Who Benefits From Reviews The Most?

March 18, 2014 Discussion 81

Everyone has their own idea about the reach of reviews. Publishers hope that reviews will hype a book up, bloggers want their reviews to inspire readers, and authors like reviews because it shows them somebody out there is enjoying what they wrote. While it is agreed that reviews are meaningful, who gets the most benefit out of them? Publishers, Authors, bloggers, and readers probably all have different answers and hopes.

Personally, I hope my reviews can reach anyone who reads-whether it be another blogger or just a regular person. Of course, publishers and authors do benefit from this in a second-handed sort of way, and they give us review copies. It’s a win-win situation.

In theory: Reviews will increase publicity for an upcoming novel/get more people to read it.
In reality: Most book blogs see more traffic from other bloggers than casual readers.

However, this isn’t necessary a bad thing. After all, reviews are still getting read. Word is still spread around. In fact, books may even have more buyers and more publicity because you are not only encouraging the average reader, you are encouraging the avid reader: the blogger. The blogger who will post about the book on their own blog, reaching even more people.

In theory: Reviews give critical feedback for authors.
In reality: Author will write what they want to write and how they want to write it.

Sometimes you will see the same mistakes made in one book continue onto the next and the next. For example, I hear Lauren Kate’s TEARDROP has the same cliche romance and weak heroine her FALLEN series did. As for an example I can personally vouch for, I recently read Sophie Jordan’s UNINVITED and the negatives from that series are almost exact copies of those in FIRELIGHT. I’m not saying this to bash author’s in any way, it’s just something I have seen. In a perfect world an author would take reviews into account and maybe use the feedback as a way again. But we are all human and at the end of the day, an author really can write whatever they want and how they want it.

I think other book bloggers benefit from reviews the most in a personal way. In a financial/publicity sort of way, of course publishers would benefit the most, right? I do kind of wish authors would put more weight on reviews, though.

So who do you think benefits the most?

Who are reviews for?

81 Responses to “Who Benefits From Reviews The Most?”

  1. Faye @ The Social Potato

    Wow, this is a really insightful and thoughtful post. You’re right in many accounts that we can criticize as much as we want, but at the end of the day, the author has a final say and anyone will most likely write however they want to write. Some people just want to be in their comfort zone (as you’ve experienced), and that’s why I always appreciate authors who grow with their writing (like Richelle Mead with her Age of X series) and try something new. Very thought-provoking! :D
    Faye @ The Social Potato recently posted…ARC Review: The Immortal Crown by Richelle Mead – LOKI LOKI LOKI LOKI

    • Alise

      Thanks so much! Yeah, plus that is just human nature in general. So true. Yeah I read your review on that! I actually liked Vampire Academy but it’s great that she branched out, just like you said. :)

  2. Goldie

    Oh my gosh. I had never thought of authors getting influenced by anything I wrote. All I can hope for is that they get good vibes from knowing someone’s fangirling over their book. And I write about my favorite books/authors as a way to promote them for free, because I like it. I also never think of influencing any of my readers! Maybe that’s because I’m a small blog, or it was never just a part of my intention. What about you, Alise?
    Goldie recently posted…Quickstop Tuesdays Review: Dangerous Dreams [Dangerous Creatures, book 0.5]

    • Alise

      I wouldn’t ordinarily either but I saw a lot of author tweets and a lot of them mentioned reading reviews and taking them to heart so it really made me think. Same! :) No, I definitely agree. Blogging is something I kind of do for myself so when other people come and are interested in what I have to say it’s one of the best feelings ever :)

  3. Eddie

    THANK YOU FOR WRITING THIS POST! Its been an issue I’ve thought about, but never really commited to paper.

    I think reviewers benefit the most from reviews, which is odd, because few book bloggers start book blogging for other bloggers.

    I theorize the gradual bias towards bloggers starts when you start to immerse yourself in the reviewer community. (Tweeting and commenting on other people’s sites.) I’ve noticed new reviewers often confuse them with their original intended audience, as they supplement things a book buyer would do. (Commenting, buying recommended books, etc)

    *Follow for a follow on bookblogs.ning is an example of this*

    It only occurred to me a few months ago, that I was writing a bunch of posts that the average book buyer (my first demographic) would not relate too.

