Literary Engineer
Because reading and writing are my only obsessions

The Big Reveal

Welcome to The Big Reveal
 
I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will have a new question for them.

 

Do you read or write book reviews?

 
Steph Campbell, Published Author
I’d be lying if I said that I never read reviews, but the truth is, that I *try* not to. It may be my cynical side, but, I have a hard time believing that any review, good or bad is not biased in some way, so I don’t put a lot of stock into them even when I DO read them. If reviews point out certain things that the reviewer did or didn’t like, I’m more likely to have it sway my decision than generic, “this book was amazing because so-and-so was HOT,” or, conversely, “this book was total shite because I personally would never make the choices the MC did.”
 

Christa Desir, Pre-Published Author
I do read them sometimes, but not very often. Only particularly awesome reviews that are very detailed would impact my buying a book. I don’t write them, but I do give star rates for books I loved on GR. I would never read a review for my own book. My best friend is an actor and she taught me long ago not to read something that could impact my process. I can imagine reading something like “This author uses too many f-words” and then I’d be plagued by it and turn all Suzy Snowflake. Disaster.

 
Dahlia Adler, Agented Author
I actually don’t read reviews all that frequently, unless they’re either really amusing. I don’t write them nearly as often as I should, either, because as a writer, I find something really uncomfortable about critiquing someone else’s work that publicly. I need to get over this, though, because I know how important reviews are to a writer!
 

Jenny Morris, Agented Author
I sometimes read book reviews after I finished a book. It’s usually when I don’t like it and I’m trying to figure out if I’m crazy or if other people agree with me. And I used to write book reviews but I don’t find the time anymore.

Theresa Paulo, Agented Author
Before I read a book I usually do read reviews. Though, I don’t look for the, I loved this, I hated this, I look for a little more insight into the story. The backflap doesn’t always give me enough. The negative comments never sway me. Every person has their own opinion, as the old saying goes it’s what makes the world go round. I never let a bad review deter me. Usually when people rant and rave about a book I tend not to like them as much. I used to write reviews on my blog and on Goodreads and if I had the time I probably still would. I appreciate people who take the time to do so.
 

Lynne Schmidt, Un-Agented Author

I read book reviews, and write them. They don’t affect whether or not I read a book, BUT they affect the timing of when I read them. (If I hear it’s super good, I’ll bring it higher on my TBR pile).

 
Mindi Scott, Published Author
I do not write true book reviews, but I will sometimes type up a few general impressions to share if I really love a book. I do read reviews, but they have minimal affect over whether I’ll read a book. (Oddly, I find that the more reviews I read of a book, the less likely I am to read it, actually.) I make decisions about what to read based upon the book’s summary, whether I connect with the opening pages, and (somewhat less so) whether friends with similar reading tastes found it worth their time.
 

Do you read or write book reviews?

 

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5 Responses to “The Big Reveal”

  1. Dana Says:

    I don’t write them, but I do read them. They often influence whether or not I’ll pick up a book.

  2. Lara Schiffbauer Says:

    I’ve only just started looking at reviews if I’m buying a book on Amazon, but even then take the review with a grain of salt. I’ve only written a couple of reviews on Amazon, and never on my blog. I guess I’ve never thought that people might want to know what I think of a book. :)

  3. Kimberly Gabriel Says:

    I look at how many stars they are given but I rarely read the reviews beyond the first line or two. Too many reviews contain spoilers!

  4. Kimberlee Turley Says:

    I used to leave more reviews, but have stopped since leaving even a 3 star review can burn bridges.

    Even telling someone who asked for honest opinions that you don’t like their stuff is dangerous…

  5. Avatar of Suzi Suzi Says:

    Whoops. Accidentally put the wrong answer in for Steph. It should be okay now.

    I read reviews but don’t necessarily base my decision to read on them. Most of the time I read the negative reviews to see what others didn’t like. But I know to take everything with a grain of salt too.

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