Discussion Time: Interaction on Book Review Posts

reviews

I’ve announced last year that I was taking part in the 2016 Book Blog Discussion Challenge, but so far I haven’t really followed through on that, have I? Well, I’ve noticed something and even though it’s not exactly news to me, I have started to wonder why exactly book reviews seem to be among the least popular posts on my blog. I know that I am far from being alone with this question, so I thought it was time for a discussion! What is up with the lack of interaction and traffic on book review posts?

whyread

Let’s start with something simple! Some of you may recall me asking you guys on Twitter whether you read reviews or not and to give your reasoning behind your choices. The answers given were very similar to how I feel about review posts and they are simple to summarise. I read them if:

  • I like/trust/respect the book blogger. Whenever I see some of my favourite bloggers put up a new review, I am reading it, whether I am usually interested in the genre or not. I mostly trust their opinions and if they really recommend something, I am that much more likely to pick up that particular book myself afterwards.
  • I loved/hated the book. Whenever I have a strong emotion for a book, I am seeking like-minded people or in some cases I just want to know what everyone else is thinking, even if their opinion differs a lot from mine.
  • I am unsure whether I want to read the book or not. This means that I’ve had my eye on it, but I am not all there to put my money on the table to buy a copy.
  • The person DNFd the book or gave it 1 star. These reviews are mostly interesting because they have an incredible entertainment value. I don’t like people who are negative for no reason, but a lot of bloggers are capable of criticising a book without tearing it to shreds and being hilarious at the same time.
  • Beautiful Cover! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I am a cover snob. Whenever I see a cover that interests me just in the slightest bit, I will want to find out what that book is about.

The only reason for not reading the review is therefore not being interested in the genre/book/cover or not wanting to be spoiled. Well, that gives us plenty of room as to why people should be reading these posts, so one must wonder why reviews aren’t more popular, right? There’s a simple explanation for that as well I am afraid. Goodreads and Amazon, amazing and helpful platforms that they are, offer the perfect venue to post reviews and for readers to find them. It’s like a marketplace – the demand for opinions on the books is there, because the readers are on the same sites and they easily want to find them. You can, of course, post them on your blog as well, but not everyone knows their way around the multitude of blogs on the interwebs these days. Unless you are a blogger yourself, it is far more difficult to find a site you trust in an instant without having visited a couple of times before.

nointeraction

I can only speak for myself here, but sometimes interacting on review posts is really difficult. Of course, I am going to give it a like/favourite/whatever-you-want-to-call-it, if I agree or found that it was a good post, but commenting on it? That is so much more difficult! If I haven’t read the book, there is likely not much for me to say just yet. If I have read the book, but it has been a while, I might not even remember the story in enough detail to comment on it. But there has to be something, right? So, here are a couple of suggestions of what you may be able to talk about:

  • If a person persuaded or dissuaded you from buying a book – tell them! It makes my day whenever someone drops me a short comment about how I have sparked their interest for a book. It is also interesting to hear about people who think it isn’t for them, because that leaves room for discussion afterwards.
  • In case you have read the book, try to think about your favourite characters. Maybe you can talk about your dream casting? Whether you want it to be adapted for the big or small screen? I am a huge TV and movie buff, so that always gets me going and it is fun to think about the casting together.
  • Read the review carefully and see if anything in particular gets your attention. It’s really the most basic thing. Did the romance sound interesting? Was there a certain diversity to the characters? Did it have a theme you didn’t expect? Did the reviewer tease you with something funny that made you curious?
  • If everything else fails, talk about the cover. I’m not sure this goes for everyone, but I for one enjoy gushing about aesthetics.

These are the things I try to remember when I read reviews. I want people to interact on mine, so I have to give them what I would like to have in return.

conclusion

In the end, I suppose I definitely understand why not everyone is running to read all the latest reviews. Sometimes you are just not interested in the book, other times you visit sites like Goodreads where you can find a decent amount of opinions all in one place. I will admit that I don’t read EVERYTHING that’s out there either, but I do vow to at least try to interact more on my fellow bloggers’ sites. With work and all, I haven’t been able to be as active as I’d sometimes like to be, but in my opinion, if you want people to interact on your blog, you should always make the same effort in return (or at least try to).

Thanks for bearing with me during my first discussion post, I am not sure this is exactly what a discussion is supposed to look like, but what’s done is done! Now it’s up to you? Have you experienced a lack of interaction on your review posts? Do you interact on other blogs yourself? Do you vow to try and comment more on reviews as well? I want to know everything you are thinking about!

