On book reviews: unpopularity, comments and other struggles

Today, I actually want to ASK you things, rather than talk and rant a whole lot. Let’s be honest: I will be ranting a WHOLE LOT anyway, but I really, really want to ask you things here, too. So don’t let this fail, people, I’m counting on you.

Hello friends, this is me back again with a small – okay, big, sorry – book blogging rant, and today’s topic is all about…BOOK REVIEWS.

Very early on in my small blogging career – is three years small, or big? I have no idea?! -, I have noticed something that ALL book bloggers will notice, eventually. Our heart and soul, us screaming about books in reviews, does not actually work.

Don’t get me wrong here. Tons of things actually work. Book bloggers scream about books around 99.9% of the time. That other 1% is for other things, like, food, writing, life getting in the way. Mostly food, though. ANYWAY, point is: we do scream about books a whole lot. Yet, book reviews don’t work the same way other blog posts do.

There is something I have noticed, something everyone has noticed by now. People talked about it already, I already mentioned it in my popular blog posts discussion. Fact is: book reviews get less traffic. Instead of crying over the fact that the blog posts I appreciate doing, the ones that takes time and thoughts to put into place, the ones I want to share my love for a bit more, aren’t quite working as well as I’d like them to ; I have decided to do something else and ask myself a couple questions about book reviews.

Thing is: if book reviews aren’t that popular, I am at fault, too. I know that I spend more time commenting on other blog posts, I know that, sometimes, I tend to be drawn to all the blog posts, except for book reviews.

What makes me comment on book reviews?

With tons of book reviews every single days on blogs I read, it’s hard to follow and hard to comment on every single post. It’s also really hard to…want to. Sometimes, I just don’t feel like commenting on a review – and yes, it happens to the best of us. So what does, actually, makes me want to leave my two-cents on a book review?

First things first: I actually comment on some blogger’s reviews ALL THE TIME. It’s because I am really nice I just LOVE THEM. There are some bloggers I’ll read every review, every single blog post from, because they are fabulous and I’m always interested in what they have to say, the books they read and how they enjoy it. They have a gorgeous writing style and overall I’ll READ all the things.

When I see a review popping-up for a book I really, really want to read, I’m always more interested in reading a review as well.

Same thing for a book I already read: I’m more drawn to other people’s opinions when I know I have my own on the book – to compare, see what they loved, hated and everything else about the book.

Other things that might make me want to comment on your book reviews:

  • A particular review formatting, such as the 10 reasons I NEED to read this book, a review in GIF, aesthetics in book reviews #superficialbookworm
  • A gorgeous book cover drawing me in #superficialbookwormagain
  • An intriguing beginning to the review…
  • And so on. Sometimes, you know, you just get a feeling when you start reading a review and you’re like:

Why I sometimes just don’t comment on book reviews

I’m always trying to make a point of being completely honest about these blogging struggles of mine, ever since I started blogging and this particular feature, so I’ll say it out loud now.

Commenting on book reviews takes a whole lot more effort and time than commenting on other fun – quick posts like memes, tags and so on. At least, for me. Most of the time, book reviews are long to read. I know. I’m reading 500 pages books and complaining about a 1 K review? Yet, I don’t have as much time as I’d like to read all the reviews in the world and therefore, leave a thoughtful comment. I like to leave other things that just “Great review” as a comment, so… I need to have something to say. Otherwise, well… I’m just in a bit of a Ross Geller moment.

Book reviews are harder to comment on. Remember how I said I mostly comment on book reviews for books I’m interested in reading / have read? It’s mostly because I know what to say. I already know the thoughts I have on the book and, sometimes, I feel like I can add to the conversation in comments, something that’s really important to me. In discussion posts, we get some prompts to answer, some questions, it’s easier to actually find something to say once you’ve read it all. Sometimes, in book reviews, I’m just at a loss for words.

How to make people comment on your book reviews?

I haven’t quite mastered the art of gathering tons of people around my book reviews. It is something I would absolutely LOVE to be doing: chatting books more and more in comments, driving people to talk about the books, other books that are alike, books that are different, and so on. Just, DRIVING conversations as much and as well as discussions posts and other popular blog posts manage to do so.

If I still haven’t got the trick to do it all – and maybe I never will, maybe book reviews aren’t meant to drive conversations as much as all of the other blog posts – ; I still have a couple things that could, would, and do work sometimes.

  • Try out mini reviews: they’re quick to read, they are fun, and sometimes you just need a couple words to convince someone. AND you can talk about more than one book at a time, if you’re doing mini-reviews of a few books at a time: more chances for your readers to have read or wanting to read one of the books you’re talking about.

 

  • Try and change up your review format once in a while: this is something I clearly suck at…but that’s always been on my mind. Maybe someday I will. Reading different kind of reviews, with aesthetics, just GIF reactions, just a LIST or other fun things to read, can make reviews a whole lot more fun to read…and to comment on.

  • Ask questions at the end of the blog post: and try to find questions other than, “have you read the book or do you want to?”. I think, for any blog post, it is so important to ask your readers things, to give them food for thoughts and make them want to comment on your blog posts and reviews. If you’re talking about a particular book, obviously ask about that book at the end of your review, but also try and ask for more recs, ask for other books in the genre, if they like this or that aspect of the particular book in the books they read, and so on.

