Sunday, October 23, 2011

Poll: What Do You Like in Reviews?

I've been playing around with my review format lately and was wondering if anyone had any preferences for what they like or don't like? For instance, what's the general feeling on including a synopsis? Do you care about the page count? Does publisher matter?

Personally, I want to know a little about the book before reading a review, so like a short synopsis. I tend to use the synopsis from Goodreads, but noticed that some reviewers write their own. Any preferences?

The publisher and publication date don't really matter to me, unless it's a book that hasn't come out yet. And I don't mind seeing the genre, but it's not necessary. I also like some sort of rating system, but not too complicated, I think we have to include the source now because of the FTC rules, but should it be at the beginning or the end or who cares?

To help me improve my reviews, could you please answer the poll over on the right side, or leave a me a quick comment? I'd really appreciate feedback, suggestions or helpful hints. Thanks!


  1. Every option has been chosen, wow. Very interesting indeed, look forward to the results.

    I realise I like to know the page count so I should include this in mine.

    I meant to look into the FTC rules, I don't know anything about this. I thought it was if we got paid for reviews.

  2. I don't need a rewritten synopsis - the goodreads one, or the back cover blurb is fine, but I definitely prefer when it's there. It drives me a bit crazy when a review or an interview with an author talks all about the book, but then doesn't include some kind of quick summary.

  3. Marce - If I remember correctly, the FTC wants us to state if we received compensation whenever we receive a free book. At least, that's what I took away from all of the blog posts when this ruling was made. Could be wrong...

    JenM - I agree! I like to know at least a little about the story before I read the review, but at the same time, don't want any spoilers. Maybe just a little teaser.

  4. I like having the book synopsis and the summary along with thoughts on the book. I'm not big on not likes, but love likes and what drew you in. But a little of the not like or what didn't work for you could come into play with some books, but may not be needed on all.

  5. A synopsis is definitely a must. Or at least an easy link to where one can be found i.e Goodreads. There rest is give or take depending on what's preferable to the reviewer. I don't like putting hard and fast rules on blogging because then it becomes like a job. I like your reviews the way they are. Ratings help also because you can get a sense of how the blogger felt about the book in a glance.

  6. Melissa - I just had a book that I didn't really care for, so tried to explain why. I agree that a synopsis is important, as I want to know a little about the book before reading a review.

    Lan - Glad to see I'm not alone about a synopsis! And thank you for the kind words! My reviews seem to be getting longer and longer for some reason, so I've been trying to rein them in. *L*

  7. I like that you added page count to the list - I never thought that was important but it book club just picked Cleopatra for our November read and I picked it up and it is 500+ pages...that does make a difference :)

    Same with audio... I check hours before I buy... I have to really want to listen to something to dedicate more than 9 hours to it.

  8. I say keep it simple. I do my review first and then include the synopsis after. I either link the book title to Goodreads or Amazon so people can find out what they need that way. I do include author info, publisher info, etc., if it's a book tour, but if it's just one of the books from my personal library, I forego this. I mean, we already write tons of reviews for free...why make more work for ourselves, right?!

    Good luck with your decision making. Hope you get a lot of opinions!

  9. Took the poll as requested...but I agree with most everything you said. Synopsis, publisher, source....all good points...number of pages, eh..personal choice but it doesn't determine whether it makes my wish list or not. ^_^

  10. I don't actually really care about anything but a quick summary and the reader's thoughts...and actually I don't even need a summary because I check Amazon and Goodreads for that and a rating...

    I am really discovering that I do not read long reviews that analyze every point...but that is probably just me!!

  11. I'm not sure I really care other than do whatever it is you are comfortable with.

  12. Sheila - I never thought much about page count, but you're right. I hesitate to read the huge doorstoppers, so guess pages would have some impact on my choices.

    Michelle - I try to keep things simple and usually wind up making more work for myself! *L*

    GMR - True, as books make my wishlist for different reasons. Thanks for taking the poll!

    Patty - I don't care for too much detail or over-analysis either. I love the reviews that are passionate about the story, but find those are hard to write!

    Ryan - Thanks Ryan! I think ultimately you're right, but I like to mix things up every now and again so I don't get in a rut. :)