Monday, September 17, 2018

5 Ways To Make Book Reviews More Fun To Read (& Write!)



One big hot topic issue in book blogging is reviews.  Does anyone actually read them?  Why do they get fewer views and comments than other posts?  Do we even need to write them?  I personally feel that writing book reviews is a big part of book blogging, but I can admit I don't read every blogger's review of every book, and sometimes writing them can be a chore.  I still write and read many traditional book reviews, but sometimes I want to switch it up, so today I've come up with some ways to make book reviews more appealing to read and more fun to write!


Lists
I'll be honest, sometimes I just don't have the patience to read (or write) a review that's several paragraphs long.  But lists - those are easy to read!  Whether it's pros and cons, things you liked or didn't like, or bullet points, list reviews get right to the point.  I did this this in my five reasons you'll love "Something Like Happy" review, and other bloggers who are awesome at list reviews are Sam at We Live and Breathe Books and Marie at Drizzle and Hurricane Books.


Mini-reviews
This is a tactic I've started to use more and more.  Sometimes you just don't have a ton to say about a book, but you still want to review it.  It's a good way to get in the highlights, plus you can review more books.  My sister, who is a reader but not a blogger, says she often prefers reading mini-reviews to longer reviews because she can get impressions of more books in less time.  Grace at Rebel Mommy Book Blog is just one blogger who does a great job of incorporating mini-reviews.


What were you thinking?
Instead of getting into all the particulars of plot, character development, and writing style, tell the reader your impressions of the book as you were reading it.  Using your Goodreads updates or tweets, list your WTF moments, places where the story was dragging, or when you wanted to give a character a hug - without giving away too many spoilers, if possible!  I think this makes the review a lot more personal.


Write a love letter
I often find when I dislike a book, it's easy to write the review and rant about the things that didn't work or I didn't like, but for some reason, when I love a book, it's hard to articulate why.  Writing a love letter to the book, the author, or even a character may help you get some of those fangirl feelings out without the formal structure of a regular review.


Things you learned
I've been reading a lot more nonfiction this year, but sometimes I find it hard to review those types of books.  Listing some interesting facts you learned or lessons you took away from the book is a fun way to talk about the book and get readers interested.  I did this with five takeaways from "The Year of Less," which was a memoir/self-help book about spending less money, among other things.


What are some ways you get creative with your book reviews?  What makes you read a book review?


34 comments:

  1. Great tips! I started doing mini reviews earlier this year. They’re a lot faster to write than the big reviews, so I’m happy with them. Still, hardly anybody looks at them. :(

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. I know, sometimes it feels like it's more about what types of books I'm reviewing than the actual review itself!

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  2. I love lists and mini reviews! I typically don't need tons of paragraphs telling me lots about a book - I'll get that info if/when I actually pick up the book. Just getting someone's brief thoughts about a book are sometimes enough for me to decide whether I think it's worth my time or not.

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    1. Exactly - sometimes I just want the highlights or to find out about things I wouldn't know from the synopsis that may sway me one way or the other.

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  3. I've been doing more mini reviews lately when I've read books that I either didn't have much to say about or books I didn't think really fit my blog. Great post!

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    1. Thanks, Tracy! I've been doing a lot more mini-reviews, too.

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  4. I've used the first three on your list several times here and there. It's nice to mix it up sometimes, especially if a review is difficult. :) Fun post! (And thanks for stopping by!)

    Tressa @ Wishful Endings

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    1. Thanks, Tressa! I agree, it can be beneficial to try something new.

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  5. Personally I don't like reading reviews that are very long either. I will if they're written by my favorite reviewers but sometimes I just don't have the time so shorter reviews are definitely better I think.

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    1. I agree! Sometimes reviews are too long and tell me too much about the book.

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  6. Thanks for the mention :) I love mini reviews - to write and read! Lists are another greta option. Really gets your main point across. Things you learned from non fiction books is a great idea!!

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    1. Thanks, Grace! Nonfiction can be tough for me to review, so I had to come with new ways!

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  7. Great post, Angela. I'm becoming more and more a fan of the mini reviews. They're great for when I don't have that much to say about a book, plus it's just nice to be able to check a few reviews off my list with a single post. I like the list format too.

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    1. Thanks, Suzanne! I've been doing more mini-reviews, the only problem is I need to read more books!

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  8. I've noticed compared to my past reviews I use a lot of headings and subheadings, which gives off a list vibe (but not exactly lists?). I find them much easier to read because I can skim them really easily and quickly, so if they're long I can get the main points right away and call it a day. 😅

    At one point I DID do a tweet style review... that was REALLY fun to write since the book focuses a lot on Twitter.

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    1. That tweet-style review for a book about Twitter is perfect!

      I think headings work well, too - you can easily see the main ideas of the review!

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  9. Fun ideas. I always like mixing it up with my full length reviews. I am the queen of lists. They always work for me. I like reviews that get to the point, so minis are awesome too. The love letter is interesting. I will looking out for one of these from you. =P

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  10. I love lists but rarely do them! Same with mini- reviews. And I love it when bloggers can really pull those off. I like the idea of updating as I go too- I need to use goodreads more effectively in that way.

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  11. I've started doing mini reviews more often, just if I don't have a lot to say about the book, and because it's so much quicker to type out, haha ;) But I love the idea of showing your progress on GR etc etc. That's a really awesome idea, and it can be such fun for other people to read! I know I love looking through readers' updates.

    Love this post, Angela :) <3

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    1. Thank you so much, Amy! I know, I've really been getting into mini-reviews lately, especially for backlist titles which everyone has already read! I don't need to be so long-winded.

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  12. What great ideas. I have not done bullet points or a letter and they sound like they would be fun. Thanks for this great list!

    Mary

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  13. My biggest problem with many book review blogs is that there's almost nothing in them about what they thought of the books, and lots about the plot. That's a real problem for me.

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    1. Right, I don't need a reviewer to recap everything that happened in the book. Thanks for stopping by!

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  14. I feel exactly the same, in that reviews feel like a huge part of being a book blogger, but at the same time I'm aware they get less views than other posts and I do find them a chore to write.
    I love your suggestions for mixing it up though, and may try them out! :)

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    1. Great, Laura! I hope you find some good inspiration!

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  15. The part I have difficulty with is when people post a long synopsis from Goodreads or something in the review. If I wanted to read what Goodreads had to say about it, I'd just go there. I know you have to say a little bit about the plot, but I'd rather hear it in a blogger's words, and how they felt about it.

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    1. I do include the Goodreads synopsis before my review, so the reader knows a little about the book. I include a short little blurb about the plot in my own words, too. But yeah, it can be hard when someone just recaps the whole plot in the review.

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  16. Great ideas! I definitely prefer to read shorter reviews than longer ones. Most of my reviews are on the shorter side because of this. I don't call them "mini reviews" or anything - sometimes my reviews are longer if I have a whole lot to say about a book, but in general they are shorter.

    --Sam @ Sharing Inspired Kreations

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    1. Yeah, I'm relying more on mini-reviews these days!

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!