Just wait and hope and remember that, by writing reviews, you are sharing the love for books. That’s what you are here for, so JUST KEEP ON GOING AND LOVING IT.

Okay, I’m done ranting here, but I really, really want to hear your thoughts on book reviews. Do you find yourself commenting less on book reviews than on other blog posts? Why is that?

What makes you comment on a book review, and why don’t YOU comment on book reviews, sometimes? What are your favorite kind of reviews to comment on? Long texts, lists, mini-reviews or something else? Do you have tips and tricks for people to comment more on your book reviews?

as always, thank you for listening to my long rant and let me know all your thoughts in comments, I’d love to chat!

Posted by

Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. πŸ“š |🌍 | πŸ’ž Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

139 thoughts on “On book reviews: unpopularity, comments and other struggles

  1. I am not as concerned about the number of comments left on review posts as I am the number of views. Knowing that not every reader on my blog has time to comment on every single post unless there is something they want to ask me or discuss is absolutely fine with me. It is a funny thing because sometimes a review that I don’t think will be popular because it is a backlist book or something might get lots of comments. It’s nice to have discussions with readers, for sure. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh yes, well you’re in a good mindset for sure. It’s always good to see people are actually seeing your reviews, even if they don’t necessarily have time to comment on them, for sure πŸ™‚
      Right? IT’s so weird sometimes, how popular some posts are, while some others just don’t work πŸ™‚
      Thank you so much for your sweet comment ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I try really hard to make my reviews fun and to focus on different things. I naturally want to go over the same things about a book every time so I’ve had to really ponder books that I’ve read to find different takes and positions. It’s fun to do though… try to get a review read more! β™₯️ Great post Marie! I’m sorry I missed it! Thank goodness for Ilsa!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It IS fun to try and think of new ways to make reviews fun, it is something I need to try and do more with my own reviews. New ways to talk about the books we love πŸ˜€
      Oh no need to apologize, Dani, you’re so sweet! Thank YOU for taking the time to comment ❀ ❀ ❀

      Like

  3. Really awesome post, Marie! It’s definitely not an easy task to read every book review out there and comment on everything everyone posts. Some of the reasons why we would even do it are definitely superficial and ends up making us put in hours of post-reading and commenting without knowing. Getting people to read what you want to say? Definitely not something easy to do through WordPress. Reading is no easy task, especially when everyone out here are already reading countless books for their own pleasure! πŸ˜› Again, great post, Marie. I enjoyed it. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so much Lashaan, I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed this post πŸ™‚
      I agree that it’s no easy task, especially given how much there is to read already, and how much we want to read, outside of our blogs as well. Whenever people manage to read what I have to say, reviews or not, I’m the happiest πŸ™‚
      THANK YOU so much for your sweet comment ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I only really comment on book reviews if I’ve read the book or am quite familiar with it. While I’d love to comment on all the reviews I see, I totally agree with you in that commenting on book reviews takes more time, time which I am already lacking as it is. I’ve started changing up my reviewing style, doing more “x reasons you should read y book” etc so I’m hoping that because of this I may get some comments?

    I think book reviews are where every blogger starts, but as they grow their blog will contain more book discussions and other posts rather than exclusively book reviews.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you – reading reviews takes a whole lot of time, and with the amount of reviews online every single day, it’s hard to keep up, and/or find an interest in it all. It’s good to spread some love, but not to lose our sanity haha πŸ˜› Better to focus on the content we are interested in.

      Oh I think it’s a GREAT idea, and has to be a great, fun way to review books. I hope this works out for you, and makes writing reviews fun as well πŸ™‚

      Thank you so much for your sweet comment! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. This is such a wonderful post, and it’s so true! In the first few months (I’m blogging for a little over 6 months now), I thought maybe my reviews weren’t interesting enough, because they got less traffic… but now I see it’s just the way things are. I suppose if it bothers, then surely the blogger should find ways to make the reviews more unique and draw more traffic for them, but it doesn’t particularly bother me anymore. I like writing reviews and I’ll continue to.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh thank you so, so much, Naty, I’m so glad you enjoyed this post ❀
      I was just like you – at first, I thought I did something wrong, then I realized it was just the way things are. It's strange, for sure, but… well, nothing we can do about it, I guess. What matters the most is that we keep on writing reviews if we love it, and spread the love about books we love if we like to πŸ˜€
      Thank you so much ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s so strange to think about that book reviews, which should be the backbone of the book blogging community, are so unpopular haha. I’m definitely guilty of it too though. There are so many posts out there to read, and if I’m not interested in a book, I won’t be interested in the review either unless it has a really catchy title that grabs my attention. I really want to give book reviews more love, but there’s only so much time in a day! And only so much energy in my body haha. It’s definitely a struggle and sometimes it can be a bit disappointing to see barely anyone read your review for a book you loved and want everyone to read, but I still enjoy writing them and I love seeing comments of people who decide to pick up the book because of me. I just love spreading the love haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh YES, I love spreading the love for books as well ahah, and even if reviews aren’t the most popular blog posts out there, I couldn’t give up on them. I just love them too much ahah ❀
      Thank you so, so much, Michelle! ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

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