18 February 2015

Are Reviews the Best Way to Feature Books on Your Blog?

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I mentioned in one of my Sunday Summary posts that I received A Court of Thorns and Roses on Netgalley to review, and it got me thinking about book reviews in general. I’m going to be honest, I’m the worst when it comes to reviewing books, unless I’m near my computer at the time of finishing, and thus able to expel my thoughts onto screen as quickly as possible, there is every chance I won’t get around to finishing writing a review. I get bored. I move on quite quickly from books, they will quickly leave my thoughts (apart from the really good books, that linger with you for weeks afterwards) and I’ll forget about the things I loved and hated and there is every chance I will forget the characters and everything that goes along with the book.

But my inability to commit to reviewing books is not so much what I was thinking about as what is the best way to feature a book on your blog? When you visit a blog, what is the thing that makes you want to read a book mentioned on there?

I’ve thought long and hard about this, actually. I’ve been trying to pin down what makes me want to read a book when I visit other blogs. I mean, a lot of the time it is simply I’ve read other books by the author and am interested, but this is not the only thing that makes me want to read something. Sometimes it is simply I see the cover and the blurb on people’s blogs, like on Waiting on Wednesday features, and that makes me interested. Other times it is simply reading someone else's excitement about a book makes me want to take a look, either they’ve just read it and loved it, or they’ve just found it and are excited for it. Even featuring it in a Top Ten Tuesday post can be enough to make me look a book up.

I was just thinking about it really because whenever I get ARCs to review I put so much pressure on myself to write a review for the book to feature on my blog around the time it’s released and there is really no need, because reviews are probably the posts people read least over here, and I like writing from time to time, to show my thoughts on books, but sometimes I think I put too much pressure on myself to write them when I know I could do a bunch of different features for books to try and get you guys interested in the things I’ve read. I just sometimes think there must be better ways of featuring books when reviews are not my favourite thing to write, mostly because I feel I should write more, but this is not about my feelings on reviews, this is a different post.

It’s stupid really, because I try and avoid reviews for books I haven’t read because I hate getting preconceived notions about a book before reading, so why on earth do I pressure myself to write a review for books when they aren’t released yet? It’s partly what motivated me to want to do author features on my blog, to try and find new ways to get people interested in the things I'm reading without writing a review.

The reason I discovered book blogs is because I was trying to find recommendations for books to read, I wanted to find good books and find more to read, because before book blogs I knew there were so many books out there, but I didn’t know of a way to discover them all. When I found book blogs, and saw features like Top Ten Tuesday (one of my main sources of new books for my TBR lists) I knew I had found the perfect place for me, a place to talk about books. But since I’ve started blogging I’ve found myself posting the same kind of things, I’m excited about books, but I sometimes I feel it’s only in Top Ten Tuesdays I have the chance to show my excitement about books I’ve read or want to read, I don’t feel it always comes across best in reviews.

Has anyone else noticed reviews don’t always seem to be the best way to feature a book? Do you have your own way of featuring books you love without actually reviewing, and if so tell me what they are? I’d love to see everyone's method of featuring books without reviewing, it might inspire me.

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