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Guest Blogger: Marika Weber (Contest!)
Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Psst! Remember, the Bored Fairy and a Signed Book contest continues!
Post a comment to win! ~DD

One Reviewer’s Take

I want to thank Delilah for having me on her blog today. It’s really an honor. Most people don’t want a reviewer on their blog much less having them talk about reviews.

Okay, right to it…a little background about myself. I live in East Texas, raised in Dallas, married with one son in 1st grade and I work an EDJ. I review for Night Owl Reviews, The Romance Studio and The Forbidden Bookshelf. I also have a review blog that I update semi-regularly. Why the information about me? To let you know, that I’m a real person, with a real life and real everyday issues. I’m not a god, a fairy, or an ogre. I bleed just like you do. Why the dramatics about me? I have some things that I want to talk to you about reviewing and what goes through my mind when I’m reading a book for review.

1. I get to pick the books that I review. Bet you didn’t know that? Well, I do and I choose books/authors/publishers that I normally don’t read or know much about. I pick books that are way out of my comfort zone. When I decided to review, I decided that I wouldn’t read books or authors that I was comfortable with. In the year that I began reviewing, I have found authors, genres and publishers that I seek out on a regular basis. I have been given books to review from authors for my blog and again, I follow the same guidelines if I was reviewing it for one of the sites that I review for.

2. When I review a book, I look for the following: plot (does it hold my interest?), characters (do I even like them?), flow (am I having to start and stop all the time?) and lastly, did the characters connect emotionally and was it believable?

3. When writing a review, I don’t give out spoilers, the ending, the conflict, nor do I give out plot points. I will however, talk about what I did like about the book and what I didn’t. I hate when book review blogs from individuals give you a dissertation on the book. I mean, why buy the book in the first place? The blog already told you everything that you needed to now and more. This is becoming more and more commonplace with so many people reviewing books on their blogs and it really pisses me off. I have books on my Nook that I bought that sadly, I’ll probably never read because of it. Grrr…

4. Also, if you get a bad review, just remember, its only ONE reviewer’s opinion. Some people are going to love your stuff and some won’t love it. Reviewing is subjective and therefore, should be taken with a grain of salt. That said, if the review is snarky and/or down right rude and mean, please, please let the review coordinator/owner know. That should not be tolerated at all. That does happen and it puts all reviewers in a bad light.

5. Lastly, why do I review? I review because I love to read. Period. Some reviewers crave the power they have over an author but for me that’s the wrong reason to review. I review for the simple pleasure of reading and then telling people why I liked it.

If you’re an author, tell me some of your experiences good or bad with reviewers. No names, please. If you’re a reader, what do you look for in a review? I’ve listed below links to where I review to check me out. I look forward to hearing from you.

http://harliebooks.blogspot.com—personal review blog
www.nightowlreviews.com—Marika is my review name
www.theromancestudio.com—Marika is my review name
www.theforbiddenbookshelf.com—Kate is my review name

One last thing, contest…to one commentator a GC of $10 to either B&N or Amazon. And you thought reviewers were stuffy and not human?

22 comments to “Guest Blogger: Marika Weber (Contest!)”

  1. Shawna
    Comment
    1
      · September 2nd, 2011 at 8:59 am · Link

    I like reviews that are honest about whether the story worked on all levels (plot, resonance, world building, character building). I am not a fan of overly effusive reviews. Stop gushing and give it to me straight!



  2. Ivelisse
    Comment
    2
      · September 2nd, 2011 at 9:00 am · Link

    Hi Marika!! I think you had mentioned these tips before (can’t remember if it was a blog post or just thru group emails) but I did love your advice. And I also don’t like it when the whole plot is given out on the review, its like “Ok guess now I don’t have to read that book” lol.

    I feel with every review I do they get better and better. Life is a learning experience after all with everything we do :).



  3. CrystalGB
    Comment
    3
      · September 2nd, 2011 at 9:23 am · Link

    I look for a brief summary of the plot without spoilers, the reviewer’s likes and dislikes about the book and if he/she would recommend the book.



  4. Delilah
    Comment
    4
      · September 2nd, 2011 at 9:27 am · Link

    Hey! I like a little gushing! :(



  5. tammy ramey
    Comment
    5
      · September 2nd, 2011 at 10:14 am · Link

    anymore i just skim the reviews because as you said they are pretty much telling you the whole book. i look to see if the book has alot of bad reviews or remarks, if it does i will usually not read it. if it is just one or two i will because i may like it where the reviewer did not. if the book got alot of good reviews i usually will make sure i read it.



  6. Marika Weber
    Comment
    6
      · September 2nd, 2011 at 10:16 am · Link

    Again, thank you Delilah for having me. Ive…I actually posted The Ten Commandments of Reviewing on my blog. I encourage anyone that reviews to read it. Good stuff.

    Shawna and Crystal…clear, concise and to the point. That’s what reviewing should be.

    Good luck in the contest. :)



  7. Karis Walsh
    Comment
    7
      · September 2nd, 2011 at 10:46 am · Link

    Marika,
    As a brand new author, I can appreciate your approach to reviewing books — straightforward, honest, and open to new ideas.

