Yeah, it’s time for another edition of Let’s Chat! This one centers around a pretty interesting concept to me, and some thoughts I’ve been having.
I really got this idea from a super old discussion post from Briana @ Pages Unbound, where she talked about some blogs considering running without book reviews (obviously, I highly recommend checking it out).
This honestly got me thinking because confession time: I don’t like writing reviews.
Yes, some of my reviews are easier to write because I have a lot of feelings – whether those feelings are positive or negative is up to how I feel about the book – but what do I do for books that are just meh? Or if I continue a series, and I feel as if I’m repeating the same things about each book over and over again? Or for an ARC I DNF?
As you guys know if you’ve been around for a while, I still do reviews! I post reviews once a week, and then something non-review for the other three days. Personally, this schedule has worked for me, and I will probably continue with this schedule unless something changes or I do something drastic with my blog out of nowhere. But I wanted to look at some reasons as to why people would give up doing reviews and some reasons why people would continue doing reviews (a.k.a. I basically sort out my thoughts through writing).
Keep Writing Reviews
1. I want ARCs. I’m sure everyone in the book blogging community knows about Advanced Review Copies, and, as you can tell, you sort of have to review them. I can’t imagine publishers are going to be too happy if you request a book, and they find out that you don’t even write or publish reviews anymore. And, yes, I love getting ARCs via Netgalley, and I’d love to eventually delve into the world of physical ARCs, and I have to review books to get there. I know; I’m shallow.
2. I want bookworms to broaden their horizons. Really, this can mean anything. Personally, my reason for starting to blog was the fact that I wanted to sort of bridge the gap between YA and Adult, since I’ve seen so many people see they’re tired of YA, but don’t actually go out to read adult books, because they don’t know where to start. So, I’m here to read and review some blog posts since I took the plunge last year and haven’t looked back. I don’t know if anyone has ever read said books because of my reviews, but if you do, that’s awesome! For other people, I know it’s reading fantasy or dystopian if all they usually read is contemporary, or maybe reading some YA after reading so many adult novels.
3. We want to share our love of books (or rant). I mean, nothing is more fun than raving about a book that you feel isn’t getting enough attention, or reviewing an ARC that you’re so excited to come out so everyone can get their hands on it. And there’s also the other side, where you get to rant about a book that really disappointed you or you want to warn someone else about something that you know that person won’t like, such as the dreaded insta-love.
4. It brings the book community together. I always anticipate posting reviews for popular books everyone has read except for me (which happens so often, and way more than it should) because I can finally gush about all my ~feelings~ without sounding weird to everyone else. In real life, I don’t know too many people who are fans of books, so this is pretty much one of the few places where I feel like I can talk about books, and people understand what the heck I’m talking about. How else would I be able to talk about horrible cliffhangers or heart-breaking deaths or how good a book is.
Stop Writing Reviews
1. I can still get ARCs. I know I said this in the previous part, BUT you really don’t have to have a blog anymore to receive ARCs. If you have a large enough following on Instagram, for instance, you can receive boxes of book mail and early releases, and a large majority of those people don’t have a blog at all. I will say, I think it’s ten times harder to get over 50k followers on Instagram than it is to get some traction on your reviews. In fact, I think Instagram is the hardest place to get connection and interaction, because you can do literally nothing wrong, and six people could unfollow you overnight, so there’s that. But, still, you could do it!
2. No one really reads reviews. I know there’s sort of a stigma in the book blogging community that people don’t really read reviews. I will say that this sort of rings true. Honestly, unless it’s a book I’m anticipating or I’ve heard a lot about, I’ll probably just like it and move on. And, personally, reviews are the least interesting thing on blogs for me. I do follow some blogs that primarily do nothing but reviews, but those are mostly niche ones – thrillers and mysteries, to be exact – and I think it’s a bit harder to do that for YA books and keep people coming back, probably because there’s a larger audience. I’m a bigger fan of advice posts, discussions, recommendations, etc.
3. I don’t like writing them. Like I said earlier, I just don’t like writing reviews. I can do them, of course, but I’d rather spend my time writing any other type of blog post, and it’s definitely something I have to be in the mood for. So, I can definitely understand if someone just stops doing reviews, because if they hate writing them, and only 20 people are actually reading them, then why continue writing them?
4. You have to be reading. I think a problem for some people is the fact that they might not read too fast, or they could read a book and not find it good enough to review, but don’t have anything else to write about or can’t think up any good ideas. Of course, you could totally take a break from reviewing, but for some people who want to have a couple of reviews up per week or the ones that their entire blog is dedicated to just reviews and blog tours, it might be a challenge finding the time to read a book and then finally write a review for it.
These are probably some of the more basic pros and cons for continuing to write reviews.
In the end, though, I’ll probably still keep on writing reviews, and, honestly, I’ll probably mainly do it so I can at least have a shot at getting ARCs. And I occasionally enjoy blabbing about my thoughts as well.
How do you feel about reviewing books? Would you still keep up with a book blog that doesn’t review books at all? What are your reasons to review books?