Last month, author Holly Martin posted this photo on Twitter and just the other week, it was half 11 at night at after being up for 14 and a half hours, I was still on my laptop finishing up the current book review I was writing. It got me thinking about how much time actually goes into book reviewing; not just writing the review but the whole process from beginning to end. Especially considering book bloggers don’t get paid a penny to do it.
Of course, this will be different for every blogger, we all have different ways of using out time and making book reviewing work for us but this is the process in which I go through when it comes to reading and reviewing a book;
1) Choosing my next book. This in itself can take a good 20 minutes, so many books to chose from!
2) Updating social media on what I’m reading next. Goodreads helps me keep track of my reads and I like to show other book bloggers what I’m reading next as some of them have probably read it too and can give me some insight into what they thought.
3) Reading the book. This could take anything from 2 days to 2 weeks, depending on how much I’m enjoying the book or whether it’s being reviewed for a publication date or a blog tour.
4) Making notes as I go along. I don’t always do this, but most of the time I do and I find it helps.
5) Updating social media as I go along. Again, not crucial, but I like to update Twitter and Facebook about how I’m doing and what I think so far.
6) Choosing a rating. I don’t want to give it 5 stars unless I absolutely know it was worth it. But is 4 stars too harsh? I’d give it 4.5 but you can’t choose 4.5 on Amazon and Goodreads. Oh, the decisions!
7) Writing the review. This varies from book to book. Some reviews come flying out the end of your fingers like it’s been waiting to escape for decades. Others, not so much. It also depends on the time of day, if I’m tired, if I’m hungry (I can’t concentrate if I’m hungry and thinking about food), if I’m distracted so the act of writing the review can take from 10 minutes to over an hour.
8) Formatting the review. I like my reviews to look neat and pretty so I spend bloody ages arsing around with graphics and making alterations.
9) Choosing my next book. Between scheduling my review of the previous book and the time it’s actually published on my blog, I obviously make a start on my next book and the whole process starts over again.
10) Updating social media again. Time to update everyone again and let them know I’ve finished book X and am now starting book Y.
11) Promoting the review. Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon US and Amazon UK. This doesn’t include replying to tweets/comments.
So if it takes up so much of our free time and effort, why do we do it? Simple, because we love books! It’s such a sense of achievement when you finish and book and write a review for it and our little reviews, although it doesn’t seem like it, really help the author out. Despite the hard work, I wouldn’t change it for the world!