How Much Work Goes Into Reviewing, Exactly?

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Good afternoon readers hope you enjoyed my sixth classic book review yesterday of James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s room. I’m taking a little break and step back from my reading of the ‘classics,’ to get into a book my father gave  me last weekend. My Dad is a huge reader and he’s constantly looking for the half read book he left on the coffee table or more likely next to the bath. He’s a big crime thriller reader and many of them take more of a religious or gory streak so we don’t always see eye to eye on tastes but this one he thinks I’ll rather love that being The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. Whilst browsing WordPress on my lunch break yesterday I re-stumbled across this post by Jenny in Neverland. Her blog is utterly adorable and she writes brilliant and engaging reviews, so if you have a second pop on over and take a look for yourself here. Her post discussed how much work truthfully goes into a review and I thought It’d be interesting to pen my own to see how they compare!

1) Consult the bloggers diary: The first thing I will do when reviewing is pick a book to read. This leads me to consult my rather disorganised diary full of overspilling notes, bits of paper with books to be read scrawled on it, and illegible writings on blog tours, cover reveals and TBR’s I’m dying to get finished. I will try and figure out what I need to review and what will work based on the reviews before it. Once I’ve found the diary this could have taken at least twenty minutes.

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2) Get the book read: The second thing to do is to get the book in question read. Depending on where we are in the month that could take from a day to a week. It really depends on the length of the book, how much I’m enjoying it and what other work such as writing articles are sat on my to do list. I tend to have two books on the go at any one time so it also depends which is pulling my attention most. I’ll guess around a four days ish per book.

3) Note Taking: I always,  most of the time, try my best to keep notes throughout the entire reading of the book. It is really important to get down notes on character profiles, wonderful pieces of dialogue or description and my own personal thoughts on the book as a whole. I must admit that many a time I’m so consumed by the book that I forget and get it all done at the end but it’s going to be at least thirty minutes added.

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4) Let’s get it down on paper: I love writing reviews and the time I take varies wildly. I normally write a first draft on my old slow and dying laptop and then do a really intensive spelling and grammar edit later. I do mostly go on how much I want to get in, in terms of positives and negatives however I try to hit between 800 and 1000 words because I know that’s around my limit for getting everything I want in without it becoming boring. I’m going to say at least an hour for this part.

5)  Quick edit : So once the first draft is completed I will go through and tighten it up. I’ll make sure I’ve said enough on everything mostly focusing on character profiling, plot lines and pace, the three things I tend to find the most important. I will plush some things out and correct any obvious errors such as double typed words or over using the word wonderful. This takes around five minutes I’m quick reader and I’m just looking at it as an overview.

6) The second edit: This is where I try my best to get rid of any other mistakes although I always seem to miss a few. Depending on the length of the review this takes around fifteen to twenty minutes but depends on the length of the review.

7) Labelled up and looking pretty: This is where I add all the fancy images, tags, categories and the like. It takes me  a while because I like everything to look just so. Looking for images and linking social media maybe ten minutes depending how much there is to pop in at the end.

8) Lets get social: Then I post everything all over social medial and other websites; Twitter, Google Plus, my personal Facebook, Amazon, Goodreads and the like. Then in a couple of days I’ll do this all over again.

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9) The final thing to do is alert the author. I tend to do this as soon as I’ve posted on social media so that when they join the sharing party hopefully the review is already getting a good number of views. Quick email just linking and copying the social media; couple of minutes max.

So there you go, a very basic timeline of my process of reviewing. I’m not going to add up all the time because looking at it, it’s a little terrifying how much time goes into getting a review finished however a little insight into me as a book reviewer!

20 Comments

  1. March 19, 2015 / 1:26 pm

    Oh, question — after your review is published, do you paste the review on Goodreads and Amazon?

    • March 19, 2015 / 1:36 pm

      Very good point.. It’s something I’m trying to get better at! I had some trouble a couple of months back with my personal amazon account because it’s different to my blogging account, however I try to remember more and more and obviously if an author requests I will 🙂

  2. March 19, 2015 / 2:03 pm

    I don’t do nearly the amount of reviews you do, but every time I do, I’m blown away by how much goes into it. I have so much respect for bloggers that do it as a career and make a business out of it!