    Great post Alise!
    Eddie recently posted…My Thoughts: 172 Hours On The Moon, by Johan Harstad

    • Alise

      You are so right, I think the last thing on a blogger’s mind (at least in our community) is starting out blogging for other bloggers but that is eventually what happens. That’s a good point, because that’s a way you make connections too. ALL the follow for follow stuff is like that, so true.

      I agree, after really thinking about it we all almost have subconsciously started blogging for each other rather than the average reader.

      Thank you!!

  4. Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    Gosh, this is brilliant. And I totally see what you mean. I know, personally, that I avidly read reviews to get ideas about what I want to read. Then I either request a review-copy or buy it. I don’t expect authors to ever read reviews, because gosh, reading is SO subjective. I rate a book 5 and my friend rates it 2. So “learning” off reviews is kind of hard, I guess, in a way? But yeah, I think I could count on one hand the readers of mine who aren’t bloggers. o.O
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…Looking for JJ by Anne Cassidy (Also: I write an incredibly cryptic review)

    • Alise

      :DD Thank you!
      And that is exactly what I do as well. Read reviews, decide whether to request/rent/or buy the book. It’s that simple. I think authors reading reviews is good and bad at the same time. I mean, they can get pretty dramatic over negative reviews but they can sometimes be pretty helpful. I don’t think I have ANY readers who aren’t bloggers xD *looks out hopefully*

  5. Allie @ Little Birdie

    I’d say publishers / authors definitely benefit the most. They get (hopefully) good buzz for their book and readers get good recommendations.

    I agree that blog reviews tend to benefit other bloggers, rather than casual readers, but like you said, those bloggers then read it and do a review and so on and so even more buzz is created, which is, again, good for the publishers / authors and helps them to promote it.

    They help authors by helping their sales and helping to get the word out, but I agree with you about listening to criticism. An author is going to write how they want to write and I really doubt they’re going to pay attention to negative reviews and take them on board. Lots of authors avoid reading bad reviews (or reviews at all), because they know how upsetting they can be. Plus with a team of editors etc. they probably figure they’re doing a good enough job anyway.

    Reviews help me, because if I’m considering a book they help me decide whether it’s worth reading. Plus they alert me to books I may not have heard of / thought about reading before. But I definitely don’t think I benefit from them to the extent publishers do.
    Allie @ Little Birdie recently posted…The Dangers of Pointy Love Triangles {The Birdie Musings}

    • Alise

      I agree! Even if the reviews are negative, they are still getting publicity and a lot of people do follow that saying “all publicity is good publicity.” Plus I have to admit I have picked up more than a few books because of negative reviews.

      Exactly! Instead of the word ending at the reader, it gets spread even farther-like a chain almost!

      Very true, that’s a double edged sword though because I almost wish authors would read reviews so they may learn something about their writing you know? Because all of their editors are probably adults and aren’t actually the demographic they are trying to market.

  6. Tanya Patrice

    This is such an interesting question. I have no idea! I know non-bloggers have read my blog and gone ahead with my recommendations – but I’m not exactly all about books either. But also, reviews can be for the writer, as it is for me. I dont do “reviews” per se, but I write discussions to help me remember books in the future, and to sort of keep them alive after I’ve read them.
    Tanya Patrice recently posted…How To Make a Digital “To Do” List Work

    • Alise

      Thank you! Yeah, I know what you mean. A lot of the posts I see (and mine as well) kind of focus on the blogging aspect which does make me feel a little guilty at times for not focusing on the other side of readers. That’s exactly how I would voice what I do as well :) I started reviewing to remember books as well, great way to put it!

    • Alise

      Thank you! I think everyone can agree about that, reviews just tend not to get a lot of traffic period. Sadly. I do love writing them, too :) And YES, love when that happens, it’s the best.

  7. Andrea @ Bookish

    I think you do bring up a valid point. Who are really writing for? I think it might just be a combination of everybody. I know that before I started blogging, I read a few review blogs here and there. Once I started blogging, I followed more – but that’s neither here nor there. I trust these blogs to point me in the right direction when it comes to books. I mean, can you believe there was a time when I thought I’d run out of books on my TBR list?! Laughable.

    As for authors, I wonder if maybe indie/small published authors take more into consideration that those who were picked up by a big name publisher and make those fancy-smancy lists. What they wrote obviously worked for them, so why would they listen to one or two bloggers. I know that sounds harsh, but I can see that line of thinking.
    Andrea @ Bookish recently posted…Chemical Reaction Tour by Christina Thompson [Excerpt & Giveaway]

    • Alise

      I believe it’s definitely a combination of a lot of different types of readers, for sure. Ha! Yeah, knew that feeling. Like as soon as the books on your shelf have all been read, you were done. Maybe those were the good ol’ days? ;)

      That is a very interesting though. No, no, I think there is a lot of truth in that. Wouldn’t surprise me and it actually might help out smaller authors.

