just a struggle from day one. Some are going along fine, then we get hit by r/l and still have to meet a deadline. Creativity is an organic thing, not a scientific protocol with definite steps to follow, and sometimes that means we make mistakes.
    Great blog post-I was happy to come by and comment. :)

  9. Hi, Harlie :) As a reader (but not reviewer), I just look for reviewers who "click" with me--I appreciate ones who take the time to articulate what they liked or didn't like about a story, and that helps me decide whether I'd enjoy it or not, too. I don't always use reviews to guide my buying, but sometimes a review from a reviewer I trust can tip me if I'm on the brink ;) (As if I need much help adding to the ol' TBR! ;)) Thanks for taking the time to share some of your thoughts!

    f dot chen at comcast dot net

  10. As a reader I like to look at what the review has reviewed to see if we have similar book interest , then I look I love seeing reasons . I have came across so many review that simly said Ilove this book without giving me a reason why they loved said book . and I totally hate spoiler for me then i feel I dont need to read the book I already know the end. I really admire people who can review Its not easy :)

  11. Thanks for letting us inside the mind of the reviewer.
    Iread2xs at yahoo dot com

  12. I completely forgot to announce the winner of Marika's giveaway of a $10 GC for Amazon or Barnes & Noble!! The winner is...Jennifer Mathis!!

    Congrats, Jennifer - I will try to contact you via email but if not please email me for your details.

    Rachel x