R is for Reading and Reviewing #AtoZChallenge

Posted 20th April 2019 by Anstice in Blog Fests & Hops, Creative Writing / 🗨2 Comments

The Blogging from A-Z Challenge continues today. Throughout April I’m posting about my life as a writer, including my inspirations, frustrations and celebrations.

I’m a great believer in the old adage that writers should be avid readers.
Whether we read novels, poetry or non-fiction articles, it’s a great way to learn new words, techniques and a sense of style. It also inspires ideas, challenges us to think beyond our own perspective and exercises our imagination.

I read for all those reasons, but first and foremost, I read for pleasure. Like most writers, I fell in love with books at a very young age, and then I started to create my own stories. I read everything from gothic novels to satirical poetry, but my favourite genres are science fiction and fantasy.

I started reviewing books on my blog and Goodreads back in 2009. At first, I just reviewed books in my existing collection, but eventually I started receiving paperback ARCs and eBooks from authors and publishers in exchange for an honest review. I found so many amazing books this way that I probably wouldn’t have discovered otherwise. I enjoy sharing my opinion about books and discussing different viewpoints with other readers. I also think it’s important to support authors whose work you enjoy and reviewing is a cost-free way to do that.

However, maintaining a book review blog is quite a demanding commitment, especially if you already have a full time job. Writing a thoughtful review takes time, and then you have to format the post, create the images and share it on social media once it’s published. You can also get swamped with emails from authors and publishers asking you to review their books. That’s wonderful most of the time, and I’m always grateful when they’ve taken the time to get to know me and my blog before emailing. But it is time consuming, and unfortunately some people don’t ask politely and get angry if you turn them down or leave a less than favourable review.

Since making the decision to pursue a writing career, I’ve stopped accepting so many review requests. I still read and support other authors by reviewing as much as I can, but my free time is more limited nowadays. I’d rather spend it working on my WiP or reading books I know I’ll enjoy rather than having to stick to a strict schedule.

Before you go…

Do you enjoy writing book reviews? Do you normally read the reviews before you purchase a book?

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2 responses to “R is for Reading and Reviewing #AtoZChallenge

  1. I’ll sometimes check out the reviews of a book, but I prefer to make up my own mind 🙂 Writing reviews is, as you say, a great way to support authors. Maybe there’s a “right” way to approach book bloggers? Mm. That’s an idea for a blog post!

    Ronel visiting with the A-Z Challenge music and writing: Music Rush

  2. Crikey, I can imagine how time consuming that is! Fabulous. That’s a real labour of love. I’m a children’s poet and run one website (I’m doing the A-z from that and my own website) for all children’s poets because I think poetry is important for children, so I support and celebrate all children’s poets. I do reviews, but have a BIG pile still to get through , and I don’t do many! I just don’t have the time. Reading them carefully is so important. ~Liz http://www.poetryroundabout.com

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