  8. Angel (Spare Reads)

    I totally agree with you that most of the traffic I see through my blog is from other bloggers. But I mean the blogging community IS in fact the early adapters for new books. Already established series probably don’t need publicity as badly, but either way, we are the first batch of word of mouth and I think our reach, either through blog or just talking to other people, is pretty broad.
    Angel (Spare Reads) recently posted…Review: The Lost Boys (The Lost Boys, #1)

    • Alise

      I think so, too. Even though spreading the word of a book to other bloggers probably wasn’t our first goal, many would argue it’s a vital one because bloggers have the power to spread the word even further.

  9. Amir

    That is a very tough question. I agree, most of my visitors are book bloggers themselves and I love visiting other blogs too because I get to discover new books and authors but I’ve also recommended a book to friends who are casual readers because I ended up reading and loving a book based on another blogger’s review. So I think in the long run readers, authors and publishers benefit from these reviews because somehow, it still get books out there. Word of mouth is truly a powerful thing.
    Amir recently posted…{Cover Reveal} Kendare Blake’s Mortal Gods

    • Alise

      Oh, definitely, Amir! You couldn’t be more right, in my opinion. So many outlets and so many different types of readers but I think no matter who we are reaching, it’s a positive thing and pretty much everyone is happy with the results.

  10. Lindsey

    Ultimately I think it’s the readers. Since joining the blogging community I’ve learned about SO many books that I would have never been exposed to otherwise.

    And it works both ways too, if I’ve been considering a book but I see a trusted blogger post a lower rating for it I’m more likely to skip over the book and read something else.

    Great post! :)
    Lindsey recently posted…The Hype Monster

    • Alise

      That is what I believe as well. Although other people (authors/publishers) may benefit from reviews, readers definitely get a lot from a review in arguably the best way. Thank you!

    • Alise

      Oh, for sure! Blogging and Goodreads has pretty much guaranteed I will never again wonder what to read :)

  11. Katie

    I think you make some great points in this discussion. I definitely agree that blogs draw a lot of readers that are other bloggers but not so much just the casual reader. I do think that there is still a benefit though. As a blogger, I buy books based on recommendations from other bloggers. Also, I totally agree with the point about authors. I think reviews benefit bloggers and readers the most. I like to think they help publishers and authors (and I do) but I think readers are the primary people who benefit.
    Katie recently posted…2014 YA Contemporary Challenge: March Reviews + Giveaway!

    • Alise

      Yeah, I also think pubs and authors benefit, but in almost a second-handed way, and they are definitely not getting as much out of it as readers are, if that makes sense. Like they are probably more focused on getting the word out and readers are looking for their next favorite book or reading a review that will influence their next purchase.

      Thanks for stopping by, Katie! :)

  12. Mel@thedailyprophecy

    New background, I like it :) Really feels like spring!

    Interesting topic, I never really thought about this before. I think that as a reviewer you also benefit from the fact that you are able to read books before the publication date. Not only that, but I think it might look good on your CV if you want to do something in the publish world – you also make connections.

    For authors, it’s getting noticed and publishers are happy because people are buying the books :)
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Top 10 Tuesday 31. Spring list.

    • Alise

      Aaaand I changed it again xD But, thank you :)

      Those are excellent points that I didn’t even think about! ARCa are definitely an incentive for reviewers and I know so many people who have gotten into the publishing world in that exact fashion!

  13. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    I think the readers benefit the most from book reviews, but more if they see it posted on amazon or goodreads because I think you are right and it is mostly book bloggers who check out other blogs. And the reviews should be for potential readers so they can know what to expect from a book. It would be nice if authors listen more to the feedback of the readers! And I wonder how much really do – maybe just the smaller indie authors.

