If I’m planning on reviewing a book soon, I’ll typically wait to read reviews from bloggers. This is because I want to make sure my reviews reflect my own thoughts only. I’ve also recently started reading reviews from news outlets and listening to author interviews. They feel like a different type of content than blogger reviews though and I’m debating whether to treat them the same. Here are my thoughts on reading reviews and interviews before writing a review myself. Then I’d love to hear whether you consume any book related content in the week or two before you write a review.
Reading Reviews Before or After Writing Your Own
Right now, I’m planning on continuing to avoid blogger reviews right before I write a review of my own. I think I may treat reviews from news outlets differently though. Here are what I see as important distinctions between the two types of reviews:
Reviews from bloggers
- typically include thoughts on the experience of reading a book
- they’re unique and the opinions of bloggers can definitely sway me
- I can better comment on reviews after I’ve gotten my thoughts organized in my own review.
News outlet reviews
- I can’t interact with these reviewers, so I don’t need to comment thoughtfully
- typically include book description and shallow analysis only
- don’t feel like they have a unique perspective, sharing an emotional reaction to the book
- because of the two previous points, they don’t influence my opinions as much
For these reasons, I don’t think I’ll avoid book reviews from news outlets when I have a review coming up. I didn’t get a lot out of the ones I’ve read so far, but I think I should give them more of a chance. If you have any news outlets you’d recommend for analytical book reviews, I’d love to hear about them!
The Value of Author Interviews
Author interviews, on the other hand, have been a great source for learning more about a book. Here are a few things I’ve really enjoyed about them::
- By listening to several podcast interviews, I got more familiar with the author’s arguments.
- Even repetitive content across interviews was enjoyable, because I liked spending more time with the book and I’m more likely to remember things I hear twice
- Hearing an author rephrase arguments from their book sometimes makes their points more clear to me.
- Learning about the author’s motivations and how they wrote the book can be fascinating. I’d love to bring this information into my review.
I’ll probably be listening to author interviews before publishing review posts more often in the future. I think I could learn additional information to share in my review, without having my own opinions swayed by someone else’s take on the book.
What about you? Do you avoid book-related content when you have a review coming up? Are there any sources you read to help you write a better review?