    You all impressed me so much!

    • March 20, 2015 / 1:29 pm

      Lovely comment as always 🙂 I do have a bit of a crazy review schedule but I’m constantly trying to make more time to write more reviews! I wish I could do this as my full time job would be so incredible 🙂 xx

  3. March 19, 2015 / 3:15 pm

    I am impressed as well! I just started this blogging thing, and while I really enjoy it, it’s a lot more work than I anticipated. Kudos!

    • March 20, 2015 / 1:28 pm

      Well hello welcome to the wonderful world of book blogging! I’m nearly two years in and love it more and more each day! 🙂 xxx

  4. March 19, 2015 / 5:51 pm

    I can only speak for myself, but as an author who puts much time and effort into writing the book, I’m grateful for the time, energy, thoughtfulness, and honesty you as a reviewer are willing to put into your reviews. Thank you! <3

    • March 20, 2015 / 1:27 pm

      And thank you to you for spending so much time writing wonderful books!!! I did worry that the post would or might come over a little moany (not sure if that’s quite the right word) but it’s nice to discuss as a reviewer how I find is the best way of reviewing. A couple of months ago I spent a lot of time before reading and reviewing to collate my ideas but a number of bloggers said throw yourself in, it works better and it does 😀 it’s nice to get a fresh perspective sometimes! 🙂 x

      • March 20, 2015 / 7:04 pm

        I agree completely! I don’t think you sounded moany, either! It’s good for us to know how hard you work to put together a review. It reminds us that you’re thoughtful and that you’re not just slapping something together. 😉 Keep up the good work!

  5. March 19, 2015 / 6:38 pm

    That’s a really good analysis of reviews. I’m the same as you, I always, mostly, try to make notes along the way!!! Sometimes, its just too gripping.
    Amanda.

    • March 20, 2015 / 1:25 pm

      Sometimes I don’t even realise and then I’ve read three chapters and don’t want to go back to take more notes even if I know I should 🙂 sign of a very good book! 🙂 x

  6. March 19, 2015 / 7:26 pm

    I admire that you take notes! I just read and then have to scroll madly through my kindle to find the quote or name I wanted! Great post – thank you!

    • March 20, 2015 / 1:24 pm

      I used to do that but when I did my ten day review challenge I found that my reviews were taking so much longer to put together because I was lacking those notes! I think it’s made my reviews better and more coherent but I often forget and have to throw it all together at the end! 😀 x

  7. March 19, 2015 / 8:55 pm

    It’s a great job you all do as well. There are so many books out there it’s incredibly difficult to get any notice, or sales! Thanks for all your hard work. We need each other!

    • March 20, 2015 / 1:23 pm

      I definitely agree! it’s a two way thing and I think as long as we’re supporting wonderful books then it’s so worth it! Well it is to me! 🙂 🙂 xx

  8. March 20, 2015 / 8:39 am

    Great post, some people haven’t even thought about what a reviewer does. I read with a note book at my side, I write a page of notes per book from which I then write the review. I’ll send a copy of the review to the author before posting to Goodreads and Amazon.US & UK. Plus I schedule a date for the review on my blog. Many people don’t realise there are more than one Amazon accounts across the world where the reviews need posting separately.

    • March 20, 2015 / 1:19 pm

      Thank you for your wonderful comment! When I sat down and thought about it there is so much more to reviewing than reading and writing. I am such a messy person I am continually losing my notebook but I try my best! 🙂 When I set up my email inbox I still had my personal amazon account so it’s flicking between them when all the books get sent to a different address. It’s something I need to sort out 😀 thank you for your insight and wonderful retweeting as always x

  9. March 24, 2015 / 9:26 pm

    Very impressed with your book review process. I write reviews occasionally and know how time-consuming they can be – much more so than a creative writing post! Reviewing is a wonderful way of observing and understanding story structure.

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