    Great discussion post Alise!
    Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy recently posted…Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

    • Alise

      Ah, that’s an interesting thought! I know before I was a blogger, Goodreads was my go to so I can agree with that. Finally someone that agrees! I think sometimes authors could learn a lot about their writing. Of course, that could also be a bad thing as well. It takes a special type of person to be able to read critiques constantly, especially if they aren’t so nice. Thank you! :)

  14. ShootingStarsMag

    Nice post. Honestly, I don’t think reviews are for authors. Publishers will take the positive ones to promote a book, sure, and those are things that authors will see and that’s cool. But in general, I think reviews are for the readers – whether they are casual readers or book bloggers themselves. We are the ones talking about the books, telling people to read them, ordering them, etc. It’s more about getting people to read the book than telling the author something.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Tune in Tuesday with Idina Menzel

    • Alise

      It’s a nice idea, that authors might read reviews and take some criticism to heart but I think you are right, they aren’t the main audience. Yes! Reviews are for readers, as they should be. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this!

  15. Lauren

    Fantastic discussion! I think that readers do benefit from reviews the most, even casual readers. Despite bloggers being the main consumers of other bloggers’ reviews, they’re also the biggest book buyers, and social influencers outside of the blogging world. Like I’m sure your friends who don’t blog ask you ladies what to read next all the time because you’re the experts, and you’re like “how many hours did you set aside for this conversation?” Even if my cousin’s best friend never read your review, I did, and if I loved it and bought the book and fell head over heels for it, she’s probably going to be buying and reading the book too.
    Lauren recently posted…THE RIVERMAN Blog Tour: Interview w/ Aaron Starmer

    • Alise

      Thank you! Your comment is made of pure amazingness, I love it! So accurate and there is so much truth in it. Bloggers have the ability to reach a pretty large audience and if the majority of those people are other bloggers, the cycle continues and reaches even more people.

  16. Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms

    You’re right when it comes to ” Author will write what they want to write and how they want to write it”. I think that authors just ignore the negative reviews because they think it’s just people “hating” on their “beautiful, wonderful, glorious” book. I recently read a book review, where apparently the author DID take into consideration all the reviews and actually made a better story (Crown of Midnight, I believe. Haven’t read it, so don’t know). Anyways, this post made me want to check my blog stats, and you’re right. Most of my followers (or commentors) are other book bloggers. I’m not complaining, lol.
    Marianne @ Boricuan Bookworms recently posted…{GIF} Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner

    • Alise

      That pretty much sums it up perfectly. Exactly! That’s why I sppreciate it so much when they take their audience’s feedback into consideration, even though they aren’t writing to please them or whatever. That’s awesome! I’ve read both books and Crown of Midnight was an improvement of everything I didn’t like in Throne of Glass so that just proves that :)

  17. Dorothy @ Unladylike Reviews

    Great Topic!
    After giving it some thought, I think the ones that benefit the most are the bloggers.
    A good book can spread like wildfire in the blogosphere, which in turn is a win for the Author since his book gets the spotlight.
    It would be great if authors took the criticism and learned from it :)
    Dorothy @ Unladylike Reviews recently posted…Geist by Phillipa Ballantine

    • Alise

      Thanks! I have to agree with that, as well. Bloggers are the most frequent visitors and they, in a way, have the most to gain. You are so right! Word spreads fast. I wish authors did that more often!

  18. Nenia Campbell

    Great article, Alise!!

    I totally listen to what my reviewers say. If they say I’m losing my edge/have complaints about pacing, I do my best to fix it! And if I listen to them, I get less complaints! Everyone wins! I love my readers, and want to make them happy, so every kind of feedback–even the negative kind–is valuable. :)
    Nenia Campbell recently posted…Ultimate Dining Hall Hacks by Priya Krishna

    • Alise

      Thanks so much!

      *turns spotlight on Nenia*
      See, people? Successful author taking criticism well, right here!

      That is so awesome to hear. Although I don’t think authors should change themselves or their writing to please everyone but it’s great to know some authors take the smaller things into account!

  19. Nara

    I feel like reviews are almost of the most benefit to the reviewer themselves. I mean, personally, I just like writing reviews for myself, and while I do love when other people read and comment on them, at the same time, they’re quite useful just for me to be able to look back on and go, oh yeah, that’s what that book was about.

    I do hear that a lot of authors won’t even go near book reviews with a ten foot broomstick, so I’m guessing the reviews don’t really affect their writing haha.

    Also, ooo you changed your blog background! I like :)
    Nara recently posted…Review: Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong

    • Alise

      NO ONE has send that, Nara! I was kind of hoping more people would, especially after my last post of “Why do you review books?” I review for myself as well, everything else is just a bonus :D

      Yeah, see, that’s a good and bad thing. Would be a good debate topic!

