Blogging Series Reviews

How Much Work Goes Into Reviewing, Exactly?

awesome thing

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!

If you’re a book blogger or reviewer, I’d love to hear whether your reviewing process is similar of differs from mine. Do you find reviewing hard work? Let me know in the comments below!

Jenny in Neverland

Twenty-something lifestyle blogger from Essex. Book lover, Slytherin, organisational wizard and enjoys Motorsport, Disney and Yoga.

87 Comments

  1. […] Do Your Favourite Books Mean to You? How Much Work Goes Into Reviewing, Exactly? 7 Things I’ve Learnt Since I Started Blogging Mental Health Awareness: My Story Quick Tips […]

  2. […] of work (if you don’t believe me or are just interested in it, take a look at Jenny’s blog post about […]

  3. Hi Jenny,

    I have only recently started posting Goodreads reviews, so I can share my love of books with others.

    You have here pretty much summed the basics of the journey of every review majority of us write. Thank you for summing it up well. Love your blog.

    Bee.

  4. cideon says:

    I’m so glad your posts on blogging are so informative! I kinda want to try it myself, but I’m not sure if I should. On occasion I like to write short reviews for Goodreads (longer if it’s just one of those books, heh), but I think it would be good for me to kinda do it for most every book I read. But do you post the same review you do on your blog, Goodreads, and Amazon for example? I wasn’t sure if that’d give you less readers, or does it actually get more people interested because they can follow you on their preferred format? Thanks again for such wonderful advice!

    1. I’m so glad you find them helpful 🙂 You should definitely start a book blog, if you already love reviewing and have experience of it! I do post the same review on my blog, Goodreads and Amazon. It doesn’t give me less readers because people don’t “follow” me on Amazon and Goodreads is just an extension of my blog. I don’t review EVERY book I read on my blog either anymore; it’s mostly just review copies now since I got so busy but I do leave a small review on Goodreads for every book 🙂

      1. cideon says:

        Thank you for the reply! I did start slowly working on one, just the bare bones now heh. Thanks for the information! I felt like I was a different person when I started my Goodreads account, so I may have to switch my username just to get it and the blog to mesh well, heh.

  5. […] a lot of time and will probably continue to change as my life changes (I wrote a blog post about How Much Work Goes Into Reviewing which ties in with this […]

  6. missed out ‘blog’ there… and I love the look and feel of yours, Jenny in Neverland!

    1. Thank you so much! And I completely agree – sharing the love of books is what it’s all about!

  7. I love to read, so when I started blogging, it made sense to post reviews on all the books I had enjoyed. As a great believer in the system of ‘give and take’, I think we should all share the love. That’s what a good is for!

  8. […] How Much Work Goes Into Book Reviewing? – Jenny does a perfect job at summing up what it is to be a book blogger. And at the same time reminded me just how unorganized I am when it comes to blogging! […]

  9. My reviews are abstract and personal. If I chose to review a book then the assumption is I will like it. I limit my review to 200 words (225) which does not include my recommendation comments.
    The reviews tend to write themselves as I read. Once I write the review I edit and post.
    I have limited the genre of my book reviews to: Christian based or inspired fiction and non-fiction this makes it easier to select a book.

    1. Do you find having a set word count for your reviews helps? I imagine in stops you going off on a tangent if you read a particularly amazing book – Ive been known to write really long reviews because I just want to write down every single thing I loved about a book.

      1. Absolutely, though it is difficult when I absolutely love the book. When that happens I walk away and come back to the review when I can be “rational” !
        The reason for the short reviews, people don’t really read long reviews. Because I have been posting on Amazon for a few years now I have noticed a few people actually like what I say. (Imagine that)
        By the way in order to monetize I post my reviews on Blogspot: http://beyondthebookstore.blogspot.com/

  10. Totally empathise with the hunger distraction bit. Just found this on BestChickLit.com. Having a wee share – just so writers who don’t know now do! PS. Those who already do think bloggers are the best. 🙂 xx

    1. Thanks for sharing around Sheryl! I can barely concentrate on anything if I’m hungry haha! xx

  11. […] 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 […]

