How I Review Books

How I review books

I’ve seen this sort of post around before, and actually found them really interesting…so I decided to do my own version!

Basically, I’m going to be explain how I review the books I read, in step by step order.

This will also give you an idea of how I decide which star rating to give each book.

I’ve split this into 10 steps, so I’ve really broken down my review process. I had to create an exact order to the process so that I didn’t forget anything, so this is the way I think when reviewing.

Hopefully this post will be interesting or helpful to you!

So here’s how I review books!



 

Step 1: Before Starting The Book

So before I even begin the book, I take my notebook and draw the title. Yes, I mean draw, not write. Β I tend to decorate notebooks so that they’re more interesting to go back to, so for my review notes, I draw the title in a similar font to the book’s title design. Now that this is done, I have a page ready for my note taking.

title 2title 1


Step 2: Reading And Taking Notes

So while I read, I take notes so that I have something to look back on when writing my review. I think most reviewers do this.

Sometimes I do actually forget to take notes if I get a bit too into a book, but I remind myself to take notes at least every 100 pages. When thinking back, I’ll ask myself what I think of the characters, plot, setting, and my feelings/reactions so far. Also any other random thoughts that happen.

notes


Step 3: Using Post-It Notes

This doesn’t happen every time I review, but if there’s ever a certain passage or sentence I want to quote in my review, I’ll add a small post it note to the page so I can go back to it. I usually end up leaving these in my books, even after I’ve written the review, because I know that one day if I pick the book up again, I’ll see that quote and remember why it stood out to me so much.

post it


Step 4: Finishing The Book

So when I finish the book, I tend to make a few more notes summing up what I thought overall, and I’ll have an idea of what my rating will be. I’ll then go on Goodreads to update my status, click “I’m finished”, and write into the review box “My review will be up tomorrow/soon” (depending when it’s going up).

finished


Step 5: Deciding When To Upload The Review

Most of the time my review will go up on Friday. That’s my specific review day. However if I finish a book on a Saturday, Sunday, or Monday, I’ll usually upload it early in the week and read a short book for Friday’s review. Mainly because I’m too impatient to wait nearly a week to upload the review.

Now that I know when the review will be uploaded, I can figure out when I need to take the review photo, and whether it needs to be written up and scheduled ahead of time.

schedule


Step 6: Writing The Review

Ahhh…now we actually get to the review. Granted, my review writing isn’t that difficult, and certainly not anything special.

First, I’ll decide on a title, and make the title image. I add a small introduction, followed by the review image (always just showing the book) with the main facts of the book underneath – title, author, publisher, series status and number of pages.

I add the synopsis, with a spoiler warning if it’s not the first book in the series. And then I write the review, which is always spoiler free. I don’t have any particular method to this, I just look back at my notes and write them fully.


Step 7: Deciding On A Rating

Usually I’ll have a pretty good idea of what I want to rate the book by the time I get to this stage. Writing all my thoughts into a proper review helps me decide.

However if I still can’t decide by this stage, rather than rate the book out of 5, I’ll rate it out of 10 then half it. Somehow this helps me. Must be something to do with there being more options. So if I decide that a 7/10 would be accurate, I’ll then half it and know that my rating is 3.5/5 stars.

3.5 stars


Step 8: Adding Tags And Sharing

Because of course I want my review to be seen. So this is just all the options on the left hand side of the page when writing a review up. I add tags, sort the post into a category, and write the tweet it’ll be shared under.


Step 9: Uploading And Adding To Alphabetical List

All done? The review is now uploaded. It’s at this point where I head to my “Book Reviews” page on my blog and add the book title to the alphabetical list. Sometimes I do forget to do this, but it’s always added at some point.

alphabet list


Step 10: Sharing On Goodreads & Amazon

And lastly, I’ll share my review on Goodreads and Amazon. On Goodreads I’ll add my blog banner above the review, but other than that the review is exactly the same.

Review


And that’s my review process complete!

Is your review process similar? Explain your process in the comments, I’d love to know! I find it really interesting to see how other people do it!

Are there any extra steps you would add?

How do you decide on a star rating?

Do you have a specific layout to your reviews?

Let me know in the comments!

Until next time…

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20 thoughts on “How I Review Books

  1. As a fairly new blogger, I highly enjoyed this post. I am slowly developing a system but I don’t know if I could make it into a list at this point. I love the idea of post-it flags for quotes. Also your journals are just awesome in both scope and your lovely handwriting. I just have a word document. Thanks for this and happy reading.
    x The Captain

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is really interesting! I might do one of these, too, actually. I don’t use post-it notes simply because I don’t own any, but I think it’d probably be a good idea for me in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post!! This is so exciting to see how other people review their books and their steps in doing so. Our review process isn’t really that different from each other! So I related so much to this hahaha. Loved it!β™₯

    Jumana @ Books by Jay

    Liked by 1 person

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