Okay, so cut me some slack on this one. It’s sort of bookish, given that it’s reviews, but it’s not exactly bookish, and that’s good enough for me.
Anyways, I figured I’d explain how I go about reviewing books, since I’ve noticed my review style isn’t quite like others I’ve seen (which is also kind of nice, you know?). It’s not a huge process, but it does give me some structure, and wow does that help.
The most important thing, though, is to start with a book. Just pick one. Since I like to read books in a single sitting whenever possible, I usually get to choose whatever I’m in the mood for, and go from there. If you like to double/triple/quadruple/whatever dip your books, though, JUST PICK ONE.
Have to start somewhere. Baby steps.
The next step is (in my case) TO GET DISTRACTED. Usually by a snack. Or something around the house that needs cleaning. Or opening and closing Twitter forty times for no real reason, whoops. But once I get past that hurdle, I dig out a notebook, start a new line, and write the title, the date, and whether it’s an ARC, backlist, new release, etc. so I can prioritize when my review is released. I really enjoy using an actual notebook for the notes I jot down while reading, mostly because I do a ton of typing otherwise, and it’s nice to give my wrists a (sort of) break. If you book hop, or just don’t like hand-writing things, then I’d suggest a new Google Doc for each book instead, which you can always delete when you finish reviews!
From there, it’s time for actual reading! Normally, if I’m not planning to review, I read fast. REALLY FAST. I always have. But I take my time when I have a review read ahead, and jot down quotes I like, predictions, things I love, things I hate, the whole nine yards. I dump all my thoughts about the book on the page as I go so it’s all in one place by the time I’m done. That way, if I have to let it sit a few days (or weeks, god forbid), I can still remember most of the details really really clearly, and still write a solid, thorough review.
After that comes another break. I usually don’t review immediately after I read because I want to let the book stew a little before I give it a rating and get into why I chose the rating I did. Of course, this is also just a good way to sometimes waste time, haha. I’m very good at that, to be completely honest. It also means at least a couple days tend to pass between the reading and the reviewing.
But eventually I get to it, and I’ve smoothed the way by making a review template where I copy-paste all the relevant info, then write my review once all that’s done, ALL CAPS EXCITEMENT and careful commentary all at once, plus sometimes some predictions for the rest of the series where I can sneak them in. It’s become a really smooth process, knowing exactly what I want in the post and where, and by the time I’m done, I usually only have to check for typos and the like without having to worry about missing vital info, like a release date or Goodreads link.
After that, it’s just a matter of copy-pasting my review to Goodreads (and other sites sometimes), and scheduling the review for the right date. At the moment, my reviews always hit Goodreads before the blog, just because Goodreads doesn’t have a scheduling function and I am IMPATIENT.
But that’s that! It’s straightforward, I think, but I personally love a good checklist to get things done. This really helps me keep my head on straight and it keeps reviews rolling out the door so I don’t get buried in a massive TBR pile.
Well, that’s kind of a lie. No matter what I do, the TBR pile keeps growing. ONWARD, THOUGH.
So how do you review? What are your super secret not so secret blogger tricks to getting it done and having fun (and making sense in the process, which is so much harder than it looks sometimes, oof)? What do you wish more people knew about reviewing books? Show me what’s up your sleeve! What makes your reviews YOU?