  12. Great post. My review style tends to vary as it just really for me to keep a record of what I have read, (i have a terrible memory sometimes), and because I like the idea of others stumbling on to one of my reviews and finding a book I have reviewed which they go on to read and hopefully enjoy. I don’t really spend much time promoting mine except for the occasional tweet. 🙂

    1. Thank you! I think lots of peoples reviewing style will vary depending on their current circumstances! As long as you do whatever works for you! I’ve read loads of books which I’ve originally found on others blogs and liked their reviews! No-one can say that reviews don’t matter! xo

      1. They really do 🙂 great to look at how other reviewers do what they do so well. 🙂 I admire your dedication 🙂

  13. I’m learning quickly that it takes a lot longer to post a book review than I first realized. I knew it took work, but with three young children milling around (and working full-time), it never goes quite as smoothly or as quickly as a I hoped. As a result, book reviews are left languishing in draft form for a while. But, I’m doing my best and really look up to you and other experienced book bloggers. I also love posts like these. So helpful to a newbie 🙂 Thanks!

    1. I admire you for still finding the time to blog with THREE children and a full-time job! It does take a long while, but I think each individual can make it work for them, you’ve just gotta find a routine that fits in with your personal schedule, because other stuff (like children) will always come before blogging. All you can do is your best 🙂 I’m so glad you found it helpful! Thanks for your comment 🙂 xo

  14. Exactly the process I go through. It’s a tough and long process but I enjoy it so much. Reading books, experiencing the amazing wonders of each individual book and being able to share it with everyone around the world invigorates me and hypes me up!

    1. I completely agree! I thrive on books and reading and I absolutely love being able to talk about them to other bloggers! It is a time consuming process but I would never change it!

  15. […] read an interesting piece this week (Jenny in Neverland’s blog) about how much work goes into a book review, and she finished up stating why she reviews when it […]

    1. Thanks for sharing!

  16. Terry Tyler says:

    Jenny! Great post – makes writers realise how much you do. I review books as well as write them, but only my own choices and a few for a book blog, so I do know what you mean.

    I just wanted to say one thing. Don’t feel bad about not giving 5*!! On Amazon it means ‘I love it’ and on Goodreads ‘It was amazing’. Please don’t think 4* is ‘harsh’! 4* is a good review – it means ‘I like it’ on Amazon and ‘I really like it’ on Goodreads. And all writers are still delighted to get a 4*!

    I give half stars too, and just do the 3, 4 or 5* to whatever ‘feels right’ – it’s hard, though, isn’t it?!

    1. Hi Terry! Thank you for the advice; I like to be really accurate on my ratings and sometimes you need a half star to do that! If I really really love a book but still find a couple of faults with it, I sometimes want to give it 5 stars because I loved it but at the same time want to give it 4 so then other readers won’t go into reading it with the false assumption that it’s perfect. It’s easier to do on my blog, where I use half stars but like you said, it is hard, especially on Amazon and Goodreads. But I’ll keep what you said in mind and won’t feel bad next time I want to give a 4 🙂 I understand 4 is still REALLY GOOD but I always thought there had to be some flaw with it not to give it 5. Thanks for commenting! 🙂 xo

      1. Terry Tyler says:

        The way I (and most writers, I think) look at it is this: 5* is for books you LOVE, 4* is for books you like, and would still recommend because someone else might LOVE them! Often it’s just a matter of taste, isn’t it :). I go down to 3* if the book is good in parts but not so well written in others.

      2. You’re absolutely right; I think lots of people probably have a different idea of what constitutes a 3, 4 or 5 star book. I sometimes feel I’m too generous actually; and giving a book 4 star when really it deserves 3 but to me, 3 stars seems quite low.

    2. I’ve stopped worrying about having content on my blog, which I used to do obsessively. I think I’m perhaps too lax in the time I spend writing a review, and they could therefore be better.

      As for star rating I give 4 stars to ones I love, 5 stars are saved for something above & beyond that stand out for some reason. Great post 😉

      1. Good take on star ratings; I think 5 stars should be saved for those slightly more special books too! Thanks 🙂 xo

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