Improvements

I am getting better at formatting my book reviews, and finding relevant links to author pages, artwork, downloads, etc to improve the content of my blog reviews. The next review I’m working on is my first audiobook review. I’ve reviewed books based on my listening to the audiobook version, but this will be my first review of the audiobook itself. It’s another advanced copy I was lucky enough to get my hands on. I’m also pondering how to denote book reviews and regular posts. I’m open to suggestions.

I find this process of reviewing books that I’ve read very satisfying. I read more than a hundred books a year, but until this past year I never sufficiently reviewed them. I’m learning that properly reviewing them and sharing those reviews on popular websites is helpful for the authors, especially new and indie authors. I’ve been reviewing books on NetGalley, BookBub, Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble, as well as my local library’s website if they have the book. If they don’t, I recommend they add it to their inventory. Anywhere else I should be sharing these reviews?

The hardest part of some reviews is deciding how many stars to rate them. I realize that’s the least valuable part of a review, but I think it matters. I’m very selective in the books I read, so most of what I read is very highly rated. If I dislike a book, I’m not willing to share that information because it’s usually a matter of opinion. That said, I do carefully weigh the decision to rate a book 4 or 5 stars. Sometimes a 4 1/2 stars option is available, and I will choose those if I feel it’s earned. I don’t think I’ve ever rated a book below 3 stars.

Two differences you will find between my Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) book reviews and reviews of books that are already published are quotes and the cover art images. With ARCs, they warn reviewers that edits may still be done prior to publication and warn against quoting the text. I am also very careful about using book images I didn’t take myself, so any images you see from me with more than just the cover are ones where I took pictures of the book in my hands, created a collage, added text, and edited in my go-to editor, Graphic Converter. I’ve been using this program for decades and highly recommend it. Honestly, like Scrivner, I barely utilize all the amazing features of Graphic Converter.

Could I do more? Let me know if you have suggestions on how I could improve the book reviews I share on this blog. I link to it on my Twitter and Facebook pages, and try to remember to do the same with my rarely-used Instagram account. I’m mainly there for my kids…

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