87 thoughts on “Discussion Time: Interaction on Book Review Posts

  1. Yeah, this is something I’ve noticed a lot too! I think I comment on reviews as often as other posts, but only if I’m catching up on blog posts in my news feed. Otherwise I definitely wouldn’t seek them out 🙂 I think I’m less likely to follow a blog that has just reviews too! Great discussion post, especially for a discussion newbie 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think I might comment on reviews a little less than on other posts, but I am trying to do better.
      But I totally get it. I think I am more likely to follow bloggers with a diverse set of posts as well. Reviews are interesting, but I am not sure I would go looking on wordpress for them, but rather check on Goodreads too. It’s tricky in a way …
      Thank you so much! I have to admit that I was nervous about this post!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yay, I LOVE this! As you know, I noticed the same lack of interaction on my book reviews, and it makes me sad, because I love writing those, and I want people to like it, too. When there aren’t many comments, it feels like they don’t. I don’t know if that makes sense, ahah, it happens to me a lot, whatever the post is, actually. Anyway, I’m getting off topic.
    I read reviews for the same reason as you do, but sometimes it’s hard to figure out what to say, despite liking this review. I’m always trying to interact with bloggers, and take easily hours everyday to comment on posts, and I want reviews to get the same love, so I try my best! 🙂
    Great post, and thank you for the comment ideas! Go WRITE MORE DISCUSSIONS NOW! :p

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a great and interesting post! Back when I had just started out and followed like 5 blogs I read all the reviews that they posted, but since I follow quite a lot of blogs now and don’t always have a lot of time, I don’t read all of them anymore. When I do read them I always try to comment though! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting post, Kat. 🙂 I think it’s not just the lack of comments, I also noticed a certain lack of views on my review posts. Unless the book is very popular (e.g. Red Queen, ToG, Truthwitch) then the post doesn’t gain that many readers, much less comments. So I think it reflects back to me as a reviewer what my audience likes to read in general and which books they’re looking for.
    I have to agree with you about the convenience of Good Reads or Amazon, because I personally prefer reading reviews on Good Reads. I tend to read multiple reviews about one book when I’m deciding to read / buy it, so it’s just more convenient to have them all together in one place. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Joan! You totally have a point there, with the views also being lower (except for when it’s a really hyped book) and I can see how that reflects on us as reviewers and our audience. Sometimes I want to review books not everyone knows though, like I did with Trial by Fire lately. I loved the book and I was surprised it wasn’t more popular, so I was hoping that a review might get some people to read it (a few mentioned they would take a look – YAY!), so even if the views aren’t that high for this post, I still feel like I accomplished something. If no one had commented that though, I wouldn’t have known that I made a difference in the end. Does that make sense? Did I just randomly babble on?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. great post Kat! 😀 I’m like you. I do read reviews by blogger I know and like, such as you :P, I also read reviews about books I loved and hated, especially if they’re not that popular in the community, you know? I do avoid to read reviews of books I’m sure I want to read, in order to avoid spoilers.
    the commenting is a lot tougher. I do comment whenever I share the feelings, or disagree with something. I also tend to comment much more in certain blogger’s reviews than others.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have to agree with you (and the comments above), review posts get less views and comments in general, unless the book is the hype of the moment. Which sucks, as reviewers (pro or not pro haha) we love to put our opinion out there and make some kind of a difference.

    I don’t know exactly why this happens but what I think is that reviews are more relevant for non blogger readers. At least that’s what I used to look for as a non-blogger. Whereas, us bloggers, are more connected with each other’s opinions – we follow each other in goodreads and twitter – and we are up to date with what is hot at the moment. So, we would rarely comment on a review post, as we have been probably following the thoughts on that book through another social network.

    As for me, when I’m undecided I generally go to the goodreads page of that book and binge read all the reviews from all users I am following (including the bloggers I follow). The fact that Goodreads make it so easy and comfortable might have a toll on the view traffic in blogs from other bloggers.

