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?
Do they affect your decision on whether to read a book or not?


Lara Schiffbauer, Published Author
I have to admit, I do not read book reviews of books. I might peruse stars to see what the general impression is, but I still will decide for myself if I want to read a book. I write book reviews if I really like a book, but otherwise I don’t usually write reviews.

Chloe Banks, Agented Author

No, I almost never read reviews. I already have enough books I want to read without seeking out more! I do listen when people I know say they particularly liked a book, or if a book makes it into the media, but I don’t seek out reviews, or write them myself.


Valerie Cole, Agented Author
I read a lot of reviews because I love to know what other people thought of the books I’m reading or just read. I’m just starting to write book reviews on my blog (*shameless plug*, but I only write about the books I really like and want to recommend. I won’t post negative reviews.

Jay Bendt, Un-agented Author
I read book reviews (thank goodness for goodreads). I find that they’re good in helping me decide whether a book is up my alley or not — but more often than not I will read the book anyway. I like to be the judge of things myself when it comes to whether I’ll like a book or not, and although reviews are great, I always take them with a grain of salt.


Mark Koopmans, Un-agented Author
I don’t read many book reviews at all, so no, reviews don’t affect my decision.

Eileen Cook, Published Author
I will comment if there is a book that I really enjoy, but I don’t post negative reviews. It isn’t that I don’t think negative reviews are valid (people are entitled to like or dislike any book), but as a writer I choose not to criticize another writer publicly.

I do read reviews. There’s no way around the fact that bad reviews hurt. You’ve spent a lot of time and energy trying to write the best book you can, so it’s no fun to hear someone say they didn’t like it. When that happens I remember there are many books that I haven’t been crazy about that other people have loved. Books are a personal thing,what works for one person doesn’t work for someone else.

Kelley Lynn, Published Author
I write book reviews but honestly I don’t read them before I read a book. Usually the books I get are either from author’s I know or as gifts or come highly recommended from friends. So I never have to look at the reviews. After I review a book I’m always super curious to see what others had to say though.


Do you write reviews or read them when trying to decide on a book?

9 Responses

  1. I don’t write them, but I read them. Most of the time they don’t really affect if I’ll read a book because that decision is already made, but I’m also curious about what others think, especially if my opinion of a book is against the mainstream.

  2. Rachel Schieffelbein

    I think the only time I read reviews is after I’ve read the book. 🙂 Usually because then I’m on GR, reviewing it.
    I pretty much only review books I enjoyed, though. For one, books that I really don’t like I no longer finish. And two, I realize just because I didn’t like it doesn’t mean other people won’t, so I usually keep my opinion to myself.

  3. I read reviews but I always take them with a grain of salt, and I make my own mind up about whether to read the book or not. I also write reviews once in awhile, and I tend to talk up a book I really liked or loved. If I didn’t care for the book, I usually didn’t finish reading it in the first place so I wouldn’t review it.

  4. I skim reviews but don’t give them much weight. Likes and dislikes are so subjective, so unless I know a reviewer and I have similar tastes, it’s still a guess as to whether I’ll like a book. On the flip side, I do write reviews on my spooklights site. I try to be insightful rather than just saying “yea” or “nay” to a book; I try to give reasons for why I personally do or don’t enjoy something. I find that’s more helpful to readers than just saying, “It was great!” or “I hated this.”

    And I never, ever read reviews of my own stuff.

  5. If I’m unsure about whether or not to read a book, I do read the book reviews. I find that if I’m unsure I can usually tell from the reviews if there’s something about it I’ll like. The funny part is that it doesn’t matter if it’s a positive or negative review, it more matters if what they’re saying about the book jives with me or not.

  6. If I do write a review it’s because I just loved loved loved the book. I’ll make my review and before posting it go see what others said. Once I was stunned to see nothing but bad reviews for a book I found incredible. I posted my enthusiastic review anyway but just goes to show, if I would have read the reviews before hand, I probably would have missed out on a great book that changed my life.

  7. I don’t write them often, but I do read them. Bad reviews sometimes keep me from reading books, but not always. I like to find out for myself.

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