      Thank youuuu!

  20. Lupdilup

    I benefit! LOL
    You as bloggers do a service to us the reader, and I say this because I mostly do audibooks, so even tho I have a blog I don’t put myself in the same plate. You guys take chances whit ARC and new authors, and I don’t. I rely in your input to whether buy the audiobook or not, so yes, I benefit. And I thank all book bloggers for that.
    About the author changing because of a review. I don’t see that happening often. I think the characters come into their head the way they do, and it would be almost like a mother trying to change her kid’s nose because people don’t like it. I followed a series where 90% of the readers wanted to end one way, and the author didn’t ended it that way knowing that she was going to anger her readers. So I don’t think they have a choice about changing what they write.
    Lastly, we all benefit, they love writing, we love reading and blogging and the publishers love making money.

    • Alise

      Believe it or not, you are the first person that has said that! Nara mentioned that she reviewed books for herself but I absolutely love the point that you made about advanced reading copies, that is awesome :)

      Yes, yes, and yes! Most authors are dead set and I kind of respect that. I guess I can’t help but wonder what would happen if authors peeked at reviews now and then and maybe fixed the little issues like making a character develop more or some pacing issues.

      Definitely! :)

  21. Andreea

    Interesting topic.

    I have never thought about it, honestly, but I agree with everything you said.

    It would be great if authors actually ‘listened’ to us bloggers/reviewers and avoid certain mistakes and try to learn from them when writing a new book/series, but, yeah, they aren’t perfect and they are entitled to write their books the way they think is best.

    P.S. I love your new background.
    Andreea recently posted…The Book Buying Ban

    • Alise

      Thank you! :)

      Yes! So glad you agree. I can totally see why they wouldn’t, of course. A lot of reviews would definitely bring authors down. I think a lot of bloggers offer some good criticism though!

  22. Finley Jayne

    Great post! For me, I’m a reader first and a blogger second (and a new blogger at that). I love reading reviews because I’m a voracious reader and I need to constantly add books to my tbr list, in order to keep it ‘stocked’. I never read a book unless I’ve first read a review on it (or it’s from an author I like).
    Finley Jayne recently posted…Splintered and Unhinged: A.G. Howard

    • Alise

      Thank you! I think that’s something a lot of us forget-that we are readers first. YES. I have seen a lot of people say they refuse to read a review until they actually read the book but I absolutely can not do that!

      And also, thanks for linking up your Splintered reviews, I’ve been waiting for them :D

  23. Summer/Sunny

    I really, really love this post. I think bloggers do read reviews more, but if a reader was involved in Goodreads, I think you could attract them there. Of course, bloggers come from readers so there’s that thought. It would be a GREAT thing if authors did listen to reviews and I recently read one book that seemed to go against any cliches or commonly groaned-about-items in reviews. Meaning, it’s like she read reviews for certain books and thought, I will NOT do that. You know? Anyways, this is very thought-provoking!
    Summer/Sunny recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Spring TBR List

    • Alise

      Thank you, Sunny! Good point, because I remember Goodreads is exactly where I went to read reviews before I was a blogger. I think I just proved your point ;) Yeah, that’s awesome! It’s almost like tips for writers haha.

  24. Jamie

    Very very interesting discussion!

    Quite some time ago (like literally years ago) I wrote a post about who book bloggers were catering to and largely I think MOST book bloggers cater their blogs towards other bloggers. Blogging is talked about on lots of blogs, there is common lingo that the average reader might not know/its not second nature to, etc. I personally know I have quite a lot of non-blogger readers that frequent my site so I’ve always been pretty cognizant about catering to just the average reader rather than specifically to bloggers. Back then I also did a survey to non-blogger readers of my blog and a lot of them echoed the fact that they felt most blogs were FOR other bloggers even if they happened upon them. It’s sad because I feel like a lot of the blogging community unintentionally is isolating readers who stumble upon the community when we could really be helpful to average readers. I think our reach could be better. I don’t have any magical solutions but it’s just an observation! :)

    I know reviews of mine have benefited and helped non-blogging librarians and teachers to know what to order for their library/classroom. I know this because I’ve gotten emails and also my book club friend is a librarian and uses my blog and other blogs to gauge what is out there so she can do her job better. I think there are probably more silent lurkers like that on people’s blogs then is known!