    Anyway, this was meant to be shorter! haha 🙂 This is a great discussion Kat! Great job! Keep them going 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment! This wasn’t too long at all!!!
      I can definitely see what you mean by reviews being more for non-bloggers than bloggers. I often talk about certain books with close blogger friends on Twitter and other platforms before I (or they) even get to writing the review. I feel like non-bloggers rarely, if ever, comment at all on anything though. I think having to fill out the form is intimidating or something.
      Goodreads is the perfect place to get a condensed version of all the reviews of your friends and the people you follow. I admit to checking on there most times as well …

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Very interesting post! I read reviews on a daily basis and I noticed it can be quite hard to comment on them. If I think the review was great and/or you read/loved the book, I’m gonna “like” it of course, but then what? Sometimes, even when it’s an engaging review or book, I just can’t find what to say and it’s frustrating when you want to interact with other bloggers. I do want to let them I’ve read their post and react to it, I just don’t know how. Thanks for the tips 🙂 I’ve used book covers a few times, many books have great ones.
    I only use GoodReads to keep track of what’s on my shelves, I don’t read reviews there very often, but I do check them on Amazon. Usually, I’ve already made my mind about the book, either with reviews from blogs or recommendations, and I just want to make sure one last time before buying.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely hear you on the part that it is difficult to find the right thing to comment on! Just like you, I want to let the reviewer know that I really read what they wrote, but I have to work on saying something and following my own advice as well hahaha I am glad you liked my tips!

      Like

  8. Great way to start your discussions 😀
    I also noticed that review posts are not as popular but for some reason people comment more on my reviews when I hated the books and rant about it. I’m just like you, I read reviews from my favorite blogs and from books I’m interested or I’ve read but I’m terrible with commenting I never know what to say.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I so get this. I usually go to a blogger I trust when looking for a book review but being a blogger myself it breaks my heart when my review posts get such less traffic and interaction. I make it a point to comment on every post I read and like so the blogger will know that he/she is appreciated. Unlike so many others I don’t go to a goodreads page to an amazon page to check reviews. I go to blogs (less chance of bots giving everything 5 star ratings). I definitely make it a point to read reviews but also not when they are too long. Good or bad it should be written in the first or the last paragraph.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A friend of mine just had a discussion post about Goodreads users giving 1 or 5 stars for books that weren’t even released yet and which they haven’t even read. I find that ridiculous and I get why you would be apprehensive about the rating and reviews on Goodreads! You are definitely doing a lot better than I am then, I try to comment but I often really have troubles to find something to write. I love to write reviews and I think that they are important, so yeah … whenever those posts just bomb, I get sad too.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Brilliant points there. Interaction is something I’ve been trying to do ever since my blog started. I sometimes have weeks where I comment on every post I see but I sometimes don’t even like a post but then I feel bad because I want to comment but I just forget. I think discussions are a lot easier to comment on because you can just give your viewpoint. However I just haven’t had the time at all to sit down and think about a discussion point, write it and upload it so… 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I don’t write reviews anymore, and I only read reviews on other blogs of books that I’ve already read. For me personally reviews (of books I haven’t read), ruin the book for me. I don’t want to know everything that happened in a book before I experience it myself, nor do I want someone elses subjective views on a book swaying how I will read it. We all read books differently, and how someone interacts with a book may be totally different than how I interact with it. So yeah, I’m not a fan of reviews at all :p

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is a totally valid view on reviews as well! I get not wanting to have the experience spoiled before reading a book, I sometimes avoid certain reviews because I am just about to read the book myself. However, I do like to check in afterwards to discuss with the person about it.

      Like

  12. Kat, this is fantastic! I’m like, why isn’t anyone discussing about book reviews when after all, it’s the backbone of book blogging. I can relate on most points here especially. If I haven’t read the book yet, I tend to only skim because 1. there might be spoilers or 2. I can’t relate.
    You should post more of these! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I am glad you can relate to the topic, because I, too, think that it is an important part of our blogging community. I definitely also understand if you don’t read a review before having read the book yourself, I sometimes skip those or only skim over them as well.
      I’ll try to write more discussions as soon as inspiration hits!

      Like

  13. This is such a good post! I feel like actual book reviews are like little nuggets of gold stuffed between hauls, wrap ups, Tbr and favourites posts. The only real reason I will read a book review is if I have read the book and want to compare my thoughts to theirs and learn more about how other people perceive the book. Also I do read them if i haven’t read the book and I want to but only if it does state *no spoilers*.
    I now have a rule, if i enjoyed what they wrote, or what they wrote about I will leave a comment as I know how it feels to receive feedback and I want to share that feeling!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! It means a lot to me that everyone is feeling like this is a relatable topic for a discussion 😀
      I’ve just read an interesting post from another blogger whether it is necessary to state “no spoilers”. I definitely get your point and wouldn’t want to be spoiled for certain books either. My reviews are all spoiler-free unless stated otherwise, maybe I should rethink the concept though and make it the other way round?

