I have a confession to make: I’m a closet book reviewer. Or, more accurately, I was.
Even though I would absolutely love for everyone who reads my books to be kind enough to leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads, I recently realised that I am guilty of rarely publishing reviews myself. I have done a few, but nothing close to the number of books I’ve actually read. Which is surprising, when you realise that I do actually write a review of every book I read, capturing the basic elements of the plot, whether or not I enjoyed it, and which elements I particularly liked… or didn’t. Only instead of posting my reviews on sites such as Amazon or Goodreads, I simply keep them in a word document, for my own reference (my memory isn’t what it used to be 😉)
So why not put them on review sites? Because I’m not a book reviewer and I questioned the value of my reviews, plus I don’t want to upset or disappoint anyone.
But after writing my recent blog entry ‘How to Bounce Back from Negative Feedback’ where I commented on the value to be gained from book reviews, the guilt kicked in. If I’m not willing to put reviews out there, to help other writers and prospective readers, then how can I expect people to do it for me?
So, I’ve set myself a belated New Year Resolution: to share my reviews on Amazon and Goodreads and to do it so that what I write is honest and constructive. And that’s exactly what I’ve done for all of the books I’ve read since the first of January this year. All nineteen of them!
I’ve tried to be honest but not too brutal; praising but not too gushing; and have looked at each book in its own right, without comparing it to the best (or the worst) of its genre. But to be truthful it still feels a little uncomfortable. I know how hard it is to finish a novel, to launch it and wait with bated breath for feedback. Will they like it? Won’t they like it? Hats off to all those book bloggers out there, they do a much better job of writing reviews than I ever could. But all the same, from now on, I’m going to put my money where my mouth is and add reviews as soon as I’ve finished each book.
If (after all my excuses) you’re interested in my reviews of the books I’ve read so far this year, use the link below to go to my Goodreads page, where you can check them out for yourself:
Credit: Photograph of the Prunksaal of the Austrian national library courtesy of Rilaak (https://www.flickr.com/photos/rilaak/5540677707)