    Delilah,
    Thank you for taking the time to make my blog on the Girls Who Bite website look so fantastic! I hope people stop by and leave a comment today on girlswhobite.net for a chance to win a fun vampire-y prize!

    Karis Walsh.



  8. Jane
    Comment
    8
      · September 2nd, 2011 at 3:56 pm · Link

    Hi Marika,
    I look for a rundown of the plot points and want to know some background on the major characters and if the story was engaging.



  9. June M.
    Comment
    9
      · September 2nd, 2011 at 3:59 pm · Link

    I generally just skim reviews because I HATE when they give away too much of a book. I generally like them to give brief info (just the blurb works great) then say what they liked/did not like without giving away the story. If a blog reviews books that I have read, and I agree with their ratings, I will take their reviews more into account.

    I don’t mind if they gush a little about books/authors. That is a way to thank the author a little for what they do. Like just saying something like Another great book by a terrific author, etc. But please limit it to a short paragraph.



  10. Diane Sadler
    Comment
    10
      · September 2nd, 2011 at 6:09 pm · Link

    I look for a scene that will grab me and make me want to buy the book.



  11. Maria D.
    Comment
    11
      · September 2nd, 2011 at 6:10 pm · Link

    I mostly look for reviews to tell me if the writer is consistent with plot, characters, and pacing. I don’t want a scene by scene breakdown but I do want them to tell me if there are some “questionable” things like – forced seduction, rape, incest or things like that- which I might not want to read about in a book.



  12. Kim
    Comment
    12
      · September 2nd, 2011 at 7:50 pm · Link

    Great blog Marika!!! I have to be honest, I don’t read reviews because I’m typically afraid of having a book spoiled for me, or the ones I’ve read have been really spiteful to the writer, which I think is inappropriate. It’s good to hear that you (and I know there are many others) who do justice to the author’s hard work!
    Thanks for writing about this!!! You know I’m a big fan!!!!



  13. Naomi Bellina
    Comment
    13
      · September 2nd, 2011 at 8:54 pm · Link

    It’s kind of scary to put our stuff out there for review, but I appreciate it when someone takes the time to read and give insightful comments. Keep up the good work!



  14. Jen B.
    Comment
    14
      · September 2nd, 2011 at 9:06 pm · Link

    I have been practicing writing reviews. It’s really hard to write a good review. I hate dissertations. I hate spoilers unless they are clearly marked. I want to know why a reviewer loves or hates something. I don’t want a personal attack on the author/publisher/editor unless it is well deserved (think plagarism/missing pages/gross errors). I don’t like super long reviews where I have to wade through the whold thing to find out if I even want to read the review much less the book. I want to know who the reviewer thinks would like the book (I find this particularly tough to do). Thanks for the post!



  15. elaing8
    Comment
    15
      · September 2nd, 2011 at 9:16 pm · Link

    I like reviews that are not overly long.The long winded ones I just bypass.The review has to be honest.I actually don’t mind mild spoilers in reviews.I’m the read the last page person anyways.lol.



  16. Luna
    Comment
    16
      · September 3rd, 2011 at 12:08 am · Link

    Yep. I like gushing too but whenever I make reviews I state first the points that I admired about the story, the things that bothered me and then the gushing! When a story is really very good, one couldn’t help gushing about it…LOL



  17. Becky W
    Comment
    17
      · September 3rd, 2011 at 5:07 am · Link

    I don’t normally read reviews. I do skim through them once in a while to see what the reviewer thought.



  18. Diane Sallans
    Comment
    18
      · September 3rd, 2011 at 7:06 pm · Link

    I look for a brief description of the plot; perhaps a comparison of style or subject to well know authors; if it’s part of a series; your opinion on how it was to read, did it flow; perhaps a rating of level of heat, violence, sad/happy, humor; and definitly no spoilers!



  19. Marika Weber
    Comment
    19
      · September 5th, 2011 at 10:30 am · Link

    I want to thank everyone for stopping by and telling me what you want from a review and reviewer. Its nice to know that I’m doing a job that yall like. :)

    By randomizer.org, comment #10 won the GC. Diane Sadler please email me at maw1725@gmail.com with your choice so I can get your GC to you.

    Again, thanks to Delilah for having me and for everyone who left a comment. :!:



  20. Ashley A
    Comment
    20
      · September 8th, 2011 at 1:03 pm · Link

    I just like a review to be honest, without spoilers!
    Ashley A



  21. Emily Tardy
    Comment
    21
      · September 8th, 2011 at 2:21 pm · Link

    I do love reviews! Love finding new to me authors! :)

    emilytardy@yahoo.com



  22. Shadow
    Comment
    22
      · September 9th, 2011 at 6:56 pm · Link

    i love reviewing books. i love to read and in my way, its my way of giving back to the author. authors create such wonderful, imaginitive worlds and i can loose myself in a book fast! i like to let authors know how much i appricate them and there work.