      Like

  14. I was just thinking about this the other day because of your tweet. My reviews are the least popular posts on my blog but I still share some twice a week because they’re the reason I wanted to have a blog in the first place. But it’s really discouraging to take the time to make it a good, well thought out and spoiler free review and there’s no feedback. But at the same time, I do the same thing. Sometimes I won’t read reviews because I’m scared of being spoiled. But what you said is true, if I want people to make the effort on my posts, I should do the same on others. Great discussion!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha glad my tweet got you thinking!
      But yes! I want to share my opinion on books and I actually really like writing reviews, even if words sometimes fail me. So, whenever I don’t get any feedback at all, it makes me a little sad. I need to get better at commenting on reviews too though :/ time to start taking my own advice!
      My reviews are all spoiler-free unless noted otherwise, but sometimes it is just nicer to go into a book not knowing much of anything about it at all. I love going in blind, but I often make a point of coming back to reviews after I’ve finished the book then!
      Thank you for joining in the discussion 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I think this is an awesome discussion post!

    When I first started my blog, ALL I WROTE were reviews. Plus, I release them once/twice a week, aka the majority of my posts, so they’re pretty popular clicks for me. But I can understand why people would be less willing to comment. A lot of times, I myself read over them but can’t really say anything other than “this sounds good!” or “this doesn’t sound like my thing.” I really love the list you left – I will definitely be using those for review feedback! To be honest, I like reading reviews more than features haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Maybe it was a smart move of you to start with reviews then hahaha I didn’t even start off as a book blog, so that could be part of the reason why it doesn’t work as well for me.
      I am not the best at commenting yet either, but I am trying to be more active! It makes my heart sing that you like reading reviews more than features though 😀 ❤

      Like

  16. This is a great post! I completely agree with everything you’ve said. I do notice that a lot of my reviews tend to be less popular than other posts- but I usually think that’s fair enough, because most likely people just weren’t interested in the book or didn’t want to be spoiled for it. Personally, I love doing these posts even if they do attract less attention, because I love getting into the nitty gritty of why I liked/disliked a book. That said, I am aware that I don’t always have anything to say about a book- regardless of whether it was great, mediocre or terrible- sometimes books just aren’t worth talking about.
    I’m afraid that’s also why I might not comment on someone else’s review- I try to say things as often as possible- but sometimes I’m not interested in the book and my opinion hasn’t changed after the review (and sometimes I don’t have any strong feelings about the cover either :p ) Or sometimes the reviewer has been very incisive and there is literally nothing more for me to add! In that case, I find liking the post is all I can do (though admittedly I wish I could just give a big *thumbs up* as well!) I definitely try to say if it’s already on my tbr or if I might add it after reading the review. Sorry for rambling- these posts are always so thought provoking!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You didn’t ramble at all! Thank you so much for your comment!
      I love to write reviews if they popular or not as well, but I do appreciate feedback. Sometimes it’s just so nice to hear that you influenced someone and that they might read it now because of you. Or it is great to talk with a person who has read it as well, because in a way the review is like the last part of a book to me. I am never quite done with a book after I am done reading, instead I need the review as closure and people to talk about it with.
      Commenting still can be very difficult. I don’t always say something either :/

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I loved this! I think you did your first discussion post wonderfully!!! And on top of that you’re talking about a topic that hits suuuuuuper close to home. I haven’t been reviewing books lately because I’m like “why? why put words on paper when NO ONE CARES!!!” Okay, so I know that sounded like super bitter, but without the drama, I do feel the struggle with reviews having limited engagement. And for me, I like the engagement. I like talking to people. I want to converse! Lol. And reviews, it’s like, there’s only so much to talk about. Like “ummmm great review”? just doesn’t seem like enough.

    But you bring up a really amazing point, and I’m so guilty of this and I vow to be more conscientious of it. I don’t interact much on reviews myself. WHAT A HYPOCRITE I AM!!! So thank you for helping me to see that and encouraging engagement! I will be getting interactive on reviews now too!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I was honestly a bit nervous, because well … discussions are supposed to be engaging and I wasn’t sure if it would leave much room for talk in the comments. You won’t believe how happy I am that everyone liked and commented on it!
      I don’t think you are too dramatic, I often feel like reviews are for nothing too if there is no reaction to them at all. Then again, my heart just warms up whenever I can change the mind of a single person.
      I don’t comment nearly as much as I should either … I am going to try and take my own advice and be more active now.
      Thanks for your comment!!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • You totally had nothing to be nervous about! I saw the post pop up in my feedly and I was like “hell yeah!! this sounds awesome!!!” And it absolutely was!

