One of the reasons I started blogging is because I enjoyed reading what other people thought about books and decided I wanted to talk about my much-loved obsession too.
I’ve been very interested in the various discussions – and a hell of a lot of criticism – about the review process in recent months and a couple of things have struck me. Foremost amongst these is what I believe the bottom line to be; that is,
a review is the opinion of a particular book by that particular reader at that particular point in time.
Following on from this, there seems to me (and being totally blunt) to be a number of givens: the people who read reviews are going to go away either wanting to read the book or deciding to give it a miss; agreeing with the reviewer or wondering whether it was the same book that was read; be thrilled or devastated by the things discussed about their work; or, pleased or pissed that they can/can’t utilise the material for promotional purposes.
I’m not after an egostroke about my so-called reviews or anything wanky like that. What I am genuinely curious about is if reviews in general actually make a difference to what books you buy and what it is about them that influence you.
I’m too lazy to try and do the mini poll thing and I’m more interested in hearing what you actually have to say about this topic than trying to interpret statistics. So here are my two questions with some points for you to consider:
How much will a review influence your purchase?
* Wait for the review every time.
* Not at all.
* Sometimes, especially if the blurb or excerpt were vaguely interesting.
If reviews do influence you what is it about them that does?
* The way the review was written.
* Information about writing techniques such as style, writing itself, etc.
* What the reviewer thought about the plot, setting or characters.
* An overall recommendation.
Don’t be scared to share your thoughts. My itty bitty corner of bloglandia is protected (ie all arseholes are told to bugger off *g*).