    All that to say, I think all that review book buzz a lot of times benefits mostly bloggers. Bloggers are mostly commenting on other blogs about those books and are the main set of eyes on most blogs. I do think we see people getting hyped about books and we will get them. Maybe it’s not so much the REVIEWS that make me read a book but if I see some trusted blogging friends talking about a book I will pretty much blindly get it. So maybe it’s not the review that creates buzz but the act of just getting people to talk about the book and social media (especially the nature of Twitter and Goodreads) makes that SO easy.

    I think reviews benefit the publishers because a lot of bloggers do post on Goodreads and Amazons which probably does help. I think also they are good in terms of Google and searchability because having reviews out there makes it easy for someone tying in the name of a book to stumble up on some reviews.

    As for the authors, I think there are some cases where authors are receptive and see things but I think I agree with your reality here for sure! I think a lot of authors have really stopped reading reviews (at least I see them all talking about how they won’t look at them on Goodreads) so are they even seeing them to be receptive to the critical things a review might touch on?
    Jamie recently posted…What It’s Like To Be A Mood Reader

    • Alise

      Thank you! :)

      That’s actually really interesting to know because I wouldn’t have thought back then blogs were really focused on other bloggers. The community seems like it would have been much smaller back then. I could not agree more. Now, looking through my posts, I see what you mean. So many blogging tips and other posts only bloggers can relate to. I feel a little guilty and that is sad, you make a fantastic point and I think it’s great that you aware of it and are switching up your posts a little. I’ll have to keep that in mind, I don’t want to leave anyone out-especially the audience that I set out intending to reach!

      Wow, that is so awesome! Kudos! I know one of the best feelings is having someone tell you that you actually influenced them with what you wrote. Yeah! Makes you wonder whether those lurkers are the casual reader or the blogger. Interesting.

      I also think that bloggers are benefiting the most. We have the most to gain, in my opinion. Great point! I remember the release of Ignite Me and had settled for waiting for a copy to come in at the library but saw so many people talking about it on Twitter I just HAD to get my hands on it ASAP. The Internet is a huge medium and there are so many ways to spread the word of things, just like you said.

      I’ve always wondered if reviews are as beneficial to publishers as they think they are. Terrible to say because we are bloggers, after all, but I worry that maybe we aren’t being as influential as they expect us to be. But you mentioned Google and that is so true that by putting reviews out there everywhere it increases impact.

      I think I mentioned this above but the author thing is a double edged sword. On one hand, I understand not wanting to read critique after critique of your pride and joy but on the other hand, some authors could use some criticism.

  25. A Canadian Girl

    Interesting post, Alise! In theory, reviews are meant to give critical feedback to authors. In reality, most authors, from what I’ve read, avoid reading reviews regardless of whether it’s positive or negative so they aren’t really getting feedback from bloggers directly.

    I guess the people that benefit the most from blogs are the blog’s readers. There are lots of books that I would have never heard about or tried to read if it wasn’t for bloggers who have similar tastes as me.
    A Canadian Girl recently posted…Review: White Hot Kiss by Jennifer L. Armentrout

    • Alise

      Very, very true. And I can not blame them at all. It’s probably a good practice.

      For sure! I think 80% of the books I discover are from other blogs :)

  26. Rashika

    Ha. I actually thought that Uninvited was a LOT better than Firelight. I did not like Firelight and ended up loving Uninvited. Weird :P

    I think you make some really good points. The main audience for most blogs is actually other bloggers… but that isn’t really a bad thing because either way, word is spreading and more people are becoming aware of the book.

    Great Post, Alise!!!! :)
    Rashika recently posted…ARC Review: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

    • Alise

      Did you? :P Haha, maybe it was my mood? I did notice some improvements but my issues with both books were the same.

      Yes, exactly! That was my whole point :)

      Thank you :D

  27. Hellen

    It might be a strange opinion, but I think I’m the person who benefits the most from my reviews. I started writing reviews as an exercise to keep writing in English now that I’m in college and don’t have English homework anymore (I learned English as a foreign language in high school). Now I’ve realised that I like the social aspect of blogging and if I’ve helped anybody with their reading choices/books, that’s great.

    I agree with you. That blogs are mainly read by other bloggers is not necessarily a bad thing. Bloggers have friends who may hear about the books without reading a blog.
    Hellen recently posted…Cadena de Libros (1)

    • Alise

      Not a strange answer at all! I think one other person said that and I absolutely love that you guys thought of that because I review for myself mostly too.