        I have sooo many books that I haven’t reviewed because I just feel like why bother. Like there is no joy so I don’t see the point in it for me or anyone else. But your also right, I do like being able to convince ONE person, it’s getting that ONE person though! Lol.

        We’ll be comment sister! UNITE! ^.^

        Like

  18. I definitely loved reading this! Great discussion! As you said, I think that my least active posts are my reviews, and I agree in every point. I should try and start commenting more in other blogs and I definitely would love to hear opinions on different things on my reviews, even if it something to improve as a reviewer. It was a great list the one you made of things we can comment in reviews, I’ll keep it in mind.It’s true what you said!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Very interesting, weirdly I haven’t thought about this. I tend to mostly get just likes on my review posts with a few sporadic comments. I looked back on some of my review posts and found that the more well known or more popular book reviews tended to get commented on.
    Good discussion post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Great post and I have noticed that a lot too ! I’m trying to always leave a comment on reviews I read. Not easy though. Sometimes I don’t really know what to say. And yeah I don’t read all the reviews out there far from it. Same as you said for the “choice” 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  21. As much as I really want to comment now my brain is tired but I have such good thoughts.
    I will give one thought right now.
    The intimidation factor. I really love reading reviews, regardless of the final verdict, but when I decide to comment I stumble. I get intimidated by giving an opinion on something to somebody else who has much more experience in the blogging and reviewing world that what happens if I do it wrong?
    Can I come back tomorrow?

    Liked by 1 person

    • You can come back whenever you like! Don’t ever feel intimidated though 😉 the blogger community tends to be very welcoming and nice as far as I can tell. We are not a scary bunch, so don’t worry about doing something wrong. It’s very unlikely that’s even possible!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Great topic!

    I’ll be honest; I don’t comment on many reviews. Most of the time it’s because I don’t have anything to say that the reviewer didn’t already say. Sometimes, though, it’s because there’s not enough meat to the review for me to latch onto in any meaningful way. I’ve read too many reviews that are more like book reports than reviews–they summarize and don’t tell me what’s good or bad about it.

    People rarely comment on my reviews. I don’t bother to check stats on individual posts; so, I can’t say if it is they aren’t reading them or they are and just aren’t commenting.

    Like

  23. For me, I think it comes down to the sheer number of blogs that I follow. I just don’t have time to read reviews on all of them, so I only read the ones that catch my eye. BUT 99% of the time, I do comment on a review once I’ve read it. I think you give great tips for people who are looking for things to say!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. OMG KAT YOU TOOK THE WORDS OUT OF MY MOUTH!! This was a discussion I had been thinking of writing for such a long time, because it’s so true!! Reviews always seem to get much less comments and response from readers than other posts. Which is odd, because as bookworms (and oftentimes, reviewers), shouldn’t we WANT to talk about the thoughts other people had on books? And as the writer of the review, it always kind of sucks when you worked really hard on a review and it didn’t seem to be as liked as other posts. (Also, I for one totally adore gushing about book covers! Eeep there’s just so many pretty ones out there, hehe.)
    Awesome discussion post, Kat! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • THANK YOU :D! I am so glad my post reflects what everyone thinks on the topic as well. Would have been a little silly if no one felt the same way hahaha PRETTY BOOK COVERS ARE THE BEST! I am a total cover snob! I live for the beauty.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I don’t really mind book spoilers (I actually love them, for some reason xD), so I don’t mind whether a book review has them or not. But, I only read reviews for three main reasons: (a) I’ve already read the book and I want to know what that person thinks of it, (b) The book cover looks pretty or the premise sounds interesting, so I’d love to discover things about that book and if it’s any good, or (b) The book review has a low rating compared to others I’ve found so I’m interested to know why he/she thinks the book isn’t as good as others think it is.

    I do agree that book reviews have the lowest comments/interactions most of the time (for me, at least). I also think it’s because nobody really knows what more to say than “I agree!” or something along those lines, so your suggestions on what to comment on a book review are really great! I myself find it hard to comment on book reviews unless I’ve read the book myself or if I’ve been thinking of reading it for a while, but I still try my hardest to comment on them.

    Great discussion post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t know … it depends on what kind of book it is whether I want to be spoiled or not. Sometimes I like knowing little things up front, but other times I just love going in blind!
      Thank you for stopping by! 😀

      Like

  26. Yeees to all of this! I think reviews are generally less popular than, say, a TTT post or a discussion post, but they definitely add quite a bit to the community. That’s a great list of suggestions you have – sometimes I want to comment too but I’m at loss for words, so this will be a good place to start with. 🙂

    Like

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