Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Welcome book reviewer, Marika Weber/Kate!!

I am thrilled to have Marika visit with us today as any writer in the world should be hoping for those sparkly 5 Star Reviews - what writer wants 3 stars when 5 are up for grabs?? Not me, that's for sure. So when Marika agreed to visit, I was SO happy she was willing to reveal a few secrets into the minds of those elusive reviewers...

Over to you, Marika!

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.

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?

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 now 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…

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.

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.

http://harliebooks.blogspot.com - personal review blog

www.nightowlreviews.com - Marika is my review name

www.theromancestudio.com - Marika is my review name

www.theforbiddenbookshelf.com - 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?

What are you waiting for? Marika/Kate would love to chat! :)


  1. I've been the recipient of good and bad reviews and we all know how bloody hard it is to bounce back when someone has something not so nice to say about your book (and hence your talent). However, one thing I have learned is that people talking about your book is always good. For example, Vegas Miracle, my menage romance, is probably my most "controversial" in that it has garnered raves and hates all at once. But people talk about it and buy it. I have yet to call myself a "best seller" even though I've had a lot of books released this year alone, so am no expert but I am an expert at marketing and while "any publicity is good publicity" is not exactly true, I believe that any strong feelings one of my books elicits is something good. To me the worst review would be "this was the most boring POS on the planet, blah blah blah don't read it unless you need a sleeping pill". Thanks Marika for all your hard work!

  2. Hey Marika. I love to hear what others reviewers think and what goes through their heads when asked to review a book so thank you for being here today.

    I follow basically the same line of thinking when reviewing a book. Except, I always pick books that are in my sub-genre. I haven't always read the author before but I must enjoy the type of romance I am reading. The reason for that? Well, my thoughts are, if I don't like the genre then I can't give it an honest opinion. For instance ~ I once read a review from a person who hates western romance, she was reviewing a western romance and gave it a horrible rating. Well duh...you don't like westerns so what made you think you would enjoy that book. That pisses me off.

    Another thing that pisses me off is when a reviewer trashes the author as a person and makes statement about the author's personality and such because they didn't like a review. Ugh...you don't even know the author so what gives you the right to say they are a bad person. Don't review the author, review the book.

    Ok, I will stop now, lol
    Much love Marika! Talk to you soon =D

  3. As an author I have had mostly very positive and motivating experiences with reviewers.

    I had an old pen name I wrote men's erotica under, I released a freebie and had one fellow author just brutalize it. I know as a writer I face that situation daily with any book I release. However, their was a very lengthy discussion on MY book, and how they were going to take it to an RWA forum and pretty much mock it.

    For me that was negative and I jaded me a lot about my fellow authors. Trust was abolished for a long time.

    As for reviewers, I have had nothing but great reviews given to me (even the ones where they didn't much like my books) but they have always been very great about the feedback.

    Great post I LOVE hearing from reviewers!

  4. Great blog, Marika! You said it all, girl. I've been reviewing less than a year and one of the reasons I started was when a book I really enjoyed was savaged by an Amazon reviewer. I posted a review that was more positive and she (the other reviewer) ripped into me with snark and insults blazing! A friend and I decided to start our own blogs that would never, ever snark, even if we didn't enjoy a book. We are always be respectful. I never want to hurt an author who has poured his/her heart and soul into a project. Like you, Marika, if I love what they wrote, I'll say so in hopes of seeing more of it. If I didn't enjoy what they wrote, I'll say so in the kindest way possible. If I can't think of something nice to say I'll take Thumper's mother's advice, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nuthin' at all."

  5. Awesome to see it from the side of the reviewer. Good post.

  6. Love it Marika! I don't do spoilers either nor do I do SNARK (waving to my friend Becky). I really don't have set format for a review, the way I feel about the book dictates the way the review comes out =)

    Thank you Rachel Leigh for inviting a reviewer on your site.

  7. Hey Marika! Great post. I am a reviewer on a blog also and agree with everyone's comments. I pick genres I enjoy reading, but if I don't care for a book, I try to say as many positives about it that I can. I would never want to tear down or say hurtful things about anyone's hard work. Reviewing is definitely NOT a power trip for me. I want to use my venue for good.

  8. Great insight, Marika. Loved hearing about your process. Nice post.

  9. I've also had nothing but positive reviews and it's nice to see what criteria goes into each review:)

  10. To the know reviewers that have commented...AMEN. I tend to read more out of the box when reviewing but my first love will also be contemporaries.

    To authors: See, we're not all bad. :) I leave the snark and the ugly comments to myself. I will have to say that I have been blessed with great books to read and authors that are grateful for the review.


  11. I've reviewed books a few years ago, and loved meeting all the new authors. There were some book that were not my favorite, but as long as I gave an honest opinion, it worked. I expecially liked when the authors took the time to thank me personally for my time.

    I'm not a fan of reviews with spoilers, either. It's great to learn about your process.

  12. Great post! As a reader and writer, I like reviews that tell the good and the bad. I cringe when I see a review that can't find any positives, only negatives. To me, almost any story has to have something good about it, even if you have to dig for it.

    When I see all negatives, I feel that the reviewer is just venting out all his/her frustrations in a convenient-for-them place. A constructive review should hit both the positives and negatives.

  13. This is a fantastic post. I'm so glad I stopped by and read it.
    It's nice to see into the head of a reviewer.

  14. Very interesting post and replies! As a relatively new athor, I still find it hard not to let a less than positive review get me down in the dumps. But getting a good review for something another reviewer really disliked helps put it in perspective. It really is a subjective thing.

  15. Great post! It's nice to know what the review thinks and get insight on their process.

  16. Wow! I knew this visitor would start things moving but what a response - I guess those reviews will continue to get to us whether good or bad!

    Thanks for your fantastic input, Marika - SO appreciate it :)

    Rachel x