Monday, April 19, 2010

New Poll: Do you prefer longer or shorter book reviews? Why?

I just posted a new poll on the right-hand sidebar, but I wanted to expand on the question so that I could link to here for comments.

I would like to know whether or not you, as a blog reader, prefer to read very short, medium-length, or in-depth book reviews. I ask in particular because book reviews are drastically different from product reviews (which are often best when they have serious depth).

I know that I tend to write what I consider medium-length book reviews. There are enough words to snag Google spiders, but not so much depth that I'm spoiling the books for other readers. After all, people aren't likely to read a spoiled book and then neither the author, the publisher nor I benefit at all from my having reviewed the book.

Book Sneeze is asking me to submit short, 200 word reviews of the books that I receive from them. This is below the word count threshold for Google as I understand it, and, which is more, I'm not sure that I can review a book in 100 words (since they want 100 words to go to a synopsis of the book).

What do you think? What do you prefer to read? Is a short review enough to convince you to purchase a book, or do you prefer a more in depth review?



  1. Hi Becki,

    Sometimes, most of my reviews are in the medium range, roughly 500 words. I just reviewed a book for Booksneeze, too. A 200 word review is a tricky review, but the idea is to hook the shopper using as much brevity as possible, but enough to entice him/her to buy. Good luck!

  2. The part that "intimidates" me, I suppose, is the fact that they want 100 words of it to be synopsis. I personally don't think that's always necessary.

    I was thinking of doing a "mini-review" and then doing my usual full review. I'm of the opinion that if I can be found via search engines, I'm helping the authors and publishers *more* than I would otherwise.

  3. I should add: I like the way that you review. You give enough information without giving out so much that it's overwhelming. That is, I suppose, what I'm striving for. I just have moments when I wonder if I'm too much a blogger and too little a journalist to pull it off.

  4. Becki,

    I've been reading your reviews and I think you are just great! Everyone has their own style of reviewing, and everyone has different things that they want to read in a review.

    You might want to do both a mini-review and a full review. If nothing else, you will increase your writing range as a reviewer.

    Booksneeze is a great resource. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will be receiving "The Heart Mender" sometime soon. By the way, thank you for the compliment. I appreciate that you are reading my reviews.

  5. I was thinking of asking for The Heart Mender next, Miel, but then *I Am Hutterite* showed up and I just have to have it! I'll be done with Wild at Heart in a snap (today or tomorrow) and have a review out likely next day.

    I think right now that what I'm going to do is do the quickie here and then do a more in depth review on my Christian blog. I think that this book needs it since there are some glaring errors/omissions in the text which may be confusing to some who are reading the book expecting to be given the answers instead of the tools to seek them.

  6. I voted other simply because I didn't want to choose only one of the other three. I find it depends on the individual book how I want to review it. I don't mind how long a review is as long as it isn't one long spoiler which so many are.
    I like your reviews and enjoyed reading them.

  7. You're not kidding, Cat! I see so many that are like that and it is very disappointing. Several of the books I've read recently have been spoiled by things as simply as the way someone chooses to tag them on Goodreads or Shelfari, too.

    I might even have enjoyed Written on the Body more if I hadn't caught spoilers for it.

  8. I honestly prefer shorter reviews. If the review is lengthy, I start to get bored with it. I just want to know if it's any good, what the gist of the story line is and what to expect in terms of content and characters.

    I hate when reviews seem to be about proving how smart the reviewer is, it should be about the book. As long as that is central, then everything is probably OK.

  9. Short reviews - I just mainly like a really quick synopsis & then for someone to render their opinion because I do NOT like spoilers :) YOur reviews look like a good balance!