This evening my guest is book reviewer, David Baird, who has kindly agreed to join me in the library for a chat. Pull up a chair and join the conversation …
David – you are very welcome. Would you like to tell us a little about what you do?
The Book Reviewing Process
I run a book blog called David’s Book Blurg and mainly review works of historical fiction but can quite happily read almost anything. The book reviewing process can actually take a lot longer than you think. It’s also more enjoyable than you can imagine.
How did I come to run a blog, you might ask? Well, I’ve been on Twitter a number of years and followed some authors whose work I’d enjoyed. Authors like to communicate via Twitter with fans more than I had imagined. Because of this, I felt a little guilty just leaving a star rating with no actual comments. I’ve always liked the idea of a blog but never thought anything I had to say would be interesting enough. Once I’d settled on the idea of leaving more detailed reviews, I decided I’d found the subject I could blog about! I posted reviews about a couple of books I’d recently read and within a matter of days, I was contacted with my first review request. Since then I’ve never looked back.
The books I review come to me in either one or two ways. First being a book I’ve purchased and want to read, but more often books come to me directly from the author with a request for a review. There are a lot of authors out there who self-publish or self-promote who will kindly gift me a review copy of their book. There’s no catch. It doesn’t have to be a good review (although I’m sure that’s what the author is hoping for); they just want a good down to earth honest review.
It usually takes me around a week to read a book under 400 pages. I know some people who read a lot faster than that, but since I have two little girls at home, I like to make sure I balance my commitments well; family comes first after all. So if it’s a request from an author, I like to agree a deadline with them for the review to be posted
Next up is the good part – where I actually get to read the book 🙂
When I’m reading I like to make notes, either in a note pad if it’s a hard copy book, or by highlighting text if I’m using my Kindle app. These notes come in very handy when I’ve finished and need to write up my review. I like to get my reviews up quickly so everything is fresh in my head. I write from memory in the first instance, I comment on the things I liked about the book and also the things I didn’t. I then go back and look at my notes and see if I’ve covered everything. Then I summarise my thoughts and try to make people understand how the book made me feel as a reader. My reviews go out on my blog and up on Amazon and Goodreads.
My reviews are honest opinions, some books you just don’t like but you can be honest without being rude. I always find something good in every book I read. If an author has taken the time to write a book the least you can do is take the time and let the author know what you enjoyed about it.
Personally I’ve found book reviewing to be a great way to connect with authors and readers alike and because of this I’ve been introduced to even more wonderful authors whose works I wouldn’t have discovered without my blog.
It’s a great feeling when someone interacts with you about a review you’ve posted, to know that someone has taken the time to read what you’ve written. It’s my own little world and it’s good to feel my reviews are valued.
To see my reviews or to request a review, please check out my website: