Perhaps you wonder how closely you can rely on my book reviews. I thought I’d give a few principles I live by when I use my blog for these – more or less weekly.
1. I don’t do negative reviews. If I would not rate a book at least four out of five stars for its category, I pass on doing the review.
• I know how hard writers work and bashing them does not fit my idea of fairness.
• My review reflects only my opinion and someone else might like the book much better. I don’t want to be the one throwing a book under the bus.
• Okay, for just a few, I might go to three stars if it is a subject that really needs to be out there or if it’s just a pleasant afternoon diversion.
2. I review books for all ages.
• I like books for all ages.
• I figure, though I assume my readers are adults, they either buy or borrow books from the library for children – kids, grands, nieces, nephews, friends, slight acquaintances.
3. Usually these books are ARCs (Advance Reading Copies).
• Most of these come from Net Galley which connects writers and publishers with book-reviewing bloggers and offers books before their official release date.
• I don’t have to review Net Galley books on my blog just because they kindly let me read them. This leaves me free to blog about those that I think will appeal to my audience.
• I keep a card showing release dates with these Kindle downloads so my reviews will be timely.
• Others ARCs come from writer friends who send me a copy, but I don’t blog about a book simply because it came from a friend. I still have to have those stars!
• Just because I didn’t blog about a book doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. I may not have had time to read it yet or I may have liked more books than I have time and blog space.
• I try to time these ARC blogs close to the release date so my readers don’t have to wait too long for them. (I can’t wait for you to get a couple of the upcoming April releases!)
4. No book is for everybody.
• This means I can’t guarantee that you will love a book just because I did.
• It also means I try to give enough about the genre and story line so that you will know whether you want to try it or not. I’ll even note what I see as small flaws in otherwise good books. So many books, so little time – I don’t want you to waste yours.
5. Do I get a reward for these reviews? Yes – a feeling of satisfaction on those occasions when blog readers let me know my recommended book has been just right for them or their gift recipients!