Saturday, November 5, 2011

Poll Results: What Do You Like in Reviews

A few weeks ago, I was playing around with my review format and decided to see what others thought. I know what I look for in a review but was curious about what others prefer, so posted an inquiry and poll. Was happy to discover that others look for most of the same things I do.

Synopsis - This was the most popular preference, and I couldn't agree more! While a link to Goodreads or Amazon is fine, sometimes I don't want to click and just want a quick overview. I used to post the entire synopsis from Goodreads, but sometimes that's longer than my actual review! I decided to just post a quick overview and include a link in case anyone wants the full details.

Rating - The second most popular choice. Everyone seems to have a different rating system, but I've decided to stick with a 5 point system like the ones Amazon and use. I might tweak them in the future, but for now a 3/5 is an okay read and a 5/5 is exceptional. I spelled them out on the sidebar, as I know reviewers have different thoughts on what makes a "3" vs a "5" rating.

Goodreads link - I like using a link to Goodreads instead of linking to Amazon or, as Goodreads is like the Switzerland of books and is neutral. I'm not an affiliate of either site, and I'm still a little shaky on what's permitted by the FTC, so better safe than sorry. Goodreads is one of my favorite book sites and a great place to discover more about a title, so I like including the link!

Genre - I've done this a few times in the past, but don't think I'll be including it in general reviews in the future. Don't want to scare anyone off if the book happens to be a genre they don't like. I know that there are certain genres I don't read, so I'm hesitant to try something listed as one of those genres even if the synopsis sounds good. For instance, I don't like medical thrillers, so might miss out on a great read because of my preconceived notions. May include the genre on books received for review, but not my personal copies.

Source - Doesn't seem to matter much to readers, but I'll still include it for my review copies for FTC purposes. Maybe put it at the end of the review, out of the way, instead of at the beginning....

Link to author's website - Not in high demand, but I may include links for new authors.

Publisher's name - Again, not a high demand request. The publisher doesn't really matter to me, which is why I still read some self-published titles every now and again. So long as the story is good, I don't care where it's published. Think I'll let the Goodreads link take care of this and not make a separate entry.

Number of pages - Some readers keep track of the number of pages they read and some don't. I'm one who doesn't, but at the same time, I'm hesitant to pick up a doorstop of a book. I resisted reading Outlander for a long time because of it's size, but glad I did! Will eventually read Under the Dome for the same reason. Think I'll let the Goodreads link take care of this one too and not make a separate entry.

Publication date - The least popular of all the choices, and I have to say I agree. Unless the book hasn't come out yet, when it was published doesn't really matter much. Maybe I'll just include it for not-yet-released titles?

Final Results:
source (37%)
rating  (62%)
publication date  (18%)
publisher's name  (31%)
Goodreads link  (50%)
synopsis (87%)
link to author's website  (37%)
genre (YA, urban fantasy, etc)  (50%)
number of pages (31%)

Thanks for the feedback!


  1. Thanks for this! This is great information, and it will not only help you with your reviews, but all of us other reviewers out there. Great job!

  2. I thought this was a very informative poll, thanks for sharing the results.

    I realise I care about the pages but I am happy to check on this before I start reading it.

  3. Jessica - Thanks! It's always interesting to learn what others like and don't like.

    Steph - You're welcome! :)

    Marce - My reviews seem to be getting a little long, so am trying to trim them anyway I can! *L*

  4. I feel like doing a bit of a poll myself. Didn't realise there are so many things that can be included in a review. These results are really helpful. When I first started blogging I used to see publisher details and word counts and freak out that I needed to include them in my reviews. Now I'm just too lazy!

  5. Lan - Have to admit that I'm a bit lazy too! Would love to see what you come up with for a poll, so will keep an eye out!

  6. Sounds like you have it all worked out. Looking forward to all the reviews to come. ^_^