Discussion Post: Are Book Reviews Impactful? + Tips For Writing Better Reviews!

So. The first thing we’re doing after my brief hiatus is a discussion post! Exciting right? (technically the last thing before my hiatus was also a discussion but we are overlooking that). Let’s get started right away!

Most of us book bloggers are reviewers at heart. But review posts are also the posts which require a lot of work from our side, because not only do we have to sit and write an entire post, we have to read a book and form opinions before that! This sometimes causes us to wonder, “are our reviews actually making an impact? like does anyone even care what we thought about a book?”

I personally think that yes, book reviews are really helpful, not just to people who have not read the book, but also to those who have. Presenting… *drumroll* a list (yay lists!!) of reasons why reviews can be helpful.

Ways In Which Book Reviews Help Different People
  • For those who haven’t read that particular book: Reviews can be the extra weight required for tipping the scales in the book’s favour (or against it) for someone who is trying to decide whether or not to read the book. In my case, I often find that a book has certain tropes (like found family!), or maybe a very unique protagonist, or a twist-y plot etc etc through reviews, and that makes makes me add it to my tbr!
  • For those who have read the book: I don’t know about you, but many a times after finishing a book, I can’t really understand how exactly I feel about it or how to describe it to someone else. So I read reviews of the book and check whether or not I agree with the reviewer in certain aspects. They say – 2d characters? Ah yes I thought so too. They say – amazing worldbuilding? Hmm I don’t think so, it was lacking in several aspects.
    Basically what I want to say is that reviews can be a way to assess how we ourselves felt about a book.
  • For publishers and authors: This one is pretty obvious. Reviews create buzz in the bookish community, and it is through reviews that people come to know about a book and can read it themselves and appreciate the author’s work.

So we’ve established that book reviews certainly are important. Now, what are some things to keep in mind while writing reviews? How can we write better reviews that make even more impact? Here’s a list of things that has helped me write better reviews over time (i’m still learning though)

note: some of the below tips can apply to all sorts of reviewing platforms like goodreads, but I’ve made this list keeping in mind blog posts, so most tips might be specific only to review posts on your blogs. also, all these are purely my opinion, and I do not wish to offend anyone, because after all, each one’s writing style is different!

Tips On Improving Your Book Reviews
  • Share your thoughts on the book, not a summary. Back when I started blogging, my “reviews” were basically a summary of the plot of the book. I realized with time that the audience does not want to know a summary, they get that from the synopsis, rather they want to know how I as the reader felt about the book.
  • Form an opinion first. After finishing the book, gauge your overall feelings about it. It would not do to write a review not knowing exactly how you feel about a book because your confusion will show in the review.
  • Include quotes, or even creative content inspired by the book like moodboards and playlists! These make your review posts more attractive. Quotes can be really powerful. And Moodboards, for example, can tell you about the vibes of a book through a single picture, and this would be idea for someone who does not want to read long paragraphs!
  • Use paragraph breaks and separators. There’s no way I’d ever like to read a review in one loooong paragraph that looks more like an essay. Keep your paragraphs short (some can be even 3-4 lines! shorter paras are better than longer ones) and use separators after making a point, for example if you’ve talked about why you loved the characters of a book in 4 paragraphs, insert a separator before proceeding to talk about how the worldbuilding could have been better.
  • Highlight key points. More often than not, people like to skim read long reviews instead of reading them through, so they’ll atleast have some takeaway from your review in the form of those bold sentences. Even if somebody is not skimming the post, highlighted words and phrases stand out to them and they remember those better than the rest of the review.

Other than that, I’d just say be yourself and don’t hesitate to share your opinion while writing reviews!

Do you think reviews are effective? Which is your favourite review you’ve ever written? (self-appreciation is important!) Mine is this one – Book Review: The Ones We’re Meant To Find by Joan He. Drop your links in the comments!

~ Rachel

17 thoughts on “Discussion Post: Are Book Reviews Impactful? + Tips For Writing Better Reviews!

  1. As a person who for some reason is unable to write a proper review, I appreciate these tips so much! I haven’t written that many reviews, but for some reason they just end up a huge distracted mess πŸ˜… I’m definitely going to try make moodboards, that sounds like a lot of fun!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ahaha don’t worry, there is no “proper” way to write a review (I mean, just look at my chaotic onesπŸ˜‚)
      Yess I started making moodboards very recently and it’s so much fun, I hope you give it a shot soon!
      Thank you Cherry! πŸ’™

      Liked by 1 person

  2. These are some great tips! I definitely check out other people’s reviews after I read the book, just to see if I agree/disagree with any significant or popular points. Personally, I think it’s helpful to split my reviews posted on my blog into a ton of smaller sections so I can break down *why* I like or dislike a book. I’ve definitely gotten a lot better with reviewing since I started doing it consistently in January!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Breaking the review down into small sections is a great way to establish your points without boring the audience, such reviews are my personal favourite! Same here, I was like a disgrace to reviewers back when I started reviewing lol but I have been getting better at it now! Thank you so much for reading the post πŸ’™

      Liked by 1 person

  3. this is a wonderful post rachel!! i’ve been wanting to include moodboards in my reviews for a while now (but also forget because i’m a mess LOL). i’ve also recently been not so quick to rate and review books because while i sometimes forget some aspects i wanted to talk about, i also don’t regret my thoughts as much. i hate looking back at my reviews and ratings for books and knowing that i didn’t mean something and only did it because i was still caught up in the emotions from the ending! anyways, i love this post so much!πŸ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ahaha i look forward to seeing your moodboards soon, i’ll become your human reminder for them πŸ˜‚
      ooh yes that’s a fair point. i too sometimes delay starting my review by a day or two because by then I have sufficiently recovered from the endings. Yeah I have had similar experiences reading my previous reviews which don’t make much sense because i was still reeling from the ending haha!
      thank you kayaπŸ’™πŸ’™

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I think reviews are really important whether they make me want to read the book or make me decide to remove it from my TBR altogether. What I love about reviews is that they mention key points that readers would want to know without spoiling the entire book. Just because I now know that a book has a well crafted relationship, doesn’t mean I know how the relationship actually gets developed after all!

    I used to struggle a lot with writing reviews, but I’ve found that I’ve gotten better at writing them over time! Something that helped me was reading other bloggers’ reviews and seeing what I liked and didn’t like about them, and using that to find a method that worked for me! My most popular review is probably also my favorite review. It’s the one and only rant review I ever did, but that’s not why it’s my favorite. I love it because that post is a mash up of a review, discussion, and recommendation post all in one! It took me a very long time to write it, and so I’m very appreciative that people continue to find it useful and/or relatable!


  5. I definitely agree with all of your tips, even though I tend to resort to word vomiting in my reviews anyway πŸ˜‚ I just can’t help it – when I write reviews, it’s when I have a lot to say, and when I have a lot to say, it tends to get… chaotic 😁
    I’m not sure whether I really fit into any of your review target audience categories, though πŸ€” Being terrified of spoilers, I basically never read reviews of books I haven’t read yet, and I’m neither a publisher nor an author (sadly πŸ˜ͺ). And I also don’t really read reviews to help me form my own opinion. Instead, I am a seriously nosy person and love finding out what other people’s opinions are on books that I’ve also read. Especially if I either loved or hated the book in question πŸ˜‚ And then I usually end up spamming the reviewer’s comment section with an overdose of bookish enthusiasm that probably has them completely weirded out πŸ˜„


  6. This was a really interesting post and I agreed with everything you said. I love scrolling through book reviews even of books I have already read because I like to understand other peoples different views on them!


  7. Book Reviews are definitely impactful (and not just because I write them). As a reader, I’m a bit of a control freak. I next to never pick up a book without reading at least the blurb. It gets easier to connect the plot that way and not just follow the story blindly.
    And there can never be a lot of discussions, Rachel! Let ’em keep flowing ❀️


  8. I really enjoyed reading this. I totally agree with reading other reviews to sort out my own ideas about a book. I’m so glad to read that someone else does it as it felt a little bit like cheating!


  9. Those were really great tips on writing a book review! I tend to just include a Goodreads summary in my header image and then only talk about parts of the plot in the review if it’s important to explain why I liked or didn’t like something. Great post in general!!


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