THE IMPORTANCE OF BOOKS REVIEWS & WRITING OWN VOICES REVIEWS

My book reviews are often just my polite way of screaming at you to buy the book.

This week’s Off Tangent Thoughts prompt encouraged us to write on book review or book discussions, but I chose the former because they are, for me, more difficult to write. Especially now that NetGalley has limited the books that can be requested by international bloggers, I’ve found it harder to want to read and review books on my blog.

Although book bloggers don’t have to always review books to run their book blogs, for me, I find it an essential part to my platform. I’m sharing my thoughts on writing reviews – why I continue to write them and the importance of Own Voices reviews.

Off Tangent Thoughts (OTT) is a bi-monthly meme run by Charvi @NotJustFiction that has a basic list-based format. Bloggers express their points in the form of a short or long list with the points under the list being merely a couple lines or even complete paragraphs.

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WHY I WRITE BOOK REVIEWS 

There was time during my blogging when I actually thought of doing away with book reviews. I was getting discouraged with the lack of engagement on my review posts and I was also not sure if anyone was picking up books based on my recommendations. My voice felt small in the sea of book bloggers.

In a previous post, I had discussed that when writing reviews I would try to have a balance between writing for myself and writing for my audience. But that’s a bit hard when you don’t have an audience.

Read my post on WRITING REVIEWS: WHO ARE THEY FOR?

So, I stopped thinking that way. I began writing reviews to support authors which also meant that I stopped requesting books I weren’t interested in. I began prioritizing reads that I found important to me and genuinely wanted people to read. I may not get the biggest engagement on my book reviews but I find that I have grown to love writing them.

WRITING OWN VOICES REVIEWS

As reviewers, we promote and hype up the books that make their way into our community. We play an influential role in the books readers pick up. With more diverse books being published, it’s important to also have Own Voices reviewers.

Own Voices books refers to stories featuring marginalized characters written by authors who belong to that marginalized group. In the same way, an Own Voices reviewer is one who identifies with the marginalized group or character in the story.

Having an Own Voices reviewer helps to know whether the representation in a particular book is good or not. As a reviewer, I always try to seek out books that have my representation in them. As part of a marginalized group, it makes my job as a reviewer even more important. This is one of the reasons why I continue to review books. I want to introduce people to as many diverse books as possible, I want my reviews to spark discussions with readers. I want readers to see the importance of representation.

My Own Voices reviews are not just a record of my thoughts but also of my experiences. However, we must also be aware that one Own Voices review does not reflect the experiences of all.

Nandini from Unputdownable books wrote a post on Own Voices Reviewers and the Book Community

MY THOUGHTS

You can help support and hype reviews by

🌺 Seeking out reviews for books you read, especially Own Voices reviews.

🌺 Promoting reviews by liking, commenting, and sharing.

🌺 Buddy reading, which is a fun and creative way to hype books.

🌺 Sharing your reading experience on instagram or twitter.

Reviews are just as important as book discussions and book blogging memes. Although they are more time consuming and do not generate much traffic for me, I will continue to write them to support authors and hopefully encourage the hand who do read.

Read my post on HOW I ORGANIZE AND MANAGE MY REVIEW COPIES

 

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Do you get discouraged writing book reviews? Link your recent book review below!

 Do you find it harder to request ARCs? How can bloggers help each other with this?

How do you manage the ARCs you have?

 

18 thoughts on “THE IMPORTANCE OF BOOKS REVIEWS & WRITING OWN VOICES REVIEWS

  1. Christina Reid says:

    I find that book reviews often take me longer to write than any other post but have the least engagement. Still, I think it’s really important to shout about books you love, particularly those by #ownvoices authors. I also try to link to other bloggers’ reviews of books, especially if they can make informed comments on the representation. Thanks for this podt?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dani @ Perspective of a Writer says:

    I was getting discouraged writing reviews… or rather I was procrastinating them and it was driving me crazy! So I changed my format. You’re right that you have to read and write reviews for you because otherwise you lose motivation. I do enjoy reading reviews by Own Voices as its neat to see what they connection with, ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cam @ Camillea Reads says:

      I’m still figuring out how to change my format haha for now, I do enjoy writing out my thoughts and making small bullet points at the end. I do miss the old ratings you had for writing and cover, but I do love that your review posts has a section on the author’s writing. It’s been super helpful for my own writing!

      Like

  3. BiteIntoBooks (@BiteIntoBooks) says:

    I agree, review posts get the least engagement, unless it’s a really hyped book. I still write reviews, because that’s why I mainly started my blog. I’m still happy if just one person adds a book to their TBR or decides to pick it up because of my review.

    I do feel like I enjoy doing other things in between as well, but I would never erase the reviews from my blog. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cam @ Camillea Reads says:

      I’m still hoping to hear someone picked up and read a book because of me haha I would be overcome with joy. I haven’t been reading too many hyped books lately. If I’m interested I join a blog tour, so I am committed to writing an posting the review haha just trying to beat my mood reading tendencies. And yes, I love having book reviews on my blog too!

      Like

  4. Aj @ Read All The Things! says:

    I get discouraged with reviews and have seriously considered giving them up. They take longer than other posts to write, and very few people read them. I haven’t given them up because reviewing forces me to think critically about what I’m reading. Sometimes I appreciate a book more after I review it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Aislynn d'Merricksson says:

    I review for publications, and I do enjoy reading and reviewing. Lately though, I’ve wanted to return to the freedom of reading without needing to do a review. Still, it’s very nice to connect with others who enjoy my same interests.

    😆 Like you, I’ve had to stop requesting books I’m not really interested in, but feel obligated for some reason or the other…

    Like

  6. Lais @ The Bookish Skies says:

    Cam, I’m so glad you’ve wrote this because I definitely feel discouraged to write book reviews. I do not care that much about the traffic and response, but I do feel like as I’m constantly reviewing backlist books, I don’t know how much I’m actually being helpful to the community. There are probably thousands reviews of these books out there and I struggle with being original in my format, in a way that I can provide anything that all these reviews haven’t yet.
    Even if I can’t personally relate to boosting ownvoices authors, since there aren’t many South American authors I could be reading in the first place, I do agree that reviews can spark discussions and introduce people to new books. Even if only one person who follows my blog hears about a new and diverse book, it’s already an accomplishment. I’ll definitely keep this in mind when feeling discouraged!

    Like

  7. Camilla @ Reader in the Attic says:

    Strangely enough, I like to write book reviews. I think it’s a good way to talk about books with my followers and also I like to break down things I notice in books.

    Kinda sadly, I don’t do a lot of ownvoices review. I think representation matter, but I notice that I tend to emotionally relate a lot to characters from various backgrounds. I remember reading Radio Silence, where an -aspec character was represented, but… I ended relating to someone else completely.
    I will probably change my way when I start to read more a-spec books.

    Like

  8. Charvi says:

    This is such a great discussion post! I have the same conflicting feelings regarding book reviews on my blog because nobody seems to be reading them? Plus I don’t really love writing them? So nowadays I mostly only review books that are very close to me.

    Like

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