      Exactly! :)

  28. Jeann @ Happy Indulgence

    Wonderful thoughtful post Alise! I always wondered, are more bloggers visiting and reading our blogs or is there an audience of readers out there who don’t actually comment and make themselves known? I think a percentage of authors do listen to reviews and feedback and others don’t. As long as they get published, it’s fine right?
    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence recently posted…Why I’m Picky with Blog Tours & Promo Posts

    • Alise

      Thank you! I would like to think there are some people reading posts that aren’t bloggers and just readers, because I used to be like that before I had my own blog! True!

  29. Anya

    I definitely will buy books that I get excited about because I see lots of positive reviews! Even if I got the ARC I’ll sometimes buy the hardcover if I love the book enough, haha. I hope that my reviews benefit publishers (and therefore authors monetarily) by encouraging people to buy a book eventually though also my readers by helping them to find books that they’ll like!
    Anya recently posted…Moth and Spark by Anne Leonard ARC {3 Stars}

    • Alise

      Yes! I actually just went and bought the Winner’s Curse for that exact reason. I usually do that too, especially if I have the other books in the series. Good point, everyone benefits :)

  30. Chiara@ Books for a Delicate Eternity

    Another awesome post, Alise! :D
    Whilst I think you’re right with the theory and reality about who reads reviews, they kind of achieve the same thing.
    Yes, if a publisher gives me a book to review, the chances of random readers come across the review is pretty low. But my followers may/will read the review. And if they haven’t read the book, and they trust my opinion, they might be inspired to go and read the book (and then publish the review and thus reach even more readers). I’ve had people comment on my reviews saying: just bought this book because of your review. AWESOME. For me, because it means they trust the judgement, and I also feel like I have justified the publisher giving the book to me for review.
    As for reviews contributing to an author’s writing style and technique. You’re right. They can write whatever they want – especially if it sells. But it’s great if you see an author progress over time.
    I read this one series where the first book was lacking in world building I said so in my review. It was the only thing I could fault the book on.
    Then I read the second and third books and the world building was FANTASTIC. It definitely made my wonder if the author had read reviews (not mine because I was a few years later, haha) and taken it into account. Or maybe their editor/agent read the reviews and passed on the constructive criticisms.
    I think it depends on the author, really – whether or not they use reviews as a way to craft their art.
    Chiara@ Books for a Delicate Eternity recently posted…Book Review: Champion (Legend #3) by Marie Lu

    • Alise

      Thank you so much, Chiara! That’s so true, because a lot of casual readers do not even know what ARCs are, the ones who don’t blog, that is. I LOVE when I get that too, it makes me feel really important and like my opinion means something. Yeah, I love seeing authors slowly improve throughout their books. I’ve heard that a lot-the second book blows the first away because it fixes all the flaws. That happened to me and Throne of Glass.

  31. Tabitha the Pabkins

    haha I benefit the most from my reviews because they help me remember! And it also helps in those recommending engines when I go back and look at a book to see “others like this”. I think ratings seem to be what most casual readers put weight on. All of my casual in real life reader friends say they don’t read reviews they just go online look at the average start rating and glance at the first few lines of a couple reviews it that.

    While I post my reviews to my blog I also put them up on goodreads and amazon because I’m not writing them just to funnel traffic to my blog I’m writing them to put my opinion out there in hopes it’ll help someone find the bookfit they are looking for.

    Ultimately, I hope it helps a casual reader but its more likely to help other avid readers who are on goodreads.
    Tabitha the Pabkins recently posted…Review: Where the Rock Splits the Sky by Philip Webb

    • Alise

      That would probably be my answer as well :) Yeah, I have a non blogger friend who just checks the rating. Pros and cons to that, I suppose. That is probably why there is that huge debate on whether or not to use ratings.

      That is so great, Tabitha! I think everyone should have that mentality, plus it’s a great feeling have your opinions read and thought about.

      Good point!

  32. Julie S.

    I think readers really do benefit from reviews because often times we tend to see how a book is already rated before picking it up. In turn, reviews help get a book noticed because the more reviews, the more the ratings mean something. So I think it is a little of both – helping authors/publishers as well as helping other readers pick their next favorite book.
    Julie S. recently posted…Feature Follow Friday- Snap It – March 28, 2014

    • Alise

      Yeah, it really does benefit everyone involved :) I think a huge majority of us at least look at something others have said or a star rating to decide.

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