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.
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
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
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?