What do you look for in a review?

When I was invited to be part of this blog hop that Reading Romances so kindly put together for us, it occurred to me that what I look for in a review as Jes the Reader is different than what I look for as Jes the Writer. Hence, I have a two part answer to the question.

Part One by Jes the Reader:
I was terrible at book reports in elementary school, and as it turns out, I am almost entirely incapable of writing a good book review. It’s sad, but true. Take a look at my GoodReads reviews if you don’t believe me. They’re mostly one sentence long and say insightful things like “I loved this book.” (You know what I was good at in school? Dioramas. Maybe I should start doing those instead?)

When I look at other people’s reviews I’m often impressed by how detailed they are, how passionately the reviewer digs into the story and shares their opinions. I love that there are people out there who love reading so much that they make a point of not only giving serious thought to the books they read, but taking the time to write those thoughts out into eloquent, well thought out opinion pieces. As a voracious consumer of books who is not independently wealthy, I look to these reviewers to help me decide which books are worth my investment. To get that, I need them to include some explanation of the plot – but not too much – and the reasons why they liked or did not like the book. Honestly, that’s it.

What I’d like to see more of: COMPS!! More “if you liked that, you’ll like this too.” Maybe I spent too much time working in publishing, but I find comps really helpful.
What I’d like to see less of: DNF reviews are a pet peeve of mine. Once you get to the end of the book, you can feel free to hate the pants right off of it but how can you review what you didn’t read?

Part Two by Jes the Writer: Reviews are important to every writer but especially to a debut writer, which is what I am. A good review from a good source can make a big difference in terms of sales and legitimacy and exposure. That said, a few words from an anonymous someone who takes a minute to write “I loved this book” and check off 4 or 5 stars is equally awesome. There are few things better than knowing that your story is out in the world and that people who don’t know you (and as such are not obligated to like your work) like your work.

What I’d like to see more of: Positive reviews! When I am reading reviews of my own book, which I do because I’m hopelessly uncool like that, I always hope to see some sign that I’ve made a connection with the reader. Welcome elements include: Compliments. Praise. Love. Liberal use of the words “fantastic” “best” and “riveting.”
What I’d like to see less of: Negative Reviews…When those come in, and they do from time to time, I have a strict policy of following the golden rule for writers. I’ve seen what happens when you don’t and It. Is. Not. Pretty.

Thanks for stopping by! I hope you’ll take a minute to stop by the comments to say hello, defend your DNF only review blog, or suggest a book for my first ever Review by Diorama.


Six Sentence Sunday

I had so much fun doing Six Sentence Sunday a few weeks ago that I decided to do it again. This time I’ve chosen six sentences from Tab Bennett and the Inbetween.

And that’s when I completely lost touch with reality. Before I knew what was happening his mouth was on mine and my legs had wrapped around his waist like it was their habit. He turned so he could hold me caged between his body and the front door, his hand sliding up to cup my breast, to tease my nipple through the soft white lace of my bra.

I didn’t think about anything but him; nothing else mattered.The fact that my cousins and my grandfather, not to mention my fiancé, were all watching me dry hump a stranger at my sister’s funeral in front of everyone we knew didn’t stop me from liking it when he began nuzzling my neck.

Visit http://www.sixsunday.com/ to see who else is participating this week. There are lots of great excerpts from lots of talented writers.

On a Visit…Again

What can I say? I have a restless soul. Sometimes I just want to go. Go anywhere. Change up the geography a little. Do you ever get that? It used to be when I got this way I’d pack everything I owned into my dad’s mini van and move to a new city. Now, what with the two kids and dog to think of, I just blog hop. If you’re looking for me, I’m visiting Paranormal Haven. today.  We’re talking about bird omens and superstitions. You should come by and say hello.

PS: Do any of you know the song Moving Target by Christine Lavin? (I see you’ve got your hand raised, Cassy.) How about anyone else? It’s a really good song. It goes like this “She’s a moving target, She prefers it that way. He sees her profile east and west, a boarding pass with her name.”


On a Visit

When I picture an urban fantasy heroine I see tight fitting clothing, long, flowing hair, and lots of sharp pointy weapons. I see a woman who can run in high heels and throw a punch, the kind who would rather fight a monster than hide from one. Essentially, I see a woman who is the exact opposite of me. Because I am afraid of monsters. I can barely walk in heels, let alone run, and I do not own a weapon – sharp, pointy, or otherwise. I’m visiting Lisa over at Paranormal & Urban Fantasy Reviews today to talk about urban fantasy heroines. Stop by and say hello, leave a comment, and enter to win a free copy of Tab Bennett and the Inbetween.

On a Visit

Today I’m over at twimom227’s blog talking with her about a number of things. For example, here’s a quote from the post: “In my early twenties, I was involved in one that ended with me crying, drunk, and hugging a parking meter on a dark street in London at 2 o’clock in the morning while the other girl involved tried to convince me that I deserved Kevin more than she did. As an aside, it turned out Kevin didn’t deserve either one of us.”

Want to know what the heck I’m talking about? Come see at http://bit.ly/P2LOzk