This is a write-up about book reviews. Anything in here is my personal opinion and ideas. It may or may not suit your personal preferences but the general idea of writing this is for me to voice out my personal thoughts and also sharing whatever personal experience that I have in reviewing a certain book and anything that comes within it.
According to Wikipedia a book review is a form of literary criticism in which a book is analyzed based on content, style and merit. Basically, a book is being read, criticized, analyzed, evaluated and posted. A book review can either be short or it can be transformed into an essay. Such reviews may be posted to different medium, it can be posted in some periodicals, review sites, blogs, forums etc. Though, in today’s time most of these reviews can now be seen and viewed in sites such as Goodreads, NetGalley, Amazon. When we say book reviews it always has been wide and full of opinions, well of course it would depend with the reviewer as each of us have different points of view, different opinions and different style, anyone can review books the way they like it, the way they feel about the story and how we as a reader understands it. There is no qualification when it comes as to who can review a book. Anyone is qualified to do this.
As a reviewer myself, to be honest I don’t set out too many rules in reviewing books or literary works. I savored each story and analyzed and write how I feel about it and how the story affects me. Sometimes we encounter books that doesn’t fit our expectations, for me I still read them and review them as honestly as I can. Doing reviews doesn’t have to be superficial, we need to voice out our opinions as truthfully as we can.
Most book bloggers that I know (some virtually and some personally) has their own site, their own blogs which provides us reviews and recommendations of good reads. Most of them review books under their personal choices, out of their libraries, but some of them provides review from books being sent out to them by different authors and publishers, yes you read it right straight from the publishers. I know some publishers who sends out ARCs to bloggers such as Penguin Random House, Anvil Publishing and the list just goes on. Also, some of these bloggers or even the regular reviewers participates in a particular activity called blog tour, which lets you review a certain book or an advanced readers copy which is being provided by the author and the book was basically read and reviewed by a set of people who signed up for this blog tour which can be hosted by a blogger or the author itself, and then it means that once you have read it you will post your thoughts about the book, you will be given a time frame for posting the review in your blog or in a certain platform and after that the next blogger will also do the same, each will take turns in posting the review hence the name blog tour which means that the book will have a tour with different bloggers page. I think that’s how a blog tour works or as I understand how it works. I am not really familiar with this yet as I haven’t joined one but surely I will try to sign up for future blog tours which I already did and the author (this is a local one) has provided me a copy (ARC) of the book and it should be reviewed and posted this April 17-21, 2017 and of course they will be providing the marketing materials for the blog tour. So I was kind of excited to participate in my first ever blog tour, so watch out for it this coming April. This is a great way for authors to market their novels/books to the public. Generally, either an author or a publisher sends out advanced reading copies to bloggers in exchange for an honest review. I am one of the lucky few people to have experienced such thing. I did received quite a few, be it physical or an e-copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. It is amazing to have been given that rare chance to review soon to be published books but at the same time quite nervous because as I have mentioned I am not a professional blogger or a reviewer, but with all honesty and feels I put down what I call my own version of a book review for them.
Why do I review books? People do this with their own reasons. I am not new to this kind of activity as I have always been reviewing books that I have read since 2012 in this platform called Goodreads. But, I always wanted to be a book blogger as I have met cool bloggers along the way but doesn’t have the courage and means until recently as I was invited by a very good friend to write book reviews for his website. Now, I am writing and providing reviews of the books that I have read and it turns out to be a lot of fun though of course at times I feel that what I have written won’t appeal to the readers or sometimes I may think that if a professional reviewer would read my reviews they would just laugh at it. I used to think that I cannot do it but I know that I can and I know that I am doing good so here I am today celebrating my 6th month as a resident book reviewer for the Uglywriters. So, why do i do them? I guess i review them because i want to and I want to let people know how good or how bad a book is and of course to help the authors make their works known to the public and to help push their confidence and their value to the masses. And personally, I just love to share my thoughts and opinions, and also this is a good conversation starter right? We can interact with other readers through our reviews, we can exchange ideas, points of views or even engage in discussions with fellow reviewers or readers. And although, I may not be the best reviewer out there, I may not be a professional one (practice makes perfect?) but I can honestly put down a good, soulful and full hearted review, when it comes to reading books. A review should definitely be honest, profound and I guess exciting! A review brings curiosity to readers and authors alike.
How would you know that it is a good review? Well, seriously I don’t know, for me as long as it is authentic and not superficial that is a good review. As long as it voices out how you feel even when you’re feelings about a certain book doesn’t coincide with everyone else I still think that is a good review. As long as your review makes other people want to read the book be it a positive or a negative one that is also a good review. But of course it may differ from other people’s opinion, there are times that a book that you rated 5 stars maybe just 2 stars for someone else’s reviews. That is also one of the most intriguing part of this reviewing business. As we all know a book generally can’t please everybody but it can always makes us happy.
All in all, I can just say that no matter what are the reasons why we review books, the thing is we can totally communicate or can relate to the story a little bit or a lot and we are not afraid to share insights and our own perspective to the public. It’s a big help for the authors, for their works to be publicly known. Also, let me just say that we need to support our local authors. Love your own, right? And try to at least give feedbacks to their works because again it helps, be it a good one or a bad one. Giving feedbacks help authors, it will definitely be an added boost for their career, it will serve as an added inspiration for them to give us new materials to read and review. Let us promote them, let us help them in anyway because they provide us an outlet where we can showcase also our